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ACTS CHAPTERS 18 & 19

KJV    NAS

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1-3 After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers. 

 

Act 18,1-8

(148l) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Slave laborers – Imagine the contribution to the word of God that came about because Paul went to Corinth and preached Jesus to them. The books of first and second Corinthians probably do more to talk about Christianity as it is today than any other epistles of the New Testament. First Corinthians is the longest epistle in the New Testament, and in it he severely rebuked the Corinthian Church for its immaturity, but at the same time he made some of the most profound statements in the Bible about God in relation to this world.

Act 18,1-5

(14k) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers are indirectly in charge of the word >> They relieve church leaders of menial duties – Paul made friends with Aquila and Priscilla, a husband and wife teem. He was a Jew evicted from Rome through persecution, for Claudius had commanded all Jews, Christian or otherwise, to leave Rome. Unbelieving Jews were stirring up trouble in Rome and blaming their own behavior on the Christians, Jewish or otherwise, for the tumultuous atmosphere that was developing. Christians were not the troublemakers but those who would fight against Christianity in their attempt to extinguish the flame of faith that kept burning brighter and brighter in every place. They proclaimed to the authorities that if it weren’t for the Christians they wouldn’t be causing these skirmishes. The number one objective of every Roman leader was to stamp out all disturbances before they became riotous, for riots and insurrections reflected poorly on Caesar, making him appear that he cannot effectively rule, and since most of the latest upheavals seemed to involve Jews, he determined that all Jews should leave Rome, regardless of their religion, whether they were causing the skirmishes or not. Paul met Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth and they became friends, being faithful Christians who served the brethren, giving what they could to those of greater poverty. Paul enjoyed people who were deeply committed to the faith in a practical way and made themselves available for service and ministry. Aquila and Priscilla were evangelists to some degree, but their forte was hospitality, contributing to the needs of the saints, opening their house to anyone in need.

(119g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Debt free

(241g) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Distractions

Act 18-1,2

(170a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Stepping on people to get to the bottom >> Those who seek glory from men discard others – Caesar commanded all Jews (Christian and non-Christian) to leave Rome because the unbelieving Jews were making a stink about Christianity that was forming in their region. This caused great hardship in the lives of Roman believers who were forced to resettle, imprisoning some and martyring others. All it did was promote Christianity all the more. The people would look on all this commotion and deduce that there must be something to this Christianity; otherwise so many people would not be devoting their lives to it and suffering hardship for its cause. People love to have a cause, so when Christianity came along, it became a cause to which they could affix themselves and be part of something that was better than themselves and greater with the hope of eternal life.

Act 18-3

(101j) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Ambitious in the business world of this life – A man named Aquila worked together with Paul as tent makers earning a living. Paul supported himself whenever his work as a missionary and evangelist slowed, but when the opportunity for evangelism arose, he would re-devote himself entirely to the ministry. When his personal funds were expended, other churches would support him. We have pastors today whose fulltime job it is to be a pastor. Many pastors work part-time as Paul did, but the majority of them work as fulltime pastors. They’re not apostles who establish churches or evangelists who win souls and then add them to other pastors’ ministries as Paul did. Instead, they stay within the confines of their own churches and wait for worshippers to come to them. This is a far cry form Paul’s way of life. So many pastors live better than most of the members of their churches, which is a grievous sin in the eyes of God. He will ask them one day why they allowed themselves to live a more materialistic lifestyle than the majority of those who supported him.

 

4&5 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. 5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

 

Act 18-4,5

(6k) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Persuade men that Jesus is the Christ – This verse goes with verses 19. For the first century Church, especially in the beginning when it was fresh and new, the greatest hurdle of the evangelist was to convince the Jews that Jesus was their Messiah through their Old Testament writings. Once they became convinced of it, all that was necessary was to commit their lives to this knowledge and they would be saved. The New Testament is filled with Old Testament references that spoke about Jesus as the Christ, and these were the very verses that the first century Church used in their evangelism. The problem today is that if we convinced somebody that Jesus was the Christ, it probably wouldn’t affect their salvation. People already know this about Him, or at least they know that other people believe it. It might still have an affect on some Jews, but gentiles were not waiting for a Messiah. What influences gentiles today is the preaching that God loves them, and the proof is in the cross. The biggest hurdle evangelists have today is convincing people they are sinners in the eyes of God. People have a tendency to compare themselves with other people to determine whether or not they are sinners, but the gospel of Christ is about saving people from the wrath of God, not from each other. Without putting our faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins we will trust something else to make us righteous, and that is an offense to God after He suffered and died for us.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Act 18-5,6

(27a) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Curse >> Deeds that return to the doer >> Blasphemy – Someone might say to the evangelist, ‘I know what you believe is real to you, but it isn’t to me.’ People could not say that to Paul, anymore than they could speak to an oncoming train without either moving off the tracks or else getting run over. With the level of zeal that Paul employed in his preaching, he was able to answer every question who challenged him about his faith with the same Spirit that powered his zeal. If we developed a commitment like Paul and some of the other apostles, who all had miraculous commitments and miraculous relationships with God, we could reshape Christianity as they did, and no one could deny the truth without outright blaspheming. By the time Paul finished speaking with the Jews, they could not deny, at least not to Paul, that Jesus was the Christ, but whether they would actually believe it was yet to be seen. It is possible to know something to be true without actually believing it, though it is one of the definitions of blasphemy, a very dangerous way of thinking, for it is an attempt to override the conscience.

(69i) Authority >> Righteous judgment (Outcome of Discernment) >> Passing judgment by the authority of God

(71a) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have authority from God to evangelize the world >> We have an anointing to preach the gospel

(185h) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Responding with contempt to the Holy Spirit >> Resisting the Holy Spirit – It is one thing to resist but another to blaspheme, that is, saying things they didn’t mean and lying to win an argument. The things they said to Paul they would have said to God Himself, lying to their own hearts to avoid believing in the gospel. On any other subject, science, politics, etc., a person can lie to his opponent during a debate to win an argument, and it is not technically considered blasphemy, but it is when he pulls this on God. There is a word devoted to those who would lie to their own conscience: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which Jesus said is an unpardonable sin, for if they would lie to Paul, they would just as well lie to God (Mat 10-40).

(200b) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Rejecting the will of God >> Rejecting the gospel

(202g) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running from the word of God >> Running from the gospel

(211c) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Gentiles steal the kingdom from Israel through obedience – Paul shook off the Jewish dust from his feet many times, but he always found himself going back to the them, primarily because the gospel of Christ belonged to the Jew, and also to the gentile in that order. Paul had a heart for them, being also a Jew. Eventually, though, the thrust of his ministry would turn almost exclusively to the gentiles. He often gave the Jews an opportunity to receive the gospel, but if they resisted, he would turn from them to the gentiles living in their area. This would often incite jealousy in them, leading to his persecution, so it was in a sense doing himself a disservice by approaching the Jews with the gospel. He felt an obligation to do it at the risk of his own life and health, but these verses may be spelling the death Nell of his ministry to the Jews when he finally made up his mind to name his ministry after the gentiles (Eph 3-1). His efforts toward the Jews became less and less after this, simply because so many of them were resistant to the point of hostility, while so many gentiles were willing to receive the gospel. Why would Paul forsake those who sought to receive the gospel only to preach to those who would reject him?

(222d) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not give to dogs who will not receive you

Act 18-5

(130l) Depend on your brother (Key verse)

(130m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependent on each other >> Depend on your brother to walk in the gifts of God’s calling

(147h) Solemnly testify (Key verse)

(147i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify about Jesus -- This verse goes with verses 9&10. Evangelism groups try to reach their communities with the gospel, and the people they meet understand that they believe in the Bible. Meanwhile, the people have their own beliefs, and they think their beliefs are just as valid as the evangelists’. However, when Paul and Silas came, they devoted themselves completely to preaching the word of God. Paul had a commitment to his faith in Jesus that went far beyond what most of us can imagine. What he was willing to do and the length he went to bring the word of God to the known world in his lifetime was unparalleled. There were obviously other evangelists, but Paul was in charge of the Church at the time, because of his commitment, and also because of his knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures that he used to speak to the Jews about Jesus as their Messiah. His level of commitment to fulfilling God’s purpose and calling in his life was no less profound than signs and wonders. He was a living marvel; nobody could stop him though they tried. Paul’s commitment to the gospel acted as a witness that what he was saying was the truth, for no lie ever conceived by man or demon was worth the trouble, pain and suffering he endured to convey his passion to the world. In other words, Paul’s commitment was miraculous, and this is the kind of relationship and commitment that God would like us all to enjoy. He wants us to have a miraculous commitment, so people around us would realize that we have come to know God.


6-10 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." 7 Then he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; 10 for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city."

 

Act 18-6

(180ca) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Fighting off wolves with a clever innocence >> Being more clever than their sin – By this statement Paul bypassed the Jewish nation of Israel, who were initially the intended recipients and rightful stewards of the gospel of Christ, but they rejected the will of God for themselves, so Paul had no choice but to go over their heads, and the gentiles became stewards of the gospel of Christ instead. This was never meant to be; it was not the will of God, but it happened just the same. The Church suffered greatly because of it, not that the Jews would have done a better job managing the gospel, since they fouled up the first covenant. Nevertheless, Jesus came to the house of Israel; He was their Messiah; yet, when they rejected Him to the point of nailing Him to a cross, God did not hold it against them. In fact, Christ’s death was the predetermined plan of God. Afterward they rejected the gospel that resulted from His resurrection, and at that point there was nothing anyone could do, except bypass them, for no one can force anybody to believe in Jesus. This was a very clever move on Paul’s part, though it saddened Him to the point of despair, because his countrymen the Jews were people whom he longed to see come to faith in Jesus. In the beginning many Jews were being saved, but there were unbelieving Jews that finally won over Israel and convinced the Jewish people to reject the gospel. Paul could not stop them; he prayed very fervently, and we would think that God would have answered Paul’s prayer, but God has His own ideas; He has His own set of priorities, and He answers some prayers and not others based on His own will. He chose not to answer Paul’s prayer to make these Jewish unbelievers stop harassing him, following Paul everywhere he went, for the purpose of hindering the gospel, and they spread their blasphemy to the four corners of Israel, so when the gospel came to the Jewish people, they rejected it. This is something that has transpired since time began, leaders having a negative influence on people. It is all because those who put themselves in leadership positions are the ones who know how to fight for the things they want, and they beat off other people and rise to the top, and most of their tactics for achieving their positions of authority are evil.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Act 18-7,8

(90c) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It prepares your heart to receive Christ

(208b) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You and your household shall be saved – The Corinthian Church was a very carnal group of believers because of the city where they lived; it was the hub of paganism, being difficult to live there as a Christian because of all the seduction and worldliness, and it influenced the Corinthians; they struggled with their culture. They clashed between the culture of the world and the culture of God’s kingdom that was growing in their hearts, and they struggled to make a place for God in their hearts. Many Corinthian people believed in the Lord and were baptized, and Paul was happy to make converts of them though they were a secular people, and he struggled with them, yet he was more than happy to accommodate their interest in God, bringing the gospel of Christ to them that they might believe and be saved from the sin of this world.

(252j) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God by your lifestyle – Titus was a worshipper of God. There are some Christians who are not technically worshippers of God, though they might praise the Lord and sing the songs, tithe and other things, but in their hearts they are not worshippers of God. Worship is the difference between a regular Christian and someone who is truly dedicated to the faith. When we get to heaven, we will all worship God, but in this life there are some who are synagogue officials and others who live next to the house of worship in their hearts.

Act 18-9,10

(2m) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Let Him do His work – It was the work of God that Paul should continue speaking and not be intimidated. It was not only the work of God to protect the mouth piece of His gospel, God also took the credit for what Paul did, since he preached the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(6c) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Jesus’ yoke of evangelism

(28a) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> The protector of our faith – These verses go with verses 16,17

(77c) Thy kingdom come >> Hunger for the essence of God >> Hunger for His truth – The Corinthians engorged their fleshly appetites, and it left them hungry. This is the deception of the world, the flesh and the devil; they promise to satisfy but never deliver; in fact, they take far more than they give. We can ask any person who has gone on a pleasure binge ten years later and ask him what advantages he still enjoys of those days in contrast to the consequences that are probably still following him. If he told the truth, he would say that there was nothing in his life that remains of that time, except shame and possibly prison time, and whatever else that can befall a person who trades his soul for the passing pleasures of sin. Whatever their flesh dictates to them, like faithful slaves they surrender to its whimsical desires. Solomon did this, the man of so-called great wisdom. He performed an experiment of sorts, indulging his flesh for a period of years seeking utopia, striving to experience every possible form of pleasure, and all he could say for himself afterward by the wisdom of God was “everything is futility and striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 2-17). That phrase means that worldly pleasure is unattainable by the flesh, and if we did manage to corral it, it would destroy us. This was the mind of the Corinthians when Paul arrived; they had conducted the same experiment and came to the same conclusion, and now they were ready to hear about Jesus. However, keep in mind that the carnal passions and desires are insidious; when we get saved, they don’t just die. They look for inroads that they might continue living through our flesh. The experiences we have in regard to our fleshly impulses will become a stumbling block that will follow us throughout our lives; so the less we indulge the flesh the better. The Corinthians, though they gave Paul a great reception, yet later he struggled with them throughout his ministry to keep them on the straight and narrow path of faith and love. They remained the most carnal people of all the churches in Paul’s epistles.

(100b) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance >> Persevere in preaching the gospel

(102j) Thy kingdom come >> Faithfulness (Loyalty) >> Consistency >> Loyalty

(105h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit >> Into The will of God >> Led to the right people – Paul spent a year and half with the Corinthians, which was probably longer than he spent anywhere else. He needed to devote this much time to them because they were the most carnal of all the Churches according to what we know of his letters to them, which found their way into the New Testament (epistles). They wanted earnestly to walk in the gifts of the Spirit, inadvertently de-emphasizing the fruits of the Spirit. Paul devoted a considerable amount of time in his letters trying to persuade them to emphasize the fruits of the Spirit over the gifts. The Corinthians welcomed him well enough and enjoyed their new faith in the Lord, but they were immature in their practice of love, compared to many of the other churches. So we can say any church today that emphasizes the gifts over the fruits is like the Corinthian Church.

(117b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Rest in His yoke through obedience Paul rested in the words that the Spirit of Jesus spoke to him, but the only way he could abide in His word was to do them. That put Paul in a vulnerable position in that Christ commanded him to do the very thing that made his enemies hate him. However, Paul was content with preaching the gospel, even though he knew it would someday cost him his life. It was the only thing that would satisfy God, and with that Paul would be content.

(117i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing visions – As a result of Paul’s vision, the Church at Corinth was born, and also resulting from this vision two epistles were written, 1st and 2nd Corinthians. The Lord said to Paul in the night, “Do not be afraid… for I am with you;” God was always with him, even while he was mercilessly whipped five times, and when he was three times beaten with rods and when he was stoned, and all the other things that happened to him according to 2nd Corinthians chapter eleven. God was also with him while he preached the gospel in Corinth without hindrance, for He has “many people in this city.” He will put the words in his mouth that would lead to the Corinthians’ salvation, so that Paul could confidently say, “I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1Cor 2,3-5). This he wrote early in his first letter to the Corinthians. It is interesting that God told Paul not to be afraid, yet he still was afraid, showing the difference between being afraid to the point of debilitation and being afraid while he did the will of God.

(122a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in the word of God

(126b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> God is at peace >> The Peace of God

(139e) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouraged by the word of God – God spoke to Paul in a night vision (it apparently wasn’t a dream), and in the vision God told him not to be afraid any longer. Paul the great evangelist was terrified. The Jews had whipped him on five separate occasions, and three times he was beaten with rods, among many other difficulties (2Cor 11-24,25), and he was afraid the Jews would have their way with him again. That would put fear into anybody; he would wish 39 lashes with a cat-o-nine-tails had killed him just to be over the pain and suffering and horror, yet Paul was willing to endure it for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of those who would inherit eternal life. Thus, when God told him not to be afraid anymore, that no harm would befall him, it was like a free pass to preach the gospel in Corinth. After his vision he could go anywhere and preach the gospel to anyone without consequences, so long as he remained on the path that God had made for his feet as an apostle and evangelist and prophet.

(147i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify about Jesus -- These verses go with verse 5. The city of Corinth was one of the most carnal and worldly in the known world at the time. He had a huge uphill battle trying to bring faith to them, since there was nothing in their culture that could relate to the gospel; however, Paul played it to his advantage. For example, how many times has Satan posed a counterfeit gospel and used thoughts and ideas that resembled the truth but were skewed in some way? The Corinthians didn’t have this problem. Paul’s challenge was to introduce a new idea to them, and they didn’t have the experience base to think along those terms. Paul came demonstrating the gospel in power, so even if they didn’t have a mind to understand it, they could see the works of God and recognize the significance of his message.

(148e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage of the public eye – – Paul used the popularity of Christianity to protect himself from persecutors; Jesus did that all the time. The Pharisees wanted to kill Him; meanwhile, all His followers gathered around Him, who would be eyewitnesses of anything the Pharisees did to Him. If the Pharisees raised their hand against the Lord, the people would take it upon themselves to seek justice; though He did not condone violence, this was the Pharisees’ problem. The same thing happened in Corinth; it became a popular place for Christianity almost immediately, and God was telling Paul to use that popularity as a buffer against his enemies. God said to Paul in his vision, “I am with you… for I have many people in this city.” God was saying that He would be with Paul through the people he evangelized who would believe in his message. Far as we know the city of Corinth had not been previously evangelized until Paul arrived. Christ was saying to Paul in the vision, ‘I have many people predestined to inherit eternal life, who will listen to your message.’ This gives an indication of what happened to Paul many times when he was manhandled and brutally tortured throughout his missionary journeys; the people did not receive his message and their rejection placed him in a lonely position in a dark corner of the world with many enemies and no protection. The Jews would take him into custody, persecute and torture him, and then release him, because they were not allowed to execute a person outside of Roman authority. However, in Corinth it would be different; he would receive a large reception of believers, suggesting that living a life of carnality and fleshly indulgence was not satisfying.

(247h) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> God is interested in the gospel

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11 And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 

 

Act 18,11-17

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges – Paul settled in Corinth teaching them for a year and a half, and after being physically present he went from them and continued in his missionary aspirations in evangelism, and then wrote a letter to them latter telling them how carnal they behaved. What is sad is some of the things they said about him. After devoting a year and a half to them they tried to make him an enemy, competing with him, making up lies about him for wanting to be their spiritual leader (2Corinthians chapter 10).

(24i) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Jews are envious of the gospel – Christianity has never caused riots and upheavals in society; rather, it has always been those who fought against Christianity, who hated it and wanted it silenced. The hecklers rarely got the blame for the social unrest, though, but those they named in connection with their gripe, namely Christianity. The manner in which governments respond to social unrest is usually that instead of punishing those causing the riots like we would expect, they punish their enemies to placate the complainers. In other words, they give them what they want just to shut them up. This is how it works in society today; however, Gallio stood firm against the Jews and did not give them what they wanted.

(166a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Man’s wisdom excuses his sinful nature >> Man’s wisdom rationalizes his sin

(242c) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecuting God >> Persecuting the word of God – The unbelieving Jews grabbed Sothenes and started beating him in front of Gallio, the proconsul for the regions of Corinth, and he was unconcerned about it. The Jews were trying to make Gallio react to their behavior, hoping he would tell them to stop. His reaction would have been the opportunity the Jews needed to interject their case against Paul, so if he didn’t tell him to stop, then they couldn’t tell him why they were beating him. Gallio didn’t want to hear their case; he knew what was happening. There was a religion forming called Christianity, revolving around a man who allegedly died for the sins of the world that His disciples asserted to have come back to life, and God was forgiving those who believed in Him. The Jews didn’t like Christianity because they were the ones who had Jesus crucified, and they didn’t want to believe they crucified their own Messiah.

Act 18,11-16

(75k) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Jealously manipulating people

(175f) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Dodging the issue (willful ignorance) >> Evading the word of God

(200g) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Excuses for rejecting Christ >> Selfish ambition >> Putting your own personal interests above God

Act 18-11

(33n) Gift of God >> Believers are special to God >> God receives us – A couple verses earlier it said that God told him not to be afraid anymore but to go on teaching and preaching, saying, “I have many people in this city,” meaning that there were many people who were believing in Jesus in Corinth, and since it was a hub of worldly paganism and carnal sensuality, it indicated just how sick and tired people were of it, yet they also had a hard time letting it go, which is characteristic of all addictions. Based on some of the things Paul said in his letters to them, tired as they were of their phony paganism, burned out they had become of mining their bodies for pleasure, when they heard about the gospel and the love of God and the fellowship of the brethren and the commitment to the faith and to each other that the gospel demands of the saints, it was a pleasant change from all other religions that allowed them to use their bodies however they wished and all the foolish sacrifices that all the dumb gods required of them that people claimed existed. None of them ever voiced a concern about them, so the only hope they could possibly achieve was their personal objectives, such as a good harvest. When the Corinthians discovered Christianity, they found that God loved them and wanted a relationship with them through obedience instead of sacrifice.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

12-15 But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13 saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law." 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you; 15 but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters."

 

Act 18,12-17

(42d) Judgment >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent >> No evidence against you in a court of law

Act 18,12-16

(182f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they do not understand the Scriptures – These vicious Jews hated the gospel of Christ, though they endlessly studied the Scriptures. These were probably not the same Jews that had Jesus crucified, but were of the same spirit. Instead of grabbing Paul and murdering him, they were clever and sought the legal system on their side, but there was a disparity between Jewish law and Roman law that merely tolerated many of their Jewish traditions and customs. This man Gallio was familiar with their pet issues and their manner of thinking, that they wrangled over words, started huge controversies over jots and tittles of the law, which takes us back to what Paul said in 2Tim 2-14, “Solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.” Paul is commanding Christians not to choose a pharisaical religion, which is not edifying, but feeds on controversy, arguments and dissension. This was not Paul’s manner of teaching; he did not teach about words, yet how many sermons have we heard that were based on a single word? The enemies of Paul focused on single words and controversial issues and disputes about the law. In Christendom today we see devoted Christians spending exorbitant amounts of time studying the Bible with some of their favorite reference books sprawled around their desks, Bible dictionaries, Greek and Hebrew word studies and such, where they can look at words and break them down to their primitive roots to find out exactly what they mean. This is rarely edifying. Bible scholars who translated the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew languages were not hillbillies. They knew more about the process of translation than most of us will ever know, so how the Bible reads is usually very accurate. For us to do a word study is largely a waste of time, for this has already been done, and it is like reinventing the wheel. 

Act 18,14-16

(239k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Let not many of you become teachers >> Dividing accurately the word of truth – Gallio wouldn't touch the issues of the Jews with a ten-foot pole, and neither should we. However, if you want to do a study on words the best thing to do is find a program on the Internet that offers multiple Bible translations verse by verse. Let that be your Goggle search term and you will probably find a program like that on the Internet. What makes it complicated is the constant fluctuation of the way we use words, called connotation. The words your favorite translations use will most likely be the best words available. There are occasions when doing a word study does come in handy; for example, the King James Version is a translation of antiquity; we don’t talk or think or read or write that way anymore (yet I use it on my website because it is the only translation that is not copyrighted, imagine copyrighting the Bible; they should be ashamed of themselves). The newer translations are much better (I prefer the NASB). If we don’t understand the way a word is used in one translation, we can read the verse in a different translation. One note of caution, stay far away as possible from paraphrased versions of the Bible, which are translations of a translation, often written by amateurs. I have a Strong’s Concordance, but I rarely use it to look up the meaning of a word, because I noticed a common English dictionary does just as well, because it is designed to render the denotation of the word, what it means, which is what all word study tools do, whereas more often we need to know the connotation of the word, how it was used, and sometimes only God can tell us that. The context is usually far more helpful when studying a word. If the context doesn’t help, then knowing the writer often helps understand a verse, whether it be Paul or Peter or someone else, and if knowing the writer doesn’t help, knowing God always does. The more accurately we interpret the Bible, the more accurately we can interpret each verse and each word in a sentence, because we use one verse to interpret another. Conversely, the more off-base we get in understanding one passage of scripture, the more off-base we will get when trying to understand the next, because we use one misinterpretation to misinterpret another.

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16-21 And he drove them away from the judgment seat. 17 And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things. 18 Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. 19 They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, 21 but taking leave of them and saying, "I will return to you again if God wills," he set sail from Ephesus. 

 

Act 18-16,17

(28a) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> The protector of our faith – These verses go with verses 9,10. They didn’t beat Paul but they beat Sosthenes in front of the proconsul, showing the veracity of God’s word to Paul in a vision that He would protect Paul (v9). Paul is the one they hated, but they beat up the other guy instead, so there are benefits to having a special commitment to the Lord, yet God will always be more committed to us than we are to Him.

Act 18-18

(2e) Responsibility >> Keep your commitments >> it is better not to vow at all – Aquila and Pricilla went with Paul to Ephesus, and it says that Paul cut his hair because he was keeping a vow. Vows were big in olden days, and Jesus put the kibosh on it; nevertheless, vows still have their place, such as in marriage. Paul was a righteous and holy man and very knowledgeable, and he knew what Jesus said about vows that it was better not to vow at all, so we must assume he had a good reason for vowing. He most likely cut his hair for the sake of someone else to avoid offense when he went to preach the gospel. Possibly, Ephesus was the city of the great goddess Artemis, and to a make contrast, the people of Ephesus didn’t like long hair on men.

(150b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Instructions on evangelism – Paul usually had somebody with him; if it wasn’t Barnabas or Mark, it was Silas or in this case Aquila and Pricilla. He needed help preaching the gospel and he also needed support and encouragement. He needed someone beside him who believed in Jesus as a witness, so he wouldn’t feel alone in what he was doing. It was the reason Jesus sent them out two-by-two.

Act 18,19-21

(105g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit into the will of God >> Led to the right place – This is Paul weakening his commitment to the Jews. He went and spoke to them, and though they received him and asked him to stay, he refused, because his heart was being solidified to the gentiles. He left a group of believing Jews in search of gentiles, because this was the direction that God was leading Paul’s heart. Even so, Paul always preached Christ to the Jews, for they would always remain in his heart.

(143i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> Being sought for your relationship with God – Paul had such a heart for the Jews; he wanted desperately to reach them with the gospel. The Jews asked Paul to stay longer, indicating that they had received the gospel, yet Paul did not consent, but took his leave of them. This suggests that Paul had a place more pressing to go than ministering to his fellow Jews; He continued to encourage the gentile churches further along his journeys. The Ephesian Church was a gentile church, as it says in Eph 3-1. He went land and sea from region to region strengthening the churches, being led by the Spirit. He loved to preach the gospel and see people being saved, but it was even more important to him that they remained saved, as it is written in 1The 3-5, “For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.” Paul went around strengthening the churches to ensure his investment in the Kingdom of Heaven, and for this reason he did not consent to remain with the Jews. There were many occasions when the Jews did not receive Paul’s message but persecuted him vehemently, inflicting many wounds on him and having him incarcerated for many years, so it must have been a breath of fresh air to hear the Jews ask him to stay and teach them the word of God. Numbers mattered to him; he wanted as many souls as possible saved, regardless if they were Jew or gentile. This attitude was also true of Jesus, “And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled” (Lk 14-23).

Act 18-19,20

(150a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Invitation to the Kingdom of God

Act 18-19

(6k) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Persuade men that Jesus is the Christ – This verse goes with verses 4 & 24-28

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22&23 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch. 23 And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. 

 

Act 18,22-28

(80k) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to minister to people >> To evangelize the world – If there is any one thing we can say about this chapter, it is about the travels of Paul through so many of the regions that he later wrote letters to the people he met and preached the gospel and were converted to the faith, which have now become the epistles of the New Testament. Here we see Paul passing through those regions for the first time and preaching the gospel to those he may have arrested and taken bound to Jerusalem had God not stopped him along the road to Damascus on that faithful day of his salvation. It is a wonderful account how all these things came to pass, for these were some of the first people to believe in Jesus throughout this entire 2000-year age of grace. We don’t have to imagine; all we need to do is read for ourselves the summary of events that occurred. We can even trace his route.

Act 18-23

(9h) Responsibility >> Strengthened by the sword of His Spirit >> Through His word

(130g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Caring for spiritual needs

(139c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Encouragement strengthens our faith This verse goes with verses 27,28. The Bible speaks of Christians in terms of disciples. There weren’t disciplined Christians and undisciplined Christians; there were just disciples. They were students of the word of God and disciples of prayer, but in today’s Church it is difficult to find Christian disciples. Basically, what we have as Christians today are people who go to church every week and get involved in church activities, but read their Bible and pray, not so much. This is not discipleship but churchianity. They believe a set of doctrines for the sake of obtaining eternal life, hoping that believing them will guide them to heaven and that God will accept them because of their beliefs, but as far as actually being disciples of their faith, those kind of Christians are extremely difficult to find. All disciples have a strong anointing, but those who are Christians in name only are spiritually lost. Our greatest hope should be in eternal life, but if our faith does not have an application in this life, then most likely our faith cannot get us to heaven either. When Paul preached the gospel, he told them beforehand what to expect, and when they got saved, they knew what kind of faith they would follow. Paul and Barnabas told them, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Act 14-22). This is what it means to be a disciple, a person whose faith means more to him than his life. When Paul went about strengthening the disciples, they were glad to see him, and they soaked up the word of God that Paul preached to them; it was their life.

(139g) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> We build the temple through Christ – Paul was in the construction business, working with Christ to build the temple, searching the countryside for willing bricks to be used for God’s divine purpose. There is a way of building the temple without hands, referring to God building His own Church, though He uses human agency. Someone is always contributing his obedience for God “to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phi 2-13). Paul traveled from church to church strengthening the disciples, doing the footwork around the region of Galatia preaching and teaching the word of God to the new converts and strengthening their faith. When we get to heaven, everyone there will be a brother and a sister to us. There are many families on the earth, and each family is distinct and unique in their respective communities, but in heaven there will be only one family and one church and Christ will be head of it.

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24-28 Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; 26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

 

Act 18,24-28

(6k) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Persuade men that Jesus is the Christ – These verses go with verses 4 & 19

(72k) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> You are accountable to the one who gave it to you

(80a) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word as a sword in spiritual warfare >> To oppose religion – We have something the first century Church didn’t have, and they have something we don’t have. We have the knowledge and the confidence that Jesus was the Christ, but they had a fledgling newness to their faith and the original outpouring of the Spirit. People back then were excited about their faith, especially during the first few decades after Jesus’ ascension while Paul was still alive and the other apostles who walked with Jesus in the flesh. This handful of people, including their helpers such as Apollos, literally established the Church in the world. Another advantage, they had more accurate doctrines than ours. Over the two millennia people have interpreted and reinterpreted until they misinterpreted the Bible to mean something other than what it clearly says. For us the truth is buried under a sludge of denominations and false doctrines, making it difficult to know the truth, being a hindrance to people getting saved. The world is disgusted with the gospel now that it is smothered in confusion.

(111b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit and evangelism – Without believing in the baptism of the Holy Spirit there is no acclaim to His power, no formal pursuit of God’s strength and assistance to live a godly life. How can we live a victorious Christian life in the flesh without Him? We need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is our public and formal declaration of devoting every ounce of our strength in seeking God’s strength through the Holy Spirit. Some people will literally run from the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Although it is scary to a lot of people, their fear is based on ignorance; they don’t resist Him in wisdom. All aspects of communing with God and receiving from Him and walking in His ability is a matter of faith, and produces the grace of God. The mercy of God’s unmerited favor and the grace of His unmerited power are two different things. Apollos was already walking in the power of God and didn’t even know how he was doing it, and for this reason God has given an anointing without even knowing it, so we should understand the anointing. He powerfully refuted the Jews in public, and he was doing it by the Spirit of God, even though he didn’t understand the doctrines behind the anointing. God was still able to work His power into Apollos’ life because he was faithful. In his heart, the only thing he wanted was God’s will and to be a good servant. With this in place, God worked His power into Apollo’s life, regardless of his beliefs, but note that it was important to teach a more accurate version of the truth, and not assume that everyone will simply stumble on the power of God as Apollos did through obedience. Most people need to be deliberately led into the power of God or they will not even seek it. According to the example of Apollos, obedience makes the power of God available to us regardless of our beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue the knowledge of these things.

(123a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness to speak the word by the Spirit

(149d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Compel them to come in >> Forceful persuasion

(176i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Zeal without knowledge (Spirit w/o the word) >> Passion without principles – Grace was Apollos’ forte, just like grace is the forte of the Evangelicals and Baptists today. Apollos only understood the baptism of John, suggesting that he was unfamiliar with baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was the very theme of earlier chapters in the book of Acts. It appears the Church today has regressed to the Apollian belief system, which understands the baptism of John, but not the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Evangelicals and Baptists are mostly at fault for this, those who have throne out the baby with the bathwater just to be safe, but there is nothing safe about throwing out God’s truth. They say they don’t trust people who seek the anointing, but we could say the same thing about them: we don’t trust people who reject the power of God. They don’t trust God to lead them to the truth about Him. They are afraid they will fall into false doctrine and become a statistic of another cult, but that is exactly what they have become by not seeking the power of God! We don’t see the Evangelicals and Baptists as cults because they take up so much of the Christian tapestry, but they in a sense resemble a cult in that they reject God’s truth and have replaced it with their own beliefs. Take the baptism of the Holy Spirit from the doctrines of the Church and essentially you have the Evangelical belief system, or just as well the Baptists. They go by different names, but they have one thing in common; they are both spiritually gutted. The great claim of the Evangelicals is they center on grace. That sounds good, but too much of a good thing and nothing of the other is not good. They never thought they would have to pay a price for rejecting the anointing, but they have; the Church is in a drunken state of easy-believism, drinking the blood of Christ like kool-aid, since they have focused on grace, and the balance it should have with repentance is missing. If the truth is not balanced, it’s not true. The grace of God is balanced with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Evangelicals would say, ‘If I must pick one, then I choose grace,’ but no one said we had to choose one or the other. Embracing the grace of God sounds noble, but discarding any part of God’s truth defeats any nobility they may have once had. When Pricilla and Aquila heard Apollos preaching the gospel, they turned him aside and explained to him a more accurate version of the truth. Essentially, they told him about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The people who taught him the gospel did not embrace the anointing, so this rejection of the anointing was already beginning to take hold of the Church; already pockets were forming that resisted the power of God.

(190k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism >> Baptism of the Holy Spirit – Apollos was a man of great power and spirit, yet he didn’t know about the anointing. This suggests that a person can have an anointing without being properly educated about it. It is even possible that a person can possess an anointing without believing its associated doctrine. Pricilla and Aquila had to take Apollos aside and instruct him more accurately in the Scriptures to teach him that there was such a thing as a baptism of the Holy Spirit, which refers to the anointing. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a very controversial subject, and so is the anointing; everybody has a different opinion about it, and that is why most people have dropped it. We almost never hear about it anymore, since it is a point of contention, though the Bible speaks clearly enough about it.

(239d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachable students >> The teachable submit to the word

(239k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Let not many of you become teachers >> Dividing accurately the word of truth

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Act 18-27,28

(31h) Gift of God >> Grace >> Salvation >> The ministry of reconciliation

(139c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Urging the disciples to continue in the faith -- These verses go with verse 23. The word “encouragement” comes from “edifice”, which means house or structure, so when we encourage someone in the faith, we are acting as construction workers, and when we encourage the entire church, we are constructing a spiritual building made of people, each person representing a brick of the temple. For this reason, encouragement is a very important tool; everybody should be involved in some way to encourage one another. When Apollos came to the brethren in Achaia and encouraged them to continue in the faith, how did he encourage them? Was it by jaw-jacking them for hours about the Scriptures, long sermons every day? Eventually it is just more tiring information that does not encourage anyone. Instead, Apollos powerfully refuted the Jews in public. This did three things: (1) the saints heard the word of God with the Jews, and (2) the fact that he rebuked them publicly demonstrated a boldness that is characteristic of the anointing, which encouraged the saints; and most importantly, (3) he demonstrated by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. 

(142i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputable ministry >> A reputation of ministry in the word

(210j) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> God welcomes the Gentiles to the promise of Israel – Many Christians back then were gentiles, but when Apollos refuted the Jews and demonstrated that Jesus was the Christ through their own Scriptures, even many of the Jews were being saved. After showing them Old Testament prophecies about Jesus as the expected One, this had a profound effect on the Jews who had a deep faith in their old covenant writings. They heard all these verses quoted from their youth, yet having never known their relevance. Most Jews back then were believers in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament, the laws of Moses). Israel as a whole never saw the first coming of Christ in their Scriptures; they weren’t expecting their Messiah to come as the meek and mild Lamb of God to die for the sins of the world. They didn’t see any of this coming, but when Apollos took them through the Scriptures and showed them the things that were written, they remembered these verses; they had read them a hundred times, though never seeing Jesus in them. Some of the more explicit passages they read less often, since they didn’t know what they meant, being obscure passages of their writings and almost forgotten, such as Isaiah chapter 53. In the first century proving Jesus as the Christ was the main subject of importance. Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ was the question of the day. Although it is answered for us in our time, still it wouldn’t hurt to go back to the Old Testament and study for ourselves what the OT says about our prophesied Messiah (see: http://www.icogsfg.org/jcmessot.html).

Act 18-28

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life

(143c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The public >> The disciples ministered publicly

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

 

ACTS CHAPTER 19

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1-7 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 3 And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." 4 Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 There were in all about twelve men.

 

Act 19,1-7

(35i) Gift >> God gives Himself to us >> Receiving the Holy Spirit as a form of baptism – This passage reveals the difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus. There are several issues in the Church these days regarding baptism, one of them being in whose name we baptize someone. In this case Paul said we should baptize them in the name of Jesus. What did John the Baptist say about the baptism of Jesus? “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mat 3-11). Nobody is baptized in the name of John these days, though baptism in fact signifies repentance; and people are baptized in the name of Jesus, though most of them never walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Some people get very dogmatic about the words they say over a person being baptized; i.e. “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Most will agree to that, though some would say, ‘No, Jesus only.’ And so there is a debate, but the nagging question is not so much what we say over the person being baptized, but whether the person repents of his sin and whether they follow the Holy Spirit. When we baptize someone in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are saying that these three entities come to dwell in the person being baptized (Jn 14-23), and they will remain in him for the rest of his life and into eternity. This may not have begun at the baptism ceremony, for he may have gotten saved before that, indicating that the baptism ceremony merely represents what divine thing has taken place in the person of faith. The Father sent the Son, Jesus died for our sins and the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, so they all three are involved in salvation.

(110k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Effect of the spirit on the word

Act 19,2-6

(86d) Thy kingdom come >> Belief demands a response – People in the Church are trying to serve God in the flesh and it’s not going very well. It was the problem of the old covenant, suggesting that to subtract the anointing from Christianity is to revert to the old covenant law. They of the old covenant looked forward to their Messiah coming to deliver them from their enemies, not knowing that their greatest enemy dwelt in their sinful flesh, while we of the new covenant look behind us to see that the Lord has established a new and living way through His own blood but are trying to fulfill His purpose through the flesh. The blood of His covenant inaugurated a new one through which we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the true advantage of the new covenant. If we subtract the anointing from the new covenant, we are no better off than old covenant worshippers, and we observe this in the Church today; people are not living more victorious than Israel in ancient times.

(95d) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude >> Speaking in tongues >> Tongues are a sign of obedience – If these twelve men never heard that there was a Holy Spirit, how would they know to fake the gifts of the Spirit? This was a tremendous advantage of the First Century Church: their innocence and ignorance, the fact that Christianity was fresh and new. 2000 years later people and demons have refined their strategies to replicate these things. Now, just because we see and hear the gifts of the Spirit being performed doesn’t mean they’re real.

(115h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Laying on of hands >> Bestowing the Holy Spirit

(190k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism >> Baptism of the Holy Spirit – When Paul asked whether they received the Holy Spirit when they believed, he wasn’t asking about the indwelling Holy Spirit, but about the anointing. The indwelling Holy Spirit permanently takes up residence in a person’s spirit the moment he believes in Jesus. This indwelling Holy Spirit acts as the seal of our salvation as proof that we have received God’s gift of eternal life. The question Paul asked them, however, was whether they received the anointing that God bestows on His believers. The anointing ministers to our outer form and helps us obey Him, simultaneously interfacing with the world around us to help others believe in Jesus. In other words, the anointing helps us manifest the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (Mat 13-33). There is only one Spirit, and He dwells both inside and outside His believers. He dwells inside to seal us for the day of redemption, and He dwells outside as a covering. When God bestows His Holy Spirit upon us, He does not anoint our bodies but our obedience (Rev 19-8). The twelve men in this passage had already believed and had been water baptized into John’s baptism with the symbolism in reference to repentance, and then Paul re-baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul baptized them in the Holy Spirit simply by water baptizing them in the name of Jesus, for Christ and the Holy Spirit are one, being two members of the one triune God. Note that the symbolism of water baptism doesn’t pertain to the inner person unless he drinks the water, which is not part of the ceremony, but soaks the person’s extremities. Therefore, this external emersion causes us to come out of the water with its influence on our outer form, reminiscent of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, whose ministry is on our outer form to empower us to lead a godly life. We also use the anointing to exercise the gifts of the Spirit, which are meant to promote unity in the body of Christ. We can take this anointing into the world to show those who are coming to Christ that the kingdom they are seeking reveals itself in power to perform miracles through the same Spirit who indwells us. John’s baptism was a symbol of Him who was to come, so Paul re-baptized them in water under a new symbol of Christ’s name that represented the Holy Spirit’s ministry to endow them with power to manifest the Kingdom of God in this world. There is no ceremony that has the power to transfer spiritual authority, otherwise unbelievers would have access to the power of God; rather, the transfer comes through faith and obedience. So, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, referred to as the anointing, has three purposes: He gives us power to lead a godly life, He promotes unity in the body of Christ, and He persuades people to believe in Jesus. Godliness is missing in the Church today, which means the anointing is also absent. 

Act 19,2-5

(176a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Misguided -- These verses go with verse 32

Act 19-5

(67m) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> There is authority in Jesus’ name

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8-10 And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

 

Act 19,8-12

(111h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Kingdom of God revealed >> Word plus signs and wonders

Act 19,8-10

(129d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing the fruit of evangelism >> Bearing the fruit of the gospel – They were in a private school, yet the whole of Asia heard the word of God of both Jews and gentiles. How did everyone hear about the word of the Lord? Tyrannus was probably a private school of evangelism knowing Paul. He was raising up people for evangelism, teaching them the deep things of God, so that his students became renown in their faith. They were not just believers; they became great preachers and teachers as a result of Paul’s influence on them.

(149d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Compel them to come in >> Forceful persuasion

(191e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven from the Church – This is the concept of sanctification, to be separate from the world. Paul taught to be a single lump of dough (1Cor 5-6); he was talking about the individual, that we should extract the leaven from our hearts and from our works and from our doctrines. We should also extract the leaven of people from our assemblies, only in this case Paul extracted himself and those who loved the Lord from the leaven of unbelievers and did not invite them, making it clear that they were not welcome in the private school of Tyrannus. This is what churches should do who are seeking to excel in the faith and feel they are held back by unbelievers in their assemblies, who are making a contribution only of leaven, having no interest in serving the Lord at all. Churches who are seeking to grow in their faith should establish private groups, probably meeting in people’s homes, without being afraid to exclude troublemakers. Paul’s school of Tyrannus did not involve tuition and courses, but definitely had a curriculum, and only those who were faithful and sincere and genuine of heart were allowed, where they could be taught the word of God in an environment of faith that allowed the Holy Spirit to work His truth into the people’s hearts without hindrance. Of course nowadays the problem is getting two or more people interested enough to do anything like this.

(222d) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not give to dogs who will not receive you – Paul started preaching and teaching in the synagogue, a public setting where everyone was welcome, which was the equivalent to church, but all the nare-do-wells showed up alongside the sincere believers, and Paul found it difficult to teach the true believers with blasphemers in their midst. Paul said, ‘That’s fine, we don’t need to do this in a public setting; we can assemble in a private setting for members only.’ Paul separated himself from the unbelievers, establishing the school of Tyrannus, where everyone who sought to live for Jesus with a sincere heart came and heard the word of God without interference in an orderly fashion. 

(236i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest in the treasures of the kingdom >> Invest in the gospel

Act 19-8,9

(70h) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiar with the truth (enemy of discernment) >> Familiar with Jesus in the Spirit

(74l) Thy kingdom come >> Let not your heart be hardened >> Insensitive to the things of God

(89b) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wisdom corresponds with logical reasoning

Act 19-8

(6k) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Persuade men that Jesus is the Christ

(123a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness to speak the word by the Spirit

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11-14 God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. 13 But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches." 14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

 

Act 19,11-20

(229a) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Growing In Numbers Corresponds With Spiritual Growth >> Kingdom slowly spreads and overtakes darkness – This is the teacher going out and showing his students how it is done; and keep in mind this was the area of Macedonia, where the Lord led Paul in a dream (Act 16-9,10), and the fruit he and his companions bore was extraordinary. This is what God does; He sends us to places that bear extraordinary fruit. Whenever we obey the Holy Spirit we accomplish much, in contrast to those who have a propensity to do things their own way; the fruit they bear will be of the flesh, not divine, and their converts if any will reflect their teachers.

Act 19,11-17

(133k) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> Having an awareness of God’s holiness >> The fear of God makes us aware of His holiness

Act 19,11-16

(71c) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have authority over demons

Act 19,11-15

(146d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> They know the Holy Spirit

Act 19-11,12

(145b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Methods of healing >> Unique methods of healing – Paul walked through that area and God worked even through handkerchiefs that Paul had touched; even his shadow was healing people. In whatever way God healed a person it always had something to do with Paul. This was God trying to make a definitive connection between His miracles and the message Paul preached. The miracles essentially said, ‘This is my beloved evangelist, listen to him’ (Mat 17-5). There were no special powers in the handkerchief; it did not transfer spiritual virtue; it only made the connection between Paul and God. What about the handkerchiefs that the religious reprobates advertised on TV in the 80's at exorbitant prices, were they a scam? The power of God is not in our faith, but in God’s faith. We have God’s faith when we walk on His path performing His works that He puts in our hands, living the life that He has chosen for us and speaking the words that He graces on our lips. When God is in absolute control of our lives from a direct result of faith, it creates an environment for miracles, and people will associate those miracles with all that is good and right, so yes, they were a scam. What would happen if God performed miracles today? People would associate them with all that is wrong and evil. God doesn’t want to just heal somebody; He wants that healing to increase people’s faith. However, faith is broken in today’s world, even in the Church, and God is not about to give credence to his opposite.

(146h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Disciples have authority to cast out demons

Act 19,13-20

(65i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Satan Glorifies God

(88j) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> It causes repentance

(183c) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Witchcraft >> Ignorance is the incubator of witchcraft – The devil glorified God by tearing up these seven sons of Sceva, who were not Christians yet tried to cast out a devil through their flesh, naming something over it as though an incantation could scare the devil when it is the devil that has invented the incantation. They wanted to control the power of God but didn’t want to make any commitment to be genuine and sincere people to actually possess the power to cast out demons. It was the appropriate response of the devil against unbelievers trying to heal a man of its presence that glorified God, proving it is the Spirit of God that casts out demons. People either worship God or they worship idols, and since there is a demon behind every idol and these seven sons of Sceva were probably idol worshippers, they were in a sense trying to cast out the very substance of their worship.

(187j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Trying to work the Spirit by the flesh – Observe the connection between witchcraft and demon possession in this passage. It says that the people became fearful after they realized that their religious behavior was actually communing with demons. One example of new-age magic arts in our contemporary world can actually be found in Christendom in the prosperity movement, being an entire denomination that teach people to follow certain formulas to become wealthy, and in the same way they teach physical healing. Making a card disappear is not evil; it is just an entertaining trick, but when someone claims there are spirits involved, that is another story, especially when they believe it, and even more so when they ask us to believe it; then it is a religion that diametrically opposes Christianity, because it seeks to explain the spirit world apart from God’s word, and in so doing denies biblical truth. If it claims to be true, then it inadvertently claims that the Bible is false, and that is something that Satan would do.

Act 19,13-16

(187j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Trying to work the Spirit by the flesh – When the devil said to the seven sons of Sceva, ‘I don’t know you,’ it was a sign that God didn’t know them either. If neither side of the spirit realm knows us, then we are steeped in the flesh. We may have a soul which is spiritual, yet because of our secular views we believe the natural realm is the only one that exists. More Christians have this non-spiritual outlook nowadays, because they are so steeped in the flesh they can’t peer out the windows of their soul long enough to see that they themselves are a spirit. We don’t know if these guys were even saved. We know for a fact they had no anointing, for the anointing operates the gifts of the Spirit, one gift being the effecting of miracles and one miracle being casting out demons. We have a picture in these men devoid of the anointing, wanting to move the finger of God, but not wanting anything else to do with Him. Christians devoid an anointing are an enigma, because the name Christ literally translated means “Anointed One;” Christians obviously then means “anointed ones,” so a Christian without an anointing is a contradiction in terms.

(198i) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Ordained by man >> Ministries ordained by men will falter – Whether these guys were actually saved is highly questionable. People toy with the notion of juggling how close they can get to the edge of salvation before they fall out of grace with God. They decline the anointing and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and they decline the holiness of faith that leads to godliness, used as evidence of their salvation, leaving the rest of us wondering if the Holy Spirit even dwells in them, which is the very substance of their salvation. The only thing left of their faith that they are willing to accept from God is a hollowed out skeletal structure of someone else’s belief system, but they have no faith of their own. They provoked the demon that lived in the man, who thrashed these seven men to the point of tearing off all their clothes. The seven sons of Sceva represent modern Christians today who have rejected God from ruling over them yet seek to walk in His authority. They lean heavily on the grace of God because of their intensions to sin, emphasizing the grace of God to the exclusion of the anointing that empowers them to lead a godly life in a state of repentance.

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

15-22 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. 18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. 21 Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome." 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

 

Act 19-15

(46m) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Demons are subject to the word of God

Act 19,16-20

(183b) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Witchcraft >> Sin is the incubator of witchcraft >> Through satanic influence – Magic is returning to the stage of human fascination in these last days, and note the direct connection the Scriptures indicate between magic arts and demon-possession. However, let’s keep in mind the difference found between the pages of the books they burned in the public square and the sleight of hand of illusionists that we commonly see today on television. The magic associated with demonic activity is the kind that the magician claims to be “real” or divine as though a spiritual entity were at work and they were controlling it, such as with the magicians of Egypt in the days of Moses. This new-age magic strives to replace God and replace the gospel of the kingdom and provide an alternate way of believing in Jesus.

Act 19-16,17

(146a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Their behavior >> Superhuman strength – This story is in reference to the seven sons of Sceva who went to a certain demon-possessed man to cast out the devil, and they said, ‘I rebuke you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches.’ The devil answered, ‘I know Jesus and I am aware of Paul, but who are you?’ and at that the demon-possessed man pounced on those seven men and subdued them all, and they ran from that house naked and wounded. It says that it scared the people in that area to the point of getting saved, literally scaring them to God. In other words, the devil helped to promote the gospel. This suggests that during times of revival no matter what the devil does he promotes the gospel; if men cast out the devil, the gospel is promoted; if the devil cast out the men, the gospel is promoted. It must have been a very frustrating time for the devil.

Act 19,17-20

(143d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The public >> Paul ministered publicly

Act 19,17-19

(194j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Yielding >> Confessing your sin to God – Fifty thousand pieces of silver was equivalent to approximately 138 years pay for a rural worker (Ryrie Study Bible notes). This indicates the level of witchcraft that existed in the area, and also the level of repentance that transpired. The whole community was being saved. For all the books that were burned represents a lot of spiritualism, and it also represents quite a bonfire, representing also a tremendous reception of the gospel in Ephesus, meaning that people were happy to believe in Jesus, who essentially is the Holy Spirit, and all other spirits are unholy. When we look at the book of Ephesians and some of the things that Paul mentioned there about the Kingdom of Heaven and about the greatness of God and His amazing love for us, how God has seated us with Him far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, this is an excellent replacement of the spirituality they once believed. Their spirituality did not prepare them to believe in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, but it did motivate them to believe in a God as great as Jesus.

Act 19-17,18

(67j) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Glorifying the name of Jesus

Act 19-21,22

(8h) Responsibility >> Preparing to interact with God >> Preparing for revival – Paul sent Timothy and Erastus ahead of him to prepare the way. This is a common theme that runs throughout Scripture. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, and Jesus sent out his disciple ahead of him to some of the towns that He was intending to visit. They preached the gospel to people so when Jesus arrived, they had already heard; they had broken the ice sort-a speak. In the same way, Paul sent Timothy and Erastus ahead of him to Macedonia to prepare the way, so when he got there, things had already been put in motion.

(251a) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Making plans >> Making plans according to the will of God >> Making plans within the boundaries of God’s will – It said that Paul proposed in the Spirit to journey back to Jerusalem, meaning that the Spirit made this plan in him. It slowly rose to the surface in his mind and in his heart; a desire was kindled in Him as it were by revelation what he should do and where he should go and how he should use his life. Jerusalem was basically off-limits to him; it was essentially a death-sentence to go there, because that is where all his enemies lived, and they were all looking for him, and they all wanted to kill him. If he had the audacity to go there, it would just fuel their anger against him, like stalking a bear in the woods. Paul went to Jerusalem and then years later, the fact that he went to Jerusalem led him to Rome. He knew these things in the Spirit, but he didn’t know the answers: what, why and when. He only knew that these were things that he must do. Going to Jerusalem essentially ended his ministry as a missionary; he spent many years in prison after this, where the authorities planned to prosecute him, and each time his accusers never showed their faces at the hearing. He appealed to Cesar that led him to Rome, and they said that if he had not made the appeal, they probably would have released him. There were never any formal charges brought against him, simply because he had never committed a crime.

Act 19-21

(70b) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Sensitivity To The Spirit

(105g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit into the will of God >> Led to the right place

Act 19-22

(14i) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers are Indirectly in charge of the word >> They minister to God's leaders – Paul sent these two ministers ahead of him to conduct a ministry, similar to John the Baptist, to introduce the word to the community and pave the way for Paul when he arrived.

(14o) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Position of helpers is anointed

(142j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputable ministry >> A reputable ministry of helps

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way.

 

Act 19,23-41

(179d) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Stir up the crowd >> Stir up the crowd through jealousy – The whole town got in a total uproar over their beliefs, and Demetrius the scoundrel behind it all didn’t have one speck of faith for this goddess they worshipped and loved, but only cared about the money he was making as a silver smith. It is so typical of the world to find incongruence at the heart of society's pet issues.

(181g) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Lawlessness >> Having no regard for the law >> Being without law

(195h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping other gods >> Worshipping other gods as a servant – There are Christian doctrines and even whole denominations that are not founded on the Bible that God equates to idol worship, because God wants us worshipping Him the way He dictates to us, not how we have determined in our own hearts. There are Christians a-dime-a-dozen who think it is unnecessary to study the Bible, that knowing just enough to get saved is sufficient, yet every aspect of our belief system that is not founded on the truth is a form of idolatry, for God has called us to worship the truth, who is Jesus (Jn 14-6). 

Act 19,23-36

(164g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> His elementary principles of the world

(183h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Spirit of the broad road >> Spirit of unbelief – The way the mind works is a scary thing. We are able to design and create machines that do amazing things, yet when it comes to spiritual matters man is completely in the dark and ignorant about God. He is in our blind spot, and largely the cause of this is Satan in the world using our sin against us. He messes with us, putting thoughts in our heads, so that the things that are easily observable come into question and are no longer straightforward. We look into the sky on a clear night and see the twinkling stars, and they are all screaming at us saying, ‘I exist, therefore God exists; I am big, therefore God is big,’ yet the theory of evolution and atheism is alive and well today. Those things should not even be on the table. If we can believe there is no God, in spite of all the evidence, then what else is the human mind capable of believing? The truth is last on the list for investigation, and most people run out of energy before they look into it. The truth is like jamming a square peg into a round hole to the human mind. We need the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth, otherwise we will never come to know it. We can make computers that can process millions of bits of information per second and cell phones that work almost anywhere in the world, but we cannot find it in ourselves to understand some of the simplest things about God.

Act 19,23-34

(18l) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Evil is good >> Loving bondage – The assembly soon forgot the reason they assembled, so really, how deep were their convictions? Turns out the people didn’t believe in anything, otherwise they would not have forgotten why they were arguing, so there was really no faith in this at all. Paul knew why he was there. The riot originated from Demetrius, a lover of money, coaching the people to protect their traditions, but faith was irrelevant. 

(168g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world listens to itself >> The world speaks in it’s own words

Act 19,23-32

(163g) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy the word of God >> Used to suppress the truth

Act 19,23-29

(16i) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Deny the truth – At least this Demetrius fellow was honest enough to prioritize the things he believed in when he listed his trade first and then his faith in the idols he fashioned (verse 27). This man was not religious at all; he believed in money as a businessman who happened to make a lot of it selling idols of "The great goddess Artemis." The fact is, Demetrius was worried he would lose his job if Paul’s teachings caught on, because there were no silver shrine prospects in Paul’s theology. This situation was all about money! When it comes to the world, it is always about money.

(19l) Sin >> Worshiping idols will twist your mind 

(54h) Paradox >> Opposites >> From motives of financial gain to religious conviction – Demetrius the silversmith suddenly developed strong convictions about his faith in the idols that he made for a living after Paul threatened to dismantle his business, preaching a gospel about a man that had risen from the dead by the power of a God who condemned idol worship as the mere work of men’s hands. Before Paul, making silver shrines was just a job; the only thing he really cared about was money, and a significant amount of his business was being de-popularized, and when he saw that his margin for profit was diminishing, Demetrius suddenly became very religious in defense of this so-called god that he supported. Demetrius equated his failing business with the conviction of this goddess of his being “dethroned from her magnificence,” but his only real conviction was to stir up the minds of the people to fight for his cause, so his business would not be ‘dethroned from its magnificence.’ In total disregard of the truth Demetrius never contemplated the gospel that Paul preached, but placed all his convictions on money using religion as a front, which was really no different from the Pharisees, who had the Lord Jesus Christ crucified. Demetrius was a man who couldn’t care less about the truth. All he knew was that Paul was influencing people to give up a belief system that he was exploiting. People came close to dying in this riot that he caused, and would that have bothered him? He couldn’t have cared less how many people had to be sacrificed for his business of religion!

(154b) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> No excuse >> There is no excuse for rejecting the Father

(166i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind cannot discern between good and evil >> The world’s perspective on wealth  – When this man’s money was being threatened, he suddenly became very religious, but before that he was just a craftsman. He was the guy who knew better than anyone that the works of his hands were not gods at all, since he was the one sculpting them. Demetrius was a wealthy man, making huge profits designing and building idols to Artemis the so-called great goddess that the whole of Asia worshipped. He appealed to the people on a religious platform, proposing that he had some semblance of faith or conscience toward this goddess, whose idols he was making. In a similar manner, the world perceives wealthy people as religious by default, because they have the finer things in life. The assumption is that God is blessing the rich man, suggesting that the rich man must have some connection with God or he wouldn’t be rich. This is a subliminal false assumption that many people make about wealthy people; they think all their wealth and glory is evidence of faith in God. After all, why wouldn’t they believe in God since He has essentially given them the world? So, there is a false connection between wealth and religion, and Demetrius was using this false connection in reverse to save his business. The normal direction of thought is, ‘I am wealthy, therefore I believe in God. Demetrius took that thought process and reversed it saying, ‘My great concern for this religion is coming into disrepute because of Christianity that Paul is preaching, and it is breaking our business.’ So, whether it is money that makes us religious, or religion that makes us money, both are the same to God, crooked and evil and full of deceit.

(180a) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Wolves lead people into a cult >> Leading people for sordid gain

(186i) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> Having a perverted sense of justice

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Act 19,23-28

(96l) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about sin >> Having an attitude of unbelief

(139j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Tearing down the temple through disobedience

(154i) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is rebellious against God >> Witness against hypocrisy

(177e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Doctrine that tickles your ears

Act 19,23-27

(17e) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Judgment based on greed

(156l) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Living an ungodly lifestyle >> Associating with the world

(166e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Nature Of Man’s Wisdom >> Man’s wisdom is fixed on gaining personal advantage – There are all kinds of prosperity teachers, whose only defense against the true faith is that God wants them to have it all in this life, and if a verse needs bending to fit their theology, they bend it; if it needs a little twisting, they twist it; and if it needs a little interpretation, they misinterpret it, until they have a hefty collection of passages that say what they want to hear, but the heart of Scripture does not speak this way. Even if we have all the things that the nations seek, we would be better off to give it all to the poor, and then come follow Jesus. Some prosperity teachers would say that Jesus Himself was a wealthy man; Judas was treasurer, and money continually flowed into the ministry by bucketfuls, but they would have to say that Jesus taught by the adage, ‘Do as I say and not as I do.’ Instead, Jesus was a model Christian, and He lived what He preached, and if He said to sell our possessions and give to the poor, we can know He did just that, and therefore how could we pursue the unrighteous mammon with a clear conscience? We would be better living a mournful life than to have all the riches of the world (Mat 5-9).

(170d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Greed and lust are the glory of man >> Earthly riches are the glory of man

(186g) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> After they reject God’s faith how can they believe? – Demetrius the silversmith is an example of a secular reprobate who had blasphemed the Holy Spirit to such a degree that he could not be saved. Most reprobates we understand originate from the Church, people who claim to believe in God but are no closer to Him than the man on the moon. In contrast, Demetrius was a reprobate based on his love of money, being willing to sacrifice his own soul and any potential to believe the truth for the sake of money and materialism and for the honor that he enjoyed among society as CEO of Silver Shrines Incorporated. He was no different from Esau who sold his own birthright for a single meal and was later cheated from his inheritance, so Demetrius sacrificed his conscience and his soul for money and prestige. He lied to his own heart about his business being meaningful instead of admitting that he was tempting his community to bend the knee and pray to a piece of metal. Instead of condemning the works of his hands, he determined that the great goddess Artemis was real, logically concluding that the God of heaven whom Paul preached was not real. The hypocrisy of Demetrius was that he did not bend his knee to idols, because he knew they weren’t gods, but protected his business; he spoke with conviction, believing in the money this goddess was making for him, hence advocated that people should worship the works of his own hands, so there is a conflict with Demetrius who did not worship his own shrines, but advocated that others should for the sake of his business. This mind-bending thought process twisted his conscience into knots, so that he was no longer able to believe the truth. In other words, Demetrius rejected the gospel because there was no money in it, since his convictions were in materialism. That sounds like American Christianity.

(198g) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Ordained by man >> Having evil motives for seeking leadership positions >> In the ministry for their own personal gain

(249k) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> World’s perception of wealth >> The world's wealth erodes good values >> The world attains wealth by hook and crook

Act 19-23,24

(160g) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil to fight against God

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

24-34 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; 25 these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. 26 "You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. 27 "Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence." 28 When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia. 30 And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. 31 Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater. 32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

 

Act 19,24-34

(200g) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Excuses for rejecting Christ >> Selfish ambition >> Putting your own personal interests above God

Act 19-27

(248k) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> Some things take precedence over others

Act 19,28-31

(7c) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defending the word of God >> Protecting the men who carry the gospel – Paul saw an opportunity for evangelism and was headed into the theater to talk to this lynch mob about Jesus, who was whipped into frenzy because of him, and his friends wouldn’t let him go. Whether he was led by God and the people stopped him or the people were led by God to stop Paul from proceeding into almost certain death, we may never know for sure, but there was nothing that gives the impression that Paul was called by God to be a martyr just yet, especially since his story didn’t end here. Either way it wasn’t worth the risk. Whether he lost the opportunity to save some souls that night or not, the fact remains those people’s ears were shut tight. He was hoping to reason with them and try to turn them around to see that believing in Jesus held more promise than this goddess of theirs, and knew that what he had was better than what they had, and for that reason he saw the possibility of talking them out of their unbelief and into faith in Christ, but it wasn’t going to happen that night. 

Act 19,29-31

(131a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependent on each other to do the will of God – There was a great disturbance, and they were after Paul and were ready to kill any Christian on the spot after the people had become riotous and out of control. Paul’s friends literally arrested him, refusing to let Paul enter the theater where the mob had gathered, where he would have been immediately killed. So who was right? Was it Paul, who wanted to enter the theater and preach Jesus to them to ensure his death, or was it his friends who stopped him? Paul wanted to be a martyr more than anything, and he eventually got his wish. He was ready to be with the Lord, but his friends needed him (Phi 1,21-25). What was God’s will in this case? The fact is God needed Paul too! He had many more years of ministry for Paul, for he was not done writing epistles; it would have been a waste of life for Paul to die that night, so the people were right, and they were being led by the Spirit to rescue Paul from his tomfoolery. Paul was thinking selfishly, wanting to go out in a blaze of glory; instead, years later, he was taken quietly to a lonely place and they chopped off his head.

Act 19-29

(65h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Satan unites the world for the cause of deception -- This verse goes with verse 34

Act 19-30,31

(89f) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Deeds of wisdom – Paul’s helpers barely restrained him from venturing into the theater because of his uncanny zeal, being so willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of the gospel. His friends must have told him, ‘It is good that you are willing to die for the cause of Christ, but don’t get in such a hurry to leave us that you miss the opportunity to save more souls for Christ.’

Act 19,32-34

(53j) Paradox >> Opposites >> Contradicting your own standards >> Believing in something you don’t understand

(210i) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Salvation is from the Jews >> Jews are believers >> Gospel belongs to the Jew first – What was it about Alexander being a Jew that incited the riot to increase? They associated Christianity to the Jews, yet that association is not as clear today. Christianity was primarily a Jewish-held faith at that time, but now we know Christianity as a gentile religion, yet in fact Christianity originated from the Jews, and in early times many Jews believed in Jesus. People were hostile against the Jews back then because they brought the gospel of Christ to the people, so that anyone who was of Jewish descent was automatically labeled a Christian, especially if they had any association with Paul. Now people are hostile against the Jews for the opposite reason, because they crucified the Lord of glory. Only the motives have changed since then, yet in many ways things have remained the same.

Act 19-32

(176a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Misguided -- This verse goes with verses 2-5

(176e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Zeal without knowledge (Spirit w/o the word) >> Devotion without direction

Act 19-34

(65h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Satan unites the world for the cause of deception -- This verse goes with verse 29

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

35-41 After quieting the crowd, the town clerk said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image which fell down from heaven? 36 "So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. 37 "For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 "So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against any man, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another. 39 "But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. 40 "For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today's events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering." 41 After saying this he dismissed the assembly.

 

Act 19,35-41

(126e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace >> Peacemakers avoid unnecessary confrontation – Had Paul been allowed to speak, we know he wouldn’t have said what the town clerk said to quiet the crowd. The town clerk appeased the people, saying that Paul, the person with whom they were angry, didn’t commit any crimes; “he is neither a robber of temples nor a blasphemer of our goddess.” Paul wasn’t going to say anything bad about their goddess; he wanted to preach the gospel to them. He never took the low road and mocked or ridiculed or condemned people for their pagan beliefs, but he did say, “Idols made with human hands are no gods at all.” This was a blanket statement he pronounced against all forms of idol worship, that all of it is evil. In this way he didn’t say that worshipping this particular god was evil, though he did say it without mentioning any names, so in that sense he was not a blasphemer of their goddess, which delivered him from a lot of trouble.

(148g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage regarding the Church

Act 19,35-37

(182e) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they have no regard for God’s word

Act 19-35,36

(177g) Presumption (Hinduism) (Key verse)

(178b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the facts about the circumstances >> Presumption is not founded on facts – The God of the universe visits mankind in person, performs countless miracles; He is killed by His own people and then rises from the dead, yet people can’t find it in themselves to believe in Him, but some piece of junk falls from the sky, probably a meteorite, and everyone clamors to worship it. This level of human reasoning is less than unreasonable. Chipmunks are spiritually further ahead than people in their reasoning ability about God in that they cannot reason at all. The bears and the squirrels and the deer are generally more in tune with God in that they are what God intended them to be, whereas man doesn’t know his place in the world. We are actually better off not having a mind than using it to come to all the wrong conclusions.

Act 19-37

(1e) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people >> Do not criticize in the flesh – Paul and some of the people who were affiliated with him got into a lot of trouble that day by preaching the gospel to a lot of idol worshipers. Had they made derogatory remarks about their idols they may have lost their lives over it. Paul concentrated on preaching the gospel without getting swayed into preaching against their idols, which saved their lives, because it was this fact that the town clerk used to quiet the people. Therefore, it pays not to be critical of people, even when they are wrong. Preaching the solution is a no-lose situation in which it promises to bear fruit and will never get you in trouble, but preaching the problem is a no-win situation in which it does not bear fruit and will never put you in favor with God or man.

(62g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Maintaining a blameless reputation

Act 19,38-41

(17m) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Discerning by the flesh >> Judging the sins of others that you practice – Demetrius was a wicked builder of shrines, who saw his chance for profit fleeting with the coming of a new gospel that condemned the worship of anything but God. He started this riot described in these verses to hinder the message, and the city clerk stopped it instead of trying to win the argument, which would have resulted in people dying and others going to jail. It would have been just as evil for Christians to fight against the opposition as it was for the opposition to fight against Christians. Therefore, we as Christians are called to set the standard in behavior and never get caught fighting battles according to the way of the world. God has His own ways that we as Christians are obligated to use, because His ways will work to preserve our faith and reputation in the world as peacemakers, even though it may seem like the wrong way.

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges

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