12: The Cosmic Conflict Over God’s Character – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for The Cosmic Conflict Over God's Character December 18, 2013]

1.The big picture. Can knowing about the great controversy between Christ and Satan bring meaning to your own existence? How? The sanctuary is a living example of the plan or strategy to win this controversy. Do you see this plan in every symbol and operation of the sanctuary?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

2. Revolt in heaven. Probably one of the most-often asked questions about Christianity is “How could [...]

Thursday: The Cosmic Spectacle
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Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus utters these amazing words: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). With this, He reveals a principle that, though easily misunderstood, is nevertheless seen throughout the Bible. It tells how, as followers of Christ, we can bring glory or shame to God by our actions.

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Read Ezekiel 36:23–27. How was God [...]

Hope SS: Cosmic Conflict Over God’s Character
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You can join the full hour-long, inter-active study of the lesson for the week by the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris on the HopeTV site. (Adobe Flash Player version.) Or you can download it as a MP4 file to watch later, and you can download lesson outlines here as well. Or watch on Youtube

Martin Pröbstle on “The Cosmic Conflict Over God’s Character”
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This introduction runs just over 8 minutes, and if you haven’t been following the series, can see previous videos at the SanctuaryLesson Vimeo Channel or onThe Youtube Bogichannel (also in German).

You can access this week’s video on Youtube, or you can view it on Vimeo below:

WEEK TWELVE | “Cosmic Conflict Over God’s Character” from Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen on Vimeo. (You can see previous videos by clicking on the Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen link.)

On mobile devices, the Youtube version may work better [...]

None to Welcome Him
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Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,  “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.  He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to [...]

12: The Cosmic Conflict Over God’s Character – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : By His actions, God vindicates Himself in front of the entire universe. God’s moral justice and power of love wins.

[Teaching Plan for The Cosmic Conflict Over God's Character December 16, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read Ezekiel 28:12-19.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. What clues here show that this is not referring to an earthly king but to Satan himself?
Personal Application: Do people who [...]

Wednesday: Vindication in the Judgment
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As Scripture has shown, God’s judgment is good news for those of us who believe in Him, who trust in Him, and who are loyal to Him, even though “we cannot answer the charges of Satan against us.”—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 472. However, the judgment is not only for us. It also serves the purpose of vindicating God before the entire universe.

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How is God’s character presented in the [...]

Cleansing of the Sanctuary Message in Christmas Carols
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born upon this day*
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy-Published by William B. Sandys in 1833. Author unknown.

There is some good theology in these older Christmas carols as well as some of the new.

The writer of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” knew the power of the gospel when he [...]

Tuesday: Vindication at the Cross
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From the very beginning, God left no doubt that He would invalidate Satan’s accusations and demonstrate His ultimate love and justice. His justice demands that there be payment of the penalty for mankind’s sin. His love seeks to restore humanity into fellowship with Him. How could God manifest both?

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How did God demonstrate both His love and justice? 1 John 4:10, Rom. 3:21–26.

God’s character of love and justice has been revealed in its fullest manifestation [...]

A Detour
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At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.  And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who [...]

Monday: The Accusations
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

After his fall from heaven, Satan attempted to distort and slander God’s character. He did this in Eden (Gen. 3:1–5), in the midst of the first “sanctuary” on earth. Satan brought his rebellion, which originated in the heavenly sanctuary, down to the earthly sanctuary of Eden. After initiating contact with Eve through the medium of the serpent, he openly planted the idea in her mind that God was depriving them of something that would be good for them, that He [...]

Sunday: Revolt in the Heavenly Sanctuary
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Read Ezekiel 28:12–17 and Isaiah 14:12–15. What do these verses teach about Lucifer’s fall?

At first glance, Ezekiel 28:12 seems to be talking about only an earthly monarch. Several aspects, however, suggest that this is really referring to Satan.

For starters, this being is referred to as the anointed cherub “who covers” (Ezek. 28:14, NKJV), which recalls the Most Holy Place of the earthly sanctuary, where two cherubim covered the ark and the presence of the Lord (Exod. 37:7–9). This celestial being [...]