Mightily Grew the Word of God and Prevailed
When the Word of God prevails, the power of God manifests itself in a tremendous way. This is documented in Acts 19 where the prevailing Word revolutionized not only a community but also a complete section of the world in a short period of time.
Acts 19 records that Paul went to Ephesus and found certain disciples there. He ministered the power of the holy spirit into manifestation, "and all the men were about twelve."
And it came to pass, that, while Apollo was at [in] Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received (scratch ‘the’) Holy Ghost since ye believed [upon believing]? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. -- Acts 19: 1 - 2
That’s when Paul ministered unto them the Holy Spirit into manifestation.
And all the men were about twelve. -– Acts 19: 7
Verse 8 begins the record that demonstrates the dynamics of the prevailing Word of God.
And he [Paul] went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. -- Acts 19: 8
For three months Paul went into the synagogue and showed them the Word of God. But three months was all he stayed because unbelievers spoke evil of that way.
But when divers [many] were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he [Paul] departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. – Acts 19: 9
Paul went into the synagogue for three months preaching and teaching the Word of God; but when they refused to believe the Word of God, Paul separated the believers. He said, "You people who want to believe come with me; we are going over to the school of Tyrannus. The rest of you who do not want to believe the accuracy of God's Word just stay here at the synagogue." Actually it was not Paul who broke up this synagogue. The hardened and evil speakers with their unbelief were the ones responsible for the break-up of the Ephesian synagogue. What a break it was, for verse 10 says,
And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia [Biblically, "Asia" refers to a province] heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews [Judean] and Greeks.
In two years and three months all Asia Minor heard the Word of God.
In our day and time, with our multi-million dollars spent for foreign missions, publications, newspapers, radios, televisions and all other media, this event has never been repeated. We have never reached all Asia Minor with the Word of God in one generation. But the Apostle Paul and a handful of believers accomplished the feat in two years and three months. Either God has changed or Paul and these men who studied at the school of Tyrannus had tapped into something which they utilized to its capacity. They accomplished a tremendous feat.
As a matter of record, each of these men acted boldly after being filled with the power of the holy spirit and knowing God's Word. As these men learned, they taught The Word to someone else, who in turn, taught other individuals so that all of Asia Minor heard the Word of God in two years and three months. This evangelistic campaign began under the ministry of one man.
Verse 11 tells us what happened.
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: -- Acts 19: 11
When Paul believed The Word, preached The Word, and taught The Word, special miracles came to pass.
This stir which began in Ephesus with the Word of God prevailing had a reverberating effect. People whom Paul had not taught tried to get into the act too, but their actions boomeranged on them.
Then certain of the vagabond [roving] Jews [Judeans], exorcists, took upon them [themselves] to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preached. – Acts 9: 13
Studying the next few verses will show you why the actions of these vagabond Jews boomeranged against them. It’s almost a humorous record, but if you are sharp leader, you will not let people who are influenced by devil spirits into your fellowship.
In Acts 19: 13 people with evil spirits tried to cast out evil spirits. This verse will give one trouble until he understands that a more powerful devil spirit has command over the less potent devil spirits. Just as in the army when a captain tells the private to jump, the private does not ask how high; he simply jumps. That is what these various devil spirits were doing. These exorcists were endeavoring to cast out devil spirits by other devil spirits in the name of Jesus saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches. Come on out. "
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? -- Acts 19: 15
These sons of Sceva, chief of the priests, were casting out devil spirits by other devil spirits. But one of these devil spirits came out and talked back to the sons and said, "Wait a minute. Jesus we know and Paul we know, but who in the world are you?"
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. -- Acts 19: 16
Can't you just see those frenzied fellows running away? Once the devil spirits were aroused, the man, in whom the devil spirit was, attacked these fellows, jerking off their clothes and beating them around so that they ran out of the house naked and wounded.
And this was known to all the Jews [Judeans] and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear [respect] fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. – Acts 19: 17
And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. – Acts 19: 18
Many of them also which used curious arts .... – Acts 19: 19a
Do you know what curious arts are? Curious arts are a part of the entire E.S.P. field; for example, ouija boards which we are selling every place today for kids to play with because we want children to get started right in the spirit world. We tell them it is just a nice little game to play with. In truth it is a little game to open their minds to devil-possession which will later control and use the children at the spirit's own will. That is partly why I needed deliverance with God’s Word. I did use a ouija board when I was in high school. Don’t ever go near a Ouija board!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today very few people know the difference between an evil spirit and a good spirit so we go along and say that God gives all. We make just one basic mistake - which god? The Bible says that there are two gods - one is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the other god is the god of this world called Satan.
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. Think how much 50,000 pieces of silver would be in present-day currency. Verse 20 gives the fulfilling joy and greatness of the ministry in Ephesus.
So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. – Acts 19: 20
What grew? Not man's opinion. The Word of God grew and the Word of God prevailed. When that Word of God prevails, things begin to happen in our lives, in our community, and in our society. But as long as the growth of the Word of God is stunted, as long as people do not understand the fullness of God's Word, it can never prevail. God meant for His Word to prevail. God gave us His Word that we might lead people out of darkness into the glorious light of the gospel of redemption and salvation to make known His Will.
All Asia Minor was revived by the ministry of one man. When The Word again becomes real, revival will break out again. People will be saved without newspapers, without radio, without television, without the cooperation of all the churches of a community. When we start living The Word, The Word begins to permeate our everyday lives. It is the Word of God that sparks faith for rebirth.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. – Romans 10: 17
Faith does not come by hearing what Look, Life, Time, or the Reader’s Digest has to say. Faith comes by hearing one thing - the Word of God. The Word of God builds believing so that a man can be born again by God's Spirit and filled with the power of the holy spirit. The Word of God is faithful. What He has promised He is able to perform. His Word is the same yesterday, today and forever. Believe that Word, speak that Word, and it produces the same results today that it produced at any time in the history of civilization since that Word was given. The Bible says that we are to abide in The Word and that we are to let this Word abide in us. To the extent that we abide in The Word, this Word takes the Master's place in our lives.
I have never seen a man, woman, boy or girl whose soul was not thrilled when this Word of God started to unfold to them. Why? Because the Word of God reveals mysteries, as it says in Romans 16: 25 and 26.
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. -- Romans 16: 25
But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: -- Romans 16: 26
The Word makes us wise unto salvation as II Timothy 3: 15 tells us.
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. – II Timothy 3: 15
According to Acts 17: 11 we are to search the Word of God for truth.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. – Acts 17: 11
We do not search any secular sources for truth. We must search the Word of God because the Word of God is the Will of God. Once we know His Will and let it prevail in our lives, then we will see the power of God in manifestation.