Paul Visited Jerusalem.
“Shortly after Paul’s conversion he visited Jerusalem, and preached Jesus, and the wonders of his grace. He related his miraculous conversion, which enraged the priests and rulers, and they sought to take his life. But that his life might be saved, Jesus appeared to him again in a vision while he was praying, saying unto him, Get thee quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. Paul earnestly plead with Jesus, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee. And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. Paul thought the Jews in Jerusalem could not resist his testimony; that they would consider that the great change in him could only be wrought by the power of God. But Jesus said unto him, Depart, for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
In Paul’s absence from Jerusalem, he wrote many letters to different places, relating his experience, and bearing a powerful testimony. But some strove to destroy the influence of those letters. They had to admit that his letters were weighty and powerful; but declared that his bodily presence was weak, and his speech contemptible.
I saw that Paul was a man of great learning, and his wisdom and manners charmed his hearers. Learned men were pleased with his knowledge, and many of them believed on Jesus. When before kings and large assemblies, he would pour forth such eloquence as would bear down all before him. This greatly enraged the priests and elders. Paul could readily enter into deep reasoning, and soar up, and carry the people with him, in the most exalted trains of thought, and bring to view the deep riches of the grace of God, and portray before them the amazing love of Christ. Then with simplicity he would come down to the understanding of the common people, and in a most powerful manner relate his experience, which called forth from them ardent desires to be the disciples of Christ.
The Lord revealed to Paul that he must again go up to Jerusalem; that he would there be bound and suffer for his name. And although he was a prisoner for a great length of time, yet the Lord was carrying forward his special work through him. Paul’s bonds were to be the means of spreading the knowledge of Christ, and thus glorifying God. As he was sent from city to city for his trial, the testimony concerning Jesus, and the interesting incidents of his conversion were related before kings and governors, that they should not be left without testimony concerning Jesus. Thousands believed on him and rejoiced in his name. I saw that God’s special purpose was fulfilled in the journey of Paul upon the water, that the ship’s crew might witness the power of God through Paul, and that the heathen also might hear the name of Jesus, and many be converted through his teaching, and by witnessing the miracles he wrought. Kings and governors were charmed by his reasoning, and as, with zeal and the power of the Holy Spirit, he preached Jesus, and related the interesting events of his experience, conviction fastened upon them that Jesus was the Son of God; and while some wondered with amazement as they listened to Paul, one cried out. Almost thou persuadest me to be a christian. Yet they thought that at some future time they would consider what they had heard. Satan took advantage of the delay, and as they neglected that opportunity when their hearts were softened, it was forever. Their hearts became hardened.”
1SG 98, 99