Paul, Silas And The Maid
Act 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 soothsaying:
Act 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.
Act 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.
In our little study of the Bible on this forum last week, one important fact came out: the book was designed to withstand hostile jamming. One of those things that prove the infallibility of the book is its ability to present human conditions as if it is a current newspaper. It is the only book that carries news for the past, the present and the future.
Readers should pay close attention to the short passage forming the basis of our discussion today. It is short and powerful at the same time. The facts have very serious repercussions for our fate as human beings in the light of what we have in today’s ‘church’.
I am repeating verse 17: “The same 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”. Can you really fault anything in that statement that was incorrect? Please check it very carefully. She said the “men were the servants of the most high God”. Was that not so? Were Paul, Silas and their travelling companions not “servants of the most high God”? Most people would agree they sure were. This slave girl completed the revelation: “they shew unto us the way of salvation”. Can you fault even that? Except you do not know what the apostles were doing. They were in the city for no other reason than to show the inhabitants the way of salvation.
And yet, the Bible says that Paul got annoyed hearing these statements from the girl over and over again and sensing that the spirit in her was demonic, commanded the spirit in her to come out.
This is where most of us who go to church today get it very, very wrong! We assume anyone who mentions the name Jesus Christ speaks for God. We assume every one who says he is a pastor is God’s mouth-piece, more so if he claims miracles or revelations happen in his meetings. We very quickly forget that God warns us over and over again in the Bible to be careful what we hear from any spirit or teacher. When we come by people who are obviously successful in their material and financial dealings, just like the owners of this slave girl, we very quickly do away with whatever little we know about the Bible and give them benefit of doubt. Even where we feel the preacher is saying or encouraging things that are specifically forbidden in the Bible, we brush it aside with the notion the bishop knows better.
The Late Dave Hunt gave an intriguing revelation the other day: more than 99.995% of a good rat poison is nutritious: only 0.005% is actually poison. It is not enough to preach 99.999% of the truth when it comes to the God of the Bible. It has to be 100% or nothing. Any diminution or addition, no matter how small, is from the devil. I pray you get it: the various people I rail against on the errors of Word of Faith, Tongues, Fake sign and Wonders heresy doctrines do not need to bring up Hindu or Buddhist holy books on their pulpits before we call their doctrines poison. The fact that they hold up the Bible and supposedly quote from it for some or much of their sermons does not in any way reduce from the poison of their teachings. When Mr David Oyedepo says “It takes words to do miracle” or “Let the winner in you arise” or Daniel Olukoya bellows: “fall down and die”, or pastor Joel Osteen says your health and wealth lurk in your mouth, you need to bestir yourself: those are NOT statements you can find in the Bible.
Someone said a few weeks ago: if the girl in Acts 16 were to be alive today, her masters would open Churches for her in Nairobi, Pretoria, Lagos and London from where they would rake in millions of dollars as “prophets” and “men of God”.
We are not the only inhabitants of the earth: the devil and his demons are here and their agenda is our death.
May the Lord, in His mercy, grant true insight to every reader of this piece on the goings-on in the church in our time.
If you think you need prayer or help in any way, feel free to get in touch with us