Have’n Church! – 3-8-22

And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19:6 NKJV

Paul was have’n church up in Ephesus! Like the kind I remember in the revival of the 80s, like the youth camps and teen rallies. They laid hands, prayed and things happened – I saw healing, I saw people filled with the spirit, I saw the spirit fall so heavy, people fell to the floor, I saw baptism in joy and in fire and in water. There was expectation. There was anticipation. And God got all the glory and we saw, and experienced, a real and powerful God.
I often watch church services from a church down south that has the laying on of hands and miracles happen! I long to go there – I miss pouring it all out on the altar with the rest of the body and worshiping with all we have – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The reason it continues at this church is the congregation and visitors come expecting to experience God – being that open, God flows. Meanwhile in other churches they sing songs asking God to move while failing to see He is moving and they aren’t expecting or receiving.
It is on my mind a lot today, because of conversations and some strolls down memory lane. Then I see a post on social media:
“No doubt about it…. we had church. Literally everything in my body hurts. Every single muscle. I feel like we literally gave God everything we got and then He came in and gave us so much more. Glory to God for everything that He does.” Marcus Rogers
I read it, gave glory to God, jumping around thrilled for God’s glory and this man and his church. But honestly, I got raw with Jesus and told him I miss it, I am a little jealous that I couldn’t be there, I long for a corporate meeting of the body where hands are laid upon the people and the power of God falls and people are transformed in the gentle hands of a mighty God.


Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen


Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Acts chapter 19 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Paul at Ephesus

19 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”

So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.

And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Miracles Glorify Christ

11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, [a]“We [b]exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, [c]overpowered them, and prevailed against [d]them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

The Riot at Ephesus

21 When these things were accomplished, 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.” 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.

23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of [e]Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. 25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. 26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. 27 So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and [f]her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”

28 Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” 29 So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions. 30 And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. 31 Then some of the [g]officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater. 32 Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”

35 And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: “Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess [h]Diana, and of the image which fell down from [i]Zeus? 36 Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of [j]your goddess. 38 Therefore, if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a [k]case against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. 39 But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly. 40 For we are in danger of being [l]called in question for today’s uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering.” 41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.


  1. Acts 19:13 NU I
  2. Acts 19:13 adjure, solemnly command
  3. Acts 19:16 M and they overpowered them
  4. Acts 19:16 NU both of them
  5. Acts 19:24 Gr. Artemis
  6. Acts 19:27 NU she be deposed from her magnificence
  7. Acts 19:31 Asiarchs, rulers of Asia, the province
  8. Acts 19:35 Gr. Artemis
  9. Acts 19:35 heaven
  10. Acts 19:37 NU our
  11. Acts 19:38 Lit. matter
  12. Acts 19:40 Or charged with rebellion concerning today


Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”


Very unclearly, Paul made it to the feast and started his 3rd missionary journey in Acts 18:23 (in yesterday’s reading and it continues to Acts 21:26. The first stop was Antioch and the second was Antioch in Pisidia, the next stop is Ephesus, and that is where our reading today takes place. Paul later writes a letter to the Ephesians.

As you should recall from yesterday Apollos went through Ephesus and now we have a highbred belief in Jesus, but with the teachings and baptism of John. So, Paul set’s is straight, baptizing them again, in the name of Jesus and laying hands on them and the anointing fell.
Paul and these men spoke in the synagogue for 3 months until there was a hardening of the hearts – Paul is more mature now, he doesn’t push it. He takes the men and they go for two years all around the area around Ephesus! They had church! Jews and Gentiles were saved, miracles happened, lives were transformed, and God was glorified! Hallelujah!

“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” Acts 19:11-12

This was unusual – but it never says it can’t happen again. Jesus spoke people healed from a distance and said we will be able to do great things! Do not limit God by the way He used to do things! Expect, believe, and obey God!

But the lessons of Ephesus do not end there. We must only lay hand and use the power of God when He tells us to. We must first hear Him and know how to know it is Him and know how to obey immediately without hesitation. We must stay under His authority, or He can withhold His power and then we will find ourselves in trouble. Let’s look at this more closely – if you want the kind of power Paul had, you must be willing to study the Bible like Paul, Pray like Paul, fast like Paul, worship like Paul and be willing to die, like Paul. And when Paul laid hands on that first group of men in Ephesus, those men went all in and followed Paul’s lead as Paul followed Christ.

The principles of the spirit do not work out of order. It is like a military, there is a higher archery. Even the demons must follow it.
Jesus once explained to the disciples that they could not cast out a certain demon, because they did not fast and pray (Matt. 17:21). We must be doing all the things, under the proper authority in obedience to God, in order to make the spirit world quake like Paul did.

So this chapter goes on to explain this using an example that the seven sons of Sceva were so kind as to provide. These son’s saw the pattern and thought they knew a short cut and tried to cast out the demons.
Pay close attention to the spirit end of this – because I have heard WAY TOO MANY preachers try to figure out what these boys did wrong and misrepresent it from the pulpit. They DID follow the formula. They DID have faith that it was going to work. Knowing we, as humans, have the authority, and having the faith, IS NOT THE FORMULA! It is a short cut – that doesn’t work. What is wrong with modern churches? Why when hands are laid upon people in prayer is it not working? Because they do not understand this passage.

“And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Acts 19:15

The key word here is KNOW. The spirit world did not know these men. Here are a few important things about knowing:
1. God is spirit, we must worship him in Spirit and truth (John 4:24). In the Holy Spirit and Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). So we must worship in the Holy Spirit through Jesus! I which case we have made pure contact with the spirit world and there is opportunity for them to know you. But doing this every Sunday does NOT guarantee that the enemy knows you. You must get to KNOW God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You must surrender all to be complete KNOWN to them. Yes, God is all knowing – but there is a difference between His knowledge and you vulnerably letting Him in and sharing yourself with him. Once you do this – obedience follows. You want to please God and fulfill your calling. Once you are doing this God will reveal ways to intercede and pray that starts to cause ripples and effects in the spirit world.
2. Job was a man that the enemy know and asked God if he can afflict him. God permitted it, because God knew Job would not compromise – being unwilling to compromise from God will make you known of the enemy.
3. When you are known, you are at great risk. Look at Job who lost everything. Look at Paul who was running for his life or in another life struggle of one sort or another. I have a pastor friend who says that he always knows when he is over the target because people rise up against him attacking him.
I have not had people attack me, per se. I mean I did have the small vandalism at my house. My experience has been more like Job’s. But I did have a few witches try to hex, curse and otherwise attack me. One lady tried to curse my finances and her power was turned off for non-payment (here in NY you must miss a lot of payments before they turn it off).  Another witch tried to hit me with illness and she developed more sicknesses and was in and out of medical testing and was so sick, but they couldn’t find out what was wrong. The last one, well that is a long story – God revealed it to me in a dream, and I had to call in help to pray against it. The witch literally fell apart physically and died suddenly and quickly. God literally shut that one down fast. It was the strangest thing to watch someone die that way, leaving the doctors scratching their heads. I went to the funeral (yes, long strange story) and ministered to his mother and prayed with her.
Anyway, when you know God, you become known to the enemy – especially when you are fulfilling the purpose God has for you. 

So if you haven’t put in the prayer time, are not getting the Word into you and practicing your sword swinging, and if you are not doing all the things to get known by God – then the spirit word doesn’t know you and you are at risk for the same experience as these seven brothers.

And it wasn’t because they said the Jesus that Paul preaches – you and I are under Paul’s authority, following Paul through these readings as Paul followed Christ. It is NOT out of order, although seems a little wonky since we can bypass and call directly on Jesus’s name, thanks to the work of the cross. But we are calling on Paul’s Jesus – because that is the person who continually teaches us by his life and writings about how to follow Jesus. And it wasn’t because they didn’t have faith. It is simply – what the Word says – they were unknown. They did not put in the same work that Paul had put in.

“Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” Acts 19:16

Running out naked – one demon possessed man – it had to be a little comical. Although to those who have never seen a demon manifest, or seen one come out, or understood the things of the spirit it was probably terrifying. Regardless – God was glorified through it. and people were saved and burnt their evil books and things and … my favorite part is verse 20:
“So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. Acts 19:20
Why is it my favorite part? Because The Word is Jesus! Belief in him grew, yes – but Jesus was there and growing in the hearts of men. (To abstract for you? I hope not.)

Now, Jesus tells them the plan and Paul sends his crew ahead of him and stays in Ephesus a little longer.

So, remember when I was telling you this whole area was once so into idolatry and sorcery that the Greek and Byzantine temples used to compete for people to come to them. Well, at this point, there are now Roman Gods and sorcery introduced to the area and it was already over saturated.
Archimedes was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, and inventor from the ancient city of Syracuse in Sicily – influenced many who became inventors using his principles and building upon them. We know the names of a few of these men, but it was BIG money industry to be the person who made these inventions. Especially those who made what we would consider toys. Small trinkets of metal that ran by being wound up or on water and gravity pulley systems all too new of technology for the common uneducated man. These inventions were “magical” in the eyes of the population. AND big business because the very wealthy temples would buy them to entice patronage. Archeologist have unearthed in the Ephesus area MANY of these inventions.

Note: in verse 23 and other verses we see the phrase: “the Way”. Early Christianity was called ‘the Way’, because Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.

So Demetrius was a silversmith, who according to Luke made silver shines – most likely, he made these trinket, “magical” inventions, for the temple of Diana. When I saw the documentary where these were discovered I wondered if any were made by ol’ Demetrius.
Now you know the old saying – follow the money.

Needless to say, as you have probably read the chapter already. Demetrius gathered all the craftsmen in his trade and started a riot – of course it was about Paul dishonoring Diana and not about the money.

Side note – let us look at the layers of deception here. On the surface the general population thought it was a spiritual war of Paul’s God vs the goddess Diana where they needed to physical defend Diana, but it was a conflict created by greedy men! BUT sin and demonic forces influenced these men to be greedy and it was ACTUALLY a spiritual war between Paul’s God and demons aka Diana. The enemy hid the truth about what was really happening in plain sight – a trick he still uses today.

Another trick the enemy uses is confusion – just look at how we all spent 2020!
Intense confusion in this case caused quite a riot. Luckily Paul was on the outside (it was God’s doing, cause Paul’s mouth would have gotten him in trouble!) but some of Paul’s companions and a random Jew got caught up in the center.
There are a few examples in the Bible (you can probably name a few), where the enemy’s confusion worked against them and God prevailed. One we recently read in Matthew, when the crowd was after Jesus to throw him off the cliff – and in the confusion of the crowd – Jesus just walked away.
Well the city clerk calmed the crowd and they realized they did not have Paul. And the clerk told them to take Paul to court and sent everyone home.

Oh Ephesus! You are a wild city! Did you know the Beloved Disciple John became the pastor of the church at Ephesus? I suppose that is a lesson for another day.
Meanwhile, Paul is have’n church in a lay it all down at the altar – give it all to God – and be transformed, kinda way. The way I miss and long to see happen in my home city.


Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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