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New Testament Sunday School Lesson 31: "And So Were the Churches Established in the Faith"

EXPECT OPPOSITION

Paul was troubled in Philippi by a damsel with a "prophetic" evil spirit who kept crying out that he and Silas "were servants of the most high God" (see Acts 16:17).  Paul evidently preferred not to have this kind of testimony born about him.

“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.  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,  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks” (Acts 16:18-24).

We understand the nature of the unseen world well enough to know that when men or women commit to a course of righteousness, and when they insist on declaring their witness and warning to the world, enemies will arise. Remember our discussion of James and Peter in Acts 12 from lesson 30.


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