Studies in Paul’s Prison Epistles — Acts 19: 1-22 Paul Goes to Ephesus

Studies in Paul’s Prison Epistles – Acts 19:1-22

Note: Before his imprisonment Paul had spent over two years preaching and ministering in the city of Ephesus.  This city was one of the three most populace cities of the ancient world, and its temple of Artemis was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient World.  Artemis was a fertility goddess of the time.

H – E – A – R – D

See also: Acts 2:38; 5:15; 1 John 4:1-2; Eph. 1:1; Ezekiel 3:17-18; Joel 2:28

Holy Spirit – vs. 1-7 — In Ephesus the Spirit was present, but believers needed to experience the Spirit in their individual lives.  As immersed believers they had the Sprit, and with the apostolic blessing they had the miraculous power of the Sprit.

Evangelism – vs. 8 — Paul remained in Ephesus for the purpose of evangelism.  He wanted to reach the world.  If only the leaders of the church would desire to reach all in their community today, the world would begin to change for Christ.

Asian Province – v. 10 — Paul remained on in the province for more than two years, and with the help of other Christians many more were won to Christ. The text says all heard.  Have all within our community heard the good news?

Remarkable restoration – v. 11-12 — In the Christian community under the leadership of the Apostle Paul individuals were restored to health, sanity, well-being.  Today’s church should be a womb for remarkable restorations.

Demonic Deliverance – v. 13-22 — Demonic powers continued to hold sway over the lives of many.  They feared Paul as an adversary, but the hypocritical were no match for their powers.  Today we must know where we stand if we are to deal with the forces of evil. Only if we prove to be genuine followers of Christ can we withstand the demonic spirits of the world.

Exemplary story:  Pigeon Forge is a popular resort town I have visited. Family and friends relish trips there, since it boasts many souvenir shops.  The town’s economy is driven by its tourist trade. Ephesus was a resort town, and its main attraction was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world,  the temple of Artemis.  Visitors could buy charms and trinkets from the temple that honored the goddess of fertility, Artemis.  When Paul brought the Gospel to Ephesus, the very economy of the town was in jeopardy.  People began to abandon their preoccupation with the worship of a goddess of trinkets for the worship of Jesus, the Son of the living God.

Ephesus Great Theatre

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Scary Bible Stories — 2 Kings 6:8-19

English: Elisha at Dothan; as in 2 Kings 6:8-18

English: Elisha at Dothan; as in 2 Kings 6:8-18 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scary Bible Stories – 2 Kings 6:8-19

See Num. 22:31; 2 Sam 24:16; Daniel 3:25; Deut. 32:20; Psalm 18:5-6

B-L-I-N-D

Betrayal v. 10 The king of Samaria was warned.

Loyalty v. 11 Who did it? Who was the snitch?

Identification through investigation v. 12 Elisha, the man who.  The man they fingered was the man who – the man who made an ax head float, the man who fed a multitude, the man who turned poison stew into edible soup, the man who saw his master leave, the man who could call down fire from heaven if he so chose.

Night v. 14 A night ambush was held. Ever notice all the mischief that is worked at night?

Divine Deliverance v. 16-17 The chariots of fire stood at hand to deliver God’s children.  They were always there. Like the servant we just need our eyes opened to see the God’s chariots of fire surrounding us.

 

Exemplary story:  One of my former students, Gloria, says something told her to drag in the trash toter before she left for work.  She was ready to leave for work, and her daughter was leaving for a very important test.  When she retrieved the trash toter, she discovered that her daughter had a flat.  What a disaster would have ensued, if she had resisted the still small voice.  God’s angels were watching over her, and I remarked that it was her obedience that made the difference.

Note: There are numerous scary Bible stories.  In many we can find inspiration to live a better, higher life for God.

Studies in Daniel – Chapter 9

The prophet Daniel

The prophet Daniel (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

Lesson 9

Daniel 9:20-27

See also: Ps. 32:5; I John 1:9; Luke 5:21; Jer. 25:11-12; Gen. 2:3

S-E-V-E-N

Shame of Sin, v. 8, 9 The righteous Daniel has a burden for his people and their sin.

Ear of God v. 18 God has heard Daniel from the moment he prayed.

Vision v. 21-23 Daniel is given a vision of renewal and restoration.

End of Sin v. 24 The awful tribulation of the people of faith will come to an end.

Numbers  7 and 62 and 1  lead to hope v. 25  When we count the number of years we are led to the beginning of the life of Christ in 26 AD.  The ministry of Christ traditionally was spread over three and a half years, that is, time-times-and-half-a-time.

Note:  From 457 BC to 26 AD there are 483 years.  We arrive at the prophetic number of 483 when we add 62 weeks and 7 weeks for a total of 69 weeks and multiply 69 by 7.

Exemplary story:  Not long ago I spotted a poster that said, “When you add three nails plus one cross you get ‘4-given’.”  What a wonderful addition forgiveness makes to our lives.