-While Apollos was in Ephesus, Paul came once again and believers received the Holy Spirit who were familiar only with the baptism of John. They were baptized in the Name of Jesus and Paul laid hands on them. With that laying on of hands they received the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues and prophesying (the power of God came upon them!). There were about twelve of them (Acts 19:1-7). *Application* Oh the mighty power of God when He is in a place. I have seen His awesomeness sweep through a place that is hungry for Him and allows Him to have His way in all things. It is truly supernatural and just as real as in these New Testament times. Praise the LORD!
-Paul taught in the synagogue for 3 months with effectiveness, but some were becoming hardened and disobedient to the faith speaking evil of him and the Way (Acts 19:8-9a). *Application* Any time God’s Spirit is moving there will be a counter punch by the enemy. These are spiritual battles we should expect and prepare for with fervent praying and many times fasting (Matthew 17:21).
-Paul withdraws then from the synagogue and takes disciples that were of faith in Christ. They reason together in the school of Tyrannus for 2 years. In this amount of time the Bible states that all in Asia heard the word of the Lord (Acts 19:9b-10). *Application* Notice that the message of Christ was not taught in the traditional setting here as the church grew in Asia. In Christian work and ministry we must remember to be flexible. The church is the body of Christ and not a building. His message can spread from any location. Be flexible and adaptable in your service for the Lord as Paul shows in this passage. God can do great things in whatsoever manner He pleases. Rejection in a traditional place doesn’t mean God is through working through you in a particular locale.
-God was giving great power and authority to Paul. The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were trying to cast out demons but the demons didn’t know them and chased them out naked and wounded. Fear of the Lord was on Ephesus as a result of these remarkable events and magic practices were being eradicated and destroyed. The word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing (Acts 19:11-20)! *Application* Our nation at this time needs some of this type of Holy Spirit type fire and power. However, Christians must stand up for God and what is right for this to happen. Are we giving God a chance to show up big for us?
-After these things, the revelation by God to Paul concerning his eventual destination in Rome begins to form. Paul purposed in his spirit to go to Jerusalem after passing through Macedonia and Achaia. But, about this time an incredibly disruptive event takes place concerning one Demetrius, over Artemis’ idol worship. The financial effects of losing people to Christianity is the issue here, and the city goes into an uproar over this matter in Ephesus. It was the town clerk who eventually restores order. Paul, in his spiritual fervor, wanted to participate in the ruckus to see what the Holy Spirit would do, but the disciples along with some of the Asiarchs (political and/or religious officials in this region) who were friends would not let him in the theater in fear of his protection (Acts 19:21-41). *Application* What are the idols in our modern society? Where would we see this kind of back lash to the growth of the gospel and sold out Christianity? I know one thing for certain here where I live in Texas. If you dared to put a Christian meeting up against high school football in the fall, there would be an uproar from the carnal saints. Where do our affections really reside?
Verse to Memorize: Acts 19:20