Sunday, December 2, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 54 – Riot in Ephesus



From Acts to Revelation
Part 54 – Riot in Ephesus
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE
 Acts 19:23-41
23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia.He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. 33 The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. 34 But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. 38 If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. 39 If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. 40 As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.

I.       EVIL UNREST
a.      It does not take much for wickedness to hate a believer.
i.       Demetrius made statues of the goddess Artemis (Diana)

ii.    It didn't take much for him to hate Paul's teaching.

iii. His main concern was not the religion of Diana...rather, his pocket.


b.     Notice how the first concern with the evil men who turn Ephesus upside down, is not the faith of their land, rather, their money.


c.      Their money was based on a lie, the false goddess Diana.
i.       We may see people get angry when you preach the truth, because their lives may be based on lies, that the Truth of scripture destroy.


d.     Truth, when preached, will destroy lies.
i.       Not just lies, but paradigms and beliefs, which are rooted in ignorance and misguided.



II.   THE PLANS OF MICE AND MEN
a.      Their anger and position was not to make things “right”, rather, make things “profitable” again.
i.       Evil men are always revealed in the things they say and do.
a.      "From the overflow of the heart, the mouth will speak."

ii.    Selfishness, self-centered and for selfish-gain, they reveal their hearts.

iii. Concerned only with themselves, and what directly effects them, and their way of life. Usually with no regard or concern for others, unless of course, it directly effects them.


b.     So Demetrius begins a disturbance with fellow idol makers, fueled by anger.


c.      People seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia


d.     Paul himself wanted to appear before the crowds and address them
i.       The disciples stopped him

ii.    Even friends of Paul's who were officials in the province begged him not to go before the crowds.

iii. Paul shows wisdom here, and is careful not to tempt God.
a.      Sometimes believer's act as if they can do whatever they want, and God will protect them and keep them from harm.

b.     This is not true. We must live by certain rules that have been placed on us, and in this world.
1.      Do not tempt gravity, it will hurt.
2.      Do not go without eating or drinking water, you will die.
3.      Do not stand in front of a train, you cannot stop it.

c.      What is the exception to this rule of thumb, "do not tempt the Lord your God?"
1.      If the Lord "tells you" to walk on water, you can.

2.      If God "tells you" to part the sea, you can.

3.      If the Lord "tells you" to cast your net in, and pull out so many fish the net begins to break, it will.

4.      If the Lord "tells you" to take your boat across the sea, and a storm comes, you will not have to worry about getting to the other side, because the Lord already told you that is where you are going.

d.     We must be careful not to do what "we" want, then expect God to protect you and bless your move.
1.      There is blessings and protection within God's Will.





III.  RIOTS – MUCH ADIEU ABOUT NOTHING
a.      It does not take much to cause a riot when things are bad.
i.       Riots in our modern history took place over human rights and abuses.

ii.    Now we see them take place because someone's team won a game.

iii. We used to fear rioting when the constitution was being ignored by government, and our God-Given rights were being taken away.

iv.   Now people threaten rioting if they don't receive hand-outs.


b.     The scripture says, “The assembly was in confusion. Some shouting one thing, some another.”


c.      “Most of them didn't even know why they were there.”
i.       "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace..." ~ I Corinthians 14:33



IV. CITY CLERK TO THE RESCUE
a.      The Ephesus City Clerk quieted the crowd.


b.     Saying, “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?”


c.      “ 36 Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess.”


d.     “ 38 If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. 39 If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly.”


e.      “ 40 As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.”



CONCLUSION
Evil is always looking for “reason” to hate you because of what you represent.

The Ephesians attacked Paul and his teachings because their money was being effected. The wizard Simon wanted to buy the powers of the Holy Spirit from the Apostles so he could make money. The Sadducee and  Pharisees hated the Gospel because the Temple was no longer needed, and they would no longer gather money and gold from people needing to pay for sacrificial animals, or pay the priests for performing the rituals needed to have ones sins covered.

Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Truth will always destroy a lie, even when the lie is only known by a few. Those who live by that lie must either accept the truth, or they will hate you. Those that tell the lie, will hate you for being exposed. And the confusion that comes from lies is authored by Satan himself, who is the author of confusion, and the father of lies.

Do not be manipulated as so many in this country are, by thinking money is the answer to anything.

Our money comes with a warning right on it...Take heed to it, so that you do not fall under it's spell.

Each bill says, “In God we trust.”

Do not allow the dollar to become your God as so many in the United States have. Otherwise, you too will be manipulated, and beguiled by those in power who will use it to control you, and achieve as the Ephesians attempted, to continue living the lie.





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