Counterfeit v Genuine Spiritual Power: Acts 19 - The Sons of Sceva

I'd like to invite you to open your

Bibles to Acts chapter 19 the book of

Acts chapter 19 so this is the book that

comes after the Gospels

you've got Matthew Mark Luke and John

and then the story continues the book of

Acts what Jesus continues to do among

his disciples we've been looking at

these texts and trying to learn what

does it mean to be a New Testament

church what does it mean to be a church

that is the way God has designed it in

Scripture now in the book of Acts we

read all kinds of stories of what God

did among the earliest Christians we

learn about the power that they

experience I feel the Lord calling right

now we read about the powerful things

God did among his people we read about

the mistakes that were made in the early

church we read about their problems we

read about all kinds of things today's

text is a doozy it's very interesting

it's rather bizarre so I hope you got

your seatbelts buckled today because

this is an unusual text and sometimes we

need to look at the strange texts

because those are the ones God really

wants to speak through sometimes so Acts

chapter 19 in verse will start in verse

11 okay acts 19 verse 11 this account

we're about to read takes place in the

city of Ephesus the city of Ephesus so

you might that might be familiar to you

from the New Testament book of Ephesians

right Ephesians was a letter that the

Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians who

lived in this city in Ephesus and as we

read about what happened in Ephesus the

letter of the Ephesians might make a

little bit more sense to us okay so keep

in mind that there's that connection

there Ephesus a very intense City a very

important city in terms of the commerce

of the day

in a very spiritual City as well

acts 19 verse 11 it starts by saying

that God did extraordinary miracles

through Paul so that even handkerchiefs

and aprons that had touched him were

taken to the sick and their illnesses

were cured and the evil spirits left

them some Jews who went around driving

out evil spirits try to invoke the name

of the Lord Jesus over those who were

demon-possessed they would say in the

name of Jesus whom Paul preaches I

command you to come out verse 14 seven

sons of sceva a Jewish chief priests

were doing this and one day the evil

spirit answered them Jesus I know and

Paul I know about but who are you

then the man who had the evil spirit

jumped on them and overpowered them all

he gave them such a beating that they

ran out of the house naked and bleeding

when this became known to the Jews and

Greeks living in Ephesus they were all

seized with fear and the name of the

Lord Jesus was held in high honor and

many of those who believed now came and

openly confessed what they had done a

number who had practiced sorcery brought

their Scrolls together and burned them

publicly when they calculated the value

of the scrolls the total came to fifty

thousand drachmas and in this way the

word of the Lord spread widely and grew

in power how about that

let's pray dear God I thank you for this

text I thank you for these events that

happened as the gospel spread in the

early days god I thank you even for the

bizarre experiences that happened among

the early Christians and for what we can

learn from that today lord I pray that

your Holy Spirit would be here in power

to reveal to us the power that is

available to us and what that really

means and how to be authentic before you

so speak to us I pray guide this time in

Jesus name Amen amen so how about that

God did extraordinary miracles through

Paul so that even handkerchiefs and

aprons that touched him were taken to

the sick and their illnesses were cured

and evil spirits left them you ever

heard of that before

that object's handkerchiefs to touch the

Apostle Paul you know what the literal

word for that was actually it was his

sweat rags that's the literal Greek it

actually derives in Latin so da Dion for

the you if you speak Spanish

sous-sous the water flew the water sweat

that's the word that was used here from

the original the Latin then the Greeks

it could these were his sweat rags right

and his aprons that he used to work in

does anyone here use a uniform at work

and get sweaty do that you got your

scrubs if you work in a hospital or

you've got your maybe your dress clothes

but they're not so dressy at the end of

the day right well these were have you

ever seen people selling handkerchiefs

on TV that might have healing powers you

ever seen that I've seen that on TV

where they say if you send in a donation

they'll mail you a magic handkerchief

blessed handkerchief to heal you so this

is the way we're gonna raise money for

future missions I have some

handkerchiefs in the back just give me a

lot I'm just kidding

not only did the Apostle Paul not

Salvi's he probably had thrown them away

right and it occurred to somebody to

fish through his garbage and pick out

his sweaty rags and his dirty aprons and

lo and behold they would touch sick

people and they would get better they

would touch people who are demonized and

the demons would leave Wow

now sometimes because of all the

hypocrisy and the fake imitations we see

we become skeptical of anything unusual

but you know what just because something

is bizarre doesn't mean it's not real

and doesn't mean it's not of God

now I'm not into selling handkerchiefs

but I believe that God used Paul's sweat

rags to heal people isn't that crazy

just because it's strange doesn't mean

it's not of God okay just because it's

strange doesn't mean it is of God either

I think what does something interesting

of bizarre no but we want to be open to

whatever God would have now as we look

at this text there's a few different

things that come to mind that as a

modern reader sees this text first what

we see is an encounter we see two

references to demons in this text in one

part of it Paul's sweaty rags with sweat

bands and work aprons touch people and

demons would leave people and then in

the other text we see these itinerant

Jewish exorcists try to cast out a demon

using the name of Jesus the demon says

yeah I know Jesus and I've heard about

Paul the one who preaches him but excuse

me I'm not I don't believe we're

acquainted who are you and then

the man who's demonized jumps on these

seven guys and gives them I've went up a

lava gives them such a beat-down that

they run out of the house bleeding in

half naked crazy story to some modern

readers this seems bizarre seems even

superstitious that can't be real

exorcism we're casting out evil spirits

is a big part of New Testament

Christianity it is on every page of the

Gospels I know this because we've been

listening I've been listening to the

Gospels with my kids in the car

sometimes I'll put it on and and they

listen to listen and and afterwards

they're like wow another demon another

casting a demon now Wow yeah it's and

you when you really listen to it right -

it's on every other page they're casting

out demons to try to take exorcism or

casting demons out of the New Testament

you're left with just a few little

cut-up pages but this is a big part of

New Testament Christianity and not just

Jesus but his disciples did a lot of

casting out demons that it's a big part

of the book of Acts as well now that is

hard for some of us who are from a

cultural worldview that doesn't really

take into account the spiritual

dimensions but some of us might have

come from countries where this is the

bread and butter of every day right you

might come from a country where every

village has its food on Dettol where

every village has its witch doctor where

you've seen you know demonize people and

and and the missionaries come with their

nice teaching and the people are like

that's all good and fine but what do we

do with our demons right so in some

countries the spiritual dimension of

life is much more active now the devil

and I do believe there is a devil has

used a different technique in the West

when I say West I mean North West right

in

North America and in Europe he's used

the technique of going undercover he's

like well you know what's working here

is by fooling people without them

knowing I'm deceiving them so he's gone

undercover rather than maybe in some

parts of Africa or Latin America where

things are much more out there right or

some parts of Asia and so instead it's

undercover but just because it's

undercover doesn't mean it's not real so

this is an important topic for us to

think about we're also going to see in

this text some people who try to use the

name of Jesus in a superstitious way and

that's very important because I believe

that is still going on today that there

are still many many people and all of us

are tempted in different ways to use the

name of Jesus in a way that is separate

from the person of Jesus we'll talk

about what I mean by that we don't want

superstitious magic in the name of Jesus

we want a genuine authentic

demonstration of the Holy Spirit's power

among us amen that's important to say

because if you read the New Testament

and you read the book of Acts the New

Testament church was a powerful church

lives were changed powerfully people

were healed demons were expelled with

power but we want that power to be

authentic and not fake and not

manipulative and not syncretized with

other types of magical thinking we've

talked about syncretism already remember

when the gospel spread into Samaria

people who had not been exposed to the

Old Testament Scriptures as much and

there was a man named Philip who was

preaching and demons were coming out of

people with shrieks and there was

healing and there was crazy stuff going

on and there was a man who was a

magician remember him

let's close his name and remember his

name this is from a

months ago Simon Simon Magus Simon the

magician and he had been called the

great power and people listened to him

and he made a lot of money and he was

important because he was a powerful

magician but Philip was more powerful

and he was he was impressed with Philip

he's like wow this guy is a great

magician look at the tricks he does in

the name of Jesus and so he followed

Philip around and observing him with a

fascinated professional curiosity

he believed sort of became kind of a

halfway Christian sort of kind of maybe

he might have even gotten baptized but

he still didn't get it he was still

thinking like a witch and so when Peter

came and laid his hands on people and

the Holy Spirit came on they say why

like that he maybe I could become a

Christian magician maybe I could be like

the Apostles and have power and do magic

tricks and I could get the same gig

going but now I'll do it in the church

right so what did he do you remember

what he did and okey so comprar con

dinero de niro sucio he wanted to buy it

with money he said Peter how much how

much can i buy this power of the Holy

Spirit so that I can lay hands on people

too and Peter says let your money perish

with you because you thought you could

buy the gift of God with money that the

power of God is not a business it's not

a force to be manipulated not at all

that is a magical view a superstitious

pagan view of God's power and you've got

to get your thinking straight Simon

because I see that you're trapped in

bitterness see this man's heart wasn't

right he was still bitter and proud and

he hadn't been healed he hadn't really

been converted he just wanted the power

without the change in the transformation

and that's what we see happen here in

this text okay so we need to look at

that because that still happens today

it is very common for people to want the

power or the blessing of Christianity

without having it change their lives

that look I just want to get fixed it's

okay don't talk to me about Jesus

bossing my life around I just want this

blessing I need right we bring a magical

view a superstitious view to our faith

in Christ and that's what this text is

about now this was important especially

in the city of Ephesus because Ephesus

was a spiritual hotspot we're gonna

discover next week that it housed the

famous temple of artemis so they worship

the goddess artemis also called diana

and there was an enormous temple and

they were proud that their city was the

guardian of the idol of artemis and I

believe that that Idol was more than

just a statue that there was a demonic

personality behind that statue that

actually governed over that city and

these people liked it that way it was a

very spiritual City we read you can

study if you study history that there

are certain scrolls and papaya documents

from Ephesus that have magic formulas in

them and they're so common from Ephesus

that F that they're actually called

these magical Scrolls are simply called

the Ephesian letters and you can see

them in in museums in London some of

them didn't get burned some of them

snuck through and they're in museums so

now I don't want anyone breaking into

museums and burning them okay Jesus is

more powerful word we're good you'll

have to worry about it but you can still

see some of these scrolls are still out

there okay and so this was a very

spiritual City there's a reason why the

book of Ephesians ends

wait does the letter that Paul ended up

writing to these people anyone know

what's in the last chapter of Ephesians

Ephesians chapter 6 what's in it there's

a famous section that we quote a lot you

could just yell it out the armour of God

in my videos the armor of God is in

Ephesians chapter 6 that's how

Christians need to be like soldiers who

put on armor to defend themselves and

fight against the devil and the powers

of this dark world it's no accident that

that is the culmination of a letter to

these people to the Ephesians because

the Ephesians needed to know how to

fight spiritually they didn't have the

luxury of being ignorant of this dynamic

throughout the book of Ephesians you see

the phrase heavenly places talked about

because the Apostle Paul God through him

wanted them to know that they have power

in the heavenly spiritual dimension but

that that does affect the natural and we

need to move in both worlds okay and so

the Ephesians needed to hear about this

now let's come back to the miracle of

the sweat rags okay and the

handkerchiefs bizarre bizarre it's not

the first time in the Bible you see that

though right how about the woman who

snuck up behind Jesus what did she do

just touch the hem of His garment how

about this the Apostle Peter I think

it's Acts chapter four or five the

Apostle Peter would simply walk by

people who were sick they would lay them

on mats on the sidewalk next to where he

would walk by his shadow would pass over

them and they would be healed Wow you

want to hear a really bizarre story in

the Old Testament there was a prophet

named Elijah who did a lot of amazing

miracles by the power of God miracles

that were actually foreshadow the

miracles of Jesus separate you know

multiplying the bread Elisha did that

you know a water miracle and ax-head I

think it was that Elijah Elijah a lot of

crazy miracles right he died

he got buried No and then they figured

you know let's for some reason they

wanted to reuse that tomb many years

later they threw a dead corpse into the

tomb on Elijah's bones and fun the guy

like sticks his head up hello you know

he's alive again the bones were

radioactive with the power of God wild

stuff remember what I said

just because it's weird doesn't mean

it's fake it might be fake but it might

not be we need to look at the fruit we

need to look at the spirit in which

things are done and not just it being

strange because sometimes God moves in

some strange ways it's important to say

that sometimes when the Holy Spirit

moves and as we have time at the altar

and people experience that in different

ways sometimes things might get a little

bit emotional or a little out of the box

right I want to allow freedom for God to

move in any way he wants now I don't

want to hype people up and make this a

place where we manipulate people into

having experiences none of that we want

it to be authentic but if things are

happening sometimes they will be

authentically strange and that's okay

too

all right it may be messy let it be an

organized mess right under the order of

God and His Word but we'll talk more

about that later but how about this now

a big part of understanding this is

understanding the power of God I want to

talk about God's power today I've spoken

of this before in the book of Acts I

want to return to it when I think of

power just this week I was thinking

about power during a certain hailstorm

on Tuesday and we get caught in that

I didn't download it Johnny showed me

this great video from the massive tea

station the hail fell so hard that it

broke windows that was I was with you it

was right during

it broke windows and bring on Women's

Hospital you can go up to the top floor

of of our church building and look out

and all the cars are all dented on the

roofs all these little pockmarks all

these really depressed people by car

thankfully windows weren't shattered but

but there's a lot Jonathan his car is

all dead to the power the power of that

storm well God has power force horse

power but it's God power now this is not

anti-scientific any more than the force

of gravity right it is assuming that

reality is more than just the physical

world we as Christians believe that

there's a physical world and there's

also an invisible spiritual dimension

and that God and have that that Jesus is

seated at the right hand of the Father

in the heavenly places in the spiritual

dimension that there are Devils there

are angels at work in that dimension

that that dimension intersects with the

natural dimension it's all around us and

the spiritual and the physical overlap

and influence one another so the power

of God is God exerting a force from that

side into this one it's not

anti-scientific

there is a real force being exerted it's

something we don't understand yet it's

part of a dimension that scientists

haven't figured out doesn't mean it's

not real amen so we really believe in a

spiritual power whether that be good or

evil we believe that God has power now

you see this in the Ministry of Jesus

when when the Apostle Peter preached

about Jesus in the book of Acts chapter

two he says Jesus of Nazareth was a man

attested to you by God with works of

power and

wonders and signs that God did through

him in your midst eventually to prove

that he was more than just a man that he

was actually the Son of God

but that in his human existence he

channeled that power of God the Bible

says that he was conceived by that power

remember the question that Mary asked

him I've never been with a man how am I

gonna have a baby and and the angel says

here's how it's gonna work the Holy

Spirit will overshadow you the power of

the most high will overshadow you and

cause that life to exist within you he

was conceived by God's power by the

power of the Holy Spirit then after he

was tempted by the devil in the desert

for 40 days and 40 nights remember that

he's tempted the Bible says he returned

from the desert in the power of the Holy

Spirit so that power could increase or

decrease in our lives and I'm gonna say

even in the ministry of Jesus that there

were certain moments when the power was

more felt and more powerful than at

other moments he was never anything less

than the divine son of the Living God

okay

he's always been that but in his human

existence he was anointed with the Holy

Spirit with power and at his baptism and

there was power that flowed through

there were certain moments when he

didn't heal as many people because of

their lack of faith which didn't allow

that power to flow now Jesus could have

did Jesus he was part of the creation

right but that power in the human

dimension flows along certain rhymes and

is also limited in certain lines it gets

weird it's almost like voltage right

don't worry we'll fix that I'm not gonna

leave it as saying God's power is

voltage it's kind of like voltage in

that sense at one point he's preaching

with authority and with power and as

he's preaching in the synagogue someone

stands up and starts shouting what do

you want with me son of God

and she says be quiet I'm preaching the

demon flies out of him the guy sits down

hopefully and here's the rest of the

sermon right I don't know the power and

that was what was said he preaches with

authority and with power there's one

case where and we already talked about

the woman who snuck up behind him in the

crowd and touched him and Jesus stopped

and said somebody touched me remember

the story it was a crowd where

everyone's crowding around him and

they're like Jesus you see everyone's

pushing and crowding around you and

elbowing you how could you say somebody

touched you everybody's touching you

he said no no I felt power go out of me

almost like a draw like because this

woman touched him with a certain faith

there was a draw of Pardons do crazy

stuff he didn't any of me says who

touched me he's looking around

isn't that a crazy story he's the

creator of the universe right he's part

of the creation didn't he know who

touched him yes and no I think as a

human he sort of he put some of his

divine omniscience a little bit on hold

and he really wanted this woman to come

out and identify herself she just

touched him there was a draw of power

there's a case where Jesus spent all

night praying to his father and again

you could ask why did Jesus need to pray

well because as a as God made flesh God

living a human life he prayed like we

pray in that sense he lived the perfect

human life never sinned so he prayed all

night one night you ever tried that

before by the way you ever try we did

the all my prayer over there

but most of us took a little a little

snooze around somewhere around 2 or 3 I

know I did some people you look at some

people are laid out of the chairs it's

all good you know some kids just conked

out all night but pray all night some of

you might have had one of those kids

right here praying all night Jesus

prayed all night and the Bible says then

he came down and picked the 12 what's up

for that there was a he was he was

praying for the blessings

they're on his 12 apostles he was

perhaps praying for wisdom about which I

don't know which ones he picks them and

then the Bible says in Luke chapter

something Luke chapter 6 verse 19 he

went down to a level place and the Bible

says that everyone was trying to get

near him because power was radiating out

from him and healing everybody around

him so there's this image of just a

power radius around him I think that's

what happened with Peter

he was so anointed with the Holy Spirit

as a means of delivering God's power

that just the proximity there were signs

and wonders that accompanied that was

healing so that power flowing through

Jesus now here's where it gets really

interesting

apparently this power was transferable

the Bible says in Luke 9 verse 1 that

Jesus called his twelve and he conferred

on them authority and power to heal and

cast out demons and preach the good news

that people of the kingdom so he

conferred on his apostles the power of

his own ministry and then they went out

started doing some of the same things

then at the end of his ministry when he

died rose from the dead was risen from

the dead and then was about to go to the

heavenly dimension ascend to the right

hand of the Father he says don't just go

out and try to serve me in your own

strength wait in Jerusalem until you are

clothed with what with power from on

high

just love the word power right the Latin

root POW I just like that

power of God wait until your clothes at

our power and then it happens Jesus

again says to them

don't go anywhere wait in Jerusalem

because in a few days we'll be baptized

with the Holy Spirit and what is it that

you will receive power when the Holy

Spirit comes on you and you will then be

my witnesses here in Jerusalem and Judea

to the ends of the world because that

power will fuel your ministry so that it

will be effective and that power fuels

the New Testament church 2,000 years ago

and it fuels the church today the same

Holy Spirit still comes on all

Christians who believe in Jesus Christ

and receive him and preach his word and

it's that power that changes life praise

the Lord I want to be a people of power

I want to be a people who maximize that

I believe that nobody can be a Christian

without experiencing that power there

every Christian when they receive Jesus

it's the power of God that is given to

soften their heart to receive him but

then I believe there are levels of

fullness of that power of flowing

through us I don't want to settle for

just a little bit I'd like as much power

as possible without frying the circuits

amen because maybe there's only so much

I can handle right now we'll talk about

that but that we want to maximize the

demonstration of the spirit's power

among us because we can't do this on our

own people come to us bound up in sin

with their eyes blinded with addictions

and sins that they just can't stop I

can't change a person's mind I can't

change a person's heart I can try to

drag them but i just-i there needs to be

a demonstration of the spirit's power so

that people's faith doesn't rest on

human efforts or human wisdom but on the

power and the revelation of the word of

god amen that's what we want to be when

we grow up

and that's what was happening it's what

we already are in a certain way but

we're just up to our ankles right we

want to get all we want to get in deeper

to that power flowing through us now

there was a little bit of a problem

because the Apostle Paul had these

miracles happening with his sweat bands

and his aprons and this is in a context

where people practice witchcraft and

sorcery right so what are they going to

think it's magic magic sweatbands magic

aprons and it's very natural that some

of them would think let's try using the

name of Jesus as an incantation right as

an incantation and try to synchronize

their witchcraft with Christianity so

apparently there was the there were

these guys the seven sons of sceva right

the ancient equivalent of the three

stooges in the Bible and they are trying

they are consider themselves the sons of

a certain chief priest there is no

document of any chief priest named Skiba

so you get the feeling that there was in

quotation marks he were seeing someone

assumed a title to try to be important

you know well these guys were doing that

right they were going around doing

exorcisms and helping people get free of

evil spirits I believe they may have had

a certain degree of power in doing that

you go into some parts of the world and

there are codon dados there are witch

doctors who try to help people with

their evil spirits by magic arts they

try to bring a magical power or force

that is stronger than the power that is

holding the person and that they just

Duke it out doing magic so these these

itinerant exorcists figured the name of

Jesus appears to be a powerful

incantation let's try that right and is

it interesting the way they do it in the

name of Jesus whom Paul preaches we

command you to come out and the response

of the demons yeah yeah yeah geez

and the demon I believe is literally

speaking through the person here just

like in the movies right don't watch

those movies please but just like in the

movies the demons talking through Jesus

I know and then it uses a different word

and Paul I know about it so it's a

different Greek word there so in other

words the demons know Jesus in a

different way than they know Paul right

they really know Jesus right Paul yeah

yeah he's he's starting to get a

reputation down here right he's he's

making business hard for the devil I

know about him but who are you so here's

the problem they were trying to use the

name of Jesus but apparently they were

not authorized to do so

they were unauthorized users right in

our modern terminology right they were

attempting a type of spiritual identity

theft and the devil saw right through

them he said you're fake you're not a

real Kurt you're not a Christian trying

to use the name of Jesus without being

personally submitted to the authority of

Jesus is like trying to use a a police

badge that you bought in a toy store and

or maybe a real one maybe a real one

that you found on a street corner that a

real police officer dropped and you

picked it up and you say I'm a cop no

you're you're impersonating a cop you

have no real authority and you have no

real power we're using the name of Jesus

without belonging to Jesus is like using

a stolen identity it's like using a

credit card

the

not belong to you if it is really just a

piece of plastic there's nothing magic

about the name of Jesus the name of

Jesus is powerful because of the person

of Jesus the name isn't a magic charm

it's the name that's connected to the

king behind that name right there are

funds in that reserve and so that name

when connected to that person has all

authority in heaven and on earth because

it's the name that is above all names

right amen

it is a name Jesus said the Bible says

because he humbled himself he was

exalted to the right hand of the Father

and given a name that is above every

other name that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow in heaven and on

earth and under the earth and every

tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the

glory of God the Father that is a

powerful name because it is connected to

a powerful person who by his death and

resurrection has conquered Satan sin and

death and nothing can keep him down

anymore well we are connected to him and

we use his name there's power behind it

but trying to use the name when not

connected to the person is like using a

stolen credit card

it's like using a stolen police badge

and identity theft does not work in the

spiritual dimension the devil's can tell

that you're faking it to see right

through them so you've got nothing to do

with Jesus what are you doing using that

name that name means nothing when in the

mouth of a person who does not believe

in Jesus who's not submitted to Jesus

that is what it's all about and they

flee naked and bleeding it's interesting

the language that's used in the Greek it

says this one man warded it

for these seven it's the same phrase for

lording it over because Jesus is Lord

but the name isn't magically Lord

it's not a magic incantation now here's

where this gets really important you see

it says here that even the even the

strange miracle of the handkerchiefs

look at the language that the apothem

that's used in the book of Acts here

verse 11 of Acts 19 look at what it says

it says God did extraordinary miracles

through Paul just notice that language

it doesn't say Paul did extraordinary

miracles through God he says God did

extraordinary miracles through Paul Paul

was the instrument see in witchcraft the

the witch or the magical person has the

power they're manipulating the force

you've seen Star Wars that whole force

thing that's all a Buddhist conception

of the universe of which you can you can

watch Star Wars it's okay but but don't

believe in the force God is not a force

his power is not a force right

manipulating the force to do things God

will not be manipulated we're the

instrument in his power he is not the

force at our disposal amen and so that

is the difference your God's power is

inextricably linked to his person and to

his place of rule in the universe and

that's why there is power available to

us there are people I would say in fact

all of us who at one point or another

try to approach Christianity from a

pagan perspective like what are you

talking about I'm a Christian I'm not a

pagan well it's approaching church or

approaching God to try to get something

from God without submitting to his

authority we

the power without the price of submitted

submitting to the authority that sends

that power we want a quick fix we want

an answer we're in a problem we're in a

situation we want our problem fixed but

just don't don't try to get involved in

my life though you know I think that's

why angels I don't know if angels are

still as popular as there were 15 20

years ago remember there was a phase

where everyone was into angels right

touched by an angel there's angels

everywhere all these angels angels

angels why are people who really don't

love Jesus why are they so into angels

well I'll tell you why because their

spiritual beauty there's all kinds of

great things but an angel isn't gonna

tell you to adjust your sexual habits

right an angel is not going to tell you

what to do with your money an angel is

not gonna tell you to change your

language or change your life to repent

and submit to Jesus in his word and

angels I gonna tell you that it's just

gonna glow right Jesus isn't just your

angel he came to be Lord Lord means king

Lord means he's in charge Lord means we

repent and submit to him and say God

take over my life and we let his

authority rule in our life and as he has

authority there is power that flows - I

did this as a as a teenager raised

Catholic I was impacted and blessed by

my Catholic background in many different

ways but I had my rosary that I would

say faithfully when I had a test the

next day or if there was a game I needed

to win or some other thing that a

teenager might want right say that

rosary my good luck charm I remember a

turning point for me in my life and

don't get me wrong I think God even on

or sometimes I were seeking with clouded

understanding he sees that and guides us

along the way but one night I remember a

turning point for me is when I was going

through a particular tough time you know

the world was coming to end I was 15 I

don't know what it was something you

know must have been something completely

terrible

I couldn't I couldn't sleep and I

couldn't say the rosary all night and I

really felt like that's why I came to

the end of that superstitious it's like

you know it's not about a religious good

some people approach coming to church

that way but God I gave a tithe you're

supposed to give me a lot of money back

right but God I went to church

everything's supposed to go well I'm not

supposed to have problems right some

people approach baptism that way as a

magic trick that's what we say that the

requisite four met baptisms do you

believe in Jesus doesn't mean you're

perfect but it means you're sincere it

means you really believe in Jesus and

have asked him to forgive your sins

it's not a magic trick right sometimes

people approach baby presentation they

want us to kind of do whatever hocus

pocus we do over the babies right come

do your thing to my baby this means

nothing if you're not praying to give

the baby to God and praying the god of

blessed it's not a magic formula let's

approach church and all these activities

as submitting to Jesus so that his

Authority is active in our church in our

lives and his power flows that's why the

book of Ephesians talk so much about

moral lifestyle and about healthy

relationships because what the Apostle

is teaching the Ephesians is if you want

to have power in the spiritual dimension

but you've got to walk in the light as

he is in the light the devil's the

Prince of Darkness you see deliverance

isn't just about a magic trick that

happens - it's about changing my life

so I am more submitted to the authority

of Jesus so the devil has less entry

ways into my life we're gonna talk about

that next but because the Ephesians seem

to understand that look at what they do

look at what they do after this incident

this is fascinating go with me to acts

19 verse 17 through 20 it said when this

incident the incident of the sons of

sceva became known to the Jews and

Greeks living in Ephesus they were all

seized with fear

and the name of the Lord Jesus was held

in honor I think in an appropriate way

not a magical way because many of those

who believed now came and openly

confessed what they had done confession

and repentance and submission to Jesus

some of them brought a number who had

practiced sorcery witchcraft brought

their Scrolls together and burned them

publicly and when they calculated the

value of the scrolls the total came to

50,000 drachmas the equivalent of that

is 2.5 million dollars a drachmas a

day's wages so they got it that if I

really want to be free if I want to

honor the name of Jesus then I need to

humble myself and repent and submit to

Jesus's authority I need to come into

the light I need to confess my sins if

someone wants to be free of demonic

influence in their life what needs to

happen is not just as a Poe but they

need to go through a process of

confessing and renouncing the things

that they did they got them contaminated

in the first place

example and this is a very public

example because the person herself has

shared this testimony in public groups

and on the radio

she's a beautiful member of our church

when Pastor Roberto first met her it was

about 20 years ago he was called because

she was having problems with strange

manifestations in her life and he went

over and as he's praying for her she

starts going nuts just like in the

movies

a demon manifesting in her life and then

it occurs to him that he's alone in this

house with her and it's Halloween just

to make it more interesting and he's

like what am I getting myself into here

not recommendable usually to be in that

situation but so he says okay demon be

quiet I want to talk to someone so again

the demon phases out he's talking to the

person again and he says are you into

any kind of occult son teddy or

witchcraft and she says oh yeah I do

this that and the other thing and he

says okay well if you really want to be

a Christian you want to be free you're

gonna have to leave those things and

believe in Jesus she says I'm in

she was ready this is okay well let's do

this let's do this right show me do you

have like objects you use like Santos

and scrolls and magic things and she's

all yeah okay let's do let's do a little

housecleaning so they went around the

house and she says oh here's my this

here's my dad all for magic all her

things she used just put it all in a

trash bag put it in the trash and she's

okay now what you got to do you got to

believe in Jesus as your Savior that

means you let Jesus be Lord that he

forgives you for your sins etc she's

like yeah I'm in they pray she becomes a

Christian the demons really go away and

and now that was 20 years ago and she's

still a beautiful woman of God married

kids are doing well when got her GED got

her college degree got her master's

degree her husband got his own business

they owned a house you know good things

had happened because she was truly

thoroughly delivered see Jesus said that

when the devil leaves a house what he

might do is get seven uglier Devils

uglier nastier smellier Devils and come

back to that person and find the house

swept and clean it in order but empty

and they will move back in and

recontaminate that person and the person

is worse off at the end than they were

at the beginning that's why we don't

just come in with you know like Rambo

just bam-bam-bam demons go away we want

people to submit to Jesus but Jesus has

Authority permeate their life so that

the devil doesn't have anywhere to live

anymore in the book of Ephesians the

Bible said the Apostle Paul says to the

Ephesians he says do not what did he say

about anger and resentment he says do

not in your anger do not sin and do not

let the Sun go down while you're still

angry don't give the devil a foothold

resentment anger hatred can be sort of

an emotional house that the devil can

have access to people through I have

seen people that when they decide to

forgive someone who hurt them illnesses

sometimes just go away

it's not always like that but sometimes

I've seen some people when they repent

of certain activities they were involved

in the devil just doesn't have any

access to them anymore

now don't get me wrong I think if you

are a Christian you all automatically

belong to God you belong to Jesus I

don't think a Christian can be possessed

by the devil in an ultimate sense right

Christians belong to Jesus because we've

been bought with the blood of Jesus but

sometimes our life hasn't changed

thoroughly and because of certain sinful

attitudes or practices certain demonic

forces still have access to our life and

we need to take those departments of our

life and let God's light flow so that

the cockroaches can't live in the

darkness anymore amen and so we get free

of some of what's called bondages dilute

us certain connections to the evil what

I think addictions work that way much of

the time sometimes it's not the drug

that's the problem it's the heart

problem that leads us to depend on that

drug right and then there's the whole

physical dependency that needs to be

broken as well but before we can deal

with the physical dependency the person

has to want it right you've got to want

to be free and and if you want it then

God will give you the strength to do

what you got to do and you open and the

devil just doesn't have places to live

anymore because you're flooded your sons

of light in the book of Ephesians that

says it this way you were once darkness

but now you are light in the Lord the

devil's the Prince of Darkness right he

hates the light so live as children of

light the fruit of light consists in all

goodness righteousness and truth find

out what pleases the Lord have nothing

to do with the fruitless deeds of

darkness but rather expose them bring

whatever darkness in your life

confession is a profoundly healing thing

now in this case the the Ephesian

sorcerers confessed publicly

they had their their book-burning

publicly right because everyone in town

knew what they've been doing I don't

think that everybody needs to confess

all your dirty laundry publicly but I do

think it's healing to find a person you

can confide in a person of the same

gender a person who's spiritually mature

that can handle it they can keep a

secret that you can say I'm struggling

with this the Bible says confess your

sins to one another and pray for one

another so that you may be healed it's

time to come out of Darkness it's time

to find a person you can trust

spiritually mature of the same gender

discrete that you can share your

struggles with and as you come into the

light these these forces of evil start

losing their power and good things start

happening we need to clean house repent

and yeah maybe that means getting rid of

some some stuff right if you got a Ouija

board okay throw it in the grill and

make some s'mores over it right if

you've got horoscope books or you know

New Age spirit guide stuff okay trash it

it's not of God right if some of the odd

that took them to the obvious stuff here

the obvious stuff now I'm not saying we

get so paranoid that we throw away every

piece of art and I don't want us to

freak out about this right but if you

were into evil and you have symbols of

that evil that you're holding on to sort

of little memorabilia of previous sinful

things let's let's do some housecleaning

let's get free let's come to Jesus if

you've got horror movie yeah

again I don't want to get all we are not

super strict in this church we don't

tell you you're not allowed to go to

movies and stuff but there are some

movies that are just not worth watching

right some horror movies about the devil

about Satan that on there I was so

grateful my mother Catholic Italian

woman

I was 14 and we wanted to watch

Amityville Horror remember that one if

you saw it it's okay it's okay you're

forgiven is already but I wanted to

watch that movie we all wanted to watch

and my mom was not very strict she was

not strict at all actually even though

she would chase us with a wooden spoon

but she never caught us right but that

night that night she said no no no

Amityville Horror in my house and we all

looked at her like really yeah are you

serious she's not in the house sorry

like really she really means it I'm so

grateful for that because why even look

at pictures of what the devil is doing

you know why do that you know everything

might be permissible for you but does

everything edifying then and again this

is not a legalistic Church we don't we

don't give people a bunch of rules of

what you got to do we let God deal with

people individually so you have to dress

this way you have to don't know but at

the same time sometimes am I even enjoy

certain darkness if it's just gonna hurt

me spiritually why not clean house no

because there's power available to us

and let's be submitted a people who

believe in that power that is not an

impersonal electrical force but is the

expression of a loving king who has sent

His Holy Spirit who is a person who is a

he is not an it is not an electricity is

not a force but is a person among us

that loves and that heals people and

sets people free I want that power

demonstrated in my life my ministry in

my church the Apostle Paul talks about

this again interesting coincidence in

the book of Ephesians chapter 1 he says

I pray that the eyes of your heart may

be opened and enlightened in order that

you may know the hope to which is called

you the riches of his glorious

inheritance and his Saints and that you

might know his incomparably great power

for us who believe that power is the

as the mighty power he exerted when he

raised Christ from the dead and seated

him at his right hand in the heavenly

realms far above all rule and authority

power and Dominion every name that is

invoked not only in the present age but

also in the one to come and God placed

all things under his feet and appointed

him to be head over everything for the

church which is his body the fullness of

him who fills everything in every way I

want you to know that power that you can

be free that you could be submitted to

Jesus and your weakness my weakness are

actually opportunities for God's power

right what does the Bible say it says

that we are jars of clay we have this

treasure in Jars of Clay to show the

world that this all surpassing power is

from God and not from us if you feel

weak if you feel like you have failures

or problems you qualify for the power of

God because everyone's gonna know it was

not you that did it right they're gonna

know that it was God that sets you free

that God provided for you God said my

grace is sufficient for you because my

power is perfected where in your

weaknesses our weakness qualifies us for

God's power if we will believe in him

there is a name above all names if we

will obey if we will love one another

submit to Jesus he says you haven't

asked for anything in my name up to now

but you can ask for anything in my name

and I will do it let's believe in Jesus

in his power let's use his name not

through identity-theft but by believing

in Jesus and being agents of his kingdom

amen are you up for learning about this

I want to learn how to move in this

power I want us to move in this power so

I invite you to stand with me let's pray

and let's put on the armor of God okay

the armor of God is not going through

some mystical ritual the armor of God is

putting on the helmet of what salvation

the breastplate of what righteousness

the belt of truth the armor of God means

being a sincere Christian not doing a

magical ritual that pretend you know oh

I didn't do my armor ritual today no no

no that's superstition it's about being

in Jesus it's about living in

righteousness living in truth being

ready and knowing the Word of God this

your sword if we're willing to do that

there's power available for us amen so

let's let's bow our heads and pray and

and that's come before God over this

issue dear God I thank you I thank you

that you use stories like the one we

just read to show us through that which

is false to show us that we can desire

that which is authentic and real Lord I

pray that we would be authentic

Christians who move in authentic power

that that all surpassing power would be

from you and not from us I pray that you

would do extraordinary things through us

and that it would never be

the other way around Lord God that we

wouldn't try to use you for our own

purposes but we would submit and let you

use us for your purposes Lord God I pray

for my friends my brothers and sisters

in this room for us as a community that

we would grow up in this area Lord God

that we would be submitted to King Jesus

into your authority and that your light

would flood us to such a degree that

your power would flow through us god I

pray that in this community Lord we

would know the power of change lives of

people set free from sin people set free

from addictions people here healed from

brokenness physical healing as well

deliverance from demonic oppression but

this would be a place of freedom where

the Spirit of the Lord is there is

freedom I just want to give this

opportunity I did this a couple of weeks

ago but I want to do it again as we

transition to a worship song just right

where you are I'm not gonna ask people

to come forward but where you are if you

want to make a statement that you want

to really belong to Jesus you want to

give your life to Him

in a full way and submit to him as your

Lord and Savior I invite you to make

that decision I invite everybody to just

continue praying and with your eyes

closed but if you want to make that

decision I invite you to make that

declaration by raising your hand to the

Lord so that I can pray for you to tell

you god bless you is there anyone else

who wants to god bless you who wants to

make this decision today that says you

know what I think I've been kind of

playing god bless you and I want to be

an authentic Christian I want to believe

in Jesus I don't want to be like

that the that the Devils are like who

are you I want to be someone who really

knows Jesus God bless you in the back

god bless your there any others who want

to make this decision today I'm gonna

invite you to pray with me and this is

going to be a prayer of simple

consecration of simple commitment of

giving our hearts to God God really

belong to you I want to be a Christian I

invite you to pray with me if you raise

your hand and you want to repeat this

prayer right you to verbally repeat this

player prayer to God saying dear God I

thank you that you love me I believe in

Jesus that he died for me I believe that

he rose again I believe that he is the

king and I invite you Jesus to be my

Lord and my Savior I give my heart to

you and I invite the Holy Spirit to take

control of my life

I want to be a Christian I want to be a

child of the Living God in Jesus name

and dear God I pray for those who have

made that decision father some who were

accepting Jesus for the first time some

who who were renewing their faith

renewing their commitment God I pray for

that awareness of your grace that

because of Jesus we are forgiven we

belong to the king and your light is

flooding our lives in Jesus name