Q: #567. How many times did the Holy Spirit speak to people in the New Testament?
A: The answer to this question is a little hard to know with “certainty.” While some Bible verses are very clear in stating that the Holy Spirit spoke, others are not so clear. For example, in (Acts 16:6), it says that the Holy Spirit “forbid” Paul, Silas, and Timothy from “preaching the word in Asia.” Did the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t go to Asia,” or did the Holy Spirit physically hinder these men in some way? (I am saying the Spirit “spoke” in this verse.) Or, in (Mt 4:1)(Mk1:12)(Lk 4:1), it says that Jesus was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Did the Holy Spirit say to Jesus, “Go into the wilderness now,” or did the Holy Spirit physically lead Him in some way? (I am saying the Spirit did not speak in these verses.)
Therefore, I am using my best judgment (after prayer) for making this list. (I will add a few verses at the bottom that may have been the Spirit speaking that I didn’t use.)
So, here we go with the list. First, I will list who the Holy Spirit spoke to, and then the verse, or verses that say this.
Simeon: (Lk 2:25-27) “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. (26) And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. (27) And he came by the Spirit into the temple…”
Philip: (Acts 8:29) “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.”
Peter: (Acts 10:19) “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” (Also mentioned in Acts 11:12)
Agabus: (Acts 11:28)(NKJV) “Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.”
Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen, Saul: (Acts 13:1-2) “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (2) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Paul, Silas, Timothy: (Acts 16:6-7)(NASB) “They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, after being forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; (7) and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.”
Paul: (Acts 20:22-23) “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: (23) Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.”
John: (prophecy said to him) (Rev 14:13)(NKJV) “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.””
Other possible verses: (Lk 4:18-19)(Acts 18:5)(Acts 21:4)(1 Cor 12:3)(Eph 3:5)(1 Tim 4:1)(Rev 22:17)
Jesus said in (Jn 15:26) and (Jn 16:13)(NKJV) that after the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He would: “testify of Jesus,” and “He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Of course, we also know from (1 Pet 2:20-21) that “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.“