Acts 19

1While Apollos was in the city of Corinth, Paul was visiting some places on the way to the city of Ephesus. In Ephesus Paul found some followers ˻of the Lord˼. 2Paul asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” These followers said to him, “We have never even heard of a Holy Spirit!” 3So Paul asked them, “What kind of baptism did you have?” They said, “It was the baptism that John taught.” 4Paul said, “John told people to be baptized to show they wanted to change their lives. John told people to believe in the One who would come after him. That person is Jesus.” 5When these followers heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6Then Paul put his hands on them and the Holy Spirit came into them. They began speaking different languages and prophesying. 7There were about twelve men in this group. 8Paul went into the synagogue and spoke very boldly. Paul continued doing this for three months. He talked with the Jews and persuaded them to accept the things he said about the kingdom of God. 9But some of the Jews became stubborn. They refused to believe. These Jews said some very bad things about the Way ˻of Jesus˼. All the people heard these things. So Paul left those Jews and took the followers ˻of Jesus˼ with him. Paul went to a place where a man named Tyrannus had a school. There Paul talked with people every day. 10Paul did this for two years. Because of this work, every Jew and Greek ˻(non-Jew)˼ in the country of Asia heard the word of the Lord. 11God used Paul to do some very special miracles. 12Some people carried away handkerchiefs and clothes that Paul had used. The people put these things on sick people. When they did this, the sick people were healed, and evil spirits ˻from the devil˼ left them. 13- 14Some Jews also were traveling around and making evil spirits go out of people. The seven sons of Sceva were doing this. (Sceva was a high priest.) These Jews tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to make the evil spirits go out of people. They all said, “By the same Jesus that Paul talks about, I order you to come out!” 15But one time an evil spirit said to these Jews, “I know Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16Then the man, who had the evil spirit ˻from the devil˼ inside him, jumped on these Jews. He was much stronger than all of them. He beat them up and tore their clothes off. These Jews ran away from that house. 17All the people in Ephesus, Jews and Greeks ˻(non-Jews)˼, learned about this. They all began to have great respect ˻for God˼. And the people gave great honor to the name of the Lord Jesus. 18Many of the believers began to confess and tell all the bad things they had done. 19Some of the believers had used magic. These believers brought their magic books and burned them before everyone. Those books were worth about 50,000 silver coins. 20This is how the word of the Lord was influencing more and more people in a powerful way. And more and more people believed. 21After these things, Paul made plans to go to Jerusalem. Paul planned to go through the countries of Macedonia and Achaia, and then go to Jerusalem. Paul thought, “After I visit Jerusalem, I must also visit Rome.” 22Timothy and Erastus were two of Paul’s helpers. Paul sent them ahead to the country of Macedonia. Paul stayed in Asia for a while. 23But during that time, there was some bad trouble in Ephesus. This trouble was about the Way ˻of Jesus˼. This is how it all happened: 24There was a man named Demetrius. He worked with silver. He made little silver models that looked like the temple of the goddess Artemis. The men that did this work made much money. 25Demetrius had a meeting with these men and some other men who did the same kind of work. Demetrius told them, “Men, you know that we make much money from our business. 26But look at what this man Paul is doing! Listen to what he is saying! Paul has influenced and changed many people. He has done this in Ephesus and all over the country of Asia. Paul says the gods that men make are not real. 27These things that Paul says might turn the people against our work. But there is also another problem: People will begin to think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is not important! Her greatness will be destroyed. Artemis is the goddess that everyone in Asia and the whole world worships.” 28When the men heard this, they became very angry. They shouted, “Artemis, the goddess of the city of Ephesus, is great!” 29All the people in the city became upset. The people grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus. (These two men were from Macedonia and were traveling with Paul.) Then all the people ran to the stadium. 30Paul wanted to go in and talk to the people, but the followers ˻of Jesus˼ did not let him go. 31Also, some leaders of the country were friends of Paul. These leaders sent him a message. They told Paul not to go into the stadium. 32Some people were yelling one thing and other people were yelling other things. The meeting was very confused. Most of the people did not know why they had come there. 33The Jews made a man named Alexander stand before the people. The people told him what to do. Alexander waved his hand because he wanted to explain things to the people. 34But when the people saw that Alexander was a Jew, they all began shouting the same thing. They continued shouting for two hours. The people said, “Great is Artemis of Ephesus! Great is Artemis of Ephesus! Great is Artemis ...!” 35Then the city clerk persuaded the people to be quiet. He said, “Men of Ephesus, all people know that Ephesus is the city that keeps the temple of the great goddess Artemis. All people know that we also keep her holy rock. 36No person can say that this is not true. So you should be quiet. You must stop and think before you do anything. 37You brought these men, but they have not said anything bad against our goddess. They have not stolen anything from her temple. 38We have courts of law and there are judges. Do Demetrius and those men that work with him have a charge against anyone? They should go to the courts! That is where they can argue with each other! 39Is there something else you want to talk about? Then come to the regular town meeting of the people. It can be decided there. 40I say this because some person might see this trouble today and say that we are rioting ˻(making trouble)˼. We could not explain all this trouble, because there is no real reason for this meeting.” 41After the city clerk said these things, he told the people to go home. And all the people left.

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