Authority over evil spirits!
Scripture reading for November 13th: Acts 19-20
The Apostle Paul started his third missionary journey to reach those in the province of Asia. (Acts 18:23) He ended up in Ephesus where he found a group of disciples gathered. These twelve men had been baptized into John’s baptism of repentance but had never heard about Jesus Christ. Paul gave them the Gospel and told them about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied! Thus the church at Ephesus was born. This event took place about 20 years after the first Pentecost!
Following this, Paul spoke in the synagogue. He went to his own brothers, the Jews, and sought to win them to Jesus. This caused a conflict so he left with the new disciples and went to the lecture hall of Tyrannus. His ministry was so effective that all the Jews and Greeks in the whole province of Asia heard the word of the Lord! (Acts 19:10)
The Lord has promised that signs will follow those who obediently preach the Gospel. (Mark 16:15-20) As Paul preached in Asia, God did extraordinary miracles through him, winning the lost and confirming Jesus as the Christ. These miracles included supernatural healing and casting out evil spirits. (Acts 19:11-12) Even handkerchiefs and aprons taken from Paul were sent to the sick and they were healed and delivered!
Paul’s preaching of Jesus caused some Jewish exorcists to imitate Paul’s methods. They tried to cast out a demon from a possessed man “in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches.” The demon spoke to them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-15) The result was that these seven exorcists were severely beaten by the demon possessed man! Fear seized the populace and they confessed their evil deeds, sorcery, and witchcraft. They publicly burned their books and charms and the word of God spread and grew in power!
God’s power is no match against the powers of the Devil! Jesus told us that in His Name, we would cast out devils! Demons recognize Jesus and those who have Him as Lord! In His name, extraordinary miracles will follow the preaching of the Gospel and the ministry of those who obediently go! Be bold as you enter your mission field today!