Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, April 9, 2015

#56 Artemis of the Ephesians

C. Peter Wagner: A case could be made
that Paul's power encounter with the
sorcerer Bar-Jesus, or Elymas on Cyprus
involved a territorial spirit.

But the spirit is unnamed and there is nothing specific in the text that would either force such a conclusion or deny it (see Acts 13:6-12).

Such is also the situation when Paul cast the spirit of divination out of the slave girl in Philippi (see Acts 16:16-24). I have a strong suspicion that it was a territorial spirit, but no conclusive proof.

The story of Paul's ministry in Ephesus is different. Here we do have the name of the ruling spirit, Diana (her Roman name), or Artemis (her Greek name) of the Ephesians.

Talbot School of Theology's Clinton E. Arnold is a New Testament Scholar who has specialized in the book of Ephesians and who helps us see the spiritual warfare implications of the epistle. He laments,

    "Few N.T. scholars have referred to the Artemis cult as 
     relevant to the teaching on the hostile 'powers' ".

He feels that attempting to understand the principalities and powers in Ephesians apart from the cult of Artemis is a mistake.

One reason I agree with Arnold is that leaders of the city of Ephesus itself became so upset by the ministry of the apostle Paul that they feared the goddess Diana's temple would be despised and her magnificence destroyed (see Acts 19:27).

They boasted that "all Asia and the world"  worships her (v. 27). 

The city clerk proclaimed,

    "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?" (see Acts 19:35).

Clinton Arnold's historical research confirms that Artemis was worshiped in Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis and throughout Asia.

Artemis' power was awesome. Arnold says, 

     "One undisputed characteristic of the Ephesian Artemis
      is the unsurpassed cosmic power attributed to her."

He says that because of her supra-natural powers..

     "she could intercede between her followers and the cruel
      fate which plagued them."

She wore the signs of the zodiac around her neck and "possessed an authority and power superior to that of astrological fate."

(Google image and emphasis added)

#56 Artemis of the Ephesians
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 97-98) Regal Books


     Father, help us understand what it is we're up against in our own struggles.
    If it is some demonic resistance, may we recognize it and ask for
Your help to overcome it in Jesus' Name.
    When the odds seem so big, remind us that You're well able 
to help us be victorious in each situation.
    I ask this in Christ's name. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Deu. 3:22 "Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God, he shall fight for you."

Today's praise verse: Ps. 7:17 "I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High."

Today’s quote: Bob Gass ministries: "The path you take determines your destination, so before you decide to go in a given direction, talk to God. And don't be surprised when He takes you down a road 'you have not known.' (Isa. 42:16) You must trust that God knows what He's doing. Blaise Pascal said, 'All of man's troubles stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.' "
(Taken from Bob's Daily Devotional The Word for you Today, Dec-Jan-Feb)

Some thoughts today: Pray to know God better. Getting to know Him is a process. Every problem is to move us closer to Him.

- What we focus on is what makes impressions on us as to what we believe, say, and do. 

- Knowing the Creator, the One who created all things is life- giving! No matter what life throws at us, we win!

11th- Saturday’s post:  Bear One Another's Burden

12th- Sunday evening's post:  Slow Dance
Young cancer patient

14th- Tuesday's post:  #57 Releasing Evangelistic Power
C. Peter Wagner

16th- Thursday's post:  #58 Territoriality Now: Anthropology  
C. Peter Wagner


A popular post:  God Sets a Table Too! Frances Gregory Pasch tells us that "God sets a beautiful table for us. Throughout the Bible, He offers us a splendid variety of spiritual food for our souls. Once you start to taste the food that God has to offer,.."   (save to check in sometime)

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