Certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.
And the apostles and elders came together to consider of this matter.
There rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said to them, Men and brethren, you know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knows the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did to us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Now therefore why tempt you God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, listen to me: Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the rest of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, said the Lord, who does all these things.
Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Wherefore my decision is, that we not trouble them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God, but that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses from time of old has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.
Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas and Silas, chief men among the brethren: and they wrote letters by them.
excerpts from Acts chapter 15
[This is the Tabernacle of David James refers to]
So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of meat, and a flask of wine.
And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel: with psalteries and with harps; with cymbals; with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David delivered this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing to him, sing psalms to him, talk you of all his wondrous works. Glory you in his holy name.
Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
Remember his marvelous works that he has done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; O you seed of Israel his servant, you children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
Be you mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath to Isaac; And has confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, saying,
To you will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; when your were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; he suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Sing to the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvelous works among all nations.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
Give to the Lord, you kindred of the people, give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due to his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigns.
Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he comes to judge the earth.
O give thanks to the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever. And say you, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.
So David left there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required.
And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings to the Lord upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the Lord, which he commanded Israel;
and with them the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the Lord, because his mercy endures for ever; with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God.
excerpts from 1 Chronicles chapter 16
now you are light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable to the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatever does make manifest is light. Therefore he said, Awake you that sleeps, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
from Ephesians chapter 5
Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts.
He that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God: for no man understands him; howbeit in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
He that speaks in an unknown tongue builds up himself; but he that prophesies builds up the church.
I would that you all spoke with tongues, but more that you prophesied, for greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive building up.
Inasmuch as you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that you may excel to the building up of the church. Therefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the mind also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the mind also.
Else when you shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupies the room of the unlearned say Amen at your giving of thanks, seeing he understands not what you say? For you truly give thanks well, but the other is not built up.
I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all. Yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my mind, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
Brethren, be not children in understanding: in malice be you children, but in understanding be men.
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, said the Lord.
excerpts from 1 Corinthians chapter 14
[This is the old testament passage Paul quotes from:]
In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty to the rest of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
But the word of the Lord was to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.
Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.
From the time that it goes forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be full of wrath as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
Now therefore be you not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts an utter consuming is determined upon the whole earth.
from Isaiah chapter 28
[Paul also quotes from this Isaiah passage a second time here:]
After the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, You men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and you that fear God, give attention. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. And 40 years he suffered their deeds in the wilderness. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
And after that he gave to them judges for 450 years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king: and God gave to them Saul, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for 40 years.
And when God had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Of this man's seed has God according to his promise raised to Israel a Savior, Jesus; when John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think you that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there comes one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fears God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in Jesus, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead. And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people.
And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers, God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.
And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said this, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he said also in another psalm, You shall not suffer your Holy One to see corruption.
For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
Be it known to you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it to you.
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
from Acts chapter 13
We speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; connecting spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judges all, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
excerpts from 1 Corinthians chapter 2
And I will pray [to] the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas said to him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?
Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.
†These things have I spoken to you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it to you.
excerpts from John chapter 14 through 16
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came to his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
from John chapter 1
the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
from Romans chapter 8
A note from the author:
The Holy Spirit is busy in our lives. He is helping us. He is doing so through written words, the scriptures, and his own spoken words. Look at four distinct interactions we have with the Holy Spirit.
First. We understand scripture as we read it. This is the Holy Spirit giving us understanding of the words of God which he inspired be written.
Second. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice. We hear the Holy Spirit speak to us in our thoughts what he hears from Jesus and the Father. Jesus teaches us directly. God instructs us on which way to go.
Third. The Holy Spirit prays for us. Jesus seated beside the father, is also praying for us. They do this because they love us. We arenít involved in this prayer, itís the lover prayer for the one he loves, asking God for what is perfectly needed; it is their prayers said on our behalf.
Fourth. The Holy Spirit works by speaking his words through us in another language, another tongue, a language we did not know before we were baptized. I want to explore this more in depth.
When we speak with another language, another tongue, the words the Holy Spirit gives to us, we are speaking his own words. It shouldnít surprise us that God prefers to use his own language rather than a language of man, like English or Chinese. Psalm 12 tells us God speaks pure words.
We donít need to understand the words of the Holy Spirit with our mind for them to have meaning. Spirit understands spirit. We are born of spirit in baptism. Our spirit knows and understands perfectly the language of the Holy Spirit. We know in our spirit what the Holy Spirit is saying.
The Holy Spirit is God. In Genesis God said, let there be light, and there was light. When God speaks words, they create what is said. What is spoken, occurs.
The Holy Spirit gives us words to speak, those words are from God, and so what we say occurs. The scripture says we speak mysteries. The Holy Spirit reveals what God has freely given to us by speaking it into existence.
God has prepared a wonderful and perfect plan for each one of us. God has given us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us Godís words. We are the ones who speak those words. That is how we partner with God to accomplish his will. God reveals all that he has prepared for us by speaking it into existence. God gives us the privilege of speaking what God has prepared for us in his love for us. We speak Godís words and what we say occurs.
When you speak in another language with the words the Holy Spirit gives you, you are building up yourself. You are growing with a growth that comes from God.
Paul writes that when we speak in tongues we should then pray for the interpretation because God also desires to build up the church. When you ask for the interpretation of what was said in the language of the spirit, you will know in your mind what God was speaking to you, and you can then share that understanding with others, you can build up the church.
God speaks only truth. The Holy Spirit speaks only truth. We can trust these words we speak which come from God. They are good words which produce good in us and all around us.
When we speak in the spirit or sing in the spirit, because the Holy Spirit is helping us, we are also able to give perfect praise and thanks to God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ for these gifts God is freely giving us.
Letís look further at some of the safeguards God provides as we interact with the kingdom of God, then explore more about what Jesus tells us about the kingdom and how it operates.
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
from Revelation chapter 22
We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; which you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness, they shall with feigned words make merchandise of you, whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.
from 2 Peter chapters 1 and 2
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are out of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is out of God, and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not out of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, which you have heard that it should come, and even now already it is in the world.
You are out of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
They are of the world: therefore they speak out of the world, and the world hears them.
We are out of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not out of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
from 1 John chapter 4
JESUS : THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE