“Hold This!” (Acts 19:13-16)

“Here, hold this!”

Our family friend placed the apple in my outstretched right hand. Maneuvering in front of me, he put his left hand on my right shoulder and then pushed down on my right arm with his right arm. “Don’t let me push your arm down.” He kept pushing down on my right arm but I easily resisted. “Good! Now let’s try something else.”

He removed the apple from my right hand and replaced it with a can of insect spray. “Okay, same thing.” He pushed down on my right arm but this time I was unable to resist and down went my arm. “See! Your body knows when it is being exposed to a toxin. It weakens. Your arm was strong when it held the apple. Look how weak it became when you held the can of insect spray!” He then opened a suitcase full of glass vials containing a variety of chemicals and substances. “By having you hold each of these, I can determine which of these you are allergic to or weakening your immune system and overall health.”

It appeared to be a novel approach to screen for potential chemicals that may weaken me. However, there was an important catch. The second time he pushed down on my right arm, when I was holding the can of insect spray, he deftly changed the way he pushed, using both of his arms to manipulate my joints and his actions. In other words, there was virtually no way I could completely resist. It was subtle but I knew he had a background in kinesiology and chiropractic manipulation and he could pull this off with an unsuspecting patient. For the next twenty minutes, I politely allowed him to repeat the process with each of the glass vials. After finishing with me and giving me his diagnosis, he then gave me some recommended treatments from his proprietary blends, encouraging me to purchase them at his preferred discount. 

As a physician, I knew what he was doing was a sham, however I did not challenge him since he was an acquaintance of my wife’s, before I met her, and I did not want to embarrass him. Nonetheless, I wondered how many others had fallen for his elusive tactics. 

Shams are nothing new. Thousands of years ago, self-proclaimed exorcists saw the success of the Apostle Paul casting out demons in the name of Jesus Christ. If Paul could do that, they could also! All they had to do was cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ. The result was shockingly unexpected!

A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered. 

Acts 19:13-16 (NLT)

Who are you? Even demons know who God is! In these dark days, technology has enabled many to deceive others for profit and gain. But perhaps the most sinister sham are the dark forces that seek to subvert the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and substitute their own religion and idols. Don’t fall victim! Only faith and belief in Jesus Christ can assure us the victory over Satan and his wiles. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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