Thursday, June 29, 2017


The Second Epistle to Paul the Apostle to Timothy Chapter 1

1 Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from mine elders with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.
4 Desiring to see thee, mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy:
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice, and am assured that it dwelleth in thee also.
6 Wherefore, I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee, by the putting on of mine hands.
7 For God hath not given to us the Spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, neither of me his prisoner: but be partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God,
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us through Christ Jesus before the world was,
10 But is now made manifest by that appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality unto light through the Gospel.
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and Apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day.
13 Keep the true pattern of the wholesome words, which thou hast heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That worthy thing, which was committed to thee, keep through the holy Ghost, which dwelleth in us.
15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia, be turned from me: of which sort are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus: for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain,
17 But when he was at Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him, that he may find mercy with the Lord at that day, and in how many things he hath ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
Editor’s thoughts:

Verse 3 - To pray without ceasing and calling to remembrance those who we hold especially dear and are good ministers of God’s word, in order that all their endeavors be blessed by Him.

Verses 6-7, 13-14 - To stand fast and continue in the ways of the Lord God. Be assured that He has given us dominion over fear, and in its stead has given us power through the Holy Spirit to remain strong.

Verse 8 - Read Romans 1:16

Monday, June 26, 2017


The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy Chapter Six

1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their masters worthy of all honor, that the Name of God, and his doctrine be not evil spoken of.
2 And they which have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren, but rather do service, because they are faithful, and beloved, and partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consenteth not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness,
4 He is puffed up and knoweth nothing, but doteth about questions and strive of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Froward disputations of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, which think that gain is godliness: from such separate thyself.
6 But godliness is great gain, if a man be content with that he hath.
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and it is certain, that we can carry nothing out.
8 Therefore when we have food and raiment, let us therewith be content.
9 For they that will be rich, fall into tentation and snares, and into many foolish and noisome lusts, which drown men in perdition and destruction.
10 For the desire of money is the root of all evil, which while some lusted after they erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith: lay hold of eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
13 I charge thee in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, which under Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession.
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, and unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Which in due time he shall show, that is blessed and Prince only, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
16 Who only hath immortality, and dwelleth in the light that none can attain unto, whom never man saw, neither can see, unto whom be honor and power everlasting, Amen.
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, and that they trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God, (which giveth us abundantly all things to enjoy.)
18 That they do good, and be rich in good works, and be ready to distribute, and communicate,
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may obtain eternal life.
20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed unto thee, and avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called,
21 Which while some profess, they have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee, Amen

Editor’s thoughts:

Verses 5-6 - There are those that seek to only get rich and profit from the Gospel of Christ. They care little if anything at all about the message. For such persons, admonish, and if they refuse, then avoid. God has made provision (Read Luke 27-28) for your most basic of needs, with this be content.

Verses 11-12 - Again read Philippians 4:8, and meditate upon these verses. All things that are of good report and noble, seek in your lives. All that is ungodly avoid, for they profit naught but anger, which yields to hatred. Likewise, it causes confusion and division among all men. Stay the course of righteousness and avoid the path of carnal desires.

Verse 20 - Read Isaiah 5:21, as it calls the knowledge of man as being false.



Sunday, June 25, 2017



Having the Form,
But Denying the Power
(Part 1)
by B.H. Carroll
Edited by R.P.Woitowitz Sr.

-Having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. -
2 Timothy 3:5

Everything in this world takes on a form, and the form serves an excellent purpose; it is by no means to be despised, but the form by itself is nothing. You may understand the two thoughts by selecting from a tree a ripe hickory nut, fully ripe. Now, there is a form around it; that form is for its protection; first, the form of the hull, and then of the shell, but sometimes you find one that has an external seeming, yet it feels very
light and there is nothing in it; now, there is a mere form -- an empty shell.

The apostle here declares that in the last days there shall be a class of Christians who have the form of Godliness, but who deny its power, or, as he expresses it they profess that they know God, but in works they deny it, and that here may be no misunderstanding about this class, he describes their characteristics. (Titus 1:16;)

They are selfish people; they love themselves; they love silver; covetous -- that is what the word in the original means, lovers of silver. They are proud, heady, unthankful people; they receive favors and are not grateful for them. They have no respect for the relations of life; as children, they are disobedient to their parents; as wives, they are disobedient to their husbands; as those who have entered into a covenant, they break the agreements that they have made with other people’; nothing binding; no sort of an agreement that is made with them will hold. (James 5:12;) They consider not that they are bound by obligations into which they enter with other men; they are treacherous; they are blasphemers; they love pleasure more than they love God. ( 2 Timothy 3:4;) Now, those are some of the characteristics of these people.

He says that when that class prevail it makes perilous times, hazardous, dangerous times; when those who claim to be Christians are only shells, empty shells; when they have the form of Godliness and deny its power; when they profess to be Christians and in their lives go directly contrary to the teachings of Christianity. (Matthew 23:27;) If he is an old man and a Christian, he will be sober, grave, temperate, sound in the faith; if she is an old woman, she, too, will be sober and grave, and a thoughtful teacher of younger women, and if she be a young woman and a Christian, she will be chaste anddiscreet, and love her husband, and love her children, and will regard it as a religious obligation to take due care of her home; if it is a servant and a Christian, that servant will be impelled by his Christianity to do faithful, honest service for the wages that are paid; not answering back to his employer, not stealing little things, purloining; not one who serves as under the eye of another, an eye-servant, but one who, whether the master is present and looking on or not, for conscience’s sake renders a faithful the amount of work for the compensation which is paid. (Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 4:11; Galatians 6:6;)

Now, it does seem to me that there is an opportunity at this time in the world for the highest and holiest demonstration of Christianity ever known in the case of employees. There is a vast deal of unhealthy sentimentalism prevalent, that kind of sentimentalism which encourages a man to think that an employer is necessarily a tyrant; that an employer is necessarily an oppressor of the poor. Oh! What a revolution! It would work if throughout the length and breadth of this land today all employees who claim to be Christians would for Christ’s sake do genuine honest work when they are paid to do the work; that they would give fair service, and that they would not rely upon this unhealthy sentimentalism that leads men to think that a contract does not mean anything; that a man’s obligation amounts to nothing; that a the question of honor is nothing ( Leviticus 19:15;)

I do not hesitate to say today that if I were not a preacher, and I knew how to perform such service, I would like to be for a short time a cook, just to show what honest, faithful service ought to be in that department, in order to adorn the principles
of the Christian religion.

There is a state of demagogism prevalent which arises from the dominion of politics that is absolutely sapping the vitals of a sturdy, vigorous manhood.

Christianity does teach a man to be honest; it does teach that he shall give fair service for a fair compensation; it does teach that men, as they get older, should become riper for salvation; it does teach that in the home its graces should be illustrated; it does teach that in matters of obligation and word we should be faithful, and this is true, sound doctrine, the doctrine preached by the apostle, and who, while himself poor and a laborer took that high moral ground that if a man would not labor he should not eat; that he was not entitled to it, and I do believe that if we would, for Christ’s sake, frown down upon beggary as coming from strong men, that kind of sponging on others when there is strength in the right arm when there is the ability to render good service; I believe if we would, for Christ’s sake, frown down upon it, that we would have a more vigorous, sturdy manhood among our people.

Now, do not misunderstand me. While I have not, as a Christian, one atom of respect for the demagogy that is debauching the morals of the masses of the people --not an atom-- neither have I for that power of wealth, for that power of the monopoly that would, under the guise of contract, grind a man to powder and crush his very soul out of him. ( 2 Peter 2:19;) What I mean to say is, that it is a practical teaching of Christianity and one that is too much ignored, that for Christ’s sake we ought to be faithful men and women in every department of life. It is contrary to the life of Jesus Christ and His precepts to make religion a cloak for idleness in any direction, or for a trifling character. ( Galatians 5:13; James 1:25; James 2:12; 1 Peter 2:16;)

I thought it right --I thought the times called for the pressing of this primal thought of the text, that a man who professes to be a Christian and has a form of Godliness is under obligation to recognize the power of that Christianity in the little things of life, and in the business of life, and in our homes, and in all of our social interchanges. ( 1 Corinthians 10:31;)

Unquestionably that is the teaching of Jesus Christ and all His apostles and we can be faithful to Jesus by attending to the smallest details of household affairs. We can recognize the light of the authority of Jesus Christ by being careful concerning the most insignificant duty of this life, and it is by the massing together of these little things that a great character is ever formed. A great character is never formed by an exceptional act; it is never brought about by some sensational surrounding; it is the development, it is the outgrowth of habit, and by attention to everything that is right in the sight of God, making His teachings the rule of our lives in the infinitesimal
affairs. (a)

(a) Editor’s notation - In order to fully appreciate this last sentence, I suggest reading Psalm 119 in its entirety. Focus on such words/expressions as precepts, instruction, your ways, your words. In it, the Psalmist David gives glory to God by living his life according to His Word.

Scripture as Used Above

Titus 1:16; James 5:12; 2 Timothy 3:4; Matthew 23:27; Leviticus 19:15; Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 4:11; Galatians 6:6; 2 Peter 2:19; Galatians 5:13; James 1:25; James 2:12; 1 Peter 2:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31;


Friday, June 23, 2017


 The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy Chapter Five

1 Rebuke not an elder, but exhort him as a father, and the younger men as brethren,
2 The elder women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all pureness.
3 Honor widows, which are widows indeed.
4 But if any widow have children or nephews let them learn first to show godliness toward their own house, and to recompense their kindred: for that is an honest thing, and acceptable before God.
5 And she that is a widow indeed and left alone, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
6 But she that liveth in pleasure, is dead, while she liveth.
7 These things therefore warn them of, that they may be blameless.
8 If there be any that provideth not for his own, and namely for them of his household, he denieth the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, that hath been the wife of one husband.
10 And well reported of for good works: if she have nourished her children, if she have lodged the strangers, if she have washed the Saints’ feet, if she have ministered unto them which were in adversity, if she were continually given unto every good work.
11 But refuse the younger widows: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry.
12 Having damnation, because they have broken the first faith.
13 And likewise also being idle they learn to go about from house to house: yea they are not only idle, but also prattlers and busybodies, speaking things which are not comely.
14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, and bear children, and govern the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak evil.
15 For certain are already turned back after Satan.
16 If any faithful man or faithful woman have widows, let them minister unto them, and let not the Church be charged, that there may be sufficient for them that are widows indeed.
17 The Elders that rule well, let them be had in double honor, specially they which labor in the word and doctrine.
18 For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn: and, The laborer is worthy of his wages.
19 Against an Elder receive none accusation, but under two or three witnesses.
20 Them that sin, rebuke openly, that the rest also may fear.
21 I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect Angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one to another, and do nothing partially.
22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure.
23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake, and thine often infirmities.
24 Some men’s sins are open before hand, and go before unto judgment: but some men’s follow after.
25 Likewise also the good works are manifest before hand, and they that are otherwise, cannot be hid.

Editor’s thoughts:
Verses 1-2, 17, 19
It is opined here, that these verses can be related in so far as they speak of mostly older men, for such was the hierarchy and mindset of the church at that time. However, it is evident that he likewise makes provisions for women but as the lesser vessel. (See 1 Peter 3:7)

Verses 1-2 Here the apostle gives rules to Timothy, and in him to other ministers, in reproving. Ministers are reprovers by the office; it is a part, though the least pleasing part, of their office; they are to preach the word, to reprove and rebuke, (Read 2 Timothy 4:2). A great difference is to be made in our reproofs, according to the age, quality, and other circumstances, of the persons rebuked; thus, and elder in age or office must be entreated as a father; on some have compassion, making a difference, (Read Jude. 22). Now the rule is; First, to be very tender in rebuking elders—elders in age, elders by an office. Respect must be had to the dignity of their years and place, and therefore they must not be rebuked sharply nor magisterially; but Timothy himself, though an evangelist, must entreat them as fathers, for this would be the likeliest way to work upon them, and to win upon them. Secondly, the younger must be rebuked as brethren, with love and tenderness; not as desirous, to spy faults or pick quarrels, but as being willing to make the best of them. There is need of a great deal of meekness in reproving those who deserve reproof. Third, the elder women must be reproved, when there is occasion, as mothers. (Read Hosea 2:2) Plead with your mother, plead. Finally, the younger women must be reproved, but reproved as sisters, with all purity. If Timothy, so mortified a man to this world and to the flesh and lusts of it, had need of such a caution as this, much more have we.

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor (that is, of double maintenance, double to what they have had, or to what others have), especially those who labor in the word and doctrine, those who are more laborious than others. Observe, The Presbytery ruled, and the same that ruled were those who labored in the word and doctrine: they had not one to preach to them and another to rule them, but the work was done by one and the same person. Some have imagined that by the elders that rule well the apostle means lay-elders, who were employed in ruling but not in teaching, who were concerned in church-government, but did not meddle with the administration of the word and sacraments; and I confess this is the plainest text of scripture that can be found to countenance such an opinion. But it seems a little strange that mere ruling elders should be accounted worthy of double honour, when the apostle preferred preaching to baptizing, and much more would he prefer it to ruling the church; and it is more strange that the apostle should take no notice of them when he treats of church-officers; but, as it is hinted before, they had not, in the primitive church, one to preach to them and another to rule them, but ruling and teaching were performed by the same persons, only some might labour more in the word and doctrine than others.

Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Here is the scripture-method of proceeding against an elder, when accused of any crime. Observe: There must be an accusation; it must not be a flying uncertain report, but an accusation, containing a certain charge, must be drawn up. Further, He is not to be proceeded against by way of enquiry; this is according to the modern practice of the Inquisition, which draws up articles for men to purge themselves of such crimes, or else to accuse themselves; but, according to the advice of Paul, there must be an accusation brought against an elder. This accusation is not to be received unless supported by two or three credible witnesses, and the accusation must be received before them, that is, the accused must have the accusers face to face, because the reputation of a minister is, in a particular manner, a tender thing; and therefore, before anything be done in the least to blemish that reputation, great care should be taken that the thing alleged against him be well proved, that he be not reproached upon an uncertain surmise.”
Matthew Henry - Theologian


Thursday, June 22, 2017


The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy Chapter Four

1 Now the Spirit speaketh evidently, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shall give heed unto spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,
2 Which speak lies through hypocrisy, and have their consciences burned with a hot iron,
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with giving thanks of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing ought to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, which hast been nourished up in the words of faith, and of good doctrine which thou hast continually followed.
7 But cast away profane, and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, which hath the promise of the life present, and of that that is to come.
9 This is a true saying, and by all means worthy to be received.
10 For therefore we labor and are rebuked because we trust in the living God, which is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.
11 These things warn and teach.
12 Let no man despise thy youth, but be unto them that believe, an ensample, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in pureness.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine.
14 Despise not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the company of the Eldership.
15 These things exercise, and give thyself unto them, that it may be seen how thou profitest among all men.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto learning: continue therein: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee

Editor’s Thoughts:

Verses 1-2 - God, through Paul, is letting us know how there will be spirits of dissension, confusion (See 2 Kings 22:21-22) and divers others that will bring about a falling away of even the elect. (See Matthew 24:24) Their minds will be filled with the belief that they are equal to God, and that God cannot be allowed to place any restraints upon them, or what they say to be the truth.

Verses 6-8 - Stay true to the instruction of others that are under your care, whether you be a pastor, or just a man teaching his children, so that they may remain faithful to the doctrine and Gospel of Christ. Turn away from all that is mentioned above in verses one and two, and avoid those that would profess such false doctrines. Paul goes on to say that will physical exercise does profit the body, it does not profit the spirit, therefore brethren, feed your spirits with the word of God and exercise your lives as examples of that feeding. (See Matthew 4:4)

Verses 12 - Live the life which has now been given to you by Christ. Show the world the face of Christ through your life and actions. Let your yea is yea, and your nay is nay(See Matthew 5:37), but do not be of a wavering mind, for such contains spirits of indecisiveness that will prove to be a lack of being firm in the faith.

Verses 15-16 - Read Philippians 4:8 and Luke 11:28 - Think about all good things, and take heed to all that is of Godly wisdom from other men. For all wisdom is of God, and others, whether knowingly or unknowingly speak of such wisdom is to be made note of and for us to take heed. (See James 3:17)

Editor’s Suggestion:
Brethren, for additional study, it is recommended that you read either or both of these two theologians; Matthew Henry; John Gill. Both have much to say on the entire chapter.



Monday, June 19, 2017


The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy Chapter Three

1 This is a true saying, If any man desires the office of a Bishop, he desireth a worthy work.
2 A Bishop, therefore, must be unreproveable, the husband of one wife, watching, temperate, modest, harborous, apt to teach,
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre, but gentle, no fighter, not covetous.
4 One that can rule his own house honestly, having children under obedience with all honesty.
5 For if any cannot rule his own house, how shall he care for the Church of God?
6 He may not be a young scholar, lest he being puffed up fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 He must also be well reported of, even of them which are without, lest he fall into rebuke and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise, must Deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given unto much wine, neither to filthy lucre,
9 Having the mystery of the faith in pure conscience.
10 And let them first be proved, then let them, minister, if they be found blameless.
11 Likewise their wives must be honest, not evil speakers, but sober, and faithful in all things.
12 Let the Deacons be the husbands of one wife, and such as can rule their children well, and their own households.
13 For they that have ministered well, get themselves a good decree, and great liberty in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus.
14 These things write I unto thee, trusting to come very shortly unto thee.
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest yet know, how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth.
16 And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, which is, God is manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up in glory.

Editor’s thoughts:
Verses 1-12 are the qualifications of office within the Christian Church. First note that both positions are to be considered for men with high standards and should meet with what God considers to be such. Such men, should likewise not seek such positions for self-aggrandizement, but to only to be able to serve God even more so by helping to shepherd His flocks.

Secondly, brethren, we should make note, in particular of verses seven and thirteen. For such men of Godly honor are an example to those that are not of the faith. Let others that are the world see them as men of honor, good moral standings, compassionate, merciful, and filled with a sense justice towards others both inside and outside of the faith. Such men will not only receive accolades from God but from those outside of the church.

Verse 15-16 - This then is the foundation of the church, the rock, (See Matthew 7:24-25, 16:18), that we build and more importantly practice our faith on this pillar, as written by Paul. One might call them the creed or confession of faith, that God is Who He says He is.

R.P. Woitowitz - Servant of Christ Jesus


Sunday, June 18, 2017


From Persecutor to Preacher
The Book of Acts
Chapter 9 Verses 1-20
by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.

1 And Saul yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord went unto the high Priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the Synagogues, that if he found any that were of that way, (either men or women) he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 Now as he journeyed, it came to pass that as he was come near to Damascus, suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven. 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against pricks.(a) 6 He then both trembling and astonied, said, Lord, what wilt thou that I do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou shalt do. 7 The men also which journeyed with him, stood amazed, hearing his voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the ground, and opened his eyes, but saw no man. Then led they him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus, 9 Where he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 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. 11 Then the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and seek in the house of Judas after one called Saul of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth. 12 (And he saw in a vision a man named Ananias coming into him, and putting his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.) 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem. 14 Moreover here he hath authority of the high Priests, to bind all that call on thy Name. 15 Then 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. 16 For I will show him, how many things he must suffer for my Name’s sake. 17 Then Ananias went his way, and entered into that house, and put his hands on him, and saith, Brother Saul, the Lord hath sent me (even Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest) that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales, and suddenly he received sight, and arose, and was baptized, 19 And received meat, and was strengthened. So was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the Synagogues, that he was that Son of God.

One of my more favorite chapters in God’s Holy Word is the conversion of then Saul on the road to Damascus as found in The Book of Acts Chapter 9 verses 1-20. Here, is a man, who in an earlier chapter ( Acts Chapter 7 ) not only witnessed but condoned the stoning of Stephen, by holding the coats of those that did the actual stoning. This a man, who we read in Acts Chapter 8 is endeavoring to put out the light of the Gospel of Christ, to extinguish it with all the power and authority given to him. He is a well educated and learned man. A man of much authority, who we read in the very first verse of Acts Chapter 9 is now taking his authority to Damascus, to seek out and destroy all those who preach the resurrection of Christ, and the confessing of Him as Savior. In fact in the above translation, it is said he sought to “slaughter” them man and or woman. I don’t know about you, but this is a really heavy word; slaughter. According to Webster’s Dictionary Edition 1913, it is defined as; The act of killing. Specifically: The extensive, violent, bloody, or wanton destruction of life; carnage. That’s pretty definitive and rather permanent I would add.

So, here we find a man who for all intent purpose is actively seeking to destroy the early church and its followers. Then something amazing happens as he is on that road. Saul is suddenly blinded by a light. It is Christ Himself and He is speaking to Saul. Saul falls to the ground in much fear, and asks of Christ, what do you wish of me? There is no way of knowing, but one would logically guess, that Saul feared for His own life. For if Christ could just suddenly strike him down it is well within his His power to take his life. Yet God, in His mercy, not only forgives Saul but likewise puts Him to work, for His own ends. One must see the irony in all of this, yet also see God’s compassion that ALL should come to repentance, even those who would persecute His saints. And on the face of it, what better man, than one much learned in Jewish Law and Scripture? As noted earlier Saul was a man of much authority and high status in the Jewish community in Jerusalem.

We move further onward into the chapter and we find Saul fasting and praying, and along comes Ananias, who has been sent by Christ, to not only heal, Saul physically, by restoring his sight, but to heal him spiritually as well, so that he is now, no longer a persecutor, but, a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a side note, I am wondering exactly what the “scales” were that fell off of Saul’s eyes. I am certain that there are many eye doctors, that would put forth the proposition that they were cataracts. And it might be likely so, but we have no way of really learning with any certainty. However, it is of interest to note that as soon as Ananias lays hands on him his vision is suddenly restored, and to coin a phrase he can now see clearly, and plainly.

What follows probably wowed the leaders of the Jewish community in Damascus. That is to say, herein is one Saul of Tarsus filled with all authority to rid that city of the heretics that believed and preached the Gospel of Christ. But what does he do? He preaches that very same Gospel! How astounded they must have been, and how betrayed they must have felt, so much so that later onward in the chapter, they did plan to kill him. But today we will not speak of that fact.

Now one may ask, well, what are we getting from all of this, why am I going to such great lengths to share this reading today? First off, for those that are already familiar with God’s Word, it is a refresher course if you will, a reminder of what we once were and what we are now today. But for others, that have not read, nor sought, nor listened to the Bible, or have only read it, but not actually studied, it is a small portrait about how a person, through God’s grace and compassion can come to Christ and not only believe, but to serve as well.

R.P. Woitowitz Sr. - A humble disciple in the service the King, Christ Jesus

(a) Editor’s notation - This saying is based on an old Hebrew proverb that suggests that those who are so stubborn, wind up hurting themselves the most as opposed to hurting other people. In other words, things are going to badly for that person.