On another day in Philippi, the four witnesses for Jesus – Paul, Silas, Timothy & Luke — were going to the place of prayer (276). On the way they were met by a slave girl who had an ungodly spirit that enabled her to predict the future; she earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes.
This girl followed Paul & his small band, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are telling you how you can be saved!” The slave girl continued doing this for many days.
Suddenly one day, the Holy Spirit prompted Paul to turn around & say to the evil spirit in the girl: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I order you to come out of her!” The ungodly spirit left the girl immediately.
The slave girl’s owners soon realized that they had lost any chance of making more money from her fortune telling ability. In anger, they seized the two more prominent witnesses, Paul & Silas, and dragged them before the Roman officials in the public square. “These men are Jews & they are causing trouble in our city,” they claimed. “They are teaching customs that are against Roman law; as Roman citizens, we cannot accept these customs.” A crowd gathered & members of the crowd joined in the attack against Paul & Silas.
In response to the growing chorus of accusations, the Roman officials ordered that Paul & Silas be stripped & beaten as punishment for their presumed crimes!
Then the two witnesses were thrown into jail, with orders that they be kept under constant guard. So the jailer locked them in the inner cell & chained their feet.
(276) Acts 16:16-24