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The Great Controversy
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Have you ever been lost without directions or a map? What did you do next? Did you know that God has given us a roadmap to navigate our lives? In order to read God’s map, we must first understand the great controversy, a cosmic war between God and Satan.The great controversy began with Lucifer, a heavenly angel, proclaiming in Isaiah 14:14 that he wanted to be “like the Most High,” ascending to the clouds, where God is. The problem was that Lucifer wanted to be Holy without following the law of God, which reflects His character of love. God did not immediately pass judgment on Lucifer, but instead, out of His mercy, God permitted Lucifer and his angels to be cast out of heaven. When Lucifer rebelled, a third of the angels followed him. There were two opposing sides, with God and His holy angels on one side and Lucifer (who became Satan) and his fallen angels on the other. God needed a jury to judge Satan fairly and justly (Deuteronomy 19:15), so He created humans, partially to serve as jurors and demonstrate His true character (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). Satan seeks to convince us that he is innocent by using any means possible. Adam and Eve chose to sin against God, disqualifying them from jury selection, because they were no longer law-abiding citizens. However, the Gospel was given to restore humanity to be sound jurors, who can distinguish from right and wrong and follow God's law. God knew that we would need a map in order to make our way back to heaven. What is this blueprint?
The Sanctuary is a unique structure that represents God’s house among His people (Exodus 25:8). It is also the blueprint to God’s plan of salvation, with each piece of furniture symbolizing a part of the Gospel message. God shows His plan to deliver His people through this blueprint. The Altar of Sacrifice represents the sacrifice of Jesus (Exodus 27:1-8). The bronze laver, or basin, symbolizes baptism (Exodus 30:17-21; John 3:5). The Table of Showbread represents the Word of God (Exodus 25:23; John 6:51). The Altar of Incense represents our prayers (Exodus 30:1-7). The seven-branch candlestick represents the Holy Spirit (Exodus 25:31-40; John 8:12). Finally, the Ark of the Covenant holds the Ten Commandments, which show the law and character of God (Deuteronomy 10:4).
Prophecies are like landmarks as we travel on this journey towards heaven. Our first landmark is in the book of Daniel, the 70-week prophecy that foretells the first coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27). Israel is not prepared for Jesus’ coming and rejects Him. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two, signifying the end of the earthly blueprint (Matthew 27:51). After His resurrection, Jesus ascends to heaven, where he resides in a heavenly sanctuary and the original blueprint is taken from literal Israel and given to Spiritual Israel, the followers of Jesus, who take the Gospel message to the rest of the world.The second landmark, the prophecy of 1260 years, states that the little horn would rise in power (Daniel 7:19, 25). Many Seventh-day Adventists believe that the little horn represents papal Rome and have interpreted this prophecy to symbolize an attempted change in the Christian day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. Lucifer is trying to change God’s blueprint, because for every Bible truth, he has a counterfeit.The third landmark, the prophecy of 2300 years, tells us that the sanctuary will be cleansed (Daniel 8:14). We believe that this period of time ended in 1844. Over a period of 500 years, God used the Reformation movement to restore His truth to the world using everyday Christians like you and me. Who are Seventh-day Adventists? Our heritage is Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian movements that came out of the Reformers’ desire to understand God’s Word and His blueprint in its entirety. God has called you for such a time as this. The seal of the living God marks the end of our journey (Revelation 7:1-4). God’s Sabbath is His seal, His mark on you for salvation. Finally, we come to our last landmark, the third angel’s message. Revelation 15 and 16 tell us that the seven last plagues are inflicted on those who ignore and reject God’s message. However, those who choose to receive God’s seal are safe (Psalms 91:1-2).In Revelation 12:10, we see that Satan accuses humanity of falling away from God. However, when God opens the books, heaven’s records show that we have repented of all our transgressions and all our sins have been blotted out. How blessed we are to believe in a merciful God who is willing to wipe our sins away! It is now time for humanity to take part in the judgment and God comes down from heaven to resurrect the wicked dead to hear their verdict. God then renews the earth, where all who believe in Him will live for eternity. No matter what you have done, Jesus has enough mercy to cover you. Will you commit yourself totally to Jesus?Will you follow all of God’s truth? Are you willing to be a commandment-keeping Christian and join His remnant, the Seventh-day Adventist Church?
Think of this as a master class in Bible study and Bible prophecy. Whether you’ve never before cracked open a Bible, or have been studying it all your life, you’ll gain new insights from this series!
By looking at Revelation and Daniel, as well as other books of the Bible, you’ll find that the Bible itself clearly unlocks the mysteries of Bible prophecies. This will transform what may feel like a confusing book into something clear and understandable. In fact, after this course, Revelation may become one of your favorite books of the Bible!
Above all, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’ love for you, and emerge with an even closer relationship with Him.