The Holy Spirit's Sending Ministry

We continue to see the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the church in Antioch in Acts 13:1-2              In the church in Antioch there were prophets and teachers; Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

In this situation, the Holy Spirit told the church at Antioch that He had selected two people, Barnabas and Saul for a specific task. Afterwards, the Holy Spirit continued to give direction to them, and that is how these two men left Antioch and, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, set sail for Cyprus, as we can read in Acts 13:4

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

Once at the island of Cyprus, they travelled throughout the island until they came to a place called Paphos. The Holy Spirit led them to meet a man named Bar-Jesus. He was a Jewish sorcerer and a false prophet. This man had great influence over the pro-consul, a man named Sergius Paulus, as we can read in Acts 13:6-7

They travelled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the pro-consul Sergius Paulus. The pro-consul, an intelligent man sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.

Sergius Paulus had heard of Barnabas and Saul and invited them to share the gospel with him but that was not pleasing to the Jewish sorcerer Bar-Jesus. He knew that if Sergius Paulus would hear the gospel, he, Bar-Jesus would be exposed for who he was; a false prophet, and he would lose his good standing with the pro-consul. That must not happen, so he tried to turn the pro-consul from believing in the gospel message. But Saul or Paul (which is the name we are more familiar with), empowered by the Holy Spirit, spoke boldly to this false prophet, as we can read in Acts 13:9-10

Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

The Holy Spirit enabled Paul to prophesy a word of judgement over this man, and it happened exactly as Paul had said. This caused the pro-consul to come to faith in Christ Jesus, as we can read in Acts 13:12

When the pro-consul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

From Paphos, Paul and Barnabas continued their travels as led by the Holy Spirit. They would usually enter a synagogue whenever that was possible, to preach about the Lord Jesus. Some people believed, while others opposed their message. Nevertheless, whatever the circumstances, the disciples were glad, being enabled by the Holy Spirit, as we can read in Acts 13:52

And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.


1a. According to Acts 13:1-2, who had come together in the church in Antioch to worship and           fast?

1b. According to Acts 13:1-2, what were the names of these prophets and teachers in the              church in Antioch?

1c. According to Acts 13:1-2, Who spoke to these prophets and teachers in the church in                Antioch?

1d. According to Acts 13:1-2, what did the Holy Spirit say to these prophets and teachers in           the church in Antioch?

2. According to Acts 13:4, where did the Holy Spirit lead Barnabas and Saul to go?

3a. According to Acts 13:6-7, which city in Cyprus did Barnabas and Saul go to?

3b. According to Acts 13:6-7, who did Barbabas and Saul meet in Paphos?

3c. According to Acts 13:6-7, what was Bar-Jesus’ or Elymas’ connection with the pro-consul          Sergius Paulus?

3d. According to Acts 13:6-7, did Sergius Paulus want to hear the word of God as taught by           Barnabas and Saul?

4. Was Bar-Jesus or Elymas pleased that the pro-consul Sergius Paulus wanted to hear the           gospel?

5. Why did Bar-Jesus or Elymas not want the pro-consul Sergius Paulus to hear the gospel?

6a. According to Acts 13:9-10, what is another name for Saul?

6b. According to Acts 13:9-10, was Paul (Saul) in agreement with Bar-Jesus or Elymas that             the pro-consul Sergius Paulus should not hear the gospel?

6c. According to Acts 13:9-10, Who led Paul (Saul) to say these words to Bar-Jesus or                  Elymas?

6d. According to Acts 13:9-10, what was the judgement Paul (Saul) pronounced on Bar-Jesus          or Elymas?

7. Did the word of judgement that Paul (Saul) prophesied over Bar-Jesus or Elymas come              true?                     

8. According to Acts 13:12, how did the pro-consul respond when he saw what happened to         Bar-Jesus or Elymas?

9. Did Paul (Saul) and Barnabas remain in Paphos after that event?

10. What did Paul (Saul) and Barnabas usually do when they came to a town they had not               been before?

11. Did everyone believe the message of Paul (Saul) and Barnabas?

12. According to Acts 13:52, what did the Holy Spirit enable the disciples or believers to feel           regardless of their circumstances?

Chapter Fourteen