Acts to Revelation | Episode 11 | TBN

Acts to Revelation | Episode 11

Watch Acts to Revelation | Episode 11
June 20, 2018
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Acts to Revelation | Episode 11

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  • Dave Stotts: In our last few episodes we traveled with Paul
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  • and his team through present-day Greece, visiting ancient sites
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  • such as Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea,
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  • Athens, and Corinth.
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  • At the end of this second missionary journey,
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  • Paul returned to the church at Syrian Antioch.
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  • According to Acts chapter 17 he spent considerable time there,
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  • waiting for his next mission.
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  • What was next for this courageous leader
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  • in the growing Christian church?
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  • 00:00:44.070 --> 00:00:54.060
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  • 00:01:04.070 --> 00:01:14.060
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  • Dave: The year was about 52 AD when Paul left the church
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  • here in Syrian Antioch for his third missionary journey.
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  • He again traveled west through places we visited in prior
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  • episodes, Tarsus, Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch.
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  • According to the 18th chapter of Acts, Paul visited churches
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  • and friends throughout the regions of Galatia and Phrygia,
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  • strengthening the disciples as he went.
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  • Ultimately, he arrived at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea
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  • in the incredible city of Ephesus.
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  • Ephesus was established as a Greek colony
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  • in the 10th century BC.
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  • The city came under control of the Romans in 133 BC
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  • and was made the capital of Asia province
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  • by Emperor Augustus in 27 BC.
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  • By the time Paul arrived, Ephesus had a population
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  • of about 200.000.
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  • It was considered one of the greatest cities in the Roman
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  • empire, eclipsed only by Rome and Alexandria.
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  • Dave: Located at the mouth of the Cayster River and the
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  • Mediterranean coast, Ephesus was a center of commerce and trade,
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  • with roads radiating out to towns near and far.
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  • Because of its strategic position as a premier port,
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  • Ephesus would rise to become one of the most wealthy
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  • and influential cities in the Roman empire.
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  • But the city's harbor which used to be at the end of this road is
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  • now completely filled with silt and the Mediterranean coast
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  • is about 6 miles away.
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  • Paul returned to Ephesus, walking up this very road,
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  • probably in late 52 AD and made Ephesus his temporary home
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  • under the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius.
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  • Now, during this roughly 30-year traveling ministry,
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  • Ephesus was one of the places Paul stayed the longest.
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  • According to historian Josephus, a substantial community of Jews
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  • resided in Ephesus and had probably been here since as
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  • early as the 3rd century BC.
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  • As was his typical practice, Paul went to the synagogue
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  • to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ.
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  • Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three
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  • months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.
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  • But some of them became obstinate.
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  • They refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way.
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  • So Paul left them.
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  • He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily
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  • in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
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  • This went on for two years so that all the Jews and the Greeks
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  • who lived in the province of Asia heard the Word of the Lord,
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  • Acts 19:8 through 10.
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  • According to Luke, Paul taught at the school of Tyrannus here
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  • in Ephesus for two years.
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  • The New Testament doesn't elaborate on this Tyrannus
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  • fellow but it was probably the name of the man
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  • who owned the school.
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  • As for the location of the school of Tyrannus,
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  • the most likely candidate is this building,
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  • right next to the famous Library of Celsus.
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  • Now, this structure was designated as a lecture hall or
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  • an auditorium by a 3rd century inscription that was discovered.
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  • And although many scholars believe that this was used as a
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  • court room during the time of Paul, many others believe that
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  • this was where Paul spent two years of his life teaching.
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  • Right next door, is the Library of Celsus.
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  • Although this was built a few decades after the events in the
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  • New Testament, it's still an incredible place to visit.
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  • The Library of Celsus was built in the late 2nd century AD
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  • by Julius Aquila in honor of his father, Celsus,
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  • who was a Roman senator and governor of Asia province.
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  • The library was built to house 12.000 scrolls and to serve
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  • as a ceremonial tomb for Celsus who was buried in a crypt
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  • below the library.
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  • In its heyday, the Library of Celsus was considered the third
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  • largest in the ancient world, behind Alexandria in Egypt and
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  • Pergamon which is just up the road from me, about 80 miles.
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  • Dave: Here's an artist's rendering of what the library
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  • looked like back in the 2nd century.
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  • As at Athens and Corinth, Paul continued to work
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  • as a tentmaker in Ephesus,
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  • earning money so that he could carry on his ministry.
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  • Prior to teaching at the school of Tyrannus in the afternoon,
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  • he would have worked at the commercial agora in the morning,
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  • interacting with customers on their way to
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  • and from other parts of the city.
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  • In Ephesus there was both a state agora and this large
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  • commercial agora, which measured 360 feet by 360 feet
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  • and was located near the city's huge theater complex.
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  • In this Hellenistic city of paganism and mysticism,
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  • Paul encountered many who practiced magic and attempted
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  • to control demons.
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  • According to Acts chapter 19, one of them was a Jew named
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  • Sceva who called himself a high priest.
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  • He had seven sons, some sort of apprentices,
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  • who also used magic and dabbled in the occult.
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  • Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried
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  • to evoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those
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  • who were demon-possessed.
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  • They would say, "In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches,
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  • I command you to come out."
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  • Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
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  • One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know
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  • and Paul I know about but who are you?"
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  • Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them
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  • and overpowered them all.
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  • He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked
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  • and bleeding.
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  • When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in
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  • Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the
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  • Lord Jesus was held in high honor, Acts 19:13 through 17.
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  • After that event I'm guessing confrontations with
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  • the demon-possessed may have become slightly less popular
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  • but in 1st century Ephesus the practice of magic
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  • and astrology was still considered
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  • a normal part of life.
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  • Magical scrolls, rings, amulets, bracelets, and necklaces thought
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  • to have magical powers were all commonplace here
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  • in ancient Ephesus.
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  • Prices for these magic documents and trinkets varied
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  • but history tells us there was a huge market for them here
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  • in the commercial agora.
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  • But as Christianity spread through ancient Ephesus,
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  • new believers began to realize that marketing
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  • the supernatural was wrong.
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  • On one occasion, Acts tells us that owners of these magic
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  • scrolls came together publicly, probably right here in the
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  • middle of the commercial agora.
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  • Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed
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  • what they had done.
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  • A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls
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  • together and burned them publicly.
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  • When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came
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  • to 50.000 drachmas.
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  • In this way, the Word of the Lord spread widely
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  • and grew in power, Acts 19:18 through 20.
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  • Now, 1 drachma was a day's wage for a normal worker
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  • and this group of new Christians was watching 50.000 drachma
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  • worth of merchandise go up in smoke.
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  • They literally put their money where their mouth was
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  • and counted everything that represented
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  • their old life as worthless.
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  • But as Christianity spread with amazing stories like this,
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  • tensions also grew, especially with long-time worshipers
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  • of a goddess named Artemis.
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  • Dave: The cult of Artemis had a powerful following here.
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  • During the Roman period, prominent generals and
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  • politicians would come to Ephesus to offer sacrifices
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  • to the statue of Artemis, also known as Diana.
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  • While many other gods were worshiped here at Ephesus,
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  • Artemis was by far the most prominent deity
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  • in the 1st century.
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  • Dave: The cult of Artemis in Ephesus goes back hundreds
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  • of years prior to the Greeks.
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  • Our first record of a temple to Artemis here is one
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  • that was destroyed by flood in the 7th century BC.
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  • Under orders from King Croesus of Lydia,
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  • it was rebuilt out of marble around 550 BC
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  • but that version was destroyed by fire in 356 BC.
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  • Local myth says that Artemis was away helping Olympias give birth
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  • to Alexander the Great when the fire broke out.
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  • Allegedly, that's why Artemis was unable to protect her shrine
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  • from destruction.
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  • The temple to Artemis was rebuilt yet again, but this time
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  • on an even grander scale, taking 120 years to finish.
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  • Historians such as Pliny and Antipade even called it one of
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  • the seven wonders of the ancient world.
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  • During the time of Paul this temple to Artemis was one of the
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  • largest and most impressive structures in the entire
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  • Mediterranean region, about four times larger
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  • than the Parthenon in Athens.
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  • Here is an awesome recreation of the structure
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  • at a park in Istanbul, Turkey.
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  • According to Pliny, the temple of Artemis was situated
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  • on a platform about 425 x 239 feet.
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  • The temple itself was 352 x 163 feet with 127 columns
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  • that were 60 feet tall and over 6 feet thick.
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  • Thirty-six of these columns were sculptured
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  • and overlaid with gold.
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  • The temple was built northeast of the city on marshy soil
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  • to protect the structure from earthquakes.
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  • At one time, the waves of the Mediterranean had actually come
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  • right up to one side of the temple.
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  • The cult of Artemis dominated here in Ephesus until the
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  • influence of Christianity eclipsed it over the next
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  • 200 years after Paul; Paul who brought the message
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  • of the gospel here so long ago that disrupted
  • 00:12:24.090 --> 00:12:27.240
  • the local trade in small Artemis statues.
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  • The Goths, a tribe from present-day Germany,
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  • destroyed this temple in 262 AD and the ruins of it
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  • were re-used in other building projects.
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  • And now, all that remains are these foundations and column
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  • fragments of what was once considered a true wonder
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  • of the ancient world.
  • 00:12:50.040 --> 00:12:52.020
  • 00:12:52.030 --> 00:12:57.280
  • Dave: The centerpiece for the temple that once stood here
  • 00:12:57.290 --> 00:13:00.240
  • at Ephesus was a 30-foot tall altar and a huge statue
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  • to Artemis carved out of ebony.
  • 00:13:06.030 --> 00:13:09.040
  • Smaller statues have been discovered around the city
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  • of Ephesus including this one: nearly intact, human-size
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  • Artemis statue carved out of marble,
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  • now housed here at the Ephesus Museum.
  • 00:13:19.130 --> 00:13:22.160
  • Now, similar to this one, all Artemis statutes that have been
  • 00:13:22.170 --> 00:13:25.280
  • discovered are decorated with a zodiac necklace,
  • 00:13:25.290 --> 00:13:29.260
  • animal figurines, and these strange objects
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  • on its chest and stomach.
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  • Scholars disagree as to what these objects really are
  • 00:13:35.090 --> 00:13:38.060
  • but nearly all agree that they symbolize fertility.
  • 00:13:38.070 --> 00:13:41.240
  • Now, during the time of Paul, Artemis and her magnificent
  • 00:13:41.250 --> 00:13:45.210
  • temple served as the focal point for the entire city of Ephesus.
  • 00:13:45.220 --> 00:13:50.150
  • And, according to Acts chapter 19, any threats against her
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  • or it would be responded to with swift action.
  • 00:13:54.180 --> 00:14:01.110
  • One example of this fierce protection of the cult
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  • of Artemis is found in Acts chapter 19:
  • 00:14:04.130 --> 00:14:10.240
  • "A silversmith named Demetrius,
  • 00:14:10.250 --> 00:14:13.080
  • who made silver shrines of Artemis,
  • 00:14:13.090 --> 00:14:15.250
  • brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there.
  • 00:14:15.260 --> 00:14:19.080
  • He called them together, along with the workers
  • 00:14:19.090 --> 00:14:21.190
  • in related trades, and said: 'You know, my friends,
  • 00:14:21.200 --> 00:14:25.080
  • that we receive a good income from this business.
  • 00:14:25.090 --> 00:14:28.160
  • And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced
  • 00:14:28.170 --> 00:14:32.040
  • and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus
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  • and in practically the whole province of Asia.
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  • He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all.
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  • There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good
  • 00:14:44.070 --> 00:14:47.060
  • name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis
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  • will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is
  • 00:14:50.230 --> 00:14:53.260
  • worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world,
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  • will be robbed of her divine majesty.'
  • 00:14:57.050 --> 00:15:00.210
  • When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting:
  • 00:15:00.220 --> 00:15:04.120
  • 'Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!'
  • 00:15:04.130 --> 00:15:07.080
  • Soon the whole city was in an uproar.
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  • The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus,
  • 00:15:09.220 --> 00:15:12.210
  • Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia,
  • 00:15:12.220 --> 00:15:15.260
  • and all of them rushed into the theater together.
  • 00:15:15.270 --> 00:15:19.120
  • Paul wanted to appear before the crowd,
  • 00:15:19.130 --> 00:15:21.160
  • but the disciples would not let him.
  • 00:15:21.170 --> 00:15:23.250
  • Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul,
  • 00:15:23.260 --> 00:15:27.130
  • sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
  • 00:15:27.140 --> 00:15:32.210
  • The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing,
  • 00:15:32.220 --> 00:15:36.160
  • some another.
  • 00:15:36.170 --> 00:15:38.010
  • Most of the people did not even know why they were there.
  • 00:15:38.020 --> 00:15:41.220
  • The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: 'Fellow Ephesians,
  • 00:15:41.230 --> 00:15:46.070
  • doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the
  • 00:15:46.080 --> 00:15:49.250
  • guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image,
  • 00:15:49.260 --> 00:15:53.200
  • which fell from heaven?
  • 00:15:53.210 --> 00:15:55.140
  • Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm
  • 00:15:55.150 --> 00:15:59.050
  • down and not do anything rash,'" Acts 19:24 through 36.
  • 00:15:59.060 --> 00:16:07.100
  • This account in Acts, often called the Riot
  • 00:16:07.110 --> 00:16:09.290
  • of the Silversmiths, brings up all sorts of awesome
  • 00:16:10.000 --> 00:16:13.190
  • historical facts to check out.
  • 00:16:13.200 --> 00:16:16.190
  • The leader of the opposition was a silversmith named Demetrius
  • 00:16:16.200 --> 00:16:20.240
  • who Paul may have encountered regularly at the agora.
  • 00:16:20.250 --> 00:16:24.270
  • Archeologists here in Ephesus have discovered that the shops
  • 00:16:24.280 --> 00:16:28.020
  • belonging to the silversmiths were positioned alongside
  • 00:16:28.030 --> 00:16:32.030
  • this long pavement, stretching between
  • 00:16:32.040 --> 00:16:34.190
  • the theater down to the harbor.
  • 00:16:34.200 --> 00:16:37.060
  • Roman period inscriptions also document silversmiths, even a
  • 00:16:37.070 --> 00:16:41.150
  • man who was the head of the silversmiths' guild and a man
  • 00:16:41.160 --> 00:16:45.130
  • who was the warden of the temple of Artemis.
  • 00:16:45.140 --> 00:16:48.080
  • These are all positions that might have been
  • 00:16:48.090 --> 00:16:50.010
  • held by Demetrius.
  • 00:16:50.020 --> 00:16:52.090
  • We also know that there was a man named Demetrius,
  • 00:16:52.100 --> 00:16:54.170
  • son of Monophthalmus from inscriptions who was a warden
  • 00:16:54.180 --> 00:16:57.100
  • of the temple of Artemis in the mid or late 1st century AD.
  • 00:16:57.110 --> 00:17:01.200
  • Now, we don't know for sure
  • 00:17:01.210 --> 00:17:03.000
  • if this was the Demetrius from Acts.
  • 00:17:03.010 --> 00:17:05.160
  • His name, position, date, and prominence all match up.
  • 00:17:05.170 --> 00:17:11.160
  • Second, according to Acts, these silversmiths apparently made
  • 00:17:11.170 --> 00:17:15.040
  • silver shrines containing an image of Artemis,
  • 00:17:15.050 --> 00:17:18.260
  • not silver statues of Artemis herself.
  • 00:17:18.270 --> 00:17:22.000
  • Evidence of these types of cult trinkets has been discovered in
  • 00:17:22.010 --> 00:17:25.190
  • Ephesus, including a bronze mold of a miniature Artemis temple
  • 00:17:25.200 --> 00:17:30.150
  • with her statue inside.
  • 00:17:30.160 --> 00:17:32.280
  • This mold would have been filled with molten silver
  • 00:17:32.290 --> 00:17:35.240
  • to make the shrine.
  • 00:17:35.250 --> 00:17:37.210
  • Other gold, silver, and terracotta versions of little
  • 00:17:37.220 --> 00:17:41.090
  • Artemis statues have also been found.
  • 00:17:41.100 --> 00:17:44.150
  • 00:17:44.160 --> 00:17:47.050
  • Dave: What? What's this?
  • 00:17:47.060 --> 00:17:52.080
  • You've got to be kidding me,
  • 00:17:52.090 --> 00:17:55.140
  • I totally found one of the ancient statues.
  • 00:17:55.150 --> 00:17:58.260
  • No, seriously, it's got the things and the things.
  • 00:17:58.270 --> 00:18:03.000
  • Oh, man, and an ancient engraving.
  • 00:18:03.010 --> 00:18:04.270
  • I don't speak this language but "Mad-de in Chee-na."
  • 00:18:04.280 --> 00:18:11.120
  • Oh, unreal. This is awesome.
  • 00:18:11.130 --> 00:18:16.070
  • Dave: As followers of Artemis and as craftsmen,
  • 00:18:16.080 --> 00:18:18.280
  • the silversmiths saw a legitimate threat
  • 00:18:18.290 --> 00:18:21.130
  • to their cult and their business if people continued
  • 00:18:21.140 --> 00:18:25.030
  • to accept Christianity and reject the worship of Artemis.
  • 00:18:25.040 --> 00:18:31.130
  • Third, Paul declared that gods made by human hands were not
  • 00:18:31.140 --> 00:18:35.270
  • really gods at all, which was a direct attack on the beliefs
  • 00:18:35.280 --> 00:18:40.190
  • of these worshipers of Artemis.
  • 00:18:40.200 --> 00:18:43.230
  • These Ephesians believed in the legend that a sacred stone image
  • 00:18:43.240 --> 00:18:47.190
  • of Artemis had been thrown down from heaven by Zeus.
  • 00:18:47.200 --> 00:18:52.180
  • And while the pagans of the Roman period did believe that
  • 00:18:52.190 --> 00:18:56.030
  • certain stone carved images were holy representations of Artemis
  • 00:18:56.040 --> 00:19:01.100
  • herself, Paul understood that these were merely objects,
  • 00:19:01.110 --> 00:19:05.130
  • made by human hands.
  • 00:19:05.140 --> 00:19:08.260
  • Fourth, the city of Ephesus considered itself the guardian
  • 00:19:08.270 --> 00:19:12.120
  • of the temple of Artemis.
  • 00:19:12.130 --> 00:19:14.020
  • In Acts chapter 19, Luke used the Greek word
  • 00:19:14.030 --> 00:19:17.250
  • "neokoros" meaning temple guardian or caretaker.
  • 00:19:17.260 --> 00:19:21.200
  • The coin of Ephesus from the reign of Nero called Ephesus
  • 00:19:21.210 --> 00:19:25.110
  • the neokoros of Artemis, just as Acts records.
  • 00:19:25.120 --> 00:19:30.090
  • Built right into Mount Peon, this was the largest theater in
  • 00:19:30.100 --> 00:19:34.020
  • the Roman world, accommodating approximately 24.000 people.
  • 00:19:34.030 --> 00:19:39.050
  • So when Paul's companions, Gaius and Aristarchus, were dragged in
  • 00:19:39.060 --> 00:19:43.120
  • here, they may have faced thousands of angry Ephesians.
  • 00:19:43.130 --> 00:19:48.040
  • Now, the diameter of this theater is a whopping 495 feet
  • 00:19:48.050 --> 00:19:53.170
  • and, according to inscriptions found here at Ephesus, it not
  • 00:19:53.180 --> 00:19:56.220
  • only hosted performances but was also a special meeting place
  • 00:19:56.230 --> 00:20:00.160
  • for speeches and assemblies.
  • 00:20:00.170 --> 00:20:03.010
  • It was the logical place for these rioters to hold a public
  • 00:20:03.020 --> 00:20:06.200
  • hearing about their concerns about Paul and Christianity.
  • 00:20:06.210 --> 00:20:13.260
  • Here's an artist's depiction of what the great theater
  • 00:20:13.270 --> 00:20:16.270
  • of Ephesus looked like at the time of Paul.
  • 00:20:16.280 --> 00:20:19.290
  • Notice how the harbor came right up to the city on the one side.
  • 00:20:20.000 --> 00:20:24.140
  • 00:20:24.150 --> 00:20:32.260
  • Dave: During his more than two years of ministry here
  • 00:20:32.270 --> 00:20:35.050
  • in Ephesus, which is only briefly covered in Acts,
  • 00:20:35.060 --> 00:20:38.250
  • Paul and his fellow Christian companions probably encountered
  • 00:20:38.260 --> 00:20:42.120
  • other attacks as well.
  • 00:20:42.130 --> 00:20:44.090
  • As incredible as it sounds, Paul was likely condemned
  • 00:20:44.100 --> 00:20:47.000
  • to battle wild beasts here in the Ephesus arena.
  • 00:20:47.010 --> 00:20:51.230
  • In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul stated that he
  • 00:20:51.240 --> 00:20:55.020
  • fought wild beasts at Ephesus and that he and the apostles
  • 00:20:55.030 --> 00:20:59.200
  • had been exhibited as men condemned to death
  • 00:20:59.210 --> 00:21:02.280
  • as a spectacle to the world.
  • 00:21:02.290 --> 00:21:05.150
  • The Greek words Paul used specifically referred
  • 00:21:05.160 --> 00:21:08.180
  • to beast-fighting in the arena, not to any general fight
  • 00:21:08.190 --> 00:21:12.110
  • with animals.
  • 00:21:12.120 --> 00:21:13.210
  • In the Roman empire, a bestiarius was a person who went
  • 00:21:13.220 --> 00:21:17.120
  • into arena combat against a powerful wild animal,
  • 00:21:17.130 --> 00:21:21.190
  • either as a form of execution or a combat competition,
  • 00:21:21.200 --> 00:21:25.210
  • similar to gladiators.
  • 00:21:25.220 --> 00:21:27.150
  • The animals were typically lions or bears which were hungry,
  • 00:21:27.160 --> 00:21:31.190
  • angry, and ready to kill any human near them.
  • 00:21:31.200 --> 00:21:35.190
  • During times of persecution, many Christians in the Roman
  • 00:21:35.200 --> 00:21:39.000
  • empire were sentenced to death by beast as a spectacle
  • 00:21:39.010 --> 00:21:42.290
  • in the arenas, probably beginning during the reign
  • 00:21:43.000 --> 00:21:46.070
  • of Emperor Claudius.
  • 00:21:46.080 --> 00:21:48.150
  • A 1st century oil lamp from this area of Asia province depicts
  • 00:21:48.160 --> 00:21:53.000
  • a man condemned ad bestias or "to beasts"
  • 00:21:53.010 --> 00:21:57.230
  • being attacked by two lions.
  • 00:21:57.240 --> 00:22:00.200
  • When a person was condemned to the beasts as an enemy of the
  • 00:22:00.210 --> 00:22:04.110
  • state, they were forced into the arena unarmed and often chained
  • 00:22:04.120 --> 00:22:09.060
  • with virtually no hope of survival.
  • 00:22:09.070 --> 00:22:12.200
  • Based on New Testament accounts, it seems that Paul was forced
  • 00:22:12.210 --> 00:22:16.160
  • into the arena as a bestiarius but he survived
  • 00:22:16.170 --> 00:22:20.020
  • and he carried on his mission.
  • 00:22:20.030 --> 00:22:22.080
  • In his letter to the Corinthians which he wrote from here in
  • 00:22:22.090 --> 00:22:26.000
  • Ephesus, Paul was explaining the crucial importance of the
  • 00:22:26.010 --> 00:22:30.070
  • Resurrection of Jesus Christ when he wrote this:
  • 00:22:30.080 --> 00:22:33.260
  • "I face death every day--yes, just as surely
  • 00:22:33.270 --> 00:22:37.190
  • as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 00:22:37.200 --> 00:22:41.240
  • If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human
  • 00:22:41.250 --> 00:22:45.160
  • hopes, what have I gained?
  • 00:22:45.170 --> 00:22:47.180
  • If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink,
  • 00:22:47.190 --> 00:22:51.220
  • for tomorrow we die,'" 1 Corinthians 15:31-32.
  • 00:22:51.230 --> 00:22:57.130
  • Several years later, around 61 or 62 AD, while imprisoned
  • 00:22:57.140 --> 00:23:02.210
  • in Rome, Paul could not visit Ephesus.
  • 00:23:02.220 --> 00:23:06.020
  • Instead, he wrote a letter to the Ephesians which later
  • 00:23:06.030 --> 00:23:09.130
  • became a book of the New Testament.
  • 00:23:09.140 --> 00:23:12.170
  • A papyrus fragment from Ephesians from about 250 AD is
  • 00:23:12.180 --> 00:23:18.020
  • currently the earliest known surviving copy of this letter.
  • 00:23:18.030 --> 00:23:23.270
  • The purpose of Paul's letter to the Ephesians was to ground
  • 00:23:23.280 --> 00:23:27.270
  • the Christians here in solid doctrine,
  • 00:23:27.280 --> 00:23:30.220
  • encourage them to fulfill God's purpose for their lives,
  • 00:23:30.230 --> 00:23:34.060
  • and to build up the church in Ephesus.
  • 00:23:34.070 --> 00:23:37.240
  • The first half of Paul's letter is focusing
  • 00:23:37.250 --> 00:23:41.130
  • on who Christians are in Jesus Christ.
  • 00:23:41.140 --> 00:23:45.050
  • For example, Ephesians 2:8 through 10 says this: "For it is
  • 00:23:45.060 --> 00:23:50.000
  • by grace you have been saved, through faith--this not of
  • 00:23:50.010 --> 00:23:53.220
  • yourselves, it is a gift from God--not by works,
  • 00:23:53.230 --> 00:23:57.130
  • so that no one can boast.
  • 00:23:57.140 --> 00:23:59.080
  • For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
  • 00:23:59.090 --> 00:24:02.260
  • to do good works, which God has prepared in advance
  • 00:24:02.270 --> 00:24:06.290
  • for us to do."
  • 00:24:07.000 --> 00:24:08.190
  • Now, the second half of Paul's letter to the Ephesians focuses
  • 00:24:08.200 --> 00:24:12.060
  • on claiming that identity as a Christian so that we can stand
  • 00:24:12.070 --> 00:24:15.060
  • strong in the midst of life's struggles.
  • 00:24:15.070 --> 00:24:18.220
  • The final chapter encourages followers of Jesus to put on the
  • 00:24:18.230 --> 00:24:22.190
  • full armor of God each day: "Finally, be strong in the Lord
  • 00:24:22.200 --> 00:24:27.180
  • and in his mighty power.
  • 00:24:27.190 --> 00:24:29.240
  • Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand
  • 00:24:29.250 --> 00:24:33.100
  • against the devil's schemes," Ephesians 6:10-11.
  • 00:24:33.110 --> 00:24:38.200
  • I highly encourage you to read all
  • 00:24:38.210 --> 00:24:40.210
  • of Ephesians chapter 6 yourself.
  • 00:24:40.220 --> 00:24:43.220
  • It's powerful stuff.
  • 00:24:43.230 --> 00:24:45.100
  • Dave: After more than two years in Ephesus,
  • 00:24:50.050 --> 00:24:52.090
  • Paul finally left and he completed his missionary journey
  • 00:24:52.100 --> 00:24:56.060
  • through Macedonia and Greece.
  • 00:24:56.070 --> 00:24:58.190
  • According to the 20th chapter of Acts, Paul also reconnected
  • 00:24:58.200 --> 00:25:02.150
  • with a number of his companions, including Gaius from Derbe
  • 00:25:02.160 --> 00:25:06.060
  • and Timothy from Lystra.
  • 00:25:06.070 --> 00:25:08.260
  • Based on the first person narrative we see in Acts,
  • 00:25:08.270 --> 00:25:11.270
  • we also know that Luke was once again traveling with the team.
  • 00:25:11.280 --> 00:25:17.150
  • After more than three months, revisiting places
  • 00:25:17.160 --> 00:25:20.220
  • that we explored in previous episodes,
  • 00:25:20.230 --> 00:25:23.030
  • such as Philippi, Thessalonica,
  • 00:25:23.040 --> 00:25:25.230
  • Berea, and Corinth,
  • 00:25:25.240 --> 00:25:27.230
  • they worked their way back across the Mediterranean Sea.
  • 00:25:27.240 --> 00:25:31.260
  • Near the end of the journey, Paul sensed an urgent
  • 00:25:31.270 --> 00:25:34.180
  • calling from God to return to Jerusalem.
  • 00:25:34.190 --> 00:25:38.120
  • It wasn't a comfortable sense but he knew he needed to go.
  • 00:25:38.130 --> 00:25:42.220
  • "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem,
  • 00:25:42.230 --> 00:25:46.280
  • not knowing what will happen to me there.
  • 00:25:46.290 --> 00:25:49.150
  • I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me
  • 00:25:49.160 --> 00:25:53.030
  • that prison and hardships are facing me.
  • 00:25:53.040 --> 00:25:56.110
  • However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim
  • 00:25:56.120 --> 00:26:01.200
  • is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus
  • 00:26:01.210 --> 00:26:06.100
  • has given me--the task of testifying to the good news
  • 00:26:06.110 --> 00:26:11.000
  • of God's grace," Acts 20:22 through 24.
  • 00:26:11.010 --> 00:26:16.030
  • 00:26:16.230 --> 00:26:26.230
  • 00:26:29.090 --> 00:26:39.080
  • 00:26:39.090 --> 00:26:49.080
  • 00:26:49.090 --> 00:26:59.080
  • 00:26:59.090 --> 00:27:09.100
  • 00:27:09.110 --> 00:27:19.100
  • 00:27:19.110 --> 00:27:25.180
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