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DEMONIC DEBACLE! Sceva’s Sons Beaten, Battered, and Stripped [podcast]

Beware of being Brutally Beaten and Battered by Devils

“And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?” Acts 19:15

Mark 16:15-20

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 
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. 
19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 
20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

Acts 19:11-20

The Sons of Sceva

“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 
12  So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 
13  Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 
14  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 
15  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 
16  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 
17  And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 
18  And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 
19  Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 
20  So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”

“Jesus I know, and Paul I know – In the answer of the demoniac, the verb in varied – ‘I acknowledge Jesus, and am acquainted with Paul; but of whom are ye? Ye belong to neither; ye have no authority.’ And he soon gave them full proof of this.” Adam Clarke

F. B. Meyer has an amusing comment on this, which is worth quoting:

“When the sons of Sceva started on the demon, he turned on them, and said, ‘You little dwarfs, you lilliputians, who are you? I know Paul! I don’t know you, I have never heard about you before; your name has never been talked about down in Hell. No one knows you, nor about you outside of this little bit of a place called Ephesus.’”

Yes, and there is the question that was put to me today: “Does anyone know of me down in Hell?” Do the devils know about us? Are they scared about us? Are they frightened by us? Or do they turn upon us? When we preach on Sunday, or when we visit in the streets, or take our Sunday School Class, the devil says, “I don’t know you, you are not worth my powder and shot; you can go on doing your work. I am not going to upset Hell to stop you.”

ScevaOf this passage, the Believer’s Bible Commentary notes:

“Among the Jewish magicians practicing this were seven sons of Sceva (pronounced see’-vah). This man was made chief priest, or the priest in charge of the twenty-four courses. One day his sons were trying to expel an evil spirit from a demoniac. They said to the demon, ‘We adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’

It is interesting how the Scripture distinguishes between the evil spirit (v. 15) and the man in whom the evil spirit dwelt (v. 16). In verse 15 the demon spoke. But in verse 16 the demoniac himself leaped on the sons of Sceva, overpowered them, stripped them, and wounded them.

19:17 When news of this defeat of the forces of Satan became known in the surrounding area, a deep sense of awe fell on the people, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. It was not Paul’s name that received the glory, but the name of Paul’s Savior.

19:18, 19 So mightily did the Spirit of God work among those who had practiced various forms of magical art that a great number turned to Christ, confessing … their deeds. After doing so, they made a public demonstration of their faith by gathering up their books that dealt with magic and burning them in a great bonfire. The original cost of the books would have been fifty thousand pieces of silver. It is difficult to determine exactly how much that would be in our currency—perhaps between eight and ten thousand dollars.

19:20 This well-publicized renunciation of pagan practices caused the word of the Lord to grow mightily and to prevail. Perhaps if modern Christians would burn their trashy books and magazines, the word would prevail much more.”

More from FB Meyer on Acts 19:13-29


Where God’s spirit is mightily at work, Satan is not far away. Here the enemy’s emissaries were mean enough to use the name of Jesus to get themselves a few more shekels. But the name is useless apart from the living power of the Spirit. It is terrible when the very demons flout those who profess religion. Who are ye? meant, ‘You do not count.’ The demons knew Christ as the Holy One of God and Paul as His representative, but these exorcist Jews were hollow as sounding brass. Cast into the balances, they were altogether lighter than vanity, Psa_62:9.

The outcome of all this was a mighty revival. The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, and a searching work of grace led to the confession of sin and the cleansing of heart and life in many who had followed vain superstitions.

So deep was the work of God in that great city of Ephesus that the trade in charms and amulets, sold in the neighborhood of the temple, began to fall off. The crowd of worshippers in Diana’s temple was also perceptibly less. People who came in from the seaboard would find their way to the Apostle, who preached the gospel with a power that could not be withstood. Regenerated souls therefore, in turn, carried the gospel throughout the whole region.”

Friend, do you love the LORD and His truth? Are you filling your heart and mind daily with His words so that His holy image is being transmitted to and etched upon your heart?

“He knows that a saint without a knowledge of the

Gospel is as vulnerable as an army without

ammunition…For it is God’s Word which teaches us

how to put on Christ and His graces so that we are fitly

armed. Never flatter yourself into thinking you can do

this without this priceless book. We have all known

those who content themselves with a profession of

Christ and a smattering of gifts and works, and do not

wish to know if there is more to the Christian life. They

are the ones whose graces freeze when the winter

winds buffet their souls. But the saint whose faith has

been insulated from error by the truth of the Gospel will

be able to withstand all Satan’s icy blasts.” ~ William

Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armor

Witchcraft | Making Peace with God | Fresh Start with God

Support | STORE | PodcastsThe Return of ChristStewardshipWhere to Give and Where Not to Give | Fruit Abounding to Your Account!Victory in Jesus | Discipleship | The Glorious Grace of God | The Restoring Love of Our God | God’s Mercy | Spiritual Warfare | JustificationGrace and Good Works [podcast]

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