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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : Jesus¬ī victory over the powers of darkness

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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?"

painting_acts19vs19.gif (94975 bytes) 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.)

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