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 Paul death wish?

Hi,i was reading acts today and was pondering these two verse's

20:22 "And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, 23 except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me
21:4 So we found some disciples and stayed there seven days. They said to Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem

why did Paul continue to go,where the Holy Spirt speaking through the disciples,warned him not to?andy

 2006/4/2 16:55

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37083
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re: Paul death wish?

In the context of the whole chapter of Acts 21 we see that the prophet Agabus prophsies saying that Paul would be delivered over to the gentiles, but the people still desired him not to go.

But Paul was determined to not only suffer affliction but die for the name of Christ. It reminds me of this verse:

[b]Hebrews 11:35[/b] - Women recieved their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

Imagine that! "not accepting deliverance" How real is eternal realities to our life that we see it more clearly and as a better thing then all the pleasures and sights of this life.

I do think you have a good point though about Acts 21:4 they they "through the Spirit" did warn him. I wonder if anyone could shed more light on that?

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/4/2 17:06Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37083
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


I was just speaking to a christian man in the coffee shop here as I am typing this and he mentioned this verse which definetly fits in to explain the context of the other verses:

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

in 21:4 it could be that the Spirit revealed to them what was going to occour, and their own flesh and mind (natural man) reacted in a different way to forbad him such as Peter the apostle forbading Jesus Christ to go to the cross.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/4/2 18:38Profile

 Re: Paul death wish?

Act 21:10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
Act 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.
Act 21:12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
Act 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.
Act 21:14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
Act 21:15 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.

Wesley said:

Act 21:12 - Both we, (his fellow travellers,) and they of the place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem - St. Paul knew that this prediction had the force of a command. They did not know this.

Act 21:13 - Breaking my heart - For the apostles themselves were not void of human affections. I am ready not only to be bound, but to die - And to him that is ready for it, the burden is light.

Act 21:14 - And when he would not be persuaded - This was not obstinacy, but true Christian resolution. We should never be persuaded, either to do evil, or to omit doing any good which is in our power; saying, the will of the Lord be done - Which they were satisfied Paul knew.

Neat !

 2006/4/2 20:04


hi Greg i read ur reply and it makes sences..but (lol) the scripture seems to imply they warn paul through the spirit,as if its sponatanous as the word is revealed to them...its not revealed and then stewed over and the warnings from their flesh..

through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem..i guess it depends what "through the spirit means"


 2006/4/2 20:29


hi Annie u quoted

"St. Paul knew that this prediction had the force of a command. They did not know this"

true they didnt but the Holy Sirit who moves the disciples to warn Paul did.. so what does that imply? that the Holy Spirit is telling Paul one thing and the disciples another..
Im not hot on greek any chance the word spirit here for either party could be there own? we say a person as is own spirit right? will etc

 2006/4/2 20:33


HEY, Didn't you download e-sword yet ? Haaa.

Wesley again: Act 21:4 - And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days - ln order to spend a Sabbath with them. Who told Paul by the Spirit - That afflictions awaited him at Jerusalem. This was properly what they said by the Spirit. They themselves advised him not to go up. The disciples seemed to understand their prophetic impulse to be an intimation from the Spirit, that Paul, if he were so minded, might avoid the danger, by not going to Jerusalem.

How about Matthew Henry ?
3. The disciples at Tyre were endowed with such gifts that they could by the Spirit foretel the troubles Paul would meet with at Jerusalem; for the Holy Ghost witnessed it in every city, Act_20:23. Being a thing that would be so much talked of when it came to pass, God saw fit to have it much prophesied of before, that people's faith, instead of being offended, might be confirmed. And withal they were endowed with such graces that foreseeing his troubles, out of love to him and concern for the church, especially the churches of the Gentiles, that could ill spare him, they begged of him that he would not go up to Jerusalem, for they hoped the decree was conditional: If he go up, he will come into trouble there; as the prediction to David that the men of Keilah will deliver him up (that is, if he venture himself with them); and therefore they said to him, by the Spirit, that he should not go up, because they concluded it would be most for the glory of God that he should continue at liberty; and it was not at all their fault to think so, and consequently to dissuade him; but it was their mistake, for his trial would be for the glory of God and the furtherance of the gospel, and he knew it; and the importunity that was used with him, to dissuade him from it, renders his pious and truly heroic resolution the more illustrious.

I like Albert Barnes sometimes too.

Through the Spirit - There is some difficulty in understanding this. In solving this difficulty, we may remark:
(1) That it is evident that the Holy Spirit is meant, and that Luke means to say that this was spoken by his inspiration. The Holy Spirit was bestowed on Christians at that time in large measures, and many appear to have been under his inspiring guidance.
(2) it was not understood by Paul as a positive command that he should not go up to Jerusalem; for had it been, it would not have been disobeyed. He evidently understood it as expressive of their earnest wish that he should not go, as apprising him of danger, and as a kind expression in regard to his own welfare and safety. Compare Act_21:13. Paul was in better circumstances to understand this than we are, and his interpretation was doubtless correct.
(3) it is to be understood, therefore, simply as an inspired prophetic warning, that if he went, he went at the risk of his life a prophetic warning, joined with their individual personal wishes that he would not expose himself to this danger. The meaning evidently is that they said by inspiration of the Spirit that he should not go unless he was willing to encounter danger, for they foresaw that the journey would be attended with the hazard of his life. Grotius renders it, “That he should not go unless he was willing to be bound.” Michaelis and Stolzius; “They gave him prophetic warrant that he should not go to Jerusalem.” Doddridge, “If he tendered his own liberty and safety, not to go up to Jerusalem, since it would certainly expose him to very great hazard.” The inspiration in the case was that of admonition and warning, not of positive command. Paul was simply apprised of the danger, and was then left to the free determination of his own will. He chose to encounter the danger of which he was thus apprised. He did not despise the intimations of the Spirit, but he judged that his duty to God called him thus to meet the perils of the journey. We may be apprised of danger in a certain course, either by our friends or by the Word of God, and still it may be our duty to meet it. Our duty is not to be measured by the fact that we shall experience danger, in whatever way that may be made known to us. Duty consists in following the will of God, and encountering whatever trials may be in our way.

Let me know if you want more out of the e-sword :-D :-? :-) ;-)

 2006/4/2 20:48


annie "The meaning evidently is that they said by inspiration of the Spirit that he should not go unless he was willing to encounter danger"

by jove i think thats it lol.
like johns & james askin about sitting on Jesus left and right side in glory,and Jesus is like wowee u sure u can handle the drink..the diciples are saying to paul u know whats there for you right ur willing to drink from this cup(through the Holy Spirit)in a way it confirms what he knows is awaiting him..thks annie...andy

 2006/4/2 21:21

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