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Chapter Twenty-One — Part One: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 12/18/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 21:1-9

1. Sailing.
a. Acts 21:1 NKJV — Now it came to pass, that when we had departed from them and set sail, running a straight course we came to Cos, the following day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
b. One of the world’s ancient wonders was on the island of Rhodes—a brazen image dedicated to Helios, standing 106 feet high.
c. It was so tall that ships with spread out sails could pass between its legs.
d. It stood for 66 years until an earthquake destroyed it in 224 BC.
e. Acts 21:2-3 NKJV — And finding a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we had sighted Cyprus, we passed it on the left, sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo.
f. In the Old Testament, Cyprus was known as Kittim or Chittim (Num. 24:24; Isa. 23:1,12; Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:6; Dan. 11:30).
g. Acts 21:4 NKJV — And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.
h. They landed at Tyre, found some disciples, and remained there with them for a week.
i. Christianity was spreading, and they found fellow Christian brethren in many places.
j. These disciples knew by the Holy Spirit the persecution and suffering that awaited Paul in Jerusalem.
k. Paul already knew this very well, but God gave him a choice in the matter, and he chose to go and face it.
l. Acts 21:5 NKJV — When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed.
m. The Church consists of families—men, women, and children—each having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, praying together, encouraging one another, and fellowshipping together.
n. What a great picture of whole families showing their great love and respect for Paul, and his ministry, by coming together to accompany him to the ship.
o. Acts 21:6 NKJV — When we had taken our leave of one another, we boarded the ship, and they returned home.

2. Ptolemais.
a. Acts 21:7 NKJV — And when we had finished our voyage from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, greeted the brethren, and stayed with them one day.
b. They only had one day but took the time to fellowship and bless the brethren there.
c. Acts 21:8 NKJV — On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.
d. Caesarea lay about 60 miles south of Tyre and was also about 60 miles from Jerusalem.
e. Philip, the evangelist, lived in Caesarea with his family.
f. Paul and his companions went to lodge at his house—which was no doubt large enough to accommodate them all.
g. Acts 21:9 NKJV — Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.
h. Philip’s daughters were anointed by the Holy Spirit and prophesied.

3. God Uses Everyone.
a. It was God, not man, who predicted and promised that He would pour out His Spirit upon both men and woman—no matter their age, or station in life—and that they would prophesy (Joel 2:28-31; Acts 2:14-21).
b. The gift of prophesy is for the benefit of the Church and the public (1 Cor. 12:1-31; 14:1-6,12,24-26,29-33).
c. He, or she, who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to all (1 Cor. 14:3).
d. He, or she, who prophesies, edifies the church (1 Cor. 14:4).
e. The same people who deny the work of the Holy Spirit today, also try to prevent women from fulfilling their ministry call or operating in the gifts the Lord has placed on their lives.

4. God Uses Women.
a. The Lord used women first to proclaim the good news that Jesus was risen—whilst the men were initially skeptical (Mt. 28:1-10; Lk. 24:9-11; Jn. 4:28-30; 20:16-18).
b. In the Early Church, it was normal for Spirit-filled Christians, to operate by the Holy Spirit and in the gifts of the Spirit.
c. When Philip’s daughters prophesied, Paul did not prevent or rebuke them.
d. Paul did not have an issue with women being used of God in this way.
e. In fact, he mentions several women by name in his letters, who operated in some form of ministry or another.
f. The first person he mentions in Romans 16, is a woman named Phoebe.
g. Romans 16:1-2 NKJV — I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.
h. Paul greeted Priscilla and Aquila in his letter, mentioning her name first (Rom. 16:3-5).
i. They had risked their own necks for Paul, and they had a church in their house.
j. Paul mentions Mary, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, and Julia as laborers in the Lord (Rom. 16:6-15).
k. He mentioned Euodias and Syntyche as being leaders of the church at Philippi (Php. 4:2).
l. We see that Corinthian men and women prophesied and prayed in church and were given guidance by Paul on how to properly operate in the gifts (1 Cor. 11:4-5; 1 Cor. 14:24-32).
m. It was their custom—as it had been in the synagogues—for the men and women to sit on opposite sides of the church.
n. He requested that the women ask their own husbands any questions at home, and not disturb the service by shouting across the room (1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11).
o. Paul does not condemn woman ministers, but he does ask them to be respectful and not usurp authority over the men (1 Tim. 2:12).