Wednesday: The Great Controversy and History

No matter how apparently chaotic, how seemingly out of control, human history is not unfolding in a vacuum. There’s a story behind it, a drama, a struggle between two radically different principles. We’re talking, of course, about the great controversy. Only with that background can we even begin to get an understanding of human history and what it all means.1

How do these texts help us understand world history? Rev. 12:7–17Job 2:1, 2Isa. 14:12–14Gen. 3:15Eph. 6:12Rom. 16:20 

Satan is real, the battle is real, and only at the Cross was he defeated and his destruction made certain.

“Heaven viewed with grief and amazement Christ hanging upon the cross. . . . Yet there stood men, formed in the image of God, joining to crush out the life of His only begotten Son. What a sight for the heavenly universe! . . .

“Satanic agencies confederated with evil men in leading the people to believe Christ the chief of sinners, and to make Him the object of detestation. . . .

“Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. . . . The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 760, 761.

Why was Satan not destroyed then?

“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.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 761.

What the Bible teaches, and Ellen White, too, is that events here on earth are linked to the wider conflict, the great controversy between Christ and Satan. This controversy forms the background motif for all that happens here, whether in our individual lives or in the larger course of human history. Everything unfolds in the context of the great controversy. And the good news is that, after the Cross, Satan’s defeat was guaranteed, and this controversy will end, and with it all the pain and suffering and violence and fear and uncertainly that fill human history.



Wednesday: The Great Controversy and History — 5 Comments

  1. Thanks' wonderful, and so clear, how sister White painted this picture of the great controversy. Our only safety is in Christ alone (Michael).

    Thank you for this site. It brings me a lot of insights.

    God bless.

  2. Yes, praise God for His infinite mercy, love and compassion for humanity. Satan was defeated at the cross: The promise of life eternal for all who desire ( I say all who desire, because we do have free will, free choice). God made us that way. Man must choose whom he will serve for satan is real and the battle is also real. YES HENRY OUR ONLY SAFETY IS IN CHRIST JESUS ALONE.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts on the topic. They are well taken. Let us keep faithful holding on to Jesus for as you said He is our only safe haven. May God continue to bless all who read, study and do the will of God.

  4. To me the great controversy is very important. It not only gives us background information on what is happening on earth but more importantly it gives us a correct perspective on our place in it. While the cross means life to us we need to remember that it's importance is most in dealing with sin as a universal problem. After all, the sin problem actually started in Heaven where it involved the casting out of 1/3 of the angels who sided with Satan. Therefore our part in it came after sin was established among the angels.

    What we need to keep in mind is that while Christ died for us on the cross we are no more important than any other intelligent being in the universe. The point is that Christ would have done that for any of His intelligent creatures. What makes earth so central is that it has become the battleground. This is where the great issues of the controversy are being manifest - where angels long to look into (1 Pet 2:12) so that they might understand what the truth is about the two governments.

    We are not the truth - Jesus is! The end of the whole controversy doesn't depend on us - it depends on Christ! We are not the center of the whole thing - Jesus is!! We need to have a proper perspective of our relation to everything else.

    When I get out into nature self becomes subordinated to the vastness of God's creation. When I look into the night sky and see the stars, the moon, and the planets with our sun I realize how small I am and how great God is. So it is when I contemplate the controversy. I begin to realize that I am only a very small part of a much larger event and that as important as my personal salvation is to me there is so much more at stake in the settling of the controversy than just me. There is the whole universe that God has to deal with in this mess we call sin and He is working for a permanent universal solution for all eternity.


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