After the Uproar Ceases: When the Enemy Uses Chaos & Confusion to Silence the Word & Discredit the Work

Today’s selected reading continues in the scriptural account of the spiritual body of Jesus the Christ which is the church as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke in the book of Acts. More specifically, today’s passages is found in the first twelve verses of the twentieth chapter. AFTER THE UPROAR HAD CEASED! AFTER THE UPROAR HAD BEEN SILENCED! AFTER THE CHAOS HAD BEEN SILENCED! When you begin reading this passage of scripture you will come face to face with those events which immediately took place after the uproar that had just taken place had been brought to a grinding halt. It is quite clear from the various texts and passages that are found in the book of Acts beginning with the ninth chapter that the apostle Paul was certainly and absolutely no stranger to opposition and resistance to the gospel. It would seem that each city the apostle Paul journeyed and traveled to he faced opposition, resistance and affliction from those whose hearts are envious and those whose hearts were moved with envy. You cannot read the account of the life of the apostle Paul and not be brought face to face with the incredible reality that he seemed to attract opposition from the Jews and from his own people. In fact, if you read the words which are found within the far one epistle the apostle Paul wrote unto the corinthians you will find him writing concerning the dangers, tools and troubles he faced, and within this particular section speaking to the troubles he faced he not only spoke of how five times he received forty lashes and stripes minus one from the Jews, but he also wrote how he faced dangers from his own countrymen. These words are absolutely and incredibly unique and challenging, for they show us the main source of the earthly and natural opposition and resistance the apostle Paul faced during this life—a true testament to the words which Jesus the Christ spoke unto Ananias when He declared unto him that He would show him how much he would and how much he must suffer for the sake of His name. If you continue reading in the book of Acts from the ninth chapter on you will find example after example and account after account of the apostle Paul facing trials and troubles from all sides and from all fronts within his life and the ministry that was entrusted unto him. You cannot read the book of Acts and not be brought to the place where you behold and witness just how much opposition the apostle Paul faced and experienced, and how much the apostle Paul truly did suffer for the sake of the name of Jesus the Christ. Time and time again you will find and behold examples of the apostle Paul experiencing opposition and resistance to the gospel he preached concerning Jesus the Christ. You cannot read the book of Acts and not be confronted with just how much this man did in fact suffer greatly for the sake of the name of Jesus the Christ, and how he bore within and upon his body the sufferings of Jesus the Christ.

As you read the words which are found within the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts you will find two distinct sources of opposition to the gospel which the apostle Paul preached. In the beginning and opening of the chapter you will find that divers of the Jews whose hearts were hardened had spoken evil against the gospel and had closed and shut themselves off to the message of the gospel. In the opening verses of the chapter you will find some encounter a tremendous reality concerning the continued opposition of the Jews which the solve Paul’s own people had continued to manifest within the earth. All throughout the book of Acts you will find yourself reading passage after passage concerning the opposition of the Jews and how they not only resisted, but also as they closed themselves off to the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ. Within the book of Acts you will find that the main source of opposition the apostle Paul faced and experienced came from the Jews and Rhode people to whom Jesus the Christ was originally manifested. If you journey back to the opening chapter of the gospel which was written by the apostle John you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that although Jesus came unto His own His own did not receive Him. Despite the fact that Jesus came unto the Jews first, each of the four gospels points to the reality that the Jews rejected the person, the work, the word and ministry of Jesus the Christ. Each of the four gospels will bring you face to face with the incredible reality that Jesus did in fact come unto His own, and yet His own people rejected and did not receive Him. This is particularly visible in the gospel which the apostle John wrote, for when you read the gospel which the apostle John wrote you will encounter a tremendous continued opposition and resistance of the Jews toward the word and work of Jesus the Christ, and how time after time they sought to stone and put Him to death. Ultimately, the Jews would be granted their wish and desire to have Jesus put to death when He would be handed over to Pontus Pilate who gave the order and command to put Jesus the Christ to death. Throughout the three and a half years Jesus walked upon the earth we find Him continuing to face opposition from the Jews as a whole, as well as opposition from the religious system and community during that day, for time and time again we find Him being vehemently opposed by the scribes, the chief priests, the elders, the Pharisees, and even the Sadducees.

If you are going to truly understand the New Testament book of Acts you must not only read it, but you must also understand it through the lens of words which Jesus the Christ spoke unto His disciples when He declared unto them that they would be hated of all nations and hated of all people for the sake of His name. In order to truly and properly understand the book of Acts you must come face to face with the words which Jesus the Christ declared when He stated that if they persecuted Him they would in fact persecuted them. If there is one thing I found myself coming to terms with when reading the words which Jesus the Christ spoke unto His disciples it’s that although He commanded and instructed us to love our neighbors—and evening to love our enemies—He commanded us with such words while at the same time preparing us to be hated of all men for the sake of His name. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this reality, for the context of living our neighbor and even our enemies is in the context of being hated of all nations for the sake of His name, and in the context of being persecuted. You cannot read the book of Acts without coming face to face with the reality that when Jesus prepares to depart from this world He prepared His disciples to be hated of all men and all nations for the sake of His name. You cannot and should not read the book of Acts without understanding the reality that when Jesus departed from this world and when He prepared His disciples for such a departure He did in fact prepare them for the presence of one who would come alongside them and be a Comforter, but He also prepared them for the reality that they would indeed be hated of all nations for His names sake. In the contexts of a divine Comforter who would come alongside them and guide them into all truth and remind and teach them the words which Jesus the Christ spoke you will find Jesus preparing His disciples—not to be loved, received, embraced and even welcomed in this life, but to be hated by all men and to be persecuted just as He was persecuted. It was true that there would be a divine Comforter who would come alongside them, and it was true that Jesus would not leave them orphans but would come unto them even after His departure, however, it is true that during those days and during those times He was absent from them they would find themselves encountering and experiencing tremendous opposition and persecution from those whose hearts were hardened, and those who were moved with envy concerning the message and reception of the gospel. It is quite astounding and remarkable to read the book of Acts through the lens of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit, but it is also interesting to read it in the context of the disciples and followed of Jesus the Christ being hated for the sake of His name. This is perhaps seen the clearest in the eighth chapter of the book of Acts when we read of a great persecution which broke out against the church, thus forcing them to scatter throughout the surrounding regions of the earth. In the opening verses of the eighth chapter you will find that it wasn’t simply the disciples who faced opposition, but it was also the church itself which would experience a great persecution and would be scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria because of the great opposition that rose up against them.

Before I delve into that which is found in the book of Acts I find it absolutely necessary to turn and direct our attention to the words which Jesus the Christ spoke unto His disciples just prior to His departure from this world and His return to the glory which He had with the Father at the beginning. If you begin reading with and from the eighteenth verse of the fifteenth chapter you will come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that when Jesus departed from this world and returned unto His Father He prepared His disciples and those who followed Him to be persecuted and hated by all men for the sake of His name. Consider if you will the words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the eighteenth verse: “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:17-27). As you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will not only find the context of the command to love one another, but you will also find the context of the Comforter coming whom Jesus would send from the Father. It is in the context and command of loving one another, and even in the arrival, the manifestation and the presence of the Holy Ghost that Jesus would prepare His disciples and followers to be hated of all men for the sake of His name. What’s more, is that it is in the twin contexts of loving one another and the presence and person of the Holy Ghost that we would be persecuted for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ, for if they persecuted Him they would also persecute those who followed Him. In fact, if you begin reading with and from the first verse of the sixteenth chapter you will find the following words which were spoken by Jesus the Christ unto His disciples on the night in which He would be betrayed just before He would be put to death and buried in a borrowed tomb. Consider if you will the words which are found in the sixteenth chapter beginning with the first verse:

“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put Thou out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever Killeen you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:1-11).

With these words Jesus not only followed up His declaration concerning the disciples being hated of all men and all nations for His name’s sake, but He also declared unto them that they would be put out of the synagogues, and that whoever killed them would think they were doing God a service. It’s actually quite unique and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that when Jesus prepared the disciples for the arrival and manifestation of the Holy Spirit, He did so in the context of their being hated and persecuted for the sake of His name. If you are going to read the words which are found in the book of Acts you must read it through the lens of the presence and manifestation of the Comforter on the one hand, and the persecution and hatred of the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ on the other hand. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found within this New Testament book and not read them in the context of the disciples themselves being filled with the person and presence and power of the Holy Spirit, but also being hated and persecuted for the sake of the name of Jesus the Christ. The entire book of Acts does in fact center around the manifestation of the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, but it also brings us face to face with the tremendous opposition and resistance the disciples and people of God faced. What would begin in the city of Jerusalem with the religious leaders and the religious system opposing the apostles and the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ would quickly transition during the days of Saul to a great persecution breaking out against the church of Jesus Christ itself, thus forcing it to be scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria. What’s more, is that in the eighth and ninth chapters of the book of Acts you will find and encounter the tremendous reality that this man named Saul would breath out threatening and slaughter against the church, and would even enter into house and home dragging men and women out of their homes and committing them to prison. What’s more, is the beloved physician Luke would also write and declare concerning this man named Saul that he would wreak havoc upon the church, thus further enhancing the tremendous persecution which would break out against the church of Jesus the Christ. What would begin with the opposition of the apostles and their gospel concerning Jesus the Christ by the religious system would translate and transition into opposition of the church itself, as there would be a great persecution which would break out against the church during the days of the emergence of Saul. What’s more, is that as you continue reading the book of Acts you will find the opposition, the resistance and the persecution continuing during those days and the days which followed—this time, however, this man named Saul who would be transformed into the apostle Paul would find himself at the helm and forefront of the opposition and resistance of the Jews who would reject the gospel and message which he preached. It is impossible to read the account of the life of the apostle Paul and not come face to face with the tremendous reality that the apostle Paul continually found himself at odds with his own countrymen and with his own people, as the Jews would continually and repeatedly oppose and resist his message and his gospel.

When you come to the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts you will find two distinct methods of opposition toward and against the apostle Paul—the first which would come from those unbelieving Jews whose hearts were hardened to the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ, and the second which would come from a silversmith within the city of Ephesus who would incite the entire city to riot against the apostle Paul and his companions. If you begin reading with and from the ninth verse of the nineteenth chapter you will quickly discover the beloved physician Luke writing concerning the city of Ephesus and the presence of the apostle Paul there in the city that when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, the apostle Paul departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. The context for these hardened hearts, and those who believed not is actually found in the eighth verse, for in the eight verse you will find that after the Holy Spirit had come upon and filled the twelve disciples whom the apostle Paul encountered when coming back and returning unto Ephesus, the apostle Paul went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. As you read the words which were written concerning divers being hardened, and those believing not, but speaking of the way before the multitude you will come to understand that those whom the beloved physician Luke was speaking of was the Jews who were found to be present within the city of Ephesus. As certainly and as certainly as the apostle Paul’s custom was to enter into the synagogues and declare the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ, it is also true that the Jews would not only oppose, but would also resist the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ. Time and time again you will find and read concerning the hearts of the Jews being hardened toward and against the gospel of Jesus the Christ, as they would and could not receive the words which the apostle Paul would teach and preach. As early as the city of Damascus you will find the Jews rising up in opposition toward and against the apostle Paul, and seeking to put him to death because of the gospel which he had preached unto them. From the ninth chapter through the present chapter you will find continued and repeated opposition and resistance of the Jews toward and against the gospel which the apostle Paul preached—the gospel which he received not of men, but from Jesus the Christ Himself while spending three years in Arabia and in the desert. From the ninth chapter through the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts you will find most of the opposition which the apostle Paul and his companions faced and experienced coming from the Jews and from his own countrymen, however, there are two distinct occurrences when you will find opposition coming from those who weren’t Jews and from those who weren’t his own countrymen. It would be in the sixteenth chapter when the apostle Paul would cast out the evil spirit from the woman who brought her masters great gain by soothsaying that the apostle Paul and Silas would be seized and would be cast into prison because this woman’s masters had realized their hope of making any financial gain from this woman was gone. The sixteenth chapter is perhaps one of the greatest examples of opposition and resistance that did not come from and originate with the Jews. It would be in the sixteenth chapter when the apostle Paul and Silas would be cast into prison—not because of the gospel which they preached, but because Paul had cast out the evil spirit from this woman who had brought her masters great gain by soothsaying.

The nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts is quite a unique and astonishing piece of Scripture, for within this chapter—not only will you find opposition and resistance from the Jews, but you will also find resistance and opposition from one who was a Gentile. It’s quite unique and remarkable to read this particular chapter and to think about and consider the awesome and incredible reality that within one city—not only did the apostle Paul find himself experiencing opposition from the Jews, but he also found himself experiencing opposition from the Gentiles as well. In verses eight through twelve you will find the beloved physician Luke writing how the apostle Paul went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. With it being said that the apostle Paul spoke boldly and disputed in the synagogue of the Jews, it is also written how there were those whose hearts were hardened and who did not believe who spoke evil of the way of Christ and of Christianity before the multitude. It would be in response to the resistance and opposition of the Jews the apostle Paul would depart from them and would separate the Jews unto himself and dispute daily in the school of Tyrannus. What’s more, is that you will find and read how this continued for the space of two years, and how as a direct result of the apostle Paul teaching and disputing in this school “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” As if it weren’t enough that all of Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, we also find that God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul, so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. IT would be there in and from the school of Tyrannus that all Asia would hear the word of the Lord Jesus, and where the living God would confirm the word concerning Jesus Christ through special miracles as diseases would depart, and evil spirits would go out from men and women. What a truly wonderful reality it is to think that while resistance and opposition was found in between the baptism and work of the Holy Spirit and all Asia hearing the word of the Lord Jesus, we find a great work of the Holy Ghost there in Ephesus as the Lord would confirm the word which preached by the apostle Paul with special miracles. Perhaps the greatest question that we must ask ourselves when thinking about and considering this reality is what is taking place as a direct result of our preaching the word concerning Jesus the Christ. When we think about our preaching the word of the Lord Jesus the Christ, can it be said that the preaching of the word of the Lord Jesus the Christ results in countless and many men and women hearing the word of the Lord Jesus, and even special miracles being wrought and performed as diseases depart and evil spirits flee in the name of Jesus the Christ? What an incredible manifestation of the power, the person and presence of the Holy Spirit was found in the city of Ephesus, for it would be there in the city of Ephesus that the word of the Lord Jesus would be heard and be manifested throughout all Asia as all Asia would hear the word of the Lord Jesus.

In verses thirteen through twenty of the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts you will find it written concerning seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew and chief of the priest, which followed in the steps of certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, which took it upon themselves to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” As you read the words which are found within this section of the nineteenth chapter you will come face to face with and encounter the tremendous reality that these seven sons of one Sceva who attempted to cast out devils and evil spirits by a during them according to this Jesus whom the apostle Paul preached, What these Jews found themselves experiencing, however, was the evil spirit responding and speaking unto them directly as he declared that he knew Jesus, and he knew Thea pestle Paul, but he did not know who they were. What we find next is that the man in whom this evil spirit was leapt upon them, overcame them, prevailed against them, and did so with such great force and ferocity that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. The beloved physician Luke writes and records how this was known to all the Jews and Greeks which dwelt in Ephesus, and fear fell upon all them. What’s more, is that the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, and many which believed came, and confessed, and shewed forth their deeds. What’s more, is that many of them which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men. Even more than this we find and read how the word of God grew mightily and prevailed. It’s actually quite interesting to note that while the apostle Paul dwelt in Ephesus for more than two years—not only did all Asia hear the word of the Lord Jesus the Christ, but the Holy Spirit also exposed and revealed those fakes and frauds who thought they could cast out devils without being anointed by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s worth noting that within the book of Acts—not only do you find the apostle Peter rebuking Simon who thought he could purchase the gift of the Holy Spirit, but you will also find the Holy Spirit exposing those who thought and believed they could cast out and confront evil spirits according to the Jesus whom the apostle Paul preached. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this tremendous and incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss something truly remarkable and incredible within the book of Acts. It is within the book of Acts where we find the Holy Spirit directly confronting those who would lie to and tempt Him, those who thought they could purchase the gift of the Holy Spirit, and those who thought they could confront evil spirits and devils by this Jesus whom the apostle Paul preached. We must recognize and understand that within the book of Acts we find the Holy Spirit directly confronting countless fakes, phonies and frauds within the church of Jesus Christ, and those who thought they could somehow have a corner on the Holy Spirit and the ministry.

If you continue reading the nineteenth chapter you will find that at the same time the apostle Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem, there arose no small stir about that way. What the beloved physician Luke writes and records concerning this time was that there was a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, and brought no small gain unto the craftsmen. It would be this man named Demetrius who would call together the workmen of like occupation, and declared unto them that it was by that craft of making silver shrines for Diana they made their wealth. With that being said, they both saw and heard that not only at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia this Paul persuaded and turned away many people, saying that there be no gods, which are made with hands. As a direct result of the words which the apostle Paul preached concerning there being no gods which were made from the hands of men—gods of gold, gods of silver, gods of wood, gods of stone, and the like. Demetrius and all those who were of the same craft were incredibly outraged at the preaching of the apostle Paul, for their craft was in danger to be set at nought—and not only was their craft in danger of being set at nought, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised and her “magnificence” should be destroyed. The beloved physician Luke writes and records how when those whom Demetrius gathered unto himself heard those words which he spoke unto them they were full of wrath and immediately began crying out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” This is actually quite important to consider and recognize, for as a result of this group of silversmiths and those of the same craft of idolatry and idolatrous worship, the whole city was filled with confusion. As you read the words which are found in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts you will find that while it was true all Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus the Christ, and while it is true that the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified and the word grew mightily and prevailed, there would be opposition that would rise up against it. In all reality, this is perhaps one of the common themes and common threads that can be woven throughout the book of Acts, for as surely and as certainly as you find and read of the manifestation of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and concerning the word of the Lord prevailing among Jews and Greeks, you will also find persecution and opposition running parallel against such realities. It is true that within the book of Acts you will read of the word of the Lord Jesus the Christ being preached, and you will read of the power, the person and presence of the Holy Spirit, but you will also read of tremendous and great persecution rising up against the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even rising up against the gospel which was being preached by the apostles, by the apostle Paul, and even by his companions. What we find in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts is a great uproar and riot breaking forth in the city as the entire city was thrust into confusion—essentially being thrust and tossed between two opinions, which was the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel concerning Him, and the worship of the goddess Diana which the Ephesians and many in Asia worshipped.

What we find and what we read in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts is a tremendous picture and presentation of how the enemy and adversary can and will make every attempt to thrust men and women into confusion when the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ is being preached. The nineteenth chapter—and the words which are contained therein—is an incredibly unique chapter in that even though the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified, and even though the word of the Lord Jesus grew mightily, the adversary would and could do anything and everything to silence the work and discredit it. It would be a direct result of Demetrius and his love for money and gain that would help incite this confusion and chaos within the city of Ephesus. In all reality, I would dare say that this is perhaps one of the enemy and adversary’s greatest tactics and strategies when it comes to combatting the spread of the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ, for the enemy and adversary has always and will always seek to thrust the hearts and minds of men and women into chaos and confusion when the gospel concerning Jesus the Christ is preached. That which we encounter within this passage of Scripture is truly remarkable when you take the time to consider it in its fulness, for as surely as the word of Jesus the Christ grew mightily, and as surely as the name of the Lord would be magnified among men, the enemy and adversary would seek to thrust the entire city into chaos and confusion. We must recognize and understand this tremendous reality, for wherever you find the name of the Lord being magnified, and wherever you find the word of the Lord growing mightily you can guarantee that the enemy and adversary can and will be there to incite chaos and confusion. Anytime you will find the gospel being preached and the gospel being received you can rest assured you can and will find the enemy seeking to incite chaos and confusion into the picture, for chaos and confusion are perhaps two of the greatest counterparts to the preaching of the word concerning Jesus the Christ. If the enemy can be successful in thrusting a city, a church, and even a group of people into chaos and confusion, it is very likely that he can discredit and perhaps even silence the word concerning Jesus the Christ. Chaos and confusion are two of the enemy’s greatest tactics and strategies, for the enemy can and will do whatever he can to destroy the work of the kingdom and to silence the word concerning Jesus the Christ. The enemy can and will seek to do anything and everything he can to discredit and destroy the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst, and even to silence the word which is being preached concerning Jesus the Christ. What we find within this passage is a prime example of the enemy and adversary working through the hearts and minds of men to not only silence the word concerning Jesus the Christ, but also to destroy the work of the Holy Spirit, and even to distract men and women from that work. We must recognize and understand that chaos and confusion are incredible tools within the hand of the enemy and adversary, for if the enemy can distract you and call your attention to what is going on around you, he can find it easier to to snatch and steal the word concerning Jesus Christ within your heart. Perhaps the single greatest reality we must come face to face with reading this passage of Scripture is recognizing the tactic and strategy of the enemy to use chaos and confusion to distract men and women from the work of the Holy Spirit, and to silence the word concerning Jesus the Christ. Oh that we would not be ignorant concerning the schemes and tactics and strategies of the devil to both silence the word concerning Jesus the Christ, as well as to destroy the work of the Holy Spirit—not only within our lives, but also among men and women in this generation.

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