Acts  ◦   Chapter 16

1Paul went to Derbe and Lystra, where one of the Lord's interns named Timothy lived. His father was Greek, but mother was Jewish, and therefore he was considered a Jew by the Jews.2He was well liked by the Lord's people in Lystra and Iconium.3Because Paul wanted him as his aide and understudy, he circumcised him in order to remove any erroneous distractions from critical Jews who knew that his father was Greek.4In every town they entered, they told the people of the treatment guidelines reached by the Lord's ambassadors and team leaders in Jerusalem.5And every day more people partook of the Remedy, and everyone who participated in the Lord's plan grew stronger in love and trust.

6Paul and the rest of his team traveled throughout Phrygia and Galatia, but didn't go into Asia, as the Holy Spirit instructed them not to.7When they arrived at the border of Mysia, they headed for Bithynia, but the Holy Spirit brought them instructions from Jesus not to go there.8So they passed by Mysia and went to Troas.9That night, Paul had a vision of a man in Macedonia pleading with him, "Please come to Macedonia and help us."10After Paul's vision, we all concluded God was leading us to take the Remedy to Macedonia, so we packed up and headed that way.

11We sailed from Troas to Samothrace and spent the night there. The next day we went on to Neapolis,12and from there we traveled to the Roman colony of Philippi — the chief city of that region of Macedonia — and spent several days there.

13On the Sabbath, we sought a place of worship, but finding no synagogue, we left the city in search of a gathering place by the river. We found the place where Jewish women had gathered, and we sat down and began speaking to them.14One woman who listened was Lydia, the owner of an exclusive retail store that sold elegant clothing in the city of Thyatira. She worshiped God who enlightened her mind to understand the significance of what Paul said.15Once she and her family and staff partook of the Remedy and publicly demonstrated the beginning of their new life of love by being symbolically immersed in water, she invited us to her home. She said, "If you accept me as a true member of the Lord's spiritual health-care team, then come and stay at my home." She was so persuasive that we couldn't say No.

16On one occasion, while heading to our prayer retreat, we ran into a slave girl who was a medium channeling the foretellings of a fallen angel. She earned a lot of money for her masters by fortune-telling.17The girl hounded us everywhere, shouting, "These men are the agents of the Most High God! They have the Remedy and are telling you how to be eternally healed."18She kept doing this day after day. Finally, Paul had had enough of this distraction, so he turned to her and said to the fallen angel, "In harmony with the character, methods and principles of Jesus Christ, I command you to free her, and don't trouble her again!" Instantly the fallen angel left, and her mind became clear.

19When her slave masters realized she could no longer make them money, they dragged Paul and Silas into the city square to face the authorities.20They hauled them before the city officials and said, "These men are Jewish insurrectionists and are stirring up trouble21by promoting beliefs contrary to Roman law and custom."

22The crowd that had gathered joined in jeering and shouting against Paul and Silas, so the officials ordered them stripped and beaten.23After being flogged, they were thrown in prison. The jailer was ordered to guard them tightly,24so he put them in a dungeon with no outer wall and chained their feet to blocks.

25It was near midnight; Paul and Silas were praying and singing, and the other prisoners were listening when26an earthquake hit. It was so powerful that the foundations of the prison moved. The prison doors burst open, and all of the prisoners' chains fell off.27When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors open, he thought the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword, intending to kill himself.28But Paul shouted, "Stop, don't hurt yourself! No one has escaped. We are all here!"

29The jailer grabbed a light and rushed in to see for himself. He fell down in front of Paul and Silas, shaking with relief.30He then brought them out of their cells and asked, "Sirs, what must I do in order to be healed from sin and selfishness?"

31They told him, "Trust the Lord Jesus. Open your heart to him and he will heal you from sin and selfishness. This healing is for you and your entire household."32Then they taught him and his entire household the truth about God, his character, methods, and principles.33Though it was the middle of the night, the jailer cleaned and bandaged their wounds. Then he and his family, having opened their hearts to Jesus and partaken of the Remedy, demonstrated the beginning of their new life of love by being symbolically immersed in water.34The jailer then took them home and prepared a meal for them. He was overwhelmed with joy because he and his entire family had come to know and trust God.

35That morning, after dawn, the city officials sent officers with an order for the jailer to release Paul and Silas.36The jailer told Paul, "The city officials have ordered you and Silas to be released. You are free to go. Godspeed."

37But Paul said to the officers, "Not so fast. They had us publicly flogged without a trial and locked us in prison, even though we are Roman citizens. And now they want us to slip quietly out of town so everyone will believe their actions were appropriate. No way. If they want us to leave, they need to come down and personally escort us out, demonstrating their mistake."

38When the officers reported back to the city officials that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they became afraid.39They came to apologize and acknowledge that they were wrong, and personally escorted them out of prison. Then they asked them to leave the city.40After leaving prison, Paul and Silas went to Lydia's house, where they encouraged the members of the Lord's spiritual health-care team. When that was done, they left the city.