The Spirit Speaks the Same Thing to Different Individuals Example in Scripture

Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1Co 1:10 WEB)

The verse above tells us that we are to “speak the same thing”, and that we are to have the same mind and the same judgment.

This little exercise is to show an example where the Spirit talked through different individuals and consistently said the same thing. It also shows that in guiding the church the Lord’s message is consistent. He isn’t telling one person or group one thing and another person or group another.  For example, he’s not telling one group that it’s okay to have a little wine and another group that alcohol is a scourge and must be avoided at all times. He’s not telling one group to speak in tongues, prophesy and manifest the spirit as described in First Corinthians chapter 12 while he tells another group that speaking in tongues is devilish. He isn’t telling one group that once saved you are always saved no matter what and another group that people can reject the spirit after being born again. The Spirit’s message is consistent to everyone on a topic.

Acts 21 tells the story of a number of different prophets and prophetesses who delivered a message to the great Apostle Paul.  The topic here is where Paul wants to go next, which is Jerusalem. The Spirit doesn’t want Paul to go, but Paul can’t hear it for whatever reason. So the Spirit starts sending prophets, people to speak via the spirit to Paul with the message.

When we had departed from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. Having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload her cargo. Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. (Act 21:1-4 WEB)

Anyone who tells someone something through the spirit is prophesying. This is the first account of a specific message for Paul, and that message is that he should not go up to Jerusalem!

When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers, and stayed with them one day. On the next day, we, who were Paul’s companions, departed, and came to Caesarea. We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. (Act 21:7-9 WEB)

Here is the second record of prophecy and notice it was more than one prophetess. The context of this whole section is the Spirit telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem. That’s what they prophesied, and we’ll see that because down below will see that all these stopped giving the message, indicating that they were all giving the same message, that is, for Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming to us, and taking Paul’s belt, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: ‘So will the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” When we heard these things, both we and they of that place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.

Finally, Agabus prophesies, and my point in this little exercise is to show that the Spirit gives the same message to different prophets.  We know it was the same message because there is a conclusion to this particular record which we will look at soon. But first, we’ll look at Paul’s response to these prophecies.

Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Act 21:13 WEB)

Paul totally rejects the admonitions not to go to Jerusalem.  And here is the verse that shows the prophecies were the same admonition.

When he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The Lord’s will be done.” (Act 21:14 WEB)

“We ceased,” it says.  We ceased what? We ceased telling Paul that the Spirit is saying not to go to Jerusalem.  The word “we” there indicates that it’s talking about all these people giving Paul the message not to go to Jerusalem. That includes the prophetesses. The prophetesses’ message was for Paul not to go to Jerusalem just the same as all the other prophets.

And remember there is no punctuation in the Koine Greek texts. For example, here is part of the text of the Book of Acts.  Notice that there are no commas, periods, etc. Here is a picture of an ancient Greek manuscript page from the Digital Walters (link opens a new tab to view page) which is released for free under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (link opens a new tab to view page) license for anyone who wants to use them:


The text in Greek of Acts 21:14 just says:

The Greek text above just translates to “We stopped saying the will of the Lord be done.”  Everything, all of the words, including a number of prophecies were part of a concentrated attempt by the Spirit to tell Paul not to go to Jerusalem. The comma in the translation can be misleading. The message didn’t change.  The people realized that Paul wasn’t listening and they just stopped. No more prophets were sent at this point.  But notice that the Spirit made numerous attempts to get the message across to Paul before stopping the messages.

(This topic is covered in more detail in T 1.31 More on Paul’s Decision To Go To Jerusalem, How Tradition Can Affect Translation And Meaning, Accepting Deliverance When Available)

The messages in this teaching are very simple. Christ is the head, he’s in charge, and he communicates to people via the spirit. When he communicates with the people he communicates the same truths.  One way you can check some things is if it’s something related to Scripture then it will not contradict the rightly divided Scripture on that topic. Of course, for all this to work then it is paramount that everyone involved teaches the same rightly divided truth from God’s word.

A number of prophets may be sent with the same message

We have more of a logistical thing here in Paul’s itinerary plans, still, a number of prophets were sent with the same message.

If people are claiming to be led by the spirit then what they are teaching on something will be the same as someone else who is led by the spirit on that same topic.

This all relates to the beginning Scripture in this little article:

Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1Co 1:10 WEB)

©copyright 2023 Mark W. Smith, all rights reserved. last revised 6/15/2023

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