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Early Writings

by Ellen G. White

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The Conversion of Saul

A voice from heaven said, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?'
A voice from heaven said, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?'

Illustration © Review and Herald Publ. Assoc.

As Saul journeyed to Damascus, with letters authorizing him to take men or women who were preaching Jesus, and bring them bound to Jerusalem, evil angels exulted around him. But suddenly a light from heaven shone round about him, which made the evil angels flee and caused him to fall quickly to the ground. He heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" Saul inquired, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And the Lord said, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." And Saul, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" And the Lord said, "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." {EW 200.1}

The men who were with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. As the light passed away and Saul arose from the earth and opened his eyes, he found himself totally deprived of sight. The glory of the light of heaven had blinded him. They led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus, and he was three days without sight, neither did he eat nor drink. The Lord then sent His angel to one of the very men whom Saul had hoped to take captive and revealed to him in vision that he should go into the street called Straight, "and inquire 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." {EW 200.2}

Ananias feared that there might be some mistake in this matter, and began to relate to the Lord what he had heard of Saul. But the Lord said unto Ananias, [201] "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: for I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake." Ananias followed the directions of the Lord, 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." {EW 200.3}

Immediately Saul received sight and arose and was baptized. He then taught in the synagogues that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. All who heard him were amazed and inquired, "Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?" But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews. They were again in trouble. All were acquainted with Saul's opposition to Jesus and his zeal in hunting out and delivering up to death all who believed on His name; and his miraculous conversion convinced many that Jesus was the Son of God. Saul related his experience in the power of the Holy Spirit. He was persecuting unto death, binding and delivering into prison both men and women, when, as he journeyed to Damascus, suddenly a great light from heaven shone round about him, and Jesus revealed Himself to him, and taught him that He was the Son of God. {EW 201.1}

As Saul thus boldly preached Jesus, he exerted a powerful influence. He had a knowledge of the Scriptures, and after his conversion a divine light shone upon the prophecies concerning Jesus, which enabled him clearly and boldly to present the truth and to correct any perversion of the Scriptures. With the Spirit of God resting upon him, he would in a clear [202] and forcible manner carry his hearers down through the prophecies to the time of Christ's first advent and show them that the scriptures had been fulfilled which referred to His sufferings, death, and resurrection. {EW 201.2}

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