verses for this week: 2 Th 3:4 And we have
confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the
things which we command you.
2 Th 3:5
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and
into the patient waiting for Christ.
In Chapter 15 , we saw
Paul and Barnabas travel down to Jerusalem to help settle the issue
about the Gentiles being taught by certain men that they must be
circumcised and keep the law of Moses in order to be saved.
They had never taught this in Antioch or any place they had
preached. This was
settled and great joy came on the church when the truth was
broadcast to all the churches.
The chapter closed with Paul leaving on a missionary trip
with Silas while Barnabas left with John Mark on his missionary
work. We discussed
earlier how that Paul and Barnabas were at odds about John Mark
because he had left the first trip without completing the work.
God used this to accomplish even more in the work. And ultimately, Paul and John Mark became great friends
and worked together to spread the Gospel.
Call of Timothy
Acts 16:1 Then
came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was
there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a
Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Acts 16:2 Which was well
reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
Acts 16:3 Him would Paul
have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of
the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his
father was a Greek.
Paul had visited
Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe on his previous missionary journey and
the people there had wanted to worship he and Barnabas as gods.
Later on, they totally switched their feelings and endeavored
to stone Paul to death.
On this second trip, we see the brethren commending Timothy
who had been converted through Paul.
The church believe that Timothy was called of God to give his
life in the ministry of the word.
We see in Paul’s
letter to Timothy, he calls Paul his son in the Lord.
1 Tim 1:18
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the
prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war
a good warfare;
There are several things
pointed out about Timothy in these verses.
His mother was a Jewess, but his father was a Greek. We see that Timothy had a good report from the brethren there
in Lystra and Iconium. We
find in verse 3 that Timothy had been circumcised in order that he
might not be thought of as well with the Jews who were strong in the
traditions and laws of the Old Testament.
We know his mother’s name was Eunice and his
grandmother’s name was Lois due to the record II Timothy 1:5.
2 Tim 1:5
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in
thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother
Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
2 Tim 1:6
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the
gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
2 Tim 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,
and of love, and of a sound mind.
We see from these scriptures
and the earlier one in I Timothy
that Timothy had been instructed in the scriptures from a child, and
was saved under Paul’s ministry.
When you are instrumental in leading someone to the Lord, it
gives a special love between you and that individual.
Several of our members here in our church have come to know
the Lord due to our witnessing on visitation, and I have a deep love
for each of them and a close bond that I don’t think will ever be
broken. We can give
someone money or food, and tomorrow they will possibly need more.
But with salvation, it is eternal, and no greater gift could
be shared as Paul did with young Timothy.
Acts 16:4 And as they
went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to
keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at
Acts 16:5 And so were
the churches established in the faith, and increased in number
As they traveled through the
cities, they delivered unto the brethren the decisions which had
been reached by the apostles and officers of the church there in
Jerusalem. They were to
keep these rules and follow them.
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon
you no greater burden than these necessary things;
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood,
and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye
keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
We see that the churches were
established in the faith and increased in their number daily.
What a joy to see others come to know Christ as Lord and
The Spirit Guides Paul to Macedonia
Acts 16:6 Now when they
had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were
forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Acts 16:7 After they
were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit
suffered them not.
and his company had intended to go into Asia, but they were
forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia.
When the great commission was given, was it not to go into
the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature?
If so, why then was Paul not allowed to go to these specific
places. We do not
always understand all things and God’s timing, but it appears that
the people were not yet ripe for the gospel in Asia as they were in
other parts. Paul was
tender to the leading to the Holy Spirit, and went exactly where God
would have him to go. Later
on, we find Paul went to Ephesus, the chief city of Asia, and had
great success and many were saved.
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul
having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye
believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard
whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And
they said, Unto John's baptism.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of
repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him
which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost
came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
And all the men were about twelve.
John Calvin’s commentary on Acts, he gives his opinion as to why
Paul was not allowed to enter Asia at this time.
“Here there arises another, more difficult question: why
did the Lord forbid Paul to speak in Asia, and why did he not allow
him to come to Bithynia? If
we answer that these Gentiles were unworthy of the doctrine of
salvation, we have to ask why Macedonia was more worthy.
Those who try to be exceedingly wise say that the distinction
is because the Lord considers worthy of his Gospel those whom he
sees to be ready to obey. But
God himself says something quite different—namely, that he
appeared plainly to those who were not looking for him and that he
spoke to those who were not asking about him.
Where do we get an aptness to be taught or a mind to obey but
from His Spirit? So it
is certainly not by merit that some people are preferred before
others; everyone is equally hostile to faith by nature.”
How true that we are all the enemies of God, and none are
truly worthy of salvation.
Acts 16:8 And they
passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
Acts 16:9 And a vision
appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and
prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Acts 16:10 And after he
had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into
Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to
preach the gospel unto them.
Acts 16:11 Therefore
loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia,
and the next day to Neapolis;
see that Paul saw a man in a vision bidding him to come over to
Macedonia to help them. It
says after this, they endeavoured to go there and to preach the
gospel to them. They
board a ship in Troas and head for the country where God desired for
them to go. The
we mentioned is all those with Paul, and we know that Dr. Luke had
joined them, so there was at a minimum of Paul, Timothy, Silas, and
Luke at this time.
Paul and His Company in Philippi
Acts 16:12 And from
thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of
Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain
Acts 16:13 And on the
sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was
wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which
love how that these men moved immediately at the call of the Lord.
Too many times we question and slow the work of the Lord by
our doubting or failure to respond. We see that after they arrive in Macedonia, Paul and his
companions come to the chief city of the country, Philippi.
When the Romans conquered the Greek empire, they divided this
country into provinces, and made Philippi one of the chief cities
and a colony. We see
that after several days, they went out to a prayer meeting outside
of the city by the river.
This was a group of women, and we know Paul’s vision had
been of a man calling. But
God does things sometimes in ways that we may not understand.
The first Soul saved in Europe
Acts 16:14 And a certain
woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira,
which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that
she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Acts 16:15 And when she
was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have
judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide
there. And she constrained us.
it not unusual that the first person saved here in Europe is a
traveler from Thyatira. Lydia
was a fine business woman and here business had taken her there.
But she worshipped God, and came out to this prayer meeting.
When Paul preached the gospel of Jesus to them, she opened
her heart and was saved. We
see that immediately she was baptized after being saved which is the
Lord’s desire. She
then offered her house for a place of lodgment for the missionaries.
Demon is cast out by Paul
Acts 16:16 And it came
to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a
spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by
Acts 16:17 The same
followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants
of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.
Acts 16:18 And this did
she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the
spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of
her. And he came out the same hour.
Acts 16:19 And when her
masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul
and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Acts 16:20 And brought
them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do
exceedingly trouble our city,
Acts 16:21 And teach
customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe,
We see this certain young lady
who had been purchased to make money for her master. (Verse 19)
People were demon possessed commonly in the early years of
the church. It
still happens, and a record was given by J. Vernon McGee in his
study on Acts. “Don’t
think this was just foolish superstition.
This girl was possessed by a demon.
We are seeing a resurgence of demonism in our own day.
I have before me now a letter from a Christian woman in El
Paso, Texas. She got tied up in spiritism by just fooling around
with it, not thinking that it was dangerous.
She has quite a story. It
was hearing the Word of God through our radio program that delivered
her from it. She cried
out to God, and He delivered her. Demonism is a reality. This
girl in Paul’s day was demon possessed. She was a slave girl and
her master were using her to make a big profit.” I want to add that it was unclear when this lady
was saved in this account from Brother McGee.
If the lady was lost and then saved, I would put confidence
in the story. I
personally don’t think any Christian can be demon possessed
because the Holy Spirit comes and indwells in the believer, and God
is greater than any demon and would never let a demon possess us.
But I do believe that demons still possess the lost, and only
through Christ can we be totally rid of them.
We know that young lady saw
Paul and his company for who they were… servants of the most high
God that showed men the way of salvation.
We see by the name of Jesus Christ that Paul casts the evil
spirit from the young lady. Because
of this good deed, the master of the lady caught Paul and Silas and
brought them before the leaders of the city and accused them of
making trouble. When a
man of God stands up and preaches against evil (whatever evil it is
from alcohol, dancing, movies, gambling, homosexuality, fornication,
etc.), be sure that it will trouble the city.
And God needs more men to stand up and take a stand in our
nation today. I saw in
the headlines of the paper yesterday that the ACLU sent a letter to
every high school in the state of Texas threatening them with a
lawsuit if they had prayer before the football games.
It is a sad day when we let a so called liberties union
dictate what we can do and say.
I praise the Lord for those who are standing up and ignoring
the threats. God
help a nation that says on its coins, “In God we trust” and then
turns around and commands that no one pray to that God.
Acts 16:22 And the
multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent
off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Acts 16:23 And when they
had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison,
charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Acts 16:24 Who, having
received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made
their feet fast in the stocks.
We see that because they were
so popular with the leaders, they were given an accommodation from
the city and a free meal.
Far from it.. it says they beat them and laid many stripes
upon them, and put them
in stocks. Being on
God’s side is not necessarily a fun and glamorous job.
But praise the Lord for those who are faithful unto the end.
Conversion of the Philippian Jailer
Acts 16:25 And at
midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the
prisoners heard them.
Acts 16:26 And suddenly
there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison
were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every
one's bands were loosed.
Acts 16:27 And the
keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison
doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself,
supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Acts 16:28 But Paul
cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all
Acts 16:29 Then he
called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down
before Paul and Silas,
Acts 16:30 And brought
them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31 And they
said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and
Acts 16:32 And they
spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his
Acts 16:33 And he took
them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was
baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Acts 16:34 And when he
had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and
rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
We see that instead of
sitting around and feeling sorry for themselves, they began singing
praises to God. Boy
there is something magnetic about true Christian believers.
We live a way beyond the circumstances, knowing God is in
total control. A
popular radio preacher said this week that we need to “Worry about
nothing, and Pray about everything.”
I believe that is excellent advice.
Paul and Silas may have been hurting, but they were willing
to suffer for their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God sent an earthquake and loosed their bands and opened the
prison doors. The
jailor was ready to kill himself, since he would be put to death for
letting a prisoner escape. But
apparently those prisoners had gotten saved by the gospel.
Paul says to do himself no harm, for they were all still
there. If I’ve
ever seen one common thing about prisoners, it is a sure thing that
they will head out the door the moment they get a chance.
But the door was open, and they all stayed.
I believe Paul and Silas had a great effect on these men.
This jailer now asks about how to be saved… he knew these
were no ordinary men. And
notice how simple and straight the message was… “Believe on the
name of the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
The gospel never has been complicated, although man makes it
difficult with all his additions and requirements that are added.
Paul Refuses to Depart
Acts 16:35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants,
saying, Let those men go.
Acts 16:36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The
magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in
Acts 16:37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly
uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do
they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves
and fetch us out.
Acts 16:38 And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and
they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.
Acts 16:39 And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and
desired them to depart out of the city.
Acts 16:40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house
of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them,
When the rulers find out
that Paul was a Roman citizen, they feared.
Free-born citizens of the Roman empire were entitled to trial
and should never have been cast into prison uncondemned.
I think it is interesting to note that Paul could have called
out that he was a Roman, and would never have been beaten.
But he did not, willing rather to suffer for the cause of
Christ. Oh that we
might have that kind of love for the Lord.
After the magistrates came and brought them out of the
prison, they went to the house of Lydia and then departed from the
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and
the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the
Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.
The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons,
or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord
and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Random Acts of Kindness. Each
act spreads, and many will be blessed.