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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 whenwe 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? “Beforethe 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 waitingfor 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 1957. In the opinion of many, getting the Great Controversy Theme right is the primary, most urgent obligation, resting on everyone of us.