Monday, August 29, 2011

Do Evil Spirits Exist?

In yesterday's message, Acts touched on how Paul's ministry healed people physically AND of evil spirits.
Evil spirits...that's an interesting topic!
My original message had a few minutes discussing it briefly but I  had to cut it due to time so I pass it on to you below .Download the full message here. 

I looked at Paul's ministry in Ephesus and compared their religious culture to Paul's teaching on the kingdom of God. My question was...are you willing to settle for religion or do you want God's kingdom to come to earth?

Here's my piece on evil spirits from Acts 19...

God was doing great things.  But notice here what it says. It says that not only were people healed but evil spirits left people. That’s something we don’t talk about a lot.  We don’t often talk about the devil or demons or evil spirits. Maybe we think it’s too primitive. It’s too anti-intellectual.  Maybe we give it another name like epileptic seizures or psychosis but Paul believed that there were spirits...and not the holy spirit...that had power to influence people for bad...for evil.
There’s a crazy story in this chapter about an exorcism gone bad.  There were seven Jewish men trying to use the name of Jesus to cast out an evil spirit. They weren’t followers of Jesus. They just used the name of Jesus hoping it would have magical powers and this is what happens... 
Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Acts 19:16,17
I don’t want to take the time to get into this and this probably isn’t the place but there are things we do that invite evil spirits into our lives and not even know it.  For example there are blatant things like playing with Ouija boards or astrology or tarot cards or psalm readers or psychics. Sometimes an immoral lifestyle will welcome an evil spirit.   And then there are things that are done to us; forms of abuse where we are victimized by not only the abuser but the spirits that drive our abuser.
If you have questions about this please contact me to know more. But just know that this stuff is real and it’s not a game. Jesus said that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and he wasn’t joking. Peter said that the devil prowls around like a lion looking whom he can devour.  I don’t think there is a demon behind every problem but I do believe that there are some problems that are driven by demons and until you address that issue no medication or counseling is going to help.