Welcome to a new series of studies that will give us a better "big picture" understanding of our God. Often, Christians intensely debate relatively unimportant things like what they should eat or wear, or some small point of doctrine. If your life span is shortened by twenty years because of your diet, that is terrible, but not as terrible as missing out on eternal life. While I think we should measure everything we do by the teachings of the Bible, having a clear understanding on the big picture is our first order of business. No one would begin studying how the body worked by critically examining a finger nail. Let's start our examination of the big picture by diving into our Bible and seeing what we can learn about how sin entered our world!
I am back....
I would not used the terminology test because every tree in the garden was good for food, the only difference was that obedience played a major role; One may argued that A&E created a lifetime of sin for everyone henceforth by just eating a little forbidden fruit, and all pains and suffering came as a result of that one bite, but God knows that he could not trust satan with Adam &eve, hence the vital test of obedience.
I would agree with you that this was not about eating fruits but everything thing to do with trust. I think though that test is probably a good way to look at it. If you think about the big picture and the "rules" of the temptation, this was a limited time, place, and subject test. Satan/serpent was restricted to just the tree of knowledge of good and evil, A&E were both warned to avoid it and couldn't be tempted anywhere else in the garden.
That fact that Satan was there suggests that he "agreed" that this was a fair test of loyalty to God or Satan. I'm sure he would have said to God that given access to them and them having free will, they would choose not to trust God so lets go ahead with the test. In the big scheme of things, this test was a show for the whole of the universe, would God's crowning creation choose to distrust and disobey God just like a third of the Angels did? or would God use His power to shield His creation thus proving Satan right?
The secular society we live in guides us to aspire to be self-sufficient and independent, to think for ourselves and to make decisions that would benefit us individually. Is this the same sort of ideals that Lucifer aspired too and what made him get in conflict with God? What can we learn from this and about the dangers of secular living?
This was the first recorded prophecy in the Bible predicting the overthrow of satan (serpent) and the ongoing conflict between Satan and man. With A&E not trusting God, they effectively took the side of Satan so would have been Satan & Adam and his decendants V God but God said no, He has a plan for this which included having emnity between humans and Satan.
It's a nice scripture, in the context of the great controversy, how does this apply? how do we overcome?
The questions in today's study asks a similar thing
It’s one thing to read 1 Peter 5:8-9 and have an intellectual understanding of that warning; it’s another to actually live out that warning in our daily lives. How do we, in fact, resist the devil? How often during a single day are you aware of Satan’s efforts against you?
One of the advantages we have as a denomination is our unique insights into the great controversy especially as we come closer to the second coming. While Joyce offers some good advice, we can certainly fill in a lot of the blanks with our own understanding. Mutual discussions is always good.
If our forte is the three angels messages of Revelation, how can we "tell the story" in a positive and easily understood and let me add, comtemporary way. Prophecy is our strong point but also our weak point, sometimes the message is lost because people cannot relate to it. Today's study talks about destinies, what is our destiny? how to we help with the destinies of others?
This week’s lesson looks at the “great controversy” as a foundation for all Bible doctrine. It is interesting to look at a definition of “war” to deepen our understanding of this cosmic conflict.
Wiki defines war as:
“[A]n organized, armed, and, often, a prolonged conflict that is carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence. An absence of war (and other violence) is usually called peace.”1
The history of war on our planet, according to sociologists, goes back a long ways. Conway Henderson states, “One source claims 14,500 wars have taken place between 3500 BC and the late 20th century, costing 3.5 billion lives, leaving only 300 years of peace.” Lawrence H. Keeley, a professor at the University of Illinois holds that approximately 90-95% of known societies through history engaged in at least occasional warfare, and many fought constantly. It seems since the end of World War II (a war that took more lives than any other war in history) most nations have counted the financial cost of war and decided a world war wouldn’t be worth it. Although Mao Zedong has urged the socialist camp not to be afraid of nuclear war with the United States, even if “half of mankind died, the other half would remain while imperialism would be razed to the ground and the whole world would become socialist.”
But what are the effects of war? Richard Gabriel in No More Heroes has written, “Nations customarily measure the ‘costs of war’ in dollars, lost production, or the number of soldiers killed or wounded. Rarely do military establishments attempt to measure the costs of war in terms of individual human suffering. Psychiatric breakdown remains one of the most costly items of war when expressed in human terms.” He goes on to say, “In every war in which American soldiers have fought in, the chances of becoming a psychiatric casualty – of being debilitated for some period of time – were greater than the chances of being killed by enemy fire.”
The foundation for understanding human history goes back beyond dusty books and manuscripts; it reaches beyond archaeological discoveries of ancient mass graves of people being murdered. We look to a war that began in heaven between Lucifer (who became Satan, the enemy) and Christ. The backdrop of this conflict provides the template on which all of the doctrines of Scripture point. Christ came to our earth to redeem people from the curse of sin. Jesus and Satan are at war over our lives. The battle is intense. Sides are being chosen. It will soon end. Are you daily choosing to be on the side of Christ?