Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Three Angels' Message

Revelation 14:6-12 reads

6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 14:6,7 First Angel's Message.

This first angel symbolizes God's remnant carrying an everlasting gospel to the world. This remnant will bring a full and final restoration of the gospel of truth. These three messages comprise God's answers to the overwhelming Satanic deception that sweeps this world. The remnant do not present a didn't gospel, rather, in view of the judgement they reaffirm that the everlasting gospel that sinners can be justified by faith and receive Christ's righteousness. This angel's message calls out to the word to repent. It summons all to "fear" or reverence, God and give honor or glory to Him. We are created for this purpose.

In Revelation 14:7, the word judgement translates the Greek krisis, the act of judging, not the sentence of the judgement (krima). It refers to the entire process of judgement; this includes the arraignment of people, the investigation of life records, the verdict of acquittal or conviction, and the bestowal of eternal life or the sentence of death. The judgement-hour also proclaims God's judgement on all apostasy.

This first message also calls upon all to worship the Creator. This call to worship must be seen in contrast to the summons to worship the beast and his image. There will come a time when everyone will have to make a choice between true and false worship -- between worshiping God on His terms (righteousness by faith) or on our terms (righteousness by works). This message calls attention to the fourth commandment "and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water" (Rev. 14:7; cf Ex 20:11). It leads people into true worship of the Creator, an experience that involves honoring his memorial of Creation -- the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord. God instituted this at the time of Creation and affirmed it in the Ten Commandments.

The first angel's message calls for a restoration of true worship by presenting before the world Christ the Creator and Lord of the Bible Sabbath -- a sign neglected bu the vast majority of His created beings. Only when true worship is restored and believers live the principles of God's kingdom, can God be glorified.

Revelation 14:8 Second Angel's Message

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

From early history, the city of Babylon symbolized defiance of God. Lucifer was its invisible king (Isa. 14:4, 12-14) and it appears that he wanted to make Babylon the agency of his master plan for ruling the human race. Throughout the Bible the struggle between God's city Jerusalem, and Satan's city, Babylon, illustrates the conflict between good and evil.

In Revelation, Babylon refers to the wicked woman, the mother of harlots, and her impure daughters (Rev 17:5). It symbolizes all apostate religious organizations and their leadership, though it refers especially to the great apostate religious alliance between the beast and his image that will bring about the final crisis described in Revelation 13:15-17.

The second angel's message brings out the universal nature of Babylonian apostasy and her coercive power, saying that "she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." The "wine" of Babylon represents her heretical teachings. Babylon will pressure the powers of state to enforce universally her false religious teachings and decrees.

The "Fornication" mentioned represents the illicit relationship between Babylon and the nations -- between the apostate church and civil powers. The church is supposed to be married to her Lord; in seeking instead the support of the state, she leaves her spouse and commits spiritual fornication (cf. Eze. 16:15; James 4:4)

This illicit relationship results in tragedy. John sees the inhabitants of the earth "drunk" with false teachings and Babylon herself "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, "who refuse to accept her un-scriptual doctrines and submit to her authority" (Rev. 17:2, 6)

Babylon falls because she rejects the first angel's message, the gospel of righteousness by faith in the Creator. The second angel's message will have increasing relevance as the end draws near. It will meet its complete fulfillment with the alliance of the carious religious organizations that have rejected the first angel's message. In Rev 18:2-4, this message of the fall of Babylon is repeated as it announces the complete downfall of Babylon and calls on those of God's people who are still in the various religious bodies comprising of Babylon to separate from them "Come out of her , my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."

Revelation 14:9-12 Third Angel's Message

The first angel's message calls us to worship God; the second angel warns against self worship; and the third angel appeals for us to make a choice. The third message proclaims God's most solemn warning against worshiping the beast and his image -- which all who reject the gospel of righteousness by faith ultimately will do.

The beast described in Revelation 13:1-10 is the church-state union that dominated the Christain world for many centuries and was described by Paul as the "man of sin" (2 Thess. 2:2-4) and by Daniel as the "little horn" (Dan 7:8, 20-25; 8:9-12) The image of the beast represents that form of apostate religion that will be developed when churches, having lost the true spirit of the Reformation, shall unite with the state to enforce their teachings on others. In uniting church and state they will have become a perfect image to the beast -- the apostate church that persecuted for 1260 years. Hence the name image of the beast.

The third angel's message also proclaims the most solemn and fearful warning in the Bible. It reveals that those who submit to human authority in the earth's final crisis will worship the beast and his image rather than God. During this final conflict two distinct classes will develop. One class will advocate a gospel of human devisings and will worship the beast and his image, bringing upon themselves the most grievous judgments. The other class, in marked contrast, will live by the true gospel and "keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Rev 14:9, 12). The final issue involves true and false worship. the true and false gospel/ When this issue is clearly brought before the world, those who reject God's memorial of creator-ship -- the Bible Sabbath -- choosing to worship and honor Sunday in the full knowledge that it is not God's appointed day of worship. will receive the mark of the beast./ This mark is a mark of rebellion; the beast claims its change of the day of worship shows its authority even over God's law.

This message brings to the world's attention the consequences of refusing to accept the everlasting gospel and God's message of the restoration of true worship. The choice is not an easy one, for whatever one chooses will involve suffering. Those who obey God will experience the wrath of the dragon (Rev 12:17) and eventually be threatened with death (Rev 13:15), while those who choose to worship the beast and his image will incur the seven last plagues and finally "the lake of fire" (Rev 15, 16; 20:14, 15)

But while both choices involve suffering, their outcomes differ. The worshipers of the Creator will escape the deadly wrath of the dragon and will stand together with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Rev. 14:1; 7:2, 4) The worshipers of the beast and his image, on the other hand, receive the full wrath of God and die in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb (Rev 14:9, 10; 20:14)

Every person will have to choose whom to worship. Either one's choice of righteousness by faith will be revealed as one participates in a form of worship God has endorsed, or one's effectual choice of righteousness by works will be revealed as one participates in a form of worship God has forbidden but which the beast and his image command, a man-made worship. God cannot accept this latter form of worship, because it gives priorities to the commandments of men and not to those of God. it seeks justification through the works of man and not by faith that comes through a total surrender to God as Creator, Redeemer, and Re-creator. In this sense, the message of the third angel is the message of justification by faith.


God has His children in all churches; but through the remnant church He proclaims a message that is to restore His true worship by calling His people out of the apostasy and preparing them for Christ's return. Recognizing that many of God's people have yet to join them, the remnant sense their inadequacies and weaknesses when they try to fulfill this solemn mission. They realize that it is only through God's grace that they can accomplish their momentous task.

In the light of the soon coming of Christ and the need to prepare to meet Him, God's urgent, compassionate call comes home to each of us: "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." (Rev 18:4,5)

Taken from Seventh-day Adventist Believe. A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines.
I do not claim to write this, while some is paraphrased, most comes from the book mentioned.

Friday, May 27, 2011

God's Family is Our Family

(This all began with a text message to my friend. So the first part does begin like a text message. I still need to write a new beginning for this.)

Exactly! These are our gifts and talents. Jenn, it really doesn't bother me to give you money for your gas. :). In me doing that, you can focus on your duties to others. If more people did that, helped others, then things would get better. That is being selfless. God is trying to show us through love, through His Son, that selfless love is what brings glory and honor to His name. Sin is selfish love, it worries about one's self, the will and advancement of power. It doesn't care about others, whether they are hurt or not. It is of Satan. If it doesn't bring glory to God, one prays for guidance. Because we know God, then we also know what is of Him.

Sadly there is no way presently or in the future can humanly allow and change us to be better. On the contrary, its just going to get worse. Its God's grace holding together everything that is affected by sin, our sins, what we know is wrong to do, willingly... I bet it saddens our Lord deeply to have to only help us when we call on Him from the depths of our hearts, our emotions, that is what makes us different from the rest of this world.

We are not a product of evoution, but you have to think about this great controversy in the bigger picture, and a better way to do this is to think about a parent and a child relationship. God is our Father, He cared for us, we are made in His image, His image of love, of grace, happiness, TRUE freedom, no worries, no pain, one does not know pain, the pain of the world. This is the newborn stage. Innocence it is. Our knowledge of the world is very little. The parent cares for the child, protects them, loves them, blesses them, disciples them, cherishes them, prepares that newborn to become an adult who can one day do the same for others.

Then one day a choice was made. Because of our free will we decided a taste of something different. Although being told to stay away, we are curious, then convinced to try, and we disobey. Because God cannot live with sin, the free will He has given us has to separate us from Him. He is more saddened by this than He is mad. Its like a parent who looses a child, the parent whose child is willingly choosing the wrong path. The parent hurts inside, they can't do anything to help, the free will of choice he abides by.

Yet, like a parent, God still continues to show His love, that parent's selfless love. Of faith, which is trust. And hope that one day things will be restored to a place of no pain, no hurt, just love and TRUE honor. God needed to send His Son to do this. We needed to be shown selfless love. It was more than following rules and ideas, and traditions. It is a selfless love of that once happiness that we had as a child, knowing nothing about the world, of hurt and pain. Jesus was teaching us what it was, of what we needed to do. We are to take care of this world.

But instead, the selfish love of sin is destroying this world and us. We presently can see this happening in this world. Sin is death, our world is dying. Sin is killing it, the wrong choices we make are destroying this world. We ourselves die because of sin. Jesus came to live the 10 Commandments to us. It wasn't a life of bondage and cruelty of punishment. We don’t fully understand what our parents really mean until we experience. We have to experience the Commandments and Jesus summed it up as this: Love the Lord your God with all of your soul, all of your strength and spirit. And love one another as God loves you. Show selfless love to others, honor Him. He gave you life. That is our soul. It is the breath of life. If not for that soul, that breath of life, not one heart would beat.

A day is coming when God won't be able to hold back the tides. Judgement time will end, the time where God is giving everyone a chance no matter who you are or where you come from, or what you've done, what terrible things were done. He just wants truthfulness, your love back. But He doesn't force Himself. He will never force Himself on anyone. Judgement isn't about us. We are the evidence for God's trial. God is on trial, Satan accusses God of not being fair. So Satan does everything he can do to prove God is not fair. So we are caught in the middle. That is the Great Controversy of the universe. And because we are the evidence, all of the heavens are watching intently.

All is not lost. We already know the outcome. We just need to chose the right side, the everlasting life. It's also our free will to chose. That is why God is waiting for the very last millisecond to try and show the truth of Him to all His children. We are living in the judgement time. This is the time we need to decide, we need to make a choice, get off the fence, its ultimately black and white, no in between. You either choose to be with God, who is of love, of patience, our Father, the perfect Father, perhaps the one we never had, or wish we could have had. He wants all of His children, His sons and daughters to come home, to once again live with Him, as Adam and Eve once did before sin. Or, you can choose Satan, who once was an angel of God. But selfishness entered his heart, he wanted to be like God, to be God. He lost a battle in heaven; he took one-third of the angels too; who also freely chose to be convinced by Satan. And they were hurrled down to earth.

Satan then hurt God, what God cared most about. His creation, man. We are the sons and daughters of God, we are part of His family, He is our Father. The separation from Him and ourselves is like a parent loosing their child, the tear at the heart, the deep pain, the parent cries. The parent wants nothing more than for his child to come back home. The prodigal son. Despite all the bad choices the son made, his father loved him the same and did not care about what was done. The father is just happy and joyous that his son freely chose to come home.

God wants us to cone home. God could have destroyed us at the first sign of sin. But He didn't. He has so much love for everyone. And wants us to choose to come home. When judgement is over, God's presence will leave the earth, the grace holding every little inch together, will have to show what truly living in sin brings. Father will turn against son, brother against brother. Those who do not choose not to be with God will become ruthless to the believer of the true God. The tribulation, the persecution will be devastating to God's children. Jesus went through this at the Cross. When God had to turn away because of the sin that covered Jesus and bore for us, this was His words, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus was not angry in saying this. Jesus felt God all His life on Earth, His Spirit. And now, that closeness He had with His Father was gone. That is what will happen for believers in God.

But the tribulation won't last forever. It is not the end. God has a plan. All the sacrifices in the Old Testament point to Jesus, He is bridging the separation between us and the Father. Jesus has promised that He will return to bring God's children home to their Father. Once He brings them home, there will be 1000 years of destitution on the earth. No one will be alive. Satan and his angels will roam the earth. No one to tempt, no one to cause pain to. During this time, the believers will be shown why their loved ones are not there with them. They will be shown all the times God offered a way out, a safe place. They will also be shown their lived one's free will choice to turn away from God. The believers will freely agree that God is just and loving, they will also freely agree to the punishment of the wicked. At the end of the 1000 years, the wicked will be brought back to life, to which Satan will make one last effort to overcome God. But before Satan, his angels, the wicked reach the City gates of Jerusalem, God will reveal the judgement of the wicked. The wicked will see all the chances they had to choose God, they will also see their free will decision to turn away. The wicked will also freely agree to their judgment: The ultimate separation from God.

Now is the time. Now is the time to choose God and change our lives around and live the 10 Commandments, to live and show selfless love. The Father wants all His children to come home. Because of free will of choice and the Great Controversy, He can't just save us. He can only help us when we earnestly call out to Him, repent if our sins, confessing them openly to Him, asking for forgiveness, and living for our Father and showing His selfless love to others. He can also intervene when we pray on behalf of others. He is a gentle Father. He won't force Himself on anyone, only when He is asked to, just like a parent who helps their child, when their child asks for help for themselves or for another.

Creation is aware of these spiritual events. Its screaming out to us. Just look. Tornados, hurricanes, wild fires, changes in natural habitats. The things we seem to be braver and braver to attempt for selfish gain of power. The harder and harder ability to live without worrying whether you'll make it to be financially stable instead of living day to day. The diseases and cancer eating us physically. The wars plaguing us emotionally.

Jesus is going to come soon. It is very soon. Creation is calling out. Wake up! We really need to throw it out all one the line for God . We need to wake up His children who do not see His light to bring them forth from the dark. This whole thing all mankind has gone through, this thing known as sin. It's death. It's life we want isn't it? So why do we continue to do things that are there to cause death? We need to wake up and realize how serious this free will choice is to our future. Remember we are the evidence, the evidence that, yes, YES, living the 10 Commandments can be done, and it does bring happiness and joy, peace beyond all understanding. We all want this, a place where we all get along, there is harmony, love, care, truth, we doing all the right things, there is no death, no worries of any kind. We are already hoping for a life like that. Money is the root of all evil. We seem bondaged to it and don't even realize it. If you live by money, it brings nothing but trouble. But God has a way he can help us out. This can be done by looking at our families. They are a representation of God's relationship he wants for us, in a place with no sin.

Our families are in trouble. There is moral decay; lack of respect, our society is really bad. We really need to start living for God within our homes. This is where it needs to help others. If we see a family struggling, we need to use our talents and gifts to help them out and not worry about how it will affect us. It is showing selfless love. And God will bless abundantly those who show selfless love in anyway.

The choice, ultimately, is to decide all this. Everything is at stake. Life is at stake.