The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 20:17-38 – Week 35 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 20:17-38

Week 35

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this session we will complete Acts 20 and come to the end of this transitional chapter. Acts chapter 20 concludes with Paul’s encouragements to the Ephesian elders. This is the only direct and personal exhortation that Luke records in Acts to the leadership of a church. In Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders, we see Paul in the position of a loving Apostolic Father confirming their faith, warning them about heresies, the motives of the heart, and commending them to care for the people of God.

One can only imagine the concern Paul had for the Ephesian Church. Paul loved them deeply and understood that from this point forward he would never see them again. This is the place where Paul commended them to God and trusted the Holy Spirit to guide them, reveal truth and prosper them. At some point all leaders of faith communities come to the place where we trust in the Lord’s ability to Father His children, and commend them to their own faith journeys. Our time stamp is spring of AD56 to AD57.

Acts 20:17

a) Miletus – This city was 13 miles south of Ephesus located in the Roman Province of Asia, or modern day Turkey. It is a port city located on the Aegean Sea. This city was a prosperous port city and had an advanced academic community of Stoic philosophers. Miletus was known in history as producing excellent merchant sailors from the earliest recorded histories.

b) As Paul arrives in Miletus for the first time, we can assume that there was a Christian community in Miletus because Acts 19:10 tells us that the whole Province of Asia heard the gospel.

c) Paul sends for the Ephesian elders. In the following verses Luke records for us some of the most beautiful heart felt exhortations of Paul as he moves in the role of an Apostolic Father.

d) Elders – Greek – PRESBYTEROS – an elder/advanced age, metaphorically used for one who is a member of the Sanhedrin, one who is a civic leader in the Roman Empire, and one who helps lead a church. This word is synonymous with Elder, Bishop, and Presbyter. This is the same word that used in Revelation to describe the 24 elders around God’s throne. Acts does not give a clear picture of the titles used in the early church. However, Acts does give us a detailed look at the function of leaders who serve the local church. The title “Elder” is one of position and not age and implies that one is capable to lead with wisdom because of their advanced knowledge of God.

e) Church – Greek – EKKLĒSIA – A civic gathering, similar to a city council audience, the assembly of Israelites (feasts), a company of Christians gathered for worship and teaching for the strengthening of faith, an independent group of Christians who meet for worship and teaching, who are united to the common cause of expanding the Kingdom of God through their faith communities.

f) It is interesting that each of the words for elders and church are first secular words that denote civic duty, and governmental authority in their natural definitions in the Greek. This should remind of us our spiritual authority and our assignment to redeem cities and nations through the extension of the Kingdom of God.

Acts 20:18-19

a) Paul speaks to them with the deep emotions of a spiritual father. Paul begins by reminding them of his humility and surrender to the Lord. The mention of Paul’s tears speaks to the tenderness of his heart toward the people he served.

b) Paul mentions that he was severely tested by the Jews. This is a reference to the synagogue show down mentioned in Acts 19:8-9 and the riot in Ephesus at the end of his ministry there.

Acts 20:20-21

a) Paul models for us the responsibility for leaders to teach the church every nuanced facet of truth contained in the Scriptures. The word for “helpful” in the Greek is actually SYMPHERO which means for the common good, or that which is expedient for all.

b) Paul mentions two areas of proclamation that he had access to in Ephesus. The first is the public platform, which would have been the synagogue and the Hall of Tyrannus. The second was the intimate gathering of home fellowships. One thing we can glean from the First Century Church is their love for one another and their sense of community and commitment to each other.

c) Paul reminds them of the essence of our faith, which is repentance from sin and faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Every true disciple of Jesus Christ lives from the cross.

Acts 20:22-24

a) Paul is being compelled/bound by the Holy Spirit. Greek – DEŌ – to bind, fasten to, to be bound to a spouse. Paul says plainly he does not know what will happen in Jerusalem. We see a glimpse into the life of trust that Paul developed by being led by the Holy Spirit. Paul knew from experience the things he wrote as he said things like the “Holy Spirit cries out Abba, Father”, or “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”, or “the fellowship with the Holy Spirit”.

b) The Holy Spirit speaks to Paul, and we should ha an expectation that the Holy Spirit would speak to us. Paul had so developed His trust in the Lord that he was willing to trust the Lord even in the revelation of hardship and prison. Through Paul’s first imprisonment he wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Through his imprisonment Paul penetrated even Caesar’s household (Philippians 4:22). Paul preached to the Sanhedrin, ministered to governors and a king. Acts 9:15-16 – But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

c) Paul reached the place of ultimate surrender to Christ, because he proved it by
his trust in Christ. Paul had so died to himself that he became God’s chosen vessel. Colossians 3:3 – For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 5:24 – Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 6:14 – May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

d) As Paul continues, we see the concept that each one of us have a unique life path that only ours to live. Paul frames this truth by using the word race and task. Greek – Race/Course – The Greek uses the word DROMOS – which literally means course, or life path and not race. Greek – Task – DIAKONIA – the ministry or service to God. All Christians have this in common. Each one of us has a unique life path and a service to our Lord that is married to our life path.

e) Paul describes the gospel as the “gospel of grace”. Greek – CHARIS – grace, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, good will, loving-kindness, favor, the experience of the merciful lovingkindness of God towards His people. As we present the message of Jesus to people, we should present it in a way that puts forward the centrality of the grace of God displayed in Jesus Christ, Messiah.

Acts 20:25-27

a) Notice that Paul preaches the gospel of grace and the kingdom. Grace is always includes being under the authority of kingdom of God.

b) Our message is life or death to the world. 1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

c) “Whole will/counsel of God” – It is our responsibility to disclose the whole heart, emotion, truth and intentions of God to people. All of God’s counsel is embodied in the Scriptures.

Acts 20:28-31

a) Paul gives us keys on the function of local church leadership. 1 – Watch yourselves. 2 – Watch over the flock. 3 – True local church leadership is appointed by the Holy Spirit. 4 – Be shepherds. 5 – We are bought with the blood of Jesus. 6 – Protect the Church from those who have agendas that are not alignment with God. 7- Keep your doctrine rooted in truth. The Ephesian church was challenged by false apostles to point where they were worn out. See Revelation 4:2

b) The offices of Church government are servant leadership roles, and are grace from the Lord. Ephesians 4:11-12 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up – 1 Peter 5:1-4 – To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

c) Paul reminds them of his sincerity towards them and his humble tenderness. The Scripture is translated” tears”. But the Greek is literally “a tear”, and that implies deep emotional connection, not that Paul was weak.

Acts 20:32-35

a) Paul commits to the Ephesian elders the care for their church and the defense of Christianity. In the same way, Paul’s words speak to us today and remind us that we are the ones responsible for truth in our generation.

b) The word of grace has the potential to build us up and give us an inheritance in Christ. Greek – Build Up – OIKODOMEŌ – to build a house/structure, to build up from the foundation, to grow in God’s wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness and blessedness.

c) Inheritance – Greek – KLĒRONOMIA – an inheritance, what is given to one as a possession, the eternal blessedness of the consummated kingdom of God which is to be expected after the visible return of Christ, the share which an individual will have in that eternal blessedness. Ephesians 13-14 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:18 – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Hebrews 9:15 – For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

d) Paul reminds the Ephesian elders that ministry is never money motivated. See 1 Timothy 3:1-44 & 1 Thessalonians 4:11- and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,

e) Paul exhorts them to help the weak. The word in the Greek means weak in terms of physical sickness, weakness in the body, or poverty. The context is helping those who lack power in any area of their lives. Good ministers of Jesus Christ have a justice heart, because the gospel is the declaration of restoration for the whole person which is the fullest expression of justice.

f) Paul quotes Jesus. It is interesting to note that is this quote is not contained in any of the gospels, but was a commonly known thing that Jesus said. John 21:25 – Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Acts 20:36-38

a) Luke invites us to witness this very moving farewell in our imagination as he describes their departure. Paul love the Ephesian Church and they loved Paul.

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QTI Session 3 Notes – Dave Collins and Rob Covell

Introduction –

In this session we will begin looking at the life of Abraham from a macro-view that will reveal God as Father and Intimate Friend. The development of the salvation narrative through the life of Abraham mirrors and prophecies the New Covenant reality of faith, the New Covenant reality of grace, friendship with God, and reveals a proto-gospel through Abraham’s life.

As we travel through Abraham’s life we will correlate his life to New Testament Scriptures that point our attention that what God has promised to Abraham has been fulfilled in the New Covenant. Abraham models to us what a grace based friendship with God looks like, and promotes the theological construct that God would relate to all of His people in a similar manner.

Abraham’s life path is symbolic of the New Testament believer who walks with the Lord by faith and is matured to obedience through a process of relating to the Lord relationally and persevering in the promises of God. The life of Abraham teaches us that the Lord is committed to His own covenant partners and will walk us through every season of our lives until we reach the fullness of our destinies in Him. Our response is one of trusting, obeying, and receiving grace from God to obtain that which is promised in Him.

Genesis 12:1-9 – The Call of Abram/Abraham

a) The Lord initiates the invitation for Abram (exalted father) to journey with Him. This is grace in action. We are not given any indication that Abram earned favor with God or was special in any sense other than he would respond to God’s invitation. God in His fore-knowledge invited Abram into a promise. Abram was invited to trust the Lord into the unknown.

b) The promise that the Lord gives Abram seems like an impossibility. Abram is 75 years old and has no children. Look at the scope of the promise that the Lord invites Abram to partner with. 1 – The Lord will make Abram a great nation (people). 2 – I will bless you (BARAK). The Lord promised Abram divine favor. 3 – The Lord would build Abram’s reputation. The “name” in the ancient world represented the persons’ character and nature. The Hebrew word is SHEM, which means reputation, glory, and fame. 4 – Abram would be a blessing (Bĕrakah). This word means a source of prosperity, a blessing, a gift. 5 – “I will curse those who curse you”; The Hebrew word QALAL is used here and means to revile. God is promising Abram that those who revile him or hold him of low esteem, will be judged by God. This is symbolic of the favor that accompanies those who relate to God by faith, and not nationality. 6 – The Lord promises to protect Abram and defend him.

c) Verse 7 – and to your seed – See Galatians 3:15-18

d) Abram responds to the call of God and journeys with the Lord. It is important to note that the Lord is continuing the salvation narrative and revealing more about His nature and character in the text. We should have this mindset; that the Lord will treat us in the same way that He treated Abraham. Faith is proved by responding and action, and always
contains an element of risk.

e) Abram’s first stop in the land of Canaan is Moreh (teacher). It is implied in the text that Abram was being taught by God. In verse 7, the Lord appears to Abram. As we obey, more revelation of God is given to us. God responds to faith. Bethel means “House of God” and Ai means “Heap of Ruins”. This is symbolic of the tension that accompanies those who with God by faith.

f) Abram builds an altar and calls on His Name. To call on the divine Name means that Abram was seeking relationship with God so that Abram would know/experience the nature and character of the One who possesses that Name. The divine Name of God implies 2 truths about God. 1 – That as God is I AM, He has life in Himself and needs no other. 2 – He is the God who is the “becoming One”. The compound Names of God show us that God will become whatever is needed for those who love Him. The knowledge of God causes us to worship Him, just as Abram worshipped God.

Genesis 12:10-17 – Abram flees to Egypt

a) Abram stumbles in his faith. Abram was presented with the opportunity to trust the Lord. The Lord did not call Abram to Egypt, but to Canaan.

b) Abram lies to Pharaoh and dishonors Sarai (princess). The Lord defends Sarai and protects the Messianic bloodline.

c) Abram received what he did not deserve. The Lord proved faithful and honored His promise to Abram, even though Abram stumbled. The Lord is revealing His kindness and graciousness.

d) The Providence of God is in full view here. The Providence of the Lord is Him moving behind the scenes, in midst of the decisions of people, to accomplish His purposes. Through the narrative of Abram, God is revealing Himself as Friend and Father.

e) We are introduced to the symbolism of Egypt in the Scriptures. Egypt equals being a place outside of God’s will, a place of testing, a place where God’s people do not find long-term help, a prophetic metaphor/picture of God’s people being delivered from their enemies.

f) Contrast Abraham leaving Egypt with great wealth to the Moses and the Israelites leaving Egypt with great wealth. Abram’s life is a prophetic sketch of that which the Lord would ultimately do at a later time. If one is observant, we will notice that many times Scripture is a circular narrative of repeating themes. The book of Revelation is a good example of the circular themed narrative.

Genesis 13:1-4 – Abram and Lot Separate

a) Abram now possesses great wealth. The principle in view here is grace. Abram has received that which he has not deserved. It is also important to note that Abram has prospered in every way except one; he is rich in every way a person could be wealthy in ancient culture with the exception of children. We see God being kind and gracious as Abram waits for the promise, much like the believer who experiences the kindness and grace of God as we wait for the promise.

b) Abram returns to the place of fellowship and worship of the Lord. Abram models for us the wisdom of always returning to the Lord when we have left the path of life. Again we see the beautiful language of calling on the Name of the Lord, implying that not only did Abram worship the Lord, he was discovering the Person of God and God was continuing to reveal Himself as the “becoming One”.

Genesis 13:5-7

a) Lot prospered alongside Abram demonstrating that the grace and favor of God that was on Abram was being extended to all who were near him. Part of the promise to Abram from the Lord, was that he would be a blessing, or a source of blessing to others. This is a first fruits expression of that blessing. Likewise, the Church should extend a similar grace to the world around us because we too are sons and daughters of Abraham.

b) Notice that the quarrelling is over resource. This is a key to understanding the narrative in the section of Scripture. c) The Canaanites and Perizzites are mentioned in the text. The Lord is able to protect His people in the midst of their enemies.

Genesis 13:8-13

a) As Abram and Lot separate we begin to see a contrast between the person who lives by faith and trust, and the one who lives by the flesh or partners with the world. Abram’s prosperity was not sourced by the natural, but flowed from the supernatural goodness and grace of God.

b) Abram displays humility and trust in God as he gives Lot the honor to choose his path. Lot becomes to us the example of the person who lives in the flesh and is governed by his passions. See 2 Peter 2:7.

c) We are introduced to the condition of Sodom, which becomes prophetic symbolism of the world order that is rebellious to God and an example of that which will be judged by God. Just a cursory word search of Sodom in Scripture will teach us that Sodom becomes the prophetic allegory of the place of rebellion unto judgment. See Jeremiah 23:14, Lamentations 4:6, Ezekiel 16:55, and Amos 4:11 to list a few.

Genesis 13:14-18

a) As Abram chooses to trust the Lord and move in humility, the Lord responds by giving Abram an encounter and more revelation concerning the promise.

b) The offspring or “seed” concept is applied to Jesus Christ and the New Covenant. 1 – The seed is Christ; see Galatians 3:16-19 & 1 John 3:9. 2 – The Church is the “sons of Abraham”. See Romans 4:13-14 & Galatians 3:7-8.

c) The Lord encourages Abram to explore the extent of his inheritance from God. In a similar way we are blessed to experience our eternal inheritance in God now. See Ephesians 1:13-14.

d) Mamre – Abram moved to Mamre – Strength or Fatness – Mamre is the symbol of living in the best place with God. Abram shows us that worship is the faithful response to God’s goodness.

Genesis 14 – Abram and Melchizedek

a) The battle of the 4 kings against the 5. We do not have time to explain the contest between the kings in an exhaustive way. We should however note that Abram defeated the kings against unbelievable odds. More revelation of God proving Himself faithful to the things He promised Abram.

b) Lot was taken captive – This demonstrates that when we live in compromise, captivity comes. See Romans 6:16.

c) Melchizedek – “King of Righteousness” – Salem – Peace or Jerusalem – In Melchizedek we see another proto-Messianic figure in Scripture. Melchizedek is a king and a priest which is a role of Jesus who is our King and Priest. Melchizedek brought bread and wine which points to Jesus presenting these same things as that through which we participate in the New Covenant. Hebrews 7:3 describes Melchizedek as without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. See Psalm 110.

d) We see a compound name of God – God Most High – EL ELYON means “Highest God,” or “Supreme Being”.

e) Some commentators see Melchizedek as a pre-incarnate revelation of Jesus Christ. Other commentators see Melchizedek as a type and symbol fore-shadowing Jesus Christ.

f) Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth – This is where the principle of the tithe and generosity originates. There is tremendous blessing in giving the Lord the tenth. The Tenth is accompanied by the promises of God in regards to wealth and prosperity of soul.

Genesis 15 – God’s Covenant with Abram

a) The Lord encourages Abram with the following promises. 1 – Do not be afraid. 2 – I am your shield (protection) 3 – your great reward – Implying that God is Abram’s source.

b) Abram questions the Lord about his situation of having no son. The Lord answers Abram and clarifies His promise. Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. We see that faith justifies. See Galatians 3:6.

c) Verse 11 – we see an allegory of the spiritual warfare that resists God’s the manifestation of God’s goodness. The birds of prey that tried to attack the sacrifice of the covenant are symbolic of the work of satan and demons that attack the purposes of God for His people. Notice that Abram had the authority to resist them.

d) The Lord confirms His promise with Abram by making a Covenant. A Covenant is an agreement that is bound unto death. The Covenant principle – 1- It is instituted by sacrifice. 2 – both parties are responsible for honoring their promise 4- It is punishable by death for the one who breaks it. Notice that the Lord is One who walks through the Covenant sacrifice. This covenant is grace based and Abram participated by faith.

e) It is important to see that God was communicating to Abram by vision/dream. Dreams and visions in Scripture, are God’s primary mode of revelation. We should have an expectation that the Lord would communicate to us with visions and dreams.

f) The Lord gives Abram the prophetic promise of the Exodus in verses 13-16.

Q&A

Group Discussion & Journaling

1 – Consider the interactions between the Lord and Abraham. In what ways has your relationship with the Lord mirrored Abraham’s journey with God?

2 – What are the specific promises that the Lord has given to you that have guided your life? How has Abraham’s journey with God encourage you into deeper faith in the Lord?

3 – As we have been looking at symbolism, type and prophetic shadow in Scripture, how have these concepts opened up deeper revelation in the Scriptures?

Homework – Read Genesis 16 and 17

The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 20:1-16 – Week 34 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 20:1:16

Week 34

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this session we will start Acts 20 and break the chapter up into 2 sessions so that we can take our time to explore the real history and context of the Acts narrative given to us by Luke. Acts 20 is a transitional chapter that sets the stage for the big showdown in Jerusalem between Paul and Jews as he is accused and arrested and sent to Rome.

In Acts 20 we get an intimate glimpse into the life and culture of the Early Church. There is so much implied in the text, that it is easy as we read these verses to miss much of the fullness of them. Our time stamp is spring of AD56 to AD57.

Acts 20:1

a) Paul had realized that it was time to move on from Ephesus and continue to move in his role as an apostolic father to the churches that he had planted with his team. He leaves Ephesus and goes back to the European Churches of Macedonia to strengthen them and complete the collection of the gifts for the Jerusalem Church (1 Corinthians 16:1). These were the churches that Paul planted on his second missionary journey in Acts 16-17.

b) Paul was a diligent minister who loved the Church and describes his heart in this season of his ministry. The following verses reveal his heart for the Church. 1 Corinthians 3:10 – According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 2 Corinthians 11:27-29 – I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

c) Paul’s dedication and love of the Church of Jesus Christ is an inspiration to all of us who serve the Body. Paul was actually moved with the type of intercession that feels the emotions of others and the emotions of God’s heart for His people. May we receive grace from the Holy Spirit to move in this type of intercession.

Acts 20:2-4

a) Paul stayed in Macedonia/Greece for 3 months encouraging the Church. It is important that the most important role of leaders is to speak words of encouragement to God’s people. So many ministers wear out the Bride, and point out all that is wrong, or wear them out with religious spiritual activities or works. We should major in releasing identity, intimacy and truth in the Scriptures, that empowers God’s people to live like beloved sons and daughters.

b) Paul was completing the collection for the Jerusalem Church. The men mentioned in verse 4, were the representatives of the Macedonian Churches that would accompany their gifts. What a wonderful way of promoting unity in the Church, and also showing the Jerusalem Church the fruit of their persecutions and faithfulness to Jesus. See 2 Corinthians 8 for intimate details of this collection.

c) It was Paul’s intention to travel to the apostolic hub in Antioch/Syria, and then travel to Jerusalem. But the plot of the Jews prevented Paul from sailing there. Church historians say that the plot was to attack Paul at sea and throw overboard. It is important to note that the ship would have been filled with Jewish pilgrims travelling to the Passover Feast. It would have been an opportune time to do away with Paul who was considered at this time a Jewish heretic and blasphemer. 2 Corinthians 11:26 – I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.

Acts 20:5-6

a) Paul sent the representatives of the Macedonian Churches to ahead to Troas and Paul stayed in Philippi to celebrate the Passover. Paul mentions Troas in 2 Corinthians 2:12 and 2 Timothy4:13. From these references it seems that Paul had a very effective ministry in Troas and many people came to faith there.

b) Troas – “A Trojan” – Troas was an important port city that served as a gateway between Europe and the Roman Province of Asia. The population of Troas at this point was estimated at 100,000 people. The early church father Ignatius traveled through Troas on his way to be martyred in Rome. Here is quote from him, “From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated”.

c) It is likely that Paul celebrated the Passover with Lydia’s house church. By this time there would have been long history of partnership with Lydia and Philippian Church. We can only imagine how beautiful and amazing it would have been to witness a Passover Feast led by Paul explaining the Jesus in the movements of the Passover Feast.

Acts 20:7-8

a) In verse 7 we have the first mention of the Church meeting on Sunday and not Saturday/Sabbath. We have evidence that the Christian Church delineated itself from Judaism by meeting on Sunday and not the Sabbath. This was because the focus of Christianity is toward the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

b) Breaking Bread – The Early Church service structure was prayer/worship, prophetic encouragement and teaching from the Scriptures, communion, and a common meal together. The mention to “break bread’ is a direct reference to communion. The Early Church called communion the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, and it symbolized being uniting oneself to Christ and recognizing the unity of the Body of Christ. There was an expectation, that as one took communion, the graces of the atonement would flow into that person’s life. This was the first theology of communion, called “real presence”.

c) Notice it is night. Sunday was a regular work day in Roman culture. So the early church met in the evening. Paul wanted to impart as much as possible to the church in Troas before he left for Jerusalem so he spoke to them for about 6 hours.

Acts 20:9-10

a) Eutychus – “Fortunate” – Eutychus falls from a third story window and dies. Paul’s long exhortation, teaching and preaching combined with the late night and lamps fumes made for a sleepy Eutychus.

b) Paul demonstrates the power of declaration. It is interesting that Paul used the same method of reviving Eutychus that Elijah used to raise the widow’s son from the dead. See 1 Kings 17:19-24.

c) Paul was so filled with the power of the Holy Spirit that he wrote the following in Colossians 1:29 – To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

d) Perhaps Paul received this type of power demonstration by praying Philippians 3:10 – I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

e) Jesus told us that it is possible for the Church to raise the dead. Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Irenaeus said. “dead men have actually been raised and have remained with us for many years”.

Acts 20:11-12

a) Paul continuing his fatherly instructions to the Church at Troas encouraged them until the morning. We could imagine that Paul would have been showing them Christ in the Scriptures, prophesying to them about their destinies, filling them with the Holy spirit and healing them.

Acts 20:13-17

a) From the text we can imply that Paul had decided to travel on foot and take a short cut to meet them in Assos. Assos was port town on the Aegean Sea and was the hometown of Alexander the Great. At this time the town boasted a huge amphitheater overlooking the Mediterranean, and also had a temple to Athena. It was a merchant shipping port and was an academic center of Hellenized world.

b) Paul may have traveled on foot to make sure the ship was safe to travel on because of the earlier plot to kill him on the previously planned ship voyage.

c) Paul skipped Ephesus, not because he was slighting them, but because it would have been impossible for him to stay only a few days. This Church loved Paul and he loved them. They were way too close to only blow through town and leave.

d) Paul wanted to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost. This would have been an opportune time for Paul to bring gifts to the Jerusalem Church and witness to all of the people who would have traveled to Jerusalem from throughout the Roman Empire to celebrate the Pentecost.

e) Pentecost – Feast of First fruits – Leviticus 23:9-14 – means “the 50”, 7 Sabbaths
from the Passover, the offering of First Fruits of the harvest to the Lord. It was the celebration of the goodness of God and His provision that proves His faithfulness to His people. The Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost symbolizing the First Fruits of harvest to the Church and First Fruits of the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Church. First Fruits New Testament Scriptures – Romans 8:23 – And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 1 Corinthians 15:20 – But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. James 1:18 – In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

QTI -Session Notes

QTI – Session 2

Dave Collins and Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session we will look at the “macro-view” of God’s redemptive narrative through the life of Noah. In Genesis chapters 5-9 we see Noah presented to us as a proto-messianic figure that delivers humanity from the judgment of God, and through God’s mercy, God establishes another grace based covenant with humanity as well as continuing the dominion mandate for humanity to rule and reign over His creation.

Genesis chapters 5-9 are full of prophetic symbolism and type/shadow that communicates to us very clear concepts relating to God’s nature and character. This is an exciting section of Scripture because more revelation about God’s emotions, mercy and grace are highlighted to us in these chapters. In this session we explore the following theological constructs:

1 – The Lord God establishing the Messianic Bloodline through Seth.

2 – Noah as the proto-messiah figure that foreshadows Jesus Christ.

3 – God’s grieving over humanity.

4 – The two theological positions concerning the Nephilim.

5 – God’s grace based Covenant with humanity through Noah.

Genesis 5:1-2

a) Genesis continues to present the Lord in the truth that He is a completely benevolent Creator. Humanity is blessed as a whole through the blessing He gave to Adam and Eve. The text says that God called them “man/Adam”; this presents to us that all of humanity is represented through Adam. Romans 5:14 – Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 1 Corinthians 15:22 – For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:45 – So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

b) Seth – As we follow Seth we see that the genealogies of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Jesus (in regards to His humanity) all extended from this righteous bloodline. Seth was the 3rd Son, which represents new beginnings or resurrection in Scripture. Seth means “compensation”, which is symbolic of righteous Abel being replaced by Seth. Eve named him Seth as appeal to the Lord’s promise of messianic deliverer that would crush the head of the serpent/satan.

c) From Seth to Jesus – See 1 Chronicles 1:1 and Luke 3:38. The Scriptural genealogies are for the express purpose of documenting God’s prophetic promises to humanity concerning Jesus Christ. It is interesting to point out that only one Jewish genealogy survived the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD70. That is the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 5:24

a) Enoch – It is important to note that there are 2 Enoch’s in Scripture. The first was the son of Cain, the second was the son of Seth. We see the symbolism of rebellious man/man of sin contrasted to the legitimate God loving man. This is simply another indicator of the struggle between evil/sin versus a humanity that seeks to please God. We could also draw an eschatological reference between the 2 Enoch’s. Enoch the son of Cain representing those in agreement with the antichrist spirit and Enoch the son of Seth representing redeemed or God fearing humanity.

b) Enoch lived 365 years – Scriptural Symbolism – 3 – number of resurrection – 6 – number of humanity – 5 – number of grace = The resurrection of Jesus redeems humanity by grace. Enoch was the seventh from Adam; this is another symbolic number that represents wholeness, being complete, rest, or the number of God.

c) Enoch pleased God and God took him to be with Him. This highlights the truth that the Lord desires the godly to be with Him in His dwelling place. See Hebrews 11:5 – By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. Jude – It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,

Genesis 5:29

a) Noah – Hebrew – NOACH – Comfort/Rest – Notice that people are naming their descendants with names that appeal to Messianic hope. The hope here is that Noah would be a redeemer from the curse on the creation. As we follow the narrative of Noah, he becomes a type of proto-messiah that prophesies its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. See Luke 3:36

Genesis 6:1-9

a) We are presented with a theological mystery concerning the pre-flood era in verses 1-9. This mystery revolves around the identity of the “sons of God”. There are 2 theological positions regarding their identity. 1 – The righteous sons of Seth are intermarrying with the unrighteous descendants of Cain. See Deuteronomy 7:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 – The “sons of God” refer to fallen angels/demons that intermarry with human women and produce demonically empowered offspring.

b) The first position begs the questions; Why would this make God so concerned as to judge humanity to the point of complete destruction? Why was the offspring of those marriages super-human or “unnatural”? The text does not answer this at all.

c) The second position seems more plausible because of the extreme measures God uses to deal with this situation. It is clear from a survey of Scripture that the “sons of God” refer to the angelic order. See Job 1:6, Job 2:1, and Job 38:7. See Jude 1:6-7 – And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

d) It is unfruitful to debate the type or nature of these unions. The bottom line is that these unions were demonically inspired and produced unnatural offspring. The strategy of satan here is to corrupt humanity and prevent the Messiah Jesus from being born by a righteous virgin named Mary.

e) “My Spirit will not contend” – The Lord in His wisdom limits the lifespan of people in order to limit the propagation of sin and the effects of sin in society.

f) The Nephilim are the products of the unnatural unions between demons and humans. We must be careful to avoid myths and legends regarding the Nephilim and only receive what the Scriptures present to us. The giants here refer to the demonic offspring in the pre-flood era. The giants on the earth after this refer to those of unnatural height that are rebellious humans, i.e. Goliath. See 1 Chronicles 20:4-8.

g) The Lord was grieved – God is not expressing regret in the text. God in His omniscience knew this would take place. What we see are here are 2 truths about God that are being accented. 1 – God has emotions. See Ephesians 4:30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 2- God wanted to show that grace and mercy always triumph over judgment. Even in the midst of the most corrupt condition of humanity, grace was found. See Romans 5:20

h) Noah was a righteous man and walked with God. The righteous in the land bring the favor of God and make a way for salvation to come. Noah is being presented as a “second Adam” prototype savior/messiah. Noah is a prophetic foreshadow if Jesus Christ.

Genesis 6:11-21

a) The ark is symbolic of that which preserves and that delivers from destruction. The ark is an eschatological symbol of God delivering the righteous from the judgment of sin. For the sake of time we will move on in our session and not go into great detail about the ark or its construction. We will simply say that the ark is prophetic symbol of God’s ability to deliver the righteous and judge the wicked.

Genesis 6:22

a) Noah teaches us that obedience to the Lord always delivers us and is proof of our relationship. Obedience flows from relationship with God. Romans 5:19 – For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?1 Peter 1:22 – Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 1 Samuel 15:22 – But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. John 14:23 – Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Genesis 7:1-24 Macro-View

a) Noah “was found righteous” demonstrates that the righteous deliver people and that Noah’s righteousness saved his family (humanity) from the flood. This is another proto-messianic reference.

b) 40 days – 40 represents a time of testing and proving.

c) The Lord shut him in – Notice that this could be a pre-incarnate reference to Jesus the Son, similar to Genesis 3:8.

Genesis 8:1-22 Macro-View

a) God remembered Noah – The Lord never forgets or disregards His people. Isaiah 44:21 – “Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant. I have made you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15 – “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Hebrews 6:10 – God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

b) Noah came out and built an altar to the Lord. Noah’s response to God’s kindness and grace is worship. Worship is sweet to God and pleases Him. Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

c) Noah re-establishes the knowledge of God and the proper way to approach Him in worship

Genesis 9:1-17 Macro-View

a) God blessed Noah – We see the concept of grace in full view in verse 1-3. God blesses humanity in Noah’s covenant and re-empowers the dominion mandate for humanity to prosper.

b) The Lord highlights the sanctity of life in verses 4-6. See Acts 15:20 – Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

c) Blood in Scripture – Blood was the sign of mercy for Israel at the first Passover (Exodus 12:13)

d) Blood sealed God’s covenant with Israel (Exodus 24:8)

e) Blood sanctified the altar (Exodus 29:12)

f) Blood set aside the priests (Exodus 29:20)

g) Blood made atonement for God’s people (Exodus 30:10)

h) Blood sealed the new covenant (Matthew 26:28)

i) Blood justifies us (Romans 5:9)

j) Blood brings redemption (Ephesians 1:7)

k) Blood brings peace with God (Colossians 1:20)

l) Blood cleanses us (Hebrews 9:14 and 1 John 1:7)

m) Blood gives entrance to God’s holy place (Hebrews 10:19)

n) Blood sanctifies us (Hebrews 13:12)

o) Blood enables us to overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11)

p) The Lord makes His Second Covenant with humanity in verses 8-17. Notice that this covenant is a completely grace based and highlights the truth that the Lord is fatherly and benevolent towards people. It is interesting to note that even though mankind has a sin problem, the Lord is still relating to humanity through grace. God is looking at humanity from the position of the redemption and reconciliation that Jesus worked on the cross. See Revelation 13:8 – All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

q) The rainbow is the sign/symbol of God’s faithfulness towards humanity. There are 7 colors in the rainbow. In Revelation 4:3 God’s throne is surrounded by an emerald rainbow. This reveals that God is a God of promises and faithfulness. The rainbow around His throne is a circle, unbroken and never ending.

Q&A

Group Discussion & Journaling 1 – What facet of God’s nature and character in the account of Noah was most meaningful to you?
2 – As we have looked at the “macro-view” of the account of Noah, concerning the finer details of the description of the ark and 40-day flood, what Scriptural symbolism and truth stands out to you?
Homework – Read Genesis 12, 13, 14, and 15

Acts of the Apostles – Acts :21-41 – Week 33 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 19:21-41

Week 33

Rob Covell
Introduction – In this session we will complete Acts 19 which ends in a massive riot in the Roman Amphitheater at Ephesus. The account of the Ephesian Church is an exciting one because we see the Church had penetrated the economy, the regional government and severely impacted the Temple of Artemis by mass evangelism.

It is important to note that the Ephesian Church began to really make an impact after they repented for their spiritual adultery in Acts 19:18. When the collective church gives itself to the whole-hearted pursuit of Jesus, the power and influence the Church possess is increased. The Church possesses the weight of glory when she walks in her identity as a Bride and true Covenant Companion of the Son of Man.

If we were to contrast the Corinthian Church to the Ephesian Church, we would see a contrast between a party revival spirit with compromise in Corinth and an Ephesian Church that knows the fear of the Lord and power of His glory. The Corinthian Church never impacted Corinth in a way the Ephesian Church impacted Ephesus. Even contrasting 1&2 Corinthians to the Epistle of the Ephesians draws an even clearer distinction between these 2 faith communities. Our time stamp is approximately AD54.

Acts 21-22

a) Luke does not mention it specifically, but the reason Paul wanted to travel through Macedonia and Achaia was to take a collection to support the Jerusalem Church that was struggling through a famine. Agabus prophesied this in Acts 11:28. This indeed did happen when Claudius was the Roman Emperor. Paul mentions this collection in Romans 15:25-31 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-4.

b) Timothy and Erastus were given the task to oversee the collection. Erastus means “beloved”, and he was the City Treasurer of Corinth. According to Church History, Erastus stayed in Jerusalem after this trip and actually served as a deacon in the Jerusalem church until AD66, just before the destruction of the Temple in AD70. It is important to note that Christianity penetrates all areas of society.

Acts 19:23

a) Ephesus – A major port city in the Roman Province of Asia and was known for the Temple of Artemis/Diana which was one of the 7 wonders of the world. Ephesus was prosperous city was a large population (220 K). Ephesus means “permitted” and was the seat of government for that region.

b) Artemis/Diana – The Temple of Artemis was famous throughout the ancient world. Greek Mythology held that the image of Artemis fell from Jupiter and landed in Ephesus. Artemis is depicted as a female goddess covered in breasts.
Artemis was connected to a fertility cult, and like Corinth, her demonic worship was connected to female temple prostitution.

c) We see that the Ephesian Church had such a deep and wide influence that the economy of Ephesus began to be impacted. The economy in Ephesus thrived not only from it being a sea port, but also the Temple of Artemis, being one of the 7 Wonders of the World brought the region monetary gain because of the religious/idolatry tourism.

d) Notice the Church being referred to as the Way. Greek – The Way – HODOS – a traveler’s way, a way well-travelled, a journey, metaphor for a course of conduct and a way of thinking and feeling. Walking with Jesus is both a journey and way of conducting ourselves in the world. I am thankful that the Lord journeys with us through of our life paths and that the perseverance of faith pay huge spiritual dividends.

Acts 19:24-27

a) The Temple of Artemis/Diana had a very robust economy surrounding it. First, it acted as a major bank and treasury for merchants, and regional leaders to deposit finances at the Temple. Second, because it was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient world, many would be purchasing idols and related items associated with this sex-cult.

b) In the ancient world, trade guilds protected trade secrets and processes related to their trades. They often had a patron idol that they looked to, to protect their trade and give them favor. Demetrius is appealing to these people because all of their trades served one another. In Revelation 2:18-29, Jesus warns the church in Thyatira not to continue their participation in these groups because of the compromise of eating food sacrificed idols by these guilds.

c) Demetrius charged Paul with attacking their trade by replacing Artemis with Jesus. Apparently, Paul and the Ephesian church were so successful in bringing transformation that their economy was affected. Jesus said in Luke 13:21, that the Kingdom of God was like leaven, because it works its way through the whole social order as people give their lives to Jesus.

Acts 28-31

a) The Church had released such a revival and reformation that all of Ephesus began to start a riot. In this we see the spiritual warfare in the unseen realm being manifested in the natural realm in the form of a riot. We are witnessing the displacement of ungodly principalities and powers being dislodged by the authority of the gospel.

b) Gaius (lord/man of stature) – Church History records that Gaius is also mentioned in 3 John. His was a popular name and there are 2 more Gaius’ mentioned in Scripture. Gaius of Corinth, and Gaius of Derbe.

c) Aristarchus (the best ruler) – Paul mentions him in Colossians 4:10 and Philemon 1:24. Church history says he was martyred in Apamea (Syria). These two men travelled with Paul and supported his ministry in Ephesus.

d) Paul apparently had reached many people in the regional government. The Church in Ephesus had deeply penetrated at least 4 pillars of society. This would
be Economy, Religion, Family and Government. e) The Ephesian Amphitheater was a massive complex. In the First Century it was used for gladiator combats and spectacles. From our text, we see that this spontaneous demonic manifestation of a riot moved through the city and accumulated at the Amphitheater.

Acts 19:32-34

a) Confusion – This is a satanic fruit of an unclean spirit. Confusion in the Scriptures is also associated with being under the influence of lies or a state of judgment. See Deuteronomy 7:23, 1 Samuel 5:9 and Isaiah 9:16. The Lord promises us peace. See Galatians 5:22.

b) The Jews in Ephesus who opposed Paul saw an opportunity to persecute him so they promoted Alexander to the front to make their case against Paul probably on the basis of blasphemy. It is interesting to think that 2 demonic spirits of religion, Artemis and Old Covenant Judaism were attacking Paul. This was an amazing violent demonic manifestation, that indicates that their power structures are falling. The enemy gets the loudest on the way out!

c) As they are screaming “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians” it must have been a wall of sound. Archeologists say the theater in Ephesus had such great acoustics that sound would been deafening inside the theater and heard from miles away. The theater was surrounded by bronze and clay “sounding vessels” that bounced the sound all over the theater.

Acts 19:35-39

a) According to Greek mythology, Artemis fell from Jupiter. Can we say fallen angel!

b) The city clerk would be the equivalent to a city mayor in our culture.

c) The city clerk defends Gaius and Aristarchus. Christianity does actively seek to destroy other religions. Christianity stands on the power of the love of Christ, and transforms cultures through mass evangelism. The value system of Jesus heals societies and defeats other religions, not by war or contending, but by the transforming love of Jesus.

d) The courts in Ephesus were located in the Agora of Ephesus. The Agora in Ephesus has an extensive aqueduct, a sundial, and massive a marketplace where everyone bought and sold.

Acts 19:40-41

a) Being charged with rioting by the Roman authorities would bring some type of punishment to a city. This could be in taxes, sanctions, arrests or even the trials and executions of public officials. Because Ephesus was the seat of regional government, this riot was a serious matter.

b) We see the Providence of God in play here through the city clerk. The Lord preserved the Ephesian Church through the wise judgment of the city clerk. We should never underestimate the Lord’s ability to work through even the toughest of situations. After this event the Church Ephesus was securely established and lasted until the 1300’s.

QTI – Session 1 – Notes

Introduction –

In this Session we will look at Genesis chapters 1 through 3 using a “macro-view” approach that will help us develop a foundation on which to begin to understand the nature and character of God and His relational nature towards His creation/humanity.

We will look at the following theological constructs in this Session.
1 – God as loving Creator

2 – God’s original intent for humanity

3 – The dominion mandate

4 – The Fall

5 – The hope of Messiah and the beginning of the Salvation Narrative

Genesis 1:1-2 God as Loving Creator

a) Genesis is the first book in a series of writings of Moses called Pentateuch. The first 5 books of the Scriptures are written by Moses, and are assumed to be the written narrative of Hebrew oral tradition. Moses would not be the originator of these theological constructs about God, but Moses being directed by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Pentateuch from compiling oral tradition, and his partnership/eye witness account of the Exodus to the Law. Scripture assumes the pre-existence of God, with proof being the existence of the created order. See Romans 1:18-32.

b) God as Designer – The Scriptures present to us the thought that God, as Creator, also is a Designer who designed the cosmos with benevolent intent. This leads us to the thought that if God is a Designer, then He designed life to live well and work well. No designer ever designs something to fail or not work per design.

c) God initiated creation not because He needed anything or was lacking anything in Himself. God created creation with the intention for creation to experience and know His perfect nature and character, and benefit from His goodness.

d) The Scriptures are not a scientific apologetic for the existence of God. The Scriptures present theological truth in the form of allegory, type, shadow, parables, numerology and symbolism that communicate truth regarding God. Scriptural literalism is not a viable hermeneutic in which to interpret the Scripture. Literalism is apparent is some texts, however, we should never use literalism as the only way in which to view interpretation.

e) God – Hebrew – ‘ELOHIYM – plural intensive, singular meaning – The True God/Godhead. Verse 2 shows us the early concept of the Trinity or Godhead from the beginning of Scripture. Spirit of God, Hebrew – RUWACH – Spirit of God, the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son, never referred to in an impersonal manner, the Living Breath of Life. Verse 2 shows us 2 Persons of the Trinity. Later in Genesis 2 and 3 we see the Son presented us.

f) As we discuss the concept of the Godhead/Trinity, we need to look at the New Testament revelation regarding the role Jesus Christ fulfilled in creation. Reference – Colossians 1:16
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. John 1:3 – All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

g) The Divine Name – Tetragrammaton – YHWH – LORD – I suggest we read the introductions to our Bible translations for further clarification regarding the use of LORD in regards to the Divine Name of God. Jewish tradition inserted a Title when referring to the Divine Name of God, in much the same way a son refers to their father with the title “father” instead of their name. The introductions in our Bibles clearly communicate their methods in using LORD instead of YHWH. In the case of Genesis 1, ‘ELOHIYM is used. We will discuss this topic in greater detail later. Genesis 2:4 introduces us to the Divine Name.

Genesis 1:26-28 Original Intent & Dominion Mandate

a) The Lord creates mankind with unique qualities that reflect Himself. Hebrew – Image – TSELEM – resemblance – Likeness – Hebrew – DEMUWTH – similitude. So in some sense we reflect God in terms of morality, creativity, beauty, consciousness, free will, and many other manifold expressions of God in mankind. God created humanity with the most honor over all His creation. People inherently possess worth in God’s eyes. See John 3:16-17

b) Rule – Hebrew – RADAH – Dominion, dominate, tread down, rule, and subjugate – We see from the definition of this word that humanity has a mandate from God as His highest created beings, that we would be the vehicle for God’s wisdom to be expressed throughout the earth. This gives us the principle that God intended people mimic His Kingship by acting as emissaries over His creation. Man had been given a realm to rule. See Ephesians 3:10

c) Blessed – Hebrew – BARAK – to praise, to speak divine favor over – The Lord gave favor to accompany the mandate. This is the ability or grace to carry out the mandate.

d) The reality that God blessed humanity is so important, that the Lord repeats this truth again in verse 27 and 28. See Ephesians 1:3.

e) We are presented with the original design for humanity before the fall of mankind. When we consider Jesus as the One who reconciled what had been lost in Eden, we get a glimpse of the magnitude of the His redemption and reconciliation. This understanding is the foundation that sets the purpose for a Messiah. See Romans 8:19.

Genesis 3:1-19 The Fall and the Promise of Messiah (Second Adam)

a) Dominion Lost – Satan/Serpent/Enemy approached mankind and used deception and lies to challenge the goodness of God, and to attack the dominion mandate. he Serpent – Hebrew – AURWM – sly, crafty, subtle – skillful in underhanded or usurper. The serpent is the symbolic allegory/archetype assigned to the devil.

b) Adam and Eve as representatives of God or possessors’ of God’s authority to rightfully rule, gave the authority to rule to the serpent/Satan. See Matthew 4:8-9

c) Mankind at that point before the Fall, only had knowledge of good, purity, morality; basically we were perfect in reflecting the image of God. However, through the Fall, the knowledge of evil entered into our consciousness. See Genesis 3:6-8 – We see the pre-incarnate Son, interacting with Adam and Eve.

d) God gave Adam and Eve freewill, so that they would have the choice to love God freely. Obedience to God is found in the ability to love God as a freewill choice. Love is a choice. God showed honor to man by granting freewill. God is not in control, but He is a place of ultimate authority. God did not child proof the garden. See Romans 6:16

e) The curse – The ground or earth realm was cursed, death is a curse, and the entrance of evil in fullness is death. The creation was cursed, that is to say that corruption entered into the creation, because now creation began to reflect its illegal authority which is Satan. So we see the source of evil in the world comes from Satan, not God. 1 John 1:5 God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all. God did not curse people, but the realm in which they had dominion.

f) The Serpent is cursed – See Revelation 20:10 & John 8:44

g) Messiah is promised – One who would rightly defeat the serpent, and re-establish the dominion. This would be Jesus Christ prophesied from the very beginning of salvation history. Romans 5:12-20 outlines this concept in a very direct way. See 1 Corinthians 15:22 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-46.

Genesis 3:21-24 Sacrifice and Covering from Sin Originate in God

a) The LORD God made garments of skin. We can conclude from the text that in order for Adam and Eve to be covered, there was the shedding of blood to provide the covering. We are introduced to the concept of blood sacrifice as covering for sin. Notice that God did the work of covering. This sets the precedent and symbolism that points to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

b) The text does not imply that God is ever the author of evil. However, the omniscience of God implies that for one to know good, one must understand evil.

c) Corrupt humanity is unfit for eternal life because sin, pain, and evil become unlimited in scope and unreconciled.

d) The banishment from Eden is symbolism of the divide and separation that exists without the reconciliation of the cross of Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve no longer had relationship God in the context of the full revelation of God that previously enjoyed.

Q&A

Group Discussion
1 – Genesis presents God’s nature and character as wholly benevolent and good from the beginning. How is the reputation of God perceived in our society? In what ways can Christians better communicate God’s original intent for people?
2 – Look at the symbolism presented to us in Genesis, and draw parallels between the symbolism in Genesis chapters 1,2, and 3, and other Scriptures that communicate the concept of Messiah.
3 – Genesis 3 introduces us to the concept of personalized evil and spiritual warfare at a macro-level. What was the main lie about God that is the root from which temptation follows?
4 – The promise of Messiah in Genesis 3:15 points to the defeat of the serpent and the dominion mandate being re-established. In what ways can the Church demonstrate the dominion mandate?

Homework Assignment

1 – Read Genesis Chapters 6,7,8 & 9 – Look for prophetic symbolism of the Messianic promise of Jesus Christ in the text. Write these instances in your QTI journal.

2 – Read Romans Chapters 1-3 and contrast these chapters in Romans to the theological concepts presented in Session Write your supporting concepts and contrasts in your QTI journal.

The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 19:1-22 – Week 32 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 19:1-22 Week 32

Rob Covell
Introduction – In this Session we begin Acts 19 and we are given an intimate view of the results of preaching an apostolic gospel. In Ephesus, Paul stays for 2 years and releases and fathers’ a revival/reformation that is comparable to no other in the history of the First Century Church. The Ephesian Church endured with unbroken apostolic succession from the First Century to the 1300’s. Ephesus was the city where the Apostle John relocated Mary the Virgin until her death. John died in Ephesus and Peter was known to visit Ephesus often. Timothy was the senior leader of the Church in Ephesus in the later years of his ministry. The Ephesian Church is rich with Church history. There were 3 apostolic councils held in Ephesus in the AD400’s. Paul wrote 1&2 Corinthians in Ephesus, and addressed this Church in his letter to the Ephesians, which contains no correction or discipline, but is full of identity and encouragement.

Acts 19 tells the narrative of a Church that was birthed by a group of approximately 12 people, and in 2 years, from that small group of believers, the whole Roman Province of Asia was evangelized. In this chapter we see the following: a mobilized Church; Paul ministers in the highest amounts of anointing and power; we see spiritual warfare manifest in violent confrontations; we see compromised Christians repent and reap the benefit of holiness. Our time stamp is approximately AD54.

Acts 19:1-3

a) Ephesus – A major port city in the Roman Province of Asia and was known for the Temple of Artemis/Diana which was one of the 7 wonders of the world. Ephesus was prosperous city was a large population (220 K). Ephesus means “permitted” and was the seat of government for that region.

b) Artemis/Diana – The Temple of Artemis was famous throughout the ancient world. Greek Mythology held that the image of Artemis fell from Jupiter and landed in Ephesus. Artemis is depicted as a female goddess covered in breasts. Artemis was connected to a fertility cult, and like Corinth, her demonic worship was connected to female temple prostitution.

c) Paul returns to Ephesus on his Third Missionary Journey. Paul ministered in Ephesus briefly on his way to Antioch and left Priscilla and Aquila there in Ephesus. It appears that Priscilla and Aquila may have left Ephesus to return to Corinth with Apollos because the number of disciples was very small, about 12 in number.

d) These were obviously disciples that Apollos converted because they had a thorough knowledge of John’s proclamation of Jesus and at least a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, otherwise they would not have been described as disciples.

e) Paul noticed that these believers were not empowered with the Holy Spirit. What
was lacking in their expression of faith that alerted Paul to ask his question? Most likely lacking was the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, boldness, spiritual maturity and holiness/sanctification. See Galatians 5. Notice that they had not been taught about the ministry of the Holy Spirit but simply believed in Jesus the Messiah. Acts shows the following progression; people believe in Jesus and come to saving faith and then an empowerment of the Holy Spirit follows their faith. Some traditions call this the baptism of the Holy Spirit or the filling of the Holy Spirit. See Acts 8:14-17. Evangelicals who do not hold a theology that accepts the filling of the Spirit have to explain away this ministry of the Holy Spirit teaching that this mode of His ministry ended when the Canon of Scripture closed. There is no New testament proof of this doctrine and it cannot be defended in Scripture. But can only be defended by their experience. One must acknowledge from Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:1-6 that a person can be a believer in Jesus Christ unto salvation, and have no empowerment or ministry of the Holy Spirit present in their spiritual lives and thus experience no benefit of that power. This expression becomes one of the word and not power with the word.

Acts 19:4-7 a) Paul explained to them the full revelation of Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. After they were baptized into the Body of Christ, Paul imparted the gift of the Holy Spirit to them. There are 2 ways we see the Holy Spirit filling believers. 1 – Sovereignly as in Acts 2 at Pentecost or in Acts 10:44 at Cornelius’ house. 2 – By the laying on of hands (impartation) as in Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:4-7. Also see Romans 1:11.

b) “Came on them” Greek – ERCHOMAI EPI – To arise and make known by coming upon – When the Holy Spirit is present, there is an evidence or an indication that He is there.

c) The consistent evidence of the baptism/filling of the Holy Spirit is tongues, prophesy and praise. What follows is supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit/Christian Maturity, and power over the enemy/sin. Charles Spurgeon said, “give a man an electric shock and he will know it; give a man the Holy Spirit and he will know it much more”.

d) Luke mentions around 12 believers. It is important that the word translated in the NIV as “men” is actually a generic term for a group of men and women. Also we might see a reference of 12 tying this small group to the 12 of Jesus. This implies that with even 12, a massive city like Ephesus can be completely penetrated and converted to Jesus Christ. 12 is also a symbolic number for the government/power to rule/people of God in Scripture.

Acts 19:8-10

a) According to Paul’s evangelism pattern, he started with those who would have been familiar with the Scriptures and had been waiting for Messiah. In Acts 18:19-20 Paul had visited this synagogue earlier. It seems that many were accepting of Paul’s message of the Kingdom of God to the point that Paul was able to consistently minister in the synagogue for 3 months. Finally, the division between the spirit of religion versus the gospel of the kingdom separated them.

b) Christianity is described as the Way. The Greek word is a descriptive for a travelers’ way, a journey, or a pathway well-travelled. It is important to note that our faith is one of process and journey, and not a sprint, a season, or a phase.

c) In Ephesus we see the first Church building established. Obviously there was some type of permanent facility in Antioch, but in Macedonia and Galatia it appears that the communities met in the houses of wealthy converts. This implies that in Ephesus, the church was prosperous enough and held enough numbers in the community to support the rent on the lecture hall of Tyrannus. Church history says that Tyrannus was a Hellenistic Jewish man who was a rabbi/synagogue ruler that was converted by Paul’s ministry. His lecture hall was the Midrash/school that he operated in Ephesus.

d) Notice that Paul taught every day for 2 years. If Paul was sequestered and teaching for 2 years, how did the whole region of Asia hear the word of the Lord? The answer is that Paul empowered and activated the Ephesian Church to move in the gospel of the Kingdom. This Church was an activated apostolic hub of equipping and sending.

Acts 19:11-12

a) Paul’s ministry in Ephesus was the highest peak of anointing that we have a record for in Scripture. It is interesting to consider that Paul carried an overflow of power and anointing that people would bring cloths and servants aprons to him to touch so that the power of God would be imparted to those who were weak, sick and demonized would be healed. This is a very similar manifestation that Jesus carried in the account of the woman who had the issue of blood in Luke 8:43-48. Jesus described that power went out from Him. Greek – DYNAMIS – inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth, power for performing miracles, moral power and excellence of soul.

b) The text says that God worked extraordinary miracles through Paul. This teaches us that God is willing to work in powerful ways to those who are willing to partner with Him and be conduit for His works. Lastly, Scripture gives us an open opportunity to consider that what we possess, we can give away, and that at some supernatural level, it is possible imprint the power of God on an object. This is all very challenging, but according to Scripture, possible.

c) The power of God manifest in miracles is the evidence that the kingdom of God is being expanded and established.

Acts 19:13-17

a) The 7 Sons of Sceva were itinerant Jewish exorcists who traveled around on a synagogue circuit, waging spiritual warfare. In that culture there was a developed ministry of demonic deliverance ministry. Jesus mentioned that the Jews were doing demonic deliverances in Matthew 12:27.

b) Notice that these deliverance ministers were using the Name of Jesus in a ritualistic manner. There is inherent power in the Name of Jesus, however without relationship one has no right to use it.

c) Satan and demons know Christ and those who follow him and expand His
authoritative spiritual rule and reign. Once these demons figured out that they were illegally using the Name of Jesus, the demons through the man, attacked them viciously to point of drawing blood.

d) Spiritual warfare is very dangerous for those who do not know Christ and are intimate with Him. His name belongs to sons and daughters, and anything less is open to demonic attack and ruin. These men only know the name of the Jesus that Paul preached and not Jesus Himself.

e) The knowledge of this incident highlighted the power of the Church of Jesus Christ to the city of Ephesus. When the Church is distinguished and known by the power it possesses, she is respected. See Ephesians 3:10.

Acts 19:18-20

a) The intense power encounter between the demonized man and the 7 Sons of Sceva caused the believers who were in compromise to consider their spiritual adultery and repent. The power of God on display is an onramp for repentance.

b) This was a major breakthrough for the Church. The occult scrolls were valued at 50,000 days’ wages. It is shocking to consider that one can be a believer and be in so much spiritual adultery and compromise.

c) When the Church repents, surrenders and returns to God, massive revival and reformation is released. In Ephesus we are already presented with the narrative of a successful Church. But after their great surrender, the level of revival and reformation increase to the point of shaking the demonic realm, challenging the idolatry of the temple of Artemis and the economy surrounding the idolatry in Ephesus.

d) Quote – Tertullian -160-220AD – “We the Church are but of yesterday, but we have filled every place among you – cities, islands, fortresses, towns, market places, the very camp, tribes, companies, palace, senate, forum – we have left nothing to you but the temples of your gods.”