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Second Quarter 2018 April • May • June
COMMENTARY—PREPARATION FOR THE END TIME
Week 1: March 31–April 6
COMMENTARY ON "The Cosmic Controversy"
Following is a combined commentary on the material included in the Bible Study Guide with references as necessary to the supplemental passages included in the E. G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all biblical quotes are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
The theme for this quarter's lessons begins with this memory text:
Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (Rev. 12:17)
The lesson speaks of "the great controversy" as a "biblical worldview". The point of this commentary is to show that this is really a unique extra-biblical Seventh-day Adventist world view that contradicts orthodox New Covenant (Christian) biblical doctrine. Specifically it is a doctrine of heresy that denies the completed atonement of Jesus' death at Calvary for the sins of the world.
This commentary will focus primarily on the biblical issue of what must be done to be ready for the "end time" of our natural lives as Christians here on earth. In what way must we be prepared for the events that precedes the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
THE ROOT HERESY OF THE 'GREAT CONTROVERSY' DOCTRINE
While much could be said in opposition to the Adventist Great Controversy concept there is one simple issue that exposes the whole of this belief as false.
The so called controversy taught within Adventism is founded on the non-biblical belief that the war in heaven began because of the dragon's jealousy of Micheal the arc angel occurred when God the Father elevated Jesus (Micheal) instead of Lucifer to the position of "Son of God". Whereas Scripture is totally silent about what really caused this war in heaven. Ellen G. White purports to claim that this warfare has been ongoing between Satan and Jesus right down to this present day and age. However we may think we understand Jesus Christ in relationship to the Father it must understand that Jesus the Son of God has always eternally existed, along with the Holy Spirit, as the one and only God. Since before time began Jesus has always been who he is, Rev. 1:1-8:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
Jesus is both the "Word" and the "Creator". All things, Satan and the fallen angels included, were made through him.
Our one and only holy eternally existing omnipotent God is totally sovereign. This means that Satan (Lucifer) was personally totally defeated the instant he was cast out of heaven. Instead of directly attacking God of which he has no power to do so, Satan's attack was against what God created via his deception in the Garden of Eden. Even in this Satan's ultimate failure and doom was proclaimed by God:
The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:14-15)
From the very time Adam and Eve sinned Satan's attack on mankind was proclaimed by God to end in failure. When Jesus arose from the grave Satan received the mortal shocking news of his life that his fate was sealed and really had been so since he and his evil angels had been cast out of heaven. There is not and never has been an ongoing Great Controversy between himself and Jesus. Whatever Satan's plans against what God created may have been they ended in failure at Calvary.
The saints of God, the redeemed sinners that have been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God , are simply cautioned to have on is the full armor of God because nothing Satan does will prevail against God, Eph. 6:10-20.
THE BIBLICAL TEACHING CONCERNING "PREPARATION FOR THE END TIME"
In the Garden of Eden Adam was only given one command that included the condition of obedience:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:15-17)
Adam did eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and on that very day he died, along with Eve who also ate and died with him. Adam's sin is why there is suffering, decay and death in the created physical universe along with that of the human race. Our sin nature that we are born with is the result of Adam's sin, Rom. 5:12. We need to keep in mind that Adam was created in the 'image of God' (Gen. 1:26) meaning God patterned Adam after himself. The meaning of this is made clear by what Jesus said must happen before a sinner can enter into the kingdom of God, John 3:1-21:
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8)
Notice that the thief on the cross was assure long before the existence of the unbiblical Investigative/sanctuary that he would be with Jesus in Paradise, Luke 23:42-43. The instance the Philippian Jailer believed he was assured and knew that he was in the kingdom of God:
Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31)
There are only two kingdoms. You are either in one or the other without ever being somewhere in between the two:
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13-14)
The one and only thing that must be true in your life to be ready for "the end time" is; Are you in the kingdom of God or are you still in the kingdom of darkness?
As for growing in "spiritual maturity" we are cautioned that even even as we are in the kingdom of God we do sin and are cautioned to confess our sins daily. Scripture does not teach anything about being 'sin free' in this present life of the flesh, 1 John 1:1-10.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Gal. 5:16-18)
The one and only escape from the kingdom of darkness is the application of the shed blood of Jesus Christ that fully eternally covers all your sins:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1 Cor. 15:1-5)
Remember, the wages of sinned is death but the gift of God is eternal life. No sinner works for nor earns, even in part, eternal life. It is totally a gift from God, Rom. 6:23. Therefore for those who have been transferred into the kingdom of God nothing can nor ever will separate you from the love of God, Rom. 8:9-39:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:37-39)