Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hope; unto Larry my own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In answer to your question, my first and foremost experience is, without a doubt, my conversion. But even in my conversion there were steps leading to that conversion. For instance, being raised in the school of Gamaliel, I learned the scriptures (the letter and not the spirit of the law), and this knowledge was nevertheless planted in me. My zeal for God was honest before man and before God; although ignorant and misguided, I thought (at this time) that as Jews, we were the children of God and I fought to protect my fellow kinsmen from what I considered a sect, a cult, creeping in and stealing members of our tribes into a damnable error. This is why I sought to destroy the Christian faith.
One outstanding person whom I consented unto death was a Christian named Stephen. This Stephen, also helped water the seed within me. I loved God, but my approach and relationship was merely one of legal standing, not one as Stephen and others Iíve seen showed1. When Stephen made his statement before the council, I rebelled and sought even more to destroy the Church of God, by hailing men and women to prison.
It was on one of these missions that I met the risen Christ. It had been about six-months since the stoning of Stephen, and although I was still persecuting the followers of Jesus, I knew something was wrong within me. I was losing a battle - a battle which, in order to live, I had to die.
It was on one of these missions that was taking me to Damascus when there appeared to me a bright light -- brighter than the noon day sun. A voice came unto me asking why I was persecuting Him2. When that voice spoke, I surrendered... the battle was over - thank God it was over, for God took me out of Pharisaism and in the days that followed, Pharisaism out of me3.
The Lord had me go into Damascus where a layman named Ananias laid hands on me to receive my sight and the blessed Holy Spirit4. This would have to be my choice for number two of the three most valued or remembered experiences in my life. For it was receiving the Spirit of Truth that taught me in the scriptures, that gave me understanding in the things of and ways of God. It was He Who showed me what God, though Christ, did for us in His substitution; what the Holy Spirit, through the Word, does in us in the New Birth and infilling of the Holy Ghost; what Jesus is doing for us now in His present day ministry at the right hand of the Father; and what His Word and His love does through us in ministering5.
It was the Holy Spirit who taught me the value of praying in tongues; interceding for the lost; interceding for those in need; interceding for the Church of God and for my fellow kinsmen. Through the Spirit I gained my knowledge of Him whom we serve. And it is one of these Revelations that I would class as my third experience in God.
The revelation I am speaking about concerns the elements we take when we receive Communion, the Lordís Supper. The bread- referring to our Lordís Body; the wine - referring to our Lordís Blood.
The body was broken for me and for us collectively as believers - as the Body of Christ. When I partake of the bread, I not only declare my union with Christ, but also my union with my brothers and sisters in the Lord6. Just as the lambís body was received by each Israelite during Moses, each of us are to receive the Final Lambís body; we become one with that body - similar to a marriage union, we become bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. We come into union with Him and receive physical strength (healing) because of that body, just as Israel received her healing by eating Mosesí lamb7.
The Blood was shed for our cleansing to come into the kingdom of God, but, is ever cleansing our walk in Him also. Just as the life of the flesh is in the blood, our life is in that Blood. Together with the body, this supper reminds us - reconfirms to us - of that sacrifice for us. We declare once again to ourselves, others, and Satan that we are bought with a price, that we are in blood-covenant with the Eternal God both now and forever, Amen. This we do to show the Lordís death until His appearing, thus always reminding us - comforting us - that He will come for us.
Until then, your servant, Paul.