Guests: Dave Thomas and Zdravko Stefanovic
Relevant Biblical Passages: Rev. 12-14; 19; 21-22
The Evidence Is In. The last chapter in Ellen White’s book, The Great Controversy, is entitled “The Controversy Ended.” Note the elements she chooses to emphasize in her concluding narrative describing the cosmic conflict. First, with reference to Satan, note the highlighting of those aspects which reflect freedom, the use of convincing evidence (rather than force), and freedom of choice.
“Satan sees that his voluntary rebellion has unfitted him for heaven. He has trained his powers to war against God; the purity, peace, and harmony of heaven would be to him supreme torture. His accusations against the mercy and justice of God are now silenced. The reproach which he has endeavored to cast upon Jehovah rests wholly upon himself. And now Satan bows down, and confesses the justice of his sentence.
“‘Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest’ (Rev. 15:4). Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy has now been made plain. The results of rebellion, the fruits of setting aside the divine statutes, have been laid open to the view of all created intelligences. The working out of Satan’s rule in contrast with the government of God, has been presented to the whole universe. Satan’s own works have condemned him. God’s wisdom, His justice, and His goodness stand fully vindicated. It is seen that all his dealings in the great controversy have been conducted with respect to the eternal good of His people, and the good of all the worlds that He has created. ‘All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.’ (Ps. 145.10). The history of sin will stand to all eternity as a witness that with the existence of God’s law is bound up the happiness of all the beings He has created. With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare, ‘Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints’ (Rev. 15:3).” (GC 670-71)
Increasing Knowledge and Joy. The nature of the restored kingdom when evil has been banished is also worth noting. Note that it is the goodness of God, not his power, which brings words of praise from the lips of the redeemed:
“And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption, and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the might chorus of praise.” (GC 678)
Crucial Question: How does this final scene balance God’s power and goodness, human freedom and divine sovereignty? Will “knowledge” of sin and redemption make the universe safe forever?