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Rightly Dividing the Holy Spirit

By Justin Johnson

It is right to divide Peter and Paul’s ministries. Peter and Paul both preached Jesus, but in different ways.

One preached Christ according to prophecy, the other according to a mystery (Eph 1:9-10). The same Lord Jesus Christ was glorified in two different ministries.

What should not be missed is that Peter and Paul did not invent their different ministries out of thin air. It was the Holy Spirit that spoke through them.

Rightly dividing the Prophecy and Mystery is rightly dividing the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit Testifies of Jesus

Jesus said that when the Comforter was sent at Pentecost he would testify of him.

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me…” – John 15:26

When we learn to rightly divide we know it is not sufficient just to testify of Jesus, we also ask the question, “how do we testify Jesus?”

The Lord explained that the Spirit would minister in the same fashion as Jesus in his earthly ministry.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26

Jesus was a minister of the circumcision (Rom 15:8). The Spirit through Peter at Pentecost was a minister of the circumcision as well.

A Change in Ministry

When the Lord Jesus returned to his chief persecutor, Saul, he not only dispensed his abundant grace upon him, but also gave to him a new ministry of himself.

He revealed to Paul how to minister according to a mystery (Rom 16:25).

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Gal 1:11-12

This mystery of Christ made Paul’s ministry different than the ministry of Peter who spoke only of the subjects in prophecy.

“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” – Acts 3:24

The Spirit’s Change

At Pentecost it was the Holy Ghost that filled Peter to preach what the prophets spoke (Acts 2:4).

After the Lord Jesus Christ gave a different ministry to Paul, the Spirit changed his ministry as well, testifying of Christ according to the mystery. It was the same Spirit that filled Paul to preach the mystery of Christ.

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” – Eph 3:4-5

It was the Spirit working in Peter and Paul that orchestrated the transition from a ministry of Israel to a ministry about the church the new creature.

Same Spirit, Different Ministries

In order to properly rightly divide Pentecost from the Church we must rightly divide the ministry of the Spirit.

It is not enough that we see the Spirit’s ministry, we must ask, “how does he minister?” The way we preach Jesus has changed, because the Spirit changed his ministry to the church.

At Pentecost the Spirit ministered according to prophecy. Through Paul the Spirit ministered the mystery of Christ. Same Spirit, different ministries.


Learn more about the Holy Spirit here.

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Published: February 2, 2013
Last Modified: January 20, 2018
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