This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, available at http://www.theseason.org

Click here for a
Map of Paul's Journey to Rome

The

Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 27

"Paul's Journey to Rome."

Acts 27:1 "And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band."

Luke uses the word "we" because Luke was with him here. Julius was a good and just man, and one of Caesars' personal guards. Paul is starting out with someone that will be with him all the way to Rome, and Caesars' court. Christ arranged this to happen that Julius would be here, and this gives assurance that Paul will be delivered to Rome.

Remember back in Acts 23 when Paul was in prison and waiting to be tried at first in Jerusalem, and the Lord came to Paul in a vision and spoke to him? Acts 23:11; "And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." "

When things look like they are coming apart all around you, don't ever have any doubt for when you are in Christ you also are on that firm foundation that Paul was on, and He will guide you. That is what faith is, to know and understand the indepth truth from the Scriptures, and rely and act upon them.

Acts 27:2 "And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia, one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us."

Acts 27:3 "And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself."

There was a death sentence on any Roman officer that allowed a prisoner to escape, and if Paul escaped, Julius would lose his life. Yet Julius allowed Paul the liberty to visit with the other Christians in Sidon while the ship was docked at Sidon.

From this point on we will follow the journey of Paul on a map given at the end of this chapter. By following the journey is will be easier to understand what took place on that journey. Paul boarded the ship at Caesarea and they will make the first leg of the journey up the coast to Sidon, where the landed the next day. It is here that Paul is allowed to go inland a ways to visit some of his friends.

Acts 27:4 "And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary."

They indended to cross over the Mediterranean Sea directly to Cyprus, however the winds were strong and forced them along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, which is in the Southern Turkey of today. Along the coasts of Cilicia and Pamphylia were call the sands of Africa, and it was very shallow there. Ships steered clear of those areas whenever possible,

Acts 27:5 "And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia."

So we sail on the lee side of Cypress, and came to Myra. There are many things that will happen before Paul reaches Rome. This is an ensample of what will happen, and that is why we are going to trace the journey on the map.

Acts 27:6 "And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein."

Julius the centurion located another ship that was going all the way to Italy, so he transfered Paul and the other prisoners, as well as the soldiers to another ship. This ship that Paul would be on now was a Egyptian grain vessel, carrying corn to Rome from the graneries of Egypt. This was a larger ship then the one they sailed from Sidon in.

Acts 27:7 "And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;"

When this big grain ship left Myra, and sailed toward Crete the winds died down and it became very slow traveling. It took many days to get to Salmone, and this is when the real trouble is going to start. They passed Salmone, and sailed on to Fair Havens, which is a port that will give shelter from the seas. They were hoping to make it to Phoenix [Phenice], but about half way up the coast of Crete they were shoved out into the Mediterranean Sea, and they knew it would be difficult to make it there, so they set in port instead at Lasea.

We are going to make this journey of Paul's an example of our journey in our Christian walk with Christ. We will look at it in the sense of our spiritual survival in while in the flesh body.

Acts 27:8 "And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea."

Fair Havens gave good protection for the ship, however the city of Lasea was very small, and did not have the facilities to satisfy the ship's crew. It was not a good liberty town of sailors.

Acts 27:9 "Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,"

They spent to many days in Lasea fooling around, and the winter was coming on. It was past the safe time when they knew that it would be good sailing into Rome. It is pinpointing the time as being after the day of Atonement, so it is after the first of October. Winter is upon them, as they are laying around in Lasea, and Paul is going to speak to the crew, and men on board.

Acts 27:10 "And said unto them, "Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also our lives."

Paul is warning them that there is going to be a great deal of danger by leaving this port, and that they will probably lose the ship and the cargo, as well as the possibility of losing their lives. The Holy Spirit spoke to Paul and let him know of the danger ahead. This will not be the only time that the Spirit will speak to Paul, as they are on this journey.

Acts 27:11 "Nevertheless the centurion believed the master of the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul."

The master is the captain of the ship, and the owner was the owner of the grain that was aboard the ship. Julius the head centurian was anxious to get back to Rome, and so he was willing to listen to the captain over Paul and the Spirit of God. He simply does not want to be stuck for the winter in Lasea, a little one horse town but wants to get back to the city life of Rome. Julius is listening to only what he wants to hear, and foregoes the warning.

Acts 27:12 "And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

Because the haven at Lasea simply had no accommodations to service the crew of the ship, they also supported the captain, and owner's decision to sail on the the larger port at Phoenix [Phenice]. Look at the map, and see that the distance from Lasea and Phoenix is less then one hundred mile, about one days journey. It looked like easy trip right up the coast of Crete, and then if they have to sit out for the winter, there will be adequate facilities and things to do.

Sometimes you can be enticed into doing something that seems so safe when your common sense is telling you something different. If God warns you of something be obedient to to the warning. Paul obeyed the message given to him by the Lord, when he warned them of the trouble ahead to the ship and cargo, as well as to the men aboard. Paul knows that reguardless what happens to the rest of the crew, he will make it to Rome because the Spirit of God told him he would.

When God tells you that you have a destiny then it will be fulfilled. It will happen, as long as you use common sense. When trouble comes to try to delay you from that point in destiny on your trip, God will provide a way to see that His will is fulfilled. We will see a time when the Antichrist Satan is on earth, and many of the elect will be delivered up to give witness before him. There will be trials also for the elect, but God will see to it that His will is done, and He will always protect those that He has chosen.

Acts 27:13 "And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete."

They pulled up anchor and raised the sails, and set out to sea. They were going to hug the coast line up the coast of Crete to Phoenix, and enjoy the soft warm and gentle breeze that came from the south. Sometimes the weather will give you a false sense of security, and then when you are well under way of your task, it will change on you and leave you in trouble. It is easy to pray in earnest when you are in the middle of real trouble, and you tell the Father to help you now and you will never let it happen again. So He sees you through those hard times, and then the next time it comes up and you are tried, it seems like you do the same thing all over again.

This ship is well on its way sailing up the coast enjoying the warm summer breeze in the middle of winter. It appears that their worries are all over, and looking for the port at Phoenix.

Acts 27:14 "But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon."

Then suddenly this typhonic wind, came sweeping down from the Crete, that was of Hurricane force. "Euroclydon" means "north-north-east wind" in the Greek, and when the wind came from that direction all sailors knew what it meant. Those winds were of Hurricane force and were not uncommon for this area.

So here we are sailing in this soft gentle warm breeze, and suddenly this hurricane comes in and away we go, blown out to sea. There is a loss of everything. We lose the sense of direction and location.

Acts 27:15 "And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive ."

The ship is caught up in the wind, and all controls are lost to the wind. The ship and those aboard will go where the wind takes it.

Lets apply this to our lives, and try to get some understanding from it. The wind is the "ruach" the Spirit of God. So when God drives this ship, or your life to where He wants it, the controls are out of your hands. The ships captain was careless in his decision making even after God had warned him through Paul, and now God will take His toll on the ship and cargo. God usually warns once. They had their warning, and now they will pay the price. Let that be a warning to us when we are warned through God's Word of the deceptions that are ahead, and positively coming to our generation.

Acts 27:16 "And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:"

This small island of Clauda is sitting only a few miles from Phoenix and the ship is being pulled by the wind passed the island and out to sea. In the term "come by the boat", the boat is a life boat that was towed behind the big ship and was used to either go ashore, or be used when they wanted to go into a place where the ship could not sail. With this hurricane force wind tossing the little boat against the side of the ship, there is concern that this little life boat would puncher a hole in the side of the ship and sink it. What is happening here is that they are trying to pull this little life boat on deck and shore it up for it's protection.

When we go about our Christain lives, many times those things that we put our trust in to be our help and salvation spiritually, we may have some problems in them. We had better be very careful about it, for those very things could be what sinks your Christian boat. When you take on a little life saving device like say the "rapture doctrine", or a few other things that the traditions of men might teach, they can crash into your Christian life and you are going down with them, friend. They will not save you, for only God can save you. Here common sense tells them, Don't let this device sink us, pull it on board.

Acts 27:17 "Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven."

So when they had the life boat on board, they took ropes and cables and "undergirded the ship". To undergird the ship is to wrap the ship with these cables and ropes like you would place a belt around the ship to keep it from falling apart, should they stray on to one of those sandbars. They lowered the sail, and allowed the wind to take them where ever they were to go. They are in a storm and all protection must be provided for.

A "girt" is a belt, and when you have your gospel armor on and in place you are relying on that belt or truth of the Word of God to keep you in place when the storms of life come upon you. God gives the direction through His Word, and you make the judgment as to stay in port, or go against the winds of the world. When you go against God's warning, then you suffer the losses that come from it. They put themselves there by listening to the devil, and seeking the easier ways of the world. When you have the Word of God, and you willfully go against that warning, you also will end up on the rocks and it will be because of your own foolishness.

We girt ourselves up by taking in the Word, and the Word is Christ. So we take Christ into our lives through His Word. Then we have the truth to stay on course and make the right judgments and to pay attention to the warnings.

Acts 27:18 "And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship:"

The next day after they passed Clauda, and saw that Phoenix would not be possible, they started to throw things overboard, to lighten their load.

Acts 27:19 "And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship."

Then on the next day all the spare lines, and everything that wasn't need went overboard.

Acts 27:20 "And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away."

Many days had gone by, and day after day the strong winds continued and the crew had given of hope of making it through the storm.

Acts 27:21 "But after long abstinence, Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, "Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss."

Paul let the crew sweat it out, and see just how dark things seemed to be, then he spoke up when they would be willing to listen to him. Paul reminded them that if they would have listen to me back in Crete, you would have not had this loss and suffered this storm.

Acts 27:22 "And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship,"

Now Paul is telling them to be of good cheer as the waves are crashing over their deck, and the winds strong enough to throw their ship around like a butterfly. Things have hit the bottom, and now Paul is telling them that God has told them that there would be no loss of life. Paul is telling them that we will lose the ship, but there will be no loss of any man on board.

Go back to the map, and trace this past two weeks that Paul and the ships crew had floated out of control. Where they will end up at is the tiny island of Malta, or "Melita" in the Scriptures. This is the same location where President Bush and Russian president Gorbachev were going to meet to sign a peace agreement that would bring peace to the world, under their one world government, called the United Nations. Man had set the date for world peace, and that schedule didn't line up with God's timetable of prophecy for the end times.

On the day of signing, another wild storm, just like this one that Paul faced came up, and President Bush was not even able to board a small life boat to go to shore. When God is giving you a sign, are you able to know if it came from God, or your own reason. When you try to violate what God has stated, he will render you helpless.

Acts 27:23 "For there stood by me this night the angel of God, Whose I am, and Whom I serve,"

Paul told them that this angel of God spoke to me again last night, and He owns me, and I am His servant. Whom I serve is better translated "Whom I worship."

Acts 27:24 "Saying, `Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar; and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.' "

God is saying, For your sake Paul, and that things are easier on you, I will give you all the souls that are on board with you. Every life on here will live, but I am going to destroy the cargo and the ship itself.

Acts 27:25 "Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me."

Acts 27:26 "Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island."

This will be the island of Malta.

Acts 27:27 "But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country."

Adria was a part of the Mediterranean Sea just south of Italy. It was late at night and the men on board could hear the sounds of the shoreline of the surf and breakers, and see the bird life that comes with land, and they knew that they were near some land.

Acts 27:28 "And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little farther, they sounded again and found it fifteen fathoms."

To sound is measuring method to measure the depth of the sea in fathoms. A fathom is about the length that a man's arms outstretched, or about six feet. The first reading found that they were about one hundred and twenty foot depth. In the second reading just a short distance later they were at fifteen fathoms, or ninety feet, and they knew that they were coming fast to the shoreline.

Acts 27:29 "Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day."

It was the middle of the night and they were heading for the rocks, and the only thing that could be done was to drop the anchors and wait for the daylight when they could see what is going on. Paul knew that they were all right, however when your life is heading for the rocks and you know that what you are doing is taking you there, it is time to throw out an anchor, and slow yourself down. Use a littlel common sense, and redirect yourself to ride out the storm to safety.

There is a time in the futuristic sense when the storm of the one world system is going to surround you, and Satan, as the Antichrist, with all his fallen angels will be on earth and deceiving the entire world, it becomes time to throw an anchor out and try to get things under control in your mind.

Acts 27:30 "And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under coulor as though they would have cast anchor out of the foreship,"

Some of the men had thrown the life boat over the side and were going to head for the shore blindly. When they threw this boat over the side they were doing it under "coulor" or by pretense that they were casting another anchor over the side from the front or bow of the ship.

Acts 27:31 "Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, "Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved."

Paul told Julius the centurion that if they don't stay in the ship, they would not be saved, they must stay on board.

Acts 27:32 "Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let here fall off."

Julius then gave order to his soldiers to cut the boat of and let it go. They are starting to listen to Paul. There is nothing like the power of God and the accuracy of His prophecies to sharpen one up to His Word, and refreshen their faith in His Word.

This is a replay of the time in late October of 1990, during the Summit of the signing of the peace treaty between Russia and the United States. Then the anchors were also dropped over the sides of an Anerican war ship, and the President could not go ashore to sign a document that went against the prophesies of God's Word. This is current history, and the event was on all televison sets around the world. There were some also that compared that storm of the signing with the storm of Paul's day. In both cases the will of God came to pass, and the treaty was not sign.

Acts 27:33 "And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, "This day is the fourteenth day that te have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing."

Paul is telling the men on board to eat and get your health back up. They had gone fourteen days and had eaten nothing, from theday of their departure from Lasea. Paul is saying that when the going gets rough then keep your health up. The flesh body is the tabernacle that your soul is housed in.

Acts 27:34 "Wherefore I pray you to take some meat, for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you."

Remember in Luke 21:18 where it tells of you being delivered up before the synagogue of Satan; "But there shall not an hair of your head perish." We are told not to premediatate before hand what we shall say because no harm shall come to you.

Acts 27:35 "And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

Do you see the parallel here between what happened in Paul's journey and the Malta talks, and the new world order. We are to learn from this for the new world order is the type of the one world system that Rome ruled in Paul's day. The new world order of our day is the one worldism that will seal the final generation. It is time to wake up.

Before Paul took the bread, he took the bread and gave thanks to Him in from to them all.

Acts 27:36 "Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat."

Acts 27:37 "And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls."

There were two hundred seventy six men on board.

Acts 27:38 "And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea."

After they had eaten they cast out of the ship all their worldly goods. Friend, if your worldly goods ever endanger your eternal life there may be cause to unload your worldly goods to save your spiritual life also. What will you take for the value of your soul, and it doesn't have to be goods, but it could be in the form of fame, habits, and even doctrines and traditions that you have held through your entire journey of life. How long has it been since you have unloaded something to make your soul a lot lighter and safer in these end times. In Christ we do have the victory to stay right on course.

Acts 27:39 "And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possable, to thrust into ship."

Now go back to the map and we will see what happened on Paul's journey. If you start just south of the island of Clauda, and you take down the sails and drift for about two weeks at about one and a half to two knots, you will end up right at Malta. You would have drifted exactly as the currents have taken Paul. If you were to go to Malta today and take measurements to where history has recorded the place of the making of the soundings, it even matches what is given in the Scriptures here. Modern maps and data match with this journey of Paul's.

When the daylight came, they did not recognize any part of the land, nor did they know where they were. There was a beach where it looked like they could bring the ship in safely, and this is the place today that is called "Paul's beach" at Malta.

Acts 27:40 "And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore."

After they had taken of the four anchors, and and put their trust in their seamanship. They then took off the bands that held the rudder in place during the storm, and hoisted the main-sail to the wind and headed for shore. This looked very easy heading right for the shoreline which was in sight.

Remember earilier we discussed the meeting between President Bush, and the Summit with President Gorbachev of Russia. Well this is exactly why they did not allow any small boats to approach the island during that storm here in Saint Paul's Bay. The main ship was anchored just as Paul's ship was anchored, and the same underwater obsticales that were present in Paul's day are present today. It was just to risky to attempt it while such a storm was present. So from that date, the new world order has take a different route to completion, and will shortly come to pass exactly as it is written in His Word that it shall.

Acts 27:41 "And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmovable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves."

With the beach in sight they overlooked that rocks and quicksand that lay under the water that could catch them, and their ship ran right onto one of these underwater barriers and they were grounded solid. As the front part of the ship held fast to the ground, that back of the ship was beaten badly by the waves and came apart. This ground is in that same body of water called "Saint Paul's Bay" even to this day.

Acts 27:42 "And the soldiers' council was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape."

By custom, if a guard allowed a prisoner to escape it meant their own life, and so they had orders under these circumstances to kill all the prisoners.

Acts 27:43 "But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:"

Notice the love and respect that Paul had developed between himself and the centurion named Julius.

Acts 27:44 "And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land."

Just as the Angel of God had fortold Paul it all came to pass. The men aboard the ship were allowed to live, while the ship and all its cargo perished in the Sea.

When it looks like your life is all run down and beaten over with the seas of time and hard living of life. It appears that you are helpless, and there is no way you can swim through the troubling storms, but when you turn your life over to God and let him take control, He will show you how to take those broken pieces of the wreckage of your life, and use them to get to the shore line. The point here is that you never give up, even when it looks like all is lost. God is in control.

When we apply this to the future time when the elect is delivered up to witness before the Antichrist and his system, the time will also come when it will look like all is lost, but it isn't. That is the time to put your full trust in the Lord, for He has promised us that when we are delivered up to speak, not one hair on any head will be destroyed

http://www.theseason.org


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 theseason.org Webmaster