Acts 16: 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. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily 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. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.”
It would be helpful to gain insight into the character of The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is The Third Person of The Godhead, however, when it comes to His character; He is co-equal to that of The Father and His Son. Hebrews 13: 8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”. Therefore, it stands to reason this would also apply to The Holy Spirit. He is the promise of the Father to all who believe on the name of His Son Christ Jesus.
In John 14: 15-26 Christ placed one thing as a condition before receiving power from on high, loving Him and keeping His commandments. In this section of scripture, we get the impression that He meant keeping the royal law of love (James 2:9). Therefore, this is not about works and legalism; it’s about relationships. In doing so, He would not leave us as orphans, but we receive the blessed hope of the Holy Spirit and His ministry toward us as Believers. He even said He (Jesus) would come to us within the person of The Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit is not for the world because you cannot put the cart before the donkey, so to speak. This is one of the ‘must’ in the New Covenant; you must be Born Again (John 3: 3-7). Once you have been Born Again, we are qualified you to receive The Spirit of truth, which the world cannot receive. As you can clearly see throughout the Book of Acts, The Spirit of God is functioning as The Helper (Comforter, leader, teacher, and the revealer of The Truth, who is Christ Jesus Himself. The Spirit makes The Godhead real for us:
1st John 5: 1 “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith”.
I want to focus on The Holy Spirit right now because of what is said in Acts 16: 6….they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” The question is, why did it not say, they were forbidden by Jesus or The Father to preach the word in Asia? Well, most of you know the answer. However, some are new to the faith who may not. We are going to comb through John 14: 15-26 and answer those questions, and peek into the character of The Holy Spirit. Remember, The Spirit of God teaches us how to move aside and allow scripture to interpret scripture.
John 15: 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you”. I call this positioning yourself. It is solely in our hands when it comes to abiding in Christ. How do we abide in Christ? We abide (make our home) in His Word. Note, in the beginning was The Word; and The Word was with God and The Word was God. Both the Old and New Testaments are His Word. Therefore, if you have a problem with the Old Testament, ask The Father to help you to get over it. In the beginning, God created, we did not crawl out of some primordial ooze…you need to know and believe that. In order to be a Book of Acts kind of Church and receive the promise of The Spirit, we need to get with God’s program and come out from among them (the world). I am not in a hurry to get to Philippi; I need to understand what it took to get there,or who fueled them? Read Galatians 3: 6-14. To be continued…