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Commentary on "Friends Forever (1 Thess. 2:13-3:13)"



Day 3: Monday, August 6, 2012 - Paul’s Hope and Joy (1 Thess. 2:17–20)



Paul expresses his intense heart desire to be with the Believers in the Thessalonian church:

But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy. (1 Thess. 2:17-20 ESV)



The Quarterly lesson makes some good points concerning Paul’s intense spiritual bond with the Believers in the Thessalonian church. Then the lesson author diverts our attention, without biblical support for doing so, by asserting that this passage “shows the reality of the great controversy”.

The Bible leaves us with no doubt that Satan is the prince of this world and is the ultimate source of all that is evil. This alone however is far short of supporting the Adventist world view called ‘The Great Controversy”. Satan certainly has power over fallen sinful mankind. The real issue is what power does Satan have against God or Jesus Christ who is the eternal Son of God and always has been? How could a created being such as he is possibly ever have power equal to an eternally existing and infinitely powerful God?

For those who wish to explore this topic fully here is a link to an article in Proclamation Magazine:

Here are the defining points quoted from this article that outline the Adventist world view of ‘The Great Controversy’:

When the bible is your sole source for knowing God’s inspired word the concept of the great controversy proves to be false and must be discarded. After all, how could a known plagiarized work of fiction such as this book rise to the level of being a part of God’s inspired truth? God is the God of truth and never uses lies or even nice sounding fiction to teach truth.

A key doctrine of the Christian faith is developed in the epistle of Hebrews where it is firmly established that our faith is ‘the faith of Abraham’. What Abraham knew and all Christians should be aware of is that this faith is centered on the fact that God cannot lie in any way or form:

For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb. 6:13-20 ESV)



  1. Whatever battle Satan may have been waging against God was lost at Calvary when Jesus Christ died for our sins and then came back out of the grave three days later.
  2. God’s plan for our redemption from sin and the power of sin has been in place since before creation and time began.
  3. Satan’s defeat has always been assured. He has never been on an equal footing with Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is the Creator of all things.
  4. God answers to no one. There is no such thing as a watching universe that God needs to vindicate himself before. Certainly not to those he has created.
  5. Since God does not and will never lie the great controversy book and doctrine must be rejected as nothing more than a curious work of fiction.




Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. Revised August 4, 2012. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email:

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