Summary: Did you know that all people can break the strongholds of Satan in their lives? How? Let’s learn from this incredible text.
Breaking the Strongholds of Satan (Part 2)
1. In Acts 18:23, Paul left his home church in Antioch and began his third missionary journey. Over 1,000 miles later, his travels landed him in the city of Ephesus, the capital city of Asia. It was a city of several hundred thousand people.
2. Ephesus was a pagan city that, for the most part, was morally and spiritually corrupt.
3. When the apostle Paul arrived on the scene and began sharing with people the message of Jesus Christ, the shackles of Satan began to loosen in people’s lives. vs. 20
4. The gospel of Christ permeated this city and forcefully began to break down the strongholds of Satan. Notice verses 18-19. People were loosed and set free!
5. Did you know that all people can break the strongholds of Satan in their lives? How? Let’s learn from this incredible text.
First, you must possess the Spirit of God internally.
Second, you must know the Son of God personally.
1. Paul was in the city of Ephesus two years, teaching the Bible and revealing Jesus Christ to people through the written Word of God. vs. 10
2. He had tried to do this in the Jewish synagogue, but they refused Christ and wouldn’t believe on Him (vs. 8). So Paul left the synagogue and set up shop in a place called the school of Tyrannus. Tyrannus was a man who owned a school or lecture hall in Ephesus.
3. Paul now had a meeting place. God also granted Paul the miraculous signs of an apostle (vs. 11-12). These signs would demonstrate to unbelieving Israel that the Jesus that Paul preached truly was Israel’s Messiah and King.
4. Paul was enjoying a very fruitful ministry with people being loosed from the bondage of Satan (vs. 12 – “…and the evil spirits went out of them.”).
5. There arose a problem though. There were seven brothers that decided they would capitalize on the power of this Jesus that Paul proclaimed. The Bible describes these men as “vagabond Jews, exorcists.”
• What this means is that they were like a traveling magician show, equivalent to Gypsy fortune-tellers. They would tell people’s fortunes, cure diseases by charms, claim to have the power to conjure up spirits, etc.
6. These men wanted to use the name of Jesus for self-interest, that is, to make money. They knew about Jesus and were going to use His name as some kind of a charm. They would call the name of Jesus over people who were plagued by evil spirits. vs. 13-14
• Do you think this still happens today? Just turn on the TV and channel surf the “religious” networks. The name of Jesus to many people is simply a money-maker. It is a way to extort money from unsuspecting people and pad their own pocketbooks. 2 Peter 2:3a
7. But these men in our text received quite a surprise. They learned that the powers of Satan are indeed real, and when they attempted to use Jesus’ name and associate themselves with Jesus Christ the demonic spirit knew they were fakes. vs. 15