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Question: Explain Acts 19

1-7: The twelve rebaptized.
Intro: The historian now reaches the point for which he had so
hurriedly passed over the voyage of Paul from Ephesus to Antioch,
and his land journey thence through Galatia and Phrygia (NMcG.150).
Paul is permitted at last to begin a work which he had in mind
when, on his preceding tour, he was "forbidden by the H.S. to speak
the word in Asia, 16:6; and also to fulfill the appointment which
he had left here on his journey homeward, 18:21 (ibid).

1) Disciples: word means a learner. In this particular passage the
word does not mean a Christian.

2) when ye believed as used here, refers to conversion.
     The Holy Spirit here would not refer to the ordinary gift of
the H.S. All believers receive H.S., Acts 2:38. Under consideration
then would be the miraculous. This is further shown "by the fact
that it is this which he conferred upon them at the close of the
conversation" (ibid.151). This of course could be given to them
only by an apostle (Acts 8:17,18).

     It is not likely that they had never heard of the existence of
the H.S. The O.T. is full of references to Him. Probable meaning is
that they did not know that the H.S. had been given. Thus they were
ignorant of the events of Pentecost, and of the N.T. being

3) Since they not only could not work miracles, but did not even
know that the H.S. had come, this raised the question of whether
they had been scripturally baptized. They were either taught by
Apollos, or someone like him. They were ignorant of the baptism of

4) Paul showed them the temporary nature of John's work in pointing
forward to Christ. Now that Jesus had come and had accomplished the
Father's work, men were to render obedience to Him.
     A baptism of repentance Mk.1:14,15.

5) Upon hearing and believing this, they were baptized into the
name of Jesus.

     Here were men who had been baptized but did not know of the
coming of Christ or of the H.S. Because of this, they had to be
rebaptized. Application: If today a person is baptized to enter a
denomination, he does not understand the purpose of baptism. If one
is baptized thinking he is saved, as is almost always the case
among denominations, he has not been scripturally baptized, for
scriptural baptism is "for the remission of sins. If a person were
baptized just to please someone else, the same would apply.

6) After their baptism, Paul laid his hands on them, imparting to
them miraculous gifts. This is the only way that men besides
apostles could work miracles. Only apostles could impart miraculous
     1 Tim. 4:14 is misused. with (meta) means to accompany. 2 Tim.
1:6 tells us how Timothy received gift. (dia)--"the means or
instrument by which anything is affected" (Thayer.133)
     Thus when the last apostle died, the power to impart the
ability to perform miracles ceased. When the last person on whom an
apostle laid hands died, miracles ceased. Therefore there is not a
man living on earth today who can perform miracles.

Extended preaching at Ephesus
8) Preached in synagogue 3 months. Some were hardened and
disobedient, thus Paul separated himself from them. cf. 18:5-6.
     We learn that when one becomes hardened and disobedient to the
Word, the time has come to look for someone else to teach (Mt.

9-10) Paul then began to preach daily in the school of Tyrannus.
This was done for 2 years.

11) Special miracles. Similar to woman touching garment (Mk.5:25-
27). Purpose of these and all miracles (Heb.2:3,4).
     NASB: "extraordinary miracles": All miracles are
extraordinary, but there were extra-special. They were wrought
without personal contact with the patient. (Reese.677)

12) Reese: Latin origin. Handkerchief: speaks of the towel used to
wipe sweat from the brow or face. We might call it a hand towel, or
shop towel, or even a sweatband. The word "apron" speaks of the
short apron worn around the waist by the craftsmen as they worked--
worn to preserve the clothes from wear and tear and soil. As Paul
was working at his trade of tentmaking it would have been common to
use such garments. The picture behind the words "carried away from
his body to the sick" is of Christians coming to Paul as he was
working and carrying away with them the very towels and aprons
which he had been wearing. Of course, the power to heal was not in
the cloth. We must never forget that God is the source of power
behind genuine miracles. The efficacy of such media stands
obviously on the same footing as that of the hem of Jesus' garment
(Mt. 9:20-21), the shadow of Peter (Acts 5:15) or the clay used in
the healing of the blind man (Jno. 9:6). There are men today, on
radio and TV, who urge their listeners to send in for clothes that
have been blessed--apparently taking their example from this text.
However, we contend that miracles in NT times were wrought to
credential messengers; and since the modern so-called miracle
workers do not even preach the NT message, their works are either
fake or wrought by a power other than the Divine (677-8)

13) Jewish impostors. These events manifested to everyone,
especially to magicians, the difference between the power of the
apostle Paul, and these impostors. Because of this, many gave up
their magic and burned their books, amounting to several thousand

If you have corrections, questions, comments or suggestions about these questions and answers, please contact Leon Mauldin directly at

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