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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Raising of Dorcas from the Dead: Peter at Joppa

Healing From Death: The Grace of God Encounters Joppa Again
click Here for audio teaching

In the last study we saw that Peter healed a man sick of palsy for years. These healings by Peter are particularly of note because they occur right after a major pivotal event, of the turn of the Gospel to the Gentiles, marked by Cornelius' baptism in the Holy Ghost, and that of his whole household. Both Peter and Paul were eminent emissaries of the Gospel going out to the Gentiles, but both were astounded that Gentiles could receive what they considered a divine right only of the Jews. Peter, a rough, working class fisherman, had nevertheless apparently always observed dietary laws, as he was overwhelmed by the vision of the sheet lowering from heaven with all kinds of animals and creeping things, with the command to take and eat. The vision was not dismissing the law, quite the contrary, it was as always, establishing it, as God's point to Peter was that all things are clean when declared so by God. Peter's adherence though to orthodox Judaism is seen when he confronts God about the fact that he has never eaten anything unclean, although through the baptism of Cornelius, the Roman, he comes to understand in the 'mixed' northern regions, that God did indeed send a light to the Gentiles.

Likewise Saul, (Paul), a student of Gamaliel with a formal higher education , zealous for the Lord and orthodox faith, is appointed not only to his own, but especially to the Gentiles,in what must have been a struggle for a man who did not care even for slight hellenistic influences in the faith.

Here, though, as Peter attends to the baptism of Cornelius, and his household, shortly there follows a move of the Holy Spirit in large numbers of persons coming to the Lord and Savior, often precipitated by an event of healing. In the last study we saw Peter healing Aeneas sick with palsy for 8 years and persons in 2 towns turn to the Lord. Now,an even greater miracle of healing takes place : the raising of Dorcas from the dead. This is the first post-Pentecost miracle of raising a person from the dead. It was no coincidence that Peter was nearby.

Tabitha of Joppa

Peter has just been in Lydda, the next town over, about 11 miles apart. Tabitha (meaning 'gazelle') also called Dorcas (meaning the same), was indeed characterized by grace having been a benevolent person helping many in Joppa. She was known for her good works and alms deeds. (9:36)

Dorcas dies (9:37) and her body is laid in an upper chamber, where many women meet to weep and sorrow over the woman who has aided and even clothed them. The disciples of Joppa, aware that Peter was over in Lydda and had just healed Aeneas, rush to him.

Act 9:38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring [him] that he would not delay to come to them.

Peter comes immediately to Lydda, and is confronted by the Widows weeping and showing the garments which Dorcas had made them. Note that the one raising from the dead in the Bible that is different from all others is the raising of Lazarus. Only the Lord could have waited 4 days, beyond when belief held that the soul departed from the body/earth, and called back Lazarus. When the disciples near the event, it is with immediate response. There is no doubt that the woman had truly died, but it left a real gap in the ministry in Joppa: she had cared dearly for those who had no one to rely on.

The Raising of Life

The account of raising Tabitha from the dead is brief:

But Peter put them all forth and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, "Tabitha, Arise". 9:40

The first thing Peter does is:

1. Put them all forth: he creates some space between him , Tabitha and onlookers. Jesus had constant problems with crowds thronging healings and miracles, as though it was entertainment, but it was not, it was holy.
2. Peter kneeled. While there are certainly no 'requisite' positions to heal, do miracles or call out devils, this does show a state of reverance and respect for the work of God.
3. The Command: he turns to the body and says, "Tabitha, Arise".

We spoke before of the command to rise or 'Arise'. It is said often in healings and in most of the times Jesus raised from the dead a child of Israel. It is a command to life, and a command out of a dormant state. The voice of God alone can call forth life, and when the Holy spirit indwelt believers, they could as Jesus, Yshua noted do the same miracles, not because they had become something special or better, but because the Living God dwelt in them. This is no 'trick' or 'ritual' or way one must heal, but an understanding of what the healings meant and were for: they were always to show God's power, to show sovereignty over death , disease and the demonic, and to preach the Gospel, first and foremost.

The Result

There is no detailed or unexpected end here,:

And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. 9:41

When life returned, it was, well, LIFE. He called her to arise, and she opens her eyes and arises. Note sometime the whole phenomena of people being given sight or opening there eyes in the first century in Israel. He makes the blind to see, and so did his disciples, although here, it is sight coming back from death. Strength came back to her to: she did not wallow at death's door for a few days or weeks, but as soon as Peter extends his hand, Tabitha is back. Her ministry can continue.

The Outcome at Joppa: Repentance and Belief

As stated elsewhere healing is for the Love of God making people whole, but it is foremost for preaching the Gospel, and those two things are not separate. The book of Acts states:

And it was known thoughout all Joppa; and many believed in the LORD. 9:42

When Peter healed at Lydda, Saron and Lydda both came to the Lord. The raising of Dorcas causes her town Joppa to believe. Joppa was where Peter had stayed with Simon the Tanner just before being called to Cornelius' house in Caesarea: Israel was beginning to be enlivened by the Holy Spirit of God---eyes opened, raised from the dead, and the dead bones of Ezekiel did indeed begin to knit together flesh and sinew, in the promise of the Savior.

A Footnote: On Raising Souls from the Dead

The question has arisen more than once in considering the many miracles and healings of God why we do not raise from the dead more in Holy Spirit filled congregations and practice. Certainly many have seen real healings, and the assumption is always that we are just not 'prayed up enough' or that it is not God's will, and both of those can be true. There is though a consideration of whether we really should even if we can unless absolutely directed by God in obedience. Since healing is to show God's love for us and preach His Gospel, it would have to be for His purposes and not ours. More than that, when we consider 'love', once a person is gone, if they had faith in the Savior, they would not want to return to such a struggle as this earth: they are held in God's presence and love and it is more than one could want. The desire to have a person return from the dead is to appease our own suffering, despair and longings, and is more to allay pain than other reasons much of the time. Note though that when Jesus raised Lazarus, the widow of Nain's son, and Jairus' daughter, it was to show the glory of God and to testify to His being the Messiah. No raising from the dead, even that of Dorcas, could bring about more that that: it was a testimony and a work of God. The resurrection of Christ, completed the work of the blood atonement and redemption of man from sin, the other times people were raised from the dead it showed the love and power of God but could not ever approach that unique and necessary purpose.

If a person is brought back beyond the time God has for them on this earth, the raising would surely testify to God's power and love, but years lived beyond God's purpose are not often fruitful or rewarding. Interfering with God's wisdom on such things can cause suffering untold. It is not that even that miracle cannot happen today, there are accounts of it. (John Knox is said to have raised a boy from the dead). The biblical accounts were of Children of Israel, coming back to life for more than one purpose. While seeing such a remarkable occurrence would very possibly bring many to the Messiah, the terrifying thought of playing too loose with life and death, has haunted the human race since the garden. Only utter obedience to Yshua through the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Ha'Kodesh, in my opinion, should be the impetus for such a thing, and that to glorify God, or bring many to covenant. Healing, and raising the dead, preaches the Gospel.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peter Heals a Palsied Man at Lydda

Last weekend I was watching a video clip of a Pastor doing the rather expected task of preaching a little and singing 'Victory in Jesus'. Certainly, that is not headline news, save for the fact that this preacher, a man named 'Ring' had lived with cerebral palsy, a debilitating motor disease , preventing normal smooth motor functions such as easy speech and limb movement. By the time many with cerebral palsy are in their 30s, they cannot speak and movement may be exaggerated and contorted.

This preacher though, was remarkable, in that while he took a little extra time, he spoke with articulation and sang one of the best renditions of the song I had ever heard---a great feat since we have all heard it a thousand times! Why could this man, at his age preach a very fine sermon and sing with an anointing, when his counterparts afflicted by the same condition could do very little? The main difference was the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Yshua HaMeschiach.

In the book of Acts, right after Saul is met on the road to Damascus, right after Ananias heals the blindness of the great soldier of God who will come to be, right after spiritual blindness is healed by the Light of the World, there is a description of a lesser known healing of a man named Aeneas, by Peter, the apostle holding the keys to the Kingdom.

Aeneas was stricken with Palsy, and had been 8 years in bed in the town of Lydda. Lydda, meaning 'strife', is about 9 miles south of Joppa, where Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner. (formerly called Diopolis under Roman rule). The Book of Acts does not give a great deal of information about Aeneas or his condition but does say:

Act 9:33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.

Eight years is a long time in any condition which imprisons a person, whether it is a disease or not, but in moments, the seemingly uncurable ailment is a thing of the past.

9:34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: Arise and make thy bed.

Note that Peter mentions two names immediately: Aeneas' name, and the name of Jesus Christ. He doesn't go into a discourse of 'how the whole process works', or even quote scriptures supporting the doctrine of healing, but post haste says the following:

1. Aeneas (called by name)
2. Jesus Christ (calling on The Name)
3. Maketh thee whole ('the thing is done', Jesus makes whole)

We spoke about wholeness much earlier in studying healing: a person who is ill, possessed, or a person in some physical or other earthly or spiritual 'distress' is a person who in some part of their lives are not 'whole' not 'statis'. One is brought back to wholeness in healing, and here it is by calling on the NAME of the Lord Jesus.

The second part of the verse, is the COMMAND following healing.

Arise and make thy bed

The word 'Arise' or rise, is used often in healings or commands by either Jesus or his disciples. The word arise is anistemi: which can mean anything from 'get up or stand up to 'come back to life', but it is an 'enlivening' from a static state. What a remarkable word, 'arise' is to some one who has been encumbered by palsy for 8 years---even more remarkable is the command to do a mundane but heretofore impossible task: make thy bed. Peter via Jesus restores the man to normal life, where one rises up and makes his bed, and carries it and goes about his business. The obedience is immediate:

9:35 And he arose immediately And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned toward the Lord.

We said before that healing is to pronounce the Gospel: the Good News, that God has not only not forgot his covenants with Israel but has come to fulfull them, and that the power of God through healing and miracles is not only not gone from the earth, but is at the hand of the Lord, to point the way to the greatest healing: Salvation. The gospel and healing brings Repentance, and many, as in other healings in Acts, turn to the Lord.

The Sum of Aeneas' Healing

Here then is the sum of the healing of Aeneas by Peter:

1. Peter enters into Lydda and encounters Aeneas, 8 years with palsy.
2. Peter calls Aeneas' name
3. Peter names 'THE NAME' of Jesus,
4. Peter points to Jesus making Aeneas whole
5. Peter through the Holy Ghost commands "Arise...and make thy bed"
6. Aeneas immediately obeys
7. Two towns see him and turn to the Lord. (Lydda and Saron)

Healing is for the Gospel and the gospel for healing. It is only through Salvation that we are made totally whole.

by ekbest09

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Saul, Receive Thy Sight: The Healing of Divine Blindness

Saul was on the road to Damascus, enraged. These 'little christs' (Christians) , followers of the way, had been nothing but trouble since the day that itinerate rabbi from Galilee started preaching. Saul had stood in the background like many, and let the Sanhedrin handle things: they thought it was over when Annas and Caiaphas turned him over to Rome for crucifixion, but it wasn't but a few days and the followers of 'the Way' had spread all over Israel that Yshua had risen from the dead: they kept talking of him 'conquering death'---and the Temple folks couldn't really counter dozens of eyewitness reports, and worse, they could not find the body.

The followers of the one called 'Yshua' which they kept referring to as the "name above all names" were also performing some sort of 'miracles': people were still getting healed, and every time some one got healed, whole towns were believing that Yshua was the Messiah. () The Messiah! Saul had been brought up at Gamaliel's feet, and for a man to claim he had been God's Messiah: it so enraged Saul, that he became a champion of putting down the 'Way' and its followers,

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed [them] to prison.

Further, with a crowd of other regular Temple attenders, he haled one of them, a disciple named Stephen off to be stoned, for refusing to renounce the man they called 'Savior'. It was bad enough that Rome was trying to bring down the Jews, now there were growing thousands whom Saul and the elders of Israel thought might if this 'movement' continued to grow. He had to admit that Saul gave a better sermon than he had ever heard on the history of Israel and her God, but, well, he didn't cast a stone not really, but he watched the coats of those who did, and consented to the killing. He hadn't been the same since, though, because he just couldn't understand the power that Stephen had even during the stoning, nor the light that shone on his face, and it just enraged him even more.

The Way was growing in Damascus, where Saul had come from, so he sought permission of the Temple authority to go arrest everyone involved, and of course they were only to happy to oblige.

"And desired of him letters to Damascus to the Syagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem, Acts (9:2)

And so with some amount of blood on his hands, he thought for a righteous cause, he set out on the road to Damascus to overthrow "The Way, The Truth and The Life" as Yshua had called himself, only to confront the overthrow of what he had been: a religious, self-righteous man, zealous of Judaism, but without divine knowledge. He knew the Scriptures---but he was about to come face to face with the Living God of Israel, who would show the truth of Divine Blindness and how it is healed, using a blindness of the flesh to demonstrate.

Saul's Divine Encounter

He made it almost all the way to Damascus, when a an event occurred which Saul, in his life could never have counted on:

9:3 "...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?"

Whatever happened, it hadn't happened to him in synagogue before, and a couple of things are notable: 1) Saul recognized immediately it was from Heaven, and 2) He responds immediately acknowledging what he saw as the Lord!. Saul did not argue or confront, the mighty man of Jerusalem that he was, but instead, astonished says

"...Who art thou, Lord?"

The event caused him to fall to the earth! And the answer was not obscure, and would cement in stone the man's apostleship to come:

"I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks"

One can only imagine the entire nature of the encounter, but the the Greek word for 'pricks' is kentron and can mean 'sting' or 'goad' and while most picture the spur that goads horses along, the intimation to Paul, was that he was going the wrong way intensely, and suffering because of it. It is a remarkable love that faced that enemy of God on that road, who instead of condemning him for Stephen's murder, saved him, but not without a divine lesson.

The Marks of Meeting the Lord

That it was the Lord is testified to by all of what happened. And the encounter matched some of the most significant encounters of man with God in the Old Testament as well.

1. The ones who were with him did not hear the direct interchange

Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

2. He encountered a 'light from heaven'

3. He was struck with 'trembling and astonishment'.

9:6 And he, trembling and astonished said, "Lord, what wilt thaou have me to do".

In the Old Testament, when Daniel meets with a vision of heaven these things also occur in part or in full.

Daniel 10:7 ...the men that were with me saw not the vision, but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Daniel 10:8 Dan 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. (aksi 10:16)

or in Ezekiel 1:28

And I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

The command or aid to strength is given both times. The divine encounter of Saul on his way to persecute Christians, bears the marks of other encounters with God in the history of Israel by her prophets.

So far, then , the nature of the encounter which will involve one of the greatest healings of the Bible, follows the following pattern:

1. Saul is stopped from going an evil way
2. A blinding light occurs and Saul is rendered powerless
3. Jesus inquires regarding Saul's evil intent
4. Saul falls, trembling and astonished
5. Saul seeks obedience (below)

Saul's one redeeming quality is that he really did, even before salvation, have a zeal for God, his people and true worship, and a great knowledge of the Holy Scriptures much like a well-studied theologian today, only it was misdirected. The spirit of religion without a relationship with God is often a murderous one, or one of 'overthrow'.

Saul immediately understands on the spot obedience is required when he asks Jesus, Yshua, "...what wilt thou have me to do?"

Note : In the conversion, Saul was really getting the desire of his heart: union with God: he had sough it previously "intellectually" and by tradition. This 'conversion' though, will involve obedience and healing, but it is one of the few times in the Bible when God both smites with a condition and then makes the person whole, for a lesson to Israel. (e.g. Miriam or Moses struck shortly with leprosy and then healed.)

THE Lord's Command

When Saul encounters the LORD near Damascus, it becomes a turning point in Saul's Life, in Israel's life and in the Life of the World. The meeting also renders Saul, soon to be 'Paul' as fit to be an apostle: this enemy of the early believers, so zealous for their overthrow will shortly be their greatest defender and apologist! His letters will carry the Gospel of God to the next few millennia---but not yet. When Saul asks, the Lord, "What wilt thou have me to do?" (the response which should always follow an encounter with the Lord) he does not yet comprehend, that the task that lay before him will be the desire of his heart: to serve God in His Word.

The Pharisees over time have been seen pejoratively as some of the 'bad guys' of history. Most of the reason was their first century hypocrisy and opposition to the Messiah, and the term has come to mean 'religious hypocrite'. The real Pharisees though, were a sect of priests and their followers, who about 400 years before Christ, had sought to turn Israel back to the true practice of Judaism and the worship of the Living God, having seen so many fall away, and believing it was the reason for the Babylonian and Assyrian Exile. Over time though, and nearing the years just before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Pharisees had become tainted with the world and deals with Rome, and by the time of Annas and Caiaphas, the sect bore no resemblance to its founders, exercising its power more as a political body than a religious one, although it must be kept in mind that even at the time all Pharisees could not be cast with the same cloth: Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea and Paul, all were of the sect. Saul, zealous for God but not with the knowledge or power of the living God of Israel, met heaven that day and hour, recognizing it immediately both as a well trained scholar and child, and now is about to receive an answer to his quest for God's will.

What Will Thou Have Me to Do?

Note that Yshua, Jesus does not immediately give him the blueprint for the rest of his life during the interchange. As is often the case, what the Lord was eliciting in Saul was faith, belief, and obedience/surrender. Jesus responds:

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

Saul's first task is to obey the Lord without question. Now, some alarm may rise at the sound of 'blind obedience'. The 'blind obedience' of some societies has led to nothing good such as in the 'befehlsnotstand of the Third Reich, or of other genocides or destructive mass movements. Blind obedience though to the Lord is a different thing, because the Lord has only our good at heart, and is omniscient.
Blind obedience to the Lord does not fail in accomplishing divine purpose. Saul had sought God before, but intellectually and by tradition. Now he is confronted with power, love and sovereignty.

Only the next step is given: "airse, go into the city". The calling is promised.
"Arise" is used often in healings and commands by both Jesus, Yshua and his disciples. The primary word is 'anisthemai'


which can mean to rise from a dormant state, or as in resurrection, and another Greek word is used often the same 'egeiro'


meaning approximately the same, frequently used by Jesus.

'Arise and go' is a call to action: it is used to send the disciples, it is used of the Jairus' daughter, raised from the dead (little maid, arise), and in a number of other passages, although here, it is calling Saul, to a new life, and a calling which so far exceeds his expectations that he cannot imagine it, nor certainly could the persecuted disciples.

As with Daniel and Ezekiel, only Saul hears directly and sees directly, the men with him only in part:

"And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man" 9:7

The result of the encounter was dramatic and strength-robbing , also like Ezekiel and Daniel's encounters:
"And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened he saw no man: but they led him by the hand and brough him into Damascus" 9:8

Saul has come to overthrow, but Saul is overthrown. Saul has come to conquer, but has to be led into the city by hand, blinded by the Light of the World. The Light of the World has rendered Saul physically blind, to show the spiritual blindness which the leaders of Israel had succumbed to.

The Healing of Divine Blindness

There is a sequence to the healing of this 'Divine Blindness'. In almost all other cases of blindness and healing in the Word, the blindness is physical and is healed by the Lord. Here, though, Saul is divinely blinded, and then healed.

1. Saul is struck blind on the Damascus Road
A. It is for a purpose Acts 9:15.
B. To Illustrate Spiritual Blindness of the Pharisees (considered

9:40-41 And [some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

C. Saul is three days in the dark (no food nor water)

God has planned Saul's healing though, before he is struck with heaven's 'blindness'. As Saul is being led into Damascus, another disciple, Ananias is being called, to go to Saul and heal him. Ananias is

1. Called and anointed for the healing
2. Sent to Saul
"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. And hath seen in a vision, a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. "

3. Declares to Saul the purpose of the blindess
"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."

God in calling Ananias, removes fear of the once-persecutor, and announces first to Ananias the agent of healing that Saul is to be

a. A chosen vessel for God
b. A bearer of God's name to the Gentiles
c. A bearer of God's name to Kings
d. A bearer of God's name to the Children of Israel

4. Explanation to Saul of his experience and laying on of hands

"Act 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."

All fulfill prophecy, and all were the TRUE intent of Saul's heart. Note that Ananias feared at least in part (9:14-5) to go see Saul for he heard that he was coming in the high Priests authority to bind "all that called upon the name". What a crime they were persecuting back in first century Jerusalem! Calling on the Name. God takes away the fear and sends Ananias to Saul in perfect love. Yet lest the love of God be untempered with the justice of God, He gives to Ananias a prophecy of Saul's forthcoming ministry and call

"For I will show him how great things he will suffer for my name's sake.9:16"

The laying on of hands has been discussed previously in this blog as one of the main pillars of practice for the Christian, in authority and anointing, as well as healing.


The healing of Saul's Blindness is instantaneous:

"And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received his sight forthwith and arose and was baptised."

Baptism here is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the indwelling that comes with belief and faith. The scales fall away and sight returns to this pillar of Israel, set for the defense of the Word of God. With Moses, God showed his power by having him put his hand to his bosom, and taking it out it was leprous, then putting it in again, it was clean.

Exd 4:6-8 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand [was] leprous as snow.
And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his [other] flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

Here is our God, 1500 years later, speaking to another Jewish leader about former and latter signs that herald his Way and the great consequence for turning away from the 'sign' or 'ensign' of God. (see also Numbers 21:9)

The Light of the World had again healed a blind man, only this time the application was not only to one man, but to blindness in Israel. He meant for the scales to fall and for His spirit to live WITHIN the tabernacle again. Saul's healing is received, his fast ends, and he is strengthened (again like Daniel and Ezekiel) and he then spends several days in Damascus with the disciples he had come to harm, who now care for their enemy in the love of God.


Saul unlike most believers at first, already had a lifelong education in the Word of God, and in the 'governance' of Israel. He was anything but unlearned. He was not learned yet though in 'walking in the Spirit' and attending to the things of God, yet he almost immediately began to preach that Messiah had come:

"And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues that He was the Son of God" 9:20

This had to have astounded early synagogue worshippers who knew Saul only as a student of Gamaliel and right hand of the Sanhedrin. (:21) Many were saved at Damascus by the innate disposition and Holy spirit filling that Saul had: he PROVED that Jesus, Yshua was Ha Meschiach, the 'Very Christ', the very Messiah of God, by the Scriptures.

Those who lost Saul to 'The Way' * though reacted the way they did other folks who brought thousands to the LORD: they took counsel to kill him. Consider those murderous religious folks who had made their bed with Rome:

-They plotted to silence the man born blind, healed by Messiah
-They plotted to kill Lazarus
-They plotted to kill Jesus
-They now plot to kill Saul

George Bernard Shaw (hardly a christian) once remarked about noticing about how cowards are always screaming to have things killed. This great healing of both real and divine blindness in Israel, turning a religious zealot into a herald of the Word of God and a healer himself, was so clearly a sign of God that no one could protest. Those not right with God plotted to kill the evidence that Yshua HaMeschiach, Jesus of Galilee and Nazareth, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of God, was real and had come for His bride, Israel. That just had to be stopped, now didn't it?

2. 84.