The Holy Spirit's Continuing Ministry
Sometime later, 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.
1.Why did Paul and Barnabas plan to go on another trip?
2a. According to Acts 15:36-41, why did Paul and Barnabas want to visit the believers?
2b. According to Acts 15:36-41, who did Barnabas want to bring with them?
2c. According to Acts 15:36-41, why did Paul not think it was wise to bring John, who was also called Mark with them?
2d. According to Acts 15:36-41, what happened next?
2e. According to Acts 15:36-41, what happened as a consequence of the sharp disagreement between Paul and Barnabas?
2f. According to Acts 15:36-41, who did Barnabas take with him?
2g. According to Acts 15:36-41, where did Barnabas and Mark sail to?
2h. According to Acts 15:36-41, who did Paul take with him?
2i. According to Acts 15:36-41, where did Paul go?
3. Can you give me possible reasons as to why this disagreement between Paul and Barnabas had happened?
4. Why do you think Paul did not want to have Mark on his team?
5. What kind of person was Barnabas?
6. How do we know that Barnabas was an encourager?
7a. According to Acts 9:23-27, who did Barnabas bring Paul (Saul) to?
7b. According to Acts 9:23-27, what did Barnabas say to the apostles about Paul (Saul)?
8. According to Acts 11:25, where did Barnabas bring Paul (Saul)?
9. Do passages such as Acts 9:23-27, and Acts 11:25 prove that Barnabas’ special gift was that of encouraging others?
10. Was the fact that Barnabas wanted to give Mark another change proof that his gift was that of an encourager?
11. Was Barnabas right by taking Mark with him?
12. According to I Timothy 4:11, what did Paul say about Mark?
13. Who wrote the Gospel of Mark?
14. Who joined Paul and Silas later on?
15a. According to Acts 16:6-7, which region did Paul and his companions travel through?
15b. According to Acts 16:6-7, which province were Paul and his companions forbidden to enter?
15c. According to Acts 16:6-7, what were Paul and his companions kept from doing in the province of Asia?
15d. According to Acts 16:6-7, Who kept them from going to the province of Asia?
15e. According to Acts 16:6-7, when Paul and his companions came to the border of Mysia which city did they try to enter?
15f. According to Acts 16:6-7, Who did not allow Paul and his companions to enter Bithynia?
16. Do we know why Paul and his companions were not allowed to go there?
17. Did Paul question the leading of the Holy Spirit?
18. Did Paul and his companions go back home?
19a. According to Acts 16:9-10, who did Paul see in a vision?
19b. According to Acts 16:9-10, what did this man in Paul’s vision say?
19c. According to Acts 16:9-10, what was Paul’s response to the words of this man in the vision?
19d. According to Acts 16:9-10, Who did Paul believe had called him and his companions to go to Macedonia?
19e. According to Acts 16:9-10, what did Paul believe he was to do there?
20. What city in Macedonia did Paul and his companions go to?
21a. According to Acts 16:13-15, after his arrival in Philippi where did Paul and his companions go?
21b. According to Acts 16:13-15, on what day of the week did Paul and his companion go outside the city gate to the river?
21c. According to Acts 16:13-15, what did Paul and his companions expect to find at the river?
21d. According to Acts 16:13-15, who were gathered at that place of prayer?
21e. According to Acts 16:13-15, what did Paul do while at the river?
21f. According to Acts 16:13-15, what is the name of one of the women who had gathered at the river?
21g. According to Acts 16:13-15, who was Lydia?
21h. According to Acts 16:13-15, Who opened Lydia’s heart to respond to the gospel message as brought by Paul?
21i. According to Acts 16:13-15, what happened to Lydia and the members of her household after she had accepted the gospel message as preached by Paul?
21j. According to Acts 16:13-15, who did Lydia invite to stay at her home?
21k. According to Acts 16:13-15, on what basis did Lydia invite Paul and his companions to stay at her home?
21l. According to Acts 16:13-15, did Paul and his companions recognise Lydia as a believer?
21m. According to Acts 16:13-15, how do we know that Paul and his companions recognised Lydia as a genuine believer?