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:
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.
Ac: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.
Ac: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,
Ac:16:20: And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
Ac:16:21: And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Ac:16:22: And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Ac:16:23: And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Ac:16:24: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
Ac:16:25: And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Ac: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.
Ac: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.
Ac:16:28: But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Ac:16:29: Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Ac:16:30: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Ac:16:31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Ac:16:32: And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Ac:16:33: And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Ac: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.
Ac:16:35: And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
Ac: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 peace.
Ac: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.
Ac:16:38: And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.
Ac:16:39: And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.
Ac: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, and departed.
- WE SEE SOME POWERFUL RESULTS OF DEDICATED PRAYERS IN THE ABOVE SCRIPTURE
- THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS AVAILETH MUCH.
- Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
- Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
- Jas:5:15: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
- Jas:5:16: Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
- Jas:5:17: Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
- Jas:5:18: And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
- THOSE OF US IN MINISTRY ,OR WHO ARE PREACHERS MUST BEGIN TO COMPARE THE RESULTS OF OUR MINISTRY WITH THE PROMISES OF GOD.
- IN JER. 23:29, WE READ: “IS NOT MY WORD LIKE A FIRE SAITH THE LORD; AND LIKE A HAMMER THAT BREAKETH THE ROCK IN PIECES?”
- AND IN EPH. 6:17, WE READ “THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD.”
- IS THE WORD OF GOD A FIRE, A HAMMER, AND A SWORD WHEN WE MINSTER?
- DOES IT EVER BURN, BREAK AND PIERCE? DOES IT RESULT IN SNY FORM OF EXECUTION ?
- HEB. 4:12 DECLARES THAT “THE WORD OF GOD IS QUICK AND POWERFUL, AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO EDGED SWORD, PIERCING EVEN TO THE DIVIDING ASUNDER OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, AND OF THE JOINTS AND MARROW, AND IS A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.”
- HAVE WE EVER SEEN IT SO?. JOHN WESLEY SAW IT.
- JOHN SMITH WAS A CONSTANT OBSERVER OF IT.
- DAVID BRAINERD WITNESSED ITS SHARPNESS; AND US IN THIS DIS PENSATION?
- “SO SHALL MY WORD BE THAT GOETH FORTH OUT OF MY MOUTH; IT SHALL NOT RETURN TO ME VOID, BUT IT SHALL ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH I PLEASE, AND IT SHALL PROSPER IN THE THING WHERETO I SENT IT.”ISA. 55:11.
- IS THIS WONDERFUL PROMISE BEEN FULFILLED IN OUR PREACHING.
- IT MEANS THE WORD WE PREACH MUST BE CONFIRMED IMMEDIATELY
- WE MUST SPEAK LIKE GOD’S ORACLE
- AS PREACHERS WE HAVE A RIGHT TO THE EVIDENCE AND SO ARE OUR HEARERS
- AS PREACHERS WE MUST BEGIN TO CHALLENGE OUR PREACHING? AND NOT ONLYOUR PREACHING, BUT OUR PRAYER LIFE AS WELL.
- THIS ALSO HAD TO BE CHALLENGED AND TESTED BY THE OUTCOME.
- THAT CONFIDENT ASSUARANCE IN JER. 33:3, “CALL UNTO ME, AND I WILL ANSWER THEE, AND SHOW THEE GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS, WHICH THOU KNOWEST NOT,” MUST BE REALIZED IN OUR EXPERIENCE.
- THE “GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS” SHOULD BE DAILY WITNESSED BY ALL IN THE HOUSE OF GOD
- WE MUST BE CONCERNED IF OUR PRAYERS ARE NOT CONSTANTLY ANSWERED.
- , JOHN 14:13-14, “WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN MY NAME, THAT WILL I DO,” AND “IF YE SHALL ASK ANYTHING IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT,” MUST BE A DAILY REALITY.
- THESE PROMISES ARE NOT EMPTY WE MUST S RECEIVE WHAT WE ASK FOR ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE.
- IF WE ARE ASKING WITHOUT RECEIVING ,WE NEED TO REALIZE THAT THERE MUST BE SOMETHING RADICALLY WRONG WITH OUR PRAYER-LIFE.
- AND IN READING THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHAS. G. FINNEY, I FOUND THAT HE, TOO, HAD EXPERIENCED THE SAME FAILURE.
- “I WAS PARTICULARLY STRUCK,” HE RELATES, “WITH THE FACT THAT THE PRAYERS THAT I HAD LISTENED TO, FROM WEEK TO WEEK, WERE NOT, THAT I COULD SEE, ANSWERED.
- INDEED, I UNDERSTOOD FROM THEIR UTTERANCES IN PRAYER, AND FROM OTHER REMARKS IN THEIR MEETINGS,
- ANSWERED PRAYERS WAS THE CONSTANT EXPERIENCE OF THE EARLY CHURCH.
- “NOW WHEN THEY HEARD THIS THEY WERE PRICKED IN THEIR HEARTS, AND SAID UNTO PETER AND TO THE REST OF THE APOSTLES, MEN AND BRETHREN, WHAT SHALL WE DO?” (ACTS 2:37.)
- LONG TIME THEREFORE ABODE THEY SPEAKING BOLDLY IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, WHICH GAVE TESTIMONY UNTO THE WORD OF HIS GRACE, AND GRANTED SIGNS AND WONDERS TO BE DONE BY THEIR HANDS.” (ACTS 14:3.)
- THEY PRAYED “THAT SIGNS AND WONDERS” MIGHT “BE DONE.” (ACTS 4:30.)
- AND PAUL DECLARED THAT THE GOSPEL IS “THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION.”(ROM.1:16.) YET ALL THIS WAS UTTERLY FOREIGN TO MY WORK.
- IN THE IRISH REVIVAL OF 1859, “SIGNS AND WONDERS” WERE SEEN ON EVERY SIDE. AMONG THE EARLY METHODISTS THEY WERE OF DAILY OCCURRENCE.
- BUT TODAY THE GOSPEL IS HARDLY “THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION.”
- GOD IS NO LONGER “CONFIRMING HIS WORD,” ,” OR “BEARING WITNESS TO HIS WORD,” WHEN I PREACHED.
- WE MUST KNOW THAT WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPECT IT FOR JESUS HIMSELF HAD GIVEN THE PROMISE.
- “THE WORKS THAT I DO,” HE DECLARED, “SHALL YE DO ALSO AND GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL YE DO.” JOHN 14:12.
- LET US READ THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES TO FIND OUT IF GOD’S SERVANTS IN THE EARLY CHURCH GOT RESULTS WHEREVER THEY WENT.
- OF COURSE THEY DID THEY AIMED AT, WORKED FOR, EXPECTED, AND NEVER FAILED TO GET FRUIT.
- PETER PREACHED ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST AND 3,000 RESPONDED TO THAT FIRST APPEAL.
- THERE WAS A DEFINITE OUTCOME.
- WITH PAUL IT WAS THE SAME. HE WENT FROM PLACE TO PLACE, AND WHEREVER HE WENT CHURCHES SPRANG UP.
- LET US SEE HOW REPEATEDLY THE RESULTS ARE NOTED THROUGHOUT THE BOOK. :
- “THEY WERE ADDED UNTO THEM ABOUT 3,000 SOULS.” (2:41.)
- “MANY OF THEM WHICH HEARD THE WORD BELIEVED, AND TURNED UNTO THE LORD.” (11:2.)
- “MUCH PEOPLE WAS ADDED UNTO THE LORD.” (11: 24.)
- “A GREAT MULTITUDE BELIEVED.” (11: 1.)
- “SOME BELIEVED, OF THE DEVOUT GREEKS A GREAT MULTITUDE, AND OF THE CHIEF WOMEN NOT A FEW.” (17:4.) “MANY BELIEVED.” (17:34.)
- “SOME BELIEVED.” (28:24.) 1 COR. 2: 1-4 (PAUL’S DECLARATION)
- AND PAUL WAS ABLE TO DECLARE “WHAT THINGS GOD HAD WROUGHT BY HIS MINISTRY.” (21: 19.)
- THE CHURCH TODAY HAS REALLY , FAILED IN THE VERY THING FOR WHICH GOD HAD CALLED US INTO THE MINISTRY. LET US PRAY 1 COR 2:4-5