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Paul Presses on Amid Prophecy: Acts 21:9-16

February 11, 2024 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Acts of the Apostles

Scripture: Acts 21:9-16

In Acts 21:9 Luke mentions the 4 daughters who prophesied. Right after this he will mention Agabus who prophesies. To show the narrative unity of Luke-Acts we read Luke 1:35-45; Luke 1:46-55; Luke 1:67-76; Luke 2:25-35; and Luke 2:36-38. In these passages, Elizabeth, Mary, Zacharias, Simeon, and Anna all prophesy about God’s gracious work of bringing Messianic salvation and how it will impact Israel then and in the future.

The contents of these prophecies by unexpected people illustrate the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-29 cited by Peter in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was poured out. In the cases early in Acts the Holy Spirit comes upon these people and they prophesy. This background in Luke and early acts shows that it is not surprising that Philip has daughters who prophesied.

The types of people mentioned in the Joel passage prophesy. We have a discussion about the content of such prophecy. These believers proclaimed the mighty deeds of God, His character, His promises, and His faithfulness to humble people who trust in Him. Agabus’ prophecy is accurate as it is fulfilled when Paul does get to Jerusalem. The Jews do turn Paul over to the Gentiles.

We have other discussions about the nature of prophecy in the church and the biblical definition of the church. Institutions called ‘church’ which do things by rote repetition do not preach Christ in the manner that He is preached in Acts. Holiness is not conveyed to man-made objects, but to people who are made holy by Christ’s saving grace.