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July 8, 2021 12:00 am
There was a fire we did it on 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 Bible like a you don't defendant. 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 Steven Devi 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 that ethicists do not want to deal more with the kind of city was next. Lord David for now you need to understand that the city was given over to the occult and was totally mesmerized by the magicians and the sorcerers, those with their incantation, incantations, and the soothsayers. One author called ethicists 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. 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 is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than any two-edged Lord, it pierces and to discern truth from error joints and marrow, soul and spirit in 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 labs and the very mouth of our God is referenced as a sword. We know this a reference. This is a reference to that sort 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 eight. 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, the teaching of Paul here is a couple of things. First of all, is continuous. The perfect tense use refers to the fact that it had in every occasion and every opportunity. The apostle Paul was teaching, lecturing, answering, 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 in his teaching on that subject is continuous is teaching is not only continuous, it is courageous. Verse eight 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 out of town within a stone, the more subjected into 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 eight verse nine but when some were becoming hardened and disobedient speaking evil of the way before the multitude, the way was an early, a nickname for these who follow the one who claim 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 hardened slavery know it's used in the New Testament the talk of a heart that is hardened against the gospel of God with the truth of the gospel is heard and repeatedly rejected. The heart becomes hardened and like stone and now the error of the gospel that is fired against it is as if fired against the stone wall. So Paul has eventually a synagogue that includes men like this. They drown out his voice so he he packs up his bags and his lesson outlines and is know today leaves the synagogue.
Verse nine tells us where he moves. Verse nine the latter parts of the reason daily in the school of Tyrannosaurus. We don't know anything about this man Tyrannosaurus or than that he's a teacher known by his nickname Tyrannosaurus be a nickname at a given name. It's a nickname that is students evidently gave to him. Tyrannosaurus simply translated means the tyrant may be that a teacher like that the Western text ads that Paul taught in the hall of this the tyrant who evidently rented it to them or loaned it to them. We don't know from certain hours from 11 AM to 4 PM. It has that particular insight and we know from historians that in this culture, and in this day people would normally work at about from about 7 AM and they break at 11 a break in that afternoon siesta from about 11 to 4 and then they go back to work at four and work until about 930.
So what you have is Paul taking that afternoon siesta time to just a given your nap up, but he's is doing it. He takes that five hour block of time rends or occupies this hall and he begins to teach those who come in the city.
Those who come over from of the synagogue. He uses this as an opportunity, then the 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 that verse 11 gives the second part of Paul's ministry. The aspect of miraculous healing. Notice verse 11 and God was performing extraordinary miracles by 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 disease is left them. This is in direct healing that 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 stick that stick became as it were, the instrument of God's power. Paul's handkerchief literally rendered sweatband. He wrapped it around his head as he worked, making 10 the ordinary stock related to his life. It would validate his apostolic authority.
If you don't understand that that was part of his ministry and that foundational area of establishing a church error of the establishment of the New Testament church. You are open and vulnerable to all sorts of things was 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 narratives not normative and you go to the instruction of the Lord Jesus to his church by means of letters written to his church, and 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 only 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 the Savior of God while how do we know that will just watch.
So God empowered that apostolic community with signs and wonders. Second of all, it provided the authentication of the message is originating from God and that's even more important fact turn in your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 2. Let me show you something that's often ignored by what we've called the third wave movement. Hebrews chapter 2 verse one.
By the way, if I if I raise questions and don't provide the answers. That's absolutely wonderful because we can put resources in your hands and you can start studying for yourselves.
This is 30 minutes. Don't expect to learn it all from here and hope to provoke your thinking.
Hebrews chapter 2 verse one. 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 the words spoken through Angels proves 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 the first time spoken through the Lord. It was past tense confirmed to us by those who heard that is the Lord not to work.
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. The ministry signs and wonders for them. It was they didn't have this New Testament that's in your lap. The validation according to first John chapter 4 for any messenger the confirmation of any message is its adherence to true doctrine and DirectX 19 and I went to the notice.
The third element its exorcism. The latter part of verse 12, and evil spirits went out record 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 the day. By the touch of Paul's clothing or his hand.
People were healed by diseases and also by the touch of his hand or by the touch of the garment that had belonged to him or attached 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 the demons cause all the sickness to be get rid of the demon you give her the sickness so they are exercising all kinds of demons.
The demon of cancer, the demon of arthritis. The demon of club 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 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 47.
We are to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 624 we are to resist, oppose, and sustain me. The devil take a stand against, and he well James four says what from you fully Intel until getting command them to demand him to you just drew near to God and the phone angel of 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 which you observe and ask 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 originated from God. Thereby they had the power of God, and they were demonstrating to the watching world.
The same things that trace did as they establish the church. Verse 13 but also some of the Jewish exorcist 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 priest were doing this. See mankind is always believed in the spirit world. It is a reality that spirit world is as though 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 then the practitioners with their potion maybe watch the opening ceremony of the winter game 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 ancestral religion. They came out on that stage as they wrestle which by the way it 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 reading the games of pool evil spirits.
They were trying to exercise from the games evil spirits, Satan has always delighted in any form of attention given to understand that it proves his existence, but further it demonstrates his power and it distracts ultimately mankind from worshiping 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. And he will flee from you that one author writes about these traveling exorcist. Another exercising control over the superstitious people by their formulas and or incantations. They were syncretistic they would borrow terms from other religions and of somebody seem to exercise some kind of control or power over the spirit world.
They sorta take their incantation their four-month stuff it in their bag experiment with it themselves is exactly what they're doing here think they thought the Paul's spell.
His secret word cases demonstrated power so they use that name to this demonized man they confront him.
These seven sons. The seven frogs of Viva and they basically say the name Jesus paid out on a work some kind of magical spell notice verse 15 and the evil spirit answered and said to them all. 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 one day instead of them getting rid of the demon. The demon got rid of them in sudden fury dispossessed demonized man leads upon these exorcist and overpowers the money quickly give you two lessons number one. First of all, 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 alas as this text clearly teaches unless you know him. It means nothing unless you know who that name represents. It is in some kind of magic word. Second of all, the enemy of the Lord Jesus knows who is truly a follower of Christ and who is only acting the part. Even today, these men fled out of the house there beaten their clothing is ripped off is well as her spiritual fašade. I might it the demonized man is screaming all the while the text indicates you think you are.
Verse 17 and this became known to all that surprised both Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus and fear fell upon them all in the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. The name of the Lord Jesus. Today's being embarrassed and urgent fear, by means of the world were the church, her scorn never stating many also those who had believed that is in the past. This is an interesting idea 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 in her past. They had that word or two that was supposedly some sort of power what you have now you have these Ephesian believers are turning away from their magic. Just as the Thessalonians turned away from their idols to hear they are admitting in confessing and disclosing the 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 sounded 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 hear and all in all is worth 50,000 drachmas.
Ladies and gentlemen, this bonfire burned in today's economy. Approximately $9 million worth of junk and that evidently from the text is from the homes of just the believers. This passage exposes two kinds of people and give them to you. Number one on believers masquerading as if empowered by the Savior. These seven sons of Siva with her incantations in their formulas. They are imposters they exist today. Thereat the sucker to St. they will lead you astray in so far as they can get your shackles.
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 exposes believers who were compromising by involvement with the sinful. They come to faith in Christ, but they still had some secret sins that needed to be diligences we call the process of sanctification, and I find it fascinating that you have this illustration that is the demonstration of all things that are becoming new in the life of the believer and those old things that are passing away, and 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 spirit in his sword.
The word I'm glad this was added so they at this moment ended their left over compromising with Ephesian magic and superstition. I read about a fellow who said a country church and come down to the altar after every service and pray real loud Lord remove the cobwebs from my live. Everybody thought is really spiritual. Every Sunday do that will remove the cobwebs from my live. Finally one godly man in the church knelt down beside him and is that men pray Lord remove the cobwebs from my life.
He prayed aloud so that everyone could hear. And Lord that's minor those first 20 so the word of the Lord was growing mightily in prevailing. Here's the external fruit we had.
First of all the internal fruit in the living word was magnified. Verse 17 now the external through the word is multiplied as these young believers take new steps of commitment toward their Savior Christ Jesus give you two questions as we wrap it up number one. What would be disclosed today. If the demonic world can identify everybody in this auditorium is imposter or true believer.
If a demonized man can 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 and nature number two would be forsaken or burned. Today the spirit of God. Conviction swept through this church. If there was a fire we did it on the parking lot tonight and you brought those things that are issues of compromise, but 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 your hunger for righteousness, that which entices you and tempts you and silences you Barnett.
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 to clean out her closets. They got rid of their secrets. 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 in limited is because we gather today people filled with secrets. Burn your bridges behind you. That bonfire might very cost might be painful, but it will be life changing and the word of God in and through your life will be magnified and glorified, multiplied, thanks for being with us today here on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Davies is our Bible teacher for this daily broadcast. You can learn more about us.
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PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. Let me give you that. Again, write to us here at wisdom for the hearts. PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627 well thanks again for joining us today. I'm Scott Wiley and I hope you'll be with us next time right here on wisdom