The Great Controversy Revealed in Nature

Contents:

How did The Great Controversy Begin?

Creation & the Effects of the Fall

Noah’s Flood

_________________________________________________________

How did The Great Controversy Begin?

What is The Great Controversy? Why should I care?

The war between Christ and Satan is an all-out war that wages every single day. We are so used to living in the world that we hardly notice this controversy exists. But it does exist, not only on a global level, but also in relationships between people, and even within our own hearts. We see Enmity – a permanent hostility between two parties – wherever we look. From the interactions between husband and wife, sister and brother, friend and friend, neighbor and neighbor, stranger and stranger – in the family, in society, between countries – enmity rages.

Our society is composed of the decisions made on a personal level. Out of society’s composition, we experience the goodness or evil of what the collective mindset can produce. And most often it is pain and suffering, because our choices affect others for good or for evil.

“Enmity – Battle Lines: Prologue” tells the story of the beginning of the Great Controversy very well and why we have enmity in our world today. (55 minutes)



The core of the Great Controversy that we see all around us today can be distilled down to two competing principles: selflessness and selfishness.

“Selfless: Episode 2 – The Great Controversy Begins” tells the story of the origin of selfishness in an entirely selfless universe, and the consequences of this throughout early history (64 minutes)


Creation & The Effects of the Fall

The following presentation by Walter Veith looks into the creation debate–reminding us why we were created and bringing us from creation to restoration and all that we were meant for.
It also provides some thoughts to consider with regards to the present condition of animals–how were they like before today? Could so-called carnivores be originally designed as vegetarians? Is there any supporting evidence for that? (~1 hr. 30 min.)

The following documentary provides great insight into how the Intelligent Design (ID) movement started, specifically examining the role of Michael Behe and his discovery of the irreducible complexity of the flagellum motor, and the resulting conflict between those who think molecular machines were designed or those who believe they evolved. Also covers the history of the Dover trials plus much more. (1 hr)

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. –Psalm 24:1-2

Upon all created things is seen the impress of the Deity. Nature testifies of God. The susceptible mind, brought in contact with the miracle and mystery of the universe, cannot but recognize the working of infinite power. Not by its own inherent energy does the earth produce its bounties, and year by year continue its motion around the sun. An unseen hand guides the planets in their circuit of the heavens. A mysterious life pervades all nature—a life that sustains the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity, that lives in the insect atom which floats in the summer breeze, that wings the flight of the swallow and feeds the young ravens which cry, that brings the bud to blossom, and the flower to fruit.

The same power that upholds nature is working also in man. The same great laws that guide alike the star and the atom control human life. The laws that govern the heart’s action, regulating the flow of the current of life to the body, are the laws of the mighty Intelligence that has the jurisdiction of the soul. From Him all life proceeds. Only in harmony with Him can be found its true sphere of action. For all the objects of His creation the condition is the same—a life sustained by receiving the life of God, a life exercised in harmony with the Creator’s will. To transgress His law, physical, mental, or moral, is to place one’s self out of harmony with the universe, to introduce discord, anarchy, ruin.

To him who learns thus to interpret its teachings, all nature becomes illuminated; the world is a lesson book, life a school. The unity of man with nature and with God, the universal dominion of law, the results of transgression, cannot fail of impressing the mind and molding the character…. Education, pp. 99-100

The Great Controversy Between Love & Rebellion Revealed in Nature (Pt. 1)

Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man’s lesson book. It could not now represent goodness only; for evil was everywhere present, marring earth and sea and air with its defiling touch. Where once was written only the character of God, the knowledge of good, was now written also the character of Satan, the knowledge of evil. From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was continually to receive warning as to the results of sin.

In drooping flower and falling leaf Adam and his companion witnessed the first signs of decay. Vividly was brought to their minds the stern fact that every living thing must die. Even the air, upon which their life depended, bore the seeds of death.

Continually they were reminded also of their lost dominion. Among the lower creatures Adam had stood as king, and so long as he remained loyal to God, all nature acknowledged his rule; but when he transgressed, this dominion was forfeited. The spirit of rebellion, to which he himself had given entrance, extended throughout the animal creation. Thus not only the life of man, but the nature of the beasts, the trees of the forest, the grass of the field, the very air he breathed, all told the sad lesson of the knowledge of evil.

But man was not abandoned to the results of the evil he had chosen. In the sentence pronounced upon Satan was given an intimation of redemption. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman,” God said, “and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. This sentence, spoken in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. Before they heard of the thorn and the thistle, of the toil and sorrow that must be their portion, or of the dust to which they must return, they listened to words that could not fail of giving them hope. All that had been lost by yielding to Satan could be regained through Christ.

This intimation also nature repeats to us. Though marred by sin, it speaks not only of creation but of redemption. Though the earth bears testimony to the curse in the evident signs of decay, it is still rich and beautiful in the tokens of life-giving power. The trees cast off their leaves, only to be robed with fresher verdure; the flowers die, to spring forth in new beauty; and in every manifestation of creative power is held out the assurance that we may be created anew in “righteousness and holiness of truth.” Ephesians 4:24, margin. Thus the very objects and operations of nature that bring so vividly to mind our great loss become to us the messengers of hope.

As far as evil extends, the voice of our Father is heard, bidding His children see in its results the nature of sin, warning them to forsake the evil, and inviting them to receive the good.
Education pp. 26-27

The Great Controversy Between Love & Rebellion Revealed in Nature (Pt. 2)

“God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” { RH November 8, 1898, par. 1 }

Before the fall, not a cloud rested upon the minds of our first parents to obscure their clear perception of the character of God. They were perfectly conformed to the will of God. For a covering, a beautiful light, the light of God, surrounded them. The Lord visited the holy pair, and instructed them through the works of his hands. Nature was their lesson-book. In the garden of Eden the existence of God was demonstrated in the objects of nature that surrounded them. Every tree of the garden spoke to them. The invisible things of God were clearly seen, being understood by the things which were made, even his eternal power and Godhead. { RH November 8, 1898, par. 2 }

But while it is true that God could thus be discerned in nature, this does not favor the assertion that after the fall a perfect knowledge of God was revealed in the natural world to Adam and his posterity. Nature could convey her lessons to man in his innocence; but transgression brought a blight upon nature, and intervened between nature and nature’s God. Had Adam and Eve never disobeyed their Creator, had they remained in the path of perfect rectitude, they could have known and understood God. But when they listened to the voice of the tempter, and sinned against God, the light of the garments of heavenly innocence departed from them; and in parting with the garments of innocence, they drew about them the dark robes of ignorance of God. The clear and perfect light that had hitherto surrounded them had lightened everything they approached; but deprived of that heavenly light, the posterity of Adam could no longer trace the character of God in his created works. { RH November 8, 1898, par. 3 }

The things of nature upon which we look today give us but a faint conception of Eden’s beauty and glory; yet the natural world, with unmistakable voice, proclaims the glory of God. In the things of nature, marred as they are by the blight of sin, much that is beautiful remains. One omnipotent in power, great in goodness, in mercy, and love, has created the earth, and even in its blighted state it inculcates truths in regard to the skilful Master Artist. In this book of nature opened to us,—in the beautiful, scented flowers, with their varied and delicate coloring,—God gives to us an unmistakable expression of his love. After the transgression of Adam, God might have destroyed every opening bud and blooming flower, or he might have taken away their fragrance, so grateful to the senses. In the earth, seared and marred by the curse, in the briers, the thistles, the thorns, the tares, we may read the law of condemnation; but in the delicate color and perfume of the flowers, we may learn that God still loves us, that his mercy is not wholly withdrawn from the earth.

–Review & Herald, November 8, 1898. “The Revelation of God.”

As Adam witnessed the first signs of decay in the falling leaf and in the drooping flowers, he mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The dying flowers were not so great a cause of grief, because they were more tender and delicate; but when the tall stately trees cast off their leaves to decay, it presented before him the general dissolution of beautiful nature, which God had created for the especial benefit of man.

To his children, and to their children, to the ninth generation, Adam delineated the perfections of his Eden home; and also his fall and its dreadful results, and the load of grief brought upon him on account of the rupture in his family, which ended in the death of Abel. He related to them the sufferings which God had brought him through to teach him the necessity of strictly adhering to his law. He declared to them that sin would be punished, in whatever form it existed; and he entreated them to obey God, who would deal mercifully with them if they should love and fear him.

Signs of the Times February 6, 1879

Noah’s Flood

Build an Ark

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark. Genesis 6:13, 14.

God gave Noah the exact dimensions of the ark and explicit directions in regard to its construction in every particular. Human wisdom could not have devised a structure of so great strength and durability. God was the designer, and Noah the master builder. It was constructed like the hull of a ship, that it might float upon the water, but in some respects it more nearly resembled a house…. The material employed in the construction of the ark was the cypress, or gopher wood, which would be untouched by decay for hundreds of years. The building of this immense structure was a slow and laborious process.

The race of men then living were of very great stature, and possessed wonderful strength. The trees were vastly larger, and far surpassing in beauty and perfect proportions anything mortals can now look upon. The wood of these trees was of fine grain and hard substance—in this respect more like stone. It required much more time and labor, even of that powerful race, to prepare the timber for building, than it requires in this degenerate age to prepare trees that are now growing upon the earth, even with the present weaker strength men now possess.

Every piece of timber was closely fitted, and every seam covered with pitch. All that men could do was done to make the work perfect; yet, after all, God alone could preserve the building upon the angry, heaving billows, by His miraculous power.

Methuselah and his sons, and grandsons, lived in the time of the building of the ark. They, with some others, received instruction from Noah, and assisted him in building the ark.

While Noah was giving his warning message to the world, his works testified of his sincerity. It was thus that his faith was perfected and made evident. He gave the world an example of believing just what God says. All that he possessed, he invested in the ark…. Every blow struck upon the ark was a witness to the people.

Conflict and Courage by Ellen G. White, February 1

How Violent was the World before the Flood? (2 min)

What did the Global Flood do? (2 min)

Noah’s Flood and Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (23 min)



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