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ASSEMBLIES OF GOD NIGERIA SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS FOR LESSON 7: AUGUST 13, 2023.

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ASSEMBLIES OF GOD NIGERIA

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS|JULY-DECEMBER, 2023.

UNIT 2: The Supernatural Realm

LESSON 7: AUGUST 13, 2023.

TOPIC: PAUL CONFRONTS EVIL SPIRITS

Memory Verse: Acts 16:18 – Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour (KJV).
Lesson Bible Text:
Acts 13,16 and 19
Lesson Central Truth:
Every evil spirit is subject to the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
INTRODUCING THE LESSON
The supernatural encounter found in today’s Scripture passages occurred over the course of Paul’s three missionary journeys, with one encounter during each journey. While there are different character involved, these events hold one common theme: the Christian activity in and response to the supernatural realm. For many, even within the church, the supernatural realm seems out of reach for the believer. However, as we will see, the power of darkness are real, and they will clash with the power of God. As such, we must be prepared to respond accordingly, by calling upon the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
LESSON OUTLINE
1. ENCOUNTER WITH A SORCERER
A. Sent Out By The Holy Spirit – Acts 13:2-5
B. Empowered By The Spirit – Acts 13:6-12.
2. CONFRONTATION WITH A FORTUNE TELLER
A. Encountering Supernatural Opposition – Acts 16:13-17
B. Distinguishing Real From Counterfeit – Acts 16:18.
3. CHRIST THROUGH SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATION
A. Failure To Duplicate Miracles – Acts 19:11-16.
B. Seized With Fear – Acts 19:17-20.
LESSON NUGGETS
1. ENCOUNTER WITH A SORCERER
Acts 13:2-12
✅️ When believers in Antioch gave themselves into worship and fasting, a Word from the Holy Spirit declared: “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Note that before Barnabas and Saul could do anything significant for God, they first had to be separated to Him. If you will separate to God, it means you must separate from some other things. You can’t really say “yes” to God’s call on your life until you can say “no” to things that will keep you from that call. Holy Spirit empowers and separates people for God’s work and mission. For the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas to be effective, they needed prayers from other believers. Paul and Barnabas were sent forth through the leading of the Holy Spirit by laying of hands from other believers as a sign of “commission” or “endorsement.” The great commission is missions ie taking the gospel from the reached to the unreached. Beloved, in your ministry, always allow the Holy Spirit to commission and lead the way for you.
✅️ Paul and Barnabas moved from city to city in preaching the gospel. So, when they arrived at Paphos, in the southwestern area of Cyprus, they met opposition — a false prophet and a sorcerer named Bar-jesus. This man used magic to deceive and gain power over people. Paul and Barnabas reached the ears of many within the area, to the point that the givernor of the area name Sergius Paulus — who desired to hear the Word of God from Paul and Barnabas. It is only God that can introduce a man and make him recognise by many. God can take us to high places where our personal efforts cannot. Bar-jesus as one who was closely associated with the governor, knew that if the governor accepted the gospel, he would lose his influence over this governor. So, as a result, Bar-jesus tried to hinder Paul and Barnabas ministry. But his magical art had no power against the Holy Spirit. Paul, through spiritual discernment and operating in the gift of faith, rebuked and pronounced the judgment of God upon Elymas (Bar-jesus). Elymas as obstacle to God’s Word in the land was struck with blindness. No man can stand in the way of the Lord. As Elymas became blind, the governor’s eyes became opened to the gospel and he believed. Note that the governor was moved by thr gospel and not because of the miracle, but as a result of hearing the message of Jesus.
2. CONFRONTATION WITH A FORTUNE TELLER
Acts 16:13-18
✅️ During Paul’s second missionary journey accompanied by Silas as recorded in Acts 16. They journeyed from one city to the other until they came to Philippi where they met some women on a Sabbath day at the riverside in view of getting a place of prayer. As Paul and Silas started speaking with the women, a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshipper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. Lydia and her household received Christ and were baptised. Very important, Paul spoke the Word, Lydia listened and the Holy Spirit did the main work of conviction and transformation. Lydia’s repentance made her an important person to Paul’s ministry in Philippi. Lydia’s home became the meeting place of the church of Philippi. Every saved believer has a part to play in the body of Christ. Being in church for several years is not the true mark of Christianity, but accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour is the ultimate proof. Lydia gave her house as “discipleship school centre.” Just like Lydia, we are to make our home a place of prayer, worship and fellowship with other believers.
✅️ As Paul and other men of God went out to pray, they encountered a demon-possessed slave girl. This girl was a source of money for her owners as a fortune teller. Presumably this was because demons gave her supernatural insight into the lives of others. The demon-possessed slave girl preached for Paul, giving a demonic testimony to their divine credentials and their message. She didn’t do this only once, but for many days (Acts 16:18). Paul was greatly annoyed, and he did not appreciate the free advertising from the demon. He did not appreciate the source of the recommendation, and he didn’t need demonic approval of his work. Paul, being grieved and said to the spirit “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Note that Jesus cast out demons with His own authority. Paul was careful to speak to demons only in the authority of Jesus Christ, and he also spoke beyond the afflicted girl to the demon itself with this authority of Jesus. As believers, for us to distinguish real from the counterfeit, we must pray for discernment and wisdom, then seek the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of deliverance and healing.
3. CHRIST THROUGH SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATION
Acts 19:11-20
✅️ Acts 19 records Paul’s ministry in Ephesus during his third missionary journey. Paul’s bold preaching that was accompanied with a lot miracles which brought about rapid growth in the city of Ephesus. God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul. Luke states one of the examples of Paul’s miracles is that Paul’s handkerchiefs or aprons could be laid on a person even without Paul present, and that person was healed or delivered from demonic possession. At that time, there were Jewish team who practiced their trade with a lot of superstition and ceremony. The se en sons Sceva tried to imitate what they thought was Paul’s formula for success through an attempt to cast out demonic spirit “in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.” The were overpowered by the evil spirit, leaving them bruised, beaten, and they feed the house naked. The Jewish exorcists failed because they had no personal relationship with Jesus. They only knew that Jesus was the God of Paul, not their own God. In the same pattern, there are many people–many churchgoers–who will perish in hell because they have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They only know “the Jesus the pastor preaches” or “the Jesus my spouse believes in” instead of the Jesus of their own salvation.
✅️ The evil spirit knew exactly who Jesus was, and knew exactly who Paul was. But they didn’t know who the seven sons of Sceva were. Apparently, evil spirits know who their enemies are (in this case, Jesus and Paul), and they don’t waste their effort knowing those who aren’t a threat to them (in this case, the seven sons of Sceva). Because the seven sons of Sceva had no real relationship with Jesus, they had no spiritual power against the evil spirit. They left the encounter naked and wounded. It was dangerous for them to take the reality of spiritual warfare lightly. This unfortunate experience offers us an important reminder: Divine miracles are not achieved through a magic formula. Divine miracles and casting out evil spirit can only take place when the people who are filled with the Holy Spirit surrender to the direction and wisdom of the Spirit. As believers, we must know that signs and wonders are not restricted to Paul and other apostles. “These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils” (Mark 16:17).
✅️ The incident with the sons of Sceva impressed the people with the reality of the demonic realm. It made them fear the Lord. As a result, the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. The new Ephesian believers who had practised magic brought their book together and burned them in the sight of all. These books and scrolls full of magic charms, amulets and incantations were well known in Ephesus, and they were valuable. The value of fifty thousand pieces of silver today has been estimated at anywhere between $5 million to $10 million. The good news is that the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed in Ephesus. This demonstrates that the end result was obviously worth it all. The work in Ephesus and the region of Roman Asia continued in a remarkable way. The ministry of Paul and his companions was effective in many ways. They were bold in their proclamation. They were dependent upon the Holy Spirit for the power to preach in the midst of hostile circumstances. Signs and wonders accompanied their ministry, drawing attention to their life-changing message. And, as a result, the name of Lord was praised.
🎤Lesson Action Word🎤
Paul knew that evil spirits are subject to Jesus Christ. Paul confronts evil spirits through the Name of Jesus. As believers, we must live and move by his Name that higher than any other name. Glory To His Name.
🙏Lesson Prayer Point🙏
Father, empower us with discerning Spirit to be able to overcome all kinds of evil spirit that will come our way in Jesus Matchless Name. Amen!
Remain blessed as you join us in our Sunday school both online and at any Assemblies Of God Church close to you as we study together under the Feet of the Master.
Share your contribution and as well ask your question from the lesson.
Shalom!

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