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Tuesday, August 9 2011

Paul The Christian

The Pharisee Saul was converted into a servant of Jesus Christ (see Christianos and The Yoke Of Freedom) by the LORD God Himself ("the Lord said, I am Jesus" - see also 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and The LORD And The Two Angels).

The Holy Scriptures

"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 [see also The Brightness Of His Coming]: 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)

After being called, and commanded, to be a Christian, by Jesus Christ Himself (it doesn't get more "Christian" than that), Saul, later known as Paul, became one of the greatest Christians of all time. Over half of the Christian book of Acts is about Paul's ministry to the entire world, not just as-yet blind and deaf Israel and Judah, most of whom remained vain and conceited by their fantasy that they were "God's favored nation," regardless of how foolish and filthy their self-righteous behavior was in God's sight (the reason that they opposed Paul - see the Fact Finder question below; also Paul's World and The Gospel By The Gentile) and a very large part of the Christian New Testament was composed by Paul's letters (epistles) to the Christians that were converted with the assistance of Paul.

"1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it: 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood" (Galatians 1:10-16 KJV)

"Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian ... Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am"

Upon his return to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey), Paul was attacked by a mob who feared and hated the Truth, in the same place, and in the same way, as Paul himself did before his conversion (see the Fact Finder question below). As is typical of the "justice" of the backwards world, Roman troops arrested Paul, the one who was being attacked, rather than the religious thugs who were attacking him. Paul was placed in chains (also sometimes rendered as "bonds" in the King James Version) and brought to trial before the Roman occupation forces under Festus and Agrippa (i.e. Herod Agrippa II; see Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

"21:30 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. 21:31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 21:32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.

21:33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. 21:34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle [see also Castles]. 21:35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. 21:36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him." (Acts 21:30-36 KJV)

So Paul, standing there in chains (while in fact it was his in-the-darkness accusers and who were in chains, of deception and unbelief), courageously proclaimed the Truth of Christianity to them (see also Who Has A Spirit Of Confrontation?).

Paul In Chains Before Agrippa

"26:1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.

Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: 26:2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 26:3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.

26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion [see also Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?] I lived a Pharisee. 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 26:7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 26:8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

26:9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth [see The Prophet Of Galilee]. 26:10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests [see Why Did The Lawyers Hate The Messiah?; also The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees], 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord?

And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles [see also Why Did The Magi Come?], unto whom now I send thee, 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 26:20 But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance [see Works Means Obedience and The By-The-Book Messiah]. 26:21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

26:24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad [see Is He Out Of Your Mind?].

26:25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner." (Acts 26:1-26 KJV)

Agrippa then saw the point of Paul's preaching: "thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Paul answered "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am" i.e. a Christian.

"26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

26:29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." (Acts 26:27-29 KJV)

Agrippa then rendered his verdict of Paul - innocent of any wrongdoing.

"26:30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 26:31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds." (Acts 26:30-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: When will all of Judah have the means to become Christians as Saul the Pharisee / Paul the Christian apostle did?
See When Do Jews Become Christians?


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This Day In History, August 9

480 BC: The Persian army defeated Leonidas and his Spartan army at the Battle of Thermopylae in Persia (Persia is known today as Iran; see Ancient Empires - Persia).

48 BC: The Battle of Pharsalus. Julius Caesar defeated Gnaius Pompey (see also Ancient Empires - Rome).

378: The Battle of Adrianople in Turkey. The defeat of a Roman army commanded by the emperor Valens (who was killed on the battlefield) at the hands of the Germanic Visigoths led by Fritigern and augmented by Ostrogothic and other forces. It was a major victory of "barbarian" horsemen over Roman infantry and marked the beginning of Germanic inroads into Roman territory (Germany later became known as The Holy Roman Empire).

1483: Pope Sixtus IV held the first Church of Rome mass in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel - that was named after that pope, Sixtus.

1549: England declared war on France.

1584: The construction of Spain's El Escorial was completed after 21 years, by Philip II (a Hapsburg).

1653: Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp was killed following the battle of Terheijde with the English fleet off the Dutch coast. He was the Dutch commander at the defeat of a superior Spanish fleet at the Battle of the Downs in 1639.

1830: Louis-Philippe formally accepted the crown of France after the abdication of Charles X on August 2.

1842: The Webster-Ashburton Treaty established the present-day border between Canada and the U.S. Just 30 years before, U.S. President James Madison declared war on Britain, starting the War of 1812 (fought 1812-1814) with the primary stated goal of annexing ("take by conquest; as of territory") Canada to the U.S. It was the last invasion of Canada by any aggressor nation.

1902: Edward VII of England was crowned after death of his mother Queen Victoria.

1942: After the passing of a "Quit India" campaign by the All-India Congress, Mahatma Gandhi and 50 others were arrested in Bombay.

1945: The Nagasaki atomic bombing. Over 75,000 men, women and children were indiscriminately incinerated to death, while many more were horribly burned and/or poisoned by the radiation. It was the second U.S. use of an atomic "weapon of mass destruction," a plutonium device (the first U.S. atomic bomb, used at Hiroshima a few days earlier, was a uranium device).

1969: Actress Sharon Tate (wife of film director Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger and three others were found murdered in their home in Beverly Hills, California. The Charles Manson cult/gang was later convicted for the murders.

1974: Gerald Ford was sworn in as president of the U.S. He replaced Richard Nixon who resigned in disgrace to avoid criminal prosecution and imprisonment for the Watergate burglary and obstruction of justice cover-up (Ford later pardoned Nixon so that Nixon wouldn't become a felon as had numerous members of the Nixon regime, including Vice President Spiro Agnew for tax evasion and Attorney General John Mitchell for obstruction of justice).

1993: The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan lost a 38-year hold on national leadership.


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