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THE MIRACULOUS – ANALYTICAL STUDIES

© Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2007

 

IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

 

The Greek words:

[1] the word ‘work’ – ergon, is not used in Acts to refer to miracles.

[2] the word ‘miracle’ – dunamis, is used only 3 times to refer to miracles.

[3] the word ‘sign’ – semeion, is used 12 times

[4] the word ‘wonder’ – teras, is used 9 times [in each of these it is in partnership with ‘signs’]

 

A. MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

 

From an analysis of the Acts of the Apostles [see table below] we learn:

About miracles, signs and wonders

The kinds of miraculous actions reported in Acts are:

In addition, we find that:

Conclusions about miracles, signs and wonders:

Predominantly miracles are referred to by the term ‘signs and wonders’. They were reported as the work of God done through human agents. The men used in this way were very few in number – the apostles, including Paul; plus associates of the apostles: Philip, Ananias, Barnabas and Stephen. . There is no mention of ‘signs and wonders’ after Acts 15 when the Council of Jerusalem verified the Gospel preached by Paul, and the inclusion of the Gentiles into the people of God without adherence to Jewish law and ritual. ‘Miracles’ are only mentioned once after that time. Jews were always present where ‘signs’ and ‘wonders’ are mentioned, and up to the Council of Jerusalem . However, from Acts 15, once the message had been validated by signs and wonders and by the church leaders in Jerusalem , there is heavy emphasis on reasoning, on teaching, on understanding, the message and its validity. It would appear from Acts that the role of the miraculous was to confirm to the Jews the apostolic message, and its application to the Gentiles. Once that was confirmed the role and the occurrence of the miraculous faded.

To take this very minimal and restricted evidence and occurrence of miracles, signs and wonders and to build upon it an entire theology of ‘signs and wonders’ or ‘power evangelism’ or ‘kingdom now’ is to give such theology a very precarious basis.

 

About demon possession and casting out of demons or spirits:

 

About speaking in ‘tongues’:
Conclusions about speaking in tongues:

In the Acts of the Apostles ‘speaking in tongues’ meant speaking in human languages. It was reported only 3 times, with a possible fourth unmentioned time [Acts 8]; each of these 3 [or 4 occurrences] were at definitive points of the spread of the Gospel. None of these people who spoke in tongues on these occasions is ever reported to speak in tongues again. Thousands of people were converted without any mention made of them speaking in tongues. Nothing in Acts gives any basis for teaching that speaking is tongues is commanded or desirable for all believers, or that it is the essential or initial evidence of either regeneration, salvation or the gift or baptism of the Spirit. Its role in Acts appears to be [1] the visible evidence that the promised Holy Spirit had been poured out by Christ onto his church – the one-off outpouring on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 in which only Jews were involved; [2] to confirm to the Jews God’s acceptance of the Gentiles into the church – Acts 10; [3] to confirm the ultimate nature of the message of Christ, in contrast to the pen-ultimate nature of the message of John the Baptist – Acts 19; and [4], if tongues did occur here, to confirm the inclusion of the Samaritans into the church – Acts 8.

 

About the Holy Spirit
Conclusions:

[1] There is a one-off outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This out-pouring fulfils the prophetic symbolism of the feast of Pentecost, just as the death of Christ fulfilled the prophetic symbolism of the Passover Feast. This out-pouring occurred on the Day of Pentecost, and was accompanied by audible and visible phenomena. The NIV ‘when the Day of Pentecost came’ fails to communicate the meaning of the Greek text, which uses the word sumpleroo – fully come, completed, fulfilled. This outpouring had to occur on the Day of Pentecost just as surely as the crucifixion had to occur on the Passover. Like the death of Christ it is a one-off, unrepeatable fulfilment of the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Pentecost [the Feast of Harvest or Firstfruits].

[2] From this point on, all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ receive both forgiveness of sins and are baptized with [receive the gift of] the Holy Spirit.

[3] The Christian life is ideally one ‘full of the Spirit’ or ‘filled with the Spirit’ – lived under the control of the Spirit [adjective pleres; verb pleroo]. This being full of or filled with the Spirit is only possible for those who are believers – that is, those who have received the gift of, or the baptism of, the Holy Spirit described in the previous point. It is this being filled with the Spirit that Paul commands in Ephesians 5:18.

[4] On specific occasions, there was a special temporary filling by the Holy Spirit which gave empowerment to boldly speak God’s truth [verb pletho]. This was additional to and distinct from the baptism of the Spirit at regeneration, and the on-going fullness of the Spirit. This is reported only 5 times. This second kind of filling seems to have much in common with Old Testament instances in which individuals were filled with or empowered by the Spirit of the Lord in specific situations.

[5] This special, temporary filling is not even once in Acts associated with performing miracles, signs and wonders; it is rather associated with bold speech.

[6] There is no evidence in Acts that audible and/or visible miraculous phenomena were evident in all who believed. Such phenomena are reported on 4 occasions only – the initial outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, and the inclusion of the Samaritans, Gentiles and disciples of John the Baptist into the church.

[7] There is nothing to validate any division of believers into those who have received [or been baptized by the Spirit] and those who haven’t.

 

About supernatural guidance
Conclusions:

The contemporary quest for divine guidance cannot be supported by the Acts of the Apostles. Divine intervention in people’s plans was the exception, not the norm. Such intervention or guidance was not sought by the persons involved. It occurred only when God wanted to direct his servants in a way different from the direction their normal human choices would have led them. There are no commands to seek supernatural guidance. There is nothing to endorse the perception that ‘God has a wonderful plan for my life, and I have to find it.’ There is nothing to endorse the fear that if I make a ‘wrong’ choice, I will miss out on God’s best or God’s blessing. Rather, for the most part, God worked out his purposes and extended his kingdom in and through normal, ordinary, non-supernatural, human choices and decisions.

 

About ‘prophecy’:

Apart from references to Old Testament prophets and prophecy, and reference to prophesying in the quote from Joel, Acts records:

Conclusions:

During the Acts of the Apostles there are two distinct meanings given to the concept of ‘prophecy’:

[1] predictive prophecy – recorded only of Agabus, on two separate occasions. There are no other indisputable instances of predictive prophecy.

[2] spoken messages that teach, lead, encourage and strengthen believers.

In addition, the prophecy that Acts deems important is the Old Testament prophets and their messages.

 

About spiritual gifts:
Conclusions:

The only conclusion we can form about the concept of ‘spiritual gifts’ is that it was not an issue in Acts, either positively or negatively. It simply isn’t there.

 

About apostles:
Conclusions:

The apostles and the teaching of the apostles are viewed as the foundation of the church. They and their teaching were confirmed by signs and wonders. At least one apostle was present on each occasion when the acceptance of non-Jewish groups into the gospel was confirmed by the Holy Spirit.

In Acts that there is a distinction between

Apostles of the above class, being foundational, were unique, and their role unrepeatable.

 

B. ANALYSIS: MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

Acts 1:6,8

Promise that the disciples would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes on them they will ‘receive power’ and ‘will be my witnesses …’

Promise to the apostles.

Baptism with the Spirit.

Effect: receive power and be Christ’s witnesses.

Acts 1:21-22

The man appointed to replace Judas as an apostle was to be someone who was to specifically be a ‘witness of his resurrection’ as well as having been with Jesus from John’s baptism through to his ascension.

The other miracles insignificant without the greater and confirmatory impact of the resurrection.

Acts 2:1-15

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was preceded by [1] a noise like a violent wind, and [2] what seemed like tongues of fire resting on each person, and followed by [3] the ability to speak in ‘other languages as the Spirit enabled them.’

Peter explained the strange phenomena by reference to Joel 2:28-32. An analysis of this quote makes it clear that not all of the things identified in the quote actually happened at Pentecost. The two specific things that did happen was that God poured out his Spirit, and that at least twelve men proclaimed the wonders of God in various languages. [As we will see in a further study, the fact that these languages were understood equates what was said with prophecy, and this thus fulfils Joel’s reference to people prophesying.]

The Greek in 2:4 literally reads ‘as the Spirit gave to speak out/to declare to them’. The infinitive form is used. The word means to speak out or to declare solemn, weighty or pithy sayings. This is a far cry from the meaningless babble paraded as speaking in tongues today.

Those who heard knew exactly what was being spoken of – ‘the wonders of God’ [11].

Note that the ability to speak in other languages was as the Spirit enabled them - NIV. It was not something they generated themselves, or that some other human generated in them. The Holy Spirit gave them the ability to declare these solemn, weighty things in other languages. Some of these ‘other languages’ were ‘dialects’ [verses 6,8] within other languages.

Note that there is no mention of interpretation of languages here; this was not necessary as those present were native speakers of the various languages involved.

It cannot be proved from this text, or any other in Acts, that this miraculous ability continued in these people beyond this particular day. In fact it is never again reported in relation to these particular apostles .

The Aorist tense is used for ‘were filled’ [verse 4] [pletho].

Acts 2:16 - 22

dunamis

semeion x 2

teras x 2

Reference to Jesus’ miracles, signs and wonders – as being God’s accreditation of him.

By referring to ‘signs’ Peter picks up on the ‘signs on the earth below’ of Joel’s prophecy, and refers that to what Jesus did, rather than the events of Pentecost. In doing so he encompasses the ministry of Jesus and the Pentecost outpouring of the Spirit as together comprising the ‘in the last days’ of Joel. Whether or not Peter also had in mind the darkness that covered the earth at the time of Christ’s crucifixion he does not say.

Acts 2:33

Reference to Christ’s promise of the Holy Spirit that has now been ‘poured out’ [Aorist Tense] – a one-off initiating event.

Acts 2:38-41

Although Peter promised all those who repented forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit, there is no report of either actually happening to the 3000 who believed and were baptized. We know that they are genuine believers and have received both forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit, without any mention being made of it, for they were ‘added to their number’. This lack of anything being said that these 3000 people spoke in other languages is instructive. It would have been a spectacular and indisputable way of affirming any automatic connection between speaking in tongues and receiving the gift of the Spirit, or between speaking in tongues and being born again. But nothing is said about any visible or audible manifestation. Yet these people are ‘added to’ the number of the believers. The ‘gift of the Holy Spirit’ is just as much a part of salvation as ‘forgiveness of sins’. It is not additional or separate.

Acts 2:42 ,44-47

What characterized the group of believers was that they ‘devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.’ They ‘were together and had everything in common’. They sold their possessions and gave according to people’s needs. The met everyday in the temple courts; they broke bread in their homes and ate together. They praised God, and enjoyed the favour of all people.

More were added to their number daily.

There is no mention of the phenomena of the Day of Pentecost being repeated or being on-going.

There is no mention of every believer being involved in tongues, signs and wonders. Such things were abnormal, not normal.

The absence of any reference to these spectacular things in this description of the daily life of the believers indicates that they were not present in their daily lives. Had tongues, miracles, signs and wonders been present in the lives of these thousands of believers when they met together both in their homes and in the temple it would have be a particularly noteworthy phenomenon.

Acts 2:43

semeion

teras

Many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.

[The word ‘miraculous’ is not in the Greek text.]

Apostles did these signs and wonders – not every Christian.

Jews were present

Acts 3:1-10

Peter and John healed a crippled man in the name of Jesus. No indication is given that the man believed; rather, he was expecting a gift of money, not healing.

Apostles performed this miracle .

Peter’s sermon takes the attention off the miracle and puts it on Jesus Christ, in whose name and by whose power the miracle was done. It is Christ Peter wants people to believe in, not miracles per se.

Acts 3:11ff

Peter says that it shouldn’t be surprising that the power of Jesus should heal the man [12].

Peter denied any connection between the healing and any personal power or giftedness or godliness of John and himself.

Acts 4:2

The apostles were teaching … and proclaiming.

The Jewish officials are concerned that Peter and John were teaching the resurrection of Jesus. [Note they weren’t concerned about the miracle of healing.]

Acts 4:4

Multiple conversions mentioned but no mention of Holy Spirit or tongues.

These conversions were the result of hearing the message, not miracles.

Acts 4:7-22

semeion x 2

Jewish officials want to know ‘by what power or what name’ they had done the healing miracle. They did not command them to stop doing miracles, but to stop all teaching and speaking in the name of Jesus.

Peter was ‘filled with the Spirit’ – this enabled a bold response to the accusers.

‘Filled’ is Aorist tense. [pletho]

Greek has ‘sign’ not ‘miracle’ in verse 16 and 22.

Jews present.

Note: Peter was one of those ‘filled’ in Acts 2, now he is ‘filled’ again.

Acts 4:24-30

semeion

teras

Prayer is in their own language not in ‘tongues’.

Part of their prayer was for the God to perform ‘miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus’.

[The word ‘miraculous’ is not in the Greek text.]

Acts 4:31

[See also 4:8]

After they prayed, the ‘place was shaken’, they were ‘all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God boldly’.

No mention made of tongues or the other Pentecost phenomena .

Holy Spirit enabled bold speech.

This being filled with the Holy Spirit is distinct from ‘receiving the Spirit’.

Verb ‘were …filled’ is Aorist tense [pletho]. Given that they were ‘all’ ‘filled’, this must include some who had been previously ‘filled’ in Acts 2.

Acts 5:3

Peter given insight into the deception of Ananias and Sapphira.

An apostle had this miraculous insight.

Acts 5:12-16

semeion

teras

‘Many miraculous signs and wonders’ performed by the apostles

All who came or were brought for healing were healed.

Apostles did miracles

Note: no healing failures as in healing meetings today.

[The word ‘miraculous’ is not in the Greek text.] Jews present.

Acts 5:18-19

Apostles miraculously delivered from jail.

Apostles

Acts 5:42

The apostles were the ones who were teaching day after day.

Note that the summary of the apostles teaching contains no reference to the Holy Spirit or to ‘tongues’ or miracles; the message is ‘Jesus is the Christ’. It exalts and focuses Jesus, not the Holy Spirit and not the human being who is listening – or his need for healing.

Acts 6:3

Deacons to be ‘known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom’.

‘full’ is an adjective, referring to an on-going condition or state. [pleres].

Acts 6:4

The ministry of the apostles described as ‘prayer and the ministry of the word’. – Not miracles, and not ‘tongues’.

Prayer and teaching important, not miracles

Acts 6:5,8,10

semeion

teras

Stephen is described as ‘full of faith and of the Holy Spirit’.

Stephen did ‘great wonders and miraculous signs’ among the people.

Greek text reads ‘wonders and great signs’.

His opponents ‘could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke’

Holy Spirit enabled strong irrefutable speech [Note: no reference to ‘tongues’]

Not an apostle but the apostles had laid hands on him [6:6]

‘full’ is an adjective [see 6:3]

Jews present.

Acts 7:36 ,39

semeion

teras

Reference to Moses’ ‘wonders and miraculous signs’ in Egypt , at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert. He was rejected by the forefathers of the Jews.

[The word ‘miraculous’ is not in the Greek text.]

Acts 7:55

Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit …

‘full’ is an adjective [see 6:3]

Acts 8:6-8, 12, 13

dunamis

semeion x 2

Philip, in Samaria , proclaimed the Christ, did miracles and signs - cast out demons, healed people. Preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus. People believed and were baptized. No mention of Holy Spirit. No mention of tongues.

Not an apostle – but the apostles had laid hands on him [6:6]

Note: the signs caused the people ‘to pay close attention to’ what Philip said. [Samaritans – part-Jews present.]

[The word ‘miraculous’ is not in the Greek text 8:6.]

Greek text [ 8:13 ] reads ‘signs and great miracles’.

Acts 8:14-17

When Peter and John prayed, and placed their hands on the Samaritan believers they received the Holy Spirit.

No mention of ‘tongues’ . No mention of how it was evident that the Holy Spirit was received.

Apostles present.

Affirmation of inclusion of Samaritans in the people of God.

‘received’ is imperfect tense – only use of this tense in this context.

Acts 8:26

An angel instructed Philip to go to the Gaza road.

Two of the few instances of supernatural guidance; but no mention of ‘tongues’, healing or miracles.

Acts 8:34-39

The Ethiopian believed and was baptized, but no mention of receiving the Holy Spirit

Acts 8:39

The Spirit took Philip away.

Acts 9:3-9

The Lord confronted Saul in a vision

Parallels Old Testament visions of the Lord.

Acts 9:10-22

The Lord called to Ananias in a vision.

Ananias, sent by the Lord, placed his hands on Saul so that he would see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. His sight was restored. No mention made of his actually receiving the Spirit. What is mentioned is that he immediately began to preach boldly, proving that Jesus is the Christ.

Supernatural guidance

Ananias not an apostle

Verb ‘be filled’ is Aorist tense [pletho].

No supernatural phenomena accompanied Paul’s being filled with the Spirit.

Bold proclamation followed this filling.

Acts 9:32ff

Peter healed Aeneas, a paralytic.

Peter restored Dorcas to life after he had prayed.

Both of these instances resulted in people believing in the Lord.

An apostle did these miracles.

Acts 10

Cornelius’ vision

Peter’s vision of the sheet of unclean animals, preparing him to go and preach to the Gentile Cornelius.

Supernatural guidance – Cornelius

Supernatural guidance - Peter

Confirmation of inclusion of Gentiles in the people of God.

The ‘as on us at the beginning’ indicates that this visible/audible manifestation of the Holy Spirit had not been a common occurrence or the normal thing between Pentecost and Cornelius.

Had everyone who was converted spoken in tongues Peter would surely have said ‘as on all Jews when they believe’.

‘came on’ [Aorist tense]

Acts 10:38

Peter mentioned Jesus healing those under the power of the devil.

Acts 10:44-48

Holy Spirit came [Aorist Tense] on all who heard the message. The watching Jews were astonished that these Gentiles had received [Aorist Tense] the Spirit; they knew they had because they were speaking in languages and praising God. On the basis of this observable evidence Peter ordered these Gentiles to be baptized. ‘Poured out’ [verse45] is Perfect Tense.

Acts 11:15-18

Peter defended his action in baptizing the Gentiles by stating that the ‘Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. This ‘as on us at the beginning’ made it impossible for Peter to refuse baptism to the Gentiles who believed, because it was obvious to all that God had given them the ‘same gift as he gave us’.

The critics concluded by this evidence that God had indeed granted repentance even to the Gentiles.

Acts 11:19-26

The gospel is preached to both Jews and Gentiles with no mention of tongues or miracles or healings and no mention of those who responded being filled with the Spirit.

Barnabas is described as ‘full of the Holy Spirit’

‘Full’ is an adjective [pleres].

Acts 11:27 - 28

Agabus, through the Spirit, predicted a severe famine, which happened later.

Fulfilled predictive prophecy.

Acts 12:1-19

Peter miraculously rescued from jail by an angel in answer to the prayers of the believers

Acts 13:1-4

Holy Spirit directed church at Antioch to send Saul and Barnabas on a mission trip.

Instance of divine guidance [via elders, not direct to the person]

Acts 13:5 to end of Paul’s ministry

No mention of Saul or Barnabas ‘speaking in tongues’ or teaching that people should ‘speak in tongues’; rather there is repeated reference to teaching, reasoning, discussing the word.

Acts 13:6

Mention of a false prophet, Bar-Jesus/Elymas

Acts 13:9

Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit confronted Elymas; Elymas became blind as a result of Paul’s pronouncement

Apostle

The verb ‘filled’ is Aorist Tense [pletho].

Acts 13:38-39

In describing the salvation found in Jesus Christ Paul mentions neither the Holy Spirit nor tongues. In describing Jesus he did not even mention his miracles.

Acts 13:52

‘The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.’

Verb ‘were filled’ is imperfect tense – indicating continuing action. The verb used is pleroo, which is related to the adjective pleres.

Acts 14:3

semeion

teras

Paul and Barnabas were ‘speaking boldly for the Lord who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders’. [Mixed Jew/Gentile audience; the context states that the setting was one of opposition stirred up by Jews who refused to believe.]

Note: the signs and wonders were God confirming the message of grace.

[The word ‘miraculous’ is not in the Greek text.]

Jews present.

Acts 14:8-

Lame man healed by Paul [an apostle]

Misinterpreted – people thought P and B were gods

Acts 14:19-20

[Possible miraculous healing of Paul ???]

Paul was not actually dead, they just thought he was dead. He did however recover from his injuries to be well enough to travel the next day.

Acts 15:7-8

Peter explained that God gave the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles ‘just as he did to us’

Greek: ‘God … testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit’.

Reference to Acts 10 – Cornelius and his household.

Peter describes the giving of the Holy Spirit as God testifying to the Gentiles – it was God’s affirmation of their faith and their inclusion in his church. This is further indicated in verses 9-11.

Acts 15:12

semeion

teras

Paul and Barnabas told the Jewish council about the ‘miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them’

[The word ‘miraculous’ is not in the Greek text.]

These were affirmations of their apostolic commission and authority, and confirmation of their message.

[Jews present.]

Acts 15:32

Judas and Silas referred to as ‘prophets’ – what they did was to encourage and strengthen the brothers

Broader concept of ‘prophet’ than held in some contemporary Christianity.

Acts 16:6-10

Holy Spirit prevented Paul etc from preaching the word in the province of Asia . And Bithynia .

Paul had a vision of a Macedonian calling for help.

Rare example of supernatural intervention and guidance

Acts 16:14-15

No mention of Holy Spirit or ‘tongues’ in conversion of Lydia and her household.

Acts 16:16ff

Prediction of the future by evil spirit’s power – Paul cast the spirit out and the ability left her.

Apostle

[She was not a believer.]

Acts 16:25ff

Paul and Silas delivered miraculously from jail. [Note they were not praying to be delivered or demanding deliverance]

Role of mind and understanding

Acts 16:34

No mention of Holy Spirit or ‘tongues’ in conversion of jailor and his family

Acts 17:2

In Thessalonica Paul ‘reasoned from the Scriptures’ – no mention of ‘words of knowledge’ or ‘words of prophecy’, miracles or ‘tongues’.

Role of mind and understanding

Acts 17:11

Bereans examined the Scriptures to affirm the validity of what Paul taught – they did not look for signs and wonders to validate the teaching, nor did Paul perform signs to convince them.

Acts 17:16-34

Paul reasoned in the synagogue

Paul preached to the Areopagus

Only miracle mentioned is Christ’s resurrection

Acts 18:4

Paul ‘reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks’

Acts 18:7-8

No mention of Holy Spirit or ‘tongues’ in conversion of Crispus and his household, or of the many Corinthians who believed

Acts 18:9

The Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, telling him to keep on speaking.

Rare mention of supernatural guidance

Acts 18:19

Paul ‘reasoned with the Jews’ in Ephesus .

Role of mind and understanding

Acts 19:1-7

Disciples of John the Baptist were baptized in the name of Jesus and received [Aorist Tense] the Holy Spirit and ‘spoke in tongues’ and ‘prophesied’.

Apostle Paul present

[only ‘about 12 men’ involved]

Speaking in tongues and prophesying are both in the Imperfect Tense.

Acts 19:8-12

dunamis

Paul argued persuasively about the kingdom of God [in Ephesus ]

He had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus [2 years]

God did ‘extraordinary miracles’ through Paul – healings, demons cast out.

Role of mind and understanding

Apostle

Jews either present or informed.

Acts 19:13-16

Abortive attempt at exorcism by unbelieving Jews

Not apostles!!!

Acts 20:7-12

Eutychus raised from the dead by Paul

Apostle

Acts 20:20-21,27

Paul reminded the Ephesians of his diligent teaching and preaching.

Role of mind and understanding

Acts 20:22

‘compelled by the Spirit’ – Paul was going to Jerusalem – knowing the Holy Spirit had warned him that prison and hardships were facing him.

Paul interpreted the Holy Spirit’s message as what would happen when he went; others interpreted them as warnings not to go. This is rather puzzling.

Acts 21:4

‘Through the Spirit’ the disciples warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem

Acts 21:9. 10-11

Philip’s daughters ‘prophesied’. No content given.

Acts 21:10-14

Agabus predicted Paul’s arrest … ‘The Holy Spirit says …’

Acts 22:18-21

Paul reports how the Lord spoke to him in a vision warning him to leave Jerusalem .

Lord spoke to Paul – supernatural guidance

Acts 23:11

The Lord spoke to Paul, told him he would testify in Rome

In his defense statements in 22 to 26 Paul makes no mention of receiving the Holy Spirit, baptism in the Holy Spirit, ‘speaking in tongues’, he makes no mention of ever preaching that people should receive the Spirit or ‘speak in tongues’, nor did he refer to any miracles to confirm his testimony.

Acts 27:13-44

The storm at sea. Paul told by an angel that no one would die.

Acts 28:3-5

Paul protected from the poisonous snake bite.

Apostle

Acts 28:7-10

Paul healed the sick on the island of Malta .

[Prayer, laying on of hands.]

Apostle

The notes above include references to the Greek grammatical forms used to refer to being filled with or full of the Holy Spirit. In particular: