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The Great Controversy and the Early Church

Overall Question:  How did the Great Controversy affect the early Christian church (as mentioned in Acts)?


Memory Text: Acts 4:13 Common English Bible The council was caught by surprise by the confidence with which Peter and John spoke. After all, they understood that these apostles were uneducated and inexperienced. They also recognized that they had been followers of Jesus.


Sunday – The Beginning of a New Beginning

Acts 1:6-8 Modern English Version 6 So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or the dates, which the Father has fixed by His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:14 Good News Translation They gathered frequently to pray as a group, together with the women and with Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.

Matthew 20:20-24 New English Translation 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling down she asked him for a favor. 21 He said to her, “What do you want?” She replied, “Permit these two sons of mine to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He told them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right and at my left is not mine to give. Rather, it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 Now when the other ten heard this, they were angry with the two brothers.


Monday – Pentecost

Acts 2:5-12 New Century Version 5 There were some religious Jews staying in Jerusalem who were from every country in the world. 6 When they heard this noise, a crowd came together. They were all surprised, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were completely amazed at this. They said, “Look! Aren’t all these people that we hear speaking from Galilee? 8 Then how is it possible that we each hear them in our own languages? We are from different places: 9 Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the areas of Libya near Cyrene, Rome 11 (both Jews and those who had become Jews), Crete, and Arabia. But we hear them telling in our own languages about the great things God has done!” 12 They were all amazed and confused, asking each other, “What does this mean?”

Genesis 11:1-9 New Century Version At this time the whole world spoke one language, and everyone used the same words. 2 As people moved from the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Let’s make bricks and bake them to make them hard.” So they used bricks instead of stones, and tar instead of mortar. 4 Then they said to each other, “Let’s build a city and a tower for ourselves, whose top will reach high into the sky. We will become famous. Then we will not be scattered over all the earth.” 5 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. 6 The Lord said, “Now, these people are united, all speaking the same language. This is only the beginning of what they will do. They will be able to do anything they want. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not be able to understand each other.” 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 The place is called Babel since that is where the Lord confused the language of the whole world. So the Lord caused them to spread out from there over the whole world.


Tuesday – Facing the Sadducees

Acts 4:1-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible “1 ¶ Now as they were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, 2 because they were provoked that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in the person of Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 So they seized them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000. 5 ¶ The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family. 7 After they had Peter and John stand before them, they asked the question: “By what power or in what name have you done this?” 8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed— 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy. 11 This /Jesus/ is The stone despised by you builders, who has become the cornerstone. 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” 13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and knew that they had been with Jesus. 14 And since they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in response. 15 ¶ After they had ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign, evident to all who live in Jerusalem, has been done through them, and we cannot deny it! 17 But so this does not spread any further among the people, let’s threaten them against speaking to anyone in this name again.” 18 So they called for them and ordered them not to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God /for us/ to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; 20 for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After threatening them further, they released them. They found no way to punish them, because the people were all giving glory to God over what had been done; 22 for the man was over 40 years old on whom this sign of healing had been performed. 23 ¶ After they were released, they went to their own fellowship and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God unanimously and said, “Master, You are the One who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant: Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot futile things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against His Messiah. 27 “For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, 30 while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.””


Wednesday – The Stoning of Stephen

Acts 7:2-53 God’s Word to the Nations “2 Stephen answered, "Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God who reveals his glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia. This happened before Abraham lived in Haran. 3 God told him, ‘Leave your land and your relatives. Go to the land that I will show you.’ 4 "Then Abraham left the country of Chaldea and lived in the city of Haran. After his father died, God made him move from there to this land where we now live. 5 "Yet, God didn’t give Abraham anything in this land to call his own, not even a place to rest his feet. But God promised to give this land to him and to his descendants, even though Abraham didn’t have a child. 6 God told Abraham that his descendants would be foreigners living in another country and that the people there would make them slaves and mistreat them for 400 years. 7 God also told him, ‘I will punish the people whom they will serve. After that, they will leave that country and worship me here.’ 8 "God gave Abraham circumcision to confirm his promise. So when Abraham’s son Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him on the eighth day. Isaac did the same to his son Jacob, and Jacob did the same to his twelve sons (the ancestors of our tribes). 9 "Jacob’s sons were jealous of their brother Joseph. They sold him into slavery, and he was taken to Egypt. But God was with Joseph 10 and rescued him from all his suffering. When Joseph stood in the presence of Pharaoh (the king of Egypt), God gave Joseph divine favor and wisdom so that he became ruler of Egypt and of Pharaoh’s whole palace. 11 Then a famine throughout Egypt and Canaan brought a lot of suffering. Our ancestors couldn’t find any food. 12 When Jacob heard that Egypt had food, he sent our ancestors there. That was their first trip. 13 On the second trip, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his relatives, 75 people in all. 15 So Jacob went to Egypt, and he and our ancestors died there. 16 They were taken to Shechem for burial in the tomb that Abraham purchased in Shechem from Hamor’s sons. 17 ¶ "When the time that God had promised to Abraham had almost come, the number of our people in Egypt had grown very large. 18 Then a different king, who knew nothing about Joseph, began to rule in Egypt. 19 This king was shrewd in the way he took advantage of our people. He mistreated our ancestors. He made them abandon their newborn babies outdoors, where they would die. 20 "At that time Moses was born, and he was a very beautiful child. His parents took care of him for three months. 21 When Moses was abandoned outdoors, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and raised him as her son. 22 So Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a great man in what he said and did. 23 When he was 40 years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 When he saw an Israelite man being treated unfairly by an Egyptian, he defended the Israelite. He took revenge by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought his own people would understand that God was going to use him to give them freedom. But they didn’t understand. 26 The next day Moses saw two Israelites fighting, and he tried to make peace between them. He said to them, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why are you treating each other unfairly?’ 27 "But one of the men pushed Moses aside. He asked Moses, ‘Who made you our ruler and judge? 28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29 After he said that, Moses quickly left Egypt and lived in Midian as a foreigner. In Midian he fathered two sons. 30 ¶ "Forty years later, a messenger appeared to him in the flames of a burning bush in the desert of Mount Sinai. 31 Moses was surprised when he saw this. As he went closer to look at the bush, the voice of the Lord said to him, 32 ‘I am the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses began to tremble and didn’t dare to look at the bush. 33 The Lord told him, ‘Take off your sandals. The place where you’re standing is holy ground. 34 I’ve seen how my people are mistreated in Egypt. I’ve heard their groaning and have come to rescue them. So now I’m sending you to Egypt.’ 35 "This is the Moses whom the Israelites rejected by saying, ‘Who made you our ruler and judge?’ This is the one God sent to free them and to rule them with the help of the messenger who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This is the man who led our ancestors out of Egypt. He is the person who did amazing things and worked miracles in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the desert for 40 years. 37 This is the same Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will send you a prophet, an Israelite like me.’ 38 This is the Moses who was in the assembly in the desert. Our ancestors and the messenger who spoke to him on Mount Sinai were there with him. Moses received life-giving messages to give to us, 39 but our ancestors were not willing to obey him. Instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘We don’t know what has happened to this Moses, who led us out of Egypt. So make gods who will lead us.’ 41 That was the time they made a calf. They offered a sacrifice to that false god and delighted in what they had made. 42 ¶ "So God turned away from them and let them worship the sun, moon, and stars. This is written in the book of the prophets: ‘Did you bring me sacrifices and grain offerings in the desert for 40 years, nation of Israel? 43 You carried along the shrine of Moloch, the star of the god Rephan, and the statues you made for yourselves to worship. I will send you into exile beyond the city of Babylon.’ 44 "In the desert our ancestors had the tent of God’s promise. Moses built this tent exactly as God had told him. He used the model he had seen. 45 After our ancestors received the tent, they brought it into this land. They did this with Joshua’s help when they took possession of the land from the nations that God forced out of our ancestors’ way. This tent remained here until the time of David, 46 who won God’s favor. David asked that he might provide a permanent place for the family of Jacob. 47 But Solomon was the one who built a house for God. 48 "However, the Most High doesn’t live in a house built by humans, as the prophet says: 49 ‘The Lord says, "Heaven is my throne. The earth is my footstool. What kind of house are you going to build for me? Where will I rest? 50 Didn’t I make all these things?"’ 51 ¶ "How stubborn can you be? How can you be so heartless and disobedient? You’re just like your ancestors. They always opposed the Holy Spirit, and so do you! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute? They killed those who predicted that a man with God’s approval would come. You have now become the people who betrayed and murdered that man. 53 You are the people who received Moses’ Teachings, which were put into effect by angels. But you haven’t obeyed those teachings."”

Acts 7:54 Common English Bible Once the council members heard these words, they were enraged and began to grind their teeth at Stephen.

Acts 2:37-41 Good News Translation 37 When the people heard this, they were deeply troubled and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?” 38 Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God's gift, the Holy Spirit. 39 For God's promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away—all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 Peter made his appeal to them and with many other words he urged them, saying, “Save yourselves from the punishment coming on this wicked people!” 41 Many of them believed his message and were baptized, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day.


Thursday – Changing Attitudes

Acts 10:12-29 The Bible in Basic English “12 In which were all sorts of beasts and birds. 13 And a voice came to him, saying, Come, Peter; take them for food. 14 But Peter said, No, Lord; for I have never taken food which is common or unclean. 15 And the voice came to him a second time, What God has made clean, do not you make common. 16 And this was done three times: and then the vessel was taken back into heaven. 17 Now while Peter was in doubt as to the purpose of this vision, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made search for Simon’s house, came to the door, 18 To see if Simon, named Peter, was living there. 19 ¶ And, while Peter was turning the vision over in his mind, the Spirit said to him, See, three men are looking for you. 20 Go down, then, and go with them, doubting nothing, for I have sent them. 21 And Peter went down to the men, and said, I am the man you are looking for: why have you come? 22 And they said, Cornelius, a captain, an upright and God-fearing man, respected by all the nation of the Jews, had word from God by an angel to send for you to his house, and to give hearing to your words. 23 So he took them in for the night. And the day after, he went with them, taking some of the brothers from Joppa with him. 24 And the day after that, they came to Caesarea. And Cornelius was waiting for them, having got together his relations and his near friends. 25 And when Peter came in, Cornelius came to him and, falling down at his feet, gave him worship. 26 But Peter, lifting him up, said, Get up, for I am a man as you are. 27 And saying these words, he went in, and saw that a great number of people had come together; 28 And he said to them, You yourselves have knowledge that it is against the law for a man who is a Jew to be in the company of one who is of another nation; but God has made it clear to me that no man may be named common or unclean: 29 And so I came without question, when I was sent for. What then is your purpose in sending for me?”

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