Acts 21

Acts 21:1:And it happened when it was time to sail, we having been torn away from them, running direct we came to Cos; and on the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
Acts 21:2:And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, going on board, we set sail.
Acts 21:3:And sighting Cyprus, and leaving it on the left, we sailed into Syria, and came down to Tyre. For the ship was to unload its cargo there.
Acts 21:4:And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days; who said to Paul through the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:5:But when it was time to finish the days, going out, we traveled on. And they with all the women and children went with us as far as outside the city. And we kneeled down on the shore and prayed.
Acts 21:6:And giving parting greetings to one another, we went up into the ship; and they returned to their own things.
Acts 21:7:And finishing the voyage from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais. And greeting the brothers, we stayed with them one day.

Paul, always obedient to the leading (command) of the Holy Spiritnever wasted time by relaxing his vigil. Paul understood his calling and was faithful to push toward the goal. There are two thoughts contained here that every Christian, mature or new, must learn.

First, it is the perfect will of God the Father that none should perish but, rather, that all should repent and be saved. (1Tim. 2:1-4 & Rom. 12:2) And then there is the wrong view that is so widely held about the call of God... it is not mystical! In the last three verses of Matthew we see that ever Christian, Pastor, Deacon, Teacher and Pew Whale has been called into the field to minister and to lead the Lost to the foot of the cross of Jesus.

Acts 21:8:And the next day those around him going out, Paul came to Caesarea. And entering the house of Philip the evangelist, he being of the seven, we stayed with him.
Acts 21:9:And there were four virgin daughters to this one, who prophesied.
Acts 21:10:And as we stayed more days, a certain prophet from Judea named Agabus came down.
Acts 21:11:And coming to us, and taking Paul's belt, and binding his hands and feet, he said, The Holy Spirit says these things: So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man whose belt this is, and will deliver him into the hands of the nations.
Acts 21:12:And when we heard these things, both we and those of the place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:13: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.
Acts 21:14:And he not being persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

Today, we are not only a narrow minded people, we are unlearned! When I was first saved, I was desperate to be grounded and yet I knew I was called. My first Christian teaching experience, after two years of observation, was to teach the Primary Class. I became grounded in the basics, right there and being a C&W singer I was perfect to lead music for the Children's Church. My favorite song with them was The Lord's Army. It is a crying shame more adults did not grow up saluting, marching and singing this great theology!

Following Jesus, absolutely, does not mean that all your trials are over. Paul understood that he could, at any time, be killed because he was at war with Satan, as is any Saved Man. People thought the Killer Spades, the Black Bandits and their cover, the Tiger Birds were either stupid, crazy or very brave but we weren´t, we were committed. Our moto read ¨Above the Best¨ and did not mean we were better than the Best, it meant we were up there as their servants. And just as we served those Grunts, so serves the Christian, his or her Master.

Acts 21:15:And after those days, making ready, we went up to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:16:Also some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing Mnason, a certain Cypriot, an old disciple with whom we were to lodge.
Acts 21:17:And we being in Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.
Acts 21:18:And on the next day Paul went with us to James. And all the elders were present.
Acts 21:19:And having greeted them, he related one by one what things God had done among the nations by his ministry.
Acts 21:20:And hearing, they glorified the Lord, and said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who believe, and they are all zealous of the law.
Acts 21:21:And they are informed concerning you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the nations to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, nor to walk after the customs.
Acts 21:22:What is it therefore? At all events a multitude will come together, for they will hear that you have come.
Acts 21:23:Therefore do this, what we say to you: We have four men who have a vow on themselves;
Acts 21:24:taking them, be purified with them, and be at expense for them, so that they may shave their heads. And all may know that what they have been told about you is nothing, but you yourself also walk orderly and keep the Law.
Acts 21:25:And as to the nations who believe, we joined in writing, judging them to observe no such things, except only that they keep themselves from both idol sacrifice, and blood, and a thing strangled, and from fornication.
Acts 21:26:Then taking the men on the next day, being purified with them, Paul went into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of the purification, until an offering should be offered for each of them.

In verses 15 through 19 we find one of Scriptures better examples of accountability. Paul had spent three years at the foot of Jesus (Gal. 1) and yes, the first Twelve were at the foot of Jesus for, perhaps, six months longer but Paul was one on one and still took no pride in but instead held himself accountable to the council of those called before him.

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is taught to seldom today and the lack of knowledge causes great harm. In the remainder of this paragraph we see that Paul was ever respectful of the Bible he taught salvation from. People have, in the past , screamed at me, alluding to the heresy that the New Testament, written for or by Jesus, has made the Old Testament invalid. Jesus, Himself, said this is not the case in Matthew 5:17-20. All of the New Testament references the truths taught in the Bible Jesus, Paul and all the Christian Saints have taught from.

The net sum of all of this is that there is much to be learned by studying all of the Bible.

Acts 21:27:And when the seven days were about to be completed, the Jews who were from Asia, having seen him in the temple, stirred up all the crowd and laid hands on him,
Acts 21:28:crying out, Men, Israelites, help! This is the man who teaches all everywhere against the people and the Law and this place. And even he brought Greeks into the temple and has polluted this holy place.
Acts 21:29:(For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city before, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
Acts 21:30:And all the city was moved, and the people ran together. And laying hands on Paul, they drew him outside of the temple. And immediately the doors were shut.
Acts 21:31:And as they were seeking to kill him, the news came to the chiliarch of the cohort, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Acts 21:32: He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And seeing the chiliarch and the soldiers, they quit beating Paul.
Acts 21:33:Then going near, the chiliarch laid hold on him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains. And he demanded who he was and what he had done.
Acts 21:34:And others cried something else in the crowd, and not being able to know the certainty on account of the uproar, he commanded him to be carried into the fortress.
Acts 21:35:And when he came on the stairs, it happened that he was carried by the soldiers, because of the violence of the crowd.
Acts 21:36:For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him!
Acts 21:37:And as Paul was about to be led into the fortress, he said to the chiliarch, Is it lawful for me to say a thing to you? And he said, Do you know Greek?
Acts 21:38:Then are you not the Egyptian who before these days caused a riot, and led four thousand men of the assassins out into the wilderness?
Acts 21:39:But Paul said, I am a man, a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no small city. And I beseech you, allow me to speak to the people.
Acts 21:40:And he allowing him, standing on the stairs, Paul signaled with his hand to the people. And much silence taking place, he spoke in the Hebrew dialect, saying:

chiliarch is Greek for a Commander of a thousand. (v31)

In verses 27 through 32 we find Paul falsely charged and about to be murdered when the local law arrives to take charge. In my 67 years I have seen lost and saved man guilty of such behavior as the Jews are here. To the Lost we are called to be teaching examples to and when a ¨professing Saved Man¨ acts like this we must seek to lift them up, help them to see their error and pray for their witness. We are oft assaulted with Matthew 7:1 but I will tell you to read the trest of that paragraph and to learn the truth about judgment. If we shut our eyes, ears and do nothing we are guilty of a sin we must atone for somewhere!

Now, Paul is being spirited away from the crowd to avoid an unlawful execution from taking place and in spite of the danger keeps his trust and faith rooted in Jesus and bound, hand and foot, I make it, convinces the chiliarch to allow him to speak to the crowd. Paul is ever mindful of his mission, just as we are required to be when following our Savior.