During Saul’s encounter with Jesus, he was blinded and then instructed to go to the house of a man named Judas and to wait there for another man, Ananias. No doubt Saul’s physical blindness was a powerful reminder of the greater spiritual blindness that led him to persecute the followers of Jesus.
The appearance of Jesus to him on the Damascus road changed everything. Where Saul had thought he had been so right, he had been dead wrong. Rather than working [...]
This map (produced in Bibleworks maps) shows the general area of Galatia, the setting of this quarter’s lessons, in what is now the country of Turkey. It is a region that forms a high plateau over 3000 ft (1000 m) in elevation and would have been more comfortable for Paul than Tarsus would have been since it is about 10 degrees cooler and a little dryer.
The red line is the approximate route that Paul took on his second missionary journey.
“And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads’”(Acts 9:5, NKJV).
Although Saul’s persecution of the early church begins rather inconspicuously (as he only holds the coats of Stephen’s executioners), it quickly intensifies (see Acts 8:1–3; 9:1, 2, 13, 14, 21; 22:3–5). Several of the words Luke uses to describe Saul paint a picture of a wild, ferocious beast or a pillaging soldier bent on the destruction [...]
Saul of Tarsus first appears in Acts as one involved in the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58) and then in connection with the more wide-scale persecution that broke out in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1–5). Peter, Stephen, Philip, and Paul play a significant role in the book of Acts because they were involved in events that led to the spread of the Christian faith beyond the Jewish world. Stephen is of particular significance because his preaching and martyrdom appear to have had a profound influence on [...]
Paul’s letter to the Galatians has been compared to spiritual “dynamite,” and rightly so. Except for Romans, no other book in the Bible has sparked as much spiritual revival and reformation. One could argue that out of the pages of Galatians (along with Romans) Protestantism itself was born. It was while reading Galatians that Martin Luther first was touched with the glorious good news of righteousness by faith. “The Epistle to the Galatians,” he said, “is my epistle. To it [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
Acts 6:9–15, 9:1–9, 1 Sam. 16:7, Matt. 7:1, Acts 11:19–21, 15:1–5.
“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life’” (Acts 11:18, NKJV).
It’s not that hard to understand Saul of Tarsus (also known as the apostle Paul after his conversion), and why he did what he did. As a devout Jew who was taught all his life about the importance of the law and about the soon-coming [...]
Read Ellen G. White, “The Impending Conflict,” pp. 582–592; “The Final Warning,” pp. 603–612, “The Controversy Ended,” pp. 662–678, in The Great Controversy.
“Worship is bending low before our Maker, recognizing and acknowledging His holiness and our creatureliness. It is submitting to His sovereignty, responding to His majestic presence.”—Document by Richard M. Davidson, Worship in the Old Testament (used by permission of the author), p. 3.
“The Psalmist states: ‘Serve the Lord with fear [awe]; rejoice with trembling’ (Ps. 2:11). In worship we recognize the awesome majesty and [...]
“And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Rev. 22:8, 9). Read the context of these two verses. What’s the essential message here about worship?
All quarter [...]
Revelation 14 opens with what? A heavenly scene, showing the 144,000 thousand who were “redeemed from the earth” (vs. 3). It starts out with a vision of the future, of what it will be like, at least for this group, when they stand before God in heaven. And though the text doesn’t come right out and say it, this certainly seems to be a depiction of some sort of heavenly worship.
Thus, Revelation 14 continues the theme of worship found in chapter 13. These people didn’t worship [...]
From the introduction onward, we have seen how the final end-time crisis will center around the question of worship. The issue of worship is not a small matter. The eternal destiny of souls hangs on it. This crucial truth becomes more apparent in what unfolds in Revelation 13 and 14.
Read Revelation 13 and answer the following questions:
What is the historical context of these verses? What are they talking about historically and prophetically?
How often does the theme of worship appear in this chapter? What [...]