Acts 19:16-20
Acts 19:16 (KJB)
And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Overcame - Become or be master, lord it over
Wounded - Our word for “trauma” comes from this Greek word (tramatizo)
This is what happened when one plays with the occult. These seven sons of Sceva thought that they were going to have the power to command the evil spirits to leave that man, instead the devil possessed man had such increase in physical power (which is connected with demon possession) that this man leaped upon the seven sons and overcame them. The attack was so severe and strong that the one man became like a master over them who would have his way with a hireling. The man prevailed over all seven of the sons that the demon possessed man even was able to take their clothes off of them and caused them to be naked. They were not only bereft of their clothes but the attack was so strong, it wounded them to the point of trauma, which could either be emotional shock or bodily injury, which in this case would be both since they fled the house. This scenario should be a lesson to all those who think the paranormal or ghost hunting is a safe profession. Whenever ghost hunters go looking for ghosts they are in essence trying to invade the realm of Satan because there are no such things as ghosts but only devils who fell with Satan in his rebellion against God. They are in a very dangerous, life threatening vocation.
Acts 19:17 (KJB)
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
If you see seven naked men running down a street in abject fear, it is not something that is going to go unnoticed. Before the Gospel ever permeates a place, demon possession is something which can be rampant. Many missionaries have come across this type of situation in countries where there was no gospel presence. When this situation became widely known in Ephesus, great fear had fallen on all the people because they would have been familiar with people possessed of the devil. The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified in that when the people learned the facts about what happened, they learned that the name of Jesus was not something to be trifled with. He is the second person of the Godhead and His name is not to be bantered about as common. (Exo 20:7 KJV) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Only His true blood bought children have the right to use His name.
Acts 19:18 (KJB)
And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.
The fear was so great that many had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and were verbally confessing and declaring their deeds. This could be pointing to the fact that many had just believed because of the situation they just saw and were publicly declaring the sins they partook of and would now be forsaking. It could also mean the true believers were verbally confessing the fact that they were not fully committed to Christ but now they will be as they saw the power of God in action. Which ever it was and maybe a combination of both, this event stirred up the population along with the Christians.
Acts 19:19 (KJB)
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Another result of this event was the fact that the people of Ephesus now knew that the real power over evil was the Lord Jesus Christ. This caused many of them to gather all their occult books and in the presence of the crowd burn them. These books had a value of 50,000 pieces of silver so a real repentance had taken place as the true Gospel was now taking root. It is not known what type of coin is in view but if it was the silver Drachma, then the average yearly salary of a day laborer or soldier was 250 drachmas. 50,000 would equal the salary of 200 of these men. The drachmas of that time weighed 4.3 grams, made of silver. By today’s standards (5/25/12) it would be about $3.40 per drachma which means the overall value of the destroyed occult books was $170,000. That is what you call real deeds of repentance.
Acts 19:20 (KJB)
So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
The word of God was mightily growing and it was prevailing over the occultism which was very prevalent at Ephesus. When people are willing to destroy $170,000 worth of their books, and no doubt, these were probably their trade journals, then true salvation had come to Ephesus. The word had grown in Ephesus that there were many house churches all over. The occult business had taken a very bad hit and the people would stay away from those things making it a dead issue in the lives of all those who became saved. God’s word will always prevail over the words and deeds of anything satanic.