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Acts 19 - God's Power Overcoming All Obstacles

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God’s Prevailing Power

Acts 19


1.       Acts 2: Coming of the Spirit; Jews at Jerusalem…Apostle Peter

2.       Acts 8:5-17: Moving into Samaria; laying on of hands; Peter & John

3.       Acts  10:44-47: Gentiles; Caesarea; Peter

4.       Pauline Apostleship

a.       Questioned

b.      1 Corinthians 1:12 "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

c.       The Holy Spirit would certify Paul’s apostleship here.

5.       Ephesus that great center for the occult and Satan would become a powerful center for the gospel.

God’s Prevailing Power

1.      Paul & 12 Ignorant Disciples (1-12)

a.       Note: In Acts 10 that they received the Holy Spirit before baptism

b.      However, there is a definite relationship between Baptism and the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts

c.       *Incomplete message = no salvation

                                                               i.      Ignorant of the Holy Ghost (2)

1.       Disciple does not mean “Christian”

2.       Romans 8:9b "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

                                                             ii.      Ignorant of the way of salvation

1.       Baptism of John (3)

2.       Baptism of repentance (changed mind) = believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (4)

3.       This is important to understand: “Mr. O”, J. Irvin Overholtzer Founder of the Child Evangelism Fellowship

4.       Sinners must believe the right message before they are saved.

5.       Note: (Apollos) A Christian can only lead others where they have been themselves.

d.      Scriptural baptism (5)

e.      God certifies Paul’s apostleship (6)

                                                               i.      Signs: 1 Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:"

                                                             ii.      Imparting of the Spirit by laying on of hands proved apostolic authority.

                                                            iii.      Just as with Peter, the Spirit was using Paul

                                                           iv.      Paul was equal to Peter and the other apostles.

                                                             v.      Tongues and prophesied.

                                                           vi.      Twelve (about): not signifying that the church is Israel!

2.      Paul & 7 Seven Pretenders (8-12)

a.       Paul’s pattern is apparent in Ephesus as well (8-10)

                                                               i.      Three years

1.       3 months: Synagogue (Jews first)

a.       Hardened and believe not

b.      “that way” (Spake evil of that way before the multitude)

c.       Departed: Matthew 7:6 "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

d.      Separated the disciples

2.       2 Years: rented rooms at the school of Tyrannus

a.       Disputing daily in the schoo of one Tyrannus

b.      Ideal location

c.       Ideal environment

d.      Great fishing hole! Not all soil is good!

e.      Ideal strategically: (10) “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.”


3.       Various other places (22) for nine months

b.      God continues to certify Pauline Apostleship (12)

                                                               i.      Hebrews 2:4 "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

                                                             ii.       Apostle: Acts 1:21-26 "Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."

                                                            iii.      1 Corinthians 9:1 "Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?"

                                                           iv.      NOTE: The Holy Spirit’s miracles by Paul parrellel the miracles of Peter in Acts 5:15-16 "Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one."

                                                             v.      Invalidate Paul’s office and you nullify most of the New Testament. That is why Satan has attacked Paul and his writings so.

c.       The power of God with God’s people will be clearly punctuated by the actions of the pretenders.

                                                               i.      Vagabond: nomadic; wandering from place to place

                                                             ii.      Jews

                                                            iii.      Exorcists: they thought they had power over unclean spirits

                                                           iv.      Seven (14)

                                                             v.      “Used” the name of the “Lord Jesus”

                                                           vi.      “Used” the name of Paul

                                                          vii.      Problem: they were not of God. The Spirit and power of the almighty was not with them.

d.      (15) The evil spirit knew who was who

                                                               i.      These phonies were embarrassed.

                                                             ii.      One overcame seven

                                                            iii.      Fled out naked and wounded.

e.      VICTORY: the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified (17)

                                                               i.      God used this for His glory

                                                             ii.      Everyone heard

                                                            iii.      Fear and respect for Jesus followed

                                                           iv.      The name of Jesus was magnified

f.        VICTORY: the word of God grew and prevailed (20)

                                                               i.      Many believed (18)

                                                             ii.      Public profession of faith (18)

                                                            iii.      Change was evident (18b-19)

1.       Brought out all those Satanic books and burned them

2.       Publically showing their conversion and stand for Christ.

3.       NOTE: They did not sell that filth to someone else, they burned it

4.       It was expensive

5.       Changed lives, changed values


3.      Paul & The Silversmiths (21-41)

a.       Where Satan could not succeed in hindering the Gospel through ignorant disciples or Jewish pretenders, he almost succeeded with wicked businessmen and merchants of the city.

b.      Gospel preaching always runs head on with superstitious money-making schemes.

c.       VICTORY: The gospel had so stirred the city that people were turning from idols to the living and true God.

                                                               i.      This was hurting religious sells.

                                                             ii.      During the Welch Revival, it is reported that scores of taverns went out of business for lack of customers!

d.      Love of money (25)

                                                               i.      Money first (their true god), then superstition that supports it is second (27)

                                                             ii.      Wicked Demetrius had succeeded in stirring up trouble

e.      Confusion: trademark of the Devil (29, 32)

                                                               i.      Clueless disciples and now clueless idol worshippers

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

                                                            iii.      When there is confusion, it is the fingerprints of the wicked one.

f.        Proverbs 13:20 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

                                                               i.      Wise friends kept Paul from going into a mob situation and possibly being killed. (30-31)

                                                             ii.      Sometimes we need to be restrained by caring friends.

                                                            iii.      Proverbs 4:7 "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

g.       No defense from the believers necessary (33-34)

                                                               i.      Not necessary and not possible

                                                             ii.      Townclerk (Escribano): defused the dangerous situation

                                                            iii.      Thank God for those, who not believers, uphold the law!

                                                           iv.      God used the Roman law and government to his advantage.

                                                             v.      Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

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