Acts 26:18 is a scripture that every pastor in every pulpit needs to be reminded of. Paul had gone to Jerusalem to meet with the church there. While in the temple area, he was seized by a mob that was stirred up by members of the Sanhedrin, the highest court of Jewish justice. The Sanhedrin inflamed the crowd so much that forty men took an oath to kill Paul. When the Romans learned of it, they transferred Paul to Caesarea, an ancient port city near Haifa, Israel. The high priest of the Sanhedrin came there to press charges against Paul. He presented his case to Felix, who was the Governor of Judea. Afterwards, Felix put Paul in prison for two years, but did not send him back to Jerusalem where he would have met certain death.
Eventually, Felix was replaced by a new Governor, Porcius Festus who again convened a court to hear the charges against Paul. He appealed to be judged at Caesar’s court. A few days later King Agrippa came to see Festus, who told the king about Paul. Before these two rulers, Paul shared the story of his conversion. Paul quoted the exact words Jesus spoke to him during the heavenly vision on the Damascus Road. The Lord declared that He was sending Paul to the Gentiles with this express purpose: “To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.”
Inherent in this one statement are these truths:
- All religion that is not of Christ is darkness. There is no room for the moral pleasantries of good intentions and good works. Rejection of Christ as the Son of God is total darkness.
- Satan is acknowledged as having power. Removing souls from such supernatural bondage requires more than conversion and confession. There must be total freedom from all the bondage of demons, generational curses, and sins of witchcraft.
- To free people from Satan’s power often requires more than baptismal water and the reciting of a creed. We must battle with the demons of hell and overcome Satan’s power by the power of Jesus of Nazareth. We must turn them from the devil’s power to the Lord’s omnipotent might.