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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

Great Is Diana - August 26, 2005


Sermon of the Week #200533 – August 26, 2005

            In Acts nineteen Luke says, "About that time there arose no small stir concerning THE WAY."  Five times in the book of Acts, Christ, His word, and His church, are referred to as THE WAY. To call it THE WAY, is the same as saying THE WAY of the Lord is the only WAY to heaven. To say the only WAY, is the same as saying there is no other Way to heaven. To say THE WAY is the same as saying any other way is the wrong way to attempt to go to heaven. To say THE WAY is the same as saying, there is but one Way to heaven. Remember Jesus said,  "I Am THE WAY and the truth and the life, no one cometh unto the Father but by Me."

THE WAY is also like a road. When you travel on any road it will lead you somewhere, but when you travel on THE road eventually it will lead you to heaven. As you get closer to the end of the journey the Christian can very well say in the words of the song: I wouldn’t take nuthin for my journey now.

Note also there arose no small stir concerning THE WAY. Because THE WAY of the Lord is the only Way it will always cause a stir. In this case the stir was over Paul’s preaching that there was only one God. Demetrius the silver smith made silver shrines of Diana. It was a profitable business until Paul said, “There are no gods that are made with hands,” and sales were dropping fast.

            So Demetrius called a meeting of all people occupied in the business and informed them of this Paul who is telling people there are no gods that are made with hands. He said if something is not done the great Diana herself shall be disposed of her magnificence. When they heard this they were filled with wrath and rushed with one accord in to the theater shouting, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians." This theater could hold as many as 25,000 people and is still there unto this day.

           The theater was filled with an angry mob and some shouted one thing and some another and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. This is a perfect description of many a church service today. Some cry one thing and some another. One denomination cries, "This is THE WAY." Another cries, "No this is THE WAY." Many church services are filled with people who know not wherefore they are come together. They do not understand that every Sunday is the day that honors the resurrection of Christ just as much as the one Sunday the world calls Easter.

Paul was advised not to enter into the theater lest he be torn limb from limb. At one point, for two hours they shouted over and over again and again, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians."

At last the town clerk quieted the multitude and broke up the riot and sent them away. Among the things he told them he said: "Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there among you who knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is the temple keeper of the great Diana, and of the image which came to us from Jupiter?"

A meteor had fallen from the sky that had the appearance of the torso of a many-breasted female and they figured it was a goddess sent from heaven. The town clerk had the right idea about their god. He said it came down from Jupiter. Personally I would not want a religion that did not come down from heaven. The only mistake the town clerk or mayor made was the fact that he had the wrong god. He was speaking about Jupiter the father of the gods.   We have a religion in Christ that did come down to us from our Father who art in heaven.

Some times when the wind is blowing just right I can put my ear to the ground and think that I can almost hear that cry from that far off day, “Great is Diana, Great is Diana, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” We have a religion that came down to us from heaven. Jesus is the God who came down to us from heaven.


In the book of Acts chapter 14 the people of the city of Lystra were sure that God had come down out of heaven in the persons of Paul and Barnabas. Paul had commanded a man crippled from his mother’s womb to stand up and walk. He was healed and leaped up and walked. When the people saw what happened they were sure that the gods had come down to them in the likeness of men. They wanted to offer sacrifices unto these two gods in the likeness of men. They called Barnabas Jupiter the father of the gods and Paul Mercury the messenger of the gods. Before I tell you what Paul said I must first tell you what one evangelist said on television. As he entered into an auditorium and walked down the aisle someone asked,  "Are you Jesus?" The evangelist answered, “I am not saying I am and I am not saying I am not.” Now listen to what Paul and Barnabas said. They rent their garments and said, “Why do ye these things? We are also men of like passions with you and bring you good tidings that you should turn from these vain things unto the living God who made the heavens and the earth.”

Paul and Barnabas knew that a God had come down out of heaven and they also knew they were not that God. There was a God who came down out of heaven in the likeness of men so that we once again might become men in the likeness of God.

Let the Apostle John in the sixth chapter tell us what happened. And they said, "Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph whose father and mother we know? How then doth He now say, I AM COME DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN?” We have a Savior that came down out of heaven. But that is not all. Listen to what Jesus told the Apostles in His farewell address in John 16. I came out from the Father and am come into the world: again, I leave the world and go unto the Father. We not only have a God who came down out of heaven, but a God that after He came down out of heaven went back up into heaven.

But that is not all. This Jesus who came down out of heaven and went back into heaven told the Apostles, “If I go I come again.” Now think of that. We have a God who came down out of heaven, and then went back into heaven and then that same God said He is going to come down again out of heaven. But again that is not all. When this God who came down out of heaven and went back into heaven comes again out of heaven, He will take us up into heaven and we shall ever be with the Lord. This is the very essence of our faith. Listen to that again. We have a God who came down out of heaven, then went back into heaven; a God who will come again out of heaven and then take us back to heaven. And when I think of that I have to say, “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.” However that is not the only facet of our religion that came down out of heaven. We not only have a Savior who came down out of heaven we also have a Church that came down out of heaven.


Jesus remained on the earth for forty days after the resurrection. Then He who came down went back up after telling the Apostles to wait for the power from on high. After ten days the power of God was unleashed from heaven. Luke tells us in Acts chapter 2, "Now when the day of Pentecost was now come they were all together in one place.  Suddenly there came from heaven a sound as the rushing of a mighty wind. There appeared unto them tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each one of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” People were there from at least fifteen countries and they all heard the gospel in their own language.

The mighty wind that came that day did not come from the east, west, north or south. The Holy Spirit that filled them that day came straight down from heaven. That was the day when the Church was started. If anyone belongs to the Church that was started on that day that person is a part of the Church that came down to us from heaven. Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.

On that day the Apostles told how Jesus had died on the cross and raised from the dead and ascended to heaven. Those who believed what they heard asked what they must do? Peter told those believers they were to repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Three thousand that day responded and the Lord added unto them in that day about 3,000 souls. They became members of the Church that came down out of heaven.

Many years ago when this unsophisticated green horn left home to go further away from home than I had ever been in my life to Bible College, the preacher gave me some much needed advice. One thing he told me was that I should not expect to find all the students of the Bible College sprouting wings and wearing halo’s. He said some of them ought to be in the penitentiary.

He also told me when the occasion arose that I had to fill out some forms that I should give my place of birth  and say where it was. Then if the question was what is your address put that down. Then there will be a blank that says male or female. Looking back on it I thought it was curious that he did not say that I should write down, “don’t ask don’t tell.”

Then he said when they ask you what Church you belong too tell them Church of Christ. Then if they ask where are your headquarters tell them your headquarters is in heaven. I thought to myself, I can’t tell people anything like that. They will think I am an odd ball if I look up in the sky and say my headquarters is up yonder. After all no body else would make such a dumb statement as that. If you ask most people where is the headquarters of your Church they may say it is in Rome, Indianapolis, Cleveland or some other city?

That was a long time ago, but when I think of it, his advice was the best. If someone asks me today where is my church headquarters? I have to tell them my headquarters is up yonder in heaven. In Hebrews chapter one we read: God, having of old time spoken unto the prophets by divers portions and in divers manner, hath in the end of these days spoken unto us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, who being the effulgence of His glory, and the very image of His substance, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. And that is the headquarters of the Church that came down out of heaven.  And when I think of the fact that we have a Church that came down to us out of heaven I have to say, “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.” However we not only have a Savoir and a Church that came down unto us from heaven we also have a Bible that came down to us out of heaven.


The world still believes they can create a god of their own. Demetrius made his own gods. He made silver shrines of Diana. These little gods were like what use to be called saint Christopher images that some people put on the dashboard of their cars. The saint Christopher image was supposed to give safety while driving. Then one day they figured out that saint Christopher never did really exist so he went out of style. Demetrius made little saint Dianaphers perhaps to put on the dashboards of their chariots. It was thought to work better than seat belts or air bags.

People today still make their own gods. They do not make gods with their hands; they make little gods in their minds. If you tell them what God's word says and they don’t like it they say, "My god wouldn’t do that." They figure up what God would do and not do and then fall down and worship that god. In reality they worship themselves. The Latin phrase is appropriate: VOX POPULI VOX DEI. The voice OF the people is the voice of God. That is not THE WAY it is. The voice of God is the voice of God. The voice of the people may be the voice of the devil.

Paul tells us where the Bible came from when he said in Galatians: I make known unto you brethren as touching the gospel as was preached by me, that it is not after men. For neither was I taught it, for it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ. It was Peter who said, “Holy men spake from of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The Bible is a book that came down to us from heaven and it is the only book that came from heaven.

Paul warns us in Galatians about the contents of other books that claim to be the word of God when he says, “But though we or an angel from heaven preach unto you any other gospel than that which we preached unto you let him be anathema--accursed”.

In First Corinthians eleven, in speaking of the Lord’s Supper Paul gives us the rule of where he received everything he preached. I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you. This was just one item that was revealed to Paul from heaven by the Lord Jesus. We can be sure when we read the Bible we are reading a book that came down to us from heaven. Heaven came down and glory filed my soul.

The Bible is a complete revelation of the will of God. Perhaps this incident in my life when I was about sixteen years old will help you see this truth. I was standing on the end of a pier with another young fellow about my same age at the mouth of the James River in Newport News, Virginia. At that point the river merges into Hampton Rhoads and from thence to the Atlantic Ocean.

I took a whiskey bottle and drained it and wrote a note and put it in the bottle and sealed it up and then threw it as far as I could into the water hoping it would drift out with the tide into the ocean where someone might find it. The note in the bottle said, “I am Eddy Bousman and I am marooned on a desert island with ten beautiful women. Please send help at once.” Later on I realized my mistake. I forgot to give instructions in the note as to where the Island was located. My plea for help was not a complete message.

Now let me tell you what Paul said about that. He said in Second Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is inspired of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto ever good work." According to Paul the message he preached came from heaven and it was a complete message. God did not send it to us in a bottle. He sent it to inspired men of whom Jesus said, “When He the Holy Spirit is come He shall teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said unto you.” Jesus did not trust the memory of the Apostles. The Holy Spirit prodded their memory so that when we read the Bible we are reading the message that Jesus wants us to hear. That message comes to us from heaven. Every thing you need to know about salvation is found in the word of God. Nothing is left out. There may be things you would like to know that are not found in the Bible, but God has seen to it that you have every thing He wants you to know.

Paul said he not only received the message from heaven but he also delivered it. We have all received the same heaven sent message, but the break down comes when the message received is not delivered. Because of popularity and conformity parts of the message is either not delivered today or toned down to the point where those whose ears are dull of hearing just don’t get it. The cry of the ancient Ephesians is still resounding through the religious world. “Great is Diana, Great is Diana, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.”