Chapter Twenty — Part Six: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 10/02/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 20:22-24

1. Bound in the Spirit.
a. Paul was leaving Asia Minor to go to Jerusalem.
b. It is important to note that Paul was not leaving the area because of the threat of persecution.
c. Dangers lay behind him and before him—but he had already counted the cost and laid down his life for the sake of the Gospel.
d. Acts 20:22a NKJV — And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem,
e. Paul does not go bound in body but bound in spirit.
f. And now, you see, I am going to Jerusalem, bound by the [Holy] Spirit and obligated and compelled by the [convictions of my own] spirit… (Vs. 22 AMPC).
g. Paul had obligated himself to the cause of Christ and to fulfill his calling.
h. Therefore, he felt compelled to obey God in all things, and on all occasions.
i. Acts 20:22b AMPC — …not knowing what will befall me there —
j. If we are paying attention, we will never be caught unawares.
k. The Holy Spirit directs us and tells us of things to come (John 16:13; Ps. 92:11).
l. Sometimes it is to deliver us from something; sometimes it is to give us strength and encouragement to endure.
m. Paul knew generally what would happen to him, but he did not know the specifics.
n. Nevertheless, he had committed his life and destiny into the hands of the Father and prepared his heart to face whatever lay before him.

2. Seeing Ahead.
a. Acts 20:23 AMPC — Except that the Holy Spirit clearly and emphatically affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me.
b. Along his way, others were prophesying what Paul already knew by the Spirit of God—that he would be imprisoned and would have to suffer for the Word’s sake.
c. Prophecy is not “information,” but “confirmation.”
d. When you pay attention to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit, you will know which way that God is leading you.
e. Prophecy is merely the confirmation and affirmation of this.
f. The Lord can use prophecy to give us a warning or an encouragement.
g. We do need the Gifts of the Spirit to be in operation in the Church, and we are never to despise prophecies (1 Thess. 5:19-21).
h. However, they should always be administered and judged according to the standards of the Word of God (1 Cor. 14:29).

3. None of These Things.
a. Acts 20:24a NKJV — But none of these things move me;
b. He did not regard or make an account of these things.
c. He did not lay these things to heart nor take it personally.
d. None of these things caused him to back off or change direction.
e. He continued to preach and minster, even though he knew it would cost him.
f. He did not stress, neither did he begin to strive.
g. None of these things deprived him of his comfort or his peace.
h. In his patience, he remained calm and “possessed his soul” or “stayed in control of his mind” (Lk. 21:19).
i. Jesus assured us that even though we would be persecuted: “But there shall positively not a hair of your head perish. In the sphere of your steadfastness, constancy, and endurance you shall win for yourselves your lives” (Luke 21:18-19 Wuest).
j. We must be careful to not allow pressure to cause us to begin operating in the flesh—allowing our carnal mind to take over and turning ministry into a works program.
k. Notice that Paul did not make his decisions based on his circumstances, but on the Word of the Lord and the directions of the Holy Spirit.

4. Commitment and Trust.
a. At the very beginning, Jesus told Ananias, concerning Paul: “For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:16 AMPC)
b. Paul knew that as long as he obeyed God and stayed in the center of His perfect will, he was in the safest place he could be.
c. The reason that Paul, and other committed Christians, were willing to die for their faith was because they were committed to a Person, Jesus Christ, and not merely a cause.
d. Jesus is both our example and our reason for being.

5. Persistence and Resolve.
a. Paul spoke of his victory over trials and persecutions in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10.
b. We show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties.
c. We have been beaten, jailed, and mobbed.
d. We have been overworked and have gone without sleep or food.
e. We have shown and proved ourselves to be God’s servants by our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness.
f. And also, by the Holy Spirit, by our unfeigned love, by our message of Truth, and by the power of God.
g. Righteousness is our weapon—both to attack and to defend ourselves.
h. We are honored and disgraced, insulted and praised.
i. We are branded as liars and deceivers, and yet vindicated as truthful and honest.
j. As unknown and ignored by the world, and yet known and recognized by God and His people.
k. As though we were dead, but as you see, very much alive.
l. As chastened by punishments and suffering, yet not killed.
m. As sad, grieved, and mourning, and yet always rejoicing.
n. We may seem poor, but we make many people rich.
o. We may seem to have nothing, and yet, we possess all things.
p. Even through difficulties and opposition, like Paul, we can have holy courage and a strong resolution to do and fulfill our work and finish our course.