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.

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