Saturday, October 13, 2007


Acts 19:8-20 How To beat The Fear factor

Encouragement is an interesting word. It means to have courage instilled into you. Courage. It means facing our fears. Batman had to face his fear of bats, and so became batman rather than spiderman. Boby Welch as a Special Forces officer says that one ingreegient of good leadership is courage. Facing your fears. Has anyone here never faced the fear of witnessing? As a young man i faced the fear if wtnessing down at Gerroa. One fo the first activities of beach mission was to go around the tents and caravans and russle up people to attend the outreach activities. I went with an 0older guy around the caravans of our allotted section. As I knocked on the door of one caravan there was a gruff voice from within "WHADDYA want?" I exdplained we were from the beach mission and were encouraging people to come to the activities. "Come in and tell us why you are christians!"
I opened the door and started to go in, when my partner waved to the row of bikes standing in front of the caravan. Bikes. With Engines! Big bikes! Another ten bikes turned up and the bikies pushed me in to tell them why I was a christian. real deep end stuff. Face your fears! you can face your fear of witnessing bhy remembering a few things.
The major problem in Ephesus was that it was a center for witchcraft. Superstition, demonism, and witchcraft held this city in its thrall. A weird mixture of black arts, worship of demons, astrology, occult practices of various kinds, and superstitious fears, had filled this city with priests, magicians, witches, warlocks, and quacks of every description. The inevitable consequence, as always among people who are held in bondage by witchcraft, was that people lived in fear and darkness, indulging their lusts in painful, degrading practices, and were sunken in slavery, in squalor, and in drunken debauchery.
To that city the apostle came and there he assaulted the strongholds of evil with the weapons of spiritual warfare. Remember that it was from this city that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, and in one of those letters he said, "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal [not worldly, not the ordinary human plans and programs], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV). And it was to Ephesus that Paul wrote from Rome, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood [people are not our problem], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places..." (Ephesians 6:12 KJV). Those words underscore the viewpoint the apostle had of this great city of Ephesus -- that here was a stronghold of darkness which could only be overcome by the weapons of truth and love and righteousness and faith -- the weapons of our warfare.
There are many strongholds like this today. Right here in Newcastle.
Face your fears! you can face your fear of witnessing bhy remembering a few things.

1. Remember The Purpose of the Lord Prevails:
Lord Is On Your Side Even When You Encounter Resistance.

8 Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things related to the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became hardened and would not believe, slandering the Way in front of the crowd, he withdrew from them and met separately with the disciples, conducting discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 And this went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
Paul had trouble with religious people in the synagogue who did not like the gospel. One of the strongholds of the evil one was right among the religious people that were there in that city. That is similar to here.
Some of our religious leaders of other denominations would prefer that this church did not exist. They feel we are too excessive in talking of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. They want us to be ritualists or believe something other than Christ’s atoning death.
This kingdom of God, Paul said, had come with the coming of Jesus Christ, and it was opposed to the rule of Satan. Wherever the gospel went it found men locked into the authority of the kingdom of Satan. The powers of darkness reigned in human affairs. That is why human history is the chequered account of man's struggles to be free from that from which he cannot free himself. It is this rule of darkness, this authority of the kingdom of Satan, which the kingdom of God in Christ challenges. This is what Paul was preaching in the synagogue.
So these Jews made trouble for Paul, as they always did, and at last he decided to withdraw, taking the disciples with him. They moved out of the synagogue into rented quarters, the hall of Tyrannus. This unquestionably was one of the lecture rooms which the Greek teachers employed to teach philosophy and various other subjects of the arts and culture of the day. Paul rented it, according to some ancient authorities, from eleven o'clock in the morning till four in the afternoon. The Revised Standard Version has a marginal note which says, "Other ancient authorities add, 'from the fifth hour to the tenth,'" which, according to the Greek method of reckoning, was from eleven till four.
That was the time in Ephesus when all were taking a siesta. They closed up their shops, went home and had a leisurely meal, took a nap, worked around the garden, etc. The working day began at about seven in the morning. The shops closed at eleven and everyone went home until four when the shops reopened and business went on until about nine-thirty at night. This was their normal day. Evidently the Apostle Paul made tents during the morning hours to support himself. But at eleven o'clock he came to the hall of Tyrannus and lectured for five hours every day for two years.
Paul was not the one who was teaching throughout this area. It was the Christians who heard him in the lecture hall of Tyrannus, and who, captivated and galvanized by these truths, began to spread the word throughout the whole area. They formed churches in other cities which evangelized in turn, so that in two years this whole province was reached by the gospel of Christ. Is not that amazing?
It was during this time that the church at Colossi was begun by Epaphras and Philippians, who carried the gospel up the Lycus valley into the cities there. Others, perhaps Trophimus and Tychicus, young men from this province, were involved in preaching to other cities of the region. They may have been the founders of the churches to which John later wrote his letters in the book of Revelation -- Smyrna and Sardis and Thyatira and Pergamum and Philadelphia and Laodicea, all of which are in this area and were begun by these Christians, largely unnamed and unknown, who heard the Apostle Paul proclaiming this fantastically revolutionary truth in the hall of Tyrannus in Ephesus. What power there is in the Word of God!

2. Remember The Power of the Lord Prevails The Lord Is On Your Side Even When You Need BackupAnd God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. (Acts 19:11-12 RSV) Underline the word "extraordinary." These miracles were unusual. They were of a different kind than before. The quality which made them unusual was that they were performed by carrying away these cloths from the body of Paul, so that the miracles were accomplished at a distance from him.
Its described as Unique “special miracles”
Not to be duplicated in the present then or in the future. Something is Unique or its not! One of a kind only. Unrepeated and unrepeatable. “No Happen” = special
These miracles were Not performed by a man.
God wrought special miracles.
Here are miracles that are performed by God to ratify the messengers message.
Apostle = messenger.
There were Special signs of apostles2 Corinthians 12: 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
These signs ratified the message. Hebrews 2:3how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. 4 At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions [of gifts]from the Holy Spirit according to His will.
Undoubtedly these were the signs!
These were miraculous works done by God Himself They were not something Paul chose to do, God chose to do it. And He chose to do it through Paul.
No man can choose to do this or claim it as a power.
It was similar to some other events: (not the same, similar.. to those healed by Jesus.
Matthew 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Not His garment made her whole nor her faith in His garment, it was about Christ not about the cloth.
These people were expressing a sincere level of humility and confidence on Christ.
She expressed her unworthiness to come to Him.. that’s why she touched His garment.
Matthew 14:34 And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; 36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
All the sick people were made whole.. a huge crowd were healed. The presence of Christ healed all.
Similarly to Acts 19, the emphasis in Matthew is contact with Christ.
The emphasis here in Acts 19 was contact with Christ. It’s the Christ whom Paul preached that was the key. And this is the contrast with the exorcists in the next passage.
They thought it was a formula and not Christ.
Acts 5:15 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
It was neither the garment nor the shadow that these people looked to, it was the Saviour!
Their trust was not in Peter, nor was their trust in his shadow but in Jesus Christ.
Handkerchief - sweat rag.. a cloth that a labouring man would tie around his forehead to keep sweat out of his eyes.
Selfish attempts to manipulate are Wrong.
People who try to manipulate the power of God for their own advantage participate in the work of the devil. They are imposing themselves between the Lord and people. Isaiah 14: 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
That was the sin of Satan and that is the sin of fallen human flesh,.
I will do it my way. I will have it for myself. I will have the power for myself.
It was the sin of Simon the magician in Acts 8.
They know in their heart somewhere they made a choice for the pretence that they now offer. Its not something to be tolerated its to be rebuked and exposed so people can know its not of the Lord.
God doesn’t need the intermediate action of even Paul.
This extraordinary scene might have led the spectators to form too exalted an idea of Paul. Dispensing to all who not only approached him, but even at a distance implored, or stood in need of his assistance, the inestimable blessing of health, he seemed to be rather a God than a man; and we should not have been surprised, if the astonished heathens, supposing him to be one of their Deities, who had descended to the earth, had attempted to pay divine honours to him. But this misconception was prevented by his explicit and uniform declaration, that he was only a minister of God; and by the performance of his miracles in the name of Jesus. On every occasion of this nature, the language of all the Apostles was the same with that of Peter and John. “Look not on us as though by our own power and holiness we had done these things. It is the power of Jesus of Nazareth which has effected them.” Acts 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
These signs point to the Deliverer and the Greatest Deliverance, from death, spiritual, physical and eternal death.Everyone of us has a terminal disease. We were born dieing people. When we were young we liked to think we will live forever. As encroaching age and ailments come our way we have to accept every one of us has to die if we live long enough. At a marriage: Everyone wants for richer health better, not the alternatives. Everyone of these guys in Acts 19 has been dead for a long, long time. Resurrection and glorification are yet to come. Every person will die unless the rapture happens before you die.
Human life is temporary. Even though God may deliver us from disease, the apostolic miracles make us aware that He came to heal something bigger than just disease, salvation, healing of the soul, for that is eternal.
What happened here was described by a Dr. Luke! No uniformed observation, this was a Dr describing what happened. An immediate healing.. not gradual.
God’s deliverance is instantaneous. You don’t have to work and deserve it. You don’t have to go to a church for so many years so that you’ll be delivered. Salvation is instantaneous.
People today don’t want regeneration they just want reformation. When God delivers a man from his sin, he does it now.
God’s deliverance is Impressive. There is no need now for you to live in slavery to your sin. If you sin its because you choose to sin.

3. Remember The Purity of the Lord Prevails. The Lord Is On Your Side Even When You Encounter Ritualistic Imposters.
Acts 19:13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists attempted to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
15 The evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize—but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them all, and prevailed against them, so that they ran out of that house naked and wounded.
God demonstrates His power over demons. Distance, Disease, Demons.
The success of Paul, in curing all diseases, whether of the body or of the mind, by the name of Jesus, suggested to some Jews, who were pretenders to preternatural powers, the idea of making an experiment of its efficacy.
Any teaching leaving you afraid of demons is not scriptural because you are freed from the dominion of demons if you are in Jesus Christ.
Neil Anderson wrote a book some time back that has become overly popular entitled the Bondage Breaker. The bondage that Anderson promises deliverance from is not simply from the power of sin but from demons—some of them originating with long-dead ancestors—who indwell believers. Anderson says 85 percent of all Christians are struggling with various levels and depths of this demonic bondage.1
Anderson would have us pray the following prayer:
“I cancel out all demonic working that may have been passed on to me from my ancestors. ... I renounce all satanic assignments that are directed toward me and my ministry, and I cancel every curse that Satan and his workers have put on me. ... I reject all other blood sacrifices whereby Satan may claim ownership of me.”
These prayers are not intended to be said by someone seeking salvation, but by Christians who already have been “delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.”
Michael Horton’s words on Ephesians 6, the greatest single passage on warfare in the Bible, go right to the heart of Anderson’s errors: “We are not left with our own weapons or armour, but with the same armour that won Christ’s victory in the first place. He clothes us with his victory, with his righteousness, with his truth, with his gospel, and his salvation. His Word protects us from Satan’s designs. That approach may not be as exciting as the theology of glory, which reads a passage like this one as if it were a Star Wars script. It is, however, sufficient to keep us from dying on the battlefield. If spiritual warfare were really concerned with ‘taking back’ territory and goods stolen by the devil, in terms of ‘naming and claiming’ the salvation of loved ones or automobiles, we would be the saviours. Instead we are wearing borrowed armour. And it is alien armour—protective gear that is not our own. Furthermore, there is nothing here about territorial spirits whose activity can be ‘mapped’ by specially gifted prophets—that has more to do with superstition and magic than with Christianity. Folk religion always finds a way of deifying and demonizing ‘spirits of the forest’ or ‘spirits of the cities.’ Nor does this passage tell us how to get rid of so-called ‘generational curses’—that is, the attribution of demonic activity to genetic or hereditary problems.” “There is not the slightest hint of such superstitious tendencies in this key passage on spiritual warfare. In fact, Satan most likely uses such diversions to distract us from the real battle, which Paul is anxious to set in our view.”
Someone can’t protect you from demons. Someone has already come who can protect you from the evil one. 2thess 3:3 But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one
Demonic activity is related to people who tamper with Satanic religious practises.
Anything that stops you thinking about Christ is not a whole lot too helpful to you.
The power of evil cannot withstand the power of the gospel.
When the message of Jesus Christ shows up evil spirits move out.
All you need to have spiritual power is for you to have Christ.
When He is all you need and all you want you don’t have to worry about the devil. You don’t need to be exorcised you need to exercise stay abiding in Him through the word and prayer.
Truly evil men can be overcome by truly spiritual men. You can have an influence over those who are blinded by Satan.
Verse 17 This became known to everyone who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. Then fear fell on all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Romans 12:21 Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
You want to overcome evil, focus on Christ and sharing the gospel!
1John 2:14 I have written to you, children, because you have come to know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the One who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, God’s word remains in you, and you have had victory over the evil one
1John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
The power resides not in a man, it resides in Christ and if you are a believer Christ resides in you. You don’t have to overcome… you already have overcome!
Paul never sought success he sought Christ. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Remember The Purpose, power and purity of the Lord Prevails.
Real Repentance is the proof of the Presence of the Lord

17 This became known to everyone who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. Then fear fell on all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had become believers came confessing and disclosing their practices, 19 while many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value, and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver. 20 In this way the Lord’s message flourished and prevailed.
David Pawlson’s great, great, great, grandfather once held a public bonfire to burn the works of William Shakespeare, and every High school student since has desired such a revival.
Mark 4: 30 And He said: “How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground. 32 And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the vegetables, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.”
A few Galileans, now 500 million people.
Ethiopia, a few Bible believing Christians, and now half a million Christians in the Omo River valley where Dick Mclellan worked.
We do not belong to a dieing cause but to the fastest growing movement in world history.
Burma had few Christians when Adoniram Judson first went there, now half a million Baptists.
Every minute there are 15 new Christians.
1000 more per hour, 25,000 new Christians per day.
The family of God is the fastest growing family in the world.
And its growth is demonstrated by real repentance.
Are there somethings you need to let go of, fully, finally and completely?
Real repentance for those things that lead us back towards satan and are a hindrance to our growth onwards towards God are necessary.
There may be things in your life right now that you are only too familiar with. Things you need to say to God, I renounce these things now and forevermore.
Be aprt of the work of God in this place. Let those things go that stop you from relationship with the SAviour. Let them go now. Let them go forever.
have done with them.
Will you be part of the work of God here?

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