Golden Pillars  Class Study, pastor Dave Goble.

Our 2 main goals as a Christian are 1) to serve God so we can go to heaven and 2) to take others with us. We have the same goals but we sometimes have different ways to do so. The process we use to get to our goals matters in how we construct our conclusions. In our study we’re letting the text of scripture tell us what is true without having theories in mind already. We’re studying like we’re starting with a blank white board or blackboard.

We see in the scripture that the first thing that happened to Saul on the road to Damascus was that he lost his strength. Then he heard the voice of Jesus saying it was hard to kick against the pricks. Saul said, “what wilt thou have me to do?” when he heard it was Jesus. Something must have happened that changed Saul’s thinking from when he stood by while Stephen was stoned. (Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.) His attitude has changed and repentance was working when he asked the Lord what to do.

Acts 9:1-9 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, 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 he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Saul was completely helpless to know which way to go and had to be led. He was that way for three days and didn’t know if he was going to be blind the rest of his life. The Lord told Ananias to go to Saul who was praying and to pray for him to receive his sight. Ananias put his hands on Saul and called him Brother Saul. The Lord told Ananias that Saul was a chosen vessel. This shows the Lord had already converted Saul on the road to Damascus. Ananias had come to pray for Saul to receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 9:10-19 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. But the Lord said…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…into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way…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…arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples…

In the book of Galatians (Galatians 1:15-18), we see Saul spent 3 years in the wilderness of Arabia where the Lord taught him the gospel. Saul didn’t want the Jews or even the apostles to teach him. When Saul waited as he was blind three days until Ananias came, it’s in agreement with the apostles waiting for the Holy Ghost to come and fill them. The Holy Ghost is not Jesus. God, the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, and Jesus are three separate entities – the Trinity. We need to respect what we’re shown (being taught) they are doing in the scriptures. Saul received the Holy Ghost so he could get up to go where he needed. There were manifestations of the Holy Ghost when Saul was filled. From the perspective of a sinner, he has a problem of stealing, cheating, lying, that he keeps doing. He needs us to tell him what to do so he can go the right way. Saul needed help and the Lord told him what to do – go with the men and they would tell him.