Let’s continue back and start off about the lost. Remember that Saul persecuted, imprisoned, beaten, tormented and probably participated in killing Christians and he is an excellent example of someone who did not have any concerns or regard for The LORD and GOD’s people. He was not a man of GOD in any way. He is typical to a lost person, someone who is caught up in the world, doing as they please and have no regard for The LORD.
He was on a journey to Damascus:
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: Acts 9:3
He had an encounter with The LORD, and The LORD shined HIS glory down and spoke to Saul:
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Acts 9:4
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 9:6
He was afraid and had fear in him, but he did not know what to do. So he asked The LORD “What wilt thou have me to do?” And The LORD told him “Go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 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. Acts 9:7-8
So after he had the encounter with The LORD, he had no sight.
And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. Acts 9:9
He was trembling, astonished and fearful for what it happened, because he knew he had persecuted the followers of The LORD. It was not necessary a fast when it says he neither did eat nor drink. He was in such a turmoil in sight that he could not eat nor drink. He was going through a 3 days trial after having this encounter with The LORD. During these 3 days of trials that he was having, it was more of a spiritual than a physical trial.
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. 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, Acts 9:10-11
Below is a verse about the joy that The LORD has when one lost sheep come back into HIS fold in repentance:
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7
Here is another verse about him humbling himself:
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. Luke 18:13
The praying that Saul was doing was about repentance. He had recognized the sinner that he was and it brought him to his knees, could not even look up into heaven to look towards The LORD. He was humbled and ashamed of what he has done. He was repenting to The LORD and dealing with this trial within.
And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 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: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. Acts 9:12-16
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. Acts 9:18-19
When Ananias had healed him, it wasn’t just a healing of the blindness but what he has been through and how The LORD had healed him spiritually. The scales falling off is when his spiritual eyes were opened, could see what he had been through and he knew what he must do to follow The LORD. The veil covering over him was gone and he had received a physical restoration of sight but also received a spiritual sight, where he was awakened.
He had remained with the disciples and it was for learning/teaching purposes. GOD has chosen Saul for something special.
Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. Acts 22:13-15
He had seen the glory of The LORD shining down from heaven. He had a supernatural encounter with The LORD. “For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard” was the whole point of the encounter that Saul had and then the 3 days trial that he had within himself, because he was struggling with the person he had been. The LORD was calling upon him and it had created a turmoil within him, that has caused him great difficulties; tearing him apart inside. He knew what he had been and The LORD was showing to him what he was. Through this encounter, and the struggle that he had within, and then he was healed of his physical blindness, where he came to a point that he had realized that he was a sinner, asked for forgiveness and repented. All these things he had went through was to be a witness to others, therefore he had went through this 3 days trial of physical blindness and darkness.
This 3 days of darkness is going to happen and will be a time to try those who are not part of the bride. It is going to be a difficult time and a period of refinement for the backslidden to bring them back. Those who are being covered by the blood, are going to quickly see that they need to run to The LORD. Others that are lost like Saul, is going to take a bigger and more personal encounter to see the need for The LORD.
Saul represents the lost during these 3 days. During his trials, he came to know The LORD.
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: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. Acts 9:15-16
Saul was a persecutor of Christians before he knew The LORD. That is a tremendous way that The LORD would be able to use Saul. Now he himself is a follower of CHRIST and he have to suffer for the name of The LORD.
And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. Acts 22:10
Even though he was going to suffer for the name of The LORD, The LORD will be his guide.
And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. Acts 22:18
This is the warning from The LORD for Saul have to leave where he is at, because they will not welcome him and he will be in danger. This is most likely applies to time in the tribulation, because GOD will be guiding and people will be suffering for HIS name’s sake. This is about the lost who had refused The LORD, and ended up in tribulation to suffer for HIS name’s sake. But HE is going to guide them, give them instructions, warning and keep them safe.
Saul who was a chosen vessel, and was to suffer for The Lord’s name. How he will be instructed, guided, protected and warned all through his walk with The LORD. This is what the lost; what their journey will be like once they have decided to follow The LORD when the tribulation has begun. They will certainly have struggle, and will suffer for HIS name, but HE will be there to guide them, instruct them, to keep them safe and to give them warnings-the places that they should go. The things that the lost will come up against in the tribulation, would be hard to imagine and that is very important to come to The LORD before that time gets here, so that you don’t have to endure all the things that those who want to follow The LORD will have to do, during the tribulation, so as not to come into the hands of the antichrist, and not turn to Satan by following The LORD.
Clearly, there will be martyrs and those who will be beheaded for CHRIST’s sake. Saul had later became Paul, after he had been converted. It is already happening around this globe of those who have died for CHRIST’s sake. Beheadings for the name of CHRIST is taking place everyday in this world, that is increasing as well. It may not be right where you are and it has already begun.
The lost that go into the tribulation, as Saul had encounter with CHRIST, realized where he had been and then he had turned to The LORD. These that find themselves in this situation, they are going to have wholeheartedly trust in The LORD 100 percent. HE is going to take care of them once they give themselves to HIM and follow HIM-instruction, guidance, direction to safety, provisions…etc. But just as Saul, they are going to be persecuted for the name of CHRIST.
Those that are lost that find themselves in martyrdom, but they can rest in the promise of GOD that at the end that they will be with HIM. Those that are martyred will be comforted with the presence of GOD and HE would be showing them things so glorious, that what is going on about with the physical would not even matter.
When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:54-60
Part 7 shall be continued in another post.
•King James Version Bible
•Image courtesy of voraorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net