If there was a fire, we did it out in the parking lot tonight, and you brought those things that are issues of compromise, what would you put in the fire? Drugs, videos, pornographic magazines, alcohol, ungodly romance novels, horoscopes, the television.
Anything and everything that draws you away from holiness and purity and godliness and diminishes your testimony of integrity and your hunger for righteousness, that which entices you and tempts you and silences you. Burn it! Charles Spurgeon once said, The Bible is like a lion. You don't defend it.
You just let it loose. That's true. The Bible contains the very word of God. It speaks with authority and has the power to change lives completely. In Acts chapter 19, we have an illustration of this happening. The transformation in the lives of people is incredible, and the assault upon the kingdom of darkness is undeniable.
Welcome to Wisdom for the Heart. This series from Acts is from our Vintage Wisdom Archives. Stay with us as Stephen Davey teaches from Acts 19 in a message called Burning Bridges, Killing Spiders. In Acts chapter 19, you discover a scene in which the word of God is simply let loose.
The transformation in the lives of people is indescribable. The assault upon the kingdom of darkness is undeniable. Ephesus, and I want to deal more with the kind of city it was next Lord's Day, but for now you need to understand that this city was given over to the occult. It was totally mesmerized by the magicians and the sorcerers, those with their incantations and the soothsayers.
One author called Ephesus the dark castle of Asia Minor. You may remember, if you have read through the New Testament, when you get over to the book of Ephesians, Paul is writing those believers there, and in chapter 6 he talks about the armor that they need to wage battle in. You probably remember the cataloging of armor, but you may remember that if you have, that there is only one weapon that is offensive, and that weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. In Hebrews chapter 4, verse 12, we are told that the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces and it discerns truth from error, joints and marrow, soul and spirit. You go to Revelation chapter 2, verse 16, and you discover that the writer of inspired scripture declares that the mouth of Jesus Christ is the sword. So the revealed word that we hold in our laps and the very mouth of our God is referenced as a sword. We know this is a reference to that sword of the Spirit, which we have as part of our armor. So Paul is assaulting the castle dark by swinging the sword, which is the revelation of God. And I want to rejoin this invasion this morning as we pick up the adventures of this warrior named Paul. Chapter 19, we left off with verse 8.
Let's start there. And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the Kingdom of God. Now, the teaching of Paul here is a couple of things.
First of all, it is continuous. The perfect tense used refers to the fact that at every occasion and every opportunity, the Apostle Paul was teaching, lecturing, dialoguing, dealing from the Old Testament scriptures, as we've already learned with the fact that as he reveals to these Jewish hearers in the synagogue that this one prophesied in the Old Testament, he is Jesus, the Messiah that the nation only recently denied and rejected. And his teaching on that subject is continuous. His teaching is not only continuous, it is courageous. Verse 8 tells us that he taught boldly. The hallmark of Paul's preaching was that he was confrontational. He was uncompromising in the declaration of the truth of scripture. He held back nothing out of fear of rejection.
He held nothing out of respect for hostility. Whether his nation believed him or not, whether they ran him out of town, whether they stoned him or subjected him to all kinds of torture, he would continue to teach and speak the truth. And so he taught, wherever there was an open ear, he taught. Verse 8, verse 9, but when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the way before the multitude, the way was an early nickname for these who followed the one who claimed to be the way, the truth and the life. Speaking evil of this way before the multitude, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples.
The word here translated hardens, gleruno. It's used in the New Testament to talk of the heart that is hardened against the gospel of God. When the truth of the gospel is heard and repeatedly rejected, the heart becomes hardened and like stone. And now the arrow of the gospel that is fired against it is as if fired against a stone wall. So Paul has eventually a synagogue that includes men like this, and they drown out his voice, so he packs up his bags and his lesson outlines and his notes, and he leaves the synagogue.
Verse 9 tells us where he moves. Verse 9, the latter part says he reasoned daily in the school of Tyrannus. We don't know anything about this man, Tyrannus, other than that he's a teacher known by his nickname. Tyrannus would be a nickname, not a given name. It's a nickname that his students evidently gave to him.
Tyrannus, simply translated, means the tyrant. Maybe you've had a teacher like that. The Western text adds that Paul taught in the hall of the tyrant, who evidently rented it to him or loaned it to him, we don't know, from certain hours, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It adds that particular insight. And we know from historians that in this culture and in this day, people would normally work from about 7 a.m. and then they'd break at 11, they'd break in that afternoon siesta from about 11 to 4, and then they'd go back to work at 4 and work until about 930. So what you have is Paul taking that afternoon siesta time.
Don't you just hate giving your nap up? Well, he's doing it. He takes that five-hour block of time, rents or occupies this hall, and he begins to teach those who come from the city, those who come over from the synagogue. He uses this as an opportunity then to lecture. Verse 10, this took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
Imagine, ladies and gentlemen, five hours a day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year, for two years. He is saturating the disciples with truth because he knows what they are up against. They are in a town that is totally given over and mesmerized to the occult practices of demonized people. Now, verse 11 gives the second part of Paul's ministry the aspect of miraculous healing. Notice verse 11, and God was performing extraordinary miracles to the hands of Paul. This is direct healing by means of his touch. So that, verse 12 goes on to add, handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick and the diseases left them.
This is indirect healing. Now, if you don't understand the ministry and power of healing, both by the hand of Paul and by virtue of contact with his clothing as part of Paul's apostolic authority, you are open to great confusion today. He used the ordinary things associated with Paul just as he used the ordinary thing associated with Moses, the stick. That stick became, as it were, the instrument of God's power. Paul's handkerchief literally rendered sweat banding.
He wrapped it around his head as he worked, making tents. The ordinary stuff related to his life, it would validate his apostolic authority. If you don't understand it, that was part of his ministry in that foundational area of establishing the church era of the establishment of the New Testament church.
You are open and vulnerable to all sorts of things. What does the Bible say? Well, if you care to compare Scripture with Scripture and keep moving through the book of Acts that I said last Lord's Day is narrative, not normative, and you go to the instruction of the Lord Jesus to his church by means of letters written to his church, then you can come up with some interesting discoveries. One of the things that you will discover is that the Bible clearly teaches that the ministry of healing and signs and wonders did at least two things.
Let me give them to you. Number one, it was a confirmation of the messenger as being from God. They didn't have this book to test the messengers by. You say you're of God? Well, how do we know that?
We'll just watch. So God empowered that apostolic community with signs and wonders. Second of all, it provided the authentication of the message as originating from God, and that's even more important. In fact, turn in your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 2. Let me show you something that's often ignored by what we have called the third wave movement.
Hebrews chapter 2 verse 1. And by the way, if I raise questions and don't provide the answers, that's absolutely wonderful to me. Because we can put resources into your hands and you can start studying for yourselves.
This is 30 minutes. Don't expect to learn it all from here. And I hope to provoke your thinking. Hebrews chapter 2 verse 1. For this reason, we must not, we must, that is, pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the words spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation that is this gospel message that's been provided in this New Testament era. After it was at the first or first day of the New Testament, the first day of the New Testament, the first day of the New Testament, the first day of the New Testament, the first day of the After it was at the first or the first time spoken through the Lord It was past tense Confirmed to us by those who heard that is the Lord now who were they who heard the Lord? Declaring the gospel literally the apostolic community those who were taught by him now God says he also bore witness with them that is the apostolic community both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by Implied various gifts or certain gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his own will See the signs and wonders and miracles were intended by God to bear witness to the watching world that these apostles were indeed delivering to them something that originated with him and They were validated by means of the power to heal and don't forget the other one to resurrect from the dead By the way before we leave this what is the validation for true ministry today?
Is it the ministry of signs and wonders? For them it was they didn't have this New Testament That's in your lap the validation according to 1st John chapter 4 for any Messenger the confirmation of any message is its adherence to true doctrine Now go back to Acts 19, and I want you to notice the third element It's exorcism the latter part of verse 12 and the evil spirits went out Greek word could be rendered they were sent away They were released Luke carefully delineates here friends that healing and exorcism were separate issues That's important to realize especially in the confusion of today by the touch of Paul's clothing or his hand people were healed who had diseases and also by the touch of his hand or by the touch of The garment that had belonged to him or had touched him Demons were released if they were demonized the modern day signs and wonders movement makes The sad error of combining these two things and then claims that demons cause all the sicknesses So if you get rid of the demon you get rid of the sickness So they're exercising all kinds of demons the demon of cancer the demon of arthritis the demon of clubbed feet the demon of whatever you name it And I will say this about sickness it is the indiscriminate result of the fall according to the Bible everyone in this auditorium is going to be sick and And eventually unless you have an accident every one of us will get sick enough to die right Nobody dies of good health We are to resist the devil first Peter 4 7 We are to stand firm against the schemes of the devil Ephesians 6 24 We are to resist Oppose and this day me the devil take a stand against and he will James 4 says what from you? flee He didn't tell him to he didn't command him to You didn't demand him to you just drew near to God and the fallen angel the defeated foe the enemy of God the enemy of God fled There is an incredible amount of confusion Simply because the Bible doesn't offer a model for these things What you observe in Acts you don't hear taught in the epistles Why because it was part of that apostolic community where they were validating their message They were confirming that they were indeed originating from God thereby They had the power of God and they were demonstrating to the watching world the same things that Christ did as they established the church Verse 13, but also some of the Jewish exorcists who went from place to place attempted a name over those who had the evil spirits The name of the Lord Jesus saying I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches and seven sons of one Siva Jewish chief priests were doing this You see mankind has always believed in the spirit world It is a reality that spirit world is and so they've attempted some form of defense some form of protection Some kind of control over that spirit world for their own benefit whether it's the witch doctor with his fire and his mumblings To the soothsayers and the practitioners with their potions Maybe you watched the Opening ceremony of the Winter Games and you were immersed into the religion of Japan.
I Had an opportunity to see it firsthand a few years ago Where you saw those sumo wrestlers who are sort of ambassadors of? Ancestrial religion they came out on that stage as they wrestle which by the way is underneath the roof design of a of a temple And they do their poses these warriors that will protect the people and they slap their hands together Did you see that they were ridding the games of who? Evil spirits Evil spirits They were trying to excise from the games Evil spirits Satan has always delighted in any form of attention given to him Do you understand that? It proves his existence but further it demonstrates his power And it distracts ultimately mankind from worshipping his conqueror the Triune God So I would encourage you today To stop paying his kingdom so much attention His kingdom is defeated.
His future is doomed. I encourage you to draw near to God period And he will flee from you Now one author writes about these traveling exorcists You know, they're exercising control over the superstitious people by their formulas and their incantations and they were syncretists They would borrow terms from other religions and if somebody seemed to exercise some kind of control or power over the spirit world They'd sort of take their incantation or their formula and kind of stuff it in their bag and experiment with it of themselves That's exactly what they're doing here. They thought that Paul's spell his secret word Yeses demonstrated power so they'd use that name too. So this demonized man, they confront him these seven sons these seven frauds of SIVA And they basically say the name Jesus Hey that ought to work That's some kind of magical spell notice verse 15 and the evil spirit answered and said to them Well, I recognize Jesus and I know about Paul, but who are you? And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them and subdued all of them and empowered them so that they fled out of The house naked and wounded Instead of them getting rid of the demon the demon got rid of them In sudden fury this possessed demonized man Leaps upon these exorcists and overpowers them and let me quickly give you two lessons number one First of all, the name of the Lord Jesus is not some magical The name of the Lord Jesus is not some magical incantation To be used against the demonic world You can say Jesus all you want But unless as this text clearly teaches unless you know him it means nothing Unless you know who that name represents It isn't some kind of magic word Second of all the enemy of the Lord Jesus knows Who is who is truly a follower of Christ and who is only acting the part even today?
These men fled out of the house. They're beaten their clothing is ripped off as well as their spiritual facade. I might add The demonized man is screaming all the while the text indicates.
Who do you think you are? Verse 17 and this became known to all not surprised Both Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified The name of the Lord Jesus today is being embarrassed And there isn't fear by means of the world toward the church there is scorn Now verse 18 many also of those who had believed that is in the past this is an interesting idea Kept coming that is in the present confessing and disclosing their practices These Ephesian believers had had sort of a little bit of a handle still on their past They had that word or two that was supposedly some sort of power and what you have now is you have these Ephesian believers Turning away from their magic Just as the Thessalonians turned away from their idols So here they are admitting and confessing and disclosing Now notice verse 19 and many of those these are believers by the way who were practicing magic Brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all and they counted up the price of them and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver Here they are now forsaking. They are literally burning their bridges behind them They allow no opportunity for change of mind. No moment of weakness in which they could return to this Superstition, especially now that they are following a god. They cannot see and cannot hear And all in all it's worth 50,000 drachmas Ladies and gentlemen this bonfire burned in today's economy approximately nine million dollars worth of junk And that evidently from the text is from the homes of just the believers This passage exposes two kinds of people let me give them to you number one on believers masquerading as if empowered by the Savior These seven sons of Siva with their incantations and their formulas They are imposters.
They exist today. They're out to sucker the Saint They will lead you astray Instead of the devil They will lead you astray in so far as they can get your shekels If there is any power at all, it is not the power of the kingdom of light It is the power of the kingdom of darkness Second of all this passage exposed believers who were compromising by involvement with the sinful They'd come to faith in Christ But they still had some secret sins that needed to be dealt with This is what we call the process of sanctification and I find it fascinating that you have this illustration here That is the demonstration of all things that are Becoming new in the life of a believer and those old things that are passing away There are things in your life. Maybe even today that God is dealing with compromises that you're having to have exposed before the fiery gaze of The spirit and his sword the word And I'm glad this was added So they at this moment ended their leftover compromising with effusion magic and superstition I read about a fellow who was in a country church and he'd come down to the altar after every service and He'd pray real loud lord remove the cobwebs from my life. Everybody thought he was really spiritual Every sunday you do that lord remove the cobwebs from my life Finally one godly man in the church knelt down beside him and as that man prayed lord remove the cobwebs from my life He prayed a lot so that everyone could hear and lord kill that spider Notice verse 20. So the word of the lord was growing mightily and prevailing See, here's the external fruit.
We had first of all the internal fruit and the living word was magnified verse 17 Now the external fruit the word is multiplied as these young believers take new steps of commitment Toward their savior christ jesus. Let me give you two questions as we wrap it up number one What would be disclosed today? If the demonic world could identify everybody in this auditorium as imposter or true believer If a demonized man could come in and point at every one of us With his finger put his finger right in our face and declare us to be either imposter Or believer I wonder who among us would flee this building Exposed as spiritually naked and destitute Who have played the game who have lived the lie? But do know but know nothing of the saving grace of god and the power of his name in nature number two What would be forsaken or burned today if the spirit of god? His conviction swept through this church If there was a fire We did it out in the parking lot tonight and you brought those things that are issues of compromise. What would you put in the fire? Drugs Videos Pornographic magazines alcohol Ungodly romance novels psychic Telephone numbers horoscopes The television Anything and everything that draws you away from holiness and purity and godliness and diminishes your testimony of integrity and your hunger for righteousness That which entices you and tempts you and silences you burn it I Find it fascinating ladies and gentlemen that in this part of asia the word of god grew and multiplied And prevailed only after the church was purified This is a revival of the believers here They cleaned out their closets They got rid of their secrets and when the christian here confessed of sin committed behind closed doors The word of god was given a greater open door purity in private produced opportunity in public Maybe the reason our opportunity is so ineffective and limited Is because we gather today people filled with secrets Burn your bridges behind you that bonfire might be very costly It might be painful But it will be life-changing and the word of god in and through your life will be magnified and glorified and multiplied Thanks for being with us today here on wisdom for the heart Stephen davey is our bible teacher for this daily broadcast You can learn more about us if you visit our website, which is wisdom online.org Once you go there, you'll be able to access the complete archive of steven's bible teaching ministry Steven's been teaching god's word for 35 years and all of those lessons are available on demand at wisdomonline.org We also post each day's broadcast So if you ever miss one of these lessons you can go to our website and keep caught up with our daily bible teaching ministry If you have a comment a question or would like more information You can send us an email if you address it to info at wisdomonline.org at wisdomonline.org once again that email address is info at wisdomonline.org We'd really enjoy hearing from you and learning how god's using this ministry to build you up in the faith Our mailing address is wisdom for the heart p.o box 37297 Raleigh, north carolina 276 27. Let me give you that again right to us here at wisdom for the heart p.o box 37297 Raleigh, north carolina 276 27 Well, thanks again for joining us today I'm scott wylie, and I hope you'll be with us next time right here on wisdom for the hearts You
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