Cleansing The Home for Godly Living: Acts 19:17-20
“17) This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. 18) Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19) And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20) So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.” Acts‬ ‭19‬:‭17-20‬
The contrast between Paul and his team and the sons of Sceva became the talk of Ephesus. The Christians had power and authority over the demonic realm. The demon possessed man defeated and humiliated the Jewish sons of Sceva. It became well known to both Jews and Greeks. According to verse 17; “ fear fell upon them and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified.”
This became a sign that validated the gospel and offered hope to those in bondage. Jesus and the gospel offered hope, forgiveness and a new life not found in traditional Judaism or the pagan religions that filled Ephesus. People were searching for truth and personal freedom.
Soon those who came to Jesus began to cleanse their homes for godly living. They confessed and repented from their pagan practices and all of their spiritistic paraphernalia. They burned their books and artifacts formerly used in pagan religious practices. Why?
The answer took us years to figure out. Sometimes demonic activity is connected to a person like the demon possessed man encountered by the sons of Sceva, but other times it can be associated with physical objects associated with idolatry, spiritism, the occult or pagan religions that channel demonic spirits.
This became clear to me one day while I was reading 1 Corinthians 10:19-22. Verse 20 says; “20) No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.” There is was in black and white print. Demonic activity can be associated with physical objects like idols and Christians can open the door for this activity in their lives.
This helped explained why some Christians were experiencing demonic activity. The problem was not within them, it was coming from the objects they brought into their homes. This is why the Christians in Ephesus cleansed their homes from physical objects used in channeling demonic spirits.
This brought a major breakthrough in our thinking and counseling ministry. God helped us understand a level of demonic activity we previously did not know. This helped explain what was happening to some Christians who were being tormented by demonic activity. They were not demon possessed, but the things in their homes opened a portal for the activity. The defiled stuff had to be removed for the activity to stop.
It is important to note that they burned these objects. The value came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. That’s a lot of books and paraphernalia. Ephesus was filled with this stuff.
The results were that “the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.” (Vs 20) Hinderances to the gospel were being removed. Demonic strongholds in peoples lives were being torn down. People were being set free from bondage. But more important, they were growing exponentially in their walk with Jesus. The whole city was affected. New believers were being set free! The spiritual atmosphere in Ephesus began to change.
It does not surprise me that Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus about spiritual warfare. Ironically, he did not talk about casting out unclean spirits. He taught Christians how to about pull down sinful strongholds (Ephesians 4:17-5:21), and put on the full armor of God. (See Ephesians 6:10-20) Previously, in Acts 19, he instructed them about cleansing their homes. If you want personal freedom, all three of these are important.
Let me take a moment and address those of you who are being harassed or tormented by unclean spirits. You can be totally set free through the Name of Jesus Christ and His authority. You need to remove the defiled stuff from your home and pull down sinful strongholds in your life.
These strongholds include deception, rebellion, bitterness, sexual immorality, addictions, pride and greed, and past involvement in spiritism and the occult. They represent the schemes of the enemy and give him a foothold in your life. (See Ephesians 4:26-27; 2 Corinthians 2:10-11). Jesus Christ is eager to forgive, cleanse and free you from sinful bondage and compulsions.
If you seek more information or need guidance, call our GoServ Global office and order a Freedom Quest Workbook or attend a workshop. (515-448-3131)
Not everyone celebrated. With the next paragraph, stiff opposition began. Commerce was being affected. The demand for idols and spiritistic paraphernalia plummeted. More on that in the next section.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global