Dr. Oscar T. Moses
MHMBC – W.A.R. Bible Study
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The Holy Spirit Has Victory Over The Occult
The Big Picture: The Holy Spirit exposes the power of darkness and reigns victorious.
Satan uses deception to distort and distance people from God’s truths. In this chapter, idol worship and witchcraft were accepted in Ephesus as a normal practice. However, when the people of Ephesus heard the gospel they did away with all kinds of witchcraft and sorcery. Today, the occult is increasingly accepted; sorcery, witchcraft, astrology, fortunetellers, psychics and so forth. New Age Spirituality popularizes all of these things. We must be on guard against books, music, movies and even so-called holidays that derive from the power of darkness.
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
The Baptism Vs. 1-7
Paul came upon some disciples in Ephesus and discovered they had not received the Holy Spirit. They were baptized unto repentance by John. Paul explained that John preached the baptism of repentance so that people could radically change their lives to be ready to receive Jesus. They were baptized again in the name of Jesus.
This is the only place in the New Testament where anyone was re-baptized. The purpose of re-baptism was because John’s baptism was anticipatory and the baptism of Christ was the fulfillment of that anticipation. Paul laid hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. There were about 12 of them saved that day.
The Teaching Vs. 8-10
Paul taught in the meeting place for three months. Resistance surfaced again from some of the listeners who began to spread malicious rumors about the Christian lifestyle. Paul took disciples with him and set up shop in Tyrannus’ lecture hall and taught them daily about Jesus Christ daily for two years. Paul took enough time preaching about Jesus in the province of Asia so that Jews and Greeks could hear the Gospel Message.
The Extraordinary Miracles Vs. 11-12
God used Paul extraordinarily. He did special miracles (Verse11). The word began to spread that people were taking pieces of clothing that had touched Paul’s skin and the garments had power to heal. These were extraordinary miracles that established the foundation of the apostle’s work.
The Counterfeits Vs. 13-16
Some traveling Jewish (occult) exorcists tried to cast out demons using the name of Jesus preached by Paul. They thought Paul performed a magical trick. They pronounced the name of the Master Jesus over victims of evil spirits, saying, “I command you by the Jesus preached by Paul!” They were the seven sons of a certain high priest named Sceva. When they tried to perform an exorcist on a man the evil spirit spoke back and said, “I know (ginosko, to know by experience, or interaction) Jesus and I Paul, I know (epsitemai, to know about, to understand) but who are you?” The possessed man jumped on the seven son’s a beat them bloody and naked. (Demons can sometimes cause those they possess to have unusual strength Mark 5:3-4.)
The Conversion Vs. 17-20
Word got around Ephesus and there was a new respect for God and His preacher Paul. Many gave up sorcery and burned all of their witchcraft books. It was estimated that the value of the witchcraft books burned were at fifty thousand silver coins. The Word of Jesus Christ evidently prevailed sovereign in Ephesus.
The Consequences Vs. 21-34
Paul decided it was time to move on to Macedonia and the Achaia provinces and to Jerusalem. He had great ambitions to see Rome. He sent Timothy and Erastus ahead of him to settle things in Asia. Before Paul’s departure another rebellion arose from gentiles against those who were in “The Way”. (Paul had another Gentile opposition against the occult in Acts 16:16-24 and both instances were about money.) Demetrius the silversmith who made the silver goddess of Artemis (fertility) began to lose money because of Paul. He started a coup to overthrow the teachings of Paul and put the whole city in uproar and they seized two of Paul’s Macedonian associates, Gaius and Aristarcus. Paul wanted to go defend the Gospel and take on his opponents but the disciples and some of the officials would not let him. The Jews tried to push Alexander to take control. Different factions arose to get Alexander to see their point of view but when he opened his mouth they knew he was a Jew and the crowd refused to listen to a Jew. They began to shout Alexander down saying, “Great Artemis of the Ephesians” for more than two hours.
The Conclusion Vs. 35-41
The town clerk quieted them down and said that Demetrius’ argument was over man made gods and that Artemis was not a man made god but that her stone image came from heaven. He commanded them to conduct themselves in a manner that was worthy of Artemis. He said Paul’s men had done nothing to harm the temple or goddess. He further stated that if Demetrius and his workers had a complaint the have to take it to court and they can make all the accusations they want. They were advised to make all complaints to the town meetings and they would be settled there and that there was no excuse for the mêlée. Their behavior would bring an offense to Rome. He sent them home and Paul was cleared of any charges.
Questions for Acts 19
- What did Paul ask the disciples at Ephesus?
- What was there response to Paul’s question?
- What was the difference between John’s baptism and the Baptism in the name of Jesus?
- What happened after they were baptized in the name of Jesus?
- How long did Paul teach at the synagogue before trouble arose?
- What happened with Paul’s garments?
- Why did the people fear and praise Jesus?
- How did Paul’s teaching of Jesus Christ change the people drastically in Ephesus?
- How was Christianity spread? (v. 20)
- What city did Paul want to see?
- Who was referred to as “the Way”?
- Who lead the opposition against Paul and the Christians and why?
- Why did the silversmith’s talk create such a ruckus?
- Why did the crowd take two of Paul’s men?
- How did the town clerk calm the crowd down?
- Why should Christians refrain from buying prayer or healing clothes from television?
- Should Christians read their horoscope?
- How does the Gospel change lives when taught?
- How has the Word of God changed your life?
Dr. Oscar T. Moses