Beginning of the End - a condensation of Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen WhiteThe best resource we can recommend for understanding the great war between Christ and Satan is the Conflict series by Ellen White. If you haven’t read these before, you may want to begin with the condensed modern-language versions. (Note that the images are the covers of the modern-language condensed versions. If you prefer the original, longer versions, click on the titles, such as Patriarchs and Prophets.)

Beginning of the End – a condensation of Patriarchs and Prophets that begins with the chapter, “Why was sin permitted?” and traces God’s efforts to woo people back to Himself from the days of Adam and Eve to the time of David, a man after God’s own heart.  

Royalty and Ruin - Condensed Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen WhiteRoyalty and Ruin is  a condensation of Prophets and Kings. The conflict continues with the story of the wisest man who ever lived – Solomon, who had such a promising start but nearly ruined his chance at eternal life through compromise with the practices of the heathen around him, beginning with multiple marriages. (Five chapter on Solomon alone, but you won’t be bored!) The conflict between the God of love and the enemy of humanity is traced from Solomon to the time just before Christ’s birth. This book fleshes out the details in the biblical narrative. 

Humble Hero Desire of Ages in modern English.Humble Hero tells the story of Jesus – the Desire of Ages in condensed format and modern English. With the birth of Jesus the conflict intensifies. Satan could not imagine that the Creator of the world would stoop so low as to become one with His creation. Nevertheless, the enemy of humanity exulted. Now that Jesus had only the powers of a human, Satan could surely tempt Him and overthrow Him as he had done to every human who ever lived. He dogged Christ’s every step. Nevertheless, the Savior scattered light and healing wherever He went. This book presents Jesus as fully God and fully man in riveting detail. 

Unlikely Leaders - modern-language version of Acts of the Apostles.

Modern-language version of Acts of the Apostles

Unlikely Leaders tells the story of the continuing conflict. It’s the condensed version of Acts of the Apostles. Satan had lost the war with Christ by initiating His crucifixion without ever getting Him to yield to temptation, but he was determined to stamp out His little group of followers. What a great title! “Unlikely leaders” indeed! Peter, the impetuous fisherman, James and John, nicknamed  the “sons of thunder” due to their tempestuous temper,  Matthew, a despised tax collector.. . All working-class people, and none with an education to speak of. But they became vessels of the Holy Spirit and demonstrated what God can do with the unlikeliest of material. Reading their stories makes us realize that God can use you and me too, if we will but let Him. 

Love Under Fire - Condensation of The Great Controversy by Ellen WhiteLove Under Fire is the condensed version of The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan. The conflict continues after the first generation of Christ followers passes off the scene. This book tells the story of the apostles as they sought to fulfill the commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” that Christ gave them. When Satan saw that he had failed in devouring the Child of the woman, namely Christ (see  Rev. 12:4), he turned his fury on the  followers of Christ and persecuted them. (Rev. 12:13). This conflict continued through the centuries from the early church until this very moment. Along the way, we read of the heroic lives of God-inspired followers from the early church to the 19th Century. But the book also reaches farther back in reviewing the spiritual background of the  battle between Christ and Satan, with chapters such as, “Why was sin permitted?”,  “Evil Spirits”, and others. The last chapters of the book deal with the future as outlined in the Bible, but fleshed in with more details. 

Keeping in mind that the book was written more than a hundred years ago, it would be unbelievable how accurately the events of the last 100 years or so are described, except that we know that God knows the future and is able to inspire humans to communicate essential details to others for the purpose of strengthening the faith of His followers. 

If you haven’t read the book – either in the full version or the modern-language condensed version, there’s no better time than now to do so. And I can confidently predict that you won’t regret beginning with the condensed version. After that, you may want to read it again in the full version, with its full complement of Bible references. 

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