Pastor Josiah praised the LORD for the highest attendance at a Sunday night prayer meeting
and at last Wednesday’s Midweek Encounter. The LORD is moving at FC. It is exciting. Pastor
reviewed that our mission is culture like Christ, and our vision is Jesus. Yesterday’s sermon was the fourth and last one on FC’s vision. Next week we will begin discussing the red letters-what Jesus spoke.
Pastor Josiah read from Acts19 where the seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were casting
out evil spirits wherever they traveled. They tried to use the name of Jesus in their incantations. ”I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Acts 19:13 (NLT) They were calling out the demons in Jesus’ name, but did Scene’s sons know Jesus? Did they have a relationship with Him? Along with Acts 19’s verses, Pastor Josiah cited verses in Luke 11.
“He knew their thoughts, so he said, ’Any kingdom divided by
civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall
apart. You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided
against himself, how can his kingdom survive? And if I am
empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They
will condemn you for what you have said.’” Luke 11:17-19 (NLT)
Luke 11 gives insight into what is happening in Acts 19. “So, if the vision is Jesus, then our
common subject matter will be the Kingdom of God.” The topic for Jesus is the kingdom as
seen in Luke 11:20. “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of
God has come upon you.” (NKJV)
When Jesus references His finger, He is speaking of removing burdens; teaching or
showing redemption; and releasing power. Supernatural provision is different than natural
provision. Looking back at Sceva’s seven sons and their casting out demons efforts, we see
“But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, ’Jesus
I know and l know PauI, but who are you?’ Then the man with
the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them and attacked
them with such violence that they fled from the house,
naked and bleeding.” Acts 19:15-16 (NLT)
The seven sons were unable to cast out the demon who overpowered them and beat them up.
The application is “Do you walk in the Spirit? Does the Spirit recognize you? Are you clothed
with Jesus? Does the demonic spirit recognize Jesus in you? We should carry the Holy Spirit.
So we can say to the devil,”Devil you can’t come against me because I will make you pay. We are instructed to resist the devil. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NIV) That is what Jesus did when the devil tempted Him three times. Jesus chose the LORD not the wiles of satan.
“I am challenged to step up,” said Pastor Josiah. “You are successful the moment you step
out.” It takes faith to step up and step out, but that is what the LORD wants each of us to do.
Look at Moses and how he stepped up to the task of speaking to Pharaoh. Noah is another
example of stepping up and out as he built an ark and filled it with animals. Paul traveled all
over to share Jesus to the Gentiles. Where is He asking you to step up and out? When you do, you are successful. It does not matter if a healing takes place at that moment. It does not matter if for what you ask is delivered at that moment. Just you stepping up and out means that you have heard the LORD and obeyed Him.
“In the name of Jesus” is a statement of enforcing authority based upon relationship.
Thus, we can remind the spirit realm that as Jesus followers we are in Christ. We can use His
name because He is in us.
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but
Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith
in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
We are in an intimate relationship with Jesus. I am His beloved. Each of us is His beloved.
Sceva’s sons were trying to use the right phrase, the right formula to cast out demons. They
lacked a true relationship with Jesus so they received a severe beating. “The Kingdom results are not in the phrase you use. It’s in the authority you carry.” Matthew 7 states it so well.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ’Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the
kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father
“And then I will declare to them,’I never knew you; depart
from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21,23 ((NKJV)
Our authority is in our relationship with our Savior and LORD. Knowing Jesus is the goal. And
the authority in which you live with Jesus is all powerful.
“Just because someone does mighty things ‘In Jesus’ Name’ doesn’t mean they’re truly
endorsing Him well.” This beating of the seven sons spread quickly and a “solemn fear
descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored.” Acts 19:17
We need to look at the person’s fruit, integrity and character. Do they truly know Christ?
Jesus is our standard. For us we need to ask the LORD what He is calling us to do. To find out, we need to seek Him, delve deeply into His Word. We need to learn who He is and how He lived.
The Paramount Point is “When the counterfeit is exposed, the authentic is esteemed!”
When the authentic showed up, they threw out the old way.
“A number of them who had been practicing sorcery
brought their incantation books and burned them at
a public bonfire. The value of the books was several
million dollars. So the message about the Lord spread
widely and had a powerful effect.” Acts 19:19-20 (NLT)
An authentic relationship with our LORD backs up and supports His powerful kingdom. Ask the LORD to show you how to love Him. Repent of your old ways of thinking, and seek Him
wholeheartedly. Ask the LORD to show you what the kingdom walk looks like everyday so that you can be light and salt in this broken world.
Larry & Annette Linthicum