Act 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:
COMMENT: There's the pronoun "we" again,
indicating the author is still with Paul; and so it ought not
to be a surprise to us that he is none other than Saint Luke,
the beloved Jewish Physician who stays with Saint Paul to the end.
When they had gotten from them the elders at Troas who were
probably not inclined to let Paul go, the ship the missionary
team sailed in launched, and came with a straight course
unto Coos, and the following day unto Rhodes, and from there
Act 21:2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia,
we went aboard, and set forth.
COMMENT: They didn't have organized fleets
of ships providing transportation in those days like we do
airlines, trains and interstate buses with schedules you can
count on a year in advance. They found a ship sailing over unto
Phenicia and went aboard, and that ship set forth.
Act 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 burden.
COMMENT: The ship had a load to deliver
to the city of Tyre on the eastern coast of the Mediterrean
Sea just a little Northwest of Israel.
Act 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days:
who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up
COMMENT: It ought to be pointed out again,
that disciples are set apart unto God, even though these disciples
have the burden of families to support, yet in the
seeking of the Spirit they too came to the knowledge
prophetically that trouble awaited Saint Paul; and they advised him
not to go to Jerusalem.
Act 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, til [we were] out of the city:
and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
COMMENT: The disciples came with their
wives and children and accompanied the missionary team
til they were outside of the city where they kneeled down
on the shore and prayed.
Act 21:6 And when we had taken our leave one of another,
we took ship; and they returned home again.
Act 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.
Act 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.
COMMENT: You'll remember, Caesarea was one
of the earlier cities where Paul and Barnabus ordained elders
in the Church they had worked to establish. There Philip the
Evangelist had a house and they stayed with him.
Act 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins,
which did prophesy.
COMMENT: Phillip the Evangelist had not
failed in the raising of his four daughters like so many
Christians do in this present world, but the same Light that
empowered him to win all of Samaria with miracles and signs and
wonders, also enabled him to raise them to be prophesy.
Act 21:10 And as we tarried [there] many days, there came
down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
COMMENT: We heard of Agabus previously when
he predicted a famine throughout the Roman empire which ultimately
came to pass.
Act 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 owns
this girdle, and shall deliver [him] into the hands of the Gentiles."
COMMENT: This same Prophet foretold of
Saint Paul being taken captive by the Jews at Jerusalem. He
also foretold they would turn him over to the Gentiles which comes
to pass when Paul is turned over to the Romans.
Act 21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and
they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
COMMENT: There is the pronoun "we" again.
The author of the book of Acts is still with Paul. So we are
reading a first hand account of what actually took place.
Act 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean you 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.
COMMENT: A servant of God must be willing
and ready to die daily not only to self, but mortally to give up
his life for the Lord Jesus or he cannot expect to be fearless
in obeying the leading of the Spirit.
Act 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased,
saying, "The will of the Lord be done."
COMMENT: Saint Paul possessed
the heart of a martyr.
He knew the enmity of the flesh must be killed.
If the enmity of the flesh is not
slain by martyrdom, it is borne in the world to come where
the flesh will continue to war against the Spirit until conquered.
This is a mystery. Listen carefully to what Saint Paul wrote, saying:
"THAT HE MIGHT RECONCILE BOTH (THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT)
UNTO GOD IN ONE BODY BY THE CROSS, HAVING SLAIN THE ENMITY THEREBY."
The speculative theology of free spiritual perfection
in the Resurrection is epidemic
in America. Salvation is free. Holiness is earned, and martyrdom
is the Potter's way of removing the last of a man's enmity toward
him so he can walk in a state of spiritual perfection.
words, the human vessel is upgraded in martyrdom. We see evidence
of that in Christ's being made perfect through his sufferings
not that his Spirit needed perfecting, but the flesh he wore
had to be brought into perfect harmony with the Spirit.
(Reference Hebrews 2:10 & 5:8/9)
So Saint Paul would not be persuaded to turn away from the golden
opportunity of his own martyrdom, but mankind by nature fears
death and pain.
Act 21:15 ¶ And after those days we took up our carriages,
and went up to Jerusalem.
COMMENT: They had not far to go. The journey
from Caesarea to Jerusalem can most likely be walked in a day.
Act 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 lodge.
Act 21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren
received us gladly.
Act 21:18 And the [day] following Paul went in with us
unto James; and all the elders were present.
Act 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared
particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles
by his ministry.
COMMENT: This was not boasting. They were
all in a life and death struggle in spiritual warfare. They had
a need to know what God was doing, how the Jews responded in the
various cities Paul's team ministered in; who was to be trusted
in the work and who had made themselves enemies of the gospel.
But Christians today do a small work in the name of God and come
together to boast of it saying they are giving testimony to
encourage others when they would be better off getting into the
Spirit of the gospel so God could work through them.
Act 21:20 And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord,
and said unto him, You see, brother, how many thousands of
Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of
COMMENT: You will notice "they glorified
the Lord" and not Paul and his team, even though they were made
aware of the miracles God had done through them.
Act 21:21 And they are informed of you, that you teach 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.
COMMENT: The leadership in Jerusalem
spoke as leaders ought to speak in spiritual warfare, clearly
defining the explosive potential for persecution against
Saint Paul there. Yet Paul did not teach men to forsake Moses,
neither did he say they ought not to circumcise their children.
He did teach the Spirit of the law, for "THE LAW KILLS, BUT THE
SPIRIT SAVES." But the Old Testament is a perfect fit for the
New Testament if only the Jewish people could show themselves
noble enough to study the Jewish authors of the New Testament.
Act 21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must
come together: for they will hear that you are come.
COMMENT: The spiritually minded leadership in
Jerusalem saw there would be a religious riot there once the
Jews zealous for the law of Moses heard Paul was among them.
Act 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to you: We have
four men which have a vow on them;
COMMENT: So the leadership in Jerusalem
had a plan, although we know Paul and his team had already been
thoroughly warned by the Prophet Agabus that he would be
taken prisoner by the Jews and turned over to the Romans.
Act 21:24 Them take, and purify yourself 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 you, are nothing; but [that] you yourself also walk
orderly, and keep the law.
COMMENT: The leadership wanted Paul to
join with four men who had vows and were going to shave their
heads as a sign of it in accordance with the law of Moses,
so the multitude could visibly see Paul with his head shaved
with them was also practicing the law of Moses.
Act 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 from
COMMENT: The four men they are speaking of
are Jewish, for they teach the Gentiles they are not to observe
the legalisms of the law of Moses to which they have not been
trained to observe.
Act 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 of them.
COMMENT: Most Christians are unaware of this
verse and what it means. Saint Paul has the sacrifice of Christ on
the cross to atone for his sins just like we Gentiles do,
and still had an offering made for
himself in the temple of God. We already are told the law
of Moses is not necessary for the Gentiles but Paul was able to
"be all things to all men." He was able to serve in the Gospel
without the law of Moses to the Gentiles and within the law of
Moses to the Jewish people.
Act 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 him,
COMMENT: It made no difference to the enemies
of Jesus Christ, that Saint Paul was diligently and reverently
observing the laws of Moses in the temple. They stirred up the
people and grabbed hold of Paul even though the laws of Moses
forbids them to touch the Lord's anointed or do any harm to him.
It is written in the Old Testament:
"TOUCH NOT MY ANOINTED, AND DO MY PROPHETS NO HARM." (Psalm
105:15) And you can be sure the rulers of the people were inclined
to quote the above Scripture concerning themselves just as religious
leaders today claim to be the Lord's anointed when they are not!
The haters of the Lord got a grip on Saint Paul and...
Act 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, "Help: This is the man,
that teaches all [men] every where against the people,
and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks
also into the temple, and has polluted this holy place.
COMMENT: All of their accusations were false:
Saint Paul did not teach against his own people, nor did he teach
against the law of Moses, nor did he teach against the holy
temple, and he did not bring Gentiles into the temple to
The court of the Gentiles has always been provided for Gentile
believers, but Gentiles are not allowed inside the temple of God.
The Jews are the royal priesthood.
Act 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.)
COMMENT: So their accusations were
presumptuous supposing Paul to be against his own nation,
against the law of Moses and willing to breach the holiness of
the temple by bringing a Gentile into it.
Act 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.
COMMENT: Perhaps the doors of the holy temple
were closed to keep the rioting multitude out lest the temple
suffer damage or the peace within be disturbed.
Act 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.
COMMENT: Israel was a theocracy historically,
and as such; the religious leaders had the power to execute
evildoers among the people which became a liability when the
nation backslid from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now
the wicked were attempting to kill Saint Paul like they did
Stephen the Martyr - who was executed by stoning. And the report
that all Jerusalem was in an uproar came to the chief
Roman Captain of
the band of soldiers stationed there.
Act 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.
COMMENT: Each Centurion represents a hundred
Roman soldiers. We don't know how many soldiers came, but hundreds
came running, and when the rioting multitude saw the Chief Captain
of the Romans, they stopped beating Saint Paul.
So it was a favor from God who set the Romans over Israel to
protect them from themselves in their backslidden state spiritually.
For they would have killed another of their own Prophets had the
Romans not come to re-estalblish law and order.
Act 21:33/34 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.
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.
Act 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.
COMMENT: The multitude of Jews had become
a violent rioting mob so the soldiers had to carry Paul out of
Act 21:36 For the multitude of the people followed after,
crying, "Away with him."
COMMENT: When a population becomes separated
by the darkness of their sins from God, they are capable of
turning into violent and murderous mobs; unjustly accusing the
Act 21:37 ¶ And as Paul was to be led into the castle,
he said unto the chief captain, "May I speak with you?"
Who said, "Can you speak Greek?"
COMMENT: Once inside the castle fortress,
Paul was on his feet walking; where he address the Chief Captain
humbly asking for permission to speak to him apparently in
Greek, for nothing more was said about what language they were
to speak in. Instead the Chief Captain asked:
Act 21:38 "Are you not that Egyptian, which before these days
made an uproar, and led out into the wilderness four
thousand men that were murderers?"
COMMENT: The Chief Captain thought the
multitude had actually caught a criminal the way they behaved
so violently. And he guessed it might be that Egyptian.
Act 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 you, suffer me to speak unto the people."
COMMENT: Paul begged for the right to speak
to the multitude not so much to clear his name with them but to
lead them to Christ.
Act 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 spoke unto [them] in
the Hebrew tongue, saying,
COMMENT: Now Paul is speaking in Hebrew.
You see dear reader, we have a very educated Apostle.