About Jesus Steve Sweetman
verse 1 Luke begins to tell the story of Paulís third missionary trip.
He does not sail as he often does but he takes an inland road and
ends up in Ephesus. I am sure that Paul has met
up with many of his brothers in Jesus along the way to Ephesus
but Luke does not record any of these events.
begins with Paulís arrival in
asks these men, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you
believed"? They answered,
"No, we have not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit".
Paul then asks, "so what baptism did you receive"?
They answered, "Johnís baptism".
Paul then replied, "Johnís baptism was a baptism of
repentance. John told the
people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus". On
hearing this these twelve Ephesian men were baptized into the name of the
Lord Jesus. When Paul placed
his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues
section of Scripture is important in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles.
It is one text Pentecostal and Charismatics use to prove what they
call the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, which they claim to be a second work
of grace. I use the term
second work of grace because it is the term they use.
The first work of grace is initial salvation, that is to say,
oneís conversion experience where one receives the Holy Spirit.
The second work of grace is this experienced called the Baptism in
the Spirit where the Holy Spirit is poured out on a person who already has
the Spirit. This experience
gives the recipient the power to be true witnesses to Jesus.
Pentecostal teaching says that these twelve men received the
baptism in the Holy Spirit here and that in fact it was a second work of
grace for them, but, was this really a second work of grace?
Did these men already have the Holy Spirit in their lives and what
happened here was a subsequent outpouring of the Spirit?
The answer to this question is clearly no.
This was not a second work of grace.
are a few variations of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
One variation is that it is a second work of grace as I've just
pointed out. You receive the
Holy Spirit when you first get saved and then at some later date the Holy
Spirit is poured out on you in power, which is commonly called the Baptism
in the Holy Spirit. The other
way of thinking, which is not as popular, is that when you get saved you
do not receive the Holy Spirit. You
receive him at the second work of grace called the Baptism in the Spirit.
Did either of these two scenarios take place here?
look at what really happened. Paul goes to Ephesus
and finds twelve men. While talking with these men who appear to be
brothers in Christ something is triggered in Paul's mind.
He thinks that something is not quite right here.
Even though Luke calls these men disciples in verse 1, Paul is
scratching his head as he's trying to figure out what's going on.
begins to realize what is going on here.
He's beginning to realize that something is missing, and it had to
do with the Holy Spirit. Paul
asks these men if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed.
had to have thought that the Holy Spirit was the missing ingredient in
these menís lives. He must
have also have thought that one should receive the Spirit when one first
believes or else he would not have asked this question.
In Romans 8:9 Paul says that one cannot belong to God without the
Holy Spirit in his life. It
thus only makes sense that Paul would ask this question of these men.
men reply by saying that they did not even know that there was any such
thing called the Holy Spirit. At
this point things began to clear up in Paulís mind.
He was now beginning to figure out the problem.
This very thing went through
thought to himself that if these men know nothing of the Spirit of God,
how could they really be born again of the Holy Spirit.
Again, I call your attention to Romans 8:9 where Paul says that
that one cannot be a part of God without the Spirit of God in his life.
Paul then asks, "What baptism did you receive"?
Hopefully the answer to this question would clear up this mystery,
and it did. They said that
they were baptized with Johnís baptism.
this answer came complete clarity in Paulís mind.
Paul knew what the problem was.
These men only knew of John the Baptist.
Like Apollos, they did not even know that Jesus, the one John
preached about, had already come. Lived His life, ministered for at least
3 years, died on the cross, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and
gave the Holy Spirit to the believers.
In fact, these men were still living in Old Testament times.
They needed to come into the New Testament era and receive the Holy
Spirit into their lives.
I ask, "When were these men born again"?
If being born again means receiving the Holy Spirit into one's
life, which I believe it means, they were born again here in Acts 19.
The text states that they were water baptized and when Paul laid
hands on them the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and
prophesied. This was not a
second work of grace in the sense they first believed in the resurrected
Jesus and received His Spirit and now they received what is commonly
called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
This in fact was their salvation experience.
might ask if these men would have gone to heaven if they had died prior to
this time in their lives. I
can only say that God only knows. My
guess is that they obeyed the Lord with the best knowledge they had, so it
is quite possible that they would have went to heaven.
On the other hand, it appears that God gave them the chance to be
really born again, so, the question isn't really relevant.
One might say that anyone in the same position that these men were
in would have the same chance. God
won't leave a person in such a state of spiritual limbo.
experience that the one hundred twenty experienced in Acts 2, the
Samaritans in Acts 8, Paul himself in Acts 9, the Gentiles in Acts 10,
happened to these Ephesians here in Acts 19.
When the Holy Spirit comes into one's life, something dramatic
men were re-baptized, but this time into the name of the Lord Jesus and
not in the name of John's baptism. This
is the only place in the New Testament where we see people being
re-baptized. We should
note however, that these people were not baptized twice in the name of
Jesus. They were only baptized
in Jesus' name once and that was right here.
my thinking that Pentecostals and Charismatics cannot used this portion of
Scripture to support the second work of grace called the Baptism in the
Spirit, just as I believe they can't use Acts 2, 8, 9, or 10, to support
8 tells us that Paul was back in the synagogue teaching.
This time Luke says that he spoke boldly for three months,
arguing persuasively about the Kingdom
topic Paul was teaching was the Kingdom
people today would say that "arguing" has no place in the
preaching of the gospel, but Paul must not have felt that way.
Under certain circumstances arguing might well be appropriate.
You can certainly see that Paul was convinced of what he was
saying. Many people aren't so
convinced today, and that might be one reason why they wouldn't arguer a
point. Tolerance for other
viewpoints would be another reason.
you remember, you will note that Jesus often said that the
again many Jews rejected Paulís teaching and once again Paul left the
synagogue and went elsewhere to teach.
In verse 9 Luke says that he ďtook the disciples with him and had
discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
one really knows who Tyrannus was. The
lecture hall could have been a school where he taught.
It could have been a Greek school.
Most suggest that it was not a religious place.
The point to be made here is that Paul would teach anywhere he
could. It didn't really matter
to him, and this was the attitude of the early church.
It did not really matter where they met, as long as they met as the
living Body of Christ and not some static religious group.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 14 tells us what a gathering of the saints
should look like. We seldom
see this in today's church. This
reminds me of what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:5 when he said that
some would hold to a form of godliness but deny the power of God.
Paul told Timothy to stay away from such people.
verse 8 we note that the opposition from certain Jews was not against Paul
himself but to all who followed "the Way".
We see the words ďthe WayĒ again, as a name designated to those
who followed Jesus.
10 tells us that Paul taught for two whole years in this format.
This must have just thrilled Paul.
To stay that long in one place and teach Jesus would have just
filled him with joy.
verses 11 and 12 Luke records that during these two years that extra
ordinary miracles took place through Paul.
Aprons and handkerchiefs that he would touch were taken by others
to sick people and they were healed, as well as demons being driven out of
people. Luke says that these
were extra ordinary miracles. Luke
had seen miracles, but the ones taking place here in
should note these were no magic tricks.
People were healed because of the aprons touching Paul.
These people had faith and they demonstrated their faith by using
what they had in any way possible.
verse 13 Luke tells us that certain Jews were trying to cast out demons by
saying, ďin the name of Jesus, whom Paul preachesĒ.
These men did not understand what the name of Jesus meant.
The name of Jesus is more than a formula, more than words added to
the end of a prayer. We as
Christians represent Jesus to those we meet.
We are in fact Jesusí representatives.
This is what the name of Jesus means.
When we do anything in His name, we do it in the place of Jesus.
We do it for Jesus. He
has appointed us to represent Him. Once
again, this is what is meant by the term "in the name of Jesus".
particular Jewish men were not representing Jesus when they were trying to
cast out demons. Jesus had not
appointed them to represent Him. They
were using the words, in the name of Jesus as a formula, and it
didnít work, and it wonít work today.
It is sad to say but many Christians today do not understand what
the name of Jesus is all about.
They use it at the end of a prayer, thinking that it has some
special significance, when in fact it doesnít.
You donít have to end a prayer by saying, in the name of
verse 15 we see that these men, seven in all, tried to cast a demon out of
a man using this formula and the spirit answered them by saying, "Jesus
we know, and Paul we have heard of, but who are you".
Then the demons, using the manís body, jumped on all 7 men and
beat them up. They ran from
the house where they were, naked and bleeding.
Suffice to say, we should take demon possession seriously.
verse 17 Luke tells us that after this incident the name of Jesus was held
in high regard. The
result of the power of God is seen in verse 19 when many new believers who
had formerly practiced sorcery brought their sorcery books together and
burned them in one big fire. The
value of these books was 50,000 drachmas, or roughly about $8,500.00 to
verse 20 Luke says that "in this way the Word of the Lord spread".
When people saw, and when they see today, acts of repenting, like
the burning of these expensive books, they know the seriousness of oneís
commitment to Jesus. They in
turn think seriously about making the same commitment.
If people donít see any evidence of repentance in our lives,
there is obviously no witness coming from us. Thus we hinder the spreading
of the gospel by the way we live, by living as unrepentant people.
verse 21 Paul decides that he would go to
should know that Paul really wanted to go to
did Paul know at this time that he would indeed reach
his stay here in Ephesus
is when Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church.
1 Corinthians 16:10 tells us that Paul delayed his trip to
date most, if not all of Paulís opposition has come from the Jews, but
this is about to change. When
Jews became Christians, they left the Mosaic Law for Jesus.
When pagan Gentiles became Christians they left their idol worship
along with the wooden, stone, silver, and gold idols.
the term "the Way" once again in verse 23.
The early Christians were known as the Way because their faith in
Jesus was a life style. It
wasn't merely a new philosophical way of thinking.
It was a change of life and a way of living.
verse 24 we see a man named Demetrius who was a silversmith.
He made shrines and statues for the goddess Artemis out of silver.
Luke tells us that he made a very good living from his occupation
and had people working for him. Because
many pagans in
also known as Dianna, was the goddess of sex and fertility.
She had a temple in
verses 25 to 27 Demetrius tells his cohorts that Paul preaches that
man-made gods are no gods at all. Demetrius
figured that if Paul's message spread any further they would lose their
income. Besides that, Artemis
would lose her influence, place of worship among the gods, and her temple
would be desecrated. In short, because of the affective preaching of one
man, the whole religious culture in
28 tells us that when they heard this they were furious and began
shouting; great is Artemis of the Ephesians.
Soon an uproar began. Two
of Paulís travelling companions were seized and dragged into the
verses 30 and 31 we see that Paul wanted to go into the theatre and speak
to this mob, but the disciples which included some government officials
begged him not to do so. Note
that Paul's message was even believed by some of the Roman officials.
Paul's mission was successful. He was reaching the Gentile world
that God told him he would back in Acts 9.
theatre mentioned here was an amphitheater seating 20,000 people.
It was often used for very large gatherings.
32 tells us that this crowd was now in mass confusion.
There were many that did not even know why they were protesting.
then tells us in verse 33 that "the Jews pushed Alexander to the
front Ö" He was
supposed to make some kind of defense on behalf of the Jews, but when the
crowd found out that he was a Jew they shouted Great is Artemis for
another two hours. We should
understand that these pagans were just as much against the Jews as they
were against the Christians. The
only difference is that the Christians were evangelizing while the Jews
really donít know who Alexander is.
We donít know whether he was a real Jew or not.
Alexander is not a traditional Jewish name.
It's an Egyptian name, thus the question whether he was a real Jew
or not. Whatever the case, it
appears the Jews were now on the side of the pagans in order to rid
Christianity from Ephesus. It's simple human nature to
side with your enemies when it is to your advantage.
This is what the Jews were doing here.
verse 35 the town clerk, a city official, gets up to address this unruly
mob. At once with the sight of
his appearance the crowd settles down.
He re-assures the crowd that the whole world knows about the
goddess Artemis and her statue that fell from heaven.
In actuality this statue was found, and they only presumed it fell
from heaven where Zeus, another god, lived. What the town clerk was saying
is that if you are really secure in your religious beliefs, you
shouldnít get all that upset. He
says that the reality of Artemis is undeniable, and if it is undeniable
then she will look after you. Beyond this, the men that they dragged to
the theatre had "not robbed the temple or blasphemed our
verse 38 the city clerk then proceeded to state that this was not a legal
assembly, and that there were legal procedures to follow if Demetrius
wanted to press charges. If
the crowd continued rioting, they would then be in danger of legal action
against them. They could be
charged with causing a riot. This
settled the crowd and the mob dispersed.
had a special Roman colony
status, and if they had kept rioting, they were in danger of losing this