By Oscar Baker
Saul of Tarsus (a city in Asia), was a Jew. He also was a fundamentalist of the
time, a Pharisee.
He was zealous for Moses and
the prophets. He believed his Bible. No one was better qualified
than he for Israel's hope which
was resurrection and the coming of the Messiah.
Since he was blameless as concerning the law, and believed all that Moses and
the prophets did
say, he firmly believed in the coming
King and His kingdom over all the earth. Yet there are some,
who in spite of the record, say that
Saul was lost, unsaved, an unbeliever.
But we must take the record, and disregard the sayings and traditions of men.
Because of his faith in believing his Bible, Saul was
able to say immediately, Lord, what wilt Thou have me t0 do? (Ac 9:6).
When Saul heard what the Lord said,
and saw Him in His brightness, he changed his mind about this Jesus of Nazareth. He no longer
thought of Him as an imposter, a blasphemer for His claims. He believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the
Messiah, the King of the Jews. Saul was converted.
Upon this belief, Saul immediately became a member of the kingdom of heaven,
which had been proclaimed by John Baptist, the Lord and
His disciples, and now by the 12 apostles. And Saul understood that thiskingdom of heaven would be
immediately followed by the Millennium.
So we can figure that Saul's conversion or change of mind came nearly 8 years
after Pentecost. He had missed a lot.
We probably cannot imagine the upheaval this had in the life of Saul. He spent 3
years after this incident in his life out in the desert places,
restudying the Scriptures with this new truth in mind. And there was no doubt in his mind about what
the Scriptures had to say about it. The life and the acts of this poor peasant
of Nazareth fit right in with the
writings of Moses and the prophets. And having believed this, Paul was unshaken in his faith from that time
on. He not only knew the Scriptures, but had seen the Lord Himself.
He preached what he learned from the Lord, what he found in the Word, and also
what he heard from the apostles, for a period of 9 years.
Both he and the apostles preached to none but Jews only. So Saul was preaching what he had heard.
But about 3 years after his conversion, Saul received another commission. And he
was to preach some time also what the Lord told
him in a trance in the temple. This was the gospel of the grace of God, and to Gentiles only. So then Saul,
who then was known as Paul, had a double ministry, one to the Jews and 'one to the Gentiles. But all
concerning the kingdom of heaven and the coming King.
About 27 years after his conversion, Paul received another commission while in
chains in Rome. The old commission was gone. Israel no
longer a people. No kingdom in view. What now?
©Truth For Today, 1998
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