Paul was a man above men. His riches were more than a thousand Solomon’s. No not physical wealth, spiritual. A new era had begun after the death of Christ where God had now given opportunity of salvation to all gentiles. The age of Grace to all men. Paul is often considered to be the most important person after Jesus in the history of Christianity and I agree. What a hero and example we need to emulate. His Bible writings have enormous influence on Christian theology, and especially on our relationship with God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and Grace given to gentiles. His writings encompass half of the New Testament. Paul himself was a jew given a commission to teach and preach the mystery Jesus gave him, “a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” Indeed, he preached to all people who wanted to hear the Gospel including his fellow jews, but he was called by God to preach to non jews, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Paul was theologically trained as a Pharisee, and had a profound knowledge of the Old Testament which is a good example for us. I’ll tell you over and over you will never understand the New Testament until you understand the Old. He had full understanding that the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled the promise given to Abraham that ALL nations would be blessed through Abraham’s seed. Paul understood that Jesus was the seed of Abraham. Physically, Abraham’s descendants would become a great nation. The spiritual blessing to all people was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, a descendant of Abraham, through whom people of all nationalities may receive salvation, Acts 4:10-12, Galatians 3:16. Also Genesis 17:1, Genesis 17:15-16.
The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah is written in the book of Matthew and Luke. By His resurrection, Jesus was indeed the Messianic King so longed for and anticipated. His kingdom would not be what they expected though. It was not worldly but instead spiritual. He was clearly the heir to David’s throne, the promised Messiah, and the Son of God by His earthly fathers bloodline. Not sure why I’ve never heard this because it’s so clear to me, in Luke there is another genealogy, Luke 3:23-38. In Genesis 3:15 everything is explained. Notice it says her seed. Women don’t have seed, men do. Mary was the fulfillment of the perfect physical and spiritual seed all the way back to Seth. When she bore Jesus, she bore what God said would happen perfectly through all those generations of people. Jesus would defeat satan….. Just as Jesus was hated and treated poorly by the jews, Paul too would suffer the same fate. In these Last Days, look for us believers and anyone of moral aptitude to be under assault. The eleven original apostles would only speak to the their fellow jews of salvation and they still remained in their jewish customs and traditions after the death of Jesus, Matthew 10:5-6, Matthew 10:23. They would continue in the kingdom message. Paul would have a radically different message. Grace to all men. Paul would almost kick Peters ass one time, Galatians 2:11-19. Paul rebukes his fellow apostle for caving in to the prejudice of a group who said that people from all ethnic backgrounds had to satisfy the Jewish ritual law before they could become proper Christians. This meant, for instance, that men had to be circumcised and that no one could eat pork. Thank God, I’m thinking as I cook some bacon and eggs! Paul was livid at this perversion of the gospel. They were piling on unnecessary or superfluous works or acts and making salvation a matter of performance instead of a gift of mercy and grace on the basis of faith alone. He was so mad he told them in Galatians 5:12 as long as they have the knife out, why stop with circumcision, I wish you troublemakers would castrate themselves! Of course many jews would despise his message and cause trouble for him throughout his ministry Acts 22. You may notice he says he was a Roman in those verses. When the circumstance calls for it, Paul uses both his Jewish and Roman identity to his advantage for the advancement of the gospel. Paul was born a Jew because he was the son of a Pharisee and a Jewish mother, but also enjoyed the benefits of Roman citizenship because his father was a Roman citizen.
When Jesus began to minister in the world, his only intended audience was God’s chosen people, the Jews. It is recorded in Matthew 15:24 “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Remember, God chose the Israelite’s as his own and He was their God. Why were they lost? The Lord warned the children of Israel that if they turned away from Him, they would be removed from the land of their inheritance. They indeed turned from God and were conquered and carried away from the promised land. Assyria conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 B.C. They eventually became known as the 10 lost tribes. Later, the southern kingdom of Judah (Jews) were conquered and scattered by Babylon about 587 B.C. About 70 years later, many of the Jews began to return to the land of Israel, where they remained as a nation for many generations but once again would turn from God. In A.D. 70 and again in A.D. 135, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jews among all nations. The lost tribes, however, remained scattered throughout the world. Would it blow your mind that you may be part of one of those tribes? A descendant of Israel? I’ll speak more on that later as this is about Paul. If you were not a jew and wanted to serve God, you didn’t remain a Gentile and worship God, you were circumcised as a male and became Jewish. Then you followed the Jewish customs and laws and worshiped God. To a jew, a gentile was nothing more than a animal and to be despised. They think know differently today. “Separate yourself from the gentiles, and do not eat with them, and do not perform deeds like theirs. And do not become associates of theirs. Because their deeds are defiled, and all of their ways are contaminated, and despicable, and abominable.” The Gospels clearly reveal that Jesus focused on Israel alone. It took Peter having to have a vision from God to see Jesus was the Savior of the entire world and not just jews. He was blown away when he saw the Romans being saved! Peter had a very strong aversion to dealing with Gentiles as did all jews, Acts 10:28. The wall of hostility was so high, Peter couldn’t imagine talking to a gentile, let alone going into their home! Are you seeing that the apostles and Paul are preaching two entirely different messages? That’s why it took a vision from God to get him to go. Thankfully Christ has torn down the curtains, Matthew 27:51, with new gospel given to Paul and the creation of the Body of Christ, Ephesians. 2:11-15, Galatians 3:28. The jews hated the Romans for being in subjection to them, yet time after time they were in that position because of not listening to God. They got exactly what they deserved. God said I will either curse you or bless you and from the minute they were freed from Egypt they became a rebellious and stiffnecked people. A cycle of listening to God and totally turning their backs on Him and then looking to be bailed out again. Israel was scattered because it apostatized. Because they broke the Ten Commandments and Mosaic laws. Because they rejected the prophets and turned to pagan Gods. Because they forsook the covenant. Because they listened to false leadership and joined false religions. Because they ceased to be a peculiar people and examples of God. Because they became the same as the world in it’s sins. God would remove His blessings and leave them to suffer and live with the consequences, 2 Peter 2, Ezekiel 7. America is in that same position now. Can you not see the greatest nation ever on earth is falling by the day? One foot is already in Hell and the other is standing on a banana peel. Expect earthquakes, wars, famine, weather extremes, violence, crime to explode. There will come scoffers who will do every wrong they can think of, and laugh at the truth. Outright hate for lovers of good and believers in God. There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power(fake Christians). Paul said to have nothing to do with these types of people. Travel and education shall be vastly increased. The Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. A moment in time is coming soon when God will refrain no longer, and this certain reality should strike fear and trembling into every resistant heart and bring life giving hope to those who looking for the Lords coming. Come Lord come.
What would Israel do when the Messiah would arrive? Not only did they not accept Him but they killed Him. Jesus was full of remorse and said how he would have put them under his wing and had to instead tell them that generation would be the final straw that broke the camels back, Matthew 23:29-37. Israel would be no more in 70 A.D. I have always wondered what Jesus spoke about during the forty days after his resurrection. During those forty days, He appeared to various groups of disciples, proving beyond doubt to them that he had been raised from the dead by the power of God. Over two decades later, the Apostle Paul wrote that “he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living.” Two things come to mind when it seems to be such a big difference between a Christian jew and a Christian gentile. One is that everything they were told has been hidden from us in the basement by the great whore or destroyed by them. (There is not a doubt in my mind many letters and epistles have been suppressed from us.) Or two, that Jesus told all his disciples nothing of the upcoming mystery that would only be told to Paul years later. You’ll have to ask a born again jew why they would still be under the bondage of the law when Jesus fulfilled it in it’s entirety, I guess. Jesus is the passover lamb whose shed blood saves all men and He is also the High Priest. Jesus is the new covenant,John 6:49-58. The temple was destroyed and now WE ARE LIVING TEMPLES. The Torah and the Messiah are the foundational gifts from God to the Jewish people. And through the Jewish people they were to be the light of the world. Gods example. That didn’t happen. They killed God. Christ is the end of the law only to those who through Christ have received righteousness. To those outside the realm of faith the law still rules. I’ll go with Paul and what he says, Galatians 3:28. Or Revelation 2:9, Revelation 3:9 explains everything. It kinda rattles the mind. Kinda like right after Jesus died. “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” You would think that would be page one news throughout history, but we only find this one time in Bible. Yes folks, I believe a lot has been hidden from us. Although I had to really pray about it and refrain myself from saying, there really is a third option. And that is that the Bible has been compromised in some places either purposely or by accident. In passing from verbal tradition to actual writings and languages to different languages, and copying from one mans writing to another, perhaps along the way there were things added. Things taken away. There are several things in God’s Word, I have a hard time grasping. Either the thieves on the cross railed on Jesus or they didn’t. Maybe someone along the way thought he needed to throw in their two cents or possibly heard from a friend of a friend of a friend and added the thief now saying “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” not realizing he just stirred up a bad pot of stew. Jesus descended to hell for three days and all believers are not raised until the last day by Jesus. Watch this though: “I tell you the truth today, you will be with me in paradise” See the difference? Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely believe the Bible is the Holy spirit made Word of God and to be believed in all it’s entirety. God is perfect. But man is not and to say that God’s Word may or may not have been compromised in the last two thousand years is something you yourself will have to pray and think about. I suggest to any Christian to do a study on the makings of the the book we now have and how it even came about. Truly God preserved his Word miraculously for us to read and at the end of the day all we have is faith…… but getting back to Peter. Peter said to those gathered, “You yourselves know that it is thought unlawful for a Jewish man to visit or associate with one of another nation. But God has shown me that I shouldn’t call any person unholy or unclean. Therefore I came without objection when I was sent for. I ask therefore, why did you send for me? ” Cornelius said, Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour, and at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I was praying in my house. Behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing. He said, “Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your gifts to the needy are remembered in the sight of God. So now send messengers to Joppa, and call for Simon, also known as Peter. He lodges in the house of Simon a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.” Therefore I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God to hear all things that God has commanded you to say.” Peter couldn’t imagine sitting down and eating with gentiles and this is ironic, since the Pharisees complained about Jesus eating with sinners and now that same complaint comes from the apostles and brothers in faith in Jerusalem. Though Peter had seen with his own eyes that gentiles were now equal and fellow heirs in the family of God through Gods vision, he still struggled with it and Paul set him straight. Peter and all the jews just couldn’t comprehend that a gentile could be saved and then there’s the question of how should a gentile live? Should they be converted to Judaism? Should they follow all the customs and traditions of the jews? Should they be under the law? Be circumcised? Thank God Paul was like Jesus on earth again and had all the answers. “But when Cephas(Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.” Paul would say of himself he wasn’t to good with words. I think the man was brilliant! When Jesus was rejected as Messiah by the jews and killed by them, it opened up a way now for Gentiles to be saved. And Paul would preach a specific message to the gentiles of saving Grace. “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness; the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” … “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” This mystery has now been revealed through Jesus Christ: we are all one body. In Christ there is no longer any distinction of any man. Praise be to God. “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all” … “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”
The implications of this mystery which Paul revealed was and still is something mind blowing to those that would hear and believe. That gentiles could now also have a relationship with God and not just His chosen people, the Israelite’s. ALL MEN HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED. Does that mean that God totally abandoned His people? No. “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Paul is saying not only that the separation between God and humans has been removed through Christ, but also that the separation between human and human, jew and gentile, has been removed. We all fall now under one family under God. We are all equal. Sinners in need of the one and only Savior. Paul tells us all to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ our Lord and Savior. Yes, we may have our differences in opinions and maybe even interpretation of Gods Word, but we all the same in Jesus Christ. “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” … “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
Some people seem to think being a Christian is easy. It is not. Use Paul as a example. Use Jesus as a example. Use Stephen as a example. You will suffer persecution and judgement from the world that hates us. Jesus said if they hated Him, the world will really hate us as his witnesses and ambassadors. While we have always been under persecution as Christians, in these Last Days we will be under an all out assault against us. Unfortunately, there are many, many people who say they are Christians and are not. A quick test for you; Will you lay your life down right here and right now for a fellow Brother or Sister? If you had to think about it too long your probably not saved. Besides the fake Christians, their are many as cold as ice when now they should be glowing like lava. People are going to Hell by the millions while you do nothing. They hide that they are even a Christian at home, school, work, or anytime in public. By a chance encounter if someone asks of their faith, they merely say “of course I’m spiritual” or “that’s private between me and God.” Then there are the folks who have their bags packed and waiting for God to “rapture them” from this horrible world as they cower in the corner of their house doing absolutely nothing in the name of Jesus. There is a false sense that everything is going to be apple pie and donuts while the rest of the world goes to hell. Need I remind you of the Roman arenas where Christians were fed to lions? Where Christians were tied to posts and their eyes gouged out and then lit on fire? Where Christians were and are still now beheaded? IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP OUT OF YOUR SLUMBER. IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED, GET SAVED. IF YOU ARE SAVED AND LIVING JUST LIKE THE WORLD, I CAN GUARANTEE YOU WILL SUFFER IMMENSELY FOR YOUR REBELLION OR LAZINESS. WAKE UP…..WAKE UP…..WAKE UP….. WAKE UP….. satan hates Christians. All his followers hate Christians. The three main religions in the world accept death as the resolution for your being a Christian. Jews is Noahide laws. Muslims is Sharia laws. Catholics is Canon Law. We have now entered into a tribulation period never known to man. Two things are going to happen. First the Antichrist is who already is alive will be ushered into power. Secondly, all Christians…Born-again Christians will be hunted down. Hatred for God will increase so much that they will lick their lips as your head is chopped off. There is no where to hide. No where to run. The world is getting darker and darker by the day now. demons have had years to plan this all out and instruct their seed. It’s not if they are coming anymore. It’s when are they coming. And that day is now. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” … “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” Before Becoming a Christian, Paul had caused other believers to suffer greatly. He sought them out to have them killed. And he was very good at what he did till he was stopped on the road to Damascus by Jesus. The first time we hear of Saul in the Bible is his witnessing the death of Stephen. “Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.” … “Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” … “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” … “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.” … “For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it” … “But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” … “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church” … “I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man.” This man was brutal in his beliefs as a sinner. It would only be God that would change him and any Born-again Christian. Paul was on a mission. To kill every Christian he could find. Now where did Paul find these Christians? Did he go to all the local church buildings to find them? No. There was no such thing as a church building in fact for hundreds of years. Nor was Christianity considered even a legal religion until the year 313 by Emperor Constantine. That of course would be only accepted because they also infused their own beliefs into the Bible. People met in homes. Or where ever they could to not be killed by the jews and the Romans. I can tell you with all my heart that the day is coming soon and now is where Christians will meet in the same way due to persecution. After paul’s conversion to Christ, he would suffer in many ways. No it wasn’t a payback from God for the sins he committed, but because being a Christian is not easy. Be assured darkness hates light. God is light. Jesus is light. In recent times I can give you a example of someone you might have witnessed hated. Trump. I have never seen a man in my life so abused and hated. I believe with all my heart it was absolute miracle he got into office. He would be the last light reaching out not only to the U.S. but the world before the final takeover. I leave it to God to say whether he was saved or not. All I know is I believe he was the last wake up call before the coming of tribulation. I can tell you now the light of the U.S. has been blown out. God’s blessing has ended. God cannot bless a nation that murders babies. That allows gay marriage. That has taken God from number one to now burning Bibles in the street. The absolute decline in morals has brought judgement and be assured, God will do to Americans what he did to his own chosen people for abandoning God. Judgement is at the door. Those that thought they have achieved control will be destroyed. California will soon see a earthquake that will destroy it. Millions will be swallowed up in fire and brimstone. New York will be buried in water. The Hoover damn will be compromised. So word to the wise; if anyone today is doing something good and fighting against evil, they will be persecuted big time….Be assured the Lord is coming back like a thief in the night….and if your not ready, your in a whole heap of trouble. The Lord spoke to Ananias concerning Paul’s suffering. “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” … “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” … “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.” … “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at
Iconium, at Lystra and what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.” … “And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” … “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Seeing the Invisible Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” … “We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.” But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of
righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” … “Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing.”… “You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.” … “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” … “From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” … “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.” … “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness”
After reading that, does it remind you of these modern day bastard mega pastors who live like kings and are fake scum? I don’t think so. They have used God and not let God use them. Instead of being filled with the spirit, they have pockets filled with hundred dollar bills…..I’m quite sure Paul suffered more than we have been shown. We only have a limited amount of information by the few books we have in the Bible. I believe many, many books have been hidden from us by the Roman empire and sit in their basement because they are exposed like in the Geneva Bible. But thank God we have the incomplete Bible we do, for in it a man or woman still has the gospel of God’s saving grace. Next time you hear a pastor preaching of prosperity bullshit from his leer jet or other false teachings of Christianity will be all apple pie and vacations on a sunny beach, think of Paul. Think of his perilous journeys that included multiple shipwrecks and all the mental pain he must have suffered from being abused and mocked. Imagine walking around knowing people want to actually kill you and do their best to undo what you created. Think of Jesus who had nowhere to lay his head and the abuse they went through for preaching truth and not this watered down, ear tickling, unbiblical teachings bullshit spewed out of lying mouths. They are the exact false teachers the Bible said was coming in the Last Days……So let’s see again, Paul is born-again and a Christian. The Bible says where your heart is, is where you will find your treasure. In other words not in things or possessions, but in deeds and actions. Did Paul spend all his time to make money to buy a new Lamborghini to outdo the neighbor? Did he live in a yuppy multi-million neighborhood with it’s own landing strip? Or as a preacher buy some 5000.00 sneakers? Yes, really. People are struggling for their next meal but these tools of satan will suck you dry. Take some time by checking it out in God’s Word how men of God acted….What was Paul doing that we as Christians should be mimicking as he was our example? He preached the Word of God as everyone of us is commanded to do. Not to sit on our salvation but spread it without fear or worry of tribulation….No one lights a candle and sticks it under a bed. How would anyone see the light? Look up Paul’s arrest and treatment in Jerusalem for two years. Roman imprisonment in Caesarea, house arrest in Rome. The time periods between the first and second Roman imprisonment were no cake walk and then ultimately his imprisonment resulted in his execution. I’m quite sure he was imprisoned more than we know. The Lord said said those who will lose their life will find it…..By Paul’s SUFFERINGS others benefited. By Paul being in jail, he was almost able to save King Aggripa! God has a plan for our lives. It is not living like the rest of the world. It is being a light so others can be saved by seeing how we are different. Did you ever get a paper cut? Hurts don’t it. Paul took something much worse than that. A thousand times worse. Paul tells us “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.” The Bible doesn’t say it, but I bet with each hit Paul said under his breath “Thank you Jesus I am found worthy!” To be called a child of God truly is precious and it is in fear and trembling we should work out our salvation. Play time is over for Christians and if your not prepared or getting as many people saved as you can… I’m not sure what to tell you… except WAKE UP….Paul was frequently confronted with situations that could have resulted in death. People lying in wait to stab him, beat him, hang him, and on and on… The world is evil people. Paul tells us “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
So certainly that whipping by the jews was enough already…right? Nope…. “Thrice I was beaten with rods.” The Romans had all kinds of ways to impart hurt upon someone. I’ve been walking in the woods and had a small branch suddenly whip into my face. Not a good feeling and stopped me in my tracks. Now imagine a man hitting you with a large stick with all his might. The skin instantly swells and even splits open and pain lasts for days if not weeks. Sometimes this type of beating resulted in death because the pain was so harsh. Think of that as your pastor drives off to his million dollar house and orders the jet to be prepped as he wants to look at some properties in Florida. Okay, enough already, you may say to yourself. How much can a man suffer for spreading the Truth of Jesus? Did you ever drop something on your foot by accident? How about stubbing your toe on something. It’s enough pain to almost make you cry….. “Once I was stoned.” No he wasn’t high from marijuana. This was another method of punishment dealt out by the jews. You would be thrown into a pit and the crowds would gather to simply throw rocks at you till you died. You could cower on your knees with your arms over your head but sooner or later as the blows struck your back you would writhe in pain and possibly rollover. Then your face would be bashed in little by little. The rocks would come till you stopped moving and died. Remember Paul watched Stephen being stoned? Now as a ambassador for Christ he is receiving same punishment. After they stoned Paul they carried him out of the city thinking he was dead. Personally, I think he did die and God brought him back to life as he was so important to spreading the Gospel. Paul did a lot of his travels by ship. Jumping on a ship back then was certainly nothing like today. He didn’t board a modern cruise ship. You would have to trust in the winds and the boat itself wouldn’t fall apart or run into a reef. “Three times I was shipwrecked.” Imagine the craziness going on. Paul says he floated in the water for 24 hours one time. “A night and a day I have been in the deep.” Maybe the water was cold? Sharks? I’m not sure but think of a recent movie of a large shipwreck and people fighting for something to hang onto. Imagine getting dropped off in the hood. Maybe in the middle of a big housing project at sunset. You’d crap your pants. Paul, wherever he traveled had to face numerous obstacles like that. Wild animals, rough terrain, and thieves were everywhere. Each new city was a new confrontation with soldiers or mobs of people would surround him. The jews wanted to beat or kill him. The gentiles had their own god’s and didn’t want to hear of this new God and fights would start. The leaders and magistrates would want him jailed. There was no public drinking faucet or convenience store on every corner. He would be hungry and thirsty often because of no good water sources. I know your probably saying to yourself “My God, Why would anyone put themselves through all this?” Why did Jesus suffer? Why does anyone suffer for being a Christian? Because we know this body is only temporary. This life is like a vapor and we are here for but just a moment in time. Because we know there is something so much greater waiting for us. Paradise with God himself just like it began in Eden where there will be no more pain. No more suffering. No more tears. How is your life as a Christian? I hate to say it, but a good gauge for how your living is by using Paul as a example. It’s time to decide if going to sit in a corner or grab a sword. “In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren” In America we have been shielded from persecution for a long time. We are so pussy footed that we don’t know what that even is. That wasn’t so for hundreds of years though. Millions upon millions have been killed for their faith. Now things are going to change very quickly. People are stuck in thinking this country can’t fall. It will and it has. Sure it was different back then in Pauls time. But in reality use him for a example what is coming. Because it’s coming. A good starting point of learning about the church is the book of Acts. I am someone that believes the age of grace started with Paul becoming the chosen Apostle for the gentiles. Peter says he couldn’t even understand Paul’s message and was hard to comprehend. After Paul’s conversion, he disappeared into the desert for three years, during which time the Holy Spirit instructed him in the ways of God. He emerged, ready to communicate divine truth and a mystery given by God. We must all learn to follow the example of Paul and value quiet, intimate time alone with God. Perhaps the Lord has a great ministry for you, but first He is waiting for you to purposefully set aside time to be with Him. Begin today with finding your private place and listen carefully to what the Lord has to say. What you give God is what He will give back. Thank you Paul for what our example of what a preacher is by telling truth and not being a actor or something the complete opposite of you. Paul didn’t own jets and have a hundred mill in the bank and was popular for preaching lovey dovey positive messages. The Jews had deep enmity against Paul as a follower of Christ and as an apostle. Mega preachers are like rock stars. He was in constant danger of being put to death by the Jews. Non Jews were often stirred up by the jews into causing him harm. Many times Paul would encounter a people who worshiped idols and were superstitious of any new God and caused him much harm and perils. Mega man jumps in his supersized SUV and gets around with a staff of people and maybe even guards. Boards his private jet and travels in luxury. Paul walked on foot in wilderness areas and wild wastelands going city to city. He encountered not only being lonely but he had to deal with robbers and murderers, he wasn’t shielded from the weather, he had to worry about a lion or wild animal wanting him for his next meal, many times he starved, he was poor, he had no medical care, yet he moved on with a purpose. Mega man boards his yacht and sails the seas. Sometimes Paul traveled by boats that were old and rickety. The boats would encounter storms and high seas as men cried out in fear. Many times the boat would be shipwrecked do to being lost or fleeing pirates. Mega man is surrounded by suckups and those on his payroll. Paul was surrounded by false brethren often who often spied on him wished him harm. Mega man has everything taken care of by staff and no worries about anything accept pulling in his next mil. Wearisome toil and consequent exhaustion from his labors were frequent companions to Paul. He many times had sleepless nights. Not only from all his horrible circumstances, but because his message meant so much to him he would preach all night to get people saved. He spent all his time praying and meditating on Gods Word. Mega man eats the best foods available and caters parties with extravagant wines and goodies. Paul never knew where his next meal was coming from. Or a drink of water. Many times he would fast and I’m sure it wasn’t a planned thing but he just had nothing to eat. Important to Paul was him feeding on Gods Word. Mega man turns on his multiple furnaces and air conditioners to keep him comfortable. He buys Italian made suits and spends 5k on a pair of sneakers like it’s nothing. Paul says he was often cold and in nakedness. He wore old clothing very worn down. There is even a instance he asks Timothy to bring his cloak to him he left at another city. This is a pretty special guy. Our example. Yet how far do we go ourselves in actually being anything like Paul? I know I’m ashamed. Paul shows us the Lord always watched over him. Whatever the circumstance he came out of it and grew stronger in the Lord. Can you imagine the scars on this mans body? How often he could have just said that’s it God and settled. Through it all, Paul’s faith continued to excel. Kinda like Jesus, huh? Paul says “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” … “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” Paul is a example of who as Christians we should strive to be. “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
A prayer we should ask of God. “Lord I am weak. I see the life of Paul and God I pray for his heart for you and strength and abilities. His perseverance. Lord you chose me for a reason. I may never become as great as Paul as a witness for you, but Lord with all that I am, use me to the best of my abilities. Use me Lord for your service. No matter what I might be going through or how crazy the world becomes Lord, I pray I always keep my eyes and heart focused on you. ”
The book of acts tells us much about Paul. You should read it through many, many times to get a grasp of Paul’s purpose and the start of the age of grace given to the church of believing gentiles. Did it come easy for Paul in spreading the Gospel? Look yourself.
Acts 9:23, Acts 9:29, Acts 13:50, Acts 14:5, Acts 14:19, Acts 15:11, Acts 15:39, Acts 16:23, Acts 16:39
Acts 17:5-7, 10 Acts 17:23-14, Acts 17:18, Acts 18:12, Acts 19:23-41, Acts 20:3, Acts 21:27-30
Acts 22:24, Acts 22:24-29, Acts 23:1-8, Acts 23:12-22, Acts 23:33-27:2, Acts 27:41-28:1
Acts 28:3-5, Acts 28:13-15