Paul and Silas became a ministry team on his second missionary journey. The first missionary journey was with Barnabas but contention rose up over the loyalty of John Mark and they parted ways. John Mark had left the ministry. Barnabas continued on with John Mark and Silas joined the evangelistic team and they moved forward in ministry. Five key points can be made about this occurrence:
The people that start off with you in ministry are not always going to be the people that go with you to your next level.
- Loyalty is key.
- A disagreement does not mean the death of your ministry.
- Just because someone leaves doesn't mean that God doesn't have someone with your heart towards Him, the Word and the Work to replace them.
- The Gospel must be preached - no matter what happens in your personal life - you must continue, move forward and move on.
They move out into ministry and a damsel begins to follow them as they go forth in ministry. What she says is true - it was A Truth but not The Truth because it was satanically derived and demonically revealed because it was not revealed by the Giver of Truth - the Lord of Truth. We live in a day and a time when people are running from prophet to prophet and the moment they are told A TRUTH they believe that based upon what they were told that the messenger must be a sure prophet of God. What is missing in this hour is the Spirit of Discernment which lets us know the source of the Revelation - whether it be Divine or Demonic! The next thing we see is the wisdom and love of a real soul winner. The Bible says that Paul turns and rebukes the spirit and not the damsel with the spirit. He that winneth souls must be wise - be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove. We must walk the delicate balancing act of tearing down Satan's Kingdom and Satan's strongholds without ever tearing down the person possessed and/or oppressed by the hordes of Hell. This is the perfect scenario and case for the mantra, "Hate the sin but love the Sinner!"
One girl is delivered and the fiduciary system is impacted. The government is impacted by the deliverance of one young lady. People who sin buy things with an addictive buying pattern - with an obsessive compulsion. When people are delivered from expensive addictions, habits, perversions and sins they impact the economies of scale. One young lady was set free and made free and her deliverance caused such an uproar that Romans who prided themselves on their legal system broke their own laws to arrest, torture, incarcerate and destroy two men who had not broken the law but had broken the chains of slavery and had destroyed the yoke of bondage. Roman citizens were entitled by law to a fair trial and they were never to be beaten in public. Paul and Silas were both citizens of Rome. The lesson here? The Devil will do whatever he has to do in order to lock you up and lock you down.
The damsel's deliverance cost Paul and Silas their freedom. Are you willing to labor in the vineyard to the point where your labors bear the fruit of hardness? If not, you are not fit to preach the Gospel. If so, you are an able minister of the Cross and as sure as your willingness to stand for God will often get you in trouble - your God will surely come directly to you to bring you out of trouble! Real ministry will offend the status quo.
At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, praised and sang! What a testimony! Midnight is the darkest time of the night but it is the darkest time of the night that marks a new day. Tell yourself, "MY NEW DAY STARTS IN THE DARK!" Don't wait for the light, praise the God of Light in the Dark! It was at the precise time when it was the past, the present and the future all at one time that the God which was and is and is to come showed up and showed out! Paul and Silas praised until the prisoners heard them. Who is around you during your darkest hours that needs to see, what TRUE Christians do when facing confusing cataclysms and calamitous catastrophes?
They opened their mouths and God sent an earthquake and set everyone free. The jailer was so fearful when he witnessed a corporate deliverance that he decided to kill himself. Lesson here? People who serve the Enemy become fearful when real deliverance takes place. Paul, ever the soul winner does not allow the man to kill himself - rather he introduces a suicidal man to the Savior. Jesus not only saves him but his entire household. When the government heard about what had happened in the jail they decided to let Paul and Silas go but they wanted to release them privately. They had beat them publicly but wanted to release them privately. Preachers hear me and hear me well, tell every person under the sound of your voice, "Don't settle for a retraction on the last page of the newspaper! Your name, face and address were all on the front page of Satan's paper. The devil hurt them, humiliated them, stripped them and beat them in public and a public humiliation deserves a public apology! Don't stop praying, praising and singing until YOUR RECORD IS EXPUNGED!"