The Person of the Holy Spirit and His Work (Part 3A)
We have seen that in Jesus life and ministry, the Holy Spirit was at work in many ways. After He ascended, we see also the same thing happening to His disciples after Pentecost. While still with them, Jesus said two very important thoughts: 1) You will receive another Comforter, (John 14:16) and 2) The one I send will bring all things to your remembrance. (John 14:26) What Jesus was saying here was that the disciples would not have to rely on their memory, but that of the Holy Spirit also. This verse is the keystone for the inerrancy of the Bible.
We see the activity of the Holy Spirit in the disciples lives in the following ways: 1) Tongues, 2) Preaching, 3) Prophesy, 4) Missionaries, 5) Church ministry. What is also interesting is we also see the Holy Spirit putting limitations upon Paul’s Missionary efforts when Paul intended in going to a mission field that God had not approved. (Acts 16:6) The Father and Jesus had already laid out a plan for the Gospel to follow and limited activity when it was necessary.
At this juncture, we need to set the record straight about tongues. From scripture three things are apparent: a. Speaking in tongues happened on the day of Pentecost for the Disciples. b. Speaking in tongues happened as the disciples went into Samaria and they believed. c. Speaking in tongues happened when Peter preached the Gospel to Cornelius and his family and friends and they believed. One other event concerning tongues happened again to a group of gentiles in Corinth. Scripture records these four events AND nothing more and in every case, it was to those who believed and God gave His approval through the Holy Spirit. In each event, the “tongues” were all of a recognized language and not of an “unknown” tongue or language. For it to be carried further is to introduce “false teaching.” We will continue with more in part B.
The Person of the Holy Spirit and His Work (Part 3B)
In Part A, we probed into how the Holy Spirit was active in the lives of Jesus’ disciples. We listed five different ways that the Holy Spirit was evidenced in their daily activities. We discussed tongues first, and that subject is closed. We will now see how the Holy Spirit was active in other ways. It was evidenced in their preaching, through the disciple’s prophesies, their missionary journeys, and church ministry.
In Acts, we see the names of three disciples who were active preachers. Peter preaching to the rulers in Jerusalem, (Acts 4:8) Stephen who was stoned because of his preaching, (Acts 7:55) and Paul (Acts 28:28) as he explains his mission of preaching to the gentiles. All of Jesus disciples were eventually put to death for their preaching of the Gospel, except John who was exiled. They were all active as missionaries and church builders. Even some were known as prophets as was Agabus from Jerusalem. (Acts 11:28)
Many of Jesus disciples were known for their miracles, including the Apostle Paul. By their obedience to the Holy Spirit, they started a change that happened throughout the world, including Rome, Greece, and into Asia. What they started is still going on to this very day.