This week we jump into Acts 19 which talks about Paul’s third missionary journey.
Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. 2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Never doubt this truth, Father God has believers all over this world. As I’m writing this, one of our very own is in Burma, another in Mexico sharing the good news of Jesus and making believers. God’s plan for man will come to pass! These believers who believed in Jesus had not been taught about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
3 “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.”
John’s teaching pointed to the Messiah but Paul was saying there is so much more than just being baptized in water. The One John said would come, has come and has died and has been resurrected and has ascended to heaven and now the Holy Spirit has come to endue us with power.
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” 5 As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6 Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
Don’t you love it? After Paul spoke, the Holy Spirit was just waiting to fill them and all He needed was a hungry heart. Notice Paul laid his hands on them and immediately they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues, even some prophesied. There was twelve men which is a number of authority. Without a doubt these twelve brought revival to their region.
In these next verses we see Paul still ministering in Ephesus. 8 Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God.
The greatest opposition to the Kingdom of God is religion (religious spirits). Notice Paul had to preach boldly in the synagogue (church) for three months strongly teaching Kingdom truths about Jesus coming, dying and resurrecting and those stuck in religion did not want to change their traditional way of thinking. Most do not realize how powerful religious tradition is but let’s read about it.
Mark 7:13 And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others." NLT
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. KJV
A religious spirit destroys, condemns, tries to control and complains because it is in rebellion to the Kingdom of Father God. We must never major on the minors and minor on the majors. Religious people in the days of Jesus would fuss over Him healing on a Sabbath, more worried over custom than a person. Even Pentecostal churches have many religious traditions which can be contrary to what Father God wants to do.
9 But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.
A religious spirit is a stubborn spirit which rejects any truth or any message other than their own. You can spot a stubborn religious spirit by how they speak out against things, especially change. Finally, Paul had enough and left the synagogue and took the believers with them and had church in a lecture hall for the next 2 years and revival broke out among all the people, Jews and Gentiles all over the region.
Prayer Points: Father God search my heart for any spirit that not of The Holy Spirit so my heart can be clean before you and so you can flow in me and through me to touch others in Jesus Name!