'Ellen G. White was one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and held in esteem as a prophetess or messenger of God amongst members. In it, She describes the "Great Controversy theme" between Jesus Christ and Satan, as played out over the millennia from its start in heaven, to its final end, and the world is destroyed and recreated. Regarding the reason for writing the book, the author reported, "In this vision at Lovett's Grove, most of the matter of the Great Controversy which I had seen ten years before, was repeated, and I was shown that I must write it out."
While working to complete the book in 1884, White wrote, "I want to get it out as soon as possible, for our people need it so much.... I have been unable to sleep nights, for thinking of the important things to take place.... Great things are before us, and we want to call the people from their indifference to get ready."
The Great Controversy begins at the dawning of the Christian era, traces the rise and fall of nations and religious powers down to our day, then plunges ahead to preview the future.
The book begins with a historical overview, which begins with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, covers the Reformation and Advent movement in detail, and culminates with a lengthy description of the end times. It also outlines several key Seventh-day Adventist doctrines, including the heavenly sanctuary, the investigative judgment and the state of the dead.'