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Paul and Jerusalem – What do you think?

The Prophecy of Agabus by Louis Cheron

After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. - Acts 21:4 NASB

I have a question for you.

I've heard smart Christians, godly men and women all, come in on both sides of this question. I'd love to get your take.

Here's the situation:

Paul is traveling all over the world preaching the gospel. Everywhere he goes the disciples (Christ followers) prophecy over him. They have heard from the Holy Spirit that he should not go to Jerusalem.

Agabus, by a prophetic demonstration showed him that chains awaited him there.

As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. - Acts 21:10-12 NASB

Paul took it as the kindness of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gave him foreknowledge of what he faced. He faced hard times as he obeyed the call of the Spirit on his heart to go to Jerusalem.

The others took it as a warning from the Spirit not to go.

What do you think? Why?

10 thoughts on “Paul and Jerusalem – What do you think?

  1. Wally Fry

    That is a fascinating question. We actually talked about this in Sunday School once. I am still riding the fence, but am really interested to see where this goes. Great question!

      1. Wally Fry

        There is much. And I thank you. One thing I love about blogging is I constantly find myself studying things I had to intention of studying! So, I have been poking around some in that issue since that post.

  2. Lisa

    Well, he was told he would be persecuted for his sake, that trials and tribulations will come....he knew he was to go as instructed in his heart by the holy spirit, but also had the faith to know that whaever hardships come, including a prophecy such as this perhaps...God would be there with him to the end. I think Paul did what he knew the holy spirit instructed him to do......maybe this is an example for us of people prophesying these days who mean well BUT they are speaking from self and not God? Sounds like Paul walked in trust and faith vs fear.

    1. Ben Nelson

      Lisa - You make such a good point. The well meaning disciples take what they see in the Spirit and interpret God's meaning. It would be really hard for us not to though. Let's say a dear one in your life, niece, nephew, son, or daughter, wanted to go and be a missionary to some extremely dangerous area in West Africa, or the Middle East, and God showed you what they would suffer. Would that be a word of the Lord to stay, or to go? It would be very hard for us to say anything but "Don't go.

  3. debbestillandlisten

    I take it as preparation for how Paul should pray for the days ahead. Praying for your enemies is what Jesus told us to do. Maybe the demonstration of the prophecy in a sense was too close to home for many because talk about a strong dose of reality, right? I mean it showed them that no one was above persecution not even a man who knew the law inside an out. It could of happened to anyone of them.

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