Acts 26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 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.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
The apostle Paul was given opportunity to continue his testimony and he is now coming to the critical part of the testimony. In verse 12 Paul spoke of his continued desire to shut down those who were saved and worshipping the true God.
In verse 13 Paul spoke of the Lord’s intervention in his plans. God was protecting His children from this wicked man. However, God was also giving this wicked man another opportunity to repent toward Him and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Paul described what happened on the way to Damascus. He is addressing the king with his words. He wants the king to pay attention. Of course, God is directing him in his words. Paul saw a light from heaven that was brighter than that of the sun. That light was shining round about Paul and those that were accompanying him.
In verse 14 Paul stated that this light caused all that were with him to fall to the ground. God has a way to get the attention of even the most hardened person. We notice here that the men fell to the ground, but Paul heard the voice speaking to him. Paul went into great detail here. He even noted that the voice spoke to him in the Hebrew tongue. We see here as well that the voice called Paul by the name he was given at birth. This voice also stated that Saul was persecuting the person whose voice Saul was hearing. Saul thought he was going after some people. However, he was actually attacking someone much greater than the people. Saul was kicking against the pricks. Saul was hurting himself more than he was hurting the saints. He was trying to force his way into hell by fighting against the merciful and gracious Son of God. What a foolish thing to do.
It is important for us to remember here again, that had Paul called on a lawyer to speak here, this would all have been lost. Paul was speaking to the king. He was telling the king of the power that is greater than man. King Agrippa needed to be reminded that even though he thought he was a man of great power and he was also a man who demanded great respect from the people, yet he was not nearly as powerful as he assumed he was.
In verse 15 Saul had asked who it was that was speaking to him. Notice that he called this person, Lord. The Greek word translated as “Lord” here refers to someone that is “supreme in authority.” Paul knew this because of the impact this bright light had upon him at that time. He did not yet know who this was, but he knew this person was much bigger than he was or than the chief priest that had given him letters to go and persecute the saints in Damascus.
Paul went on to state that the voice identified Himself as Jesus, whom Saul was persecuting. Paul, (Saul at that time), needed to understand he was seeking to silence the eternal Son of God. He was way out of his league here. He was fighting against God.
In verse 16 Jesus commanded Saul to rise up and stand on his feet. Saul wanted to be a big man. He wanted to be in charge. Jesus was demanding that he stand up like a man and prepare to receive the orders given to him.
Jesus demonstrated His authority and power over Saul here. He stated that Saul had a task to fulfil. He was going to be made a minister and a witness of this event and also of those things that Jesus was going to show him yet.
In verses 17-18, Jesus went on to declare to Saul what he was called to do. He was going to stop persecuting Christians immediately. He was going to be trained by Jesus Christ to open people’s eyes to the truth. Saul had been in darkness, but his heart was opened now to the truth. He saw this bright light and he knew immediately that this was not something to reject or play around with.
Jesus continued by reminding Saul that lost people are under the power of Satan. They are held captive. However, that captivity is not so great that they cannot be saved.
It is sad to see people who are bound by their choice of sin. Whether that be hard drugs or alcohol, or tobacco or pornography, or whatever sin it is. Romans 3:23 reminds us that we are all born in sin. We choose to commit sin because we are born with a sin nature. Every person chooses their path of sin. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to penetrate to the heart of the lost person and deliver them from the power of Satan unto God. It is important for the lost person to be brought under the influence of the Gospel. That is what Paul did after he was saved. He preached the Gospel wherever God led him. That is what upset the lost Jews so much. They did not want anyone interfering with their evil plans.
Paul was reminding those in attendance and also us today, of the power of the Gospel. There are so many professing Christians who walk around like people bound by the devil. Some will make the excuse that there is no person who is without sin. They say that to try to justify their crippled lot. It is true there is no person on earth today who can claim to be without sin. However, every born again Christin has been delivered from the power of Satan unto God. Every born again Christian has been given the power to become a son of God. The devil does not want that to be known. He wants people to believe that saved people are still bound by sin.
We have witnessed a massive lie being promoted by people over the past two years. We have been told that the only solution to the “virus” is a “vaccine”. We have been told there is no other hope. Since the “vaccines” have come out, we have discovered they do not do what we were told they would do. They do not stop the spread of the “virus”. In fact what they do is cause much greater harm than the “virus” itself did. We are finding out more and more facts about the agenda that is behind all of this. Some of us have known about this for quite some time.
This whole scenario is a picture of what the devil wants people to believe about salvation. The devil wants people to believe that salvation does not deliver people from the bondage of sin. The devil wants people to believe that all through life, there will be sins that you just cannot shake. Sadly, the devil has convinced many people, including evangelists, pastors and teachers, that the devil is right and God is a liar.
A verse that is very helpful here is:
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul was standing before a king who was living in incest with his sister. He was standing before a governor who was a lost man. He was standing before soldiers and false religious people who were bound in sin. God wanted those people to be reminded that Jesus Christ came to set the captive free. The devil is very good at convincing lost people that there is pleasure in sin. He will try to do that for saved people as well. However, saved people have had their eyes opened to the glorious light of the Gospel. Saved people know better than to believe the lies of the devil. When a saved person falls for the lies of the devil, God chastens that person. He does not accept the lie that His children cannot cast off the old man by the power given them in Christ.
Notice in verse 18 that the saved person has been granted forgiveness of sins, and been given an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith that is in Jesus Christ. The Greek word translated as “sanctified” means “to be made holy”.
New Evangelicalism will never teach the truth. They have bought the lie and they have convinced many to follow the lie. Paul was not a New Evangelical. He was a saved man. He had been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. He would not have been of any help to those he was standing before if he was still bound by his past sin nature. He could not be a part-time persecutor of Christians and a part-time preacher of the Gospel of Christ. He was saved and he loved the Lord and he loved people. He wanted king Agrippa and Festus and others to be saved. He wanted that because God wants that. Don’t accept the cheap lies of the devil. Take God at His Word and know His peace. Those that are saved need to walk in newness of life. We need to be bold and help others to know God’s forgiveness and peace just as Paul did here.