Some years later, Paul and his friend Silas went to the town of Philippi, proclaiming the Good News about Jesus. They met a woman named Lydia who sold purple cloth. She loved and worshipped God
God opened her heart to understand the message of Jesus, and she and her family were baptised. She invited Paul and Silas to stay at her house, so they did.
Paul and Silas often went to pray while they were in Philippi. Every day as they walked to the place of prayer, a slave girl possessed by a demon followed them. She was a fortune-teller, and she made a lot of money for her masters.
God’s Word takes a clear position on this subject of fortune-telling, strongly denouncing this and similar practices. Divination, fortune-telling, mediums, spiritualism, necromancy, familiar spirits, wizardry, seances, channeling, clairvoyance, spirit-guides.
“Our fight in this world is not against flesh and blood (human beings), but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual powers in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritualist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD…” —Deuteronomy 18:9-12
You can’t walk with God and hold hands with the devil at the same time.
She kept yelling, “These men are servants of the Most High God. They are telling you the way to be saved!” She did this so often that Paul became annoyed.
One day, Paul turned to her and said to the demon, “In the name of Jesus, come out of her.” Right away the demon left her. As usual the demons where the first to recognise Jesus in a situation. However note the demon referred to the ‘Most High God’. Demons fear the Name of Jesus and the Blood of Christ. There is Power in the Name and in the Blood. Today the enemy tries to have the Name of Jesus removed from everyday life.
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth,
and things under the earth; Phil 2:10
The men who owned the slave girl became very angry when they found out what had happened, because she could no longer make money for them.
So they had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten, and thrown into jail.
Paul and Silas were put in the most secure part of the prison with their feet locked up. In the middle of the night, they were singing songs of praise to God.
Pray, and Praise God if you are in your “prison”. It’s one way to get freedom and deliverance.
Suddenly, the earth shook and the prison doors flew open. All the prisoners’ chains fell off.
When the jailer saw that the doors were open, he planned to kill himself, thinking that all the prisoners had escaped. (He knew he would be killed for letting the prisoners escape.) Paul saw him and yelled, “Stop! Do not hurt yourself. We are all here.”
The jailer was terrified! He took Paul and Silas home, gave them some food, and washed their wounds. Then he said, “What must I do to be saved?”
Paul answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your family will be saved.” Then Paul baptised the jailer and his whole family, and they celebrated together.
The next day the leaders of the city freed Paul and Silas and asked them to leave Philippi. Paul and Silas visited Lydia and some other friends and then left the city. The Good News of Jesus Christ kept spreading, and the Church kept growing.
Paul and other Christian leaders traveled to many cities, preaching and teaching about Jesus. They also wrote many letters to the churches to encourage and teach them about God’s New Covenant. These writings are called the New Testament.