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July 9, 2021 12:00 am
What would happen to the economy of the media, what would happen if Christians stop going to movies and watching television shows and renting videos that included profanity, nudity, sensuality, adultery, brutality, or anything else ungodly and instead focus on what Paul told us to focus on Philippians chapter 4 verse eight anything this true, honorable, pure holy, righteous, think on these day one of the Christian community. Just put in the word and the life, the words of David is and I'll set no evil thing before my probably star Ryan times that can result in healthy conversation and debate. Sometimes it might turn them away, but it's also possible that sharing the gospel will cause anger and resentment that happened in the book of acts and were looking at that story today here on wisdom for the hearts this current series through the last chapter of acts is from our vintage wisdom archives Stephen Davies first delivered this message in 1998.
He's calling it the right.
We have seen the apostle Paul servant ethicist for some two years now. The results have been electrifying. We close our study last Lord's day with a look at the results in verse 19 where you discovered the them burning their books sender sorceries in their superstitious formulas worth his weight talked about was said in today's economy based upon the average wage today of a working individual was somewhere between eight and $10 million they burned it up. The Christians were throwing away all of their ties to their pagan surroundings. Pagan rituals their pagan religion. They were now because of this becoming a threat to the Ephesian economy, which was based upon its temple worship and its pagan we have seen Paul in this chapter the 19th chapter of the book of acts involved in healing other apostolic miraculous signs as we talked about validating the messenger and authenticating the messages originating from God. Is this apostolic community did also exorcism in our last discussion I mentioned the rise of the fascination we had today with a demonic world. The misapplication of the experiences of the apostolic community of the believers the day what we need is a return to the study of the doctrines of Christ, the words of Christ, which Paul declares here are the divinely empowered vehicle or weapon for destroying the logical schemes of Satan. We need a return to the nature and character of God, but we need to be selling out of our books, not on how to bind some mnemonics over some sort of territory. Please give us a reference from the and all kinds of misinterpreted and misapplied text, we need to do is have books selling out of the bookstores and I hope for it on basic Bible doctrine books about God's nature, his character's attributes, books on and explaining this book, the Bible. I happen to believe as I said last Lord's day, the Satan enjoys the fact that Christians are so distracted by his kingdom, and by his power. So caught up and mesmerized by his fallen angels were looking for them under every voice and I should add that were mesmerized and seen by the good angels as well so that we fail in our attraction to God's supremacy and God's power and God's holiness of God's wonderful grace and God supreme kingdom of light which is already conquered the kingdom of darkness. And to that kingdom we give our adherence and are delighted our joy in our study kingdom that endures forever and forever was my introduction for Dave Ellis go back to acts chapter 19 we read in verse 23 and about that time there arose no small disturbance concerning the way early nickname of those who followed the man claim to be the way I want you to skip over to verse 40 look there. You can read with the town clerk ends the riot by saying.
For indeed we are in danger of being accused of variety connection with today's affair, since there's no real cause for in this connection we shall be unable to account for this disorderly gathering want to read the ending here for you as well as the beginning this to let you know that the Christians are not purposely created the disturbance, riot, and the unbelievers have to come to terms with that. They simply acted and spoken like Christians in the unbelievers of created a riot number 24 for certain man named Demetrius a silversmith. He made silver shrines of Artemis was bringing no little business graph that means he is is creating big business. These he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades and said many know how that our prosperity depends on this business get to the bottom line real quick.
You see and hear that, not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia, this Paul this Paul has persuaded and turned away. A considerable number of people saying God made with hands or no gods at all. Imagine that not only is there danger that this trade of ours fallen the disrepute. Notice also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship should even be dethroned from her magnificent when they heard that they were filled with rage to begin crying out greatest Artemis of the Ephesian stopper form of Artemis was the queen of heaven. She was also considered to goddess diverse in nature.
Ephesus was the Guardian city of this worship.
This temple the temple to her glory was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world surrounding the exterior of this temple were 127 massive pillars that were inlaid with precious jewels and covered with gold. It was an incredible spectacle of glory and magnificence inside the temple was a huge offer 20 ft.² and on that altar was a grotesque leaf configured deity was a black stone that supposedly had fallen from heaven, a meteorite in the fashionable woman or fashioned by someone to look like it. People from all around the Roman Empire would make a pilgrimage to Ephesus one week out of the year was their Mardi Gras would be a week of debauchery and immorality as they came to worship their goddess of fertility.
While there were other temples and shrines to her to worship her in other parts of the Empire. This was the main one. It was the worship of the goddess and I want you to know that the worship of the goddess is not dead.
Was it new then and it isn't something that is sees as hard as it may be to believe a revival of goddess worship is growing stronger every day. Even in our own country. When you read in the newspapers about the Episcopalians and the Methodists and Baptists all wanting the gender neutralize the Bible and take up the masculine forms of God and alternate between he and she replaced references to our father with. Instead, our mother, this traces its roots to ancient days. One of the expressions that most people are aware of his movement is about 30 years old.
Now notice feminism that is deeply rooted in Gnosticism or goddess worship is at its core religious movement.
While most people bought the lie that it is nothing more than one of the women out of the kitchen in the corporate world and give them equal pay it much, much deeper than that. Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote an article for the humanist 10 years ago called feminist salvation, she wrote. Let's forget about the mythical Jesus and look for encouragements role as an inspiration for women. She says this fascinating thing 2000 years of patriarchal rule under the shadow of the cross ought to be enough to turn women toward the feminist salvation of the world, the declaration of feminism that was crafted more than 25 years ago on November 19 71, stated their agenda and among these was the statement quote we must return to ancient female religion. Amanda sorta picked up the trumpet under the title of ecology is Al Gore, who in his recent book called Earth in the balance, ecology and the human spirit is summarized by Manny Peter Jones Rd., Gore's involvement in ecology in his book is an expression of his belief as he teaches it in his book and the connectedness of all things in the great value of all religious faith that his hope that ancient goddess worship will help bring us planetary and personal salvation.
This ancient goddess worship that is created the underlying theme of feminism and many other things in our country wasn't new here and it is dead today you could put all of it under a categorical term called Gnosticism Gnosticism turn the creation account given to us in the word upside down and taught the divine wisdom came through Dame wisdom.
In other words, there is a there is a mystical heavenly woman named Sophia which is Greek for was Sophia worship is made front lines just in this past year in America. The Gnostics taught that Sophia entered the snake in the garden and she taught both Adam and Eve the true way of salvation, the snake in Gnostic literature. By the way is is not call the tempter but the instructor, the serpent was in Gnostic literature. The Redeemer because the serpent was the incarnated woman who came and taught the truth of true salvation for the female goddess Sophia or Dame wisdom. All you have to do is read current religious news to see the resurgence of Sophia worship. It is part and parcel of the gender neutralizing movement that is affecting even the word of God and copies of general gender neutralize texts of Artie been sold in our world today. The divine revealer according to Gnostic literature is feminine, summarized well by Roman Catholic theology theologian Carol Christie said I discovered or found God in myself and I loved her fears that she sorta sums it all out there that nice package. God is within you and once you discover the true God, the true God is feminine. This was recorded in a transcript that I read recently on the subject of Gnosticism where this author writes or actually quotes from Gnostic literature going back centuries old, here is Dame wisdom speaking.
I am androgynous. I am both mother and father since I copulate with myself.
I copulate with myself and with those who love me and it is through me alone that all stands firm. I am the wound that give shape to all by giving birth to the light that shines in splendor.
I am the eon the, I am the fulfillment of the all that is the glory of the mother should not surprise you that Gnosticism exalted in its day in those today lesbianism homosexuality.
Anything that reverses the sexual norms of God is proclaimed in his word is turned on its head and convoluted so that these roles are reversed. It basically takes then and now. Anything to God is said or dies, and turns it inside out and then proclaims the reverse of that to be the truth. Well, if you want to see the reverse worship. If you want to see a society inundated by goddess worship. All you have to do is travel Ephesus and take a look at a religion.
It was so perverse, so degrading that it affect the entire city. Furthermore, before we go back into the text you want to know that the Temple of Artemis was so powerful and is dated is superseded even Roman law, the man committed a felony or woman committed a felony. They could somehow escape the law and make their way across the Roman Empire to this couple of Artemis located in Ephesus that they can reach the temple no matter what crime they committed no matter what he does thing they done they were granted immediate asylum. So Ephesus is filled not only with superstitious sorcerers and and religious of fakery. It is filled also with Fallon to escape the law by making their way to the temple was an unbelievable city they'd escape the law by simply becoming worshipers of the goddess art.
I look back again. As the meter speaks in verse 27. Not only is there danger that the strata bars fall into disrepute. Also at the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship should even be dethroned from her magnificent that's what was happening. Demetrius is the spokesman here.
He is the protector of false religion and of religions profit margin and inscription by the way discovered in Ephesus around this time, 8057 describes a certain Demetrius, who was also it says Warden of the temple. If it is the same man and this would indicate he's not only the head of the silversmith union local, but he is also behind-the-scenes as a leader in this temple temple whose profit margin, according to his own words was in jeopardy. By the way, this temple was so wealthy that it was the leading banking institution of this part of your they receive so much money and so many gifts from leaders across the entire empire in world they were so wealthy, so opulent that they not only collected deposits, but they made laws. This was the standing bank of Asia minor funeral mass with the bank right Demetrius's comments could be summed up this way either Christianity or style is or the bank goes bankrupt for two years. Paul has been teaching in the hall of the tyrants remember him where was Dimitris that while Paul was in the primitive teach all that he wants about this mail Redeemer of the God man named Dale, no problem. But now, now it's different now is affecting the pocketbook step on a man's pocketbook and want to scream in pain right see Christianity as accepted as always, didn't change anything upset anything required. Christianity is okay. As always just goes with the flow doesn't create trouble. That's the kind Christianity want litmus, we make a little application here before we go further, let's apply with the Ephesian believers were doing here that was affecting the economy of their city to maybe one little arena of the economy that maybe we can effect in America.
What would happen to the economy of the media, what would happen if Christians stopped going to movies and watching television shows and renting videos that included profanity, nudity, sensuality, adultery, brutality, or anything else ungodly and instead focus on what Paul told us to focus on Philippians chapter 4 verse eight anything this true, honorable, pure holy, righteous, think on these. They what of the Christian community.
Just put in the words in the life, the words of David as I will set no evil thing before mine.
I probably start a riot was to convicting with move on were about to have a ride in Ephesus.
Why because Christians were affecting the industry that this is how by acting as if it no longer existed. So notice. The mob escalates. Verse 29 in the city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus both traveling companions for Macedonia. When Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him also came and also some of the AZ arcs. These are leaders who were friends of his said to him, repeatedly urged not to venture into the theater. So then some were shouting one thing and saw another for the assembly was in confusion and notice this, the majority did not know for what cause they had come together classic illustration of society will tend to do and think what people tend doing. Thank where the lower here but everybody sees the meter when the letter is shouting about her trouble about what troubles me a shallow moment to what an incredible picture of the broad road that leads to destruction.
Many there be that find it. They just get swept into the current 9713 number 33. Some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander. Since the Jews and put them forward and having motion with his hand. Alexander was intending to make a defense of the assembly must offer first part of this verse can be translated differently which gives us sort of the, the perspective of Alexander rather than the Ephesians. You can render the first phrase. Soon the Bob so some of the Jews instructed Alexander to fascinate, having put forth. In other words, the Jews who lived in Ephesus were concerned that may be associated with Paul. The Jewish teacher so that whatever happened to Paul would then be deposited on to their account as well and so Alexander evidently leading to steps forward to make a defense is going to say we don't have anything to do with this rabble-rouser.
This teacher of new doctrine.
We don't know him. Please don't put us in the camp with him with nothing to do with it interesting that Paul refers to later in another epistle. This man named Alexander as Amanda did a much harm could be the same man. The tragedy however if you read between the lines is that Alexander is basically revealing that the Jews lived in Ephesus and compromised in the truths. IQ menaces you do your thing will do our thing.
We don't agree with each other, the less not bring that up but just get along, showing so the Jews who were following a jealous God would give his glory to none other had been silenced by their cowardice and they lived surrounded by a city of people who were worshiping this goddess in incredible immorality and all.
And Alexander does nothing here but desire to stand up and say will cause any travel continuing your idolatry and immorality is what is Whipple interesting. It'll give him a chance to say anything. Verse 34 when they recognize that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from the mall as a shout of about two hours. Great is Artemis of the Ephesians. None was they knew that Alexander represented this God. They knew that the Jews represented as patriarchal system. Even though there had been a coexistence of Judaism and Artemis worship. There was no agreement. Imagine for two hours now 25,000 Ephesians and is open arena were sent there goddess they are chanting their praise to her almost with delirious passion grade is Artemis on the Ephesians for two hours.
God help us to speak of him for two minutes. Verse 35 and after quieting the multitude, the town clerk said men in Ephesus.
What man is there. After all, it does not know that the city of Ephesians is Guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the image was fell down from heaven. Since then, these are undeniable facts interesting their undeniably says you want to keep calm and do nothing rash for you brought these men here are neither robbers of temples or blasphemers of our goddess that Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with them have a complaint against any man. The courts are in session and proconsul's are available. Let them bring charges against one another, but if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a right in connection with today's affair since there is no real cause for and in this connection we shall be unable to account for this disorderly gathering metals lot answer the wrong after saying this he dismissed the assembly the town clerk here becomes an unsuspecting biographer. Christianity inadvertently tells a lot about the Christians in Ephesus without meaning.
He tells a lot about how they acted in the midst of gross immorality and idolatry without really telling us to do notice what he said the Christians didn't do verse 37 they didn't spend their time blaspheming the false gods. Another was that when the text of their message. They didn't steal from the temple.
Miller didn't break the law, there is every reason to believe that the citizens of Ephesus included Christians will require some sort of tax to provide for the overhead of the temple was, after all, the Citibank, the Christians record was clean your paying your taxes. They were living godly lives quiet lives apart from the fact that they were declaring the truth of Jesus Christ and they were creating huge way. How when my favorite authors by the name of Warren. Where's the rights. Paul did not arouse the opposition of the silversmiths by picketing the temple or staging anti-idolatry rallies all he did was teach the truth daily and send out his converse. The witness of the lost people of the city is more more people got converted fewer and fewer customers were available. Another author wrote the Ephesian believers did not lobby the city authorities pick up the silversmiths shops organize demonstrations against Artemis worship, nor did they try to be popular to the masses. They preached and lived out the message and let the power of their change lives confront and push out the old ways.
One more author James Montgomery voice right these words added Christianity triumph added Christians when the day it was, not by appealing to numbers was, not by playing on the emotions the Christians did not circulate a petition to see they can get 51% of the Ephesians Tasigna saying Artemis is no God and the God of the Old Testament is the true God. Christians didn't hold a mass rally.
They did not send Christians into the amphitheater to do their thing. They did exactly what Jesus Christ had done and what he sent them into the world to do. They preach the gospel so that men and women got converted and once they were converted. They taught them how to live for Jesus Christ.
That's what they didn't do notice what they did do. According to this passage, verse 18. They live pure lives. They refuse verse 19 to support ungodliness. Verse 20 delivered the word of the Lord. Back in verse 19. They personally sacrificed for the sake of the gospel in the could have a yard sale all the stuff measured $9 million going into the coffers of Christ Church noted in what anybody else have any use of the burned all. In other words, they change the world as a swung the sword of the Spirit. Can we change our world this way. Yes, we can if you're a student of church history you have read of the Welsh revival having to social impact of the Welsh revival was astounding. By the way, the weight impacted that sliver of the reddish Empire judges were presented with white gloves.
They had no cases to try historians tell us that in the Welsh revival about 100,000 people came to faith in Christ and about a five month period. No robberies, murders, burglaries, rates, embezzlement, nothing. The district Council held an emergency meeting to discuss what to do with the police. Now they were in active imagine that I met a pastor a few months ago from Ireland and talked and asked him about the Welsh revival and feed study that will head, he added the comment that it was interesting that while Christians oppose drinking for so long. It was the Welsh revival that made such an impact pubs all had to close down collectivism.
It was the gospel that changed their society from the inside. If you read on the Welsh revival unit swept into America in a limited fashion what you listen to this article in the Denver Post dated January 20, 1905. This is an unbeliever, obviously writing didn't understand was going on but I he still gives us a little bit of an insight of what was happening in our country for two hours at midday all Denver was held well.
The marts of trade were deserted between noon and 2 o'clock this afternoon and all worldly affairs were forgotten going to and coming from the great prayer meetings. Thousands of men and women radiated this weird which killed them.
Seldom is such a remarkable site been witnessed an entire great in the middle of the busy weekday bowing before the throne of heaven asking the blessing of the king. The church wants to know what to do. It can take its cues from the believers in Ephesus asked the Ephesian believers who were facing much more than were facing now even though we like facing now the change the world by allowing God through Christ to change them. Then they swung the sword of the parent without compromise or apology by means of or inundated with prayer. They changed their thank you so much for joining us today here on wisdom for the hearts the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey, we have a website you can use to learn more about us, you'll find email@example.com. I also encourage you to install our app to your phone so that you can quickly and easily access all of our Bible-based resources.
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