by Christina Farris
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And all the men were about twelve.
8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.
22 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.What name were you baptized in? Sounds like odd question until you understand that people often received only one baptism because who ever taught them only knew one baptism or only had received one baptism. Are you baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. People, it is more then water baptism. This is about are you taught about God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. John baptism was one of repentance, it would be the same baptism into the Jewish faith. It is about repentance unto God the Father and teaching about turning away from sin, however different terms might of been used because the author is writting about Paul's experience of running into people that had the baptism of John, which was the baptism in scripture that John the baptist taught of repentance or turning from sin. Paul the Apostle began to speak to these people about who Jesus was and then were baptised in the Lord Jesus and then He told them about Holy Spirit laying hands on them so they to would be anointed by the Holy Spirit. Now laying on hands is not necessary for the baptism, but it is very physical act of receiving the Holy Spirit also seen when kings were anointed with oil, yet oil probably not used here. Some would call it a time of ordination, but it really not that either. It is a physical receiving of the Holy Spirit some one filled with the Holy Spirit laying hands on another to receive the Holy Spirit. You can receive the Holy Spirit through belief like people at Cornelius house in chapter 10 of Acts. Hands are not necessary it is cermonial, yet with the laying hands upon these people enabled them to received the Holy Spirit and they began to prophesied and speak in tongues. What happened to them they began to tell others about God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a language they did or did not know but the amazing part was other received Christ because of this event. Imagine hearing the gospel in your own language when you could not understand Paul language, but you understood your friends that spoke your language. It was more of a type of commission or sending forth to make new disciples, You can not receive of God unless you understand what is God is giving you. How can you receive His Spirit or His Son without knowledge of faith.
Knowledge of faith is important especially in this chapter of Acts. Water baptism is only begining of baptism, a demonstration you believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As a child I doubt if one really fully understands the full meaning of who God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is, and in truth one is always learning about God even in adult years. Even learning about salvation as adult the process is still the same, the knowledge of who God Father, Son and Holy Spirit is necessary to receive the full Gospel of faith. Now who did Christ teach about. He taught about Father, and spoke about himself. He also taught before his crucifixion about the Holy Spirit coming as a comforter to the disciples, and that he would go away so they could receive the Holy Spirit. There is the smallest outpouring of the Spirit among the disciples in the four gospels but the Spirit baptism was yet come into full manifestation on the disciples. The Holy Spirit baptism would not come tell after Christ resurrection and into the group for the spreading of the Gospel after Christ ascended into Heaven. Only one of the four Gospels really talks about the baptism of the Holy Spirit(John chapter 15,16 and 20), though the great commision is found in both Matthew(last two verses in the book) and Mark several verses in the last chapter of the book. The great commision does not go into detail of the events that follow of the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Yet the commission is given to disciples so they will spread the word of God even after Christ ascension into heaven.
One can not receive the Holy Spirit without knowledge. What knowledge of the Holy Spirit would Cornelius family had in Acts 10 without being taught, it simple really, the Old Testament told of the Holy Spirit being pour out on the believers both men and women in Joel and in other older Old Testament books the story of the filling of the Holy Spirit was told about as men were anointed for a purpose. Without the teaching of the Father, the knowledge of God is not known and without the teaching of Christ the Gospel of Jesus is not know, and the commision by the Spirit can not be know without a teacher. The knowledge of God the Father was more known because of the Jewish nation. God Jehovah was the first part of knowledge of the godhead bodily, the second is the Messiah, needed to be known that one no longer needed the sacrifice for their sins, and third would be the baptism of the Holy Spirit to be able to go forth in ministry to teaching each part of faith.
One can know about God the Father's love that sent Jesus and be saved without full knowledge of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Reason being the message of Christ is unto salvation, and you might understand the need for a Savior before you know His works or know the base of the gospel of Jesus. Conviction comes by the Holy Spirit. Reception of the Holy Spirit once knowledge of the Spirit is understood. In Acts 19 they knew not of Christ and did not know about the Holy Spirit. Upon hearing and listening for a time they received both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Paul spoke and debated in the synagogue for three months, when he seen their hearts were harden he went to the school of a Jewish greek teacher name Tyrannus with his followers to continue speaking about Jesus. Now greeks were known for their discourse, and discussions, the Jewish rabies of other regions might not of allowed this discussion, in fact the temple leaders were angry with Paul because it was causing problems in their religious temple. Why go into the temple of the unbeliever because you are teaching lies in their opinion in their place of worship. However this was a common practice. He did so to tell the Jews first of the Messiah coming who had not heard.
Healings and spirits being casted out by Paul, the Holy Spirit being so strong that handkerchiefs and aprons were given to be anointed and given back to those that were sick. Some christians church no longer pass out handkerchiefs, but some do and their no sin in this practice of anoint of a piece of cloth and placing it on the one that is sick. Christ only had to touch those that needed healing or speak the word, and some people practice faith in this way. Whatever is comfortable to you is okay. Some need symbol of the Spirit, and the symbol of the anointing power to be healed. It exercise of faith for healing. I was not raised with this type of practice of prayer cloths but it can have a deep meaning for some and for others prayer alone is a deep meaning by itself. Yet to use symbol is not wrong.
Something curious also happens in this chapter the Jewish leader sons thought they could cast out a demon by using Jesus name. Truth you need faith and the power of the Holy Spirit to cast out demons. In this occurrence there were more then one demon and when the man possessed jump on these boys, they ran out naked. You should not be playing with demons without knowledge of the power of the Holy Spirit to cast them out, in fact you should not play with any demoniac spirit. Jesus did not, he took authority and cast them out. Paul took authority and cast demons out as well as all the apostles did. You can not cast out something if you do not have the authority to. The authority comes from Jesus in the power of Jesus name. He gives his disciples authority because the authority was his to give to his disciples. If you are not a disciple of Jesus do not think you can cast out demons or free some one from an evil spirit. Non believer has no authority to do so.
The world around us might laugh at such talks of demons or evil spirits. What we know is the spirits fled by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. We know the power of God by the name of Jesus deliverd the people. What purpose did the event of the power of the evil spirit being not controlled by the non believers? Faith grew in the Lord Jesus in the lives and hearts of the new believers. Imagine for a moment the stories of dragons coming into a village to destroy the people, only to have the knight with the sword come and slay the dragon. Paul as a believer went against the devil more then once and delivered people from evil spirits, causing both spiritual healing and physical healings. Paul was not God, or the Messiah, he was just man with authority by God to heal and deliver people from demons. He was just a man with authority to teach the Gospel by the power of God. The word of God spread because of this anointing power in Paul life. It was never to make Paul out to be a god. The Gospel spread just like it did in Christ day and in the apostle day even today. The Gospel must be taught, and it must be taught so all three parts of the Godhead are glorified.
Some of denomination that have sprung up in the last century is because of men and women not satisfied by what they seen in their own churches. One denomination started with three men from different denomination coming together and praying for the power of God to reign down on them, because they desired to see a move of God like the Bible spoke about. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit today, some of it is real some of it is not, some is only a theatric show. Only way to know if it just a show, is whether or not God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is taught and preached about. Whether God is glorified. Whether the word of God is spread. Now sometimes the word of God does not spread because of harden hearts, but it should spread elsewhere if not in such a place. Something else the new believers did was get rid of all evil things pertaining to Idolatry. We can not keep our old idols and worship God. If you believe God you must get rid of those idols and things of sin out of our life. No don't sell them and make a profit and give it to the church, it unholy money to be using. Get rid of it, burn it, destroy it. Don't cause someone else to sin, when you know the hope and love of Jesus.
Devil is going to fight a war to try to keep those converting to faith in Christ and to stop the spread of the Gospel, but a time of rest will come. A time of peace will come once the enemy is destroyed in the group when the wrestling of faith comes to a place of rest. Paul waited to leave for the peace of God to come to a people, then he would leave.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the demonstration of Acts 19 of your power and might to share with believers that do not have the full knowledge of You, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. May your love for us continue to teach our hearts about spiritual deliverance of the enemy and the hope that comes through Jesus for all that will believe. And knowledge of your Spirit be poured out on the beleiver, so they understand they can not control your power, but you can use them mightly by giving them your power to teach, to heal, to communicate the gospel of faith. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:Act 2:16-21 KJV
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.