And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so 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. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists 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." Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 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. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. - Acts 19:11-20 (ESV)
This nine-verse story tucked away in the 19th chapter of the Book of Acts always makes me chuckle a bit as I wonder, how bad have you been beaten that you're naked when its all said and done? The bible says that biblical accounts are provided for us to learn from. So let us take this story apart. We see there are a small band of itinerant Jewish exorcists. These seven fellows were sons of a Jewish High Priest named Sceva. So, they had been around religiosity their whole lives. It is interesting that God precedes this story with tales of the mere apron of Paul healing people. The false always hates the authentic. So, these seven guys fancied themselves exorcists and developed a habit of trying to cast out demons in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches. The problem is that much like the apostate church's false teachers of today, they did not actually know Jesus, nor Paul for that matter. Who knows why they engaged in this. Perhaps there was a financial gain or certainly a sense of power. Either way, they were pretending to be something they were not. Perhaps they did not really believe in the demonic spirit realm they so brashly tried to adjure. One day they would learn a very painful lesson. The demon they were demanding to come out answered. They said they knew Jesus and even had heard of Paul but - who exactly are you?
Who were they? They are every false teacher today swearing by the name of Jesus without bothering to know Him. They are every itinerant false apostle, prophet or healer making merchandise of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are every NAR dominionist selling you carnal politics as your savior. They are everyone playing silly games by pretending they are religious, for whatever reason - money, fame, power. They are Isaiah Saldivar and Alexander Pagani. Who you might ask? Good question. They call themselves demon-slayers and they have created an entirely new unbiblical brand to hock their wares. They deal in the false signs and lying wonders arena of the apostate church. They sell the supernatural by mimicking the seven sons of Sceva. I came across an article about them recently from Charisma News and never even had to get into the meat of the article, which was of course ludicrous. Let me just show the opening here, which is all that is needed to mark and avoid these two. Let us reason once more.
"In Galatians 1, the apostle Paul marveled at the fact that the Galatian church had turned away from the teaching of Jesus so soon after they had heard it and embraced it. Isaiah Saldivar and Alexander Pagani aren't so surprised. In their work as deliverance pastors, Pagani and Saldivar say they have seen this many times in church services where a congregation embraces a "false Jesus" or flocks to a spirit that is demonic rather than godly. "How do I know if it's the Holy Spirit or if it's a demon when someone is maybe laughing or speaking out or shaking uncontrollably?" Saldivar asks in this teaching video with his fellow Demon Slayers Pagani and Mike Signorelli. "Remember, the devil always mimics what God is doing. There are times where it's hard to tell whether it's a demon or the Holy Spirit. This goes for prophetic words, for shaking, laughter or any manifestation you can think of. " - Charisma News
How do I know if it is the Holy Spirit or demonic when someone is either laughing or shaking uncontrollably? You have to be kidding me. Let me help you demon slayers. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is SELF CONTROL! If you see someone shaking or laughing uncontrollably that is a demonic spirit because while the devil does like to mimic God, the Father never tries to imitate Satan. Ironically, these guys are referencing two of the biggest blights on the face of modern Christendom. The Toronto "blessing", where Holy Laughter was born and Pensacola, where the Kundalini spirit made people shake rattle and roll. These were not manifestations of the Holy Spirit beloved. Saldivar and Pagani need you to doubt. They need you to question. They do not even pass however the most basic of theological tests. You need to mark and avoid such charlatans.
They desperately need one of the demons they are adjuring one night to ask who they think they are. They need the sons of Sceva treatment - naked and wounded! Because after that incident we see in the key verses that word quickly spread. Fear fell upon believers and the name of Jesus was extolled. People came divulging their wickedness. They burned their carnal magic books totaling fifty thousand pieces of silver. If this scripture means denarii, the smaller currency, the modern-day equivalent is 5.5 million dollars! So, the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. Don't fall for the snake oil selling huckster beloved. God does not make us to writhe along the ground with no control or ability to stop. If your church is allowing people like Pagani and Saldivar access it is high time to have a chat with your pastor. These are not open heavens but rather an open hell beneath our feet. In closing, be careful who you allow to lay hands on you as well. The sons of Sceva trafficked in demons and so do the fake demon slayers. Touch me? No thank you.
Reverend Anthony Wade - June 1, 2023