Synopsis of The Great Controversy

Act 1

The Great Controversy begins with angelic beings worshiping God on his throne in Heaven.  Lucifer leads the chorus in singing.  God acknowledges the importance of Lucifer’s leadership among the angels as he continues conducting them in praise.  Michael enters God’s presence as they discuss their plans for a new creation with the angels .  Following worship, an angel pulls Lucifer aside and reiterates how wonderful it is to serve Michael.  Lucifer’s thoughts of jealousy begin to develop as he sees himself above God and Michael.  He retracts his thoughts and reminds himself to  obey God’s law. 


In the next scene, angels enter God’s throne room.  God bestows a special blessing on Michael as equal to himself and should receive an equal amount of worship from all of Heaven.  Michael confirms God’s anointing and reiterates how love is the center of His law. 


Michael meets with Lucifer and Gabriel to see how Lucifer’s new composition is progressing.  Gabriel is very excited to perform the new work.  In the height of the accolade, Lucifer requests to obtain the same power God and Michael have in creation.  Michael confirms Lucifer’s loyalty and leadership but the request can not be granted. 


At the rehearsal of Lucifer’s new music, the angels are excited to praise God, but Lucifer questions the angels about God’s fairness.  One by one, angels voice their discontent with God’s law.  Lucifer accuses God of being unjust and unfair calling the faithful angels  slaves.  Half the angels join him and exit. 


God and Michael sense the turmoil within the angels.  Faithful angels enter His presence to explain Lucifer’s actions and the brewing rebellion.  Being a fair God, He understands the grave situation and gives equal chance for Lucifer to recant? his actions.  He summons the entire host of angels into His presence.  Faithful angels enter God’s presence as before.  Fallen angels now enter  under the command of Lucifer who refrains from bowing to God and Michael.  He begins to accuse Them of unfair laws.  He demands that he, himself, should be ruler over all Heaven.  Amidst the commotion, war erupts and God commands Michael to engage the rebellion.  Lucifer and his angels lose the battle and are banished from Heaven.


The faithful angels observe creation and are excited about the things God and Michael create over  five days.  On the sixth day, they describe the scene of God reaching to the ground and forming Adam.  The faithful angels praise the goodness of God’s creation.  God and Michael return to the throne and explain their new creation.  They expound on the importance of the Seventh-day Sabbath.

Outside of heaven, Lucifer bids a faithful angel to call on Michael for a meeting.  Upon his arrival, Lucifer repents for his grave mistake and pleads to return to his position.  Michael denies this wish, for sin has originated with Lucifer and will always be in Lucifer’s  heart.  As Michael leaves, Lucifer confirms his full rebellion against God’s benevolent authority and devotes the rest of his existence to  new found evil.

Act II

The faithful angels observe God’s new creation.  They ponder the purpose of humanity and discuss man’s potential faithfulness to God, assuming man can prove his laws are just.  The fallen angels invade the area accusing God of injustice. 


Adam has named all the animals.  As God meets him, he explains how every animal comes in twos, but there is no companion for himself.  God acknowledges this and summons Eve into their presence.  He explains how she was formed from his rib.  He encourages them to enjoy the Garden of Eden, but forbids  the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 


Lucifer and the fallen angels are reminiscing about their happiness in Heaven.  After hearing their complaints, Lucifer forms a scheme to make the newly created couple disobey God by eating fruit from the forbidden tree; putting them into the same situation as the fallen angels.  God would have to make provision to pardon them, and if a fair God, pardon the angels, too. 


Enjoying life, the couple play a game of hide and seek.  Eve wanders off and stumbles onto an unusual tree.  Here, disguised as a snake, Lucifer bids her to try the fruit.  After enticing her to the fruit, she eats it.  In shock, Adam sees her tasting the fruit.  She assures him it has done nothing wrong to her.  He takes the fruit and eats it.  Soon they both realize they are naked.


God enters the Garden of Eden and summons them.  They come out from their hiding into His presence explaining how they were ashamed of their nakedness.  Adam blames Eve.  Eve blames the snake.  God acknowledges their disobedience, curses the snake, and banishes the couple from the Garden of Eden.  Because of their disobedience, the  blood sacrifice of an animal must be offered by humanity to obtain atonement for their sins.


Lucifer, successful in his ploy, continues in his plan to retake Heaven. If man can return to God, so can the angels.  If they can return to Heaven, they would be able to eat from the tree of life and gain new power again.


God and Michael understand the grave conflict and know that mere animal sacrifices will not suffice to save humanity from their sins.  Michael acknowledges that he must go to earth as the ultimate sacrifice for the atonement of humanity’s sins.


After the fall of man, evil infests God’s new creation.  A witness to the horrific blood sacrifice, Gabriel observes God’s chosen people falling in and out of benevolent favor.  Subsequently, Gabriel is sent to earth to prepare the virgin Mary for the coming Messiah.


Mary has just received exciting news; her barren cousin is now pregnant.  She yearns for the day when she and her betrothed husband will have a child of their own.  Gabriel appears to Mary, informing her that she has been chosen  by God to carry the Messiah.  Apprehensive but excited,she accepts the wonderful news of her calling.


In the final congregation, God informs the faithful angels that Michael will be sent to Earth as the ultimate, final sacrifice.  The angels object and request to go in his place but Michael denies their requests,  making it clear only He can bear the sins of humanity through His death.  As he descends into the uncharted evil of earth, Michael is antagonized by Lucifer.  The angels, once more, glorify God’s benevolence and righteous love for sending Michael as the sacrificial lamb.