Chapter Twenty-One — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 12/25/2022Foundation Scriptures:
a. Acts 21:10 NKJV — And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
b. Agabus “came down” because Judea was at an elevation about 2000 feet higher than Caesarea.
c. Agabus was mentioned earlier in the book of Acts, when he stood up and prophesied by the Holy Spirit that a severe famine would come upon the whole (known) world, which occurred during the reign of Claudius (Acts 11:28).
d. He was proven to be a true prophet of God, and it seems that he came down specifically to prophesy to Paul.
e. Acts 21:11 NKJV — When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
f. Once again, the Holy Spirit reveals what will happen to Paul, but does not forbid him from going.
2. Things To Come.
a. Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would show us things to come.
b. John 16:13 NKJV — However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
c. If we are listening and paying attention, He will warn us so that we can be prepared.
d. Then we need to pray about what to do about it.
e. Sometimes He warns us so we can avoid danger.
f. Sometimes He warns us ahead of time so that even though we cannot avoid what is coming, we can know that He is with us through any challenge or hardship that we face and will bring us out on the other side.
a. Acts 21:12 NKJV — Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.
b. No one wanted to see Paul fall into the hands of his enemies and pleaded with him not to go to Jerusalem.
c. Acts 21:13a NKJV — Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart?
d. Paul was moved by their pleading, but he had resolved in his heart to go and that is what he was determined to do.
e. We cannot make important decisions based on how we feel, but we must do what we know is right.
f. It is doubly hard to do what is right when someone close to you is putting pressure on you to do something else.
g. Many times, other people cannot see what you see because they are seeing things through natural eyes, and you are looking at it through the lens of the Spirit of God and following what you know in your heart of hearts.
h. Like Peter, when one moment he spoke by the Holy Ghost when he answered Jesus and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Mark 8:27-33)
i. The next moment, Peter was ignorantly speaking for the enemy when he dared to rebuke Jesus for saying that He would die on the cross.
j. Jesus responded with, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”
4. Ready to Die.
a. Acts 21:13b NKJV — For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
b. Paul was ready to be imprisoned and even to die for the sake of the Gospel (2 Tim. 4:6).
c. He was ready to preach wherever and to whomever he was sent, no matter the cost (Rom. 1:15).
d. Acts 21:14 NKJV — So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”
e. Paul was on his own in this—everyone else tried to talk him out of going.
f. But they gave up when he would not be persuaded.
g. We can know things and we can warn people, but they must make their own choices and decisions.
h. And it is both good sense and good manners to respect their boundaries, without judgment.
a. Acts 21:15 KJV — And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.
b. They took up their carriages—packed up their baggage—and carried it away with them to Jerusalem.
c. Acts 21:16 AMPC — And some of the disciples from Caesarea came with us, conducting us to the house of Mnason, a man from Cyprus, one of the disciples of long standing, with whom we were to lodge.
d. Mnason was an early convert to Christianity but is only mentioned here in this passage.
e. He was originally from Cyprus but now lived in Jerusalem.
f. Arrangements had been made for them to lodge with him.
g. Acts 21:17 AMPC — When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received and welcomed us gladly.
h. The Christian brethren received and welcomed them with joy and gladness
a. Acts 21:18 NKJV — On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
b. The following day, they met with James, brother of Jesus, and all the elders.
c. Acts 21:19-20a NKJV — When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord.
d. Paul testified to all that the Lord had done among the Gentiles, through his ministry, and they all rejoiced and glorified God with him.
e. This was the last report Paul was able to give in person to the elders in Jerusalem.