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Old 01-19-2018, 10:33 AM
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KeptByTheWord KeptByTheWord is offline
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Did the Spirit contradict itself? Acts 21

I had a friend pose this question to me, and I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this apparent contradiction of the spirit in Acts.

Here is her emailed question to me:

Why was Paul determined to go to Jerusalem when in Act 21 the SPIRIT told him not to?

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.


Then later in that same chapter you see Agabus showing Paul what was going to happen to him in Jerusalem, and the other disciples there who still did not feel he should go.

Acts 21:11
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. 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 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. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done."


Of note... Paul listened in this scripture passage below, but not in the Acts 21 setting:

Acts 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 16:8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

The question again asked is: Why was Paul determined to go to Jerusalem when in Act 21 the SPIRIT told him not to? Did the spirit contradict itself? Did Paul disobey the Spirit in this case?

Just asking the questions my friend asked, and why this obvious contradiction of the spirit.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:01 PM
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Re: Did the Spirit contradict itself? Acts 21

It seems to me that they being warned by the Holy Spirit that he would be harmed didn't see why, as he being important to them, should walk into that scenario fully knowing what to expect.

I believe it is up to the "hearer" of that warning to decide what the Holy Spirit is telling them to do.

Read in Acts 5:41
"And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:17 PM
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Michael The Disciple Michael The Disciple is offline
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Re: Did the Spirit contradict itself? Acts 21

Jesus told Paul he must suffer great things for his name. Acts 9:16

Much later it was still real to Paul.

Acts 20:22-24

22And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24But 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.

Everywhere he went disciples would warn him by the Spirit he was going to suffer. Just what Jesus told him. The saints always meant well. They would see visions or dreams of Paul suffering.

Acts 21:3-4

3Now 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. 4And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

Evidently they saw visions which showed him being harmed. THEY REALLY SAW THIS. They were thinking the Spirit showed this to help him turn aside and escape.

Paul thought it was confirmation of what he already knew. He would suffer greatly for Christ. Then Agabus prophesied over him.

Acts 21:10-12

10And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11And 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. 12And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

We know this was true prophecy, it came to pass. And it would SEEM Paul understood it more of warning that he would brace himself to the eventual outcome, but not to try to avoid it.

The saints were all hearing from God, amen? Then it comes down to WHAT MESSAGE was the Lord trying to get to Paul? "Your going to again suffer for me, I will be with you,proceed". OR "Paul this is the wrong place for you to be at this time so turn and go somewhere else".

Now that I have simply said what you already know the only thing I could think of why maybe it was PAUL who missed the true meaning would be the unusual advice later given him by James and the things that followed. If so then we need to ask exactly why were James and the thousands of saints still practicing the temple sacrifrices?

And yet it would be hard to think that Paul may have missed the leading of the Spirit on anything.

Last edited by Michael The Disciple; 01-19-2018 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:21 PM
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Re: Did the Spirit contradict itself? Acts 21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael The Disciple View Post

We know this was true prophecy, it came to pass. And it would SEEM Paul understood it more of warning that he would brace himself to the eventual outcome, but not to try to avoid it.
This is how I see it.
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Last edited by Pressing-On; 01-19-2018 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:26 AM
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Re: Did the Spirit contradict itself? Acts 21

Just because the Holy Ghost says "something bad is going to happen to you if you go There" doesn't mean that the Spirit is saying "I forbid you to go There."

Paul was ready to be offered up for Christ, and the Spirit was confirming to him THIS is pretty much how it's going to begin. The brethren of course did not want him to go because they cared for him and did not want anything bad to happen to him.

Nobody "missed God" except the Jews who tried to kill him.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:26 AM
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Re: Did the Spirit contradict itself? Acts 21

Just because the Holy Ghost says "something bad is going to happen to you if you go There" doesn't mean that the Spirit is saying "I forbid you to go There."

Paul was ready to be offered up for Christ, and the Spirit was confirming to him THIS is pretty much how it's going to begin. The brethren of course did not want him to go because they cared for him and did not want anything bad to happen to him.

Nobody "missed God" except the Jews who tried to kill him.
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Old 01-23-2018, 04:16 AM
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Re: Did the Spirit contradict itself? Acts 21

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeptByTheWord View Post
I had a friend pose this question to me, and I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this apparent contradiction of the spirit in Acts.

Here is her emailed question to me:

Why was Paul determined to go to Jerusalem when in Act 21 the SPIRIT told him not to?

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.


Then later in that same chapter you see Agabus showing Paul what was going to happen to him in Jerusalem, and the other disciples there who still did not feel he should go.

Acts 21:11
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. 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 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. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done."


Of note... Paul listened in this scripture passage below, but not in the Acts 21 setting:

Acts 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 16:8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

The question again asked is: Why was Paul determined to go to Jerusalem when in Act 21 the SPIRIT told him not to? Did the spirit contradict itself? Did Paul disobey the Spirit in this case?

Just asking the questions my friend asked, and why this obvious contradiction of the spirit.
Remember when Elijah told Elisha to stay behind and he wouldn't obey? He was finally rewarded for his disobedience with Elijah's mantle and a double portion of Elijah's spirit.

Remember when Ruth refused to leave her mother in law, Naomi, even though her mother in law expressly demanded she return to Moab? God blessed Ruth, did He not?

Personally, I think that Acts 21:4 ends somewhat on an implied ellipses, meaning that the Spirit through the disciples told Paul that he ought not to go up to Jerusalem...unless he was prepared to go through the agony and persecution and suffering that Jesus had already told him was coming his way.

It was a test, the same with Elijah and Elisha and Ruth and Naomi. Jesus was clear about counting the cost. Let yeas be yeas and nays be nays. Don't go into a bad situation unless you are prepared spiritually for what will come of it.

The Spirit was telling Paul, therefore, to count the cost, before going, to make certain he was really ready for what was going to happen, because God knew to go to Jerusalem meant the end of Paul's life.

So, I think if the Spirit should ever warn one of us in a similar way, because whatever is coming is going to literally be the death of us, we'd have to make sure we, too, counted the cost, and were as prepared as Paul was, to go up to our Jerusalem.
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