Summary: There is a real danger in pretending the power of a Person who you really don't know.
Seven Terribly Mistaken Young People
It is never a game to play with His holy name.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
We live in a time where many get this backwards. There is a great number who claim to believe because they are following the signs. Be sure to understand that the signs (automatically) follow those who truly believe.
One of the appetites of man is the spiritual appetite. Deep within mankind is the desire to know and explore that which is spiritual and how it affects us.
4 Levels of Spiritual Relations 4 Appetites of Mankind
1. Attraction 1. Food
2. Interaction 2. Sex
3. Obsession 3. Gain
4. Possession 4. Respect
God created our appetites. The key is balance and control. When any appetite gets out of control, the result will be disastrous.
The city of Ephesus was known for its variety of religious practices and multi-choice of gods.
Paul comes to town and Acts 13:1-12 relates of the work of the Holy Ghost in the name of Jesus.
I. A True Move of the Holy Ghost will Agitate and Agravate the Unclean Spirits
When God begins to move in great power, the enemy will always come in and attempt to imitate.
It is so very important that we, as christians, have discernment to recognize the difference.
Example: In Exodus 7:10-12, the magicians of Pharoah turned rods into snakes after Aaron threw down his rod and it became a snake. Of course, in short order, Aaron's snake devoured the other snakes.
There is power and mystery in the name of Jesus. Many heard the use of His name as Paul was used to perform mighty miracles. So the idea occured to them that the name of Jesus could be added to their mix and bring about some greater results.
COEXIST = a conglomeration of different religions that come together as one.
The devil has not changed his tactics too much--Just take the name of Jesus, but don't get radical about making any real changes in your life or lifestyle.
II. Distracted Youth and Overoccupied Dads
These seven sons of Sceva were probably not evil young men; just misguided and ignorant about spiritual matters.
They are called "vagabonds". Unsettled drifters, non-committed, rarely found in the same place twice, always looking for the newest fad of frill.
Prov. 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
They are also called "exorcists". The idea is that of conjuring up and casting out bad spirits.
It is also obvious that these guys were "novices". The results demonstrate their lack of expertise.
Meet Mr. Sceva. A man who had made a name for himself. A religious leader who had reached the position of chief priest. He supervised and taught lesser priests.
The obvious problem here is that dad was too busy with his work to take time to train his children. As a priest, he knew what the law said about dabbling with the occult (Dt. 18:10-13). For some reason, his boys did not get the message about that. Sceva may have been in a high position and had a great name in the community but he was a terrible father.
(We do not really know about mom, as she is not even mentioned)
So we have 7 young men wandering the streets of the city, bored, and looking for action.
Involvement with wrong spirits has a correlation with apostasy.
These young men decided to use the recipe of Paul to gain a name for themselves.
They wanted to duplicate the miracle------Wrong Motive
Their mistake was that of invoking the name of Jesus without knowing the Person of Jesus.
They lacked authority.
They lacked a personal relationship.
The devil fears Jesus and even respected Paul.
How does the devil react when he hears your name or your voice?
If you don't have the goods and you play with fire, you will get burned.
III. Unwanted Wounds
These seven young people stirred up the devil and became the new target of Satan's attack.
They started out with hopes of fame, fortune, and fun.
Instead they got shame, failure, nudity, and wounds.
Scars---left with the marks of a demoniac attack. They hardly knew what hit them.
The only thing that they done right was to flee (vs. 16)
IV. Jesus Christ will Always Have the Last Word of the Matter
I am sure that the devil laughed and thought that the name of Jesus had really been mocked. Satan thought that he had really gained a victory.