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Eugene W. Prewitt

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Great Controversy ch 1 to 3


The following questions are divided into three sections. The first section is due at the beginning of class on Thursday. The second is due at the beginning of class the following Tuesday (a week from tomorrow). The third is due the third on Friday following. It may be turned in early or turned in to the office any time Friday morning to my box.

Destruction of Jerusalem


  1. In Luke 19:42-44, what are the “things” that belonged to the peace of Jerusalem?  What did Jesus mean by the phrase “at least in this thy day”? Why do you think so? Research.


  1. In the two introductory paragraphs of the book The Great Controversy, what kind of feeling or mood does Ellen White seem to be creating? What parallel might the reader make between the history of Jerusalem and this our time?


  1. The chapter is about a terrible judgment on the HolyCity. How does Ellen White find an opportunity to speak of the gospel and Christ’s sacrifice here at the beginning of the book?


  1. Ellen White makes a reference to Jeremiah 17:21-25. Read this prophecy. What did God promise? On what condition was the promise made to Jerusalem?


  1. Ellen wrote “He was unwearied in His efforts to save this vine of His own planting.” What vine was this that He had planted? The parable of Isaiah 5:1-4 illustrates Christ’s care for the vine. In literal terms, what had he done to save the ‘vine’ from destruction?


  1. In your own words, what practical lessons can be gleaned from God’s relation to Israel to guide us in our own soul-winning work? What kind of help were people most inclined to accept from Christ? What kind of help was nearly always rejected? Why did God continue to give this kind of help regardless?


  1. What is a ‘cup of iniquity?’ Did persons in Jerusalem suffer for sins of their grandparents? Why did the grandparents not suffer in the way the grandchildren did? What benefit did the children receive that made their accountability greater and justified their greater punishment? When is the cup of iniquity drained? Why did the Jews of AD 70 suffer for the sins of their parents who killed Jesus in AD 30? That would be like you dying for things done in the early 60’s.


  1. What evidence is there in the first chapter of the Great Controversy that the author claimed to have a supernatural extra-biblical source of information?


  1. How was the prophecy of Haggai 2:9 fulfilled?


  1. Matthew 24 is a prophecy of what two events?


  1. Why would someone making the prediction that Jesus made be considered crazy at his time?


  1. Why, according to the Great Controversy, did the Jews hate Jesus?


  1. How was the prophecy of Micah 3:10 fulfilled?


  1. What fitting punishment came to the Jews for their sin of hiring false witnesses against Jesus?


  1. On page 30 is the story of the strange man. How did he die? Was he a Christian?


  1. How did God arrange for the Christians to escape when Romans and Jews were both intent on stopping them?


  1. What was the motive of the Roman leaders is their efforts to “strike terror to the Jews”?


  1. Josephus, the “last human mediator” of the Jews pleaded with them to “____________________.”


  1. Consider the two paragraphs beginning “The Jews had forged their own fetters.” Be prepared to discuss this paragraph in light of the arguments of those that maintain that God does not destroy.


  1. Consider the paragraph beginning “The Saviour’s prophecy.” Be prepared the thoughts behind the phrases “but a faint shadow” and “a scene yet darker.”


Persecution in the First Centuries


  1. Be prepared to discuss “the enmity that burst forth against the world’s Redeemer would be manifested against all who should believe on His name.” Does it burst forth against us?


  1. Ellen White personifies paganism. What thoughts does she attribute to the personification?


  1. Project: Find a non-inspired story of early Christian persecution and bring it to class.


  1. Contrast 39:2, “Noble and slave, rich and poor” with Roman law regarding new religions. What implications does this have for our nation?


  1. What motive is given for secular-minded Romans to betray sweet and innocent Christian neighbors to the authorities?


  1. Christians were often tortured as part of public entertainment. When the Jew suffered in the Destruction of Jerusalem, it was the result of their unfaithfulness. Why did these Christians suffer such public exposure? How may one determine the cause of one’s sufferings? Be prepared to discuss.


  1. Why will the areas surrounding Rome be particularly active during the first resurrection?


  1. Consider the paragraph beginning “Under the fiercest persecution” and list some of the evidences provided in the paragraph that the Christians “kept their faith unsullied.”


  1. In the stories of early Persecutions it almost seems that Christians were hoping to be martyred. This may have been the result of fanatical and superstitious thoughts about martyrdom. What other possibility is suggested by the reading on page 41?


  1. Be prepared to write a significant essay from Great Controversy pages 42-43.


  1. What kind of incident led Judas “to commit the fearful crime of betraying his Master?”


  1. Ananias and Sapphira are described as a “foul blot upon” the church’s purity. What may we gather from this when we read that the final church will be “without fault and spotless”?


  1. What event signaled the influx of converts that were “less sincere and devoted?”


  1. Come ready to discuss the paragraph “But there is no union between the Prince of light.” May we have friends that are half-converted?


  1. Explain the phrase “disguised in sacerdotal garments” in your own words.


  1. In 45.2, what two doctrinal errors are presented as having entered the church during the early apostasy?


  1. In 45.3 a separation took place. Be prepared to discuss the movements of those that suggest that such a separation from the Adventist church should be commenced in our times.


  1. Memory work: “To secure…even war.”


  1. Make a short list of ideas that seem to be brought out repeatedly in this chapter.


  1. In a short paragraph, in your own words, according to this chapter, why is the gospel called “a sword”?


  1. How does Ellen White suggest we should relate to this question, “How can One who is just and merciful, and who is also infinite in power, tolerate such injustice and oppression?” What other kinds of questions might well be treated. Jesus answered such doubts with Jn. 15:20. How does this passage help such doubts?


  1. What “more important question” than the one in question 21 ought to engage Christian’s today? What is the answer to that question as found in this chapter?


An Era of Spiritual Darkness


  1. Discuss the Revealed Motif as found in the first paragraph of this chapter and as described in the last chapter.


  1. Which of the following is more accurate:

Persecution stopped the spirit of compromise and conformity

Persecution restrained the spirit of compromise and conformity

Persecution encouraged the spirit of compromise and conformity

Persecution prevented the spirit of compromise and conformity


  1. What ‘nominal conversion’ in the fourth century caused great rejoicing to the church? What might be the impact in a Muslim country if the national leader was nominally converted from Islam to Adventism?


  1. “When Rome conquered Greece, Greece conquered Rome.” Explain the meaning of this historical proverb. How was it repeated in the history of the Christian church and paganism.


  1. What monument exists on earth to the “efforts” of Satan to “seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will”?


  1. What ideas or thoughts do you think Ellen White was hoping to impress on the reader by the statement “Satan once tried to form a compromise with Christ”?


  1. What motives led the leaders of the church to seek the support and favor of the great men of the earth?


  1. When Ellen White writes that the pope has been invested with the very titles of Deity and that he has been declared to be infallible, many Catholics protest that this is not accurate. Why do they feel so? In what sense is it accurate? Are there senses in which it is not?


  1. “God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church.”  Evaluate our churches structure, with a General Conference President, in light of this statement. Does the statement apply? Research. . . what did Ellen White write about the position of “president” in our organizational structure.


  1. In GC 51:2 Ellen White charges the Romanists with having willfully left the true church. Think about charge. What definition of the true church must be implied by it?


  1. GC 51:3 beings “Satan well knew” and progresses to “this logic was adopted by the Roman Church.” be prepared to discuss how Satan could communicate his knowledge to that human organization.


  1. GC 52:0 accuses Rome of expunging the 2nd commandment from the Scriptures. Yet Catholic Bibles all over the world have the second commandment more or less as it appears in Protestant Bibles. Be prepared to defend White’s charge in light of this fact.


  1. What kind of work did Satan do in the Jewish church as a precursor to his later efforts to change the Sabbath? Think of things Satan is trying to do today. What kind of groundwork has been laid, perhaps a great while ago, to prepare the way for this effort?


  1. The Sunday law of Constantine (321 AD) is written as a pagan law, not as a Christian institution. What part did Christian leaders have in the framing of this polytheistic law?


  1. Ellen White speaks of the great ecumenical councils that were held through the first centuries of the Christian church. These were gatherings from around the world of Christian leaders. What evidence do we find that God was not leading these gatherings?


  1. Research: How do Protestants repel Ellen White’s charge that the Sabbath was not changed by Jesus
  2. and the apostles? Examine History of the Sabbath and evaluate their historical arguments. Which of them seems most problematic to you, if any?


  1. What events of the 6th century does Ellen White indicate marked the beginning of the 1260 years? Why not date it from Constantine? Or from the first pope? Or from the change of the Sabbath? or from the decrees of Justinian? What Bible reason do we have for choosing these events as the beginning of the period?


  1. As the gospel was hidden and the church lost sight of it, what change came to its worship forms?


  1. In 56:0 Ellen seems to say that God is not “angered at trifles.” Be prepared to discuss this thought. What does it take to anger God? How did God relate to penance?


  1. Read the appendix note on GC 56:1. How is it that forgeries were so easily accepted by learned and important men of those ages? These forgeries have since been exposed, but the authority built on them does not seem to have suffered harm. Be prepared to discuss the question “why not?”


  1. GC 56:2 describes the tragic apostasy of some who had been faithful builders, long fighting to slow the progress of evil and to defend the truth. What line of thinking weakened and overthrew this class?


  1. Know the story of Gregory VII and Henry IV and how Ellen White uses it to illustrate the character of the papacy.


  1. How did the error of the immortality of the soul enter the church? What reasons were urged by the leaders in these studies as a reason why they should be studied by others in the church? What implications might this history have for students today? Ellen says these studies led to an ever increasing number of errors. What four errors are listed in the following four paragraphs as having entered the church after the doctrine of immortality?


For the Word Doc: Study_Guide_Chapters 1-3

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