We are dealing with a demon possessed slave girl’s salvation as recorded by Doctor Luke in the Book of Acts. I started off yesterday by exposing unscrupulous “church people” who prey on their innocent congregants to gain their money and resources. Today I went to draw money as I had shirts made for two grandsons.
I walked over to the ATM, a lady stood in front of the machine with a man a little distance away. I asked him if he was in the queue and he said yes. I stood the required social distancing away. As soon as the lady left the ATM Machine, he rushed to it, pressed some buttons without entering a card and kept looking around at the woman walking away. Then he left abruptly and walked away quickly. Standing in front of the machine I tried to enter my card and could not. It then asked if I wanted to continue. I pressed the “no” button. Clearly this man was attempting to defraud the lady. After doing my transaction I “performed” a trick I learnt by inserting my card again and using a false code and then cancelling the transaction. My point is that so many want to obtain money through wicked methods.
Yesterday we saw the missionary team going to pray and met up with a slave girl. Praying for evangelistic opportunities leads to divine appointments. I said verse 16 contains a lot of information. Let’s open the verse a little:
Ac 16:16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.
She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
1) She was a slave girl. The missionaries … were met by a slave girl … who was owned by a plurality of people … owners. Although slavery within the Roman Empire was living and active with some slaves being doctors, teachers, accountants, business managers, etc. others were treated as the lowest of the human race. I don’t buy the argument of some Christians who claim First Century slavery was not as bad as the West African Slave Trade. Depending on the books you read will either expose you to slavery as vast … virtually throughout human history … not forgetting the often forgotten or unknown Easter African Slave Trade. Slavery is still practiced in many countries … even those who express total rejection of this sin. The reason I say this is once slavery is defined, you will easily see how many wives, children, relatives, employees and domestic workers (male and female) fall into the bracket of modern slavery. As Christians we need to be extra cautious about the way we treat people. We need to avoid all forms of dominance, mastery, manipulation and coercion. Never forget sin is sin. All Christians are equal in Christ but all humans are equal in the race, irrespective whom we are.
2) She had a spirit. Luke reports that they quickly identified this slave girl … who had a spirit. Although the word “spirit” could mean many things … in this context it means a demonic spirit. This is how the Greek Interlinear Bible translates “spirit” in verse 18. In verse 16 it translates “spirit” as “a Pythonic spirit”. In the Hebrew this was translated as ventriloquist. You have seen a person with a puppet, as it were, speaking through the puppet. The voice is different yet the person “can make the puppet” say whatever they want it to say. Different friends who came out of Hinduism related stories to me of being called to a house where someone was demon possessed. In Hinduism they have many gods and many of the rituals are satanic. Sometimes devotees are “possessed by evil spirits”. These friends have said that much prayer is needed before exorcism may be administered. During the process the possessed person would roll on the floor, foam at the mouth, scream and shout and speak in a high pitched voice that was not the person’s voice. The demon spoke through the person as the ventriloquist spoke through the puppet. This girl was possessed. Is there a difference between possession and oppression? Yes! Possession is normally related to one who dabbles in the occult or practices occultism. The devil has such control over such a person that they control the person’s character, personality and behaviour. This person definitely requires exorcism and possibly medication. (At times the devil takes advantage of people who are mentally disturbed. Their medication needs strict observation). Oppression is normally when a person permits him or herself to get into sins that start to dominate … it could be alcohol, drugs, anger, pornography, jealousy, etc. Such a person is also a Jackal and Hyde, vacillating between good behaviour and bad behaviour (sin). In both cases help is available but counselors need to be Christian and holy people for those tarnished by sin cannot cast out sin!
3) She predicted the future … predicted the future … she also performed … fortune-telling … verse 16. The Greek implies clairvoyance which claims to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through extrasensory perception. “The Bible is unequivocal in condemning the use of clairvoyants, psychics, horoscopes, tarot cards, or any other aspect of the occult.” One example is
Dt 18:10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
It is evil for Christians to practice these things.
4) She was a cash cow. She earned a great deal of money for herowners. Now my introductions of yesterday and today might make more sense. She was owned as a slave. She was demon possessed. She was controlled by her owners for one purpose … money. Instant cash. She needed help yet her owners used and abused her as an Auto Bank machine. Sadly this method of slavery continues today. Take one example … the pimp keeping the prostitute on alcohol or drugs for her to pursue her sinful practices for the purpose of making cash money for her owner (pimp).
O Lord, help us as Your people to be extra sensitive to those around us who might need help to come out of their sin or being controlled by evil for Jesus sake. Amen.