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The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology.

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1 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology.

2 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Building a bridge between presentations on the amazing hurricane of Emerging Church/New Spirituality/Spiritual Formation flooding Protestant churches and the stout, robust counterpunch we call the Great Controversy Theme, the rock on which the emerging waves are stopped.

3 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
In brief, the main issue with the Emerging Church thrust is their epistemology (how do you know what you know) On what authority do they base their world views? Remember, No emerging church leader says anything 100% wrong! Frankly, I agree with some of their concerns.

4 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
More concerned about their overall thrust, their package of ideas, not just some of them. When we think about the meaning to life, the Big Picture, there are only two presuppositions―theirs and ours―and they can be summed up quickly: CREATION or CREATURE-CENTERED REASON / FEELING. No third choice between these two world views!

5 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
These two irreconcilable principles―have created the Great Controversy: Reason, feeling, or hope in human progress. Creationism—where basic truth flows from the personal God who created all life.

6 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
We entered the Great Controversy when we chose to be “Seventh-day Adventists.” Jesus called Himself: “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end I am the First and Last.” Rev 1:8, 17

7 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Seventh-day=Alpha: What does “Seventh-day” say to the world about God? He is Creator, who made our world in six days and rested on the seventh. And He made men and women “in His own image.” Exodus 20:8-11; Genesis 1:26.

8 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Adventist=Omega: What does “Adventist” say about God? The good news of the gospel is that we are not in this lousy world that has no end—that Jesus has an Exit Plan for all of us. We call it the Second Advent. We tell the story of the beginning and the end of the Greatest Story ever told!

9 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
So, the Alpha of all theology and philosophy is God as Creator―Our Jesus! We begin with Jesus. The Omega of all theology and philosophy points to as the Main Character in this Great Story and how Jesus truly has the “last word.”

10 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Without Creation and the Second Advent, no person has any basis for finding meaning to his/her brief existence. Without meaning in our lives, it is “eat, drink, and be merry, because tomorrow you die.”

11 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Remember that haunting song that we often hear around Easter time! An Israelite father is explaining the sanctuary service to his young son: “Watch the lamb, son.” That phrase is carried throughout the song and it sends goose pimples all over me! That’s exactly what I want you to do today, Watch “the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8)!

12 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
What caused the Controversy in the first place? God’s Vice president for Press Relations, God’s Communication Chief, the one person in the heavenly universe who knew more about God than anyone else, had two problems:

13 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
He thought he knew how to run the universe better than his Chief; He grew jealous of the One whom the Godhead had called the Mediator between the Godhead and all created intelligences.

14 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
What is going on here? God knew that the only way to make love a two-way street was to make Himself really known to those He created―to angels and to unfallen intelligences on worlds everywhere.

15 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
After all, angels can fear and respect One who called Himself their Creator—but love? No! Would you marry someone you only fear, or even respect?

16 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Thus, to be what He is, Jesus had to, from the get-go, not even consider staying on the level of the Unseen God. To really love, He had to reveal Himself, thus: “being in the form of God, [He] did not consider it robbery [something to be held onto] to be equal with God [from the creation’s viewpoint] (Phil. 2:6).

17 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
What did this mean for the angels? He “made Himself of no reputation [He emptied himself]” Phil. 2:7). From the beginning, God remained God—but one of the Godhead emptied Himself of certain divine prerogatives—He became visible to the angels in such a way that the angels could relate to Him. He became their Mediator.

18 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
To the angels, Scriptures indicate that He was known as their Archangel (Jude 9, Daniel 10:13; 1 Thess, 4:16, Rev. 12:7).

19 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Our Lord’s Vice President slowly came to covet the honor that Jesus had as the Chief Angel. Lucifer soaked-up his own “wisdom” and “beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). Pride kept him from recognizing Jesus, the Archangel as God’s Mediator. He wanted the same respect and adoration that other angels gladly gave to Jesus.

20 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined.” PP 35.

21 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Developing controversy is beyond comprehension. God had to respond! Lucifer’s mighty mind developed a new view of reality—a world of greater liberty. A world in which each angel could experiment with new ways to find self-fulfillment.

22 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Lucifer was brilliant, he was the first community organizer. He was so convincing that a third of the angels thought that he was worth trusting.

23 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
What was God to do? “Before the great contest should open, all were to have a clear presentation of His will, whose wisdom and goodness were the spring of all their joy

24 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings.” PP: 36.

25 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Such became the Great Controversy: The Godhead telling the truth about themselves and telling the truth about Lucifer and his hollow promises.

26 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
What were Lucifer’s lies that stirred up heaven and that have been perpetuated and enlarged to our present day?

27 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
1. God was unfair to make laws that created beings could not keep. COL: 314; FTLB: 114. 2. God demanded self-denial and sacrifice from His created beings but would not Himself exercise such unselfishness toward His created beings. PP: 70, 1SM: 341.

28 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
3. God was severe, exacting, and harsh. SC: 11, 5T: 738. 4. God was the author of sin, and suffering, and death. DA: 24. .

29 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
5. If God were fair and good, He would never have permitted created beings to transgress His law. PP: 131, 132. 6. God made faulty laws and that for the good of the universe, those laws should be changed. PP: 69.

30 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
OK, if you were God, how would you begin to answer these charges, these indictments, these lies? Yes, we could say that Lucifer is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) but does that really answer his lies?

31 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
After all, 1/3 of the angels did not think he was lying—which really means, for them, that God was not telling the whole truth. And remember also, not just the angels but the inhabitants of the other worlds were listening to this debate! Who was right?

32 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
So God had a big job on His hands. The Godhead had to defend themselves wherever created intelligences lived. So He began His defense:

33 Rock Bottom Principle! Does that light switch turn the lights ON or OFF? Obviously, ON. Electricity is already on at the power station! Switch turns lights off, otherwise, lights would be on all the time. Our decision to follow Jesus does not turn salvation on. John 1:9—He is the Light of the world and it is our unbelief, our No to His Spirit within, that turns off that Light!

34 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
That’s God! From the moment you were born, always reaching out, always leaving the light on, never shutting the front door, arms outstretched, always hoping to keep a good relationship with you and if it is broken, always working to restore a broken relationship. (Luke 15) God is showing us how a real, loving Parent deals with rebellious children!

35 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
But that Rebellion! “It was His purpose, not merely to put down the rebellion, but to demonstrate to all the universe the nature of the rebellion.” PP: 78..

36 The Great Controversy Theme—theHeart Beat of Adventist Theology
The Restoration Plan comes in two parts: 1) It vindicates the character of God ―He isn’t what Satan has made Him out to be; 2) It restores the image of God in repentant rebels. But this Plan meant that He Himself had to live on the level of a created being in order to have any hope of being understood.

37 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
1) “The plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe The act of Christ in dying for the salvation of man would not only make heaven accessible to men, but before all the universe it would justify God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan. “ PP: 68, 69.

38 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
2) “The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, "They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads" (Revelation 22:4), [cont.]

39 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme,--man's uplifting,--the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57. He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God's word.” Ed: 125, 126.

40 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“The very essence of the gospel is restoration.” DA:824.

41 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
#1 question that has divided the Christian church for more than 2000 years: What does God want to accomplish with His plan of salvation? The answer to that question determines how we let the Bible speak to us about sin, righteousness by faith, the humanity of Christ and why Jesus has been waiting for a long, long time.

42 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
When anyone understands this point that God has only one great purpose on His mind, and that purpose is to undo what sin has damaged and restore in you the image of God—the whole Bible becomes a great, unified, integrated play-book of how to frustrate and defeat Satan.

43 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
The Great Controversy Theme: 1. Unfolds the playbook that exposes Satan’s battle plan; 2. Provides God’s play-book on how to assist Him in working all sin out of a person’s life. That play-book: the Bible, not only to provide comfort but also to clarify how we are to face Satan who is constantly “roaring like a lion” to take us down.

44 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts, of God's original purpose for the world, He should gain a knowledge of its grand central theme, of the rise of the great controversy, and of the work of redemption.

45 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“He should understand the nature of the two principles that are contending for supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and prophecy, to the great consummation. He should see how this controversy enters into every phase of human experience; [cont.]

46 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“how in every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives; and how, whether he will or not, he is even now deciding upon which side of the controversy he will be found.” Ed: 190.

47 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“In order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, it is essential that you meditate much upon the great themes of redemption. You should ask yourself why Christ has taken humanity upon himself, why he suffered upon the cross, why he bore the sins of men, why he was made sin and righteousness for us.” ST: Dec. 1, 1890

48 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Ellen has a way of cutting through theological fluff and centuries of theological blather. Knowing about Jesus is a few light years away from comprehending His character or mission. And this brings us back to the Great Controversy Theme:

49 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
1. Why did Jesus become a human being? 2. What was He really suffering on the cross? 3. In what way did He “satisfy” justice and become righteousness for us? 4. Why did He return to heaven encased in human form? 5. What is His primary purpose as our High Priest?

50 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Simply an outline for distinctive Adventist theology. On every one of those points the Adventist church is severely divided, especially since the publication of Questions on Doctrine in In the opinion of many, getting the Great Controversy Theme right is the primary, most urgent obligation, resting on everyone of us.

51 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Those five questions unfold the Great Controversy Special targets of Satan How come the Christian church that tells the world that Jesus is their Savior—has become Satan’s best megaphone in providing Satan’s answers to those five questions? Name me a church that gives you the biblical answer to those five questions.

52 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
1. Jesus, a Human Being. The glory of God is to reveal Himself and He does that by “going down,” by “emptying” Himself—the “mystery of godliness.” He became an angel and He became a man—a real cascade of agape love. Contemplate that, He did it for you and me.

53 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Not poetry! He became a human being as every baby has since Cain was born, nine months in darkness with angels searching everywhere for their Archangel. He surely “emptied Himself.”

54 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity.

55 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones.” DA 49. See Hebrews 2:17

56 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus became a human being so that men and women may have the confidence that Jesus today understands/feels “to the uttermost” what each of us faces today, whatever the temptation of the Evil One is. Even the temptations that originate within our minds as well as from without. Hebrews 4:14-16.

57 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us. [cont.]

58 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.” DA:117

59 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Why did Jesus put Himself into such a trying situation, at the “risk of failure and eternal lost”? Answer: To prove Satan was and is wrong: God did not make faulty laws that created beings cannot happily obey! Score One on the great scoreboard of the universe!

60 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
2. Why and What did Jesus really suffer on the Cross? Did not die in agony to satisfy an “offended” Father!

61 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus died to shut Satan’s mouth that God was selfish and knew nothing of “self-sacrifice.” “The victory gained at His death on Calvary broke forever the accusing power of Satan over the universe and silenced his charges that self-denial was impossible with God and therefore not essential in the human family.” Selected Messages, bk 1, 341

62 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Further, the Father Himself was with and working through Jesus on the Cross, telling His side of the Story—not waiting until the last drop of blood was spilled in some kind of judicial payment (2 Cor. 4:18, 19). The Father “suffered with His Son” (DA 693).

63 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus died to shut Satan’s mouth that sinner’s do die (Genesis 3:4). Even God chooses not to erase the consequences of sin.

64 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus died to shut Satan’s mouth that God’s law could be joyfully obeyed under even the worst of conditions. He “demonstrated that obedience to the law is possible; for all have been made more than conquerors through Christ?” Signs of the Times, June 3, 1897.

65 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus died to shut Satan’s mouth today by opening the door so “that human beings shall reach the standard of perfection which Christ died to make it possible for them to reach.” In Heavenly Places, 286.

66 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus proved that He was a “whole Savior” answering many excuses: “We hear many excuses: I cannot live up to this or that. What do you mean by this or that? Do you mean that it was an imperfect sacrifice that was made for the fallen race upon Calvary, that there is not sufficient grace and power granted us that we may work away from our own natural defects and tendencies, that it was not a whole Saviour that was given us?” Selected Messages, bk. 3, 179.

67 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus, face to face with Satan to the moment of His death, vindicated “the justice of God settled the controversy between Satan and the Prince of heaven in regard to the changeless character of that law.” Signs of the Times, December 9, 1897.

68 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus silenced those who say that God is angry against sinners. He showed how awful the wrath of God was against “the consequences of man's sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.” DA 686. “The sins of men weighed heavily upon Christ, and the sense of God's wrath against sin was crushing out His life.” DA 687

69 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
In other words, God’s wrath was directed at the consequences of sin, not against Jesus! “The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation.” DA 753.

70 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
The pain of the Cross was not the tortured body but the dread of being separated from God—the awful moment of the second death awaiting all who refused God’s offer of salvation. “With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ's soul was filled with dread of separation from God.” DA 687.

71 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” DA 753.

72 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
3. Our Lord was victorious against the heaviest of Satan’s temptations in Gethsemane and Calvary, not because of anything positive He could see or feel but because of sheer, unvarnished “faith.” “In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father;

73 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.” DA 756.

74 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
4. Only at the Cross was Satan finally disrobed as the Evil Usurper―for only then was the essence of God’s glory really on full display: Jesus showed the universe that God can be trusted, even when all physical reasons for hope were removed, even to the brink of being utterly God-forsaken. Example as well as Savior!

75 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. . . They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion.” DA 758. “The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.” DA 761.

76 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
If Satan was defeated, at the Cross, why isn’t the war over?

77 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Yet Satan was not then destroyed. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed. And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve.” DA 761

78 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
5. One of the reasons why the Controversy was not over on the Cross was because Christ’s ministry as our Mediator, the One who “emptied Himself” was not over.

79 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Our Lord’s death means more than honoring a crucifix. It was “a means to an end. The most powerful and efficacious provision that He could give to our world, was the means; the end was the glory of God in the uplifting, refining, ennobling of the human agent.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 274.

80 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
In His life and death, “Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father’s presence.” DA 745. He knew that simply dying on the cross would not change lives but only get their sympathy. That is why Christ’s job as Mediator comes with a Dual Job Description: He is not only the Sacrifice but also the Priest.

81 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven.” GC 489.

82 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” DA 671.

83 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
This Dual Job Description is one of the pieces in the great theological puzzle we call the “Great Controversy Theme.” If Adventists do not emphasize this piece of the great picture, the world will never hear it! The Great Ellipse of Truth

84 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Let’s summarize this part of our journey: 1. The part Jesus plays in the Controversy is what every Adventist sermon should focus on. 2. Jesus is the Alpha (the Beginning) and the Omega (the End) of all Adventist theology. 3. Jesus, as Creator and as our Eschatological Hope, sums up, broadly speaking, the Adventist message.

85 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
4. Our Lord’s “mystery of godliness” (1 Tim. 3:16), of “emptying” Himself, will be forever our study and wonder and an Example to reflect. 5. Jesus, in life and death and resurrection, nailed everyone of Satan’s lies, charges and indictments against God’s character and His government.

86 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
6. Jesus as our High Priest has only one promise—to provide all the grace (pardon and power) needed (Heb. 4:14-16) to overcome all inherited and cultivated tendencies to sin.

87 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
After all that, we can see more clearly that whatever is against God’s plan for our restoration is “sin”: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17; 1:15; John 9:41; 15:22). No one is born a sinner—sin is a choice.

88 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Jesus had all the inherited tendencies to sin that other babies are born with, but He chose, aided by the Spirit, not to sin. He was not corrupt because He chose not to be corrupted.

89 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Getting the nature of sin right helps us to understand why, in studying the Great Controversy, you will find God giving His created intelligences choices. Freedom even precedes love. Wherever love is, freedom is its basic environment, before and after sin entered the universe.

90 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
That is why when we study sin, and the humanity of Jesus, and the meaning of faith, and the purpose of righteousness by faith—we glide into understanding why Jesus has delayed His return. The challenge is to connect the dots!

91 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
All that leads us into that part of the Controversy that Jesus has assigned to His followers. “As you sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:18, 1 John 4:17). The Controversy is not over until His people fulfill their commission.

92 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Paul understood his commission: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes [has faith]” (Romans 1:16).

93 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
God does not tell us to repent without giving us the power to change: The gospel is a package: pardon and power. The ellipse of truth!

94 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
The Adventist message is simply the good news about Jesus (with all that it includes) with the end that men and women are transformed into His image and thus safe to save—the Great Controversy in HD, multi-color!

95 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Peter never forgot his commission. Listen to him as he passed it on to the last generation: “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

96 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Nevertheless we, according to His promises, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:11-14).

97 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Peter puts the period on the last word of the Great Controversy as far as this world is concerned.

98 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord's return. We are not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 2 Peter 3:12, margin. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.” DA 633.

99 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles, showing in a high, elevated sense, the line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who trample them under their feet.

100 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
To be even more practical, we are told that a great percentage of Saturday-keepers will not be “sealed” and receive the Latter Rain and participate in the Loud Cry. What a pity!

101 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
How does this all work? If anything is the truth, we should be “the last generation.” We are all familiar with electric terms: The Sealing Work, Shaking, Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Latter Rain, Loud Cry, etc.

102 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
How do all these terms fit? If God’s major purpose in finishing up the Controversy is to give everyone on earth in one generation, an opportunity to decide whether they want to trust Him, the God of Order, or the Prince of Disorder, then the message to be heard must make sense and be proven in the lives of those who proclaim it.

103 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
That message must tell the truth about God, how He deals with sinners, and the kind of help He provides for sinners to escape all temptations that have appealed to self-gratification.

104 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
God will not forever forgive people who keep on enjoying the sins that they want forgiven. Those who are ready for His return will be “overcomers.” That is the steady drumbeat of the New Testament, echoed strongly in Revelation.

105 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
The Latter Rain falls on sealed people. Remember the Rain is the combination of the Early Rain and the Latter Rain—it is a matter of growth, advancing in the light of known duty.

106 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.” 5T 214.

107 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Inspiration has given us the time line: Character transformation/Sealing—Shaking—Latter Rain―Loud Cry—Fury of Satan/Seven Last Plagues.

108 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads--it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved--just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already.” 4BC 1161 (1902), LDE 219.

109 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“God's Spirit has illuminated every page of Holy Writ, but there are those upon whom it makes little impression, because it is imperfectly understood. When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand. They slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness.” TM 112.

110 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Reality Check: The time is now! We are long past the time when the Latter Rain was falling on Seventh-day Adventists for more than a century!

111 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
In 1896, Ellen White sadly wrote that the Latter Rain had been falling but God chose to withdraw His Promised Rain: “An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord's message through Brethren [E.J.] Waggoner and [A.T.] Jones.

112 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost

113 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
“The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.” 1SM

114 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
What was that “truth” that was opposed by leadership in the years after 1888? Essentially, it was the core principles of the Great Controversy Theme that we have reviewed here today.

115 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
Seventh-day Adventists do not have a dated message. It focuses on Jesus and why He came to the world as He did. It focuses on His living words and on His High Priestly work in our behalf, It focuses on the kind of people He is waiting for so He can declare the Controversy over!

116 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
This blended focus is the New Testament gospel that needs to be seen and heard the world over and reflected in men and women who validate the truthfulness of their message.

117 The Great Controversy Theme—the Heart Beat of Adventist Theology
That message is as old as Gethsemane and Calvary and as fresh as the cleansing that Our High Priest is doing in and for us today.


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