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


Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 21

"Journey to Caesarea, Prophetic Warning, [1-14]"

"Return to Jerusalem. [15-26]"


Paul is on his way to Jerusalem, which was for the purpose of the vow of the Nazarite that Paul took. Paul took that vow about one year prior to his entering Jerusalem, and we will see that he will also take another vow in this chapter.

Acts 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:"

Acts 21:2 "And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth."

Acts 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."

Paul is sailing from Greece, and stopped over in Cyprus before landing at the port of Tyre in Syria. Remember from Exekiel 28, the city of Tyre was the center of trade and dwelling of the Kenites. The King of Tyre is Satan, and the Kenites used this port to trade all around the world. There have been many burdens that have come both from this port, and from those Kenites.

Acts 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."

Note that Paul is moving day by day closer to Jerusalem, and the arrival time of Pentecost day. Over and over those disciples that Paul comes in contact with, warn Paul that the Holy Spirit has told them that Paul should not go to Jerusalem. There is a question that should then come to mind, what is the spirit that is talking to all these disciples, trying to keep Paul from Jerusalem. Remember that it was the Holy Spirit that told Paul in a vision to go to Jerusalem for Pentecost day.

Does the Holy Spirit work against itself? Obviously not. Men have a way of letting their own wishes get in the way of the Holy Spirit. They think that because they thought of this danger, the Holy Spirit placed it there. The Spirit could have placed in their mind the dangers of the place, in reference to themselves, however that same Spirit of God is directing Paul on a mission to Jerusalem. These disciples love for Paul could have tried to hinder Paul on his journey to Jerusalem. If the Holy Spirit warns you or directs you, then do not let the words of other men, concerning the Spirit, affect you at all.

God knows where you are, and if He has a message for you, He will give it to you. God has sent Paul on a divine mission, and if God desires that mission to be changed, it is He that will do the changing. It will not be through some other person relating what the Holy Spirit might have said to them. Remember that there are many spirits, and we must learn to be able to tell the difference between the Holy Spirit, and all the others.

Acts 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."

The reason "we" is mentioned here, is that Luke is with Paul and he is the writer of this book.

Acts 21:6 "And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again."

Acts 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."

This is one day less in the approaching of Pentecost day.

Acts 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."

There has been over twenty years that have passed since that day when the Apostles came together to expand their group from the twelve, to chose seven more, to assist them as Apostles. Lets review this to refresh or memories.

Acts 6:1: "And in those days, whn the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Acts 6:2 "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, "It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables."

Acts 6:3 "Wherefore brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."

Acts 6:4 "But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."

Acts 6:5 "And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:"

In Acts the seventh chapter gives us the message that cause the stoning of of Stephen, in which Paul had a hand in.

Acts 6:6 "Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them."

So we see in Acts 21 that Philip is still alive and practicing God's Word and power, and Paul is now staying with him.

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

Philip had four daughters, and now pay special attention what these daughters did. They prophecied. Today many say that their is no way a woman is to preach in a church, they are supposed to keep quiet in the church. Well, Philip was one of the chosen by the Apostles, that walked and talked with God, and was to be one of the administrators of the Church from the beginning, and has taught all four of his virgin daughters the Word and they prophecy through the Holy Spirit.

God used those four women, and God will use whomever He pleases, and directs them to speak to people where ever He leads them. If a man choses to ignore a prophecy from God, that will be his loss. Women should pay attention to these scriptures where God favors His servants, especially when they are directly to the ladies. Then when some old duffer tries to put you on a trip, prod him a little with the Word of God. God gives gifts to different members of the body of Christ, and He is not a respector of persons. He knows who can get His job done for Him, and who will waste those gifts. And if we take a close look into the church world today, we will see that much of the work that needs to get done is done by the ladies.

Acts 21:10 "And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus."

It is interesting to note that the word "Agabus" in the Greek means "locust". God didn't use this type of locust for food for the prophet Paul. Remember it was Satan that controls the "locust army", so lets be a little suspicious of this Agabus.

Acts 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 Spirit, `So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.' "

This Agabus took Paul's belt and bound himself, and gave Paul a message from the Holy Spirit, however, though part of it is true, it didn't happen the way old Agabus the locust man said. The Holy Spirit might have delivered Agabus some sort of a message directed to him, only again God has sent Paul on this mission, and Paul knows what his mission is. Paul will not detour from that direction.

The problem comes when people take a message from the Holy Spirit, and try to redirect that message to fit others. Pay attention to what God speaks to you, through His Word, and in the Spirit, and discount what men might say if it differes from what God has said to you directly. We will see that Agabus took the message sent to him, as to what applied to him, and tried to reapply it to Paul.

Notice that when Paul was with Philip, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he had four daughters who were also filled with the Holy Spirit, and none of them said one word of of this danger to Paul, and they lived a lot closer to Jerusalem then the others.

Acts 21:12 "And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem."

We can see that there is a lot of spirit activity trying to prevent Paul from completing his vow of the Nazarite, and stay away from Jerusalem.

Acts 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."

Paul had been sent on this mission and he would complete it. We see that the so-called people of the church are thinking only of the physical well being of Paul, and not of the mission that must be completed. They have forgotten about the protection that the Spirit of God gives to those that He sends on a mission, and Paul is very much aware of it.

This also applies to us living in this final generation, for we are to sent also on a mission to Jerusalem, or where ever it may be, as recorded in Mark 13:11. That journey will take place after Satan and his "Agabus" army [locust army] of fallen angels have arrived to rule for five months, as recorded in Revelation 9:5, 10.

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 give you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."

There are some that will be delivered up before the synagogue of Satan for a very beautiful purpose, and a mature student of God's Word would say that very same thing, that something shall happen to them, and even they will not complain, for even the threat of losing ones physical life will not matter to them. When God sends His servants on a mission they are not filled with fear, but on that mission and what needs to be completed.

Acts 21:14 "And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, "The will of the Lord be done."

We see here that even the Apostle Luke was in the middle of trying to persuade Paul, and when they say that Paul's mind was set, the backed him in support. When the will of the Lord is done, so also goes His protection.

Acts 21:15 "And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem."

"Carriages" in the sense that it was used here, means baggage.

Acts 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."

"An old disciple, is not in reference to his age, but the length of time he was in the Christian assembly. Mnason was one of the first converts.

Acts 21:17 "And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly."

They were all back together again, Paul, Luke the other Apostles, and many of the first assembly.

Acts 21:18 "And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present."

Paul has completed his vow of the Nazarite to return, and now is in Jerusalem. This James was not the brother of John that walked with Jesus as His disciple, for we read back in Acts 12:1, 2; "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church." [1] "And he killed James the brother of John with the sword." [2]

The James spoken of here is James the half brother of Jesus Christ. James is first spoken of in Matthew 13:55; "Is not This [Jesus] the carpenter's son? is not His mother called Mary? and His brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" Though it was after the resurrection that James accepted his own brother as the risen Messiah, he then became one of the leaders of the Assembly of the Christians at Jerusalem.

Acts 21:19 "And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry."

As soon as the greetings were over, they wanted to hear immediately what had happened in all of Paul's ministry amongst the Genitles.

Acts 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:"

All of those Gentile Christians vecame strict followers of the law. James and the other Apostles all became excited over the news of Paul's preaching both to the Israelites that were scattered from both houses, Judah and Israel, as well as the Gentiles themselves. The House of Judah comprised the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, while the house of Israel was made up of the other ten tribes, with the tribe of Levi scattered amongst all the tribes as their priests.

Now they are about to warn Paul that there are some in their group that became very strict believers and followers of the law.

Acts 21:21 "And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that neither to walk after the customs."

The Apostles are telling Paul that those zealots know your coming Paul, and they are waiting for you. In the phrase, "all the Jews", would be better translated "all the Israelites", [all of the tribes]. Remember in Acts 9:15; "But the Lord said unto him [Paul], "Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:" [15] Paul was just sent not to the house of Judah, but to the Gentiles, the ethnos, and the children of Israel, the ten tribes also.

This accusation against Paul comes from the time when Paul stood some disciples to their face in defending Timothy for not having been circumcised, as well as many other times.

Acts 21:22 "What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come."

The Apostiles are telling Paul that because of things you have said, the mob has joined together and they will hear you, and then take their action. Remember many of these that are coming together are outside of Christ, and under the strict law of Moses, however not of the Kenite customs. So the Apostles are going to make a suggestion to Paul for his safety.

Acts 21:23 "Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them:"

There are four other men with the Apostles that are also under the vow of a Nazarite.

Acts 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."

Their suggestion to Paul was that He also take that vow again, right along with them. In other words, if you follow the law of the Nazarite, and shave your head, and commit this in public, it is telling all those that observe this that you are committed to the keeping of the whole law of Moses. [That vow is stated again in Numbers 6:12] The Apostles are telling Paul, if you follow this instruction, and make the vow, those zealous ones will know you are committed to keeping the law, and they won't harm you.

This vow had much to do with animal sacrifices, and in that Christ had shed His blood over twenty years prior. There was no need for turtle doves, and lambs to be slain, for Christ's shed blood on the cross was for one and all times. So we see the act of this vow was strictly for the protection of Paul against the violant acts of the orthodox Jews of the day.

Paul listen to all of their plans, and thought over their suggestions.

Acts 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."

Remember that letter that was written by the Apostles and sent out from Jerusalem by Paul and Silas, and many others to all the churches, in Acts 15:25. The letter told what was acceptable of the Gentiles, and Israelites not of Judah. This letter is that letter that is referred to here. James and the other Apostles have agreed to the terms of this letter, but now years later there are many which consider themselves part of the Church that do not understand this letter, and will have no part of it.

Here Paul of the tribe of Benjamin, in appearance would be obeying the letter of the law, in the eyes of the unlearned.

Acts 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."

Paul thought about it, and the nex day decided to go along with the idea, and take the vow. So Paul and the other four men went into the temple and baptized themselves in the little pot, to sprinkle themselves, and go through the ritual. Then at the end of the ceremony of seven days, it comes the turtle dove time, and the slain of the lamb. Then temple priests would go through the ritual for the men.

Acts 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,"

However before the seven day time had ended, here came the Kenite Jews from Asia, and they saw Paul in the temple with the other four taking the vow. Paul is taking the vow of the Nazarite, and here by the laying their hands on Paul these other Jews are breaking the law. You don't touch a man that is under a vow. Is this vow going to save Paul? There is no way any vow will protect Paul from these Kenites.

The point that you should get from this verse is that the law can't save anybody, not then and surely not now. If one could be saved by the law, Jesus christ would have been saved, for He never sinned, and there is not another human being on earth is perfect to keeping the law but Christ. So we see that vow never worked, and never came to a completion.

Acts 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."

Notice that these men of Asia that have Paul by the collar and are crying out, "Men of Israel," for they now are calling out to all twelve tribes. You get the picture, this pack of law breakers are standing before this mob in the temple, and accusing Paul of teaching others to revolt against the laws of God, and the temple, as well as its customs. In the first place, these Jews of Asia never heard any of it from Paul, but hear-say from other Jews who would also like to have Paul murdered. That is the mind of the Kenite, just like it was of their father Cain in the Garden of Eden, when he slew Abel.

Acts 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.)"

Did you catch that? "Whom they supposed.." That is good enough for a Kenite and some in the church even today. They don't care to know the truth, because it is easier to suppose and lie about something then to seek the truth.

Acts 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."

So we see another religious controversy starting up, these lawless Kenites took Paul, in the midst of his vow, which by Moses law is completely against the law, and they drug him out of the temple. You don't touch a man under a vow. To point out again what we should get from this, is that the law has never saved anyone, nor shall it ever. Only Jesus Christ and His shed blood can a person be saved.

Acts 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."

Did you catch that? These blessed followers of the law are nothing but a pack of murderers, seeking to have the chief captain kill Paul. These religious nit-wits are now going to the Romans to have them settle the mob action that they started, and in the process plotting to kill Paul. Are you starting to understand the mind of the religious leaders of Jesus and the Apostles time, that they are not of Judah or Israel, but of Cain, and the devil.

They are the offspring of the seduction between Satan, the devil and Eve, and from that sexual union in the Garden of Eden, came Cain the father of the Kenites. Friend, you had better wake up to who these people are especially in these final days, or you are going to be deceived also. What went on in the Garden of Eden had nothing to do with apples, but with figs, and the making of children, and those bad figs or children, are the ones that the Bible calls Kenites. Jesus warned you to learn the parable of the fig tree that you would not be deceived in Matthew 24:32; "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leave, ye know that summer is nigh;"

Matthew 24:33 "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."

In the northwest corner of the Temple was the quarters of the Roman guards. From that position they could over look the court yard of the temple, and when the chief captain looked out, he say that trouble was being stirred up. These religious people had turned into fanatics.

Acts 21:32 "Who immediately took soldiers and centurians, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captian and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul."

Who saved Paul, was it the vow? Hardly, the religious leaders cared nothing for the law of Moses, when it came to their traditions. The Apostles stood by helpless against the Kenite Jews.

Acts 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."

This is prophecy coming to pass. Is it the bonds and the chains that will save Paul, because as long as he is the prisoner of this Roman soldier, no one can harm him? the answer is no. So what saved Paul was the hand of the Almighty God, and the bond that Jesus Christ placed on him on the road to Damascus, and under those bound, you have God's protection. You have the angels of God Himself overlooking Paul, and causing these events to come to pass. This shows you today that the law will not save you, but the law is only a record of of order to keep you out of trouble. The commandments are a guide of you to live your life in the flesh, and get along with those in the community, as well as your family.

It was the divine order of God, in the first, and His Holy Spirit that saved Paul. God knows exactly what He is doing, for Paul has a considerable amount of ministry still ahead of him, and no one, Kenite, Satan, a vow, or anything can keep Paul from that ministry. When you are in God's service, don't you forget that either. God always takes care of His own, and He only is the one you count on to protect you.

Acts 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."

When the guard asked Paul who he was, Paul didn't answer, but others are screaming from every corner. The castle now was as good as the Gospel armor being on and in place.

Acts 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.

These soldiers had to hold Paul up, as they batted the people away from Paul. It was the bonds of Christ that protected Paul.

Acts 21:36 "For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, "Away with him."

This was Paul's own people crying for his blood. There will be a time in the future when there will be a far more orderly possesion, and I wonder who will be a part in it. Those that are called up to give answer, just as Paul was, will also be blessed and protected by the hand of God, and His Spirit. And then not one hair on their head can be touch, as it reads in Luke 21:18; "But there shall not an hair of your head perish."

Acts 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?"

See Paul was an Roman citizen, and this guard was of Greek origin. This is why the guard asked Paul if he spoke Greek. Paul could speak Greek, and Hebrew, as well as many other languages, for Paul was highly educated.

Acts 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?" "

The Roman guard is continuing to speak to Paul, and the person that the guard is refering to was a false prophet and not Paul. The murderers were the ones that were called the "sikarios" [of the curved dagger] and they were bandits who infested Judaea in the time of Felix. Felix sent Roman troops after them, and he also ordered them to murderer the high priest Jonathan. The false prophet that led this band of murderers was a man that was called the Egyptian, and the guard thought Paul was he.

Acts 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."

Paul declares himself to be an Israelite of Tarsus. Paul was of Benjamin, not of Judah. Paul wanted to be delivered to speak to the people, and there will be another time of delivering up to speak in Jerusalem, and that time is coming very shortly in our generation.

Acts 21:40 "And when he had given him license, 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,"

We will see in the next Chapter what Paul said in this speech.

Last Chapter Acts Next Chapter
Old Testament Return to all Books New Testament

Home .~ Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field

PLEASE NOTE: These studies may not be reproduced collectively, or in successive part,
on any website, email or library without expressed written consent.

These studies
may be shared in part for study or printed out in single copy for private study purposes provided the Author and Source are included with each and every excerpt or copy.

2000 Webmaster