Acts 19:21-25
Acts 19:21 (KJB)
After these things were ended, 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 also see Rome.
Ended - Fulfilled
I must - It is necessary
Paul indicated that the ministry and mission to Ephesus was successful and therefore he felt that his mission there was completed or fulfilled. Paul could now leave there with confidence knowing that the last two years would have permanent impact because there were now a large group of strong Christians established by his teaching and presence. Paul had a desire to visit Rome but first he wanted to visit the other churches in both provinces of Greece, Macedonia and Achaia. Paul also had brought an offering from Ephesus to Jerusalem. Then after he arrives and visits Jerusalem, he wanted to visit Rome for he believed in his spirit that it was a necessity.
Acts 19:22 (KJB)
So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.
Paul’s desire to see Rome was in alignment with the will of God. (Acts 23:11 KJV) And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. In preparation for his visit, Paul had sent two brothers into Macedonia ahead of him. They were Timotheus and Erastus. (Rom 16:23 KJV) Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. It is believed that this is the same Erastus found in Romans 16:23 but maybe not because if he was the chamberlain of the city, then he would be the treasurer and that would require him to be at his job every day. So we may never know but this man Erastus must have been a strong Christian if Paul used him as his vanguard. Paul remained in Ephesus a little longer before making his trip to Macedonia. (1 Cor 16:8-9 KJV) But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. {9} For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. A new door of witnessing and teaching had opened for Paul and he did not want to lose that open door, even though there were many in Ephesus who opposed the true Gospel. (1 Cor 15:32 KJV) If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. There may have been a rise in opposition to the resurrection and that is why Paul wanted to remain in Ephesus. He called those in opposition to him, “beasts” as they were probably very hostile in their approach to Christianity.
Acts 19:23 (KJB)
And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
After two full years of the growth of the Gospel, Satan had now began to stir up the crowds against Christianity. Satan had a good foothold in Ephesus with all the occultic activity and now that the true Gospel had come, he has been displaced and many that were worshippers of his were now worshippers of the true God because salvation had come to Ephesus. So once again, Paul will have to face another mob scene.
Acts 19:24 (KJB)
For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
We must keep in mind that Satanism is not only Ouija boards and séances but it can have an outward appeal to the senses. Here is such a case. Ephesus was the center for Diana worship. Diana was really another name for Isis from Egypt and Ishtar from Babylon. Today she has two new names and they are “The Celestial Virgin” of the New Age Movement named by Helena Blavatsky and Mary of the Roman Catholic Church. A man named Demetrius must have been one of the principal business owners who made silver statues, amulets, or shrines and then sold them wholesale to other businesses. No doubt there was much money to be made by these businesses who came to Ephesus to visit the Temple of Diana and to celebrate any feasts associated with it. They probably knew about what had happened concerning the burning of the occult books and the fact that many of them became saved because they probably saw a slump in their business. They feared that they would be put out of business by Christianity which seemed to be entrenching itself in Ephesus and growing stronger. True Christianity rejects all idolatry. Therefore sales would have come down and now they had to do something about it.
Acts 19:25 (KJB)
Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
Demetrius then calls a meeting of all the idol makers and makes known to them that because Christianity, known as “that way,” has come to Ephesus, sales are way down and they are being threatened with going out of business. This was a lucrative business because Ephesus was a big city and there were many visitors, especially from different countries. They actually had become wealthy by this trade and they believed they saw the end of their wealth. If you notice, Demetrius was not concerning himself or the others with the worship of Diana but with their own wealth. He made this a personal threat upon their lavish lifestyles and was quick to form a consensus with the others. This is also the same mindset with false religion, that it is the positions of the hierarchy which they concern themselves about and not the religion.