Casting out evil spirits!
Scripture reading for November 12th: Acts 19-20
The Apostle Paul began his third missionary journey to reach those in the province of Asia. (Acts 18:23) He ended up in Ephesus where he found a group of disciples gathered. These twelve men had been baptized into John’s baptism of repentance but had never heard about Jesus Christ. Paul gave them the Gospel of Jesus, told them about the Holy Spirit and then laid hands on them. The Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied! Thus the church at Ephesus was born. Paul’s ministry went on there for nearly three years. This event took place about 20 years after the first Pentecost!
The Lord promised that signs would follow those who obediently preached the Gospel. (Mark 16:15-20) As Paul preached in Asia, God did extraordinary miracles through him to win the lost and confirm that Jesus was the Christ. These miracles included supernatural healing and casting out evil spirits. (Acts 19:11-12) Handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul used were taken to the sick and they were healed and delivered!
Paul’s preaching of Jesus and these extraordinary miracles caused some Jewish exorcists to imitate Paul’s methods. They tried to cast out a demon from a possessed man “in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches.” The demon spoke to them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-15) These seven exorcists were then severely beaten by the demon possessed man! The word about this spread and brought a revival of holiness. Fear seized the populace and they confessed their evil deeds, sorcery, and witchcraft. They publicly burned their books and charms and the word of God spread and grew in power!
God’s power is no match against the powers of the Devil! Jesus told us that in His Name, we would cast out devils! We must know Jesus personally! It can’t be a second hand knowledge or we will be in trouble, just like the seven who tried it. Demons recognize and know Jesus and those who have Him as Lord! In His name, extraordinary miracles will follow the preaching of the Gospel and the ministry of those who obediently go! Be bold as you enter your mission field today! We have a mission field that is full of demonic bondage in need of bold confrontation.