The Holy Spirit's Deliverance Ministry
Paul continued his preaching ministry in that town, Philippi, but his ministry was hindered by a slave girl with a demonic spirit, as we can read in Acts 16:16-17
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by her fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
Though this young girl brought a seemingly very encouraging message, Paul was very disturbed by her words. We wonder how that can be. After all, was she not telling people to listen to him and Silas? Yes, she was. However, Paul discerned that this young girl was not led by the Holy Spirit, but by a demonic spirit and therefore her words would not produce good fruit. Likewise, today we need to know the spirit behind the word of anyone bringing us a message they claim to be from the Lord. In the case of Paul, he cast the spirit out of the slave girl, and his action so enraged her owners that they had him thrown in prison, as we can read in Acts 16:19
When the owners of the slave girl realised that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
Paul and Silas ended up being thrown in prison, and we would expect them to be very discouraged. After all, they had been doing the Lord’s will and should be able to rely on the Lord’s protection of them. However, that did not happen. Instead, He allowed them to be beaten and thrown in prison. What happened next was truly amazing, for these two men, no doubt with their backs still bleeding because of the many lashes they had received, began to worship the Lord, as we can read in Acts 16:25
At about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
In response to their prayers and worship an earthquake took place, as we can read in Acts 16:26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once, all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
The jailer was convinced that all the prisoners had fled and knowing that he would be made responsible for this he was about to kill himself, as we can read in Acts 16:27
The jailer woke up and, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul was able to prevent him from doing so for no-one had escaped, and he and was given the opportunity to share the gospel with this man and his entire household. As a result, the jailer and his family came to faith in Christ Jesus, as we can read in Acts 16:29-34 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds, then immediately he and all his family were baptised. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family.
The Holy Spirit had led Paul to Philippi knowing full well that it would mean imprisonment for Paul and Silas. However, He knew too that it would mean the jailer and his family would hear the truth about Jesus. Just like the Holy Spirit allowed Paul and Silas to suffer so that a jailer and his family would hear the gospel. Likewise, He may allow us to go through difficulties and hardships in order that we may have an opportunity to share the gospel with others.
1a. According to Acts 16:16-17 who followed Paul?
1b. According to Acts 16:16-17 did someone benefit from the slave girl’s predictions?
1c. According to Acts 16:16-17 what did the slave girl say about Paul and the others of his team?
2. Was Paul encouraged by the words of this young girl?
3. Why was Paul disturbed by the words of this young girl?
4. Is it important for us to know the spirit behind the words of anyone bringing us a message they claim to be from the Lord?
5. What did Paul do next?
6. Who became enraged by Paul’s action?
7a. According to Acts 16:19 what action did the owners of the slave girl take?
7b. According to Acts 16:19 why were Paul and Silas dragged into the marketplace by the owners of the slave girl?
8. Where did Paul and Silas find themselves afterwards?
9. Did the Lord protect Paul and Silas?
10. Were Paul and Silas very discouraged and upset with the treatment they had received?
11. According to Acts 16:25 who were listening to the singing and praying of Paul and Silas?
12a. According to Acts 16:26 what happened next?
12b. According to Acts 16:26 what happened as a consequence of the earthquake?
12c. According to Acts 16:26 what happened to the chains of the prisoners?
13. Who would be made responsible if the prisoners had fled?
14a. According to Acts 16:27 what did the jailer want to do?
14b. According to Acts 16:27 why did the jailer want to kill himself?
15. Was the jailer right in believing that all the prisoners had escaped?
16. Who told the jailer that no-one had escaped?
17. What was Paul able to do next?
18a. According to Acts 16:29-34 what did the jailer do next?
18b. According to Acts 16:29-34 what question did the jailer ask Paul and Silas?
18c. According to Acts 16:29-34 what was the answer of Paul and Silas?
18d. According to Acts 16:29-34 where did the jailer take Paul and Silas?
18e. According to Acts 16:29-34 while at his home what kind act did the jailer perform?
18f. According to Acts 16:29-34 who did Paul and Silas baptise after they had preached?
18g. According to Acts 16:29-34 what emotion did the jailer experience after he and his family had been baptised?
18h. According to Acts 16:29-34 why did the jailer experience joy after he and his family had been baptised?
19. Who had led Paul to Philippi?
20. Did the Holy Spirit know that going to Philippi would mean imprisonment for Paul and Silas?
21. Why did the Holy Spirit allow the imprisonment of Paul and Silas?
22. Will the Holy Spirit allow us to go through difficulties?