Notes and References


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Acts of the Apostles

A Bible Study

Acts Chapter 19


'>Click to view Map Animation

I Posted a a shockwave flash Map Animation with an overlay of today's map, the map of the Jewish diaspora 100 AD, and Paul's Journeys to show how completely he covered the Jewish region north with the gospel. 

A great outline from -Donnie S. Barnes, Thd

  • Biblical record: Acts 18:23 - 21:16
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Worker: Paul
  • Total Distance Traveled: 2515 Miles
      • By Sea: 1190 miles
      • By Land: 1325 miles
  • 5 letters written
      • Galatians - From Ephesus during a 3-year stay there. . .55-57 A.D.
      • 1 Corinthians - from Ephesus near end of his 3-year stay there . . . 57 A.D.
      • 2 Corinthians - From somewhere in Macedonia on his way to Corinth . . . 57 A.D.
      • Romans - From Corinth . . . 57 A.D.
      • Titus - From somewhere between Corinth and Nicopolis . . . 57-58 A.D.
        Titus was in Crete.

Although the man that produced this work has passed away, it is amazing to me when I visited this website how much study and information was posted there. I just bought the CD and was not disappointed at the amount of information I received. I wish I had found this resource sooner in our studies together. I do not agree with some of his theology, for example baptism for the remission of sins, but putting aside some of the doctrine that is present in this man's work, it is a great biblical resource.

Ok we left off in chapter 18 with Aquila and Priscilla educating Apollos in the more "perfect way" of God and he began preaching and convincing Jews regarding Jesus is Christ or Mashiac of Israel. We continue with Paul now in the midst of his 3rd missionary journey.

Acts 19
1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2He 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.
3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4Then 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.
5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7And all the men were about twelve.

I am certain these 12 men were Jews, because they were baptized in John's baptism, which was to the Jew only.

Acts 19
8And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
9But 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.
10And 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.

Key word here we just read- ALL! "All they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks", how significant this is! Judgment upon Israel could not come, unless all had heard. I am convinced that every living Jew heard the gospel of Jesus Christ before God destroyed the temple at Jerusalem. Two years and three months had passed so far on this journey. Long time!

From  The “seven churches of Asia” of Revelation 2 and 3 are all located in the general area of Paul’s work during his stay in Ephesus. This very well may have been the beginning of many of these congregations.

  • Ephesus . . . . Revelation 2:1-7
  • Smyrna . . . . .Revelation 2:8-11
  • Pergamos . . . Revelation 2:13-17
  • Thyatira . . . . Revelation 2:18-19
  • Sardis . . . . . Revelation 3:1-6
  • Philadelphia . .Revelation 3:7-13
  • Laodicea . . . .Revelation 3:14-22

Acts 19
11And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12So 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.

Remember how we read early in Acts how the shadow of Peter would heal the sick? Special miracles are done by Paul, greater now than that of Peter! As an interesting side note, I heard someone say once, that he believed the Lord Jesus was speaking prophetically of Paul in this scripture:

Matthew 11:11
11Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Paul in his letters would proclaim himself to be the "least of the apostles" in Cor 15:9 and the "least of all saints" in Eph 3:8, not realizing the scope his words represented.

Acts 19
13Then 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.
14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16And 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.
17And 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.

There is no authority unless you are a believer, sealed with the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus was speaking concerning his authority to cast out evil spirits:

Luke 11:21-22
21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

I love this scripture, "Jesus I know, Paul I know, but who are you?" The devil knew there was no Holy Spirit present to act on the authority of the command, therefore the stronger spirit overcame the simple souls of these corrupt Jews who would profit in using the name of the Lord Jesus in vain or for vain purposes.

Acts 19
18And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19Many 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.
20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

This is such a profound statement by these believers, even though the books and possessions were great in value, they were evil. They burned their evil books so that by them no others could be tempted, corrupted, or brought to destruction. There is real evil in the world. If anything these scriptures should remind us of it, and that only the blood bought believer in Jesus Christ is immune.

Acts 19
21After 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.
22So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.
23And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
24For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
25Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.

What caused this particular uprising or what was the motivation behind the trouble? Greed!!

Acts 19
26Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
27So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
28And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
29And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
30And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
31And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
32Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

Most of the people did not know why they were come together! Isn't that true with most mobs and rioting? You watch the news and you hear the most outrageous reasons for riots, protesting, and looting. Most reasons do not even have any semblance to do with the truth, but the truth does not matter to a mob.

Acts 19
33And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.
34But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
35And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?
36Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.
37For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.
38Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.
39But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
40For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.
41And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

In verses 32, 37, 39, and 41 we see the word assembly and church, which is the Greek word ekklesia we studied in the early chapters of Acts. Verse 37 is not referring to a Christian church. This is why applying the word church to the temple Jewish believers is no more fitting than to use church for this occasion.

So what did we learn in this chapter?

  • All Asia heard the gospel
  • great miracles were being done
  • people were destroying their evil possessions
  • evil is real but God is greater
  • greed is a real motive for violence
  • violent mobs do not need a reason to be violent


During the journey and those we studied, some of these thing Acts did not mention and some we read, but these scripture summarizes the struggles of Paul to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.

1Cor 15:32 ...I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,

2Cor 11:23-28
23 I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more
frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

So Paul continues on with his journey and we learned that the gospel we have received, has gone through perilous times in order for us to have it today. Not only by the Apostles and the Apostle Paul, but also the deaths of those throughout the ages who sought to bring the word of God in printed from to the common people. In this word is the power to set you free from tyranny and fear, which is a threat to any evil government whether of kings or democracies. We should appreciate this gospel as a treasure more precious than any wealth we could possibly accumulate.

It is like owning the winning lottery ticket, stashed in your pocket or purse treated as an ordinary piece of paper unbeknownst to the holder its value. Some have even thrown away millions unawares that this little piece of paper could forever change their lives.

How is it with our bibles? Our bibles collect dust on the shelves of our homes or may even have a less glamorous fate, yet all the while, in those fragile pages of paper, having the power to change us from mortal to immortal, from corruptible to incorruptible, to save us from most certain death, to give us eternal life.

We must realize our numbers have been called and if we do not redeem them, all will be lost. Even still, millions of people hold this modest book dear, knowing the treasure it holds in truth, in wisdom, in knowledge, and more importantly it holds the key to everlasting life!