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Bible study lesson 03

Lesson 03 - The Great Controversy (part 2)

Purpose:

  • To show that there is a cosmic conflict between God and Satan with earth as the main battleground

 Theme:

  • God is a God of love

Bible verses to read:

  • Matthew 4:8-10
  • Revelation 13
  • Revelation 14
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
  • Revelation 21:1-4
  • Revelation 22:1-4
  • 1 Peter 5:8
  • 1 Corinthians 4:9

Controversy:

In part 1 of this lesson, we learned that God originally made a perfect angel named Lucifer, who became too prideful and turned into Satan.  We also learned that evil originated with Satan.  From reading Isaiah 14:12-14, you may see what Satan is aiming for.  We get an idea that the enemy is seeking the allegiance of the angels and is trying to take the place of God.

Let's turn to Matthew 4:8-10 and read the end of the story where the Devil tries to tempt Jesus.

- What does Satan ask from Jesus?

  • Answer: He wants Jesus to worship him.

- Now we see Satan showing his true colors!  This is such a crazy idea, asking the Creator to worship a created being.  Jesus is instantaneously repulsed by this statement.  Satan wants what is not his - he wants what is undeserved.

 Let's briefly look at Revelation chapters 13 and 14 and see an overview of the conflict between God and Satan.  Don't worry about not understanding all the imagery at this time - we will revisit these chapters again in future lessons.

- Revelation 12:9 refers to Satan as a dragon.  Read Revelation 13 and substitute dragon with Devil for better understanding.  Notice how many times the word "worship" is mentioned in this chapter.  Recognize that worship is a form of love.  Also notice how many times false worship is forced upon/demanded of everyone upon the pain of death.  Contrast this with God, Who invites us to worship Him and allows you the freedom to choose to worship Him or not! 

Let's turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.

- What does the man of sin want?

  • Answer: To be exalted and worshipped as God.

- Doesn't this passage sound similar to what we have read in Isaiah?

- Have you ever heard of the Antichrist? The Antichrist is a front so that the satan can receive worship.  When the Antichrist receives worship, by representation satan is worshiped.  The Antichrist sets himself up not so much in opposition to God but that he is god.  (We will study more about the Antichrist in a future lesson.)

Let's turn to 1 Corinthians 3:16.

- According to Paul, what is the temple of God?

  • Answer: It is YOU!  Individual believers who make up the composite of the church are the temple of God.  The Antichrist is going to set himself up as the head of the church for the purpose of receiving worship.

Let's turn to 1 Peter 5:8.

- Who is the Devil's adversary?

  • Answer: You are!  The Devil is not just God's enemy, but the enemy of all those who believe in God.

Let's turn to 1 Corinthians 4:9.

- Where is the battle between God and Satan taking place?

  • Answer: Right here on earth!  Regardless of who you are and what you believe, there is a cosmic conflict going on between God and Satan.  We can see the outworkings of this conflict with our own eyes.  Look at all the violence in the world, the wars, the suffering.  There is constant conflict.

Let's turn to Revelation 21:1-4 and Revelation 22:1-4.

- Will this battle between God and Satan ever end?  Will there be pain and suffering forever? 

  • Answer: In the end, God wins!  There will be no more pain and suffering ever again at the conclusion of this cosmic conflict.  In the book of Genesis we read about a Perfect God in perfect communion with His people.  Revelation 22 ends the same way: a Perfect God in perfect communion with His people.

Satan wants us to worship him at all costs, willingly or not.  On the other hand, God loves so much that He gave us the choice to worship Him freely or not at all.  Who do you want to give your allegiance and worship to? 

I will see you again in the next lesson!