Many of those who used curious arts brought their books together and burned them. Acts 19:19
It is apparent that when Paul visited the coasts of Ephesus that the proclamation of Gospel truth enraged the devil. People who formerly worshipped Satan and his false deities were now surrendering their hearts to Jesus, and the powers of darkness were arrayed against Paul and his fellow Christians. The resistance was all to no avail and of little consequence to the Apostle, seeing that his message could not be stopped because the Holy Ghost was confirming the word with signs following. In two years, the region was positively affected.
What is of interest, however, is the fact that so many people in Asia minor were applying their minds to do evil. In one day, millions of [Roman] dollars went up in flames in what must be considered the priciest bonfire in the pages of the Bible. Christ was preached and captives were freed from the bondages of sin. In ancient times all kinds of superstition and myth was followed. Horoscopy was popular: not a few people arranged their day to day affairs in relation to the alignment of the planets. There were Roman priests who gave directions to kings and influential persons according to how they read animal entrails or according to the flight patterns of birds. Thousands of pilgrims visited various oracles whom they believed could speak for the gods and reveal past, present and future events. Obviously, books were available in the marketplace to learn how to please the goddess Diana and also to describe how to practice various crafts of witchery. These materials found their way into the pile that went up in flames.
Little has changed in several parts of the world. Witchdoctors, gurus and other supposedly holy men and women control the minds of people who have not been introduced to the Gospel. But when the introduction is made the right way, there can be no mistake: lives are changed. In our major cities in the USA one can find palm readers, tarot card readings, crystal ball gazers and sessions where feeble-minded persons try to communicate with the dead. Seances are attractive to those who long ago renounced organized religion. The reason is simple, they attended some “church” service and found it to be no livelier than a séance. Oh, but if they could meet the Christ that Paul preached, the one described in the Gospels as a prophet from Galilee and as wonder worker, I have no doubt that lives would be changed again in the far-flung regions of this world.
Over a decade ago while I was in the South East Asia preaching, a sickly witchdoctor called for a Christian to come and pray for him. The Christian came, the man was healed, and he committed his life to Christ and gave plots of land to the local believers to build a lovely facility in which to worship. All his books that dealt with juju and other fetishes went up in flames. To God be the glory.
Now is the time to ensure that Christ is preached powerfully. Through fasting and prayer God will use WMF in ways that will leave people scratching their heads in amazement. Someone told me one time that “God doesn’t do things that astonishes us these days”. I replied, “maybe not in your world, but in the Kingdom in which I live He does signs and WONDERS for believers!” Some of God’s deeds have rendered me speechless.
Watchman Nee, decades ago, once said that “if you can explain it, God probably had nothing to do with it.”
Let’s take the Gospel to the various ethnic groups in the USA, as we take it round the world.