When I entered Berlin, I felt a tightness in the atmosphere. Almost immediately, the spirit of Artemis confronted me. This demon was staring me in the face.
Maybe you’ve never heard of Artemis. But this principality was a central figure in the life of the Ephesians, which is modern-day Turkey. You’ll find people, including a satanic silversmith, influenced by this demon in Acts 19.
Some time after casting the spirit of divination out of the girl in Thyatira—and landing in jail because of backlash from a principality—Paul ran into serious trouble in Ephesus. Indeed, his gospel efforts once again stirred the principalities and powers of witchcraft against him.
Indeed, Paul had a head on collision with Artemis—also called Diana and better known as Jezebel—and one of her dedicated merchandisers named Demetrius. Demetrius posed as a devout follower of Diana but was more interested in the money false worship put in his pockets. He was selling idols by the droves for a pretty penny.
A Satanic Silversmith
Like the masters of servant girl in the Thyatira who were enraged when they lost the revenue she was driving for them through telling fortunes, Demetrius was infuriated when Paul’s revival saw the spirit of the fear of the Lord fall on the city.
In response to Paul’s gospel message, Pagans practicing sorcery suddenly burned their witchcraft books—millions of dollars worth went up in smoke. Suddenly, the scene shifted from revival to riot when worship of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, threatened to dethrone the principality called Artemis and its territorial stronghold in Ephesus.
“About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way. It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many craftsmen busy” (Acts 19:24).
Again, remember Demetrius, was greatly rewarded for his service to propagating Artemis worship through is hand-made idols. Keep in mind this was no mom-and-pop operation. He called everyone employed in the trade of idols together and gave a speech in Acts 19:25-27 that exposes his money motive:
“Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province! Of course, I’m not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great prestige’.”
Stirring a Riot
Demetrius was protecting not only his investment, but the false god that was driving his prosperity. The demonic orator successfully stirred the crowd into a frenzy. Acts 19:28-29 continues, “At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ Soon the whole city was filled with confusion.”
Notice how this angry uproar filled the city with confusion. Confusion is one of the signs of the power of witchcraft working in a spiritual atmosphere. Everyone rushed into the amphitheater. Paul the apostle wanted to rush in and settle the matter but his friends talked him out of it. We see the height of demonic chaos in Acts 19:32:
“Inside, the people were all shouting, some one thing and some another. Everything was in confusion. In fact, most of them didn’t even know why they were there. The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander forward and told him to explain the situation. He motioned for silence and tried to speak. But when the crowd realized he was a Jew, they started shouting again and kept it up for about two hours: ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’”
Catch that. Most of them didn’t even know why they were there. Finally, a city clerk calmed the crowd and everyone dispersed. Doubtless, Paul was in the background praying with the understanding that the battle wasn’t against flesh and blood but against a principality called Artemis and a power called witchcraft. Paul’s God prevailed.
Displacing a principality will not come without attacks, including witchcraft and persecution. Principalities don’t go quietly. They aren’t torn down with a single prayer in a single day. When you push them back, they’ll often push back on you. You need a coordinated strategy from the Holy Spirit because when revival comes, retaliation is not too far off.
Check out my book, 101 Tactics for Spiritual Warfare.