Acts 21:1-14

Dec 1, 2019 // By:Dave // No Comment

Paul had stopped in Miletus, met with the elders of Ephesus, and now continues by boat to return to Jerusalem

1 When we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara;

2 and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail.

not one ship, like a chartered cruise, they are skipping from one ship to another (like a hitchhiker using cars and trucks to get from Boston to Los Angelos)

they are skipping along the southern coastline of Asia Minor (northern mediterranean ocean) taking several days

3 When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload its cargo.

4 After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.

Church in Tyre was likely founded by the christians who fled the persecution in Jerusalem mentioned in Acts 11:19

Let’s look at a phrase here that becomes more interesting the more we look at it:

in verse 4 we read  “through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem”

prophetic word

Acts 13:1-3

Acts 13:1 ¶ Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Acts 13:2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 13:3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Paul has already been told not only that he would suffer for the Lord but been shown how much he would suffer.

Ananias in Acts 9

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for ahe is a chosen 1instrument of Mine, to bear My name before bthe Gentiles and ckings and the sons of Israel;

Acts 9:16 for aI will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

Acts 16:6-7

Acts 16:6 ¶ They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;

Acts 16:7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

Paul is sensitive to the Spirit’s leading

Acts 20:22 “And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,

Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.

Acts 20:24 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

Paul is already prepared and convinced that he must go.

Is the Holy Spirit saying “go” and “don’t go” ?

Spiritual gift is in operation, there is still “human element”

There is portion of the express that can contain (more or less) human emotion and reaction in response to the truth being communicated

(sometimes that human element can be mixed with the truth, even to the point of confusing the message)

note that our verse does not say “The Spirit said through the people” but says “they kept telling people through the Spirit”

(basically “who is speaking through whom?”)

5 When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another.

6 Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.

7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brethren, we stayed with them for a day.

8 On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him.

9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.

We know Phillip the Evangelist.

This is the same Phillip:

  • one of the seven appointed to take care of the daily distribution of food in Acts 6:1-6
  • travelled with the men to Samaria in beginning of Acts 8
  • who witnessed to the eunuch in Acts 8:35
  • who is transported by the Spirit to Azotus in Acts 8:40 preaching the Gospel all the way along until he came to Caesaria 

Philip is the only evangelist mentioned in the NT

2296   [2099]   εαγγελιστής, euaggelistēs, n.  [2292 + 34]. evangelist, preacher of the gospel  from αγγελoς

an evangelist (by gift definition) is someone who can clearly communicate the gospel and “close the deal”

(we are all called to witness, while we are not all equipped as evangelists)

basic discipleship foundation:

learn to read the word

learn to pray

share community with other believers

tell others (witness and disciple)

Eph 4:11 …

saying he had four virgin daughters (really is not a compliment of their virtue.

it’s saying they were unmarried, (devoted 100 % to service of the Lord)

‘being unmarried was sometimes preferable to being married

(being single meant you only had one set of cares, undistracted, undivided)

1 Cor 7:8, 26, 34-35

10 As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

11 And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”

talk about adding personal “flavor” to a prophetic word. This guy wants to wax dramatic !! He takes Paul’s belt, from Paul, in the witness of all in the room and proclaims “the man who owns this belt …” they all know who owns the belt, they just saw him take it from Paul !  rotfl !

12 When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem.

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

14 And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”

they are asking Paul to compromise what he already knows he must do.  

When he makes it clear that he will not compromise, they finally concede “His will be done”

A point to consider here is:

Paul is actually willing to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit (don’t go here, go there, don’t talk to this person, risk your life to talk to these people, etc)

Are we as willing ?

Can we honestly ask God to lead us (while in the back of our head be thinking “I’m terrified of what He May say to do so I won’t ask”)

Can we honestly expect God to tell us His real will for our lives (the big steps of faith) when He knows we won’t even obey the small steps ?

Our comfort is usually a much more powerful and desirable god to worship than our creator. 

suffering and persecution is part of the package of being a christian.

Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23 ¶ And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

Luke 9:24 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

Who is Jesus speaking to ?

Matt 10:22

Matt. 10:22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
(Ye shall be hated (esesthe misoumenoi). Periphrastic future passive, linear action. It will go on through the ages.)

Who is Jesus speaking to ?

2 Tim 3:12

2Tim. 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

persecuted = 1503   [1377]   διώκω, diōkō,. to pursue, persecute, to systematically oppress and harass a person or group, as an extended meaning of pursuing a person on foot in a chase; also from the image of the chase comes the meaning of striving and pressing on to a goal with intensity: to press on

(i.e. that which is being systematically hunted down is not randomly running, but is striving to reach a goal while being hunted)

Who is Paul speaking to ? (who is Paul speaking about?)

Phil. 1:20 according to my aearnest expectation and bhope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with call boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be dexalted in my body, ewhether by life or by death.

Phil. 1:21 For to me, ato live is Christ and to die is gain.

Phil 1:29

Phil. 1:27 ¶ Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Phil. 1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents — which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

Phil. 1:29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

Phil. 1:30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Phil. 2:1 ¶ Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,

Phil. 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Phil. 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Phil. 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Phil. 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

Phil. 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

Phil. 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Who is Paul speaking to ?

if anyone wishes

you will be hated

all who desire to live godly

to you it has been granted to suffer for His sake

have this attitude which was in Christ, humbled Himself, even death on a cross

the bible mentions specific gifts of Apostle, Teaching, Evangelist, Faith, Prophecy, … (all things we read about today)

Does the NT mention a specific gift of suffering for the Gospel ?

(why are not special people singled out with a gift of suffering for Him?)

we are all called to it  (it comes with the package of being a follower/disciple) of Jesus Christ.


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