Summary: The demons who chased off the seven sons of Sceva triggered a revival that spread throughout Asia. If God can use demons to start a revival, surely He can use those who are called by His name.
A REVIVAL TRIGGERED BY DEMONS
by Pastor Jim May
Acts 19:10-20, "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."
Our world, our community and our church needs a revival like never before. We need to see a mighty outpouring of the Holy Ghost. We need to see the kind of revival that shakes the souls of men and women so that they run to the altar and cry out for salvation.
Too many churches are no more than a meeting hall! There isn’t enough power of God in most of them to heal a flea of a headache, much less cast out a demonic spirit, but there are a lot of them who claim to have that power or who try to look like they have it.
That’s not only true of churches, but it’s true of individual Christians, and preachers as well.
How often do I hear someone say that they can pray the prayer of faith and your answer will come? It’s a common thing in today’s Christian circles to hear of people who claim to have great, mountain moving, sin killing, devil chasing, and miracle working faith. If you listen to them, you would think that they sit on the arm of God’s throne on a daily basis, just getting a special anointing that no one else can have.
The problem is that I don’t see them performing the miracles of Elisha and Elijah. I don’t see them preaching the truth of the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses from all sin. I don’t see them preaching the gospel of salvation and repentance and then allowing the Holy Ghost to fall in waves across the congregation, filling people with the mighty power of the Holy Ghost. All I see them doing is bragging about how good they can teach, or preach, and sing. All I see them doing is begging for money and constantly trying to convince you that they are the only ones with a true message.
I thank God that there are a lot of true men and women of God, whose message is not tainted with the desire to build a huge ministry, or who water down the Word of God so as not offend anyone. I say that if the preaching of the truth of the Word of God offends you, then you need to be offended.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:34, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."
If the messages that I preach to you always make you feel good and you always agree with everything I have to say that is based upon the truth of the Bible, then either you are perfect, or I am not preaching the right things to you.
I cannot tell you the number of times that the message I bring to you is just as abrasive to me as it is to you. In fact, if the message doesn’t speak to me, it’s probably not going to speak to you either.
Paul was on a mission, directed by the Holy Ghost. It was a mission to preach salvation, repentance and the receiving of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost wherever God would take him.
Paul’s message was a message of wealth and prosperity. It wasn’t a message of healing and miracles. It wasn’t a message of building churches and vast facilities. It wasn’t a message that brought the focus of people upon Paul’s own talents and skills. Paul’s message was the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified, raised from the dead and alive for evermore. Paul’s focus was always pointing people to Jesus and showing them the way to salvation.