Disciples of John Receive the Holy spirit
Verse 1 – And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples
Verse 2 – he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy spirit.”
These disciples were believers and did have a new heart for Christ through His Holy Spirit. However, they had not yet been baptized “in” the Holy spirit with signs of speaking in tongues or of working of miracles. What so many don’t understand, is that it takes power from the Holy Spirit to not only live this Christian life, but Jesus said, “To do even greater miracles than these.”
Verse 3 – And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
(The baptism of repentance.)
Verse 4 – Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
Do you ever wonder why so many after being saved, fall away? It’s because they haven’t been taught about the benefits of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. They soon go back to their old ways, because there is no power in them to do otherwise.
Verse 5 – When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Don’t assume as others have done, that they were re-baptized in water, because the Scripture doesn’t say that they were baptized again in water. They were baptized in the Holy Ghost with “fire.”
Verse 6 – And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
And there is your evidence. Speaking in tongues and prophesying are two of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Why would anyone leave these out? These gifts did not stop with the apostles. If you believe that, then you don’t believe in healing either.
Verse 7 – Now the men were about twelve in all.
Verse 8 – And when he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God:
Verse 9 – But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
Paul spoke in a lecture hall at this school. Such halls were used in the morning for teaching philosophy, but they were empty during the hottest part of the day (about 11:00 to 4 pm). Many people did not work during these hours, so they would come and hear Paul teach.
Verse 10 – And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
This refers to Asia minor or modern-day Turkey.
Verse 11 – Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
Verse 12 – so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
Have miracles stopped today? No, they haven’t. Miracles are done to help spread the Gospel. Our God is a miracle-working God. He can work miracles through anyone He chooses. The Holy spirit has free will to do whatever He chooses. However, unbelief will stop a miracle in its tracks!
Verse 13 – Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcist took it upon them selves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
These Jews wandered from place to place performing exorcism’s. They were pretenders. “We adjure,” “we bind you,” was supposed to show that they had power to ex-spell demons.
Verse 14 – Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
Verse 15 – And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
This evil spirit knew that these men did not share in Christ’s authority through faith.
Verse 16 – Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Sorry, but that is laughable! These men found out that just calling on the name of Jesus didn’t mean that they knew Him. You can’t duplicate God’s power with incantations or merely an oath.
Verse 17 – This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
The name of the Lord Jesus, rather than being abused, was magnified when people realized the power of the Lord was not available for just anyone to control or manipulate.
Verse 18 – And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.
Proverbs 28:13 – He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Romans 10:9, 10 – (Verse 9) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. (Verse 10) For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
verse 19 – Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Ephesus was a center for black magic and other occult practices. God clearly forbids such practices (Deuteronomy 18:9-13). People think there is nothing wrong with a little dabbling in witchcraft, but look what He lists in Deuteronomy as forbidden to practice: child sacrifice, witchcraft, soothsaying, one who interprets omens, one who conjures spells, medium, or a spiritualist, and one who calls on the dead. Plain as day, these people who practice these are not from God! Stay away from all.
Verse 20 – So the word of he Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
Verse 21 – When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”
Verse 22 – So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastius, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.
Demetrius Causes an Uproar at Ephesus
Verse 23 – And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way.
Verse 24 – For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen.
Diana was worshiped in Egypt, Athens, Cilicia, and among pagan nations, but mostly in Ephesus, a city especially dedicated to this false god.
Verse 25 – He (Demetrius) called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said;’ “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade.
Verse 26 – “Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.
Verse 27 – “So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom Asia and the world worship.”
Paul’s preaching and reputation was a threat to many who made their living from making these idols. The Ephesian temple of Artemis, whose foundations went back to the eighth century B.C., was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Demetrius foresaw that it would fall into ruin if Paul persuaded enough people that gods made by hand are not gods. In fact, this is exactly what happened. The ruins of the temple were discovered in the nineteenth century, and the altar was uncovered in 1965.
Verse 28 – And when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
Verse 29 – So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions.
Verse 30 – And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him.
Verse 31 – Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater.
This amphitheater seated 24,000 people. If Paul had rushed in there, it would have been self-sacrifice.
Verse 32 – Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
Verse 33 – And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people.
Verse 34 – But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
Verse 35 – And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: “Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus?
Verse 36 – Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly.
Verse 37 – “For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.
Verse 38 – “Therefore, if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a case against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another.
Verse 39 – “But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly.
Verse 40 – “For we are in danger of being called in question for today’s uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering.”
Verse 41 – And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
If they failed to control the peace, the Roman government would put the whole city under martial law taking away many civic freedoms. This riot convinced Paul that it was time to move on.