Acts 16: 16 - 39
Paul was angered by the demonic spirit of divination
which shouted out of the girl "these men are servants of the Most High, who are
proclaiming to you the way of salvation". Even though this was true Paul did not
need demons to shout it out. He commanded the spirit to leave the girl. The power of Jesus
was displayed when the demons left. Her masters, who had profited much, were furious, and
had Paul and Silas stripped and beaten. But this did not beat God's servants for Jesus is
victorious over demonic power. They sang the praises of God in the cruel jail and stocks,
till heaven could not remain silent and the earth shook with God's power.
This is the power of the Gospel which changes you from
head to toe, inside and outside. The Bible warns us of those who will have the "form
of godliness but deny the power thereo". The Gospel changes a life completely and
liberates us from all bondages.
That same night the jail keeper came to the Lord, he and
his house. He rejoiced greatly. What does your life look like? Remember the joy of your
first love. Is it still the same and has it grown? If not, then there's only one
explanation - sin has entered. Repent as at first!
Sin must be dealt with thoroughly. Don't keep it as a
secret just to yourself. Otherwise you will be the laughingstock of the devil, like the
sons of Sceva. We read of them attempting to cast out demons in the "name of
Jesus whom Paul preaches". But the demon possessed man attacked and wounded them
saying: "Jesus we know, Paul we know, but who are you?"
Fear fell upon all at Ephesus and the Christians, as we read in
Acts 19: 18 - 20, came confessing their sins and brought to light their deeds of darkness.
Their occult paraphernalia was burnt "in the sight of all".
That is why, since revival started 40 years ago, we have
often had fire services. Converts are not compelled by us to burn their occult fetishes
but are convicted by the Holy Spirit.
(At this point the congregation went outside the
auditorium where a bonfire was ready to burn the collection of things brought to
Kwasizabantu to be burnt. Rev Stegen and others held up some of the articles and explained
their meaning. These things included: occult fetishes (love potions, divination
bones, snake skins, concoctions for good luck etc), home made weapons, pornography, movies
and CD games which were not glorifying to the Lord, drugs, stolen articles which couldn't
be returned to their owners, and piles of stuff bought on the black market. At
least 5 pickup loads of stuff was burnt in the bonfire.)