Acts 21:26-30
Acts 21:26 (KJB)
Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
Then on the next day, Paul had taken the four men with him into the temple so the fact would be known that Paul was part of the men who had the vow. Paul did not do this because he felt compelled to obey the law but it was to quell the accusations of those who claimed Paul as an enemy of the law. Paul knew these ceremonies no longer had any value because they were looking forward to the cross and since the cross had now happened, these ceremonies had no authority in the life of anyone since they were just shadows. Now that the days of their purification were completed, they were now to offer a sacrifice to show completion of the vow. Christ had fulfilled all the sacrifices and ceremonies of the law, since they were only implemented as a foreshadow of His coming sacrifice. They now hold no spiritual essence since Christ had already become the sacrificial lamb upon Calvary. Paul did not compromise his testimony here because he only did this to show he was not an enemy of the law and to prevent a possible riot. Paul had made sure that no principle of the Gospel was compromised.
Acts 21:27 (KJB)
And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
The Judaizers which followed Paul from city to city had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost and seek him out and to cancel out his teachings by implementing their requirements to keep the law for salvation. What Paul did in the temple had satisfied the Jewish believers but the unbelievers were not satisfied. The result was that these false teachers had seen Paul in the temple and then started to incite the mob and after the mob had become stirred up, they grabbed Paul right out of the temple. These Jews from Asia knew that Paul had escaped from their towns but knew they had him in a perfect place, where he could be tried before the Sanhedrin.
Acts 21:28 (KJB)
Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
These Asian Jews, as soon as they grabbed Paul out of the temple, began to start making false accusations against him. Paul never taught anything against the people, because his highest hopes for them was to become saved. He never spoke against the law but taught that Christ fulfilled the law. One thing these Jews did not like was the fact that Paul taught that the God of the Jews was the same God of the Gentiles. He never taught against the temple but taught that the sacrifices of God were prayer and praise. Then they leveled a serious charge against Paul that he brought Greek speaking Gentiles into the temple itself and not the court of the Gentiles. They considered that any Gentile in the temple would have been considered polluting the temple.
Acts 21:29 (KJB)
(For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
The Jews from Ephesus had seen Paul with Trophimus who was a Gentile believer from Ephesus. They had seen him with Paul many times so they automatically believed that Paul also took him into the temple. (Acts 20:4 KJV) And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. There would be no way that Trophimus could have gotten beyond the court of the Gentiles since there were temple guards at each entrance and Paul knew that if such an accusation was true, it would ruin any chance he would have at proclaiming the Gospel to the Jews. So the temple in Jerusalem was off limits to Trophimus and Paul knew it.
Acts 21:30 (KJB)
And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
Moved - Stirred up or excited
Drew - Dragged
The false teachers had succeeded in riling up the mob to the point that they all descended upon Paul and physically dragged him out of the temple. The doors were then shut so the unruly mob would not defile that temple. The mob was easy to incite since many were already in the courtyard and it did not take much more accusations to finally cause the mob to take action. It is interesting to note why mobs are dangerous because in a mob all one needs is an accusation against them and the mob will take action without even concerning itself with proof of guilt.