Paul encountered Jesus’ Direct Miracle Power from Heaven on the way to Damascus. Here Jesus intervened directly on earth because enemies pursued Christians relentlessly. In Acts 9: Paul formerly known as Saul, persecuted Christians vehemently as Saul travelled to Damascus at midday, he experienced the Divine Presence of God through a light that flashed before him. stronger than Sunlight. Paul’s conversion experience in which he was blinded for 3 days was discussed in Paul’s own writings. According to the Bible history in the New Testament, this event in the life of Paul the Apostle led him to stop persecuting early Christians to become a follower of Jesus in AD 33–36. Paul intensified persecution and pursuit of Christians after Jesus’ crucifixion. The religious leaders and elders who connived to betray and crucify Jesus hoped to end the spread of Christianity. So out of jealousy and envy tried to sabotage Jesus numerous times including previous threats to Jesus’ life. So angered and surprised Christianity thrived, flourished, so had opposite effect as Christians faced more persecution. The dramatic impact of the Holy spirit took a new turn never seen before. The disciples empowered and influenced by the person and work of the Holy Spirit became more effective. Some Christians moved from Jerusalem into Damascus in Syria to escape persecution experienced after Jesus’ ascension. Paul was a prominent highly educated Sanhedrin member among Jewish leaders who endorsed and sanctioned persecution of Christians. Paul was present when Stephen, full of faith and the Holy Spirit performed miracles among the people was martyred under his authority. In Acts 7:51-59, Stephen martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who later became a follower of Jesus and an apostle under the name Paul. The members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. Stephen prayed to God to receive his spirit, and further asked God not to hold their evil deeds against them. Stephen saw Jesus standing up in heaven ready to welcome his spirit home. The first martyr in Christian history, Stephen looked upon his enemies with love and sympathy. The Sanhedrin was not authorized to impose the death penalty but the stoning but implicated. The members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. In Acts 7 55 Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and yelling at the top of their voices they all rushed at him 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses against Stephen who brought charges against him put their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. As Stephen was being stoned to death he called out, “Lord Jesus, please receive my spirit. Stephen was first martyr of the Christian church. The stoning of Stephen triggered explosive growth of early church. Paul/Saul was a zealous Pharisee who intensely persecuted followers of Jesus travelling to cities in pursuit.
Some scholars argue Paul was a member of the “Zealot” party. Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, described in Paul’s own words in Acts 9:1–9;Acts 22:6–11; andActs 26:9–20. Putting the 3 accounts together details an amazing miracle experience. Paul, by name of Saul then was on his way to Damascus with a letter from the high priest of the temple in Jerusalem giving him authority to arrest anyone who belonged God as followers of Christ. Paul was determined to wipe out Christianity so intent on opposing the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in Acts 26:9 with enraged fury. Paul threatened to murder disciples of the Lord so truly despised and hated Christ and all believers associated with Jesus. Suddenly a bright light from heaven shone on Saul causing his entire party to fall to the ground. Then Jesus spoke to Saul, asking him, “Why are you persecuting me?” in a voice understood only by him. Saul recognized the Voice from heaven so called Him “Lord” and asked who He was. Jesus identified Himself as the One Saul is persecuting. Fear filled Saul’s heart so he was dumbstruck knowing he was in serious trouble for attacking God, His Son Jesus and His disciples. In Acts 9:22 Saul’s response was to ask what Jesus wanted him to do. So Jesus told him to rise and go to Damascus where he would be told what to do. In Acts 93 as he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. Paul’s conversion experience was an encounter with Jesus directly from heaven who said, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me. Here again Jesus takes full responsibility to identify with those persecuted to confirm and Voice His Personal Persecution. Jesus once again felt persecuted as His followers endured torture, beatings, martyrdom of Stephen. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask Ananias to restore sight of Saul. A Christian in the city of Damascus, Ananias was commanded by Christ in a vision to pray for Saul. Ananias prayed and laid hands on Saul who had scales fall from his eyes and his vision restored. He accepted Jesus as Lord and became a Christian.
In Acts 26 the longer detailed, story was described by Saul about Jesus’ commissioning him as His messenger to Gentiles yet Saul was the ultimate Gentile-hating Pharisee. Saul changed and turned from hatred and murder of Christian believers. God’s power destroyed wicked powers of darkness so Saul changed into Paul in the glorious light of the kingdom of God. Paul saved was delivered from evils of hatred of God’s Children. His message of forgiveness of sins and sudden change among sanctified believers of Christian faith astonished all because the Jews were convinced they owned exclusive honour in God’s eyes. So Paul was God’s instrument used to graft with the Jews Gentiles he once persecuted. Saul received his commission from Jesus on the road but went to Damascus to confirm Jesus’s instructions to meet Ananias who laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit, baptised and received by the disciples there in Acts 9:15–16,19;22:12–16. At Damascus, Saul fasted for three days without eating or drinking and then received his sight back. So Saul’s radical Damascus Road experience describes conversion of many people who receive Christ in a life-changing instantaneous, dramatic or startling manifestation of Christ. Other process of conversion is gradual understanding of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians wrote in his letter, you heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers as stated in Galatians 1:13–14. Saul had close links with religious authorities in the city. Paul was notorious for persecuting the Christians because of the rapid growth of Christianity. After Saul’s Damascus experience, Apostle Paul one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the church returned to his home in southern Turkey to preach in his own lodgings, where he remains for a few years.
Then Paul travelled extensively and wrote a lot of letters to places he visited and ministered the New Testament.The Supernatural Miracle Accomplishments irritated the Pharisees and Sadducees, furious Jesus healed on Sabbath day in the Synagogue. Missionary, martyr and patron of St. Paul. So Apostle Paul the instrumental figure in the spread of Christianity in the Damascus experience is definitely Not a meteor exploding experience:-
- Astronomer claims bright light and divine voice heard by Paul 2,000 years ago may have been exploding meteor similar to the one over Chelyabinsk
- UV radiation could have caused temporary blindness called photokeratitis
- Scientist claims this may have been the source of Paul’s ‘vision’ in 30AD
Saul of Tarsus, later renamed Paul, saw the resurrected ascended Jesus Christ from heaven on the Damascus Road so Saul converted to Christianity. He made 3 long missionary journeys throughout the Roman Empire, planting churches, preaching the gospel and giving strength and encouragement to early Christians. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, Paul is credited as the author of 13 of them. While he was proud of his Jewish heritage Paul saw that the gospel was for the Gentiles as well. Paul was martyred for his faith in Christ by the Romans about 64 or 65 A.D. Certainly the exploding meteor light seemed to isolate Saul exclusively in spite of his convoy who heard the voice of Jesus from heaven. Almighty God the Jehovah in Nissi who created meteors uses it effectively to humiliate enemies in battle ruthlessly if God Chooses to do so. The Bible and astronomy history records locations and positions of meteors over the years accurately. However, there is no truth in publishing discredit of God’s Miracle Power to give glory to meteor object created by God the Creator. God is able to use meteor but reveals Himself directly through His Son Jesus from heaven. Heaven always has direct intervention with earth and continues to do so. God’s Absolute Magnificent Miracle Power Imparted in Jesus’ Miracle Power is often alluded to Beelzebub by sceptics in Luke 12:10 or scientifically explained by some scientist. God is the Greatest Scientist Emeritus whose Glory is seen in firmaments. God said the work of the Holy Spirit must not be mocked so people may speak a word against the Son of Man it shall be forgiven, but whoever speaks against work of the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven, neither in this age or the age to come in Matthew 12:31-32. God’s Gracious assurance of pardon of all sin in gospel terms. When the Day of Pentecost came they were all with one accord in one place and received the Holy Spirit Promised by Jesus. The disciples emboldened, empowered, preached, reached and minister beyond Israel. So all will be saved including multitude of Gentiles saved. Those Gentiles present at the Pentecost retuned home to spread the Gospel to set churches. In Acts 25 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia,10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues and languages!”12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” What does this mean?”13 Some, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” 14 Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Since Pentecost more than 3000 people were added after Peter preached. God continues to add new converts daily including notorious enemy like Saul accepted Christ as personal Saviour. In Acts 2:41, those who accepted Christ were baptised so the church grows to the annoyance of Paul and others who felt religious laws and traditions were restricting, limiting but Christ sets people free in liberty. People flock to join Christians though some converts rejected and ostracised by family remain with disciples. The Christian work is accompanied by great signs and wonders of God’s Miracle Power imparted by Jesus to all believers. Yokes are broken and people healed from diseases paid for not cured by treatment for decades got worse healed like woman with issue of blood. The lame walk, the blind see, Jesus trains all disciples to destroy all the works of the devil in Jesus Name. So freely receive Christ and freely share Christ as Paul was saved.
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