Acts  ◦   Chapter 19

1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul journeyed inland to Ephesus. There he found some of the Lord's interns2and asked them, "When you accepted Jesus as Messiah, did you receive the Holy Spirit who applies into your hearts and minds what Jesus achieved?" They replied, "No, we didn't even know there is an inner working of the Holy Spirit."

3So Paul asked, "What immersion in water did you participate in?" They answered, "The immersion by John."

4Paul explained, "John immersed people in water to symbolize repentance, which is the preparation of the heart to receive the Remedy. He told people to trust the One coming after him, the One with the Remedy–that is, Jesus."5When they heard the truth about the Remedy of Jesus, they were immersed into the character of the Lord Jesus.6Paul placed his hands on their heads, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began presenting the truth about God, and the Remedy of Jesus, in many languages.7There were about twelve people in all.

8For three months Paul went to the synagogue and spoke out powerfully. He persuasively presented the evidence revealing God's kingdom of love,9but some of them hardened their hearts, dug in their heels, and refused to believe the truth. They publicly ridiculed the Remedy as the only way to be healed, so Paul left them. He took the interns with him and began instructing them daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.10He continued teaching there for two years, so that all of the Jews and non-Jews living in the province of Asia heard about the Remedy of Jesus.

11God's healing love flowed through Paul in amazing ways.12Scarves, napkins, or other pieces of cloth that had touched Paul were taken to the sick, and when the fabric touched the sick, their illness was cured, and any evil influences departed.

13Some Jewish exorcists who went around driving out evil angels thought they could use the name of Jesus like a magic incantation to free those whose minds were dominated by demons. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to leave."14Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, had seven sons who were doing this.15One day, they were trying it when an evil angel mocked them: "I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?"16Then the man whose mind was possessed by an evil angel attacked them, and overpowered them all. He beat them so badly that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17When news of this spread throughout Ephesus, both Jews and non-Jews were overcome with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was given much more respect.18Many people who believed the truth about Jesus confessed their evil deeds publicly.19A large number of people who had practiced witchcraft, black magic and sorcery brought their books of magic and burned them publicly in a large bonfire. When they calculated the value of the books burned, it totaled fifty thousand silver coins (and one coin was a day's wage).20With events like this, the message of the Remedy of Jesus spread widely and kept growing.

21After all of this occurred, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, via Macedonia and Achaia. He said, "After Jerusalem, I must visit Rome."22He sent two of his aides, Timothy and Erastus, ahead of him to Macedonia, while he remained a little longer in Asia.

23But before Paul left Ephesus, a great uproar arose about the Remedy.24Demetrius, a silversmith who made a lot of money making silver shrines of Artemis, employed a large number of craftsmen.25He called them together, along with others whose income depended on their business, and said: "Friends, you know what a good income we make from this business.26And you have heard that this fellow Paul has come along teaching people that the gods we make with our own hands are not gods at all. He has convinced large numbers of people of this — here and all across the province of Asia.27This is not only an attack on our livelihoods, but more so, it threatens to destroy the temple of the great goddess Artemis; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped all over the world, will be robbed of her glorious majesty."

28They became so agitated upon hearing this, that they began chanting, "Ephesus, the state of Artemis the Great! Ephesus, the state of Artemis the Great!"29The uproar spread throughout the entire city. A mob seized Gaius and Aristarchus, two men traveling with Paul from Macedonia, and marched as a group into the amphitheater.30Paul wanted to go and speak to the crowd, but the interns would not allow it.31Even some of the city officials, who were friends of Paul, sent messages, warning him not to go to the amphitheater.

32The mob was frenzied. People were yelling many different things all at once, but most didn't even know why they were there.33The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some people in the crowd began shouting at him, telling him what to say. He held up his hands, trying to silence the crowd in order to present a defense.34But when the mob realized he was a Jew, they began chanting, "Ephesus, the state of Artemis the Great! Ephesus, the state of Artemis the Great!" This went on for about two hours.

35Finally, the city clerk managed to quiet the mob, and said, "People of Ephesus, the entire world knows that Ephesus is the state of Artemis the Great, who came down from heaven, and that we guard her temple.36Since these facts are irrefutable, you should quiet down and not do anything rash.37Why have you brought these men here? They have done no wrong. They have not robbed temples nor spoken against our goddess.38If Demetrius and his trade union have a complaint against anyone, then they should file charges in court and let the matter be settled there.39If you have any other issues, they too need to be settled in a legal assembly, not by mob action.40What you have done has put us in danger of being charged with rioting, and if we are charged, we won't have any defense, for there is no reason for this uproar you have incited."41After saying this, he sent them home.