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Acts 16:16-18

by Don Costello  
12/22/2008 / Bible Studies

Acts 16:16

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

1. "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us"

a. possessed [2192 * echo] [Zodhiates: to have , to hold, implying continued possession.]

b. divination [4436 * Puthon] [Zodhiates: Python the Greek name given to the mythological serpent which lived at Pytho beneath Mount Parnassus and guarded the Delphic Oracle. The name then became the surname of Apollo, the god of divination in Greek , and applied to all divinatory spirits.

c. This woman was possessed with a familiar spirit, or a similar demon. This is borne out in the rest of the verse.

2. "which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying."

a. soothsaying [3132 * manyeuomai] [Unger's p.683: "The soothsayer was the counterpart of the prophet. Diviners were energized by evil powers, as the prophet of the Lord was by the Holy Ghost.

b. Because of her yielding herself to the devil and allowing the evil spirit to speak through her, she made her masters rich.

Acts 16:17

The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

Acts 16:18

And this she did 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.

1. "And this she did many days."

a. This happened over and over. It shows that Paul did not react right away. I believe that he waited until he got the mind of God about the situation and then acted in faith.

2. "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."

a. Under the Mosaic Covenant Israel was forbidden to engage in occult practices of any sort. We under the New Covenant are likewise forbidden.

1). Deuteronomy 18:9-14 "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spririts, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, they LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do."

b. The fact that Paul cast the devil out of her proves any kind of paranormal activity; fortune telling, astrology, mediums, sances, ufo's, channeling, should be avoided by Christians at all costs. It is all the same devil who wraps it in a different package.

c. Jesus gave us authority over devils and demons.

1). Mark 16:15-18 "And he said unto them, God ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

d. This is clearly revealed in the New Testament, that Paul received from Jesus and Paul prayed for the church to see it.

1). Ephesians 1:15-23 "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all."

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is

I have a blog located at:

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