Acts 19:11-12,13-20 God wrought special miracles by the hand of Paul, from his body handkerchiefs were brought unto the sick, diseases departed from them
2 Kings 4:29-37 Elisha stretched himself upon him, the child sneezed seven times, and opened his eyes
2 Kings 9:1-10 Take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say “I have anointed thee king over Israel”
Luke 10:1-4,9 The Lord appointed the other seventy and sent them two by two before his face
Exodus 7:19-24 Moses and Aaron did what the Lord commanded, and smote the waters, all turned to blood
2 Kings 2:2-25 Elijah was translated, Elisha asks for a double portion of the Holy Spirit
Acts 5:12,15-16 By the hand of the apostles many miracles were done even by the shadow of Peter passing by
Matthew 9:20-22 A woman diseased 12 years, came behind Jesus and touched the hem of his garment
John 14:12-13 He that believes on Jesus the works he does, shall he do also…that the Father may be glorified in the Son
Note: Paul say that “a great door and effectual” was opening before him, although there were “many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:9. Ephesus was not only the most magnificent, but the most corrupt, of the cities of Asia. Superstition and sensual pleasure held sway over her teeming population. Under the shadow of her temples, criminals of every grade found shelter, and the most degrading vices flourished.
Ephesus was a popular center for the worship of Diana. The fame of the magnificent temple of “Diana of the Ephesians” extended throughout all Asia and the world. Its surpassing splendor made it the pride, not only of the city, but of the nation. The idol within the temple was declared by tradition to have fallen from the sky. Upon it were inscribed symbolic characters, which were believed to possess great power. Books had been written by the Ephesians to explain the meaning and use of the symbols.
Among those who gave close study to these costly books were many magicians, who wielded a powerful influence over the minds of the superstitious worshipers of the image within the temple.
The apostle Paul, in his labours at Ephesus, was given special tokens of divine favour. The power of God accompanied his efforts, and many were healed of physical maladies. “God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” These manifestations of supernatural power were far more potent than had ever before been witnessed in Ephesus, and were of such a character that they could not be imitated by the skill of the juggler of the enchantments of the sorcerer. As these miracles were wrought in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the people had opportunity to see that the God of heaven was more powerful than the magicians who were worshipers of the goddess Diana. Thus the Lord exalted His servant, even before the idolaters themselves, immeasurably above the most powerful and favored of the magicians.
Matthew 21:21-22 If you have faith and doubt not… all things what you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive
Mark 11:19-24 Have faith in God, he that believes those things which he says shall come to pass, shall have what he says
John 15:7 If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you
John 15:16 I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit
James 1:5 If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives liberally
1 John 3:22 whatsoever we ask of him( the lord) we receive of him because we keep his commandments
Note: But the One to whom all spirits of evil are subject and who had given His servants authority over them, was about to bring still greater shame and defeat upon those who despised and profaned his holy name. Sorcery had been prohibited by the Mosaic Law, on pain of death, yet from time to time it had been secretly practiced by apostate Jews. At the time of Paul’s visit to Ephesus there were in the city “certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists,” who seeing the wonders wrought by him, “took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus.” An attempt was made by “seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests.” Finding a man possessed with a demon, they addressed him, “we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” But “the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? and the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
Thus unmistakable proof was given of the sacredness of the name of Christ, and the peril which they incurred who should invoke it without faith in the divinity of the Savior’s mission. “Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.”
Facts which had previously been concealed were now brought to light. In accepting Christianity, some of the believers had not fully renounced their superstitions. To some extent they still continued the practice of magic. Now, convinced of their error, “many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.” Even to some of the sorcerers themselves the good work extended; and “many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
By burning their books on magic, the Ephesian converts showed that the things in which they had once delighted they now abhorred. It was by and through magic that they had especially offended God and imperiled their souls; and it was against magic that they showed such indignation. Thus they gave evidence of true conversion.
These treaties on divination contained rules and forms of communication with evil spirits. They were the regulations of the worship of Satan- directions for soliciting his help and obtaining information from him. By retaining these books the disciples would have exposed themselves to temptation; by selling them they would have placed temptation in the way of others. They had renounced the kingdom of darkness, and to destroy its power they did not hesitate at any sacrifice. Thus truth triumphed over men’s prejudices and their love of money.
By this manifestation of the power of Christ, an mighty victory for Christianity was gained in the very stronghold of superstition. The influence of what had taken place was more widespread than even Paul realized. From Ephesus the news was widely circulated, and a strong impetus was given to the cause of Christ. Long after the apostle himself had finished his course, these scenes lived in the memory of men and were the means of winning converts to the gospel.
It is fondly supposed that heathen superstitions have disappeared before the civilization of the twentieth century. But the word of God and the stern testimony of facts declare that sorcery is practiced in this age as verily as in the days of the old-time magicians. The ancient system of magic is, in reality, the same as what is now known as modern spiritualism. Satan is finding access to thousands of minds by presenting himself under the guise of departed friends. The scripture declare that “the dead know not anything.” Ecclesiastes 9:5.
Their thoughts, their love, their hatred, have perished. The dead do not hold communion with the living. But true to his early cunning, Satan employs this device in order to gain control of minds.
The magicians of heathen times have their counterpart in the spiritualistic mediums, the clairvoyants (professed ability to see the future) and the fortune tellers of today. The mystic voices that spoke at Endor and at Ephesus are still by their lying words misleading the children of men. Could the veil be lifted from before our eyes, we should see evil angels employing all their arts to deceive and to destroy. Whenever an influence is exerted to cause men to forget God, there Satan is exercising his bewitching power. When men yield to his influence, they are aware the mind is bewildered and the soul polluted. The apostle’s admonition to the Ephesian church should e heeded by the people of God today: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesian 5:11