19 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled across the hill country to Ephesus, where he met some of the Lord’s followers. 2 He asked them, “When you put your faith in Jesus, were you given the Holy Spirit?”
“No!” they answered. “We have never even heard of the Holy Spirit.”
3 “Then why were you baptized?” Paul asked.
They answered, “Because of what John taught.”
4 Paul replied, “John baptized people so that they would turn to God. But he also told them that someone else was coming, and that they should put their faith in him. Jesus is the one that John was talking about.” 5 After the people heard Paul say this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then Paul placed his hands on them. The Holy Spirit was given to them, and they spoke unknown languages and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in this group.
8 For three months Paul went to the Jewish meeting place and talked bravely with the people about God’s kingdom. He tried to win them over, 9 but some of them were stubborn and refused to believe. In front of everyone they said terrible things about God’s Way. Paul left and took the followers with him to the lecture hall of Tyrannus. He spoke there every day 10 for two years, until every Jew and Gentile in Asia had heard the Lord’s message.
11 God gave Paul the power to work great miracles. 12 People even took handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched Paul’s body, and they carried them to everyone who was sick. All of the sick people were healed, and the evil spirits went out.
13 Some Jewish men started going around trying to force out evil spirits by using the name of the Lord Jesus. They said to the spirits, “Come out in the name of that same Jesus that Paul preaches about!”
14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this, 15 when an evil spirit said to them, “I know Jesus! And I have heard about Paul. But who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them up. They ran out of the house, naked and bruised.
17 When the Jews and Gentiles in Ephesus heard about this, they were so frightened that they praised the name of the Lord Jesus. 18 Many who were followers now started telling everyone about the evil things they had been doing. 19 Some who had been practicing witchcraft even brought their books and burned them in public. These books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins. 20 So the Lord’s message spread and became even more powerful.
21 After all of this had happened, Paul decided to visit Macedonia and Achaia on his way to Jerusalem. Paul had said, “From there I will go on to Rome.” 22 So he sent his two helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia. But he stayed on in Asia for a while.