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Friday, January 20 2017

The Street Which Is Called Straight

"And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias... And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul"

The apostle Paul became one of the greatest servants of the LORD (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The LORD God Of Creation) in his time (see Paul, The Apostle To The World). But he didn't begin that way. When we first read of him, when he was known as Saul, he was a Christian persecutor and killer (see The Stoning Of Stephen - Why Are Witnesses Called Martyrs?).

"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." (Acts 9:1-2 KJV)

Many of the Christians fled Jerusalem and Judea to Syria - a place where most of the Israelite patriarchs were born (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus; see also Where Believers Were First Called Christians). It was while Saul was on a Christian hunt to Syria that the LORD put an end to his rampage.

Straight Street

"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.

9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink." (Acts 9:3-9 KJV)

The LORD then sent Ananias, a Christian disciple (see Disciples, Ministers, Apostles, Prophets) in Damascus, to assist Saul's conversion in a house on the famous "street which is called Straight" (see the Fact Finder question below)

"9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias.

And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." (Acts 9:10-16 KJV)

With the coming of the Holy Spirit and baptism, Saul began his new life of Truth (see Saved By The Truth).

"9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus." (Acts 9:17-19 KJV)

The ministry of Paul then began, with more help from those converted before him (see The Meeting Of Paul And Barnabas and The Ministry Of Paul And Barnabas).

"9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ." (Acts 9:20-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: It seems appropriate that Saul was converted to the true Way on "the street which is called Straight." What does "straight" and "strait" mean in the Word of God?
See Strait And Straight


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This Day In History, January 20

250: Emperor Decius began persecution of Christians in Rome (genuine Christians and those who were merely using Christ's identity for their religion; see The Church Of God At Rome).

1265: The first English Parliament of the elected knights of the shires and burgesses convened by Simon de Montfort in the original Palace of Westminster i.e. the "Houses of Parliament."

Palace of Westminster

1320: Wladislaw I was crowned king of Poland. He defeated the Knights of the Teutonic Order, and established the Polish nation.

1327: Edward II of England abdicated in favor of his son Edward III.

1356: Edward Balliol abdicated as King of Scotland.

1612: Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II died (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). His inability to reconcile Roman Catholics and Protestants led to the Thirty Years War.

1649: King Charles I of England was charged with treason after the civil war against Parliamentarian forces.

1783: Britain signed a peace agreement with France and Spain, who malignantly supported the rebel insurgency against Britain during the rebellion of the New England colonies - while hypocritically permitting no rebellion in their vast colonies throughout North and South America.

1841: Hong Kong was ceded to Britain from China after the First Opium War.

China

1918: In Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution, all church property was confiscated and all religious instruction in the schools was abolished.

1936: King George V died at age 70. He was succeeded by Edward VIII whose abdication (to marry a divorced U.S. woman) made possible the eventual coronation of Elizabeth II after the death of her father, King George VI (the younger brother of Edward VIII who succeeded Edward).

George V

1942: Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin formalized a "final solution" plan for the murder of Europe's Jews (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1981: 52 U.S. hostages from the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, were released after 444 days in captivity.

1989: Ronald Reagan broke the "year zero curse" when he became the first U.S. President since 1840, who won a Presidential election in a year ending in a zero, to leave office alive (although not without incident - Mr. Reagan was very seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in March of 1981):



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