When the Apostle Paul took down the Temple of Diana Friday, Oct 11 2013 

When The Apostle Paul took down the temple of Diana!

In Acts chapter 19, Demetrius the silversmith opposed the Apostle Paul and caused an uproar over the worship of Diana. It was the beginning of the end of the most magnificent religious edifice in the world.

Let me explain.

The city of Ephesus where the great apostle spent several years on his third missionary journey was the scene of this monumental collapse of Phrygian worship. Sometimes in a brief reading of this chapter packed full of information and events, it is overlooked how important this moment was.

Ephesus was one of the early Greek colonies, later the capital of Ionia, and in Paul’s day it was the largest and busiest city of proconsular Asia.

All the roads in Asia minor centered in Ephesus and from it’s central location it was a meeting place of eastern and western thought. In fact it rivaled Alexandria as the most important city of ideas and logic.

The religion of Ephesus was oriental. It’s goddess was Artemis, also called Diana. This goddess represented the old Phrygian nature worship. She was a many-breasted figure, carved with animals, flowers and fruit.

The temple built to this goddess was built by Alexander the Great and was the most magnificent religious edifice in the world It was kept by priests and priestesses who rented out vast estates of land.

For literally hundreds of years Ephesus was a center of pilgrimage, and people came from all of Asia to visit this shrine! Paul was about to put an end to this forever!

The blow that brought it down was administered by a small, stoop shouldered, bald man in his early fifties. His name was Paul the Apostle!

Acts chapter 19 relates the incident. Paul had made Ephesus his headquarters for the third missionary journey. During this time the story is told of the beginning of a decline that brought the temple down. The temple never recovered. Christianity triumphed!

Sometimes your adversary can speak your exploits most nobly. Such was Demetrius’ speech of Paul’s work. He relates how Paul has affected all of Asia Minor and has done so for years. Demetrius saw the fall of his personal empire for he made silver shrines for the temple.

He gathers the like minded workers and inflames them into riot mode telling them Diana will be despised and “Her magnificence should be destroyed”! This temple was the worship of all Asia and the world (Demetrius words).

He called it right for that is exactly what happened.

The riot erupts and for two hours they scream “Great is Diana of the Ephesians”. The whole city is filled with confusion. Paul’s friends are drug into the theatre. Finally the town clerk calms the crowd and reason prevails.

So what was the result? Fifty years later, the most magnificent religious edifice in the world was deserted, the worship neglected, and the sacrificial victims were unsold. (Writings of Pliny). Paul’s religion, Christianity, would go on to convert ten percent of the Roman Empire!

Paul did more than start churches. He tore down centuries old false religions! He changed Asia minor forever by taking down it’s religious stronghold!

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Two Revivals Wednesday, Oct 2 2013 

Two Revivals

I suppose there have always been choices. Cain chose the fruit of the ground, Abel chose the fruit of the flock. It seems there have always been choices concerning how to approach God.

The examples are in our Bible. Elijah on Mt Carmel thundering choose who you will serve. If God be God then serve Him, if Baal be God then serve him.

There is the choice written of Jesus or Barabbas.

In more recent years we have had the choices of Old Time Pentecost or Latter Rain. Later it evolved into The Old Paths vs the modern Charismatic movement.

Possibly the most important choice facing us today in the Apostolic world is which brand of Revival will we choose?

I submit we have two choices. We can continue on with the mainstream movement that has been ongoing for two thousand years, or we can test the waters of the more modern dabbling of Psychology.

Some things we know. We know that for two thousand years Christianity permanently transformed millions of lives with only the New Testament as the manuel for every inner issue. We know that in one hundred years Psychology has stormed on the stage of America and is elbowing it’s way into our churches.

The chasm between these two competing paths to inner issues being resolved, is unbridgeable in my opinion.

We are being told today that we can use a little psychology to help in our council sessions. We are hearing terms like Christian Psychology.

Can these two “Revivals” co exist? I humbly submit that my answer is no, they cannot.

Not so long ago some pretty important and notable people were embracing a new concept. Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the educator Horace Mann, all declared they were indebted to this new science. The preacher Henry Ward Beecher sang it’s virtue and benefit. It was received enthusiastically at Yale, Harvard and The Boston Medical Society!

What was it? It was the science of Phrenology. It was a new science that said your character could be identified by the shape and bumps on your skull! It influenced American thought for over 30 years!(Phrenology:the study of the conformation of the skull based on the belief that it is indicative of mental faculties and character)

Why? Because it seemed to explain why man acts the way he does without making him morally responsible!

Now we laugh at Phrenology! But we don’t laugh at a so called science that seeks to do the same thing. A science that claims to explain why people act like they do, and then their “victim” past jettisons their responsibility.

Now we call them psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and psychology. They use terms to give them validation. Terms like diagnoses, clinical studies, treatment, patients, and cures, seek to make the person feel like it is a medical environment! These sound so scientific!

Let me be very clear! None of the above practices use any empirical evidence. Some have said what is the difference in going to a doctor and going to one of these practitioners? There is a world of difference!

A medical doctor looks at blood work, CAT scans, X-rays, and other empirical evidence. These practitioners simply observe you and your behavior and then diagnose you! May I pose a simple test for everyone to take?

If you go to your doctor and he says you look like you have cancer, you even act like you have cancer, so he recommends you undergo chemotherapy, how will you respond? I assume anyone with good sense will say thank you but I am not interested in your observations, I am interested in empirical evidence!

Yet every day in this country people accept the “diagnosis” of people who have no medical evidence other than observation! They say you are Bi-polar, or manic depressive, and we feel better because that jettisons our responsibility!

Would you undergo chemotherapy or serious surgery without some empirical evidence to support the need? Then why would anyone accept these diagnosis based on observation alone? There is simply no medical evidence.

Mr Hans Eysenck’s study of 1952, and repeated in 1965, prove people recover from neurosis whether they see a therapist or not!

The Cambridge Summerville youth study reported in “American Psychologist” in 1978 was a 30 year study that proved men who went to psychotherapy were worse off in alcoholism, criminal behavior, and mental disorders, than those who underwent no psychotherapy!

D. L. Rosenhan was a professor of psychology and law at Stanford University. He asked eight perfectly sane people: himself, one graduate student, three psychologists, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, and housewife, to be admitted to twelve hospitals. The attending psychiatrists were told these people were hearing voices. Other than that they gave completely truthful histories. They were all diagnosed as schizophrenic except one who was diagnosed manic depressive. They acted normal, yet they were held from seven to fifty two days. The average time they were held was nineteen days, and each were given over 2,000 pills. The mental patients recognized these people as pseudo-patients, but the staff never did. Once these fake patients were labeled by the “Doctors” all their actions were seen as part of their psychosis! Rosenhan then told the institutions what he had done and would send more fake patients. The same staffs then labeled 41 of the next 103 patients as fakes, and Rosenhan never sent another single fake patient.

Is this what we are to submit our churches to? Is “Christian Psychology” the path to revival today?

For two thousand years the New Testament and the power of the Holy Ghost permanently transformed lives by the millions!

Today we are faced with choices. Do we stay on the main path of New Testament tried proven methods, or do we dabble with the new path of Christian Psychology?

I echo an old refrain, as for me and my house, we will leave our inner issues and needs to the most effective results in the history of the world, the New Testament church and the power of the Holy Ghost!

Jesus is still the answer!