The Revival from Ephesus

The Revival from Ephesus

By Bill Vigue

“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: …And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God…  he (Paul)… separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.  And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:…” (Act 19:1-12)

The city of Ephesus became the hub of the greatest revival in the first century.  A revival that was greater than the Day of Pentecost which greatly spread redemption but only to Israelites.  In a matter of two and a half years however, Paul’s ministry in Ephesus spread through all of Asia to the Jews and Gentiles.

Let’s consider step by step some of the key events God wanted highlighted.  If we see and do His will we can revive ourselves, our city and nations.

The first thing of note is the mention of Apollos, carried over from the end of Acts chapter 18.  He was sent by the Lord to Ephesus as follow up to Paul’s initial but brief ministry there. (Acts 18:19-21)  Eventually the Lord moved Apollos on help strengthen the disciples in Corinth, now having Paul return for follow up teaching on what Apollos had done.  This is Paul’s explanation not mine. (1 Cor 3:5-11)

Regarding Apollos we are told that when he came to Ephesus he was a disciple of great skill.  He was an “eloquent” preacher, “mighty in the scriptures”, “fervent in spirit”, “bold” in personality, a “diligent teacher” and well “instructed in the way of the Lord”. (Acts 18:24-26)  He was also humble and teachable, not at all closed minded to others teachers including the Lord’s ministry through women. (Acts 18:26-28)  Thus the first thing we should pray for in our cities is that our Christian leaders set an example of humility; being further open and teachable to every fresh breath from God.

Next we need to pray for the servants of the Lord to be bold. (Acts 4:29)  The request for boldness is so pleasing to God that He once sent a sign and wonder by shaking the building where His people prayed for it.  Later, as Paul moved on his next course of ministry he asked the disciples of Ephesus to pray for him that he might have boldness. (Eph 6:18-19)  They understood what he meant because when he came to them he was so bold he effectively came “disputing and persuading” the people, not compromising anything.

Next we see what his message was.  It was not a watered down gospel message we hear too often today.  He disputed and persuaded the people regarding “the things concerning the kingdom of God.”  This was not a message about when we all get to heaven.  It is a message about how the power and grace of God’s kingdom had come to earth through Christ Jesus.  To those who call upon the name of the Lord God mercies and forgiveness from all sin makes men new creatures.

In addition, as one receives the fullness of the Holy Spirit miraculous ability and authority to overcome all things is made available in supernatural ways.   We are told why; it is because His Kingdom is “within you” (Luke 17:19-21) not just up in heaven.  This infilling and fullness was identified upon Paul’s return to Ephesus when he at the first found twelve Disciples of Christ who lacked it.  Paul immediately recognized their problem.  They were only baptized in water and not yet immersed with the Holy Spirit.  So he preached that subject, they heard and believe and when Paul prayed and laid his hands on them they were filled, evidenced by the fresh NT gift of tongues. (Acts 19:1-12)

Unfortunately, as Paul’s message was brought to the forefront Satan launched opposition.  Though persecution is an unwanted thing it often adds fuel to spread the fire of God.

Spiritually wise Paul knew his next needed step.  Paul had to separate the disciples from the taunting unbelievers.  He brought them into an environment where they could better learn.  He took them to the school of one named Tyrannus and there he continued to teach “the things concerning the kingdom of God” to them on a daily basis for two more years

The result was twofold.  First God choose to work “special miracles though the hands of Paul”. Paul did not do this on his own, but rather but himself in a humble position so that God would “exalt him in (at this) due time.” (1 Pet 5:6-7)   And second, as word about God’s servant and the Lord Jesus spread through all of Asia; “So mightily grew the word of God AND PREVAILED.” (Act 19:20)

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Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 9:38 am  Comments Off on The Revival from Ephesus  
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