From the story of the seven sons of Sceva, they saw God using Paul to do extraordinary miracles [And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,(Acts 19:11 ESV)] to the extent that, even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them (Acts 19:12 ESV). Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists [Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.( Acts 19:14 ESV)] undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims”(Acts 19:13 ESV).
But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled ( Acts 19:15-17 ESV). However, I believe this event happened in the past in the absence of many, including one Ghanaian Pastor.
In this story, a Ghanaian Pastor makes an attempt to put his faith to work in accordance to Hebrews 11:1 which says, NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses] (AMP). This Ghanaian Pastor suddenly approached a madman on the street and began to invoke deliverance for the man through the powerful name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and spoke in some tongues. However, this pastor was seen to have apprehended the madman who wanted to go his way. The Pastor forgot what was written in James 2:14, What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]?(AMP). To give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps his faith was put into action. Nevertheless, I believe that deliverance is not by compulsion but by a free and willing spirit. To corroborate my point, Romans 10:8-11 gives a clear indication. But what does it say? The Word (God’s message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach, Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth, he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed (AMP).
In my humble opinion, I believe Pastors of our time should be very cautious not to put the Lord to test [And Jesus replied to him, [The Scripture] says, You shall not tempt (try, test exceedingly) the Lord your God (Luke 4:12MP)]. As the Lord Almighty has given man his will to make his own choices, so it is with salvation/deliverance. But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”(Deuteronomy 30:14 ESV). In the same way, Salvation/Deliverance is a CHOICE and people must not be forced into it but rather, with a gentle spirit and love, we can equally save some.
What is your take about this Pastor? Let’s hear your voice.