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Rising Up From The Dust

The Pharisee Saul was a violent, arrogant Christian killer (see Was Paul Among Them? and Violence). Then one day, while he was on one of his Christian hunts, Jesus Christ knocked the swaggering, self-righteous thug (an accurate description of the man's as-yet unrepentant loser behavior, not the man) onto the ground. Instead of "breathing out threats," Saul was breathing ditch dirt.

"9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord?

And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." (Acts 9:1-6 KJV)

"As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life"

Saul's life, as he was living it, ended that day. When he rose up from the dust on that road of death, it was a figure of a resurrection to a new life as a Christian. Paul, as he would thereafter be known (see Paul's Ministry), was then baptized (Acts 17:9-17 KJV), itself moreover symbolic of the death and burial of an old dead-end way of life and the resurrection to a new life, the true way of life - as Paul later wrote.


"6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [see Grace Into Licentiousness] 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by Baptism [see also Baptism Of Fire] into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Romans 6:1-6 KJV)

Paul's rising up after "hitting bottom" in the dust, and his figurative death and burial in baptism, did not mean that he was "born again" (see Born Again, How and When?). Those events were just the beginning of Paul's journey to the time when all will be fulfilled.

"4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep [see What Happens When You Die?].

4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why are there two different resurrections coming, one to spirit, one physical? Why will it seem to many that Christ will have returned "now"?
See When Will You Be Judged? and Could Christ Return Tonight?

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