trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Lies (What Else?)

Paul's enemies lay hands on him violently.

Acts (19)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

The video for lesson 19 is the same as for lesson 17. You can view it by clicking here (scroll down to Lesson 17).

Read and meditate on Acts 21.27-36.
The “Jews from Asia” may have been from any of the cities where Paul had ministered, perhaps Ephesus (since they recognized Trophimus the Ephesian). These men, perhaps anticipating Paul’s arrival, or getting very busy once they learned he was in town, began gathering and laying tinder, to which (they knew) they would apply a spark at just the right time.

For reflection
1.  They found Paul in the temple, evidently by himself. Then they struck the spark with lies. So what else is new? The enemies of the Gospel are not above using lies to mislead and inflame the masses against the Good News and those who bear it. What lies are being circulated in our day about Christians and Christianity? Are we doing anything to add fuel to this fire?

2.  We must be prepared for the consequences, as Paul was. His attempt to condescend obviously had no effect. This mob was whipped up beyond reasoning. And so the formula kicks in: civil disorder + a mob = Roman soldiers. Great – really! How can you see the sovereignty of God at work here through a pagan government? Do governments often serve God’s good purposes, even without knowing or consenting to it? Explain.

3.  By the time the Romans arrived, Paul was doubtless a bloody mess. What more could they do to him? The people show that they understand who’s in charge in Jerusalem – not the religious leaders but the guys with the swords. They kept shouting and demonstrating, but they left off beating the apostle. What cowards! Should we expect to encounter such people in our own Personal Mission Fields? How can we prepare for this?

4.  The Romans, more reasonable perhaps, decided to isolate Paul so they could get at the truth of this situation. Which they intended to do by flogging it out of the apostle. Romans, you see, considered themselves more civilized than these brutes they held under their boot heels. Think of Paul: A future-thinker, committed to his mission, ready to die for the faith, doing nothing provocative, a faithful Jew and a faithful Christian: What do you suppose must have been going on in his mind during all this?

5.  The amazing thing in this story, which represents the beginning of the denouement of the book of Acts, is the way Paul managed to keep his composure. Of course, he’d been through this before, so he had some experience and knew how to respond in his soul (cf. Acts 16). But, as we’ve seen, this situation didn’t sneak up on Paul. He had factored it into the possibilities involved in going to Jerusalem, and doubtless prepared himself for it, so that, long before the event, he was thinking, praying, and strategizing how to respond. Christians who live for the future will know how to live when it gets here, come what may. How well prepared are you for the fact that some people might resent your Christian faith and seek to do you ill?

Everything erupts into noise, violence, and irrationality as a mob forms and begins tearing Paul apart. Thank God for the Romans, eh? And for Roman citizenship for Paul, as we shall see. Thinking of the Gospel, the freedoms we enjoy, and so forth, how should we thank God for our civil magistrates? How should we pray for them?

Closing Prayer
LORD, You have been favorable to Your land;
You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;
You have covered all their sin. Selah
You have taken away all Your wrath;
You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.
Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your anger toward us to cease.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
Will You not revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your mercy, LORD,
And grant us Your salvation.

Psalm 85.1-7

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.