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Acts 16

Thursday Evening Bible Study

January 23, 2014


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 4400 words

On the day of Pentecost, the church was born. It began with the Holy Spirit filling the believers. As the apostles preached about Jesus, the church began to grow.

By chapter seven, the church was beginning to experience persecution. Stephen was the first one to die for his faith. One of the main men behind the persecution was a man named Saul. But when Saul headed for the city of Damascus to pursue the Christians there, he was knocked off his horse by a bright light and he met Jesus. Saul will be more well known by his Roman name, Paul.

By chapter 10, the gospel began to reach even the Gentiles, starting with a Roman Centurion named Cornelius.

In chapter 13, we began a new section of Acts as we began to focus on the ministry of Paul.

Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary journey took them from Antioch of Syria, through the island of Cyprus, up into the area of Galatia, and back again.

Paul and Barnabas then went to the church council in Jerusalem where the leaders wrestled with the concern over whether the Gentiles needed to become Jews to be truly saved.

The verdict was that salvation is through faith alone, and circumcision was not necessary.

When Paul and Barnabas got back to Antioch, they had a terrible argument, that they ended up parting ways with Barnabas taking Mark with him to Cyprus while Paul took Silas and headed to Galatia.

16:1-5 Timothy

:1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.

:2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.

:3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.

:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.

:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

:1 Timothy

His name means “honored of God”

He is about 18 years old at this time. He was perhaps 16 years old when he first met Paul.

He was the son of a Jewish mother who had married a Gentile man.

He had a godly heritage in the Lord that went back to his grandmother. (2Ti. 1:3-5)

(2 Ti 1:3–5 NKJV) —3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

He seems to have been from the area of Derbe and Lystra. It was in Lystra that Paul was stoned and left for dead, then apparently came back to life. (Acts 14:19-20). Perhaps Timothy was there.

Timothy will be like a “son” to Paul.

Paul wrote two letters to Timothy in his later years.

He will one day pastor the church in Ephesus.

:2 He was well spoken of

well spoken ofmartureo – to be a witness; the word speaks of a continuous (imperfect tense) witness of the people of Timothy’s character and ministry.

:3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him

We’re going to catch a glimpse of how Paul disciple others.

He took them with him from city to city.

They learned by watching Paul.

:3 he took him and circumcised him

It’s interesting that the Jerusalem decree was that Gentiles did NOT need to be circumcised to be saved.

One of the biggest proponents of this was Paul himself.

And now Paul has Timothy circumcised.

Paul did not circumcise every one of his Gentile disciples.

(Ga 2:3 NKJV) Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

Keep in mind, this is not for the sake of Timothy’s salvation. Paul gives us a hint when he wrote to the Corinthians:

(1 Co 9:19–23 NKJV) —19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.


For the gospel

There is a difference between what we do for salvation and what we do for others.
We aren’t saved by being circumcised, yet Paul had some of his disciples be circumcised so he wouldn’t lose the opportunity of reaching out to God’s beloved Jews.
We aren’t saved by abstaining from smoking or drinking, but perhaps there might be a time when we might learn to abstain from these things simply for the sake of not losing the opportunity of reaching people who are concerned about these things.
I had a friend who grew his hair out long, even got an ear ring, so he could reach kids for the Lord.
What are you willing to do for the gospel?

:4 they delivered to them the decrees

The cities of Lystra, Derbe, and Iconium were given the verdict of the Jerusalem council – salvation comes from grace through faith, not circumcision.

16:6-12 Macedonia Calls

:6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.

:6 Phrygia … Galatia

Play Galatia Phrygia map clip

These were the areas where Lystra, Derbe, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia were.

:6 Asia

Play Galatia and Asia map clip

It is also called “Asia Minor”. This is the western half of modern Turkey. The Holy Spirit says “no”.

:6 forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach

forbiddenkoluo – to hinder, prevent, forbid

We would not usually think that God would “forbid” anyone to preach His word anywhere.

But here Paul is somehow told not to preach the gospel in this area.

How were they forbidden? Circumstances? Secular legal trouble? An impression from the Lord? We don’t know.


Hearing the “no”

It’s hard to always know what God wants sometimes.
Sometimes the things that seem like a “no brainer” (“preaching”) aren’t really what He wants at the moment.
Sometimes God answers our prayers by simply replying “no”.
Sometimes when God says “no”, it’s just “no for now”.
The gospel will be eventually preached in Asia, even by Paul. Just not now. When John writes Revelation, it starts with the letters to the seven churches of Asia, this very region.
If God “whispered” a “no” to you, would you hear it?

A long time ago, in the early days of cell phones, I helped take one of our kids’ classes on a field trip. We were taking the kids all the way through L.A., and so I suggested that those drivers that had cell phones swap phone numbers so we could stay in touch in case we got separated. We got everyone’s phone numbers, then took off. I was the last car, and got separated immediately from everyone, even before we got on the freeway. I thought, “Aha, I’ll just phone them and tell them to drive slowly until I catch up!” But they all had their phones turned off!

Are you even open to the Holy Spirit speaking to you? Is the phone on?
Sometimes it’s even inappropriate to “preach”. Sometimes.

:7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.

:7 did not permiteao – to allow, permit, let; to allow one to do as he wishes, not to restrain, to let alone

:7 Mysia … Bithynia

Play Mysia and Bithynia map clip

As the team heads north to Mysia, they try to turn east to Bithynia, but again the Holy Spirit does not allow them to go that direction.

:8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

:8 to Troas

Play Troas map clip

Troas is a port city on the Aegean Sea.
It is perhaps more famously known as the ancient city of “Troy” (no, not the high school).  Paul will come back through here in Acts 20.
Paul will come through Troas a couple of years later where he will hold a late night meeting with the church that developed there and a young man named Eutychus will fall asleep during Paul’s message, fall from the third story window, die, and then Paul will pray and he’s raised from the dead.

:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

:9 Macedonia

Play Macedonia map clip

The northern part of Greece, including cities like Philippi and Thessalonica.
It’s been a 300 mile journey from Antioch in Pisidia to Troas. That’s quite a long journey without having permission to “preach”.  It will be another 100 miles before they get to their destination in Philippi.

:10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

:10 immediately we sought to go

Some have suggested that the man in the vision was the author, Luke. If you are paying attention, this verse marks a difference in the way that Luke writes. From this point on Luke writes in the first person plural, “we”.We sought to go to Macedonia

This will change at the end of the chapter where Luke apparently stays in Macedonia (16:40, “they … departed”) and later rejoins Paul six or seven years later when Paul comes back through Philippi and Luke joins him as he sails back to Troas (20:5-6).

:11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis,

:12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.

:11 Troas … Samothrace…

Play Troas to Philippi map clip

They take a boat from the port of Troas and their first stop is the island of Samothrace. Then on they go to the port of Neapolis, disembark and head inland to the city of Philippi.

:22 Philippi

Philippi was named after the father of Alexander the Great, who had conquered the city around 360 BC.

By this time, the city was a Roman “colony”. This was like having a little bit of “Rome” in a foreign country. It meant that those people in the empire who were blessed with Roman citizenship enjoyed the same rights and privileges that they would have if they were living in Italy.

Other colonies mentioned in Acts are Antioch in Pisidia, Lystra, Troas, Ptolemais, and Corinth.

16:13-15 Lydia finds Jesus

:13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.

:13 Sabbath … riverside

If there were ten Jewish men living in a city, they were able to form a “synagogue” and hold services. The city of Philippi did not meet that requirement, so there was a place outside the city by the river where people gathered to pray. Paul is keeping with his custom of coming to a city and preaching first to the Jews before preaching to the Gentiles.

It is interesting to note that Paul had a vision of a “man” calling. The first person who believes is a woman.

:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

:14 Lydia

LydiaLudia – “travail”

This woman was apparently a Jewish merchant from the city in “Asia” called Thyatira (Jesus would write a letter to that church in Revelation 2).

:14 seller of purple

seller of purple – porphuropolis (“purple” + “seller”) – a female seller of purple or of fabric dyed in purple

This was an expensive dye that came from a certain shellfish, used to dye fabric purple. Thyatira was famous for its purple dye.

:15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

:15 come to my house

Note that her faith in Jesus affected her entire household – they too were baptized with her.

Lydia’s house would become a meeting place of the church in Philippi.

:16:16-24 Deliverance and jail

:16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.

:16 girl…divination … fortune-telling

Notice that the annoying demon trouble came as they were on their way to “prayer”. Satan loves to mess with you on your way to church.

This young girl was demon-possessed. The demon helped this girl tell people their fortunes.

The Bible forbids us from playing around with this kind of thing.

(Le 19:26b NKJV) …nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.
When it comes to things like fortune telling, there is plenty of fakery going on. There are plenty of people who just want to rip people off and make some bucks.
Play Amazing Mind Reader clip
There also can be something evil and real going on. Demons have knowledge of things that they can share with the people they possess. Sometimes this knowledge is used to lure people into listening to the demons and then they can be led away from God. Stay away.

:17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

:17 who proclaim to us the way of salvation

Notice that the girl is actually speaking the truth about Paul.

Is that so terrible? Isn’t any kind of advertising “good advertising”?

God prefers that people hear about Him from people who are connected to Him.

:18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

:18 Paul, greatly annoyed

I find it interesting that Paul doesn’t cast out the demon the first time he encounters it. For some reason it takes “many days” before doing something about it.

It might be that Paul wasn’t sure about her being demon possessed right away.
It could be that he realized he could get into trouble with the owners of this slave girl if he did anything to her.

greatly annoyeddiaponeo – to work out laboriously; to be troubled, displeased, offended, pained, to be worked up

It is also interesting that it’s Paul’s annoyance that leads him to do something.

:18 he came out that very hour

It doesn’t say immediately. Perhaps this took some time.

:19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

:19 their hope of profit was gone

The demon was gone. The little girl lost her “magic”. The “owners” were furious.

They obviously weren’t concerned about the little girl. They were concerned about their pocketbooks. They wanted Paul to pay for his actions.

What an interesting picture of “human trafficking”.

People are seen as just a means for profit.

:20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city;

:20 These men, being Jews

Under the Roman empire, the “official” religion was to worship the emperor. After that there were “licensed” religions that were allowed and Judaism was one of those licensed religions. Even though we see Paul and Silas as “Christians”, the world still saw Christianity as a sect of Judaism.

:21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.”

:22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.

:23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.

:23 laid many stripes on them

They were beaten with rods.

This was the life of an apostle. Paul would later write to the Corinthians:

(2 Co 11:24–27 NKJV) —24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—

:24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

:24 in the stocks

The jailer secures the prisoners for the night.

16:25-34 Jail Salvation

:25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

:25 praying and singing hymns to God


Song in the night

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time with understanding how they are doing this.  I tend to think that Paul and Silas are a bit crazy, but actually they have plenty of reasons to be giving God praise and honor.
1. His love
We have a rather twisted idea of love, at least compared to God’s kind of love.
We so often make our love such a conditional thing. When a person does something that we perceive to be hurtful, we think it’s because they no longer love us.
God’s love doesn’t stop.

(Je 31:3 NKJV) The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

This is what God’s love for you is like (according to Paul’s definition of agape) –

1Cor.13 – He is patient, willing to suffer a long time with you; always doing kind things for you. He’s not envious or jealous of you. He doesn’t put you down just to puff Himself up. He doesn’t behave rudely or inconsiderately toward you. He isn’t just seeking His will for His sake, but because it’s best for you. He isn’t easily ticked off at you. He doesn’t keep a list of your sins you’ve done against Him. He’s not pleased when there’s sin in your life; but is very happy when you learn to face the truth. He doesn’t spread gossip about you but instead keeps your sins to himself. He believes you have a future. He is willing to stick it out with you, through thick or thin.

Ultimately, God’s love for us was demonstrated by what Jesus did for us. John wrote,

(1 Jn 3:16 NKJV) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

How do you respond to the love of a person who has died for you? What would you do to honor that person?

Is a little difficulty acceptable if it means honoring Him?

You can praise Him for His unconditional, unending love for you because it never stops.
2. His faithfulness
He will not let you down. You can count on Him.

(Dt 7:9 NKJV) “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

He is the One who said,

(Heb 13:5 NKJV) …“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The problem is that sometimes we jump to the wrong conclusion, thinking that our bad situation is a result somehow of God loosing track of us, or worse yet, that we’ve said that one thing that really ticked Him off, and now He’s out to get us!
Not so.
Peter writes,

(1 Pe 4:19 NKJV) Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

You can praise Him for His faithfulness.
3. Persecution
Paul and Silas are praising God for their persecution.
Jesus had said,

(Mt 5:10–12 NKJV) —10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Paul and Silas could actually look at the trouble they were in and know that they were acquiring rewards in heaven.

They were serving their King and felt honored to suffer if it meant that the kingdom was enlarged.


Persecuted Nigerian Pastor Praises God

The Nigerian city of Jos sits on Africa’s great fault line between the Muslim north and Christian, and thus has faced terrible things in recent years. A Nigerian Baptist church was attacked by Muslim extremists who burnt the church building and the house of the church’s leader, Pastor Sunday Gomna. On the second Sunday after the violent outbreak, when the people of that Baptist church returned for worship, they gathered in a little mud wall community center about one kilometer from the burnt church.

Pastor Gomna stood up and offered some beautiful words of gratitude. He said, ‘First, I am grateful that no one in my church killed anyone.” Apparently, during the chaos of the attacks, Pastor Sunday had gone around the community and some of the Muslim people said, “Pastor, thank you for the way you taught your people. ‘Your people helped to protect us.’” So Pastor Sunday was proud that his people did not kill any Muslims.

“Second,” he said, “I am grateful that they did not burn my church.” Everyone looked at Pastor Sunday with disbelief. After all, everyone was meeting in a small, uncomfortable Mud hut had been burnt to the ground. But Pastor Sunday continued: “Inasmuch as no church member died during this crisis, they did not burn our church. They only burned the building. We can rebuild the building but we could not bring back to life any of our members. So I am grateful that they did not burn my church.”

He continued, “Third, I am grateful that they burned my house as well. If they had burned your house and not my house, how would I have known how to serve you as pastor? However, because they burned my house and all my possessions, I know what you are experiencing and I will be able to be a better pastor to you. So I am grateful that they burned my house as well.”

Mark Meynell, "What to say when they burn down your house and church," Quearentia blog (10-21-13); source: David Smith, The Kindness of God (InterVarsity Press, 2013)

:26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

:26 everyone’s chains were loosed

Everyone in the prison was listening to Paul and Silas praising God. Something happened.


Breaking chains

For Paul and Silas, their actual chains fell to the ground. But as you’ll see later, they are still technically prisoners.
In a way, not all their circumstances changed. But the chains were gone.
I kind of wonder if some of the “chains” of life are “loosed” when we choose to look to God and praise Him, even when life is difficult.
It might be chains of depression or chains of fear.

(Ps 27:1 NKJV) The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Chains of depression.
For some of us, the worst things we face are not what we perceive to be the reasons for our depression, but the very depression itself.

(Pr 15:15 NKJV) All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.

There are many of us who quickly label ourselves “the afflicted”. All we can focus on is our own problems. And when we get done looking at our problems through our microscopes, boy are they big!!!

Instead, we need to turn our focus to the Lord, seeking His presence, and tasting His joy. And we find ourselves surrounded with a feast, just as David wrote,

(Ps 23:5 NKJV) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Chains of fear.
I think that one of the worst chains we face in life is that of fear, the “what ifs”. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I get hurt? What if nobody likes me anymore? What if I’m laid off?
David wrote,

(Ps 27:1 NKJV) The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

When I get a hold of His love and faithfulness, I realize that I am safe in His arms, perhaps I even begin to do something crazy like give God praise in the middle of the night while sitting in a prison.

:27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.

:27 drew his sword

The jailer knows that the penalty for allowing your prisoners to escape is that you have to take their punishment.

The keeper knows he’ll be put to death, so he might as well do it himself.

:28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”

:29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

:30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

:30 what must I do to be saved

A few days ago, the demon possessed girl was following Paul and Silas around and shouting out, “

(Ac 16:17 NKJV) …“These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

Now this man wants to know from them how he can be “saved”.

Notice what has led this man to ask how he can be saved.
It is not the financial prosperity and physical health of Paul and Silas.
It is how they handle themselves in the worst place they’d ever been.


Cracked pots

Paul will later write,
(2 Co 4:7–11 NKJV) —7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Paul is saying that the difficulties he’s experienced in life have caused people to see Jesus more clearly in his life.

God’s treasure (His life) has been put inside fragile clay pots (us).

Sometimes God has to break the pots through difficulty for others to see what is really inside us.


They’re watching

The jailer and the jail population were watching Paul and Silas and how they responded to their difficulty.
A mother invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?” I wouldn’t know what to say,” she replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the mother said. The little girl bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”
We think that for others to be impressed by Jesus, they need to see something miraculously good in our lives.
What they need to see is how we handle difficulty, like the songs we sing at midnight.

:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ

Salvation comes from believing in the Lord Jesus.

We are saved from the eternal penalty for our sins.
I don’t think this is a blanket promise that your faith will save your family. Each person needs to believe to be saved.
It does seem to be a promise for the Philippian jailer.
Yet your faith will affect your family. Hopefully the people closest to you will see that something real has happened in your life, and they too will believe.

:32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.

:34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

16:35-40 Leaving Philippi

:35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, “Let those men go.”

:36 So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.”

:37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”

:37 They have beaten … Romans

Because Philippi was a Roman colony, and because Paul was a Roman citizen, he had certain rights, like that of a public trial. Paul took advantage of those rights.

Because the scourging of any Roman citizen was prohibited by law, Paul and Silas already had a pretty hefty legal case on their side.

:38 And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.

:39 Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city.

:39 they came and pleaded with them

I like the fact that Paul knew his rights under secular law and actually used them.

:40 So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

:40 the house of Lydia

Note that the “brethren” were gathered at Lydia’s house.

Note that Luke now switches back to third person, “they … departed…”, indicating that perhaps Luke stays behind in Philippi.