Magnify the LORD!
Paul’s ministry in Ephesus was similar to that in Corinth. Paul entered the synagogue where he was already known (18:19) and spoke boldly for 3 months about the kingdom of God. But as in Corinth, so in Ephesus, the Jewish people rejected the good news: some became obstinate, refusing to believe “the Way”. As a direct result of the stubborn opposition of the synagogue, Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and went and had discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. Not much is known about him, other than he was a gentile, philosopher or lecturer of some kind and rented out his hall to Paul where he stayed for 2 years.
God did unique miracles through Paul- not just ordinary, but these were “extraordinary” or “special”. v.11 “God wrought special miracles”. These were not typical, even for a miracle. Paul used the handkerchiefs and aprons he used in tentmaking, these were just rags he used to tie around his head as a sweatband or his waste as an apron, prayed over them and people were healed and demonic spirits left.
A group of Jewish exorcist, thought it well to use Jesus’ name to cast out demons, and the result was disastrous.
Fear fell on all at the power of the Holy Spirit and deliverance came from the occult practices of that region.
What does it mean to you?
1. When you magnify the Lord, there will always be scoffers. v. 9
A scoffer- one who speaks to someone or about something in a scornfully derisive or mocking way.
2 Peter 3:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
Jude 17-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are [a]sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
Paul had no time for scoffers. He had dealt time and time again with rebellious and hard-hearted people. He had no time to argue with people, he had a job to do. “You do not want my message?” I will take it to those who do. He just moved on.
To us: You cannot change anyone. Stop thinking that you can save people, you cannot save anyone. ONLY JESUS saves and only HE delivers. You are not the savior. Stop getting into needless arguments that are futile.
Sometimes, you just have to move on. People will reject the message of the cross. They are not rejecting you, they are rejecting Him. Just move on.
I don’t have time to argue with you about God’s Word. If you do not believe, I have to move on. I have a job to do.
A scoffer does not hear rebuke and does not like to be reproved- move on
A scoffer follows there own desires and interests- move on
Scoffer is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride
“Whoever corrects a scoffer, gets to himself abuse”
A scoffer is divisive
Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
There is a meme that says, “pay attention to who claps for you”, I say, I do not care if you clap for me. I do not live for you. I do not answer to you. I answer to ONE and I live for the audience of One.
Get thee behind me scoffer! I’m moving on.
2. When you magnify the Lord, there is power- saving and healing power- in the name of Jesus, but its effectiveness is not mechanical, nor can people use it second hand. v.15
The name of Jesus is not mechanical. It’s not an automatic mechanism that is to be lightly used. His name is not a magical charm that you use in order to get what you want.
A lot of people misuse this Scripture
John 14:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
This means as His representatives on earth, as persons doing His work, living in His Spirit, seeking the Father’s will as Jesus sought His will. The prayer of Gethsemane, “Not my will but Thine” should teach us what prayer in the name of Jesus and the Spirit means.
We commonly attach, “in the name of Jesus” and not always bearing in mind that this implies self-sacrifice, and is a prayer that our very prayers may not be answered except in so far as they are in accordance with His divine will.
Anything we pray is and should be for the glory of the Lord, not ourselves.
His name is NOT common- His name is holy and true. There is power in His name, and is available to those who obey Him. You cannot take His name in vain. (this does not mean a curse word, it means to use His name in a manner and means that is not consistent with His character)
You must KNOW Jesus and more importantly, Jesus must KNOW you.
Matthew 7:21-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
The key to this Scripture is found in the phrase “you who practice lawlessness”- you who continue to work in iniquity and live in sin, rebellion and disobedience and think that you can operate under the power of His name and by His Spirit- this is taking His name in vain.
In 1 Samuel 4, The children of Israel believed that they could continue to rebel against God’s word and commandments, bring the Ark into battle and that God was with Him. He was not with them and they were defeated before their enemies.
If you try to operate using Jesus’ name against a demon, and you are not submitted to Jesus; you will be destroyed. SUBMIT to God, then resist the devil.
If you are harboring any kind of unforgiveness or offense, you cannot resist the devil
Matthew 6:15 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [a]reckless and willful sins, [b]leaving them, letting them go, and [c]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.
Where there is bitterness or selfish ambition and rivalry, you cannot defeat the enemy
James 3:16 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
16 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.
ONLY Obedience activates the power of the Spirit to overcome the enemy. Listen up, demons are stronger than you in the natural. You better be sure that you know the Lord and are filled with the power of the HS if you are going to take on the devil!
BUT, if you are living in obedience to God’s Word and you are filled with the HS, then you have authority over the enemy!
Luke 10:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Then the [a]seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
The enemy is RUTHLESS, he will run all over you and he seeks to destroy your life. You better start taking him seriously and using the authority given us in His name. There is a real spiritual battle taking place for our souls and the enemy is cunning and deceitful. We are to bring down his kingdom and set the prisoners free!
Matthew 11:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
“men of violence” those whose mind is made up and do not care what force and power they employ to attain their object.
“take it by force” grab it for themselves, describes the energy with which some souls are pressing, and urging the need of such energy if salvation is to be attained.
LIFE and death are at stake! Those who will have an interest in the great salvation, will have it upon any terms, and not think them hard, nor quit their hold without receiving the blessing
3. When you magnify the Lord, it has a wholesome effect. v. 16-17
In spite of the misuse of Jesus’ name, The incident had an effect because God will not be mocked. He will have His way. The magnifying of Jesus’ name produces holiness because the HS is HOLY
The preaching of the Word produces holiness!
The HS is a cleansing and purifying agent and will magnify the name of Jesus- these two work in apposition to each other, not opposition.
If the “gospel” is preached and the Spirit you said you have received does not produce righteousness, it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
EX: what gospel is being preached? 2 musicians have said to have come to the Lord recently. I listened to the first one’s testimony and he said, “all this love came upon him”. HE was seen at Bethel church by someone I know and was dancing all over the place which was a sign to her that he was changed. Well, the children of Israel danced and had an experience before a golden idol calling it “Yahweh”
The second guy, I read his testimony. He said, “The weight of his sin was heavy upon, he couldn’t do it himself and he needed a savior”
Wherever Jesus’ name is magnified it will destroy sin and its affects
1 John 3:4-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
The fear of the LORD is clean- it produced righteousness in the Ephesians lives:
AFTER the preaching of the Word, true healing and exorcising demonic strongholds, they received deliverance from oppressive practices. v. 18-19
These people threw away the things that offended God!
Their allegiances changed from worthless idols, and things that cannot satisfy to an obedience to wholly serve the Lord.
When you came in contact with the living God- did you throw away things that offended Him?
EX: I know I did, music, clothes, unholy and unrighteous friendships
Psalm 19:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Godly fear produces a cleansing fire in the lives of the people who will be taught by Him
4. Magnifying the Lord WILL magnify His Word v. 20
When Jesus is magnified and His gospel proclaimed, the WORD will grow and prevail
Psalm 138:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
You cannot separate Jesus from His Word or from the Holy Spirit- these three agree in ONE.
That’s why when people say, “God told me”, but it is direct contradiction to His Word and rebellion against the Holy Spirit, you will know it is NOT of God. These people are being deceived and used as a tool of the enemy and his original lie, “did God really say?” Stop twisting and manipulating God’s word to make it say what you want it to say.
This too is using God’s name in vain. STOP using God’s name in vain!
Hebrews 4:12 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [a]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
The Word is meant to be transformational, not informational.
This is why God uses the ministry of the church and the 5-fold ministry, to instruct the saints in the Word and equip them for ministry.
People squirm under the Word- this is why they reject Bible study and Biblical preaching in the church, and turn towards teachers who will tell them what they want to hear.
You will know a tree by its fruit. If FVC is not producing fruit of righteousness in people’s lives, and there is not conversion from darkness to light, if we are not preaching the Word and people are still oppressed by the devil; then you should leave.
BUT if we are preaching the true gospel, the Holy Spirit is tearing down Satan’s strongholds in people’s lives (I know a lot of your stories) and they are being delivered from oppression, if the Word of God is preached and growing; then you should submit yourself to this church and be planted.
Preach the true gospel, magnify the name of Jesus and tear down Satan’s strongholds and the Word will grow!
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