Sunday, September 9, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 43 – The Call of God

From Acts to Revelation
Part 43 – The Call of God
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Last week we left off with Paul and Silas picking up Timothy, and continuing on their Second mission trip.

We also saw how the Holy Spirit prevented them from preaching the gospel in certain areas, causing them to continue traveling to an unknown destination.

Today we will see how God continues to guide them, adding Luke to the group, and giving Paul a vision.

We will also see how we do not battle against flesh and blood, but our battle is a spiritual one.


Acts 16:9-18
During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a]of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.17 She 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.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
a.      Remember, the Holy Spirit was leading them on their second mission trip.
i.       They tried to enter into the region of Phrygia and Galatia, but were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to stop and speak.

ii.    They traveled past Mysia, Bithynia, and finally stopped in Troas.

b.     Paul, traveling with Silas and Timothy, has a vision in the night.
i.       A man in Macedonia (a part of modern Greece), came to him asking for help.

ii.    This Second mission trip would bring the Gospel to the West for the first time!

c.      From “They” to “We”
i.       We see from scripture, up to this point, Luke, who authored the Book of Acts, goes from referring to Paul's group as “They”, to “We”

ii.    This shows us that by this time, Luke has joined Paul, Silas and Timothy on this Second Mission trip.

d.     When Paul awoke, he knew that God had showed him the vision to lead him into Macedonia.

a.      They travel through Samothracia, Neapolis
i.       This would be the very first presentation of the Gospel on European soil

ii.    This was the beginning place of Western Civilization

b.     They traveled from Nealopis to Philippi
i.       Philippi is he chief city of Macedonia, what we call a Capital

ii.    A Roman colony.

c.      Though they faced hardships there, a Church was established.
d.     There they spoke with a woman's prayer group

e.      A woman named Lydia, responded to Paul's message
i.       Her and her household were baptized.

ii.    Lydia worked outside the home

iii. She had her own business, dealing in purple cloth

f.       She invited Paul, Silas, Timothy and now Luke to her home.

a.      On the way to prayer, a woman possessed with a spirit of divination
i.       A slave who made money for her masters by predicting the future

ii.    The Bible does not say that fortune-telling, witchcraft, magic, etc, is not says that these things come from evil-sources, and must be avoided.

iii. This woman did these things because it wasn't her, but the power of the evil spirit which possessed her.

b.     She followed and mocked Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke for days
i.       Saying to all, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who show us the way to Salvation”

c.      Paul, annoyed, turned to THE SPIRIT
i.       Paul does not address the woman, but the evil spirit.

ii.    Ephesians 6:12 “For we battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

d.     “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.”

Now the slave was no longer possessed, which created a problem for her masters, who could no longer make money from her fortune-telling.

If you want to get a worldly man upset, mess with his money.

We will see that these men did not serve God, but money was their master, and they did not care they were using evil to gain it, they only cared about gaining it. And when the Apostles cast the demon out of their slave, and they saw they could make no money from her, they were angry.

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