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ACTS CHAPTER 16

KJV    NAS

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1-5 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2 and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe. 5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.

 

Act 16,1-5

(2i) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Do not touch the apple of His eye >> Do not offend the weak in faith – The Jews knew Timothy’s father was a Greek, and would have wondered if he had more influence on Timothy than his mother who was a Jew. So Paul had Timothy circumcised to answer whether Timothy believed the Old Testament, and thus he avoided offending the weak in faith.

Act 16,1-3

(87l) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Minister to people through obedience -- These verses go with verses 27-29

(102c) Thy kingdom come >> Faithfulness (Loyalty) >> Faithfulness is dependable >> God’s servants are dependable

(142d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a good reputation >> A reputation of good works

Act 16,3-5

(1f) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> become all things to all men >> Conform without compromise – This is the account of how Paul met Timothy, and he immediately recognized the sincerity of his heart and genuineness of his faith, and he wanted Timothy to come with him to help spread the gospel of Christ. It says that Paul had Timothy circumcised because of the Jews, knowing that if he didn’t, the Jews would have found fault with him. Therefore, to avoid the hassle, he had Timothy circumcised, though Paul spoke against circumcision in many of his letters, particularly in Romans and Galatians, condemning circumcision as a means of finding favor with God. Circumcision is the old covenant equivalent to baptism. Jesus testified about baptism in Mat 3-15 that “It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” We should be baptized, because if we don’t, it is an omission of righteousness that we commit through a negligent attitude toward God.

Act 16-3

(148d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage as an evangelist regarding the flesh – This verse goes with verses 36-40. Essentially, Timothy was a Samaritan, who was defined as a Jew with mixed gentile blood. Paul was born a Roman, which was a natural advantage that rescued him from many a predicament, his citizenship being the equivalent to owning a passport that he used throughout his ministry to roam the world preaching gospel as a citizen of Rome. He circumcised Timothy for the sake of the Jews, because they knew his father was Greek. Doesn’t that sound a little funny? shouldn’t he have circumcised Timothy because his mother was a Jew? Why did he circumcise Timothy because his father was Greek? Most likely the Jews in that area did not consider Timothy a Jew, since he was not 100-percent Jewish; to them if one parent is gentile, then their offspring is gentile. Why then was it an advantage that Timothy was a circumcised gentile? It was to prove to the Jews that circumcision meant nothing, and this was Paul’s way of communicating that. To circumcise a gentile or to not circumcise a Jew was essentially the same thing. Another reason Paul circumcised Timothy was that Christianity was considered a Jewish religion back then, so if Timothy were to become involved with Paul in the administration of the gospel, then he should embrace Jewish practices, so as not to offend the Jews.

Act 16-4,5

(10e) Responsibility >> Keeping order in the Church >> Decrees of the Church – The decrees they communicated to the Churches were the four rules they determined in the previous chapter, considered regulations of the new covenant (v20): abstain from foods sacrificed to idols, from fornication, from eating animals that were strangled and from eating blood. These four things have the word “Don’t” in them, most of which were health issues and have grown obsolete, leaving Christianity practically a rule-free belief system. There is no way anyone can prove he is a Christian or prove he is not a Christian; there are many evidences but no proofs of salvation, for the proof is in the heart. The old covenant was corrupted by replacing the faith of Abraham with a laundry list of mosaic laws, and the moment the law (or anything) becomes a requirement of salvation it de-emphasizes the blood of Christ. Fornication was considered evil by the Old Testament, that if a man had relations with a woman, he was required to either marry her or else give a dowry to her father for taking her virginity (Ex 22-16,17).

(108a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Balance between truth and error >> Wisdom brings balance between truth and error

(128ia) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life >> Be fruitful and multiply >> Growing numerically – When we take away rules and regulations, the Church flourishes, so why do people add things to Christianity? This lack of regulations we think would promote easy-believism, but people in the early days of the Church loved God; they were happy to promote the Church in every way they could. There was no occasion for easy-believism; they weren’t interested in pretending Christianity or pretending to be saved. Take away regulation from a person who loves God and they will bloom, but place them under bondage to regulations and it stifles the Spirit within him and stifles the Church's growth.

(139d) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Encouragement strengthens our faith

Act 16-5

(9h) Responsibility >> Strengthened by the sword of His Spirit >> Through His word

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

6-8 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; 8 and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 

 

Act 16,6-10

(105g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit into the will of God >> Led to the right place – This is the level of influence the Holy Spirit had on the Church back then; He literally led them through life, but where is the Holy Spirit today? We know about the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians chapter five; one of His purposes is to lead us to bear fruit: love, joy, peace, patience… but another purpose and ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into the will of God. Of course we can take that too far and ask God if we should go to the grocery store, which grocery store, what we should buy and what we should have for dinner that night. Rather, the Holy Spirit wants to help us make life-decisions; in the apostles' case, He led them to those who were most open to the gospel. People become missionaries and go to countries that are closed to the gospel; meanwhile there are people in other places of the world who are longing to hear the word of God. We need to open our hearts to receive direction from the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us through life.

Act 16-6,7

(12g) Servant >> Bond servant >> Their relationship with God

(68f) Authority >> Jesus Delegates the Holy Spirit to us >> He guides you into all truth – Ask people in the Church if they know God’s calling on their lives, and the vast majority of them if they were honest would admit they don't know it. If they were listening and obedient they would know; if they were fully invested and willing to make whatever sacrifice it took to find their place in the will of God, they would be doing it. Those who don’t know their calling, who are just hoping to find their way through life like a feather on a breeze, may find themselves in a hurricane one day, because they weren’t able to hear God tell them to make a right turn five years ago and avoided the storm. Most Christian’s basic method is to wing it when it comes to finding the will of God, but they don't have the same attitude about this life, leaving nothing to chance. That wasn’t Paul’s attitude; he and Timothy had their antennas up, listening for the Holy Spirit, and they heard Him, otherwise they probably would have gone to some of those places mentioned and tried to preach the gospel to an unwilling people and hit a brick wall. Later in the book of Acts it says that Paul went to Asia and preached the gospel to them, and it was Jews from Asia who persecuted him the most, so God knew what He was doing.

(70b) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Sensitivity To The Spirit – Paul and Timothy were sensitive to the Holy Spirit; they remained in vigil prayer seeking the will of God and His direction to fulfill their ministry, and their hearts were fully committed to Him. This is what it takes to walk in the gifts, otherwise our flesh gets in the way and we can’t hear Him, and if we did, we couldn’t trust Him. The Holy Spirit forbade them to go into certain regions of Asia; God was giving them better places where their labors would be more fruitful. These people to whom Paul and Timothy visited waited long enough to hear the gospel; it would have been unfair to go somewhere else and preach the gospel to people who were not interested.

(106h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Means of hearing from God >> Through His Son – Floating like a feather on a breeze is a direction-finding method that lacks precision, though God uses it in every person's life. However, there are times when God wants to lead us more specifically. It is easy to float on the currents of God’s will, though we never really know if we are in His will. A ministry that lacks spiritual discernment cannot make specific choices like Paul and Timothy did. To float on a breeze is sufficient to fulfill our general calling, but if we want a more specific direction, we will need to tune our heart to the Holy Spirit. Even if we take a wrong turn now and then, He will correct us and get us back on course and lead us in ways we would never find on our own.

(216f) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces His bond-servants to do His will

(222c) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> Do not invest yourself in dogs

Act 16-7

(254g) Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit (Key verse)

(254i) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Holy Spirit is life >> Spirit of Jesus

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

9-12 A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11 So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis; 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days.

 

Act 16-9,10

(117ia) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Having Dreams – It was a solid decision to preach the gospel to the Macedonians after receiving a vision about it. We should all be more open to the Holy Spirit. To do that we must tune our heart to Him, so we know it is He who is speaking to us and not our own mind. When it comes to obeying the Holy Spirit we must do what we know is right, but if we are living contrary to our conscience and against what God has already spoken to us, we should not expect God to say another word. We need to live according to our conscience and be working diligently to fulfill what God has revealed to us, so we can hear His voice all the better.

Act 16-10

(215k) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> Working quickly -- This verse goes with verse 33

Act 16-11,12

(71ab) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have authority from God to evangelize the world >> We have authority to propel the gospel into all the world – Paul was very proud of his missionary journeys, especially by ship; he wrote about them and used them in analogies, and used this mode of transportation to reach the regions of Asia and the Mediterranean. Travel back then was a major endeavor. If anyone went anywhere, they usually hoofed it. Traveling by land was difficult and time consuming; they put all their belongings on a donkey and walked next to it. Traveling by sea was generally the vocation of merchants, since nobody else had much reason to travel long distances, unless they were migrating, which was rare. People didn’t relocate the way we do; in fact, most people then never traveled beyond a fifty-mile radius of where they were born. For Paul to get into a boat and travel by sea to another land and another country was unusual, since they didn’t have transport ships for people back then. If anyone wanted to travel by sea, they usually hopped on a freight ship headed in the general direction they wanted to go, and Paul did this on occasion, but other times he had his own sailboat, though we cannot imagine Paul affording much of a boat. Sailboats are essentially subject to the currents and wind; they can easily get into trouble when storms come. They had to take down the sail, which leaves them at the mercy of the waves, and if they were anywhere near land, the wind and waves can push them onto a reef, and if they were not close enough to land to swim to shore, they drowned, so traveling by sea was dangerous.

(80k) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to minister to people >> To evangelize the world – The entire Roman world was prepared for Christianity, and it had a good start, but 300 years later Rome persecuted its Christian citizens until the people got tired of oppression and turned Christianity into an entity of the state and gave it a new name, Catholicism. This didn't stop God from sending Paul to Rome, because there were many Roman converts who would fill God’s eternal kingdom. Just because they would turn Christianity into a paganistic belief system did not stop God from sending Paul to a people who would receive the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, Rome being the hub of civilization in that “All roads lead to Rome.” By the same token, all roads led away from Rome, and they used them to carry the gospel throughout the known world.

(234g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Completely given over to the will of God – Paul took many risks as a traveler by sea to spread the gospel of Christ; it meant everything to him; he would do anything and go anywhere just to save another soul. They eventually made it to Philippi, and because of that the book of Philippians was written, and some of the things that are written in it are not found anywhere else in the Bible, so thank God for Paul’s adventures to Philippi. The Philippian church was filled with mature Christian people; Paul was able to speak wonderful things to them about God and about their walk with Him. Being a Roman province in Macedonia, he came to the Romans and found great success with the gospel, and the Romans were happy to receive it, being tired of their paganistic religions; nobody believed in them anymore; they were just made-up religions that people attributed to their prosperity and blamed for their misfortunes. The essence of paganism is superstition with some of their ideas originating from ancient antiquity. Jesus said that the fields were white with harvest, and it was revealed that the people were sick of their paganistic beliefs and ready for change.

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. 

 

Act 16,13-26

(82g) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Where to pray (prayer closet) – Prayer is truly an art form, and with all art forms there is a way to do it for each person, and for Paul and Silas it meant finding a quiet place by a river. They looked for a place that was conducive to prayer; Jesus did the same thing, going to the mountains and frequenting the Garden of Gethsemane, a place that made Him feel at home. For Paul and Silas, they sought a place that would be conducive to forgetting their problems and breaking through the darkness of this world to regain the mind of Christ. It was easier to communicate with God in a setting where His beauty bloomed. While they prayed, Paul and Silas yearned to listen to the river gurgling around rocks and watched the hypnotic current move sticks and debris downstream and participated with the trees and plants that grew around them and the animals that bustled through the forest. Although their prayers may have been about weighty subjects, these visual reminders helped them articulate their pressing needs to the Lord, and helped them remember that God's simplicity, peace and joy were more important than having the favor of man.

Act 16,13-18

(54g) Paradox >> Opposites >> The difference between our prayer meetings and God’s prayer meetings -- These verses go with verse 25

(233h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seek His glory without wavering >> Seek His glory by faith -- These verses go with verse 25

Act 16-13

(150a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Invitation to the Kingdom of God – There are two ways people get themselves tied into knots: either through sin, which has the effect of hardening their hearts so they can’t believe the truth; or else they try to keep the Law and become self-righteous. Either sin hardens our hearts or self-righteousness repels the Holy Spirit's attempts to draw us to Christ, but Lydia was able to dodge both of these bullets. The pitfall of self-righteousness in keeping the law is in comparing self with others, when the issue actually lies with God. Receiving God’s grace is our righteous, but those who follow the law feel that God has already accepted them. In Lydia's case, she didn’t harden her heart, because she kept the Law for conscience sake, which protected her heart from sin, acting as a placeholder until the knowledge of Christ should come, and Paul and Silas were speaking a message that was the missing piece. She waited for God to reveal what she needed, who imparted His righteousness into her through the indwelling Holy Spirit. She understood that obeying the law would lead her to the righteousness she sought through faith. Lydia did not know how God would impart His righteousness, until she heard the gospel through Paul, and the moment she heard, she immediately recognized that it was what she had been seeking all her life. The moment she heard that Jesus sacrificed Himself for the sins of the world and then rose from the dead to prove He was savior of those who believed, she immediately accept Him as her righteousness. It sounded to her like something God would do, being that it accounted for all the temple sacrifices that Israel performed for fifteen hundred years since Moses. See also: Act 16-14; 90c

(248c) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> The will of God >> The will of God is sometimes a mystery -- This verse goes with verse 16

 

14&15 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.

 

Act 16-14,15

(208b) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You and your household shall be saved -- These verses go with verses 31-34

(252j) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God by your lifestyle – Lydia was a gentile, and the fact that the Bible honors her as a worshipper of God means that she was not a pagan worshipper of idols but a worshipper of Israel’s God. In other words, she understood the manuscripts of the Jewish faith and because of them rejected all the pagan teachings of her time. She knew Israel worshipped the one true God, who was not like any of the pagan idols. She believed all that was written in the Law and the prophets, and she lived according to Jesus’ statement without ever hearing it, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ (Mat 7-12), which is the essence of the law. To do this was essentially to worship God, even though she didn’t know the particulars regarding the gospel until Paul and Silas came and told her about Him, and the moment she heard, she believed. It was like Jesus said in Jn 6-45, “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Act 16-14

(8f) Responsibility >> Prepare to interact with God >> Law prepares you for the Spirit The very obvious implication of this verse is that this woman, Lydia, responded to the gospel because she had a solid foundation previously laid from the Old Testament which prepared her heart to believe the things spoken by Paul, proving that if a person followed the teachings of the old covenant, it would lead her to the new.

(31i) Gift of God >> Grace >> Having the ability to respond to the word – This is a short story about Lydia being born-again as a worshipper of God prior to hearing the gospel. She was not a worshipper of just any god but the God of Israel, though she was a gentile, the first convert to the Philippian Church. Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” (Jn 6-45). Lydia heard and learned from the Old Testament in that she followed in the footsteps of Abraham and observed the Mosaic Law, so when the word of God came, the soil of her good heart was already cultivated and she immediately receive the gospel of Christ. Her life was not cluttered with sin and unbelief, and she was already accustomed to the ways of God, so when Paul opened His mouth, Lydia immediately recognized his words as truth from God. She believed Jesus went to the cross for her, because she knew God loved her.

(90c) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It prepares your heart to receive Christ – Lydia was prepared to receive the gospel as a worshipper of God, which gave her a sixth sense about the word of God, and she received Jesus as her savior right there at the river’s edge. We worship God by doing what He says, and what did He tell us to do in the Old Testament? He commanded us to fill our mind and heart and our hands and feet with the law of God, so the law acted as Lydia’s tutor that led her to Christ. If we are chronic breakers of the law, our sin will lead us away from the truth, so when we hear it, we won’t recognize it. One of the many consequences of sin is that it numbs our mind to the truth, and instead molds us to the world, which corrals nations and societies into its lies and corruption. See also: Act 16-13; 150a

(118e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Seeing through the eyes of your spirit >> Eyes of your soul

(219d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God transforms the world into the Church >> God chooses to speak to whomever He wishes

(222k) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> Give to him who has >> Whoever has shall more be given – Lydia was a worshipper of Israel's Old Testament God, having never heard the gospel until this faithful morning. The ultimate sacrifice of idol worshippers is to kneel before a hand crafted image and ask it for help, but Lydia worshipped God who created the heavens and the earth. Regardless of the nation, generation or culture, everybody throughout time has had an opportunity to worship the true God of heaven as Lydia did, yet many prefer rather to kneel before molded plastic or fashioned steel. They don't use the good common sense God has given them to simply look into the sky and see his twinkling witnesses testifying that God is far greater than any god men can imagine. They have every opportunity to know this, but being willfully ignorant they close their eyes to the truth.

(238b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the will of man – Did Lydia already have the Holy Spirit dwelling in her prior to her visit with Paul? Was the born-again experience available also to old covenant worshippers? King David said, “Do not take your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps 51-11), indicating that he possessed the Holy Spirit, but was he referring to the kings anointing? The short answer to these questions is that the indwelling Holy Spirit was not available to anyone until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Being born-again was never mentioned in the Old Testament; Jesus was the first to introduce the concept in the gospel of John chapter three; He breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” in Jn 20-22. This happened after He had risen from the dead and before He ascended to the Father, so Jesus disciples were born-again prior to Pentecost, which represents the power to manifest the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Act 16-15

(69h) Authority >> Righteous judgment >> Meditate on discernment >> Judging what is pure

(102l) Thy kingdom come >> Faithfulness (Loyalty) >> Tried and true >> Faithfulness

(191ba) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism >> Baptism symbolizes death, burial and resurrection >> Baptism is a sign of faith

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

16&17 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."

 

Act 16,16-34

(98j) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith à Suffering [Circumstances] à Glory [Victory])

Act 16,16-24

(18l) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Evil is good >> Loving bondage – Note that Paul spoke to the spirit and not to the girl. Note also that she had masters that oppressed her, indicating the ill-treatment she suffered at the hands of her masters, being supposedly upstanding citizens, and suggesting a deep level of bondage she endured in addition to the demonic hold on her. She was oppressed on every side, and thus had nothing but oppression to offer as a fortuneteller. Her life meant nothing to anyone; not even Paul cast the devil out of her in hope that she would be saved, for she was never mentioned again, assuming her life ended in tragedy. The gospel does that to some people and saves others, depending on whether they are in a position to receive it; if not, their lives can be ruined. Note also that the girl was interested in being delivered, because otherwise the demon would have hidden behind the woman’s willingness to stay. Hence, there was potential for her to be saved except that it was impossible to get her away from her masters. It was really an ugly situation where the gospel just doesn’t work for some people, referring not to the girl but to her masters.

(75l) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Creating a no-win situation – Paul was patient for a long time before he cast out the devil from this slave girl. He didn’t do it in attempt to evangelize the community, but because he was sick of the harassment; it was hindering their work in evangelism. Paul was hesitant to exercise the demon in that neither Paul nor the girl were in a position to keep the demons away from her, so he was trying to spare her, knowing that after he cast out the demon, they would just return, “with seven others more wicked than itself, and the last state of that [woman] becomes worse than the first” (Lk 11-26). He deferred putting her in such a spiritual battle that she was destined to lose. 

(163i) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy the Church – It is ironic that the demon-possessed girl was not as evil as her masters. Paul could see that these people were incredibly wicked and evil, that they were one with the demons, similar to the Pharisees and chief priests who had Jesus crucified.

(175b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Using religion as a front 

(200g) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Excuses for rejecting Christ >> Selfish ambition >> Putting your own personal interests above God

(242e) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecuting God >> Persecuting the power of God

Act 16,16-21

(96h) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an attitude of humility

(179h) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> False prophets >> Prophesy truth with an evil motive – All this time Paul and Silas were just looking for a place of prayer, and opportunities to administer the gospel kept interrupting them. This place was extremely fertile in terms of evangelism. They met Lydia and her whole family and now a woman practicing divination with her masters. For days she followed Paul and Silas proclaiming them to be bondservants of the Most High God. The last thing they needed was the devil helping them preach the gospel, and notice how the devil was helping them; he placed the emphasis on Paul and Silas, consequently de-emphasizing their message of the cross. The problem with demons preaching the gospel is that even if they spoke the truth, it would still be a lie. The devil will tell us an outright lie or he will tell us the truth with an evil motive; either way, we never hear straight talk from demons. For the devil to do this was fulfilling his own agenda, which conflicted with God’s purpose for Paul and Silas. Is there still a question that fortune telling is evil? Anyone who goes to a fortuneteller will at best be processed by a con artist, or at worst get their fortune read by the devil, which will probably not end on a fortunate note. No matter what she says, invariably if a person acted on it would lead to darkness and despair.

(181d) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Lawlessness >> Lawlessness is no excuse for sin >> Sinning under the law is still lawlessness

(198g) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Ordained by man >> Having evil motives for seeking leadership positions >> In the ministry for their own personal gain

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Act 16,16-18

(7e) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> God defends His own word – These verses go with verses 22-26. Note that Paul never attempted to evangelize either these men nor the girl; instead, Paul sought to preach the gospel to those who were open to it. Paul said that he was obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish (Rom 1-14), but he wasn’t obligated to those who weren't interested. Missionaries go to countries and try to preach the gospel to a people who don’t want to hear it; they ought to go where people are listening.

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits

(71c) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have authority over demons

(146d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> They know the Holy Spirit – There is demon-control and then there is demon-possession, and this story showcases them both. Possession comes when submitting to demons, whereas control occurs when people are open to their ideas and mindsets, who are then taught about god, which they use to repel God’s truth and keep people in the dark. These men controlling this girl were psychopaths with no semblance of a conscience. They were not demon-possessed, yet they were far more given to evil than the girl, Paul knowing he would never be able to reach her with the gospel because of them. No one knows how this story ended; all Paul could do was exorcize the demon within her. Most likely, since there is no reason given in Scripture to believe anything else, these men probably held this girl captive until the demon returned with seven others more wicked than itself (Mat 12-45).

(159m) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit truth

(183d) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Witchcraft >> Anointing of error – This girl followed Paul and Silas chanting that they were bondslaves of the Most High God, and Paul got sick of it and rebuked the spirit and it immediately left her. It says that Paul spoke to the spirit and not to the girl and exorcized the demon, putting no responsibility on the girl who was possessed. Paul didn’t cast it from her the moment he realized she was possessed, knowing there would be consequences; it came to a point that if he didn’t do something he wouldn’t accomplish his objectives in evangelizing their community. This demonic spirit followed the evangelists throughout the city, apparently with her masters trailing her, making a profit on account of the apostles, who didn’t want this demonic spirit in any way relating the gospel to the public. In a sense this demonic spirit was attempting to preach the gospel instead of Paul, with the obvious objective of interjecting confusion with its demonic insights.

Act 16-16

(248c) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> The will of God >> The will of God is sometimes a mystery -- This verse goes with verses 24&25

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment.

 

Act 16,18-26

(154f) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is godless >> Witness that the world is of the devil – To uproot this worldview that runs deep within the human soul until virtually nothing remains of what once existed of a vast empire within a person is what God intends for each of us. This is what we must do as He places His own kingdom in our hearts and start with a clean slate, born of the Holy Spirit, contrary to the world. The chief magistrates tore their robes and commanded the two to be beaten with rods. They were easily convinced that Paul and Silas were evildoers, deserving punishment for what they had done, yet what did they do but cast out a devil from a slave girl? What does that say about the world but that it is indeed spiritual, satanically spiritual. We Christians see it all as evil and darkness, and the entities behind the scenes that hate God are the things that the world embraces and loves and cherishes. They don’t want anyone like Paul and Silas tampering with their world, and they especially don’t want anyone tampering with the spirit of their world. God created the earth, but demons created the world, entities that reject everything about God. This is why God calls us to be separate from the world.

Act 16,18-24

(164e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> Satan’s hierarchy of evil – 1Jn 5-19 says, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” The world under the power of Satan fought against the message of the gospel. Ever since Adam ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden man entered Satan’s rebellion against God. Jesus said that Satan is ruler of this world (Jn 14-30), and Paul was disrupting his chaos, introducing the gospel of Christ that could make this world a place of peace and joy instead of what Satan is trying to make of it, a battleground for men to slay themselves in war after war. At the cost of his own well-being Paul cast the demon from this girl, and her masters arrested him and brought him before the governors of that city, and of course all the people sided with her evil masters, all being in agreement with the satanic forces that shape this world. Together they decided to punish Paul for what he had done, as though he had broken the law. There was no human law against casting out demons, but there were spiritual laws against it, and those laws were enforced. 

Act 16,18-23

(16h) Sin >> Man’s willingness to be evil >> Being punished for doing God’s will – Paul and Silas were punished for doing the will of God, which often happens to Christians in this world. The masters of this demon-possessed slave girl exploited her, bringing them great profit as a fortuneteller; they claimed she could tell the future and people would pay money to hear what she would say about them. If someone could tell the future it would be valuable, but this girl was a fake, though she was genuinely demon possessed. There is nothing genuine about demons; these men lied about this girl being able to forecast people’s futures, though she could discern the Spirit of God working in Paul and Silas. It was a combination of the message they preached in conjunction with casting out the demon, destroying their hope of profit, that got them in trouble. They went throughout the countryside casting down imaginations and every lofty thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God, and they destroyed the elementary principles of the world: greed, lust and pride. 

(179d) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Stir up the crowd >> Stir up the crowd through jealousy

(186i) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> Having a perverted sense of justice -- Paul cast out the demons that presented the gift of clairvoyance, and the masters of the slave girl refused to recognize the finger of God at work, nor did they fall on their faces and beg God’s forgiveness for working with the devil and oppressing this girl for the mere sake of money. Rather, their response was to take Paul and Silas before the authorities and accuse them of things that were not even crimes. Instead of telling the magistrates that Paul had cast out the demons in this girl, they twisted the story against Paul and Silas that they were being a menace to society, complaining they were Jews (as though that were a crime), and demanding that they should be punished for reasons that had no relevance to their original concerns. Their love of money was their god, being just as malevolent to this slave-girl as the demons that possessed her. This is classic reprobate mentality, and it will become commonplace in the last days. It already is, but it will continue to prevail in society as we get closer to the end. The authorities sided with the owners of the slave-girl, because they harmonized with their world, whereas Paul and Silas were disrupting the general malaise of that place. The world is an interlocking system of motives and incentives that hem out the truth, designed to keep God from sticking His nose into human affairs. These men who controlled the slave-girl were forerunners of their society’s propensity for evil. They couldn’t care less what they did to this girl; the only thing that mattered to them was money. The gospel Paul and Silas preached was too distant from their ability to hear, being unable to believe in the things of God. There are many ways to develop a reprobate mind; the writer of Hebrews talks about this and in other place is says they can never be turned back to repentance but are guilty of an eternal sin, being worldly psychopaths. Not every reprobate is a psychopath, but every psychopath is a reprobate.

Act 16-18

(67f) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Name of Jesus >> Performing miracles in Jesus’ name

(215h) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> The judgments of God come suddenly >> Without delay

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19-22 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20 and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, 21 and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans." 22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. 

 

Act 16,19-24

(16k) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Suppressing the truth they cannot deny

(180e) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Wolves are clever

Act 16,19-23

(166i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> >> The carnal mind cannot discern between good and evil >> The world’s perspective on wealth

Act 16,19-21

(17e) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Based on greed – Look at Act 19,23-27 and compare the similarities. They are exactly the same kind of stories—they are both based on profiting from religious paganism, except that this story is about making money on a prophetess and the other is about making money carving idols. In both cases Paul and Silas threatened to spoil their businesses, and the people running these businesses became very hostile and made up stories against Paul to try to get him killed.

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges

(76c) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Seeking authority for security >> Motives based on greed – Notice these wicked men suddenly became political activists with a penchant for religion, whereas just moments earlier they were in the business of fortune telling. People like this can take off one hat and put on another, assuming new identities at the flip of a switch, and it’s no wonder, they are actors. They don’t know what it’s like to feel; they’re not really alive, though physically maybe, but inside they're dead, and they promote death in their violent lust for wealth and power. They knew the system; instead of mauling Paul and Silas, they took them before the magistrates, appealing to the authorities, who had the same worldly mindset as they, believing and speaking what they understood, placing the authorities on their side to make themselves look normal. In contrast, Paul and Silas preached a gospel that was more alien to the world than creatures from outer space. Paul and Silas were calling them to give up all these things and to cleave to another Spirit that is from God, and participate in another kingdom that runs by different principles, one opposite the world regarding everything they knew and believed. For this reason most people wanted nothing to do with these preachers of righteousness. These wicked men walked away Scot-free, but their time was coming; God has a place designated for them in the lower pits of hell, where they will suffer forever and ever; meanwhile, Paul and Silas were singing hymns in jail. For most people, the world is far too substantial and compelling to relinquish, and the Kingdom of God is far too intangible and foreign to accept.

(164g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> His elementary principles of the world

(166e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Nature Of Man’s Wisdom >> Man’s wisdom is fixed on gaining personal advantage

Act 16,22-31

(152c) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Investment of their lives proves apostleship

Act 16,22-30

(190a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Laying your body on the altar – There are many so-called believers in the Church today who have nothing to do with the process of dying to self, this verse being one of their favorites, because it tells them that all they need to do is believe, but they don’t understand that this jailer as a prerequisite to believing died to self. If we don’t die to self, our sinful nature will sabotage our faith, and all our believing will equal unbelief. What was the one thing the jailer needed to believe about Jesus in order to be saved? God loved him enough to send His own Son to die in his place. The jailer didn’t need to kill himself because Jesus died for him, yet the jailer died to self before he inquired of the disciples. Many people don’t like Christianity because it is too bloody, but they are unaware of the life of the Spirit that results from dying according to the will of God. Dying to self is a spiritual form of suicide. We are to be just as ruthless to our sinful flesh as the Romans were to the flesh of Jesus. God has commanded us to starve our sinful nature, what a horrible way to go. Much as Jesus suffered on the cross, at least it only took one day, whereas starving takes weeks, and when it comes to dying to sin, it is a lifelong process. Our sinful nature lays there almost dead, and then we give it a bowl of soup (Heb 12,15-17), it revives and begins telling us what to do, and we start struggling with sin, and the whole process starts all over again. We never learn. We pity our sinful nature for starving it; that is our mistake; it never fully dies, like a zombie that is alive and dead at the same time in ways we don’t understand. It goes into a torpid state and just waits for us to give it a crumb and then revives to subdue us.

Act 16,22-25

(188e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Suffering the will of God in your life

Act 16,22-26

(7e) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> God defends His own word – These verses go with verses 16-18

Act 16-22,23

(229ib) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking of Jesus’ suffering >> Promoting the gospel causes suffering

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

23&24 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 

 

Act 16,23-34

(192a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your life to gain God’s life – After the earthquake and the prisoners assumed escaped, the jailer’s life was essentially useless to him, because his superiors would eventually hear of it and execute him. In fact, he was in the process of committing suicide when Paul yelled at him to stop, and when he heard Paul’s voice from the inner cell, it must have sounded like the voice of an angel. In his mind he was already dead, so when he saw these men still in their cell though their stocks were unfastened and the doors loosed, they appeared to him as saviors, so that all Paul had to do was direct him to the true Savior, who not only saved his life but also reserved a place for him in heaven. Paul and Silas lived for the words, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The jailer had a type of baptism prior to being literally baptized. He already suffered death in his mind; the jailer knew something that most Christians today don’t know, that Christianity is about life for life between God and man, but Christianity today is like the Israelites who camped below Mount Sinai waiting for Moses with the laws of God. It says, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” (Ex 32-6), having nothing in them committed to God; no net change occurred in them after the commitment God showed through the miracles He performed to release them from the Egyptians. In contrast, after the jailer saw his own death played before him, he figured he might as well give his life to Jesus. Life for life, that is the true gospel, but today people think Jesus gave His life for us with no expectation on us, and most Christians don’t want God telling them how to live, but this is not Christianity of the Bible. This jailer experienced a genuine conversion. It’s hard to say what people are experiencing today, but most of it doesn’t seem genuine. The jailer was indebted to Paul and Silas for not running, basically saving his life, and he realized that these guys actually cared about his eternal soul; they wanted to see him in heaven, even though he showed them no kindness or mercy. It wouldn’t have done Paul and Silas any good to run anyway, since they would have become fugitives, and eventually the authorities would have caught up with them and then they would have been in real trouble.

Act 16-24,25

(121a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Content with your way of life >> Content in any circumstance -- These two men were completely devoted to God's cause. They didn't care what happened to them, they only wanted to bless the Lord in their impossible situation. They took advantage of the circumstances and emphasized their loyalty to God, and He in turn took advantage of the situation, proving His loyalty to them. These men sought God's blessing and received it through contentment. 

(248c) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> The will of God >> The will of God is sometimes a mystery -- These verses go with verse 13

 

25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 

 

Act 16,25-34

(94h) Thy kingdom come >> God’s perspective >> His perspective on the witnesses of Jesus

(124h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love your enemies >> Loving your enemies leaves room for God to Work >> Leave room for the salvation of God – It was love that came to the rescue. It rescued everybody involved, including Paul and Silas, and it introduced light into the jailers life and house. He was the light bearer in that he was enlightened; suddenly he could see through the darkness; love opened the eyes of the blind. We can preach the gospel until we are blue in the face and the vast majority will never be affected, but if we have love, many will associate it with our gospel and recognize that we are in possession of the truth. In other words, love proves the gospel. Love is such a strong proof that even if Paul and Silas were crackpot fanatics of a religious sect, the jailer still would have adopted their beliefs, but the question is what religion would have stayed there to save the jailer? We know Christianity did, any others? What did Jesus say about false teachers and wolves? “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them” (Jn 10-12). The jailer owed his life to Paul and Silas because of love, who saved this man’s life. Those who preach a false gospel would have fled, because they don’t have any substance, being in it only for themselves. Had Paul and Silas been preaching amiss, their religion would not have mattered enough to stay behind to make a convert of this jailer.

(146i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Purpose of Miracles, Signs And Wonders >> Proof that Jesus is the son of God >> That the world may be saved

(233e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seek The Kingdom With Your Essence >> Seek the Kingdom of God with your whole life

Act 16,25-32

(148i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Ambassador in chains – Something beautiful transpired that night in a rotten dungeon and in evil circumstances. It seemed that wickedness would prevail, but not in an environment of faith, for Paul and Silas maintained a positive attitude throughout their suffering, because they knew they were in the will of God, who was responsible for them going to Macedonia in the first place, and for this reason they were confident that their labors would bear fruit, for God was in control and would make something good come of all the evil that had come upon them. For them to cop a negative attitude at this point and get angry and vindictive about the people who abused them would have squelched the moment and salvation would not have occurred, and all their suffering would have been in vain. Rather, they continued following the Holy Spirit, not knowing where it would lead, but believing He would escort them into the glory of God, who turned the whole situation into an opportunity for the jailer's salvation and his family, which was the purpose of their visit. It was not up to them to decide where they would go and what they should do, for these were God’s choices, how much they would suffer and who would be saved as a result of their ministry.

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Act 16,25-31

(102m) Thy kingdom come >> Faithfulness (Loyalty) >> Loyalty is unswerving

Act 16,25-30

(39f) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Victory >> He overcame every circumstance

(231b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Solving the mystery of godliness >> The mystery is solved in contentment

(236b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our bondage is for your sake

Act 16-25,26

(29h) Gift of God >> God is on our side >> He fights our battles for us -- These verses go with verses 37-40

(87f) Thy kingdom come >> Ministry to God through obedience >> The obedience of prayer

(111h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Kingdom of God revealed >> Word plus signs and wonders -- These verses go with verses 30-32

(118l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Spirit delivers you from the desire to sin

(126g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace >> Peace in the midst of the storm

(215a) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God Has Good Timing >> God is always right on time

(224g) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The joyful kingdom >> Rejoicing in heaven – We have the testimony of Paul and Silas rejoicing in difficulty after he had been severely beaten and thrown in prison and shackled. He and his friends began singing hymns and making merry, as though sitting around the fireplace with family and friends eating crumpets and sipping on apple cider and eggnog. An earthquake occurred and opened the jail cell and their stocks all fell off their feet, but they didn’t run because they wanted to save the jailer (and because they were not criminals). Their suffering didn’t matter; it was the jailer’s salvation that mattered. It wasn’t their freedom they wanted; it was the jailer’s freedom they sought, freedom from the sentence of hell and from the bondage of sin. Paul’s suffering was temporal; he knew it would eventually end. In his flesh his hardships seemed long, arduous and grueling, and he got tired of it, but he lived and walked by faith and knew all things would pass; however, if the jailer didn’t find Jesus, his sentence of hell would not pass.

(246c) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literally set free from bondage

Act 16-25

(54g) Paradox >> Opposites >> The difference between our prayer meetings and God’s prayer meetings -- This verse goes with verse 29

(125c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of investing in the kingdom >> Investing in a life of adversity

(233h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seek His glory without wavering >> Seek His glory by faith -- This verse goes with verses 13-18

(252g) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship God >> Worship God who is Spirit >> Worship God in prayer

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26&27 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 

 

Act 16,26-34

(131f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Brother depends on you >> To do the will of God

Act 16,26-31

(43e) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to Christ’s ministry to the world

Act 16,26-30

(38g) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection of freedom

(238c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the resurrection

Act 16-26,27

(215g) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> The judgments of God come suddenly >> Without warning

Act 16-26

(147c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> God exercises authority over His creation

Act 16,27-34

(235a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Be a blessing >> God blesses those around you – This is a popular verse, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” Just about anybody can do that, but not everybody can be saved. Why is it that believing in Jesus anybody can do, yet not everybody can be saved? We need to look into the context of this verse to discover exactly what Paul was saying to the guard that night. There was an earthquake that broke the jail cell open; their chains were unfastened and were free to leave, but Paul and Silas knew if they left, this poor jailer would lose his life. His superiors would have executed him the next day for losing his prisoners, so they stayed with him, requesting that he do himself no harm. The jailer was already going after his sword to kill himself when Paul called to him, “we are all here.” The jailer knew exactly what this meant. If they were common criminals, they would have escaped; the jailer’s fate would have been sealed, but Paul and Silas were not criminals; they were spokesmen for the God of heaven, just as they claimed. To remain there was the ultimate act of love toward the jailer, saving his life by not running. He was already dead, in his mind his life flashed before him, his natural life terminated, yet he was still alive, ready to believe in Jesus by evidence of a question he asked his new friends, “What must I do to be saved?”

Act 16,27-30

(156g) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Manifesting the Holy Spirit is evidence of salvation – God manifested Himself in three ways to effect salvation: first by the earthquake, then by the disciples who stayed after the opportunity to escape had been given them, and finally by the Holy Spirit that God placed in the jailer's heart after he asked how to be saved. One was a physical manifestation while the other two were spiritual in nature. The jailer saw the love that was in Paul and his friends, after they had been mistreated, maligned and hated by everyone; for them to not escape incited the jailer to a revelation that he needed to know their God.

Act 16,27-29

(87l) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Minister to people through obedience -- These verses go with verses 1-3

Act 16-27

(159e) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit repentance

(190dc) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Figurative suicide >> Die to self for Jesus' sake

(196j) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Replacing God’s standard of excellence with yours >> Sleeping in the spirit

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28&29 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!" 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,

 

Act 16,28-30

(246g) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of His power

Act 16-28

(64j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> Foolishness of God

(120d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Forgiveness >> Forgiving your brother >> As God has forgiven you

(124f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Love does not seek its own

(190d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Self-afflictions that are against the will of God

(216c) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God takes advantage of your love for Him >> He forces you by your desire for His calling – Earlier in verse 23 it says that they struck them with many blows before they threw them in prison, and the apostles didn’t even seem to care; they were singing hymns of praise to God in their prison cell. The guards made the mistake of keeping the disciples together, and the joy of their anointing rose in hymns of praise to God who made the earth quake. The jailer was about to commit suicide after assuming he lost his prisoners, but Paul called to him from his inner cell, his voice carrying like the melodies they had been singing earlier, and with great trembling he came to them. The jailer never gave these guys a thought until the earth shook beneath his feet, figuring they were just a couple wild religious zealots preaching a about a man who allegedly came to life from the dead, but the moment it had application to his life it made all the difference in the world. He was now ready to be saved, who suddenly realized there was substance to their message and truth to what they were speaking. Finally he realized they were risking their lives to bring the gospel message to the people, after they gave their lives to him. He had no idea what motivated them, until Paul told him they were all still in attendance, then suddenly he knew they were motivated by love; the enormity of their cause derived from the living God. Suddenly he had to know their God too.

(245h) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of God’s righteous judgment >> The resurrection is a manifestation of His life

Act 16,29-34

(123i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Emotional situations – The jailer couldn’t believe his captives were still present; the fact that they didn’t run was equivalent to the jailer being executed and then rising from the dead. After this experience he might as well get saved, since baptism also represents: death, burial and resurrection. The jailer went from the fear of being killed to the fear of God all in a matter of seconds along a roller coaster ride of emotions, and he came to rest realizing that these two strangers were his best friends. The jailer suddenly realized he had wasted his whole life not knowing how God felt about him; he also knew that the dedicated purpose of Paul and Silas was to preach the gospel of the kingdom and teach the word of God to the world, but he never stopped to think that any of this was relevant to anyone or applied to him, until he found his life in their hands. The jailer fell on his knees and got saved and the evangelists attended to him, and his whole family got saved that night.

Act 16,29-31

(88j) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> It causes repentance – Prior to the earthquake the jailer was content to follow orders from his superiors, but after the earthquake, the jailer’s attitude made a 180-degree turn, and now he was ready to take orders from Paul and Silas. Prior to the earthquake the jailer figured his prisoners belonged to some kind of fanatical religious sect, but after the earthquake he realized the only thing keeping his prisoners there was the truth. What convinced the jailer that these guys were of the truth? It was their love! This was an act of selfless love on the part of Paul and Silas. Had they fled, the jailer’s life wouldn't have been worth a plug nickel, for he would have been arrested, tried and executed all in one day, because he lost his prisoners (Act 12-19). So basically, Paul and Silas saved the jailer’s life at the risk of their own. The authorities were holding the apostles for the next day when they would determine their fate, which would have entailed a long jail sentence if not death, so they had all kinds of motivation to flee the scene and avoid this trouble, but they stayed for the jailer's sake.

(205i) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith is the work of God – God was protecting his prophets; He always has a plan, and He wasn’t done with Paul and Silas and they knew it. They knew all they had to do was obey the Holy Spirit and everything would work for the best, and whatever suffering incurred they could endure. God can achieve goals in ways that make no sense to the natural mind. He knew the jailer and his family would get saved if the apostles didn’t run; sometimes walking in love is a matter of sitting. The jailer couldn’t believe it when he saw them still there, for it amounted to his salvation. First he was physically saved, and then he was spiritually saved. The words flowing from his lips, “What must I do to be saved?” were like music to the ears of the apostles. No matter how outrageous the decision, which is often the case, so long as the Holy Spirit was in charge, they would yield the most fruit and bless the most people if they obeyed Him. Walking by the Spirit is living a miraculous life, and those who walk by the Spirit are strange people; they do things that nobody really understands, until harvest time when the grain comes pouring into the silo. So long as they are producing fruit, it doesn’t matter that people are confounded by their actions. We are here to please our Master; whatever He wants we will do, even at the cost of our lives, because we are going to heaven. Often the beginning of a decision is more confusing than the end of it, because circumstances change and people are saved and blessed, the gospel is spread, the light of the truth shines brighter, the anointing increases, joy is celebrated and Jesus is glorified. It is a matter of following the Spirit, though it is not always easy.

Act 16-29,30

(234b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seeking the glory of His favor

Act 16-29

(54g) Paradox >> Opposites >> The difference between our prayer meetings and God’s prayer meetings -- This verse goes with verses 13-18

(171k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Outward appearance is not important

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

30-34 and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.

 

Act 16,30-34

(87ia) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Those who obey believe in God >> Those who obey the Holy Spirit – We need to look at some of the assumptions regarding this story that are missing in many people’s lives who claim to believe in Jesus. Remember, the jailer’s life was over; he was about to kill himself; he was already dead in his own mind. Paul taught that we are to die to self, and the jailer had already met that criterion. There are many people in the Church today who claim to believe in Jesus but refuse to accept the process of dying to self. They believe the gospel in a way that all obligations and responsibilities are with God, and they have no obligations or responsibilities, except to believe in a set of doctrines.

Act 16,30-32

(111h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Kingdom of God revealed >> Word plus signs and wonders -- These verses go with verses 25&26

Act 16-30,31

(207j) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The generosity of God’s salvation >> Salvation is the gift of God – Not every jailer would have responded this way. Anyone would have been happy Paul and Silas didn't run, but not everyone would have shown an interest in salvation as a result. This jailer saw the sincerity in the apostles and saw that their message was real by the love they showed. He realized that what Paul was saying was true, that there was a God in heaven who loved him and was seeking him through them, and suddenly realized he was valuable to God. When the jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” he must have gone through a litany of answers he might hear, some no doubt ridiculous, so when Paul said, all you have to do is believe, the jailer was already doing that, being what prompted him to ask the question in the first place.

Act 16-30

(89e) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wise questions – This event was probably the fulfillment of a recurrent dream in Paul’s night visions of people asking him how to be saved, being his number one joy in life to lead people to Christ and seeing the body of Christ grow both spiritually and numerically. This question, “what must I do,” regarding the things of God surfaces just before revival. The prison guard heard Paul and his friends singing songs when the earth quaked, destroying the jailhouse and making an opening for the prisoners to escape. Had the guard lost his prisoners, he would have lost his life, and so Paul and his friends literally saved his life by staying there. He was in the process of falling on his sword when Paul called to him, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” After Paul and his friends saved the man from suicide, the jailer wanted a more spiritual salvation. This indicates that he had heard about the message of salvation that the apostles preached, yet neither the jailer nor the citizens of his country understood the gospel, saved from what? However, we know that people must be saved from the sentence of eternal damnation apart from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power (2The 1-9). After Paul and his friends physically saved the jailer, he suddenly realized that whatever salvation they were preaching, he wanted it, knowing that if he didn’t do what they said, all the calamities they were warning would certainly befall him. The message didn’t have any significance until they saved him in this life, and then he saw that these guys were not from just another religious sect. Before the earthquake he heard the men singing songs in their miserable circumstances. He didn’t understand the dynamics between himself and the evangelists, the world and the devil. The evangelists were not renegades, their enemies were actually God’s enemies; the world was running from God, and the devil was pushing mankind under the bus. The dynamics between the jailer and God is least understood in that God was both his best friend and his worst enemy. The evangelists were trying to save the world from God’s wrath, yet this same God sent Jesus Christ to save us from His own wrath.

(230f) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of the ministry of the saints – The jailer got saved the moment he realized Paul and His friends remained in attendance, basically saving his life at the risk of their own. He wanted to know what he had to do to be saved. He was under the assumption that he had to do something, and he was probably half afraid of what Paul would say, but he had made up his mind that whatever he said, he would do, because he had come to a revelation that the gospel Paul and Silas preached they believed with their lives, and this was something the jailer thought was important. The apostles understood that God released them with an earthquake, though it was not His intension that they should flee, for the jailer would have died as a result, nor that they should become fugitives, and so these men realized that they could not leave. By remaining there it became a win-win situation for everyone. God released his servants, and He added more souls to His kingdom. By morning Paul and his friends returned to jail and were released by the authorities, probably walking out the gaping hole that God had made just to prove the point that if their Master wants them free, no one can’t keep them. When the authorities officially released them, they took their time leaving, visiting with their friends, the officers biting their fingernails, for the apostles had the upper hand.

Act 16,31-34

(208b) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> You and your household shall be saved -- These verses go with verses 14&15. God wants to make the association between baptism at the moment of faith by baptizing the jailer immediately, so he could better see the symbolism and understand the meaning behind the ceremony, that it represents the work of the Holy Spirit through the bloodstained cross. Note that his whole house believed; it wasn’t even a question. He didn’t need to convince his family members. This is the way it was back then; the husband and father was leader of the house, and whatever he decided, the rest of his family rallied behind him. Nowadays when the husband gets saved, it means almost nothing to the wife or his children, because people are not connected to each other like they were back then. People are now isolated and independent, not interrelated and codependent.

Act 16-33

(215k) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> Working quickly -- This verse goes with verse 10

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

35-40 Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, "Release those men." 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace." 37 But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out." 38 The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city. 40 They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

 

Act 16,35-40

(179c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees >> The world runs into the Church to escape God’s judgment

(180cb) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Fighting off wolves with a clever innocence >> Being more bold than their cleverness

Act 16,36-40

(19i) Sin >> Hardened heart will twist your mind

(62i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Taking advantage of the circumstances

(123b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Being bold in the position God has given you – By the time Paul and Silas left town they were back in control again. This was God pulling strings and manipulating circumstances in favor of His bondservants. Paul’s attitude was, ‘We’ll leave when we’re good and ready.’ This was Paul posturing to his enemies, knowing that he would be back, and he wanted the fear of God in them, making sure they understood that they did not get the best of them. Paul showed that he was not afraid of them, ‘You can beat me, but you will not make me fear you.’ They had no power over them; Paul really knew how to deal with people. He was smart; he loved God and His elect; he understood politics and he was 150% committed to the cause of Christ, being willing to accept whatever came his way in the process of bringing the gospel to those who would receive it. suffering was irrelevant to him in accomplishing his one and only objective, burned into him by a righteous and holy God along the road to Damascus. Yes, it hurt to get beaten with rods, but the sacrifice Paul made and the commitment he had to bring the gospel of Christ to the world buffered the pain.

(148d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage as an evangelist regarding the flesh – These verses go with verse 3. Paul was very bold and knew his place in the world and could weave his way through the political landscape, being an educated man, highly experienced in manipulating the system as a Pharisee prior to his conversion. He stood his ground and knew his rights, and he had an ace up his sleeve: being Roman, he he used his status like a passport, which gave him clout in the world. Note that he didn’t have any papers; he just said he was Roman. Paul could have lied, but his enemies readily believed him; why, because he was a Christian? No! People didn’t lie like they do now. Back then people’s word was their bond. Mankind has lied throughout history, but not like they do now. People lie at the drop of a hat, requiring papers for everything. Forging documents is common now, usurping even the paper trail, and victims are virtually losing their identity over it. People don't feel a remote obligation to believe us at our word, such as at border crossings and airports, where we better have our passport or we are not getting on the plane. Apparently, lying was not prevalent in society as it is today. We need to understand this in terms of the last days, that times have not always been this dark and evil, and that no civilization can long endure the prevalence of sin as in our current situation. Someone might ask how bad is it? We have our standard, but God has His! We are living in this world and are too close to it to see its true depravity, like Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, who lost touch with the level of depravity in the culture that surrounded him. When we think in terms of a holy God looking down and seeing the debauchery, we are definitely living under the conditions of the last days.

(154d) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is godless >> Witness that the world does not know God

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Act 16-36,37

(42d) Judgment >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent >> No evidence against you in a court of law

Act 16,37-40

(29h) Gift of God >> God is on our side >> He fights our battles for us -- These verses go with verses 25&26

Act 16-38,39

(23o) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of death

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