Paul’s Second Chance with the Church in Jerusalem – 5-24-23 

“But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” Acts 9:27 NKJV


In the beginning, God created everything, and you and me. He visited us in the garden and had a personal relationship with us, a friendship with mankind. The curse of sin, which has a price tag of death, came upon the earth thanks to the devil’s trickery and changed everything. Although nothing can separate man from the love of God, sin does physically separate us from God. God created us to commune with Him and the enemy knew sin would destroy that bond. So, God created hell to punish the devil and his demons. The enemy knows it is his punishment, but he plans to take as many humans with him as possible to continue to hurt God. Because God created heaven where he can be reunited with people. Well, people needed help to overcome the enemy so God sent laws and formulas for worship and sacrifice that should point people into a position of acting in love. And the enemy attacked it over time and twisted it until it became punitive. But God so loved us that He then sent His only son, Jesus, to break the curse of sin over mankind by bringing it down into the grave, paying the required price for it, and then conquering it by rising again! Jesus ascended to heaven after 40 days. So that we know through Him we can access a relationship with The Father. God made a way to reconcile with mankind and commune and have fellowship with them again! This is GOOD NEWS.

God also created us with free will. Just as we do not want to be married or in a relationship with someone who is forced and manipulated to be in the relationship (we do not want a partner who is chained and a prisoner to us), God also wants us to freely choose Him. Or we can choose to believe the devil’s lies and go to the devil’s punishment – hell. It is our choice.

I know this sounds like a children’s story. It is simple, moral, and almost imaginative. God made it simple so that even children can believe and be saved from the wrath to come. God wishes that no one parishes. He wants us to at least give a relationship with Him an honest try – and see that He is good. He says that if you repent and seek Him, you will find Him!

Now imagine if you will what it could be like to have your best friend be the creator of the universe, all-knowing, all-powerful, having all wealth, and super generous – not like a genie in a bottle granting wishes, but a friend with mutual respect and trust and love, who is willing to use His resources to help you. He is willing to talk to you can since he can see ahead, he can prepare you, position you, and protect you from all the craziness in this world. Oh, and all that crazy? It is the enemy knowing his time is short and working very hard to destroy people and distract them from being reunited with God.

It feels like just yesterday, I was crying laying on my floor, exhausted from trying to fix the mess I made. My sin and poor choices caused broken hearts and broken friendships and broken families and despair and death… yes, I made a huge mess of my life. As I lay there with no way I could fix anything, nor could I go on like that – God reached out to me and made me feel like He still loved me and was ready to help me through it. I had tried God before and it did not seem to work out the way I expected, how could He help me this time? As I thought I realized the last time I treated Him like a genie in a lamp and not as a loving and kind Father and Friend. So I looked up and shook my fists and said – fine! Ok! I surrender! I give up and will do things your way! Things can’t get any worse. BUT!! You MUST be a real God. You MUST be who the Bible says you are! You must be an ever-present help! You MUST be the: I AM! You MUST be the God of fire shut up in my bones! I expect to see the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, demons cast out, and addiction destroyed in people’s lives starting with mine!!! I expect life and relationship!

It is now years later and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS! I have seen miracles. I have heard His voice. I have experienced Him personally. Oh, and I have to also put in the work because relationships go both ways. Not works like doing good things to earn heaven – that is NOT how this works. I have to put the work into the relationship, you know like talking to Him (because He talks back), spending time with Him (because we both enjoy being in each other’s presence), reading His word (I love learning about his stories and getting to know Him, He already knows me and this is how I can learn of Him), and worshiping Him (because He is faithful and just and worthy!) You know putting the work in as in keeping up on my side of the relationship.

In this world of lies – this simple truth is hard to understand. We can have a relationship with the Father through Jesus in the Holy Spirit.

Do you want to know the truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was a whirlwind of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. I was lost and I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choices. Then I found Jesus, and truth while lying on my floor crying that day. He challenged me to accept Him, trust Him and follow Him and I challenged Him to be who He says He is – I found peace and deliverance from sin.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and a relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to you. It becomes the two-way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV

Here is a prayer for you to pray:

Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!

Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me, through a real personal relationship, to grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus, I pray ~ Amen

If you have said this life-changing prayer and really want a relationship with God, please reach out to me. You can reach me in the comment section here (comments need approvals so you can use it as an email to me and I will not publish / approve it), or you can PM me on Facebook or DM me on Instagram. I do not always have instant access to my accounts, but I will respond when I check them. I would like to follow up and let you know the next steps to forming a healthy relationship.


Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your Word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your Word and our sound mind. And please keep us, bless us, shine your face upon us, pour your grace over us, and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is found in the Book of Acts, chapter 9, at verse 23 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Saul Escapes Death

23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

Saul at Jerusalem

26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists,[f] but they attempted to kill him. 30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

The Church Prospers

31 Then the [g]churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.[h] And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 9:23-31 NKJV


“But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” Luke 9:55-56 KJV


While I am all for new believers joining the team and witnessing and speaking out for Jesus – let me be clear, I never said to hand them the reigns of a ministry or to have them lead.  Way too many church leaders fall because they were promoted too soon.  Paul’s conversion and life are exaggerated examples because his conversion was so dramatic. However, MANY people’s conversions are just as dynamic but are quickly quenched by the modern church.  We must be careful to NOT get in God’s way while taking a new convert under our wings to disciple them. People need intensive training, they need answers, and they need the power of God quickly at first and we must be able to meet that need.

Paul was a difficult case. He already knew all the old scriptures. He already held the keys. He really just needed to get to know Jesus. But before anyone could even step in a disciple him, he had enraged the murderous Pharisees and was hiding while making a plan to escape.

23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.”

God gave him a support system that could find out about the plot and help him escape. Luckily for Paul, he was not a tall man and not a stocky or muscular man. So he could fit into a basket.

Now, wouldn’t you think a basket being lowered down a wall might be noticeable? It would be if it was not a normal thing. But how did the people in the markets stay stocked? The area was too crowded for wagons. Archeologists have found carts, but this is the Roman Empire and products were transported on huge wagons in massive quantities. And that would also be loud and disturb the people. So they developed a place that functioned as a loading dock. A place in the city where produce from farms and products could be loaded into the city at night. It is believed that wagons would show up at this spot and people would pull in the baskets of merchandise and then lower out the empty baskets or baskets full of exports. Then they could be brought into the markets by smaller carts.  That night Paul became an export and out in the basket unnoticed he went.

Where would Paul go? Paul was from Tarsus but his home was in Jerusalem. And Jerusalem was the main core group of believers.  So…

26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.”

I cannot say I blame the believers. Paul made it to Jerusalem just after the rumors of his conversion arrived there and no witnesses had arrived yet. The devil eventually figured out it is a brilliant plan to send his followers into churches masquerading as believers – But up to this point, he had not seemed to have thought about it.

But I am sure if Paul was trying to trick the believers in order to infiltrate, He would not send himself in.

New believers do not always have someone to stand up for them, to be on their team. Let us remember that. But also let us pray for discernment. You see it is the spirit of the Lord in us that will recognize the spirit of the Lord in them.

 “27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.”

Barnabas was believed to have been a huge man in stature and heart – his generosity helped promote him in ministry and he was well respected. Barnabas stood up for Paul.  This began their friendship. And they must have been quite the pair a huge man with a tiny man. And this would not be the last time Barnabas has to defend Paul.

29 And he [Paul] spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.”

Many say Paul’s ministry doesn’t being for another 3 years or so, and already he has had to run for his life twice.

30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.”

Paul’s ministry will be compelled by his flights from angry mobs and other threats on his life. Paul was always escaping.

It is important to know that some early Christians also had to flee for their lives and some were caught and killed. But not all. There were many who lived lives that seemed unthreatened. The amount of threat on your life IS NOT in proportion to the anointing on your life. Meaning Peter was not LESS anointed than Paul. And John who got away without being martyred was not by any means the least anointed.

In modern churches, we often say people are under attack because they are over the target. Which is sometimes true. But a stealthy approach to a target will not produce a counterattack – in the physical or spiritual.  The amount of warfare you are under is NOT a gauge of your spirituality or if you are or are not in God’s plan. This has to be said because it is one of the toxins being spread through the church and it is flat-out wrong. People will wander into the enemy’s camp just to keep the warfare on them even when it is God’s time for them to rest. Let us not glorify the attacks, but instead glorify God!

That being said – let us talk a little about the consequences to our actions, free will, and why Paul was almost always being chased by some murderous mob. God gave us the why in the scriptures. He told Ananias. So let’s back up to verses 15 & 16 from the other day:
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Paul chased the Christians – Paul was the leader of the murderous mobs that ripped apart families and even took women and children captive. Paul knew the Ten Commandments and knew he should not kill, yet Paul ordered Stephen’s death and watched as Stephen prayed for him. Paul is responsible for those crimes and in the law of God there are consequences and justice served. Now, God knew Paul was to inherit a great reward in heaven for all the good he did, and Paul repented so he cannot inherit wrath. Instead, he reaped what he sowed. He sowed chasing and threatening lives and he reaped being chased and having his life threatened.

Listen, I know we all love to think we can come back to God and have him take away the consequences of our actions. I remember when my son was little, and I told him to stop playing with his food or he could not join us for dessert. (I did not want him to be sticky and we were not someplace where I could easily wash him up.) He did not stop. He also did not get dessert. He cried and said, but I said I was sorry!!! He only repented in order to get out of the consequences of his actions.
Jesus still loves us and it does not change the fact that we reap what we sow and that we can be cleansed from crime and still have to do the time. The punishment, aka eternal damnation, is removed from us – but earthly consequences remain.

Now, Paul is still a great example of new believers who will inevitably anger the religious spirit with their zeal and fresh anointing. But MOST new believers will not be running for their lives and not all who run for their lives are suffering consequences for past sins.

Once Paul left…

31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”

Luke is showing the passage of time. There was a period of peace. Now Luke will tell us about the things the Lord did through Peter during this time because Paul did not do anything to further the kingdom during this time – so it seemed.

Most theologians believe Paul went home to Tarsus and was also kicked out of the city – so he lived in the wilderness around the city. Paul refers to a period of time when Jesus Himself came and taught him. Some say that it all happened during the three blind days in Damascus and others say that it all happened during these almost three years in the wilderness and in and out of his home city – where he could read the old scriptures and have the revelations and be taught by Jesus and prepared for ministry.

But for now, Paul disappears from our reading and will reappear in a couple of chapters with big old Barnabas by his side. (We can also note that it is unknown if Barnabas stayed with and discipled Paul or if he brought Paul home and then went back to see how Paul was and brought him back.)

Please join us tomorrow as we continue to “go” through the book of Acts. 

Let me remind you that I am participating in a call for fasting in June, for the United States of America. You do not need to be an American to pray for this country. It is in dire need of God to intervene as it has become so corrupt. If you’d like to join the fast, get more information on it or just support it and you have Facebook, just go to:


Are you interested in learning more about fasting? Join the Facebook group, designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fasting, and how to fast! In the group are specialists to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). Here is the link:

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(Transparency: All moneys go to a for-profit LLC which tithes 10% of all sales, however, the LLC pays for this blog and ministry to operate because this ministry does not collect any funds for itself. I will never ask you for money directly. I do not have an orphanage anywhere. I do not have a sob story to make you pity me – my God provides for me. Please be wise and prudent with what you steward. However, those who have wanted and asked to bless me, because they are blessed by this can support me by supporting my business.) 

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus! 


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