AM June 11th Acts 21

June 11th           Acts 21             Paul goes to Jerusalem

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: 2: And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 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 burden. 4: And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 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. 6: And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again. 7: And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. 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. 9: And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. 10: And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 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. 12: And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 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. 14: And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done. 15: And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem. 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 lodge.

Paul arrives in Jerusalem

17: And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18: And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 19: And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. 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: 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. 22: What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. 23: Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 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. 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 from fornication. 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 of them.

Paul arrested

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 him, 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. 29: (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 35: And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. 36: For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.

Paul’s defence speech

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? 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? 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 people. 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,

Paul is on his way home to Jerusalem and he is hopping from port to port taking what ships he can find. Eventually he arrived at Tyre on the northern coast of Israel. When Paul found christians there he took a rest for seven days. There were prophets there who said that Paul was heading for trouble and that he should not go to Jerusalem. Well Paul knew that he was heading for trouble and that he should go because this was Gods purpose in his life. The believers went with him with their wives and children and at the outskirts of the city they knelt down and prayed for him and so he travelled on. Paul took ship again to journey south and landed at Ptolemais. There Paul greeted the brethren and stayed one day and then set off for Caesarea. At Caesarea they stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist. Philip had four daughters who were prophetesses. Paul stayed there many days and while he was there the Prophet Agabus came down from Jerusalem and he took Pauls belt and bound his own hands and feet, showing to Paul that this is what was awaiting him in Jerusalem. Everyone tried to persuade him with tears not to go but Paul said stop breaking my heart with your weeping I am ready to go and to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. When they realised that they could not persuade him they let him go committing him to the will of God. And so Paul set out for Jerusalem. When Paul arrived in Jerusalem the brethren received Paul with gladness. On the following day Paul went to meet James and all the elders. Paul told the story of all that God had done through him and how so many Gentiles had believed. They were overjoyed and praised God. Then they informed him of the thousands of Jews who had been converted and how that they were all zealous for the Mosaic Law. Then they said they know about you and they think that you tell the Jews to forsake the law and that they don’t need to be circumcised or to keep Jewish customs. Then they said we have four men who have a vow on them you take them and pay for the sacrifices that they want to offer to the Lord. (The Jews understood that the height of law keeping was charity toward the poor and that paying for the sacrifices of the poor was an even greater righteous act than that) When the Jews know that you have done these things they we realise that you are a true Jew in heart and mind. It will be proof of your keeping of the law. As for the Gentiles we know where we stand that they are not required to keep the law. So Paul took the four men and on the following day he purified himself and entered the temple to await the sacrifice which he would pay for all of them. When the seven days of purification were nearly ended some of the Jews of Turkey saw him and they stirred up a crowd and arrested him. They cried out that this is the man that teaches everywhere against the Jews and the law and the temple and he has brought Gentiles into the temple and has polluted this holy place. They had seen Paul with Trophimus in the city and had assumed that Paul had taken him into the temple. A riot was underway and they threw Paul out of the temple and slammed the doors on him. Paul would never enter the temple again. The crowd was going to kill him but noise of the riot came to the Chief Captain of the Roman Guard that there was a riot. He took soldiers and centurions and ran down and stopped the beating of Paul. The Jews drew back when they saw Roman soldiers. The chief captain bound Paul in chains (Paul would never be free from chains again) and demanded who he was and what he had done. But the crowd cried different accusations, some said one thing and others another thing. Paul was taken into the castle However as they were ascending the stairs He said to the chief captain in Greek, Can l speak to you. The captain was surprised that he spoke Greek. Are you the Egyptian who caused trouble recently? Paul said I am a Jew of Tarsus, a (Roman) citizen of no mean city. Let me speak to the people. And so the chief captain gave him permission. Paul stood on the stairs and lifting up his hand bound with a chain he called on the people in Hebrew to listen to him. When they heard him speaking in Hebrew the place fell totally silent. And he began speaking in Hebrew…

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