SUMMARY: In this series Acts 19, Paul encounters strong resistance in Ephesus from the devotees and merchants of the Diana cult.

Shalom, shalom; peace, peace in the name of Yeshua. This is Crystal Sharpe and welcome to the Ancient Scrolls program.

I do have a website called Ancientscrollsonline.com. I post sources, articles, prophetic words, prophetic dreams: ancientscrollsonline.com.

Deuteronomy 6, the Shema

Shema, O Israel, the LORD God, the LORD is One.

You shall love the Lord your God with all Your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.

Psalm 24

The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.

Father YHVH,

We thank You that You are God, there is none besides You. You are the King over the universe, king over heaven and earth. We anticipate Your kingdom to come where Your righteousness and justice will reign over the whole earth.

While the church was sleeping and saying smooth words, the devil has come to steal, kill and destroy. We are in a time of separation. The separation of the wheat from the tares. The wheat will be gathered in His barn and the tares will be taken away to be burned up.

We pray Your will to be done on the earth. We pray exposure of the wicked ones in high places. We thank you for your Word today. Your name is above all names. In Yeshua’s name. Amen.

So, some of you have already realized by now we are in spiritual battle for this nation. The battle is difficult. I have been fasting as much as I am able and praying concerning many things. My husband and I were talking about those prophetic words the Lord had given us and that now they are making headlines. Total chaos and destruction of lives, businesses and homes. Some cities like Seattle have surrendered to mob rule. A six-block swath of the city has been cordoned off and considered an Autonomous Zone. By definition this means a community that is autonomous from the generally recognized government or authority structure in which it is embedded. It has the freedom to govern its own affairs. It has become its own entity apart from the federal and state government. One by one the cities are surrendering to radicalized protestors. This means there will be no police, and no laws.

What we are seeing is from a book published in 1991 by the anarchist Peter Lamborn Wilson called The Temporary Autonomous Zone. It is composed of three sections, “Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism”, “Communiques of the Association for Ontological Anarchy” and “The Temporary Autonomous Zone”.

If one should happen to believe in law and order, the time would be right now to begin the process of leaving the cities. Minneapolis is going through the same violence. Jews and Christians should be leaving these surrendered cities before they begin installing personnel from the United Nations. The New World Order mayor of Chicago, Lightfoot, was berated by phone from people of her own color for her mishandling of the protestors this past week in Chicago, within a span of 24 hours 18 people murdered. These things did not offend her as much as when she was called out for her negligence of the situation.

I have a dream from someone and I think this is a warning for what is to come. This is from Evangelist Patricia Thomas. She had written:

Two weeks ago, I woke up from another prophetic dream of the end of days. I was so startled I could not go back to sleep.

In this dream, I was ministering in a church in California with a few of my close friends. After I finished ministering, we were going to the airport to head home. However, we noticed there was trash all over the streets. We began cleaning the streets by picking up trash. Everything appeared to be safe for us to go to the airport, three of us ladies by ourselves.

When we arrived home, we had gone to mail a letter and noticed men were surrounding every corner of the streets, it was surreal. They were all dressed exactly alike. It was clear they were not our military personnel. They were attempting to intimidate us as they were watching our every move. Whoever these men were, they were now enforcing the laws and taking charge of our country. There was no safe place to go. If you thought the Coronavirus lockdown was traumatic, this was far worse!

She has a note here also:

Note: Persecution is on the horizon. There will be no freedom for Christian people. I am not comfortable with being a prophet who issues warnings and it is because people do not always want to believe the truth. They would prefer believing fairy tales and live as they had in the days of Noah. Turn out the lights, because the party is now over. It is time to get your house in order and prepare your hearts and minds to fulfill your purpose in God. The only safe place is in God. I am in the process of writing a book of those things that will be transpiring in these end days.

I truly had no intention of sharing this dream until I completed the book. Nevertheless, now that all the peaceful protests and the criminal rioting is going on, I feel it is imperative to share what the Lord is showing me at this very critical time.

I am watching the news and hearing that cities around the world, especially here in our homeland, America, are considering defunding our police force on the local government level. This would leave a void that will require security from elsewhere. The evil powers that exist are now making that determination on how to implement their plan of replacing our officers with their own forces. This may well result in martial law.

It is time for the church to awake and rise to the challenge of praying with the intensity and fire of the Holy Ghost for our nation and for the world, as well.

Thank you for this prophetic word Patricia. I hope as you do, that it will be delayed, or not come to pass at all. We will continue to fast and pray.

So, for a couple of programs I have been bringing out some information on the antichrist’s worship of the god of forces found in Daniel 11:37, He shall regard neither the God (elohim H430) of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38. But in their place he shall honor a [the] god of fortresses.

In the Septuagint the definite article ‘the’ is placed before god, from that it indicates that Daniel is not making generalizations of gods, but is speaking of a specific god. In my research I found it quite plausible that the antichrist’s god is actually an ancient worship of a goddess of Sumer which they called Inanna. Later, the Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians adopted her and merged her with the goddess Ishtar. Israel accepted her as Ashtoreth. She was introduced to the Greeks and Romans and became known as Artemis or Diana, and branched off to form Aphrodite/Venus, the goddess of sex.

Eventually with the spreading of the gospel of Yeshua, the shrines of Diana were destroyed and her great influence fell into the dust of the earth. She went underground and re-emerged as Mary in the Universal Church/Catholic Church.

I am going to pursue this a little more in Acts 19 where Paul has to cope with the stronghold of Diana in Ephesus. Here is a brief overview of Ephesus in the time of the apostles.

Ephesus by some archeological inscriptions is referred to as “the first and greatest metropolis of Asia.” It had a population of some 250,000 people. It ranked only behind Rome, Alexandria (Egypt), and Antioch (Syria) in size. One writer spoke of Ephesus as the most prosperous commercial center of the time, controlling the financial affairs of western Asia Minor.

The location of Ephesus is southwest in Turkey on a natural port; and this positioned the city to achieve its prominence in commerce and to flourish during the days of the Roman Empire.

The patroness goddess of Ephesus was Diana/Artemis, but they also worshiped some fifty other gods and goddesses. Diana’s Temple was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Zondervan Kindle edition.

Let’s take a look at some of events that took place on Paul’s preaching the gospel of the kingdom to those in Ephesus.

Paul spends close to three years at Ephesus and scholars say near to the end of his time there that he pens the letter I Corinthians. By the information given to us in I Corinthians, we know there was letter written before this one. I Corinthians is actually II Corinthians and II Corinthians is III Corinthians. Scholars say the possibility exists that there may have been four letters written to the Messianic synagogue in Corinth.

At the beginning of the chapter 19, Paul travels through the upper regions and goes through Ephesus. Once there he finds some twelve disciples of John the Baptist (verse 7). This is pretty incredible since it had been over thirty years since John the Baptist announced the coming of Yeshua. Paul upon questioning them learns they had not been baptized in the name of Yeshua, so he baptizes them again. He lays hands on them and they receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and prophesying.

From there, as was Paul’s custom, he began teaching in the Jewish synagogue. For three months he argues persuasively about the kingdom of God. Eventually those in the synagogue began to speak evil of The Way so he takes the twelve disciples with him and he then begins to reason daily in the school of Tyrannus (pronounced Tee-ran-use), which in Hebrew this school would be called a yeshiva (ye-SHe-vah). A yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and the Torah, and Halacha (hala-Kah, Jewish law).

An ancient manuscript called the “Western Text” provides some information that lectures were given from 11am to 4pm, which was the hottest part of the day. So Paul worked during the early morning hours and then would go teach in the yeshiva. Luke (writer of Acts) tells us that Paul teaches there for two years so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Yeshua, both Jews and Greeks. People would come to the festival of Diana which was about the time of Passover, March-April timeline.

While there, God works unusual miracles by the hands of Paul so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick and they would recover and demons would go out of the people. These people practiced the dark arts and so became diseased and possessed. These amazing events of their deliverances coupled with the occurrence of an exorcism gone bad made the reputation of Yeshua increase in the city; and people came to believe on Him.

Verse 19, tells us: Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.

50,000 pieces of silver. One scholar said it would take 150 people to work a year to equal the financial value of these scrolls. Another scholar said the worth of these scrolls was 6 million dollars. That is a big bonfire.

21. When these things were accomplished, 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 go see Rome. So, he sends Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia, but he remains for a time in Asia.

23. And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover, you see and hear that not at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia (the veneration of her was throughout Asia), this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.

God giving favor in healing those diseased, and exorcising those possessed with demons caused a defection of sorts from those who worshiped Diana. This directly affected their profits.

I read this from another site, but it was thought provoking how it is stated:

Conversion to Christ changes the individual. Mass conversions to Christ (Christianity) change a culture. An entire change in pagan culture is what is seen taking place in Ephesus. Because demonic strongholds become more vocal and violent at the presence of Yeshua.

28. Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying: Great is Diana of the Ephesians! So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus (Air-is-tar-kis), Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions.

Paul wanted to go into the theater to speak to the people, but those officials who were friends with Paul sent word for him not to go into the theater. Some in the theater cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.

For two hours the audience cries out: Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

35. And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? (Zeus is Greek and Jupiter is the Roman name, Diana is Roman and Artemis is Greek)

The image that was to have fallen from the sky was said to have been made of wood that was ebony. Pliny, NH, xvi. 40

joo’-pi-ter, ju’-pi-ter (Zeus): “Jupiter” is mentioned in 2 Macc 6:2; Ac 14:12,13, with “Zeus” in the Revised Version margin in all cases. In addition the Greek stem appears in diopetous, in Ac 19:35, English Versions of the Bible “which fell down from Jupiter”; but the word means “from the clear sky” (compare “from heaven” in the Revised Version margin).

Zeus/Jupiter, the chief god of the Roman state religion, originally a sky god/sky Father associated with thunder and lightning.

Diana could also be seen as a ‘false-trinity’, for she was a triple- goddess. She was called by three different titles depending on her residence: Luna, the Queen of Heaven for her celestial form; Diana for her Earthly form; and Proserpina (Pro-serpina) when in hell.

Several ancient documents reveal she was regarded as a “midwife”.[6] It was thought she helped women and animals in labour. Ephesian women would call on Artemis during childbirth to speed up the labour and ease the pain, or, in dire circumstances, they would call on her to bring about a quick death to end their suffering (e.g., Acts of Andrew 25).

I am going to end it here and next week, I will finish out this series on Diana. I hope this is helpful in your studies.

If is God’s will, I will be here next week. Remember to walk by faith and not by sight. Ask God to cleanse you of all unrighteousness every day. Hunger and thirst after righteousness, so that you will be enriched in all His wisdom. Keep your spiritual garments clean from spot, wrinkle, and blemish. Do two things this week, love and forgive. Love God and love your neighbor.

https://ebible.com/questions/13991-what-was-the-image-of-artemis-that-fell-down-from-heaven-in-acts-19

Conversion to Christ changes the individual. Mass conversions to Christ (Christianity) change a culture. An entire change in pagan culture is what is at stake in this passage from Acts 19:

https://earlychurchhistory.org/beliefs-2/paul-in-ephesus-a-clash-of-cultures/

The pope, Francis, is routinely denounced by Catholic conservatives as a “globalist” and religious relativist who wishes to turn the church into a kind of ecclesiastical version of the UN.

Wilder critics, not for the first time, have labelled the pontiff the “first post-Christian pope”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/31/the-guardian-view-on-pagan-idols-in-the-vatican-church-culture-wars-should-concern-us-all

Tradition says that Diana was born in the woods near Ephesus, where her temple was built, when her image of wood (possibly ebony; Pliny, NH, xvi. 40; Acts 19:35) fell from the sky

https://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/diana-artemis.html