Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
The Macedonian Call
Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Lydia Baptized at Philippi
Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us.
Paul and Silas Imprisoned
Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation." And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, "These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe. Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Introduction: Contention between Paul and Barnabas
A “contention arose before Paul and Barnabas could start the second missionary journey over whether John Mark, a relative of Barnabas could go along with them. Paul opposed this idea because Mark had abandoned them on the first missionary journey due to what Mark described as “homesickness”. Paul felt Mark could abandon them again and said no. Barnabas, wanting to give his relative another chance insisted and ultimately, they chose to part company, thus Mark went with Barnabas. Paul sent for help and the Jerusalem church recommended Silas. Upon Silas’ arrival, Paul now embarks on his second missionary journey.
Paul’s Return to Derbe and Lystra: (verses 1-5)
“Timothy and Luke joins Paul and Silas”
Paul and Silas goes to both Derbe and Lystra and found a young disciple named Timothy. Here are a few things we know about Timothy:
Timothy was a disciple, of Jesus Christ, and was baptized, probably in his youth, when his mother became a believer Him. Paul mentions in 2 Timothy how they trained Timothy and brought him up in the faith. In verse 3, Paul took to be his disciple, (to be trained and to learn the “ins” and “outs” of the gospel ministry that he might further train him up in the knowledge and faith of Christ. Paul took him under his tutelage to be brought up for Christ and the Christian ministry. Timothy became an associate minister under Paul’s ministry. Timothy was from Lystra in all likelihood based on what is said of him in verse 2.
His mother was a Jew and a believer in Christ named Eunice and his grandmother, also a believer was Lois. . Paul speaks highly of them both with great respect, as women of eminent virtue and piety, and commends them especially for their unfeigned faith in 2 Timothy 1:5, their sincerely embracing and adhering to the doctrine of Christ.
His father was Greek, an “unnamed” Gentile and uncircumcised. It’s not known if he was a convert or a proselyte at best. Because he being a Gentile and married to a Jewish woman, the father was not well thought of or esteemed.
Timothy was respected and well spoken of in Iconium and Lystra by the Christians. He was seen as a young man of piety and promise. His father was of another mind and way. For that reason, his mother and grandmother educated him in the fear of God. Not only did Timothy have an unblemished reputation, His life was free from scandal, and great accolades were said of him, such as being an extraordinary young man, full of potential and a person from whom great things were expected. These accolades were echoed everywhere he went. (vs. 2)
The Judaizers of this time in history (Jews) still looked down on “mixed marriages” of Jews and Gentiles with utter disdain. In fact according to the Mosaic Law, in Deuteronomy 7:3, the Jews (Old Testament time) were forbidden by God himself to do this. They were forbidden to intermarry and intermingle.
Deuteronomy 7:1-5 The Law concerning the Jews and “Intermarriage”
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites and Canaanites, Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images,* and burn their carved images with fire”
But Through Jesus Christ…….. and now, under a new dispensation and age (Grace and Church) the work of salvation and the love of God through Jesus Christ had already broken down barriers between the Jews and the Gentiles through a covenant faith of salvation in Jesus Christ under “Grace” and the “Christian” banner, but the heart of many Jews post Pentecost and post -Lycene Council in Acts 11 and the Church Council in Acts 15 in many parts of the region still stayed “glued” to the old dispensation mentality of keeping the Law and social separation from the Gentiles races.
Important Note: “A good name is better than riches. Your reputation is your name because your name will always be associated with your known actions and behaviors. Be careful concerning your name and walk in godly integrity
Paul wanted to train and use him in an active understudy fashion. That Paul would have him to accompany him, and join him in the work of the gospel. Timothy would preach for him when there was occasion, and to be left behind in places where he had planted churches. Paul had a great love for him, not only because he was an ingenious young man, a serious young man, and one of devout affections.
But Paul knew because of the family situation, the Jews in that region would not listen to Timothy uncircumcised, so to eliminate the drama that would attempt to block the potential ministry of Timothy in that region, Paul had him circumcised. (vs. 3)
POINT: Paul understood the power of politics. (appeasing the Jews)
Paul opposed with all his might all those groups that were for imposing circumcision upon the Gentile converts. This situation happened not to long after the Church council decision concerning imposing keeping the Mosaic Law in its old fashion and submitting to circumcision. He had, and yet here he felt it necessary that Timothy be circumcised.
He did it so the ministry of Timothy would be accepted by those Jews who lived in that area. He knew Timothy would do great work and great good among the people if there were no prejudice against his family situation and consider him unclean if not circumcised and being the son of a Gentile whose father was not held in high esteem anyway because he too was not circumcised and legally didn’t have to submit to it, being Gentile.
It was an act of expediency for the sake of peace, and was in accordance with Paul's uniform and avowed principle of conduct. The circumcision of Timothy was a merely prudential regulation; one rendered imperiously necessary by the circumstances in which they were then placed; and, as it was done merely in reference to this, Timothy was laid under no necessity to observe the Mosaic ritual: nor could it prejudice his spiritual state, because he did not do it in order to seek justification by the law, for this he had before, through the faith of Christ.
Paul, Barnabas and Timothy now proceed from town to town to deliver to the Gentile Christians the decrees approved by the Jerusalem Church (Apostles, Prophets, etc..) this resulted in tremendous church growth throughout and strengthen faith. (vs. 4-5)
Note: It was of the utmost importance that Paul sought to eliminate as much controversy as possible for the gospel sake.
The disputations at Antioch, relative to circumcision, and keeping the Mosaic Law had no doubt spread far and wide among other churches, and unhinged many who were not solid in the faith as of yet being young in the faith. The decrees of the apostles came in good time, and prevented further mischief and doctrinal disputes concerning this matter. Now, the people being saved from uncertainty, became established in the faith; and the church had a daily growth in the number of converted souls to the kingdom of God and added to the churches.
The “Call” To Macedonia (verses 6-10)
They traveled through Phrygria and Galatia . The Holy Spirit forbade them not to preach in Asia (Asia Minor) (vs. 6)
They were forbidden at this time to preach the gospel in Asia (the country properly so called), because either it did not need, other apostles and disciples being at work there; or because the people weren't prepared yet to receive the gospel. Another reason was the Gospel was well received in this area and God now wanted to expand the Missionary work into Europe.
After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
They tried to establish churches in this area but again, the Holy Spirit would not allow them to do so.
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. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. (vs. 9-10)
God is now through a “vision” redirecting Paul to go to Greece (Macedonia) and preach the Gospel. This was a call to preach the gospel in an extensive pagan land, amid many trials and dangers. Despite all this prospect of danger, Paul and Silas cheerfully responded, and gave themselves to the work.
Note: Aside from speaking directly from is WORD and sending angels to deliver messages, sometimes God will use dreams and visions to do the same thing. The Great Commission of Matthew 28: 19: is a direct mandate from Jesus Christ to “Go ye therefore in and teach all nations….” (into all the world)
From all portions of the earth a similar call is now coming to the churches. Openings of a similar character for the introduction of the gospel are presented in all lands. The world is hungry for the “living bread” We are to lift the Savior up for them to see. Appeals are coming from every quarter, and all that seems now necessary for the speedy conversion of the world is for the church to enter into these vast fields with the self-denial, the spirit, and the zeal which characterized the Apostle Paul.
Note: There are times when we will be redirected by the Holy Spirit not to go the way we planned, but to go another way. God will block a plan when His plan is in another direction and another purpose is to be served. Another thing to remember is your ministry calling is to reach a greater audience than you can imagine. We have at our disposal many communication devices and cyberspace technology to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere we can’t physically go. Whenever the Holy Spirit redirects you from your intended course, He assure you that the directive came from HIM.
Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. (vs. 10)
Now that they were fully convinced by the vision that they were free to go to Macedonia and preach the Gospel, they leave Troas and head toward Macedonia.
Lydia: The First European Convert (verses 11-15)
The “Route: Leaving Troas to an island then a harbor, then a Roman republic and they stayed in a Roman military settlement full of old soldiers and other informants to Caesar Augustus whose purpose was to greatly influence the people living there to adhere to Roman rule and remain loyal subjects.
“sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony”. (vs. 11-12)
The “we” in this verse means Luke actually accompanied Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy to Philippi.
They went to a place to pray (an open amphitheater, uncovered)
And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. (vs. 14)
The Conversion of Lydia. “The First Asian Convert” (vs. 15) (vs. 13-15)
Lydia possessed the following two qualities:
“open hearted” and a worshipper of God- (a proselyte)Lydia overheard the conversation Paul was having with the other women. She openly accepted the Gospel and Jesus Christ.
hospitable”Lydia accepted Christ, and submitted to baptism. Then, as an act of gratitude and hospitality, she open her house to the Apostle and company to have a place to live while they continued to minister in Philippi, as well as to receive more instruction in the faith from them while they were there.
A background note on Lydia:
She got her name from province of Lydia, Asia Minor, in which was located her city to Thyatira. Lydian women were famous for the manufacture of beautiful purple made from the murex, a shellfish. Even though Paul and Barnabas had been hindered. Lydia offered room and board at her house to accommodate Paul and Silas, Timothy and Luke.
Demon of Divination Cast out: “Paul and Silas Jailed” (verses 16- 24)
Paul and Silas have been in the city of Philippi some days now and Luke writes here:
And it came to pass, (at some point after the conversion of Lydia) as we went to prayer, (that is Into the proseuche: the place of prayer) a certain damsel possessed with spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 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.
The “significance of this passage:
Paul and Barnabas are deep into “hostile spiritual and religious territory” preaching the gospel” to the Philippians (Gentiles) who are believers and practitioners of Greek Mysticism and Mythology. As a result, when they encountered this young woman, they came face to face with the spirit of divination:
The “spirit of Divination” or having the spirit of “Python” or Apollo.
Pytho was, according to fable,(Mythology) a huge serpent, (satanic) that supposedly had an oracle at Mount Parnassus, famous for predicting future events; It Is said that Apollo killed this serpent, and because of this he was now called “Pythius”, and became celebrated as the foreteller of future event.
All those, who either allegedly could or simply pretended to have the ability to predict future events, were influenced by the spirit of Apollo Pythius.
Important Footnote: As oftentimes the temple priestesses who were possessed by this demon became greatly agitated, and gave answers apparently from their bellies, when their mouths remained closed, In modern terms, this is where we get ventriloquism and ventriloquists. A “divining” demon spoke through this possessed young woman.
This is one of many reasons God forbids us from having any personal dealings with soothsayers, astrologers, magicians, tarot card readers, Chaldeans. Root workers etc.. They are all used by demons and they do what they do for financial gain.
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter ina the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord , and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God"(NIV)
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
b. As a result this is why she followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. She spoke the truth….rather tell you what the demon said through her was true….but there are 2 things the demon also knew:
This demon well knew that the Jewish law abhorred and prohibited the practice of all magic, incantations, magical rites, and dealings with familiar spirits. The Devil and every demon know the Law and the WORD.
This demon spoke a true testimony to the Apostles evangelistic mission, however, his purpose for speaking that truth was designed to discredit their ministry and render the evangelism useless.
How you ask? Had Paul not acted against the divination coming from that unfortunate possessed young woman, the Greeks who believed and sought diviners on a regular basis and the Judaizers who were against Paul and Barnabas anyway would have believed that the apostles were in compact with these demons, and that the miracles they performed were done by the agency of these wicked spirits, and that the whole was the effect of magic; and this, of course, would harden their hearts against the preaching of the Gospel.
Remember this would have been classified as blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. This was something the Sanhedrin and many unbelieving Jewish leaders were already guilty of because they brazenly once said that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of the prince of demons. There is no forgiveness for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
If the Gentiles who were very familiar with divination and already believed their own priest and priestests could not defrentiate the difference between the Gospel Paul and Silas preached and taught and that their own demon bore testimony to, they would see no need in leaving their heathen practices and simply believe that Paul and Silas and their “deities are part of the same “one religious system. This would cause them to believe they had nothing to learn, nothing to correct; and thus the preaching of the apostles must be useless to them.
The only way to save their accreditation In such a predicament as this was to cast out and dispossess this woman of her familiar spirit, and that in the most incontestable manner It’s paramount to why God demonstrated a similar situation before Pharaoh back in to save the credibility of Moses and Aaron, when the magicians of Egypt turned their rods into serpents, had not Aaron's rod devoured theirs? And what could have saved the credit of these apostles but the casting out of this spirit of divination, with which, otherwise, both Jews and Gentiles would have believed them in compact?
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. Paul speaks directly to the spirit of Divination: "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ: COME OUT OF HER"! (vs. 18)
Remember: Jesus is Our Savior; Satan is Abaddon and Apollyon, the destroyer. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came that we have life and we have life more abundantly. Our sovereign Savior says to the destroyer, Come out of her; and he (demon of divination) came out in the same hour.
Every circumstance of this case proves it to have been a real possession by a demon. It's very important to know that demon possession is real and if you fail to turn your life over to Jesus Christ, unless God intervenes in your life's situation, demons can and will wreck your health even to the point of causing a person to become murderous and suicidal.
And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, the demons that drove them to come up with this scheme in the first place now caused these men to become angry and seek revenge for being put out of the "divination business". The Bible said they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, (vs. 19)
When her masters realized the Spirit of the Lord just put their money making scheme out of business and she was not able do any more divination work and their source of income was now gone……They brought Paul and Silas to the middle of town in the marketplace to cause a great riotous stir against them. The rulers, officers and the magistrate offices were located in this area.
IV. Accused and Arrested: “Paul and Silas Jailed and Beaten” (verse 20-24)
To be continued in Part Two:……….
Dr. William Edward Boddie