Ep 6 – Believers, Non-Believers, Make-Believers

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Ep 6 – Believers, Non-Believers, Make-Believers

 

 

Hi there tom Harris with our program. It’s all greek to me and what I’ve been doing the last few episodes of our program is I’ve been giving you personal testimony and how many people who claim to have come to christ, believed on christ sometimes, you know, there’s there’s a departure from the things of God and then Their life gets even worse and we heard about that in Matthew chapter 12 and Luke chapter 11 about how a demon cleans up the house and then he goes and gets seven other demons worse than itself probably happened to mary Magdalene because in luke chapter eight, it says that she she had seven demons and many people try through reformation and self effort and positive thinking and this seminar and that seminar, they’re gonna help themselves. Many people even get off drugs and alcohol and other vices that have gripped them and seems good for a time and then somehow go back and fall into something even worse and their life becomes even worse. And so what I wanna teach today is about believers, nonbelievers and make believers in the church and uh in the things of God, there are people that see what’s going on, they are attracted to it. They wanted uh even our Lord jesus christ taught in the Gospel of Mark in chapter four about the soldier in the scene and some sea goes by the wayside, others go by stony ground and others falls on thorny ground. The worries of this world deceitfulness of riches, desire for other things enters in and chokes the word and it becomes unfruitful and then there’s some good ground and it produces fruit 30 and 60 and a hundredfold. So today what I wanna do is take one story, but I like to tell you before we go to the scripture in Acts chapter 19 in verse 11 through 20 I’d like to, I’d like to tell you the story of where I used this passage in a town called peoria Illinois at the uh christian school. They’re puree a christian. And I spoke there for a week. Oh this has gotta be 30 years ago maybe, I don’t know, 25 30 years ago, long time ago. And uh I went there, I brought a team with me from our drug rehab, some singers and some other people were there and we began to speak and uh God work in a miraculous way that uh at the beginning of that conference in that school where where there were christian young people from homes, they grew up in homes that were believed, you know, from believing homes, uh they went to a church, they went to a school, there were many, many, many people there, I don’t know, 1500 young people And in that setting we saw over 300 young people come to the Lord, Jesus Christ totally transformed to such an extent that at the end of the week, they brought all their stuff together for the time when they normally would have uh you know, they have the year end uh dances in secular settings in this particular setting was a little bit different, but what they did was they came together and they brought their all the curious books, all the magic on all the witchcraft and all the, there was C. D. S. And and and stuff that they had drugs. I’m talking about heroin and and uh all the junk of their life alcohol and they burned it uh for their home going uh night. And it was in the newspaper in Peoria christian. It was in the newspaper of the town of Peoria on the front page of how these young people have been so totally transformed. And not only that, But they got together a group of students and they began to go to all of the public schools and churches and they started a radius, uh, that’s five miles and 10 miles and just kept on going even to California and Texas and New York and we’re sharing what great things that God was doing and changing lives and I want to take you. And there is one story I will close with which is, which is uh, you know, a phenomenal story of a girl who was told totally into Gotham, you know, and her name was cough, just an incredible Natalie echo of a great young woman who just had a phenomenal story and we’ll come back to that. But here is what passage I read to them as going into a christian day school not knowing exactly what to share. This is what I shared with them Verse 11 and God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hand of Paul. This is in acts chapter 19 and verse 11 so that the handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. But also some of the jewish exorcists listen to this. So there were a group of people that were jewish exorcists, people who would cast demons out of Dimona jacks and the bible says they went from place to place attempting to name over those who had evil spirits the name of the Lord jesus saying, I assure you by jesus whom paul preaches and seven sons of one siva, a jewish chief priest, We’re doing this, The evil spirit answered and said to them, I recognize jesus and I know about paul, but who are you? And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, subdued all of them and overpowered them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all both jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus and fell and fear fell upon them all in the name of the Lord, jesus was being magnified incredible story Verse 18, many also of those who had believed. Now this is those who trusted christ kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. Many of those who practice magic, brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all, They counted up the price of them and founded 50,000 pieces of silver. Now in terms of jewish money Uh you know it was like $35,000 basically $35,000. A lot of money for people to bring together and burn it and and get rid of it in the side of all. And then it says this soul verse 20 the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. Now I just want to stop right there and I want to just talk about what happened here, notice it says about the seven sons of Siva, the high priest. They were attempting, they were attempting to call and cast out the demons from these people in the name of jesus, that paul was preaching. So this was the third hand information. They’re gonna now use power, use the Lord’s power uh you know like uh Simon the magician, they’re going to use the power of the Lord in order to accomplish getting rid of the demons, which is crazy, which jesus said you can’t do anyway because in in Matthew 12, he said, you know, they were accusing jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons. You don’t do that, what you have to do is make sure that what you’re doing is biblical centric christo centric gospel centric if you’re going to be able to face to face with the spiritual warfare and the enemy must submit to God, which is the word of God And the Lord, Jesus, Christ put on the whole armor of God Ephesians. Chapter six James chapter four resist the devil and he will flee from you. We’re not battling a flesh and blood, but spiritual forces, although we walk in the flesh. Second Corinthians, chapter 10 verse three says we’re not fighting spirit, physical war, but spiritual war. The weapons that we use, our spiritual and not fleshly or carnal. We are tearing down these strongholds or hero Mata, that was tearing these down, casting down these imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity. Every thought to the obedience of christ, satan works in the thought. Life satan works in our minds. And so it’s very important that what we’re thinking is bibliotheca centric, it’s written in the word of God and we’re using God’s word to fight satan. You can’t overcome satan with your own power or quoting some recipe in the name of jesus whom paul is preaching, just quoting some stuff. No, no, we have to have clarity and personal intimacy with God as Children of God. We need to have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and do battle against the enemy, take the sword the rema of God’s word romans chapter 10 and do battle the remote of God’s word is so important, specific saying specific passages of scripture, Look what it says in first john chapter two, I’m writing to you little Children because your sins are forgiven verse 14, it talks about it in 12 13, 14 and 15 as well. I am writing to you on a little Children because your sins are forgiven. I am writing on to you young men because you’re strong and the word of God abides in you and you overcome the wicked one. That’s verse 14 1st john two verse 14, God’s word has to abide in you not just quote something off the top of your head and think that that’s gonna be sufficient. You have to know God’s word personally intimately, jesus christ has got to be your personal savior to be able to face satan and his demons and do battle and submit to God and resist the devil for him to flee from you. You have to be confident of that. Are you sure? And then so these are these are non believers believers, you know, they’re make believers, they’re pretending to know, jesus to They want the power of the apostle paul who it says in this passage that the handkerchiefs and aprons were being carried, he was doing God was performing verse 11 extraordinary miracles by the hands of paul incredible. So that handkerchiefs and aprons even were carried from his body to the sick and the disease left them and the evil spirits went out. I mean the Apostle Paul was anointed, he was walking in the steps of God. He was going into village after village, city after city, primarily cities and then villages just like our Lord did in Matthew nine. And then it says here that some of the Jewish exorcists were trying to imitate Paul what he was doing. They thought, hey, there’s a great, we could have no variety and we could have maybe finances, Who knows what they were. You know, what was the motivation that certainly wasn’t jesus christ and the gospel of jesus christ because look what it says, They were attempting verse 13 to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord, Jesus saying, I assure you this is like the word is I am, I’m taking an oath for you to get them out. Exorcists that we’re using oats and incantations to cause the evil spirits to leave the bible nowhere says that that this is the what we’re supposed to do well to be prayed up with had no and understand scripture would submit to God and resist the devil with the scriptures as it says in first, john chapter two verse 14, the word of God is in you and you overcome the wicked one. He can’t, he can’t fight us. Revelation 12 verse 11 tells us They overcame him by the blood of the lamb, by the word of their testimony and they did not love their life even to the very end. So, there are proper weapons in our warfare against the spiritual forces. Ephesians six. So clear. The book of Colossians, the book of 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 10, verse 34 and five. So clear, how would it do battle against uh satan and his demonic forces first, john chapter two. So clear again, how we ought to overcome And what is it that really gives us the victory? How did jesus overcome the devil himself? It’s not enough to quote scripture because the devil was quoting scripture, but it’s it’s so important to have balance in what you’re saying. You see it, we speak the truth in love. You can’t just have one piece or the other. You have to have the balance of the word of God. And then it says that uh and seven, Sons of Siva verse 14, a jewish chief priest, we’re doing this, this is X 1914. So their dad was the chief priest. These guys were immersed in the Judaism and the bible says the Evil Spirit answered and said to them, I recognized jesus, this is, you know, sees experiential knowledge and I know about paul very interesting. This is personal. We saw paul and how he behaved. We this is the word for science piece, Episiotomy in the greek language, it is really the word for we were basing what we’re doing based on what we’ve seen the apostle paul do And then it says uh the evil spirit answered verse 15 and said to them, I recognize jesus and I know about paul, but who are you? I think that’s kind of humorous. I mean it’s spiritual darkness, but it’s humorous to know that the demons are actually telling the seven brothers, the sons of Siva, this jewish high priest and they say, we know through our experience, we know about jesus and through watching paul and how he has done this. We know about paul. They didn’t have any personal intimate, you know, they knew about him, they didn’t know him and says here the demons said, the demon said, who are you? And then it says and the man in whom the evil spirit was. And by the way, it’s singular here, evil spirit leaped on them, so it’s one against seven and subdued all of them. So he’s jumping on them, he’s overpowering them, subdued them, means to put him down and overpowered, means to to bring his force and power over them so that they fled out of that house, naked and wounded. So the demon actually tore their clothes off, beat them up, kicked them out of the house, wow, what a what a picture. And this became known to all both jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus and fear fell upon all of uh all and the name of the Lord, jesus was being Magnified. So here you have the unbelievers now are listening, watching, they’re saying, wow, don’t mess around. You can’t just pretend you’re a christian, you can’t just go around quoting the name of jesus or speaking the name of paul and saying, I’m preaching the message that paul is preaching, it doesn’t work that way. You have to have personal uh salvation. You have to have personal uh experience with jesus christ. He has to be your Lord. You can’t just quote some verses scripture or talk about uh the the fathers of the church or that brother there and oh, this one said this, no, what has Jesus said to you? Do you know Jesus personally, are you having your daily devotions? Are you reading the bible on your own? Are you crying out to God for mercy and power? Are you being led by God’s spirit? This has to be a personal thing. You have to have devotions for your own heart, not for you to teach, you have to be able to feed on the word of God, so you can be able to feed other people so important. And then it says many also of those who had believed kept coming. This is really important. The steps that a believer needs to have in his own life for him to grow and mature in christ, in the word of God and in the power to be able to fight all of the forces around him that are evil, notice what it says, that they observe, what was going on, that you couldn’t mess around with just quoting the name of jesus or using the name of paul or kind of believing No, you have to have personal faith yourself. It’s not enough for you to say, well, you know, I was born in a christian home, I went to a a church, I went to a christian day school. No, but do you know personally that jesus christ has taken away your sins and that you know him as your own personal savior, This is so very important. And so as the unbelievers are watching In verse 18, many also of those who had believed now they believed they believed they kept coming. This is a continual habitual lifestyle of their life. It wasn’t just believed. One time it was believed and kept coming and confessing and disclosing their practices. Do you see the progression? You believe you keep coming, you keep confessing and you keep disclosing all the garbage of your life and as God’s spirit is showing you get rid of this, get rid of that, Watch out for this person. Hey, this this relationship is not good for you, that one is so you have to be wise enough to pick and choose your friends to pick and choose your habits to pick and choose what you’re gonna do, where you’re gonna do it and who you’re going to do it with. So important, How are you going to grow if you don’t do that, This is what the scripture is clearly showing here now watch verse 19 many of those practice magic, many of those who practice magic now, these are not normal people, these are people who have been given over to the practice of the dark arts magic, they brought their books together and they began burning them in the side of all and they counted up the price of them and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver. So there were so many people that were impacted by the preaching of the gospel. That was not only it, it was more than just the preaching of the gospel and the miraculous powers that God was moving through the apostle paul in miracles and signs and wonders and also the fact that demons were being cast out of people, but also when the people tried to imitate and they tried to have a pseudo power over the demonic forces like the seven sons of Siva, guess what happened? The demons reacted and put them down. The people who are unbelievers are watching this saying, hey, you better watch out, this is serious, serious that you don’t mess around by trying to pretend that you’re a believer. So many people go to church for all the wrong reasons. So many people, they want God for all the wrong reasons to use God to get the money to use God to date that girl to use God to get that house to use God. That’s not what, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about crying out to God from inside and recognizing my need of God, my need of jesus christ that I cannot fight against the demonic forces. I cannot fight against the world forces this e on uh Jonas in greek we say I own is the the spirit of this age. We cannot just be able to contend against the culture. You know the mindset is filled with the culture and the values of this culture. I have to be transformed in my mind in my heart by the renewing of my mind through the word of God. And now these people who have come to jesus, they believed on jesus, they came to him, they continued coming and confessing because you don’t just come to christ gets saved and all of a sudden everything is no problems when we come to christ and we stop the junk that we’ve been doing you know you believe and you continue coming confessing and disclosing all your practices, the body, your body and my body becomes the now us of the holy spirit. That means the temple, not just the general temple which is uh Iran just all of the temple mound but the very place of the altar of God the nose and our body becomes the now also the holy Spirit. This is why it’s important to disclose, continue to confess, continue to disclose our practices because God is constantly going to keep on growing us keep on putting his finger on things that are not good for us and feeding us with his bread and feeding us with his milk, feeding us with his milk, milk and meat and bread of his word. This is so very important. Now, the final thing that says in the story. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. So you have in this passage of scripture believers, nonbelievers and make believers and uh the jews and the Greeks were all a part of this. The fear came upon everyone because of what happened with the seven Sons of Siva and and the make believers in Acts 1913 through 16, the seven Sons of Siva. The jewish chief priest, the evil spirit spoke specifically to them. I recognize jesus, I know about paul, but who are you? And then finally these are the actions, three actions of the people that believe they kept coming confessing and disclosing their practices. Now in the illustration in 1919, many of those who practice magic, brought their books together and began burning them uh in the side of everybody, they realized that their greatest treasure was not these books or the stuff they had, the greatest treasure is God himself and the word of God. So they replaced the demonic books and the books of sorcery and witchcraft with the word of God. And so often we have to, whether it’s music, whether it’s uh the habits, the movies, films, uh friendships and conversation that we have, we have to replace the garbage with the gold, we have to replace all of that stuff that was so detrimental to us. The result, evangelization, sanctification and transformation. So the word of God, the word the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing and so I wanna, I wanna just leave this story and go back to the beginning. The illustration of Natalie a cough, this girl Natalie tried to kill herself one month before I got there, she tried to hang herself with with another friend of hers and uh it just, they couldn’t do it, they forget all the details of what happened. But this girl was against everything that was going on. She started cursing at all these students that were coming to christ, I mean it was a christian day school and yet she was in full blown goethe piercings all through her lips, nose eyes. It was, it was, it was incredible. And yet God brought that girl at the end of this week and she totally not only changed uh and accepted christ as her personal savior. She came in one morning just dressed in banana yellow just bouncing across the floor and came right to us and said, hey could I sing a song about jesus. Now she had heard all of these songs and knew all about God because her dad was a missionary, she was going to that school but she hated all these teachers, she hated, she told me that she hated this. It wasn’t her, the demons were speaking right through her. And so this girl Natalie turns out to become one of the key leaders in that group of students that was going and was sharing her story everywhere. And eventually I found out she became a missionary and went over to Italy as a missionary to proclaim the word of God. That was years ago. And so this is what God can do when people become sincere and genuine and allow the spirit of God to transform them from the inside out. You will believe and then you will continue coming. You don’t just stop coming, You continue coming, You continue hanging out with the people of God, you continue going to church, you know the way I believe that, but you haven’t been to church for years or months or whatever. Maybe you know, you have to get back to fellowship or you have stopped reading the bible or you stop praying so important. You believe you continue coming. You continue confessing xml a war. They were confessing very naturally and very humbly the things that they needed help in and they were exposing their practices. They weren’t a shame, you know to say, hey, I need help and here’s what I’ve been doing, Help me out, I need to be different and because of that and because of the fact that they were willing to burn the junk in their life, God bless them and the bible says soul In verse 20, the word of God was growing mightily and prevailing, that means there was a evangelizing going on, power of God was being demonstrated and that whole area I was hearing of of the exploits and the testimonies of the miracles of the Gospel through the people of God as they were being changed. Look, there are many stories and and one of the things that we know as a believer, we have been given authority Matthew chapter 10 from the Lord jesus christ to be able to go out and cast out demons in Matthew 17 the disciples forgot that and the poor father said you know, I believe but help my unbelief and I came to your disciples to help my son but they couldn’t do it. And Jesus was frustrated with his own disciples, he said, oh wicked and perverted generation, how long do I have to be with you? Bring him here to me, listen, if you are dealing with some problem right now demon problem, some unsafe person, you can’t handle it but bring them to jesus and he will touch them and change their life through the blood of christ, through the word of christ, through the gospel of christ, God bless you tom Harris again until next time with it’s all greek to me

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