DEALING WITH WITCHCRAFT
Ray Stedman (1917-1972) author and pastor of Peninsula Bible Church for 40 years wrote:
“The major problem in Ephesus was that it was a center for witchcraft. Superstition, demonism, and witchcraft held this city in its thrall. A weird mixture of black arts, worship of demons, astrology, occult practices of various kinds, and superstitious fears, had filled this city with priests, magicians, witches, warlocks, and quacks of every description. The inevitable consequence, as always among people who are held in bondage by witchcraft, was that people lived in fear and darkness, indulging their lusts in painful, degrading practices, and were sunken in slavery, in squalor, and in drunken debauchery.”
This is describing the city of Ephesus in Acts 19 as Paul, an apostle, started preaching the gospel of the Kingdom in that city. He first confronted some of those practicing witchcraft (19:11-16) for falsely using the name of Jesus to cast spells and specifically targeted the Seven sons of Sceva. An evil spirit in a man they were trying to influence manifested and turned on the seven sons and wounded them and they ran from the house naked and afraid. (19:16-17).
“The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars. So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.” (Acts 19:17-20 NLT)
I long to see this happen in the USA and the rest of the world and let the fire burn and burn big.
“Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Jesus