The Jewish apostle Paul (formerly Saul) was probably the most powerful preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, outside of Jesus Christ himself. Paul was an absolute tyrant, and a major trouble for the Christians of his time. After the Lord Jesus Christ dealt with him from Heaven above, he sent a man named Ananias to minister to him. That man Ananias knew that this man, Saul of Tarsus, was a severe persecutor and murderer of Christians, and he made that known to the Lord.
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. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire 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. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. (Acts 9:10-14)
Can you imagine that this man Saul of Tarsus (Paul) was so well known for the evil which he committed against Christians, that it made Ananias question the Lord! Let it be known also, that it was the Jewish chief priests who gave Saul (Paul) the authority to go after the Christians and haul them in, because they totally despised the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But 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: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, 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. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. (Acts 9:15-18)
The Jewish apostle Paul was saved in dramatic fashion, and he preached to anything and everything that moved, which included Gentiles, Jews, and even certain Kings! Saul (Paul) was filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and that made all the difference in the world. It was at that very point in his life that Paul knew that he had been a religious, but deceived man for the first part of his life. If that man Saul (Paul) had died previous to his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), he would have died in his sins (John 8:24) and ended up in a very real Hell. (Luke 16:19-31) The Lord told that man named Ananias that Saul (Paul) would suffer much for his (Jesus) name’s sake, and that is exactly what happened. The very people whom Paul used to fellowship, were now totally opposed to him, because he was now a servant of Jesus Christ. Paul was saved, and his fellow Jews were still in the very same deception, from which the Lord Jesus delivered him. So what did the Jews want to do with Paul at that point? They wanted to kill him!
And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul (Paul) certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ (Messiah) in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; 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 (Paul) increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ (Messiah). And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: (Acts 9:19-23)
Paul went straight into the synagogues to preach that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah), and that he was the Son of God. That was the direct result of being saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. Paul confounded the Jews, and you can rest assured that he used their very own scriptures to prove that Jesus was indeed the long awaited Messiah. That is why they wanted to kill him. Their whole system of beliefs was shattered by the testimony of Paul and they could not handle it. So fast forward to the 21st Century and what do you find? You will find “Christians” who have been seduced by the millions into thinking that the Jewish people are just fine without Jesus Christ. They still insist that the Jewish people are God’s “chosen people” in spite of their rejection of the one whom God the Father sent! That is called spiritual insanity! Paul knew that his fellow Jews were lost, and as hell-bound as he was until Jesus Christ saved him. That is the reason why Paul entered into their own synagogues to preach Jesus Christ to them! The Jewish people knew exactly what Paul was preaching, and they did not believe him, and they sought to kill him. Paul was so grieved that his fellow Jews were lost, unsaved and hell-bound that he desired himself to be accursed!
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (Romans 9:1-8)
Paul knew that his fellow Jews were Jewish by nature (in the flesh/physical), but that they were not his “spiritual” brothers and sisters, (born again of the Spirit) in the Lord. A Jewish person without faith in Jesus Christ, is as lost as a Gentile without faith in Jesus Christ! The bogus and false teachers of today will try to seduce you into believing that the Jewish people are still in covenant with God, despite their rejection of Jesus Christ, but that is a spiritual impossibility. A person cannot be in relationship with the true and living God, without coming through the Son Jesus Christ. (John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12) In fact the Bible makes it clear that Jesus Christ is to receive the same honor which the Father receives and nothing less. Here is an actual quote from Jesus Christ himself:
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:22-24)
The majority of Jewish people in Paul’s time rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and Son of God, and that has not changed even until this very day! The Jewish people do not honor Jesus Christ at all. You will rarely ever hear a message preached in any Christian church, radio or television program around the world regarding the lost condition of the Jewish people. Not only that but we are living in a day when the bogus teachers are trying to sell the “false gospel” that God somehow postponed the kingdom of God, along with a Jewish theocracy and that God would deal with the Jews at a later time. That is more spiritual insanity, and it is unfortunate that millions have been ensnared by that false and counterfeit teaching. The apostle Paul knew full well that nothing was postponed, and that his fellow Jews were lost and hell-bound even during his time. He knew that the Jews would never have everlasting life without Jesus Christ, and that is why the following is recorded in the Bible.
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. (Acts 13:45-50)
How could a group of people (the Jewish people) who “contradicted and blasphemed” the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, along with the messenger (Paul), possibly be in covenant and right with God? That whole line of reasoning is completely absurd! The Jewish apostle Paul knew that the Jews rejection of Jesus Christ was a fulfillment of the prophecy from the prophet Isaiah, regarding their own stubbornness. He told them that they had hard hearts, and Paul knew that it was the Holy Spirit (of truth) who spoke through that great prophet Isaiah! Don’t let that happen to you!
And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. (Acts 28:23-28)