Acts 19:20-21

I want to look at two verses today. They are two verses that sit next to each other. The first verse will cause your heart to soar the second can cause your heart to break.

God handles it in such a matter of fact way that it is very easy to miss it. I know from reading it myself many times I did miss it. Too often we read sections of the word and it is just words passing by and we put no thought into what it is saying to us.

It is like you take a section of the word and you have read it dozens if not hundreds of times and suddenly it’s like you are reading it for the first time and it opens up to you like a sunflower opening towards the sun. This is what we mean around here when we talk about progressive revelation.On that day on the road to Damascus I don’t believe everything was revealed to Paul. Right after that incident In fact Paul went to Arabia many believe he went to to Mt Sinai where Moses got the 10 commandments from God.

Galatians 1:15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

Don’t forget up to this point he had been persecuting the church. In fact that trip to Damascus he had letters from the temple that would allow him to arrest any Christians and take them back to the temple for trial and execution. This guy was committed to his cause. Then he found out he was wrong! What would that do to a person that these people you had killed that they were right and you caused many innocent people to die. Talk about having to renew your mind. He went to Mt S to get his head together with God. Remember what God had said to Ananias:
Acts 9:15 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.  16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Paul was a chosen vessel. If you check out some of the other versions it is translated either as vessel or instrument one note about the Greek word is on BuleLetterBible is "Vessel" was a common Greek metaphor for "body" since Greeks thought of souls living temporarily in bodies.. I suppose it could even be translated clay pot.

Now Bullinger even goes so far as to suggest  a vessel of election. Most will say that it is by God’s election but that flies into the face of many other verses.

My personal choice would be to translate it as vessel. An instrument is something you control with a guitar you pluck a string and you get a sound it is a sound of your choice not the instrument's choice. God does not force himself on us in this fashion so I like vessel much better.

So in any case Paul had to rethink everything.

Do you remember when you got saved? Some do I don’t I was raised in a family where the bible was important. I got saved when I was very young, but I do remember when I first got really involved in the word I didn’t suddenly acquire all the info I know now. It has taken years of studying and expanding my knowledge of the word.This gets interesting when you talk about the 12 and the other disciples. If you try and say that they knew everything on the day of Pentecost because they had hung out with Jesus Christ then for him to have told them about exactly what would happen he would have had to be God and I see nothing in the word that supports that. We have to as Michael says “quit defying” these men and understand that they were men not mini Gods. Acts 2 reports what got said by Peter not that everything Peter said was correct.

Acts 2:5 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “ ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.

The quote is speaking of events that will happen in the tribulation. Joel could not be prophesying about the day of Pentecost because it was hid in God. Was Pete  lying? No he was going on his understanding. The book of Ephesians would not be written for many years and that is where the mystery (secret) was revealed.

Okay so let’s get to these two verses. All quotes have been from the NIV here I am using the KJV


Acts 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Okay look at verse 20. The word of God! It was prevailing. The word prevail means:
verb
past tense prevailed past participle prevailed
prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious.
be widespread in a particular area at a particular time; be current.

Exist be in existence be present be the case occur be prevalent be current be the order of the day be customary be common be widespread be in force/effect obtain current existing prevalent usual common general widespread.

Look up this above info at:


The word was dominating. If that were to happen now your heart would soar as would mine joy of joy!

Now look at verse 21 Now when these things were ended. What things now remember there is a near context the burning of the occult stuff people letting go of their houcky poukizm their Ouija Boards,amulets, rabbits feet, anything that is not from God and claims to have power. Astrology, numerology, idols ect. There is also a distance context. It goes all the way back to Acts 2. The rise and expansion of the Church of the Body. I am not saying no one got saved after verse 21 of Acts 19. After that point the book of Acts  was about the travels of Paul and his defence after being arrested. There is nothing about expansion. Now we know there was some but nothing like what was happening the first 19 chapters which we will look at next.

Look back at Acts 2.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

There is the start of the church of the body. A few minutes later Peter preached the first Sermon.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Wow if we had a day where we got 300 saved I’d be blessed beyond measure, they had 3,000 in one day.

Chapters 3 and 4 deal with the healing of the man who was laid at Gate called Beautiful. And his healing and the aftermath. There is a great verse in chapter 4 I want to share.

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Not Mohammed, not Buddha, not Joseph Smith, not even Oprah. They are all fakes with no power. I bring this up because this is what they taught in the book of Acts the resurrection.

So when someone says we all worship the same God they are dead wrong there is only one name that can get anyone saved no matter who is flapping their gums..

Now onto Acts 5
In the beginning of Acts 5 we have Ananias and Sapphira who tried to lie to God. That was the problem not that they with held some of the money.

Act 5:4
Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God




“How is it.” The Greek is the idiomatic phrase, dia ti, which can often mean “why?” However, in this case Peter is not asking “Ananias, ‘why’ has Satan filled your heart?” That would be asking what motivated Satan to fill your heart, and the answer would be: “For the same reason Satan does everything he does: to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). This question is deeper. Peter likely did not realize Ananias would drop dead; and the question is: “How is it that the Adversary has filled your heart?” In other words, what did you think about, wish for, want, and covet, that gave Satan such a foothold in your life? The question, quickly made rhetorical by Ananias’ death, should not be rhetorical to us. We are responsible to guard our minds and lives against the work of the Adversary.

His wife suffered the same fate.

Look at this starting in 5:12

5:12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

Want to get the word to move get some miracles going. People were afraid to worship with the believers but they still respected them.

Then they got arrested and thrown in jail. You cannot defeat God that easily an angel came and busted them out of jail and told them

20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

The angel had just busted them out then says go teach again.

They grabbed them again and took counsel to kill them when they got some wise counsel from Gamalie who said leave them alone if it isn’t of God nothing will come of it but If it is of God the we will be in opposition to God. They thought that was a good idea so they had them beaten (for good measure) and told them to quit it and let them go.

Chapter 6 starts with: 1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied. It is always increasing or multiplying.

They chose the 7 to wait tables including Stephen and Philip who will turn up again and look what happened because the leaders were set free from that task.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith

I want you to notice one thing here it is always in Jerusalem didn’t Christ talk about them going other places like maybe Detroit, or at least Cleveland.  Now this has consequences. At the end of six Stephen get’s busted. The heads of the temple again stir up the crowd and get some of these dudes to lie on Stephen saying he told us not to do what Moses said and he  speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. Now just in case you don’t know the word blasphemy it means to lie on God say he does things he does not do. Doesn’t that sound like what a lot of religions do? He kills people, he makes you sick to teach you a lesson, ect.

In chapter 7 Steve gives his defence by giving them a quick history lesson and calls them “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.” He then adds “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

So then Steve got stoned not that kind the kind where they throw rocks at you until you die. Wanna know what Steve said to God, forgive them. Talk about a christian attitude.

In chapter 8 Paul, or Saul if you prefer his Hebrew name, makes his first appearance He is having as many of the brethren killed as possible. Philip has left Jerusalem and gone to Samaria.

Now there was a sorcerer there named Simon who taught that he was a great one but low and behold Simon believed. Now we learn that holy spirit had not yet been manifested I want to show you the Greek here.


I want you to take note that the article the never in this verse. Yes it makes a big difference I am not going to teach about that today but it is  the difference between God and the gift he has given to man.

In any case they send their two top guns to find out what the problem is. A side note this is the last appearance of John in the book of Acts.

They pray and the people manifest something and by checking other parts of the word it had to be Speaking in Tongues. Simon offers them big bucks to show him how to do that and good old Peter says “to hell with you and your money.”

So Pete and John head home preaching the resurrection as they go.

Chapter 9 is the conversion of Paul then again:

31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Then Pete does a couple of miracles and stays in Joppa with Simon the tanner.

Acts 10 Peter goes to the house of Cornelius and Gentiles for the first time gentiles Speak in Tongues Cornelius and company get Born Again.

11 is Just Pete explaining to the guys in Jerusalem what happened.

Paul and Barney go to Antioch and a prophet named  Agabus tells them there will be a famine

Acts 12 Pete ends up in prison after the apostle James is killed
Herod ends up dead but look again.

24 But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.

Acts 13

49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.

Acts 14

1 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.

21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples.

Acts 15 last appearance of Peter in the book of Acts. Barney disappears.

Acts 16 :5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

A couple more get saved

Acts 17

4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

14 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

Acts 19
10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. 


We are now back to where we started from so remember those 2 verses the word prevails and the expansion comes to an end. Let's have the expansion and not let it end.

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