The Disciples of Jesus Christ Must Go!
Saul wasn’t content with just a personal desire to exterminate the disciples of Jesus Christ, but he also wishes to make it legal and acceptable.
So, “… Saul, yet breathing out [threats] and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,” (Acts 9:1).
If the “High Priest” or the Arch Bishop sanctions his plans to destroy the disciples of the Lord, then other religious leaders in every place will likewise approve of it.
Therefore, he, “… 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 9:2).
Now, Saul armed will religious fire-power travels to a renowned city, namely Damascus.
Which Light is Brighter than the Sun?
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven,” (Acts 9:3).
In the middle of our darkness Jesus Christ will shine through. But we don’t know when and we don’t know where. However, he will illuminate us. He did just that for Saul. It will change his life and the lives of all those who come in contact with his ministry of the Word of God.
Now, let’s take a few to discuss this light. It was so bright that it blinds Saul. And that’s not all, seeing that it was brighter than the noonday sun it was very, very bright indeed.
“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,” (Acts 26:13).
And the timing of this white-light from heaven is impeccable. It appears at noon when the sun is brightest and it is shining on everything. It is directly above our heads at that time.
What is the Name of the Lord?
“And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4).
This verse of Scripture right here is strong. Take note everyone. Whenever anyone oppresses the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ such a one is doing it to Him.
Saul never, physically arrest, beat or imprisoned the Lord. However, when he did the same to the disciples of Jesus Christ he did it to Him.
Then, “… [Saul asks] …, [w]ho art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks,” (Acts 9:5).
Often times I teach that Lord is not a name. Sometimes people get angry and irritated when I do. However, here, in this verse of scripture immediately above, the Word of God confirms this as true. If Lord were the name of God, He wouldn’t tell Saul that He is Jesus.
Only Disciples of Jesus Christ Enjoy This
Saul inquired if the voice he hears is the Lord’s and he replies my name is “Jesus”.
Note, too this precedence is established in Scriptures. The Lord doesn’t instruct many people directly.
In the Old Testament (OT), all the prophets of God enjoy one-to-one communication with Him. Similarly, when Jesus was on earth, his disciples also enjoy this privilege.
However, in this Church-era, whenever the Lord wants to instruct us He sends the disciples of Jesus Christ to speak to us on His behalf. Such was the case with Saul.
The Lord sent His Word to Saul through one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, even Ananias.
“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).
Keep in mind that the Lord could’ve instructed Saul directly. Instead, He told him what to do via a disciple of Jesus.
This is an Activity Only for Disciples of Jesus Christ
Isn’t it interesting that even after the Lord clarify his name for Saul, the latter didn’t address the former by his name, he continues to refer to Him as “Lord”.
“And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man,” (Acts 9:7).
Many people don’t realize how precise Scriptures are. Members of Saul’s entourage heard the voice of the Lord speaking, but didn’t see anyone.
They wouldn’t see anyone because God is a Spirit. Can you see the wind?
“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 9:8).
Now, not only was Saul blinded by the light from God, but also by the revelation that the Lord is Jesus Christ.
Note too, at what time Saul decided to fast. At the commencement of his enlightenment, and at the start of his ministry. When should you fast?
You will do well if you execute a Christian fast prior to making any major decision in your life, or at the commencement of significant changes in your life.
The Agent of Change
Saul did this and it serves him well. Jesus did and he was phenomenal. And you could too and discover your purpose in this life.
Here is a pedagogic demonstration of a bonafide biblical three-days fast.
“And [Saul] was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink,” (Acts 9:9).
Note that Saul didn’t drink water or fruit juice. He didn’t eat or drink anything, because he was fasting. Now that’s a fast. No eating or drinking for a predefined duration.
Note, further that after his fast, Saul’s life changed radically but for the Lord.
If there is anything in your life that you want to change fasting will accomplish it. Fasting is not a panacea. But it invokes the true power of God. Use it!
Who are the Disciples of Jesus Christ?
Are all Christians disciples of Jesus Christ?
However, we need not guess. Jesus tells us who qualify as his disciples.
So, when I speak of the disciples of Jesus I’m not referring to the original disciples (apostles).
“Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; the first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him,” (Matthew 10:2-4).
Three Features Common to all Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ
Nevertheless, the features which made them disciples of our Lord then, are the identical ones which make us his disciples today.
So, for us to become disciples of Jesus Christ we must hear, receive, and believe his Word, the call.
We cannot be his disciples and never hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or remain unbelievers.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed“,(John 8:31).
Note the Conditions to be Disciples of Jesus Christ
Then, we must “continue in” the Word of Jesus Christ. His Word is not our thoughts. It’s not our pastors’ opinion. As a matter of fact, it’s nobody’s opinion.
This is the undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is synonymous with the doctrines or teachings of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. He gave it to them.
According to Jesus Christ, “if” we believe his teachings and “if” we obey them we will grow spiritually.
Therefore, all disciples of Jesus Christ are dynamic because they are continuing in his Word.
It’s only then could we describe ourselves as his disciples.
Why Should we Ensure that we Remain True Disciples of Jesus Christ?
Finally, disciples of Jesus Christ never add or take away anything to or from the Word of God respectively. We follow it. We work with it.
These days, what many “Believers” accept as the Word of our Lord is not his Word. Others have changed it. They provide their perspectives.
This is one of the reasons I write. And it affects almost all areas of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
These include but are not limiting to: faith in God, how to be saved; how to be born again; repentance; forgiveness; prayer; hell; death; the rapture; the resurrection;and much more.
Therefore, for disciples of Jesus Christ to “continue in” his Word we must know it. Study Scriptures daily. If we are ignorant of his Word we cannot “continue in” it.
So memorize a different scripture everyday. Know it! Daily read and meditate on the Word of God. Own it!