This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
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The

Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 20

"Paul's Departure for Cacedonia, Troas, and Miletus."

 

Acts 20:1 "And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia."

We will see some biblical numerology in this chapter, and thus it is going to be mentioned. This is taking place about 57 A.D. and it is about 27 years after the crucifixion. The Word of God traveled very slow in that day, and Paul is getting ready to say goodbye, and shortly he will be heading for Rome. However he is going back to those places where he once visited to plant the final seeds for the growth of the Church, and at the same time holding up in love the disciples and converts.

Acts 20:2 "And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece,"

Paul is now back into Euruope.

Acts 20:3 "And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia."

Again the term Jews refers to those living in the land, and in this case they are the Kenites, and not of the house of Judah. This was a time that caused good teachers to be on guard for their lives, not from the Romans but from the Kenites, those that called themselves Jews, and ruled in the temple, but were not of Israel.

Acts 20:4 "And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.'

Acts 20:5 "These going before tarried for us at Troas."

Paul and these other seven disciples are in Asia, and are about to set sail for Philippi, in Macedonia. We know that both Timothy and Luke, authors of books in our Bible have also joined up with Paul and the others.

Acts 20:6 "And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days."

In biblical numerics, five stands for grace, and seven for spiritual completeness. Paul is still working on that time schedule to meet the obligations of his vow of the Nazarite, that we read of in the last two chapters.

Acts 20:7 "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight."

This was Sunday and the Christians met to study the word. It was Paul's last day with them at Troas, and Paul was preaching a very long sermon. It is interesting that the church is growing, and the building that Paul is preaching in has three levels. Remember that in the study of the scripture, Paul and the Apostles taught on three levels. Paul taught where you could get an understand of the Word of God, regardless of what level you were on in the Scriptures, from beginner to an old spiritual rock.

Acts 20:8 "And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together."

Even at this late hour, there were many lights to keep the sermon going, and the midnight hour was approaching. Remember prophetically the midnight hour is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:9 "And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead."

"Eutychus" in the Greek means "fortunate", and when you break the name down, it means "a mark to be reached". This young fellow is sitting in the window, and he drifts off to sleep and falls out the window.

Friend, when we come to this hour of midnight, prophetically speaking, that is when the wedding takes place. We are using this verse as a parable to see and understand the second advent and the return of Christ. This young man was well learned, because he was on the third level, and he enjoyed the preaching. However he fell asleep, because he wasn't watching. He wasn't watching, listening or paying attention, either to the preaching of Paul, the time of the day, or to the happenings around him. So he fell from the third level of understanding to the bottom. Spiritually speaking his sleeping caused him to become spiritally dead.

In the physical he also was just as dead. How about it, are you keeping watch as we are instructed to do, and alert of those prophetic events happening? Are you ready to identify Satan, the "instead of Christ?, or are you going to also be spiritually dead? The new World Order is upon us, as well as many other events that must come to pass before there return of Christ at that midnight hour. We should rejoice as we see prophecy being fulfilled every day, and the student of prophecy has quite a job just keeping up with events. Much of the end time prophecy is history to us today, for that time started way back in May of 1948, with the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, and the return of the good figs, "Judah", and the bad figs "Kenites".

Do not go to sleep on the last watch. You can be full of understanding, and still fall asleep. Which is worse, to have God put the spirit of slumber on you, as he will [Romans 11:] on those that it is written, that are not to know? Or to be on the third level of understanding and you fall asleep because of your laziness? The point is that you stay awake to the end time events.

Acts 20:10 "And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, "Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him."

Paul was using this as an example of a spiritual level. He is not really dead. Of course Paul had the power from Almighty God to set this example not only to them listening to Paul's preaching, but to us living in this final generation.

Acts 20:11 "When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed."

Paul was quite a man, here he preached all day and night, and then after breakfast he started his journey to walk all day to the next location. This lets you know much more of the character of Paul.

However before Paul left, Paul brought the young man back to the third level, he brought him back to life.

Acts 20:12 "And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted."

In a prophetic sense, there will be some that fall asleep in this generation, and end up in the group of the 144,000 of Revelation 7.

Acts 20:13 "And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot."

So this group of seven men, named in Acts 20:4, along with Luke to the ship to Assos, while Paul walked across land to Assos, and there they met.

Acts 20:14 "And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene."

Acts 20:15 "And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day came to Miletus.

Paul walked because there were people to see, and in a sense he was saying good by to them. Miletus is about 35 miles south of Ephesus.

Acts 20:16 "For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he could not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost."

So we see why Paul did not want to take the boat, he was still on his Nazarite vow of being in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, and nothing would cause that delay, as taking a ship might do. "Pentecost" was the "feast of the unleavened bread" which happened fifty days after "Passover". The peiod of time for the vow was fifty days of Paul's vow, and with each passing day, Paul is moving closer to Jerusalem.

Friend, in our generation, we also should keep a close watch on Jerusalem at Pentecost time, of this is an example to us as watchmen to know the events surrounding the coming of Satan, the "instead of Christ" along with his fallen angels. Stay alert.

Acts 20:17 "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church."

Acts 20:18 "And when they were come to him, he said unto them, "Ye know, form the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,"

Remember the trouble that Paul had in getting to Asia, when the Holy Spirit sent him instead to Macedonia.

Acts 20:19 "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:"

Remember that it was here that Paul had much trouble from those Kenite Jews, those that say there are of Judah, but do lie, and are of the synagogue of Satan. The Kenite Jews are the trouble makers for anyone that goes against their traditional doctrines that they imposed over the laws of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. They are the ones that plotted to kill Jesus from the start of his ministry, and crucified Him with their false witnesses. The Kenites are always plotting and giving hard times to those that go against their ways.

Acts 20:20 "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,"

Paul is reminding them that he didn't just teach one or two in secret, but he taught openly and publicly.

Acts 20:21 "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

With repentance, faith gets you everything. It is by faith that we obtain our inheritance in Jesus Christ, and become Christians. That inheritance allows you to have every promise that is written in His Word, and you can count on it, and that includes your inheritance in the age of the world to come.

Acts 20:22 "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:"

Paul is saying, the Holy Spirit is driving me to Jerusalem, and I cannot help going there. Naturally, for Paul this is a very dangerous place, for those leaders of the temple looked on Paul as a traitor. They sent him out to bind and persecute Christians, and he became one of them. He was educated in their ways, and now Paul is using those ways and manner to convert both Jew and Gentile. Paul knew the trouble that was ahead of him, yet he was right on schedule to arrive in Jerusalem on Pentecost day.

Acts 20:23 "Save that the Holy Spirit witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me."

In other words, Paul is saying, I don't have to worry about it. The Holy Spirit is leading me and it just doesn't matter, because it is in God's will. Remember in this generation also there will be others also that will go bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem. It is written in Mark 13:11 "But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."

If you are one of those that are delivered up, you are not to think ahead of time, but you will give witness as the Holy Spirit speaks through you. This is what is happening to Paul, he is being driven through the vision to take the vow, and then to keep that vow. That vow is to allow the Holy Spirit to witness in Jerusalem on Pentecost day. Does this mean that you are not to study the Word because the Holy Spirit will speak through you? Absolutely not, it is what you study that the Holy Spirit will bring back to memory and use, as He speaks through your mouth at that time.

You will be there, just as Paul was, for a witness. It is written in Luke that even the "gainsayers" will be moved by what you say, and be convinced. It is not you that speaks, but the Holy Spirit will give you the strength, and courage to do what you must.

Luke 21:13-15; "And it shall turn to you a testimony." [13] "Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:" [14] "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." [15]

Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

Paul says that it doesn't matter what happens to his flesh body, for what is important is that I complete the course that is set before me. That course was the preaching in Jerusalem, the things that he had received direct from the Lord Jesus Himself. Remember back when Paul was struck down on the road to Damascus? Paul's free will to kill Christians and that will was changed by Christ to the mission of preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. Why would this be? Because Paul was chosen before the foundations of this earth age to serve as the ambassador to both the kings and queens of the ethnos, and to the Gentiles.

Paul was bound in chains by God Himself, blinded and forced to see the truth. Paul was chosen to do God's bidding, and that is why Paul stated, "my life doesn't mean anything to me as long as I do the will of God." Paul's purpose was "to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. Paul was a witness for God. If you are to be called to witness, would you also say, "My life doesn't mean anything to me, in that I may witness for God." You have the assurance that Satan can't hurt one hair on your head because God has ordered it.

Luke 21:18 "But there shall not an hair of your head perish."

Acts 20:25 "And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more."

You see why Paul is making the rounds, because he knows that once he goes to Jerusalem, he will never return to them again. Now we see why Paul wanted to walk most of the way, so he could stop off at some families that befriended him, or visit a church that he started along the way. Paul knew that once he was used of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem, his entire life would be changed. Paul loved all those people that he ministered to.

Acts 20:26 "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men."

Paul is assuring each of those that he met along the way, that he has not taken advantage of any of you.

Acts 20:27 "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."

Paul is assuring these elders that he held nothing back from them. What Paul is telling them is that their blood is now off his hands, they have been warned and have the truth, and the rest is up to them.

Today people pay a lot of money to receive counsel, however when we have the counsel of God we have the wisdom of the universe, and it is all written in His Scriptures. It is our instructions from God to attain peace of mind.

Acts 20:28 "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and tend to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood."

Paul is warning those elders of the church at Ephesus that because he has given to them the full understanding of the Scriptures, and turned over the flock to them, the Holy Spirit is making each of them responsible for that flock. It now is their duty to teach the members under them the Scriptures. Paul is reminding them that Jesus Christ purchased each of them with His own blood on the cross. They are washed free from their sins, and marked pure by the blood of Christ. He took each of them as a nobody, and made them somebody before the very throne of God.

Acts 20:29 "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock."

Paul is warning these elders that when he leaves there are men and women that will come in among you that just don't care about the members of your flock. They could care less for the welfare, troubles and hurt of the members. What they simply want is the shirt off your back, and your money. This is common today where the money is the center of the ministry, and the traditions are the only thing that is taught.

Acts 20:30 "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

Paul is warning these elders face to face that even some of them will do this, if they are not real careful. They will even teach things that go against the Word of God [speaking perverse things] and from their words could draw those students of God's Word away from the Scriptures. This is where a one verse Charlie will catch you, my friend, they will give you a verse, and then rant about all sorts of things away from the subject at hand. He would speak his own words, and not that presented in God's Word. Their purpose of these one verse characters is to draw a following to themselves, and feed their egos.

Acts 20:31 "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

We are to be watchmen, and on guard against those preachers that would pervert the Word of God. Paul is very concerned over each person that has come to Jesus Christ, that they will have the understanding to see through those that would deceive them. Friend, you don't need anyone between you and the Heavenly Father.

Acts 20:32 "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."

Those that are "Sanctified" are all those that God has set apart for Himself. The "inheritance" that God has given you, is basically the world, and that is why Jesus would say in Revelation 2:9; "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the syangogue of Satan." When you know how to see the truth of God's Word, and identify those fake preachers and teachers, and Kenites that would bind you, you are truly rich. That is your inheritance, and you don't even have to wait until you die to collect on it, for the will is written already. The one that wrote that will has died, and all you have to do is to accept that inheritance of the will.

Acts 20:33 "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel."

Paul was special in this way. Though he took offerings, those offerings were sent to the headquarters in Jerusalem, to care for the widows and orphans, as well as the matters of the church, and the poor. Paul always paid his own way.

Acts 20:34 "Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me."

Paul was a tent maker, and in other ways he made his own living. This does not mean that pastors should not take a salary, for a servant is worthy of his hire. Paul was blessed good by God, and he did not need to take a salary. This also allow Paul to be free from deacon boards, and requirements that could alter the way that he preached.

Acts 20:35 "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

The "weak" are the poor, and Jesus reminded us that it is more blessed to give then receive. This is even true within your own family, it is a much more peaceful within the family, when the husband and wife learn to give in on matters that just don't mean that much.

Acts 20:36 "And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all."

To say goodbye by is always sad, when you know that you will not see that loved one again. Paul is anxious to leave because he knows what is ahead of him, and he knows that there are the wolves that will come and try to lead the church away from the teachings of Christ. And the others will miss the power and authority that Paul taught. This is a beautiful way to say goodbye, to all pray together for the gifts that will come from the Father, to lead each other. The Spirit of God will bless with His gifts of love, understanding and blessings needing to live for Him, and for provision.

Acts 20:37 "And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,"

What a farewell this was as they all bid Paul well on his journey.

Acts 20:38 "Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship."

This is refering back to verse 25; "And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more." Then they all walked with Paul down to the ship, to see him off.

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