ACTS - CHAPTER 19 - SPECIAL MIRACLES AND DELIVERANCE
ACTS – CHAPTER 19 – Special Miracles and Deliverance
Tuesday, June 21, 2022, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
This chapter is timely since this past Sunday we had a mighty healing and deliverance service through the hands of Prophet/Pastor Emanuel Pius Ssentongo of Uganda.
This is the beginning of Paul’s ministry at Ephesus. Three years earlier, Paul had been forbidden to preach in this area. Now his work covers the entire province of Asia minor (modern Turkey) with the Name and Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The seven churches to which John wrote in the Revelation, were in this territory with Ephesus included as one of the seven.
Revelation 2: 1-7: To the angel of the church at Ephesus write, “These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.” ‘I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore, from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place---unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’
When the Apostle Paul established the church in Ephesus, it was established on the truth that salvation is by no other Name except through the Name of Jesus Christ.
Paul’s time in Ephesus was very effective.
However, It is so important to us today. We can compare the compromise of the church at Ephesus with the Muslim culture today. We, too, must not compromise the gospel to accommodate other cultures or we, too will lose our lampstand. Today, only a small percentage of Turkey are Christians.
It is my observation that Paul moved into another level of authority and Glory after his visitation.
18: 9-10: The Lord spoke to Paul: “Do not be afraid. Speak. Do not keep silent. I am with you. No one will attack you to hurt you.”
He is now speaking, declaring, writing and operating from the overcomer’s throne; and wearing the crown of life. He has made us kings and priests (Rev. 1:6).
The Ephesian Epistle is addressed to a group of believers who are rich beyond measure in Jesus Christ, yet living as beggars, and only because they are ignorant of their wealth. Most of us live below the provision of our heavenly “bank account.”
The Ephesian Epistle rolls forth like a herald from Glory: adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, citizenship---every spiritual blessing. Then he declares a spiritual walk rooted in this spiritual wealth.
By the time, Paul gets to Ephesus, Apollos had crossed over to Greece. He missed Apollos, but he did run into a group of men who were also followers of the John the Baptist.\
Acts 19: 1-7: It happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. Finding some disciples, he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” He replied, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. The men were about twelve in all.
It continues to amaze me that Christians and Bible students cannot accept and understand this scripture. John’s Baptism is wonderful. It is the baptism of repentance; but we must also be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (vs 5); and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1: 13-14: In Him (Christ) you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
The Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost and indwelled man. In our journey through the book of Acts, we have marched with the disciples through the Feast of Pentecost. We have duked it out with the Jews over the changing of the covenants. We have carefully affirmed with the Word of God how He takes away the first that He might establish the second.
Hebrews 10:7-10: Behold I have come in the volume of the book, it is written of Me---to do your will, O God. Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin you did not desire, nor had pleasure in them (which are offered according to the law). Behold I have come to do Your will, O God. He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
He took away the body of the temple in Christ Jesus that He might establish the New Covenant temple in His church. God took away the Old Covenant with violence, even the violence of the cross! He then established the New Covenant as Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son-of-God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness.
This New Covenant of the Kingdom is in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14;17). After Pentecost, the definition of a Jew changes, (Rom. 2: 28-3:2). He is a Jew who is one inwardly.
For 2000 years, the church feasted at Pentecost. Still fighting the same battles which the Apostles fought within and without. We have continued to walk out the Book of Acts, the Feast of Pentecost.
In 1948, God dropped a bomb! Men like Richard Riss (Latter Rain), George Hawlin, George Warnock and Bill Britton were anointed to proclaim yet another feast, Feast of Tabernacles.
God has been restoring truth since 1500 to the present. “The Just shall live by faith,” and salvation into Jesus Christ was restored with Martin Luther. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was restored through Parham and Seymour at Azusa Street. The Feast of Tabernacles and the truths of the Most Holy Place began to be restored 70 years ago with the movement known as the “Latter Rain.”
We have moved into the Third Day. I say all this today because Paul stated it in His letter to the Ephesians:
2:5-7: When we were dead in trespasses, (God) made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Eph. 4:13: Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God; to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
The glory of the Church has been there all the time. Paul was walking in this Glory when He was ministering in Ephesus and when he wrote the letter to the Ephesians.
19: 8-10: Paul went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude. He departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all who dwell in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
The Hall of Tyrannus was outside the synagogue. When Tyrannus wasn’t using the hall, Paul used it to preach for two years. That all who dwell in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus is an incredible statement. Probably Paul sent out others to preach in other cities.
19: 11-12: God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
The Holy Spirit moved through Paul with Gift of Miracles. However, note “Special Miracles and P.T. reads “extraordinary miracles.”
Mark 16: 17-20: These signs shall follow them that believe…and they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
“Signs and wonders are a natural result of the preaching of the gospel. We should expect them to be there. And we should not expect just one or two. One miracle should lead to another miracle. God wants to give us an increasing progression of the miraculous, until we come into the supernatural, the realm of the miraculous” (Ruth Ward Heflin-Golden Glory).
I came to the awakening of Gift of Miracles in 1995. My Gifts were and are stronger in Gift of Faith, Knowing Ministry, Speaking Ministry, and Gifts of Healings through Gift of Faith.
Prior to 1995, I had experienced many miracles, deliverances and healings through the Gift of Faith and Gifts of healings. I didn’t “understand” the need to use “things” to release God’s power for miracles. By things, I am referring to items used as points of contact. It was not that I didn’t believe in the gift, but the exercise of the gift by modern evangelists seemed to necessitate it being purchased (Act. 8:20).
I came to the understanding that Gift of Faith, Gifts of Healings and Gifts of Working of Miracles are completely separate gifts and have their own supernatural way of coming into existence. Yet, they work closely together when God’s power manifests.
Faith will always require risk of things not seen.
Since then, I have used whatever “things” at my disposal as a point of contact for Faith for healing and miracles.
Gift of Miracles is most often manifested through the Office of the Apostle and the Evangelist. It is also a separate body ministry described in 1 Cor. 12:29 as “Workers of Miracles”. We are told to earnestly desire this gift (1 Co. 12:31) and to not neglect the gift. It can be imparted by grace through prophecy and laying on of hands (1 Ti. 4:14); or as the Holy Spirit wills. The Evangelist is the gatherer in the 5-fold ministry. Gift of Miracles gathers the people, raises their faith level, and then God meets them.
To activate this gift, we must declare it and move out in Faith. The way to develop a healing ministry is by laying hands on the heads of many sick people. Just find people who need a miracle and lay your hands on them and believe.
John 14:12: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Acts 19: 13-16: Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also, there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest who did so. The evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
A wave of magicians decided to “usurp” the anointing to confirm the black secrets of their occupation. We should all be equipped to cast out demons and heal the sick. However, if Hell doesn’t know your name, the demons will not only disregard your instructions, but will attack you. The magicians were not saved much less filled with the Holy Spirit.
I have a testimony. In the late 1980’ when the LORD began to show me second-heaven, demons, their personalities and their assignments. The Lord spoke to me in a dream, “Carolyn, Hell knows your name!” Now that is my authority! However, He stopped me another time. I was dealing with a young man who had the spirit of the destroyer. The Lord spoke:
“The man has the spirit of destruction. If you rebuke it, the spirit will attack you. The spirit of destruction carries a battle axe in his hand and destroys everything in his path. You do not have the anointing to deal with the destroyer. But one day you will have this anointing.”
The Lord has since given me that authority. Timothy Dixon recently had a vision of the Destroyer coming to America as a death angel.
The news of the demons attacking the seven sons of Sceva got around.
Acts 19: 17-20: This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So, the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
In verses 4-6, Luke describes the power of the name of Jesus over and against the strength of Judaism. Here, the same name has the power over superstitious worship of Artemis of the Ephesians and the false name of their magic. It is Jesus who is magnified, not the Apostle. It is not the miracle that is magnified, but the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified and the Word grew mightily.
19: 21-22: When these things were accomplished, 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.” So, he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.
Did Paul “purpose” to go to Rome, or did the Holy Spirit draw him?” Perhaps the question is irrelevant because the LORD still completed His purpose in Paul even from Rome’s dungeon cell.
His thoughts at this time are clearly expressed in Romans 15: 22-29: I have been hindered from coming to you. But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. Now, I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. It pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem…I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
But, before Paul left Ephesus, Satan stirred up trouble.
19: 23-27: About that time, there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover, you see and heard not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So, not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”
We can align this with the present rioting and protests regarding the worship of abortion which has become a profitable trade internationally. I can assure you all o that this that is being stirred up against the Supreme Court is about money, not about women’s choice. When money interests and religion are offended at the same time, it’s an explosive result.
Luke donates twenty verses to this riot and this is a red alert to examine these verses closely.
It appears the battle is about superstition over the goddess Diana, but it was really motivated by greed for money. A festival was held in her honor each spring. It was probably at the festival A.D.55 that this trouble erupted. Diana was purported to be the mother of all gods and men. She consisted of nothing more than a meteorite which had fallen from the sky. The black-stone resembled a many breasted woman. She was regarded as a fertility goddess. Again the fertility of the womb of the woman is the seed bed of abortion.
In verse 26, the words of Demetrius tell us the scope of the move of God in Asia.
“Paul has persuaded and turned away many people.” Demetrius’ speech is to persuade the people to remove the Apostle. We still have the spirit of Demetrius at work in politics and religion.
19: 28-34: When they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” The whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Ari-star-chus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions. When Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. Some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater. Some cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together. They drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people. When they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
This is an example of mass hysteria and confusion created intentionally for political, religious and financial gain.
In verse 35, a city clerk quieted the crowd down. His speech is a testimony to Paul’s ministry in Ephesus. In the power of God, Paul moved against witchcraft, sorcery, and finally the superstitious worship of Artemis (Diana)), herself. The changes in the people sapped the foundation of the pagan systems. The Name of Jesus caused a revolution in men’s souls and the evil forces which bound them were broken. Spiritual revival snaps the chains of every system that binds men.
19:35-41: When the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess, Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly. For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess. Therefore, if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a case against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly. For we are in danger of being called in question for today’s uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering.” When he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of teaching notes by Carolyn Sissom 6/18/2000; C. S. Lovett’s Lights on Acts; F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary; Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.