(Acts 1:8b) "…Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Tonight we continue to look at the development of Christianity to the Uttermost Part of the Earth.
I. Christianity in Jerusalem 1:1-8:3
II. Christianity in Judea and Samaria 8:4- 12:25
III. Christianity to the Uttermost Part of the World 13:1-28:31
A. The First Missionary Journey 13:1-14:28
B. The Council at Jerusalem 15:1-35
C. The Second Missionary Journey 15:36-18:22
D. The Third Missionary Journey 18:23-21:26
1. The Power of the Word at Ephesus (18:23-19:41)
a. The initiation of Paul's third journey v23
1) After a while in Antioch Paul leaves to begin yet another missionary trip
2) He went back to the churches of Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen and encourage the disciples
b. The instruction of Apollos v 24-28
1) Here we have recorded the ministry of Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus.
2) Apollos came to Ephesus and began to boldly speak in the synagogue
a) He was a Jew from Alexandria - a believer but his knowledge was deficient
b) He knew the Old Testament Scriptures but did not know of the events of Pentecost and the baptism of the Holy Spirit
c) The baptism of John - symbolized cleansing by God because of repentance toward God - but Christian baptism pictures union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection by means of Spirit baptism
3) Aquila and Priscilla took him under their wing and began to teach him the way of God more perfectly (completely)
4) They sent letters of recommendation to the churches of Achaia (Corinth) that they might receive Apollos when he came to them
5) Apollos proved to be a real help to the brethren in Achaia
c. The influence of the gospel 19:1-20
1) With 12 Ephesian disciples v1-7
a) While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul arrives in Ephesus
b) There Paul found more disciples who, like Apollos had only partial knowledge of God's working
c) When they received further instruction from Paul they immediately were obedient to Christ's command and were baptized
d) God confirmed Paul's message to the men and they spake with tongues and prophesied.
Note this is the third and final record of anyone in the NT speaking in tongues. 2:1-4; 10:44-47; 19:1-7
2) In the synagogue v8
a) They had desired Paul to stay with them earlier and he couldn't, but he did promise to return
b) This he did and continued for about 3 months
c) He reasoned with them over the things which concerned the kingdom of God
3) In the school of Tyrannus v9-10
a) Once again the old pattern of Jewish opposition arose
b) Several were hardened and rejected Paul's message and began to speak evil of 'the way' - Christianity
c) Paul led the believers out of the synagogue and into the lecture hall of Tyrannus where he taught for two years
d) NOTE: The result was that all in Asia heard the Gospel - both Jew and Gentile
4) With exorcism and sorcery v 11-20
a) God granted special miracles at the hands of the Apostle Paul
b) Handkerchiefs or aprons from Paul could cure diseases and deliver from demonic possession
NOTE: These were special miracles granted by God to Paul - he didn't always have these powers they were given to confirm the message
c) Others tried to use the power of Jesus' name to cast out demons - example of the seven sons of Sceva
d) When they tried it not only didn't work but it backfired on them
e) However this event caused many to turn to the Lord and repent
f) Others brought their books of magic and occult and burned them openly
d. The disturbance at Ephesus 19:21-41
1) Direction of Paul v21-22
a) Paul purposed in his spirit to go to Rome after he completed this missionary journey
b) He sent Timothy and Erastus on to Macedonia but he remained in Ephesus for a season
2) Demetrius plots against Paul v 23-27
a) 'No small stir' - a riot - mob action directed at Paul and others of 'that way'
b) Jesus said, "I am the way..." 9:2, 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22
c) The problem was one of economics
1] He was a silversmith who made idols of the goddess Diana - a very profitable business
2] He called a meeting of similar workmen and appealed to their pocketbooks... "by this craft we have our wealth"
3] NOTE: the charge against Paul in verse 26
4] He also provided them with a noble cause to oppose Paul beside the money
3) A full-fledged riot v 28-34
a) NOTE: the condition of these men (28-29)
1] Full of wrath (against Paul and the truth)
2] Out of control - crying out "Great is Diana of the Ephesians"
3] It affected the entire city - causing great confusion
4] They seized Gaius and Aristarchus - Paul's companions - and brought them into the theatre
5] This was a place of assembly in the city capable of seating 25,000
b) Paul's reaction (30-31)
1] Paul was ready to defend the Gospel before his opponents
2] However, the disciples wouldn't allow him to go
3] Not only the disciples, but the community rulers sent word to him asking him not to go
c) The condition of the crowd (32-34)
1] Total confusion - "some cried one thing and some another"
2] Most of them had no idea why they were there
3] Alexander the Jew tried to quiet them down and speak to them but the crowd refused
4] When they found that he was a Jew they cried out their rally cry, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians" for two hours!
4) Order finally restored v 35-41
a) The town clerk - actually he was a chief executive officer of the city
b) He was the middleman between the free rulers of Ephesus and the Roman government
c) He used reason to settle the uproar
1] The people were foolish to shout themselves hoarse about what everyone knew was 'true'
2] The image 'fell down from Jupiter' so Diana was not man- made as Paul had spoken out against in verse 26 (NOTE: many think it may have been a meteorite that roughly resembled a human body)
3] Paul and his associates had neither tried to rob the temple nor to blaspheme the goddess
4] He rebukes Demetrius for causing such an uproar stating that if they had a complaint they should handle the matter lawfully before the courts
5] He notes that they might be called to account for such an unlawful assembly - then he dismissed the entire group.
NOTE: Apparently Gaius and Aristarchus were released unharmed
Next: Ministry in Greece Continues