Acts 19 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Rucah HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) when you believed?’ ‘No,’ they told him, ‘we haven’t even heard that there is a Ruach HaKodesh.’ ‘Then with what immersion were you immersed?’ he asked them. ‘With John’s immersion,’ they replied. Paul said, ‘John immersed with a immersion of repentance, telling people that they should believe in the One who would come after him, that is, in Yeshua’ On hearing this, they were immersed into the name of Messiah Yeshua. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) came on them, and they began to speak with other languages and to prophesy.” Acts 19: 1-6

There was a well-intended preacher, named Apollos, who had formerly been a follower of John the “Baptist”. After Yeshua’s crucifixion, and certainly after the Ruach HaKodesh fell at Pentecost, Apollos started putting his facts together, and decided that Yeshua was indeed, Messiah…so he began preaching.

“A Jew named Apollos, a native Alexandrian, an eloquent man who was powerful in the Scriptures arrived in Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the ways of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught the things about Yeshua accurately, although he knew only John’s immersion.” Acts 18:25

The problem with Apollos was that his belief and preaching consisted solely on fragments of the Gospel. That meant that his belief and the belief of his “converts” fell short of the actual gospel…as was evidenced by their lacking the Ruach HaKodesh. All true believers receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh upon receiving Messiah Yeshua. This meant that, while Apollos and his “converts” knew who Yeshua was, they didn’t “know” Him personally…in a saving way. I believe Yeshua was speaking of such people when He addressed the end times in Matthew’s gospel:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name? Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Once Priscilla & Acuila explained the gospel in full, Apollos’ personal salvation and his preaching were correctly established. But it was Paul who restored rightness to those who assumed a false sense of salvation from Apollos’ (previously) errant preaching.

Today’s chapter is, perhaps, an exhortation for us to examine our spiritual lives. Have we simply received an intellectual knowledge…the accumulation of facts about Yeshua, without actually surrendering our lives to Him? Or have we truly surrendered our lives to follow Him, allowing His Ruach (Spirit) to powerfully work through us, as we labor to build His kingdom for His glory?

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Monday, August 5, 2013