verses for this week: 1 John 2:24 Let that
therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If
that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye
also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
Introduction: In Chapter 20, Paul went to Greece, Macedonia, and
later talked with the leaders at the church in Ephesus. He declared how that he had held nothing back
from them, but had declared the whole word of the Lord.
It ended on a sad note as he prophetically told them that
they would see him no more. They
accompanied him to the ship there in Miletus where he left to sail
Paul from Miletus to Tyre
21:1 And it came to
pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came
with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes,
and from thence unto Patara:
21:2 And finding a ship
sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.
21:3 Now when we had
discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into
Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her
We see after Paul met with the
elders from Ephesus, he sailed to Tyre through the cities of Rhodes,
Patara, Phenicia, Cyprus, and Syria.
In Tyre, they stopped to unload some of the cargo of the
The Holy Ghost forbids Paul to go to Jerusalem
21:4 And finding
disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the
Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
21:5 And when we had
accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all
brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of
the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
Last week, we talked about how
Paul was pushing his schedule in order to get to Jerusalem to be
there for the time of the feast.
Paul finds several disciples in the city of Tyre, and they
pray together. Paul’s
was warned by the leading of the Holy Spirit that he should
not go to Jerusalem. Paul
goes forth and gets on another ship to continue his journey.
The people had great love and respect for Paul, and it was
shown as the people came out to bid him farewell, and knelt and
prayed there on the beach.
21:6 And when we had
taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home
21:7 And when we had
finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the
brethren, and abode with them one day.
We see they entered the ship
and came next to the port of Ptolemais.
As was Paul’s custom in most every city he went, he went
down and saluted and encouraged the brethren in the city.
Paul’s desire was to see the church grow and reach more for
the cause of Christ.
2 Cor 11:22
Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are
they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
2 Cor 11:23
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more;
in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more
frequent, in deaths oft.
2 Cor 11:24
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2 Cor 11:25
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I
suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2 Cor 11:26
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of
robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen,
in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the
sea, in perils among false brethren;
2 Cor 11:27
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger
and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2 Cor 11:28
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon
me daily, the care of all the churches.
21:8 And the next day
we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and
we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of
the seven; and abode with him.
21:9 And the same man
had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
The next day Paul and his
company depart and come unto Caesarea, the city where the evangelist
Phillip lived. He was
one of the seven that had been chosen to serve the church in
Jerusalem before the great persecution.
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose
Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and
Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a
proselyte of Antioch:
Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed,
they laid their hands on them.
It says that Phillip was
chosen to be a deacon in the church there in Jerusalem before God
called him into the ministry.
After that he preached in Samaria.
And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time
there was a great persecution against the church which was at
Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions
of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great
lamentation over him.
As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into
every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where
preaching the word.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached
Christ unto them.
And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things
which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
We also remember in our
studies how that Phillip caught up to the eunuch in the chariot and
preached to him Jesus Christ. Afterwards
he baptized the man, meaning that he had been given such authority
by the church there in Jerusalem.
This means he was called as a minister, since deacons are not
commanded to preach. Every
Christian should witness for the Lord, but preachers are called of
And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise,
and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem
unto Gaza, which is desert.
And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an
eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who
had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to
Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself
to this chariot.
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet
Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And
he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led
as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his
shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall
declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of
whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same
scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain
water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me
to be baptized?
And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou
mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the
Son of God.
It says that Paul and his
company abode at Phillip’s house until they left Caesarea.
At this time, we saw an Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in
the case of Phillip’s four daughters.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my
spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall
prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those
days will I pour out my spirit.
It would have to be assumed
that they spoke and prophesied before women, as the scriptures teach
that the woman is not to speak in the church.
1 Cor 14:34
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not
permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under
obedience, as also saith the law.
1 Cor 14:35
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands
at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Many churches ignore these
verses today, and we see many women being ordained as pastors.
From these scriptures and the ones concerning the
qualifications for a pastor, it appears that God’s Word is not
their basis for their decisions.
The Holy Spirit warns Paul through Agabus
21:10 And as we tarried
there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet,
21:11 And when he was
come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and
feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at
Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver
him into the hands of the Gentiles.
21:12 And when we heard
these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to
go up to Jerusalem.
21:13 Then Paul
answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am
ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the
name of the Lord Jesus.
Paul and his group were here
several days when a prophet from Judea named Agabus come up to them.
We do not know if the man was sent directly by God for the
purpose of persuading Paul not to go to Jerusalem, but we do know
God works all things after the counsel of His own will.
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being
predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things
after the counsel of his own will:
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first
trusted in Christ.
We see Agabus takes hold on
Paul’s girdle and bound him signifying that this would happen to
him if he went into Jerusalem.
The brethren speak up to encourage him not to go, but Paul is
persuaded in his mind that he will go even if it meant his death.
Matthew Henry had this to say
about these scriptures:
Here appeared a commendable affection to Paul, and a value for him
upon account of his great usefulness in the church.
Good men that are very active sometimes need to be dissuaded
from overworking themselves, and good men that are very bold need to
be dissuaded from exposing themselves too far.
The Lord is for the body, and so must we be.
Yet there was a mixture of infirmity, especially in those of
Paul’s company, who knew he undertook this journey by divine
direction, and had seen with what resolution he had before broken
through the like opposition. Paul
reproves them for dissuading him.
They love Paul dearly, and therefore oppose his resolution;
he loves them dearly, and therefore chides them for opposing it.
They were an offence to him, as Peter was to Christ, in a
like case, when he said “Master, spare thyself.”
Fortunately, Paul was of a very tender spirit.”
However, after two warnings, we see he goes forth to
Paul at Jerusalem
21:14 And when he would
not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
21:15 And after those
days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.
21:16 There went with
us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with
them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should
21:17 And when we
were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
When the disciples could
not persuade Paul not to go, they said, “The will of the Lord be
done.” When we can
not make someone understand, this is the best course of action.
We see when they depart for Jerusalem, they take an old
disciple named Mnason of Cyprus with them.
As was the case in most every city Paul went, he and his
company were warmly received by the brethren there in Jerusalem.
Paul take a Jewish Vow concerning Jewish Sacrifice
21:18 And the day
following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were
21:19 And when he had
saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought
among the Gentiles by his ministry.
When Paul declared the great
things God had done among the Gentiles, it brought great joy to the
brethren, and they glorified God for it.
When we hear of souls being saved by missionaries we support
in our church, it brings great happiness to us.
To have a small part in these ministries allows us to share
in the happiness of one more soul being saved for eternity.
21:20 And when they
heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest,
brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and
they are all zealous of the law:
21:21 And they are
informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among
the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to
circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
21:22 What is it
therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will
hear that thou art come.
21:23 Do therefore this
that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
21:24 Them take, and
purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may
shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they
were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself
also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
21:25 As touching the
Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they
observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from
things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and
21:26 Then Paul took
the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into
the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of
purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one
We see that thousands of Jews
were at Jerusalem who were saved and also zealous for the law.
We see that the disciples suggest that Paul prove to the
people that he is alright by going into the temple and make a vow
and pay their bill. They
knew that Paul had taught the Gentiles that they did not need to be
circumcised to be saved.
1 Cor 7:19
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but
the keeping of the commandments of God.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing,
nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit,
and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Why Paul agreed to do this, I
don’t know. It did
not work. But Paul
tried his best to pacify the Jews to follow the truth.
J. Vernon McGee had
these comments about these verses.
“The Jews twisted a little what Paul was actually doing and
teaching. We come now to another interesting passage about which good
Bible expositors offer different explanations.
Was Paul out or in the will of God when he went to Jerusalem
and took a Jewish vow that evidently involved a sacrifice. These
Jews who had found their completion in Jesus Christ had not forsaken
the Mosaic Law. However,
they could not insist that Gentiles must come under the Law.
On the other hand, Gentiles could not insist that the Jews
forsake the practices of the Law—provided they were not trusting
them for salvation. Those
who insist that the grace of God did not force the Gentiles to keep
the Mosaic Law seem to forget that the same grace permits the Jew to
continue in its precepts if he feels it is the will of God.
Paul had made it very clear in his teachings that meat does
not commend us to God.”
1 Cor 8:8
But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat,
are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
1 Cor 8:9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become
a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
I think it all comes down to
the zeal Paul had to reach all men.
1 Cor 9:19
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself
servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
1 Cor 9:20
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the
Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might
gain them that are under the law;
1 Cor 9:21
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not
without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain
them that are without law.
1 Cor 9:22
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I
am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1 Cor 9:23
And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker
thereof with you.
VI. Paul seized in the Temple by the Jews
21:27 And when the
seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they
saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on
21:28 Crying out, Men
of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where
against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought
Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
21:29 (For they had
seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they
supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
21:30 And all the city
was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew
him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
21:31 And as they went
about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band,
that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
21:32 Who immediately
took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they
saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
was the Jews from Asia that identify Paul.
The bring the charge against Paul for bringing a Gentile into
the temple. Having seen
him with Trophimus, they supposed Paul had brought him into the
temple. This was not the case at all.
When we accuse someone, we need to be certain of the facts.
This caused a riot and Paul was almost beaten to death.
Fortunately, Paul was rescued by the Roman soldiers.
Paul is Bound with Chains
21:33 Then the chief
captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with
two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.
21:34 And some cried
one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not
know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried
into the castle.
21:35 And when he came
upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for
the violence of the people.
21:36 For the multitude
of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.
chief captain takes Paul and commands that he be bound in chains.
He demands to know who he is and where he was from.
When he could not hear for the shouting of the people, he
commands that they take Paul into the castle.
21:37 And as Paul was
to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I
speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
21:38 Art not thou that
Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out
into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
21:39 But Paul said, I
am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of
no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the
Paul was about to led away, he asks for the right to speak to the
people. The chief
captain thinks Paul is the Egyptian which had caused trouble before
and led 4,000 murderers into the wilderness.
21:40 And when he had
given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the
hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he
spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,
is an unfortunate break in a chapter, as Paul begins to speak to the
people. But we will get
into what he says in next week’s lesson.
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