Acts Chapter 19

Old and New

(Matthew 3:11)
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

The book of Acts is a transitional book and, as such, is not a book we get our Christian doctrine from but, rather, we learn how the early members of the body of Christ lived, spread the Word, thrived, were persecuted, etc. Through all of this, the Holy Ghost was the power, the driver of the vehicle, the navigator guiding the disciples in life.

The book of Acts is also a very JEWISH book, so that the signs and wonders one sees in the form of tongues, healings, resurrections, etc. were for the Jews. Even when done in front of Gentiles, there were always Jews present, and the signs and wonders were also not even always done, either.

To understand how this is so, if you have not read the chapters themselves, Acts chapter one and Acts chapter two and have not also read the studies on them, in their context, please do that now to get an understanding of the context and culture here. What happens in this chapter is unique to history, not for today. To understand any area of Scripture better, it is important to know the biblical, geographical, biographical, historical, context of that particular city. In other words, to study Paul's letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the Ephesians in Revelation.

(Revelation 2:1-7)
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

The difference between the words "RUN" and "RUIN" is the "I" part. Thus, "I will RUN my own life" leads to "I will RUIN my own life"

(Acts 19:1)
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
  • "Finding certain disciples" means that there were people saved there already


  • Once a large trade hub in Asia Minor (currently western Turkey)
  • Temple of Artemis is there
  • At Ephesus, some disciples had not known or even heard of the Holy Ghost
  • Ephesus was a stronghold for intense devil activity (Acts 19:13-17)
  • Paul stayed in Ephesus two years (Acts 19:10)
  • This led to a great revival (Acts 19:18-20)
  • This also led to a great uproar and riot over their paganism, loss of revenue for idol making and the worship of "Diana of the Ephesians" (Acts 19:34)
  • Paul gave his last great public speech there, before departing for chains in Jerusalem (Acts 20:17-37)
(Acts 18:19)
And he (Paul) came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.

(Acts 18:21)
But bade them farewell, saying, I (Paul) must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

(Acts 18:24)
¶ And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

(Acts 19:1)
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

(Acts 19:17)
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

(Acts 19:26)
Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

(Acts 19:35)
And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

(Acts 20:16)
For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

(Acts 20:17)
¶ And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

(1 Corinthians 15:32)
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

(1 Corinthians 16:8)
But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

(1 Timothy 1:3)
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

(2 Timothy 1:18)
The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

(2 Timothy 4:12)
And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

(Revelation 1:11)
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

(Revelation 2:1)
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

(Acts 19:2)
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
  • The word is "since", not "when", or "if", or any other word. The context determines the meaning, not "the Greek"
  • Since you are saved means "After you got saved"; otherwise there is no reason to baptize them, as John the Baptist was not forming a "Baptist Club"
  • There is no one on earth today who comes from a "Pre-Pentecost" life
  • We know that they were saved because God calls them "disciples" in verse one
  • The reason that this matters is because people like to correct God's Word, and because this verse clearly illustrates the transitional nature of Acts, since it shows there were Old Testament believers (saved when Jesus was alive) and New Testament believers (saved after Jesus was resurrected, ascended) who were living at a unique time in history, gone forever
  • Today we do not need to even ask this question Paul asks, because all believers receive the Holy Ghost upon receiving Jesus Christ as their Saviour

(Acts 19:3)
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
  • The Holy Ghost came on Pentecost, so these believers had the Baptism of John
  • Some believe that they were not saved, but again it says that they were....CONTEXT!
  • This is the same state Apollos was in in the previous chapter

(1 Corinthians 10:1-2)
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

(Luke 7:29-30)
And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

(Acts 19:4)
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
  • Again, notice that it says that they were baptized for believing on Christ Jesus, not because of John or anything John did
  • To believe otherwise would mean to believe that the water they were baptized in meant something, or that it saved, or that they decided to get baptized as some sort of trend
  • Jesus Christ saved them the same as you and I, through faith, belief, acceptance, grace, by the Death on the Cross, the Burial and the Resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ. It was then and is now the only way to be saved

(Matthew 3:11)
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

(Mark 1:5-8)
And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

(Luke 3:16)
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

(John 1:26)
John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

(Acts 19:5)
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • These would be the only people in history who would be baptized twice for a reason
  • Remember that the thief on the cross was never baptized, yet Jesus said he was going to heaven

(Luke 23:39-43)
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

(Acts 19:6)
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
  • Again, there were Jews present, which means the tongues were a witness to them
  • These were people languages, because of the many languages known to be spoken then at Ephesus

(Acts 19:7)
And all the men were about twelve.
  • Between this non-accidental spiritual counting of twelve-plus the tongues, it should be obvious that these were Jewish disciples, not Gentiles.

(Acts 19:8)
And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
  • Even though Paul had mostly washed his hands of the Jewish ministry, the synagogue was a place to be used as an inroad, as it would also have a court of the Gentiles
  • "Disputing and persuading", Paul was strong, persuasive, argumentative, combative, a little rough around the edges, the exact opposite of what we are told to be today in America
  • This is because earth is an adversarial system

(Acts 18:6)
And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

(2 Corinthians 11:6)
But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

(Acts 19:9)
But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
  • "Tyrannus" means "tyrant", ruler, prince, one who reigns
  • They would have a break of two to three hours at midday, in an area where Gentiles could come into the area and ask questions, get answers
  • This would have then turned out a bunch of leaders to go and start churches in many cities throughout Asia Minor
  • Our faith, what we call Christianity today, was called "that way" then.

(Acts 19:10)
And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
  • This is the province of Asia, and represents many different churches, perhaps the seven churches in Revelation two to three
  • This is also some of his epistles, such as Colossians, where Paul was not recorded as going, but raised leaders to build the church there
  • This was a great ministry, and not on any journey at all, but locally, where the ripe fruit was. This was his "orchard" or "grove"

(Acts 19:11)
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
  • There was an intense amount of spiritual activity here, because they worshipped the goddess Diana
  • This is the antidote for that large amount of paganism, so God must counteract it through an apostle
  • A special, transitional time, a special man, called to witness to people interested in "heathenism", paganism required special, unique circumstances and revelations of God's power and might.
  • That was then. Now we have the powerful word of God, the whole counsel of God, our only offensive but deadly we do not even need this
  • Another thing to note is that those who go for the "spiritual power" today ignore and do not use the sword in their hands

(Hebrews 4:12)
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

(Acts 20:27)
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

(Acts 19:12)
So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
  • Anything done like this today is a counterfeit for sure
  • There were Jews, the Jews required a sign, and this was it
  • In verse eight Paul entered into the synagogue, in verse ten, he spoke to Jews (and Greeks)

(2 Corinthians 11:13-14)
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

(1 Corinthians 1:22)
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

(Matthew 12:38)
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

(1 Corinthians 13:8-10)
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

(Acts 19:13)
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
  • A vagabond is just a wanderer, drifter, aimless person with no home nor destination
  • These vagabonds practiced the mystery religions
  • No doubt they dabbled into the spiritual realm, doing magic, other supernatural things
  • They had been listening to Paul, the apostles and/or disciples say, "In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth..."
  • The only problem is, they were not preaching Jesus Christ. Paul was, by their own admission. They were attempting to piggyback onto Paul's ministry is all
  • Jesus even prophesied that many would come in His Name and deceive many, so here it is, happening right before everyone's eyes
  • The phrase "whom Paul preacheth" is a definite sign that these men did not know Jesus at all (and vice versa), but sought to make money using only the Name of Jesus, because certainly Paul used Jesus's Name
  • Without the proper authority, the name above all names, one can be deceived into thinking they work for God, by "doing good works" like exorcisms, even saying one is doing them "in Jesus Name" is not some magic formula
  • Anything asked in Jesus Name that is not according to Jesus's Will and not according to His Authority will not be done!
  • The enemy will allow people to think they are doing good (religion), as long as they do not believe on Jesus Christ
  • This is not just, "We would seek a sign", but rather also, "We would do a sign"
  • Most likely they were doing all of this in the name of Jehovah before, and now have a new name to do it in, "Jesus"....whatever works in their eyes, as eyewitnesses of the disciples, they will try


(Matthew 18:5)
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

(Matthew 18:20)
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

(Matthew 24:5)
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

(Mark 9:37)
Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

(Mark 9:39)
But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

(Mark 9:41)
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

(Mark 13:6)
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

(Mark 16:17)
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

(Luke 9:48)
And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

(Luke 21:8)
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

(John 14:13)
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

(John 14:14)
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

(John 14:26)
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

(John 15:16)
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

(John 16:23)
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

(John 16:24)
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

(John 16:26)
At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

(Acts 19:14)
And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
  • Being spiritual, but of the wrong spirit, they wanted the power of the kingdom without having the King of the Kingdom, like all religious people
  • In other words, there are many spirits through whom mankind can perform miracles for themselves, for their own gain, for their own glory-but only One Holy Ghost (Spirit) through whom mankind can perform God's miracles
  • This Jew Sceva was a leader as well, so more influence on the local people, more deception
  • Notice all seven sons are involved. Fathers have influence either way, good or bad, on boys

(Acts 19:15)
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
  • The enemy knows his enemies (Jesus and Paul) who God uses, but these devils and possessed men are on the same side as the enemy of God, proclaiming to be and perhaps-in the case of the man, believing he is-on God's side
  • This is the classic, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" scenario, because these "exorcisers" were unknowingly working for the enemy in this "exorcism ministry"
  • Their practice of sorcery is still around today, wrapped up in "Churchianity" and "Christianese", prevalent worldwide
  • This is not the first time in Acts that this happened
  • A lot of people, including these men, know who Jesus IS, but do not KNOW Jesus and Jesus does not know them

A Spirit vs. THE Spirit

(Matthew 25:1-13)
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

(Matthew 7:23)
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Sorcery in Acts

(Acts 13:6)
And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

(Acts 8:9)
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

(Acts 19:16)
And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
  • Attempt to destroy completely? Shame of nakedness? Both?
  • Of course, the exorcism did not work, and look at the result of using the Name of Jesus Christ in vain!
  • The evil spirit remained inside the man and simply used the man to do the deed on the "exorcisers"...

(Matthew 12:43-45)
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

(Acts 19:17)
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
  • This is true, Scriptural fear
  • Fear upon man, Jesus magnified, and a true revival, not by signs and wonders, but through grace, through faith in the real Jesus Christ
  • A revival where no tongues are even spoken, no one is healed, though Jews are here, who would seek a sign
  • An event like this would be the talk of the town, live on the 6:00 news!
  • Compare that to the counterfeit "revivals" today where they have all of the "signs and wonders" and no true revival as portrayed here, with confession, repentance, and idolatry being actually overthrown and destroyed

(Acts 19:18)
And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
  • The only true revival is with confession and repentance
  • Doing this publicly means again that it was genuine, not a fake revival, not a fake "altar call"

(Acts 19:19)
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
  • Philosophy books, magic books, anything against God is always gotten rid of in revivals, just like the Old Testament burning, tearing down of altars
  • Occultic arts, idols, same as today with the art industry, entertainment industry, Hollywood, etc.
  • Rough estimates using variable and various calculators of value, if they were small pieces, then this is today an $5.5 million bonfire! If silver talents, then this is today an $1.5 billion bonfire!
  • One estimate makes that $300,000 dollars worth as well
  • At the current price of silver (01/17/2018) that is still $857,500!
  • These books would be those types that would have given an false idea about reality and this life (fiction), books that openly attack and are against (either subtly or blatantly) the Scriptures, books that are apologetic of crime, licentiousness and evil, books that inflame the passions, books that jerk at the heartstrings, books that raise nature above its rightful place, and books that elevate "scholars", "scholarship", "higher education", books that tout evolutionism, or books that lift up institutions (or traditions) to a place of equal authority to God's Word.
  • In the Old Testament revivals of Israel, they burned images of the pagan gods, cut down groves dedicated to them, etc.

CURIOUS, a. [L., care. See Cure.]

  1. Strongly desirous to see what is novel, or to discover what is unknown; solicitous to see or to know; inquisitive.
    Be not curious in unnecessary matters, nor to pry into the concerns of your neighbors.
  2. Habitually inquisitive; addicted to research or enquiry; as a man of a curious turn of mind; sometimes followed by after, and sometimes by of.
    Curious after things elegant and beautiful; curious of antiquities.
  3. Accurate; careful not to mistake; solicitous to be correct.
    Men were not curious what syllables or particles they used.
  4. Careful; nice; solicitous in selection; difficult to please.
    A temperate man is not curious of delicacies.
  5. Nice; exact; subtile; made with care.
    Both these senses embrace their objects--with a more curious discrimination.
  6. Artful; nicely diligent.
    Each ornament about her seemly lies, by curious chance, or careless art, composed.
  7. Wrought with care and art; elegant; neat; finished; as a curious girdle; curious work Exo 28 and 30.
  8. Requiring care and nicety; as curious arts. Acts 19.
  9. Rigid; severe; particular. [Little used.]
  10. Rare; singular; a a curious fact.


(Judges 6:25)
And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:

(Judges 6:30)
Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.

(Judges 8:33)
And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.

(1 Samuel 7:4)
Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.

(1 Samuel 12:10)
And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.

(2 Kings 3:2)
And he wrought evil in the sight of the LORD; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.

(2 Kings 10:25-28)
And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.

(2 Kings 11:18)
And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.

(2 Kings 23:4-5)
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

(2 Chronicles 23:17)
Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.

(2 Chronicles 34:4)
And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.

(Acts 19:20)
So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
  • There is nothing in the way between men and God now, with this done
  • Because of this true revival, open hearts to God and His Word, this city was turned upside down and they had a new book to study
  • The above actions of confession, repentance and destruction of idols is the only way for the Word of God to prevail
  • To prevail means to win, to send the opponent or enemy into utter defeat

PREVA'IL, v.i. [L. proevaleo; proe, before, and valeo, to be strong or well. Valeo seems to be from the same root as the Eng. well. The primary sense is to stretch or strain forward, to advance.]
  1. To overcome; to gain the victory or superiority; to gain the advantage.
    When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Exo 17.
    With over or against.
    David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone. 1 Sam 17. This kingdom could never prevail against the united power of England.
  2. To be in force; to have effect; power or influence.
    This custom makes the short-sighted bigots and the warier skeptics, as far as ir prevails.
  3. To be predominant; to extend over with force or effect. The fever prevailed in a great part of the city.
  4. To gain or have predominant influence; to operate with effect. These reasons, arguments or motives ought to prevail with all candid men. In this sense, it is followed by with.
  5. To persuade or induce; with on or upon. They prevailed on the president to ratify the treaty. It is also followed by with. They could not prevail with the king to pardon the offender. But on is more common in modern practice.
  6. To succeed. The general attempted to take the fort by assault, but did not prevail. The most powerful arguments were employed,but they did not prevail.
(Acts 19:21)
After these things were ended, 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.
  • Paul is merely making his way back to Jerusalem, called by God the Holy Ghost, and wants to see Rome

(Acts 19:22)
So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.
  • This is the time of the writing of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • When you have made disciples in the right way, the fruit is being able to leave them to do the work of God and move on...

(Acts 19:23)
And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
  • Christianity was also then called "that way"
  • The "no small stir" means it was a huge stir, as will be shown as it plays out in the next few verses


(Acts 19:9)
But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

(Acts 24:22)
And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.

(Acts 11:26)
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

(Acts 26:28)
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

(1 Peter 4:16)
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

(Acts 19:24)
For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
  • Now Christianity was getting into the financial, banking district....uh oh...
  • The same would be today with Roman Catholic images, rosaries, gold crosses, silver crosses, precious metal chalices, the Vatican billions, etc. or even the Diamond District in Manhattan, becoming suddenly pretty much worthless because people are suddenly no longer into outward appearance and jewelry.
  • The same would be today for a strong Scriptural teaching which would go against a mega-church, a famous Christian tele-evangelist,

(Acts 19:25)
Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
  • This is a large business meeting, city wide
  • Generally speaking, a "craft" is not something good for God, but something man uses to shun God
  • They did not simply have their livelihood at stake, but their "wealth", riches, affluence, made from idolatry-not to mention their pagan religion
  • The enemy of God rewards handsomely those who practice this craft. Think, when thinking of "craft", of witchcraft

(Job 5:12)
He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

(Job 15:5)
For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.

(Psalms 83:3)
They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.

(2 Corinthians 12:16)
But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

(Acts 19:26)
Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
  • The blindness and deafness of the lost is overwhelming, and more so when they gain wealth by being self-blinded and self-deafened
  • Christianity is a threat to the world system, financially, because it is based upon idolatry, then as now
  • It does not have to be little idols people wear, carry or bow down to, it can be famous people, antique items, fancy cars, boats, planes, estates, rock stars, you name it, even places like the Grand Canyon

(Acts 19:27)
So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
  • Not only, as in the Old Testament revivals, will the books and idols be destroyed, but the pagan temples will burn if Christianity succeeds in spreading. This they know well.
  • This is not just a threat, but the spread of the Word of God is a direct frontal assault on their money
  • A trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City would reveal the intense amount of idolatry and wealth that the idolatry produced for them.
  • Step one: Declare a living or dead person a god. Step Two: Make a statue to them with marble, granite, etc. Step 3: Sell it.
  • Then the Caesars were called gods. Today it is Catholic saints, singers, artists, movie "stars", sports players, "He is considered a god", "She is considered a goddess"
  • All that it takes to start worshipping other gods is to reject the One True Creator God, the LORD Jesus Christ

(Acts 19:28)
And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
  • Translation" "Our false goddess will prevail over the True Creator God any day of the week!"
  • In other words, "Sales are down, let's go after the culprits!!!!!"
  • "Wrath" is mostly used strongly for God's wrath in Scripture, but, in any usage, even with mankind, there follows violent struggle of some sort; judgment for God and war among men
  • We as believers should never fear man's wrath, but the world should only fear God's, which is upon them

(Exodus 20:3-5)
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

(Acts 19:29)
And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
  • Since God is not the author of confusion, the gods and mankind are and this means a lack of peace
  • God is, however, the author and finisher of our faith
  • This means that faith in God and His Word leads to peace and to a lack of confusion, to clarity, understanding
  • The same would happen today if Christian publishers pushing "new" "bible" "versions" were to suffer the same loss, no doubt.

(1 Corinthians 14:33)
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

(Hebrews 12:2)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Acts 19:30)
And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
  • Never one to avoid confrontation and controversy, this is Paul, a little rough around the edges, but a small fire brand for truth
  • Remember that this is the same Paul who gave us so much of our New Testament, and this would be why God used him.
  • The disciples knew that him going in, merely being present and recognized, would stir up the pot even more, to a point they did not want to see.

(Acts 19:31)
And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
  • When knowing a personality who is never going to back down on truth, no matter the battle, even friends will intervene
  • This is because this was a 100% certainty of a battle, with 100:1 odds of no peace

(Acts 19:32)
Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
  • This proves that God is not in charge in the hearts of these people: CONFUSION
  • Without believing in the One True God, people believe in anything and everything else
  • This means different people, different beliefs, which conflict

(Acts 19:33)
And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.
  • Here comes the guy of the people who is against our paganism, idolatry
  • "We present to you, the crowd, our spokesperson, Alexander"
  • Again, the JEWS put him forward, not the saved Gentiles
  • We have a multitude of believers with an even greater, louder group on unbelievers.....a recipe for fireworks and disaster, unless God has other plans

(Acts 19:34)
But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
  • Two hours chanting...let that sink in
  • "With one voice"...united, like they are trying to do today in every country, to unite against the people of God (Israel) and the people of God (the Church) as a front in a war
  • Translated out of the original Greek, this means, "Great is our money supply!"


  • This temple here was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world
  • The theater near it and spoken of here seated 56,000 people. the same capacity as Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
  • Using this theater, the Greeks/Romans hosted gladiators, plays, pagan readings, debates, public discussions
  • The “Diana of the Ephesians” was, to them, their "goddess of the sun and moon, and the source of all life"
  • "Diana" was the mother-goddess who can be connected to/traced back to Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Venus, Juno, Vesta, Minerva, and Cybele (the mother of the gods).
  • The Scriptures call her “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” (Revelation 17)
(Revelation 17:5)

(Acts 19:35)
And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?
  • It takes two hours to stop the rioting, or two hours is how long they waited. Either way, it is two hours before anyone rational, like a town official, intervenes
  • He says, "We all know who you worship, why chant it for so long?"
  • This image was built by men, and believed to have fallen down from the sky....another thing to reflect on, the pagan mindset, the deception

(Acts 19:36)
Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.
  • The thought was that none of these pagan idols and temples were touchable
  • This townclerk wanted it all dealt with peacefully, quietly
  • The mob wanted it done loudly, violently

(Acts 19:37)
For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.
  • He points out that they dragged these men into the arena for a show, because they are different in their beliefs, not because of any law they broke

(Acts 19:38)
Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.
  • "We have a legal remedy for anything you legally have against these men, in accordance with our laws"
  • This is how the townclerk wanted it to be dealt with, not with a riotous mob with pitchforks and staves
  • One day it needs to be said that God will deal with all craftsmen of idols

(Acts 19:39)
But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
  • Like all politicians, he wants this to be done the proper way, because it is his job to keep the order
  • Since they have not done anything directly TO our beloved "Diana of the Ephesians", then there must be something else you want to charge them with in court

(Acts 19:40)
For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.
  • Like all politicians, he will be scrutinized in the next election on whether he kept the peace in town or not
  • This is because it was said earlier (v.29) that the whole city was involved in this, which could spell disaster for a future re-election of the townclerk

(Acts 19:41)
And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
  • Job completed, he actually probably saved the disciples a beating from the mob-or worse
  • Apparently this townclerk had at least some pull with the people, getting them to calm down, disperse and leave

Acts Chapter 20


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