In Acts 19:13-20 there is recorded the story of certain Jews, exorcists who attempted to cast out evil spirits. In verse 13 these false men attempted to cast out these evil spirits by calling on the name of Jesus. A very interesting outcome is recorded for us in God’s word. The evil spirits answered these false teachers by saying, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” The word“know” here is used in the same way Jesus used it in Matthew 7:23, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” I never knew you and have never recognized or endorsed you as being my servants is the idea here. It has the sense of approval or of knowledge favorable to the person in question.
In Acts 19 these evil spirits said we acknowledge Jesus and are acquainted with Paul but who are you? They were saying you belong to neither Jesus nor Paul and you therefore have no authority. It is ironic that these false teachers who were seeking power and acceptance could not even get approval of these evil spirits.
Today we see so many false teachers on TV claiming to be a great power of God. They call upon the name of Jesus and pretend to heal those who are sick and they claim to be able to cast out devils. We know from studying the New Testament that the age of miracles has ceased. Men today are not working miracles such as healing the sick and casting out devils. During the time that Jesus walked the earth the devils feared and respected him. In James 2:19James said, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble”.
They feared Jesus and the Apostles but what does the devil have to fear from denominational preachers today? They are not preaching a message that will deliver men from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ. In fact their work is adding to the number of souls that the devil will have at the end. The devil today knows about the Lord’s Church and he knows the faithful preachers of the gospel of Christ. He knows that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the true church (Matthew 16:18). The devil fears and respects the true preacher of the gospel today.
But to those denominational preachers and teachers today the devil says, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” They like the false teachers of Acts do not even get recognition from the devil!