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Wednesday, June 22 2016

Acts 21: The Prophecy Of Paul's Arrest

"While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'"

The successful completion of Paul's first three missionary journeys (see The First Voyage Of Barnabas and Saul and The Return Of The Home Town Apostles; also Paul's First Mission To Greece and The Way To Corinth; also The Miracles At Ephesus and The Idol Pedlars and Eutychus - Rising From The Sleep Of Death) would provide the means of his fourth missionary journey - to Rome (see the Fact Finder question below).

The LORD even arranged it so that the Romans would provide "free" transportation for him for the long voyage across the Mediterranean Sea from Israel to Italy, as prophesied by Agabus, a prophet of the LORD in Judea: "He took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles."

Paul's Third Missionary Journey

"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: 21:2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 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. 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 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, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. 21:6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.

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. 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. 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 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 owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye 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. 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

21:15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem. 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." (Acts 21:1-16 KJV)

The believers of Jerusalem warmly-welcomed the Pharisee who had, prior to his own conversion, opposed and persecuted those very same people (see Paul's Blindness Lesson and The Stoning Of Stephen - Why Are Witnesses Called Martyrs?).

"21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest 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. 21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself 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 thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. 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 fornication.

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." (Acts 21:17-26 KJV)

Jerusalem

Then, as precisely prophesied by Agabus, unbelievers incited hatred against Paul by means of false charges. Further, exactly as prophesied by Agabus, Paul was turned over to the Romans.

"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, 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. 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.)

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. 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. 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.

21:33 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. 21:34 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. 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. 21:36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him." (Acts 21:27-36 KJV)

Paul nevertheless began his defense. The Holy Scriptures were written without chapters, so Paul's defense is abruptly interrupted by a chapter break ("he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying") - so we will cover what he said in the next study.

"21:37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee?

Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? 21:38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

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 thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

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 spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying," (Acts 21:37-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who were the true Christians at Rome in the time of Paul?
See The Church Of God At Rome and Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast


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This Day In History, June 22

217 BC: The Battle of Raphia. Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids) defeated Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom (a later Seleucid king committed the original "abomination of desolation" of the Temple in Jerusalem; see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation).

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

168 BC: The Battle of Pydna. Roman (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) forces under Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeated and captured Macedonian (see Ancient Empires - Greece) King Perseus at the end of the Third Macedonian War.

1535: A month after the Pope had made him a cardinal, John Fisher was executed at Tower Hill in London after refusing to recognize King Henry VIII as supreme head of the English Church.

1559: Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book was issued. During her 45-year reign, Elizabeth I rejected the Catholic faith, adopting instead the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church (see also Is 'Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust' Really In The Bible?).

1593: The Battle of Sisak. Church of Rome "Christian" troops (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy) defeated the Ottoman Turks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1633: The Vatican's "Holy Office" in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to withdraw his correct scientific teaching that the earth orbits the sun. The (sun-worshipping) Church of Rome taught that the Sun "is the center of the Universe" (see Why Observe The True Sabbath? to understand how veneration of the sun is still found in many of the false teachings of the Church of Rome e.g. "sun day," the "halo," and a "sun rise" resurrection).

Laura Secord 1675: The Royal Greenwich Observatory was established in England by Charles II.

1772: Slavery was outlawed in England.

1774: The Quebec Act was passed by the British Parliament. It established French civil law and the British system of criminal law in Quebec. It also enlarged Quebec's boundaries to include Labrador, Iles de la Madelaine and the Indian territory south of the Great Lakes between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers on the west. The Act was replaced by the Constitutional Act in 1791.

1813: During the War of 1812 (1812-1814), after overhearing a U.S. invasion force's plan for a further surprise attack on Ontario (they entered Secord's house where she was tending her husband who had been wounded in an earlier battle), Laura Secord (born in Massachusetts in 1775, her family moved to Canada after the colonial rebellion there) set out on a 20 mile trek to warn British commander James FitzGibbon. In so doing, Laura Secord became a "Paul Revere" to the history of Canada. The invasion was repelled at the Battle of Beaver Dams.

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated for the second and last time after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

1870: Scholars began translation work on the English Revised Version of the Bible. Released in 1881, the ERV became the textual basis for the American Standard Version (ASV), first published in the United States in 1901.

1911: King George V and Queen Mary were crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1933: Adolf Hitler banned all political parties in Germany other than the Nazis (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion and Why Does Satan Love Liars?).

1940: 8 days after German troops entered Paris, France signed an armistice in the same railway coach in Compiegne where Germany surrendered on November 11 1918.

1941: Adolf Hitler's "Operation Barbarossa" began when over 150 German army divisions (3,000,000 troops and 3,300 tanks) invaded Russia across a 1,800-mile front between the Baltic and the Black Seas. It was, and is, the largest invasion of another country in history (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1976: Canada abolished the death penalty, thereby joining other many nations that paradoxically sentence murderers to "life."

1985: A terrorist bomb brought down Air India flight 182 off the coast of Ireland, killing 329 people, including 280 Canadians of India origin.

1990: The U.S. "Checkpoint Charlie" was removed during demolition of the Berlin Wall.

2009: Acknowledging the new age of digital photography, the Eastman Kodak Company announced that it was discontinuing Kodachrome Color Film after 74 years.


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