The Holy Spirit's Continuing Ministry

Paul and Barnabas planned to go on another trip, to visit believers in the various places. Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along, but Paul was reluctant to do so, for John Mark had left them half way on a previous trip, as we can read in Acts 15:36-41
Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.


Paul and Barnabas could not come to an agreement as to what to do with Mark, so they separated. This disagreement may have happened, in part, because of their particular personalities and giftings. Paul was very focused on ministry, and he could not afford to have someone on his team on whom he could not rely. Barnabas was an encourager, as we know from the fact that he sought Paul out when he was a very new believer, as we can read in Acts 9:23-27
After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul (or Paul) learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul (or Paul) on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the Name of Jesus.


And Acts 11:25
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul (or Paul), and when he found him he brought him to Antioch.

Barnabas’ special gift was that of encouraging others. Very likely that is why he wanted to give  Mark another chance, but Paul did not want to risk it.  However, Barnabas did the right thing by taking Mark with him, for eventually he proved very helpful to Paul, as we can read in II Timothy 4:11                                                                                                                                   …… Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.

And Mark is the author of the Gospel of Mark.

Thankfully, God continued to bless the ministries of these two men, and they both chose their partners with which to minister.  Paul took with him Silas, and later on a young disciple named Timothy joined them. They tried to enter certain regions, but the Holy Spirit stopped them, as we can read in Acts 16:6-7
Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

We don’t know why the Holy Spirit did not allow them to go these areas at that time, for He did not tell them why this was so. It seems Paul did not question the Holy Spirit as to why they were not allowed to go to these places; they simply obeyed by not going. However, they knew they should not just go home, for they were called to preach the gospel. It did not take too long before they discovered which place they were to go, as we can read in Acts 16:9-10
During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us. “ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

This time, God showed them the place they were to go, Macedonia.  Having been given direction, Paul set off for his destination, Philippi, which was the leading city of Macedonia. While there, he met a group of women who had gathered for prayer.  One of them was a business woman named Lydia, as we can read in Acts 16:13-15                                              On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

She accepted the gospel message and invited Paul to stay in her home.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Question 1a. According to Acts 16:16-17, who followed Paul?                                         Answer: According to Acts 16:16-17, a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the  
             future.

Question 1b. According to Acts 16:16-17, did someone benefit from the slave girl’s
                     predictions?
Answer: According to Acts 16:16-17, the slave girl earned a great deal of money for her
             owners by her fortune-telling.

Question 1c. According to Acts 16:16-17, what did the slave girl say about Paul and the                                 others of his team?                                                                                          Answer: According to Acts 16:16-17, the slave girl followed Paul and the others of his team
              and shouted that Paul and the others of his team were servants of the Most High God
              who were telling everyone to way to be saved.

Question 2. Was Paul encouraged by the words of this young girl?
Answer: Paul was not encouraged by the words of this young girl but was disturbed by her
              words.

Question 3. Why was Paul disturbed by the words of this young girl?
Answer: Paul was disturbed by her words because he discerned that this young girl was not                    led by the Holy Spirt but by a demonic spirit and, therefore, her words would not                        produce good fruit.

Question 4. Is it important for us to know the spirit behind the words of anyone bringing us a
                   message they claim to be from the Lord?
Answer: Yes, it is important for us to know the spirit behind the words of anyone bringing us a
              message they claim to be from the Lord.

Question 5. What did Paul do next?
Answer:
Next, Paul cast the spirit out of the slave girl.

Question 6. Who became enraged by Paul’s action?
Answer: The owners of the slave girl became enraged by Paul’s action.

Question 7a. According to Acts 16:19, what action did the owners of the slave girl take? Answer: According to Acts 16:19, the owners of the slave girl dragged Paul and Silas into the
              market place.

Question 7b.
According to Acts 16:19, why were Paul and Silas dragged into the marketplace
                     by the owners of the slave girl?
Answer: According to Acts 16:19, Paul and Silas were dragged into the marketplace by the
             owners of the slave girl because they realised that their hope of making money was
             gone.

Question 8.
Where did Paul and Silas find themselves afterwards?
Answer: Paul and Silas ended up being thrown in prison.

Question 9. Did the Lord protect Paul and Silas?
Answer: It does not seem that the Lord protected Paul and Silas for the Lord allowed them to
              be beaten and thrown in prison.

Question 10. Were Paul and Silas very discouraged and upset with the treatment they had
                     received?
Answer: No, Paul and Silas were not discouraged and upset with the treatment they had
              received for they began to worship the Lord.

Question 11. According to Acts 16:25, who were listening to the singing and praying of Paul
                     and Silas?
Answer: According to Acts 16:25, other prisoners were listening to the singing and praying of
              Paul and Silas. 

Question 12a. According to Acts 16:26, what happened next?
Answer: According to Acts 16:26, a violent earthquake took place.

Question 12b. According to Acts 16:26, what happened as a consequence of the earthquake? Answer: According to Acts 16:26, as a consequence of the earthquake, the foundations of the
              prison were shaken and the prison doors flew open.

Question 12c. According to Acts 16:26, what happened to the chains of the prisoners?
Answer: According to Acts 16:26, the chains of all the prisoners came loose.

Question 13. Who would be made responsible if the prisoners had fled?
Answer:
The jailer would be made responsible if the prisoners had fled.

Question 14a. According to Acts 16:27, what did the jailer want to do?
Answer: According to Acts 16:27, the jailer drew his sword and was about to kill himself.

Question 14b. According to Acts 16:27, why did the jailer want to kill himself?
Answer: According to Acts 16:27, the jailer wanted to kill himself because he thought the
              prisoners had escaped.

Question 15. Was the jailer right in believing that all the prisoners had escaped?
Answer: The jailer was wrong for no-one had escaped.

Question 16. Who told the jailer that no-one had escaped?
Answer: Paul told the jailer that no-one had escaped.

Question 17.
What was Paul able to do next?
Answer: Paul was given the opportunity to share the gospel with the jailer and his entire
              household.

Question 18a. According to Acts 16:29-34, what did the jailer do next?
Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, the jailer next called for lights, rushed in and fell                              trembling before Paul and Silas.

Question 18b. According to Acts 16:29-34, what question did the jailer ask Paul and Silas? Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, the jailer asked Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be
              saved?”

Question 18c. According to Acts 16:29-34, what was the answer of Paul and Silas?
Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, Paul and Silas told the jailer to believe in the Lord Jesus
              in order to be saved – him and his entire household.

Question 18d. According to Acts 16:29-34, where did the jailer take Paul and Silas?
Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, the jailer took Paul and Silas brought them into his                          house.

Question 18e. According to Acts 16:29-34, while at his home what kind act did the jailer
                       perform?
Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, the jailer washed the wounds of Paul and Silas while at
              his home.

Question 18f. According to Acts 16:29-34, who did Paul and Silas baptise after they had
                       preached?
Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, Paul and Silas baptised the jailer and his family after                      they had preached.

Question 18g. According to Acts 16:29-34, what emotion did the jailer experience after he and
                       his family had been baptised?
Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, the jailer experienced joy after he and his family had                      been baptised.

Question 18h. According to Acts 16:29-34, why did the jailer experience joy after he and his
                       family had been baptised?
Answer: According to Acts 16:29-34, the jailer experienced joy after he and his family had                      been baptised because he and his whole family had come to believe in God.

Question 19. Who had led Paul to Philippi?
Answer: The Holy Spirit had led Paul to Philippi.

Question 20. Did the Holy Spirit know that going to Philippi would mean imprisonment for Paul
                     and Silas?
Answer: The Holy Spirit knew full well that going to Philippi would mean imprisonment for Paul
              and Silas.

Question 21. Why did the Holy Spirit allow the imprisonment of Paul and Silas?
Answer: The Holy Spirit knew that the imprisonment of Paul and Silas would mean the jailer                     and his family would hear the truth about Jesus. The Holy Spirit, therefore, allowed                   Paul and Silas to suffer so that a jailer and his family would hear the gospel.

Question 22. Will the Holy Spirit allow us to go through difficulties?
Answer: The Holy Spirit may allow us to go through difficulties in order that we may have an
               opportunity to share the gospel with others.