Unity upon the Three Angels’ Messages – Pt 3
The First Angel
When the fullness of time came, God ordained that a message should be proclaimed which would prepare His people for the last phase of Christ’s heavenly ministry on our behalf – the blotting out of sins, also known as the investigative judgement and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.
Accordingly, in different lands simultaneously, leading up to the end of the 2300 prophetic days (or 2300 literal years) which culminated on October 22, 1844, the message of Daniel 8:14 was heralded – “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Dan. 8.14.
These prophetic days (one literal year for each prophetic day – Num. 14:34) extended from the autumn of the year 457 BC, when the command of Artaxerxes to “restore and to build Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:25) went into effect.
Fulfilling the symbolic prophecy of the first of three angels flying “in the midst of heaven” (Rev.14:6, 7), the Advent movement (as the messengers were collectively called) proclaimed that the “hour” of God’s judgement had come. True to the connotation of the prophetic symbol, the message was carried far and wide.
“Like a tidal wave the movement swept over the land. Prom city to city, from village to village, and into remote country places it went, until the waiting people of God were fully aroused. Fanaticism disappeared before this proclamation like early frost before the rising sun. Believers saw their doubt and perplexity removed, and hope and courage animated their hearts.” – White, Ellen G., The Great Controversy, p. 400.
Notwithstanding the glory that characterized the Advent movement during the days leading up to the commencement of the investigative judgement in 1844, the early stages of this very important work of Christ found only a little company focusing their faith in the direction of this final work of atonement.
“The first angel’s message of Revelation 14, announcing the hour of God’s judgement and calling upon men to fear and worship Him, was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences of the world and arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding. In this message, God had sent to the church a warning, which, had it been accepted, would have corrected the evils that were shutting them away from Him . . . . . .
“But the churches generally did not accept the warning . . . . . . The message which God had sent for the testing and purification of the church revealed all to surely how great was the number who had set their affections on this world rather than upon Christ. The ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth.
“In refusing the warning of the first angel, they rejected the means which Heaven had provided for their restoration. They spurned the gracious messenger that would have corrected the evils which separated them from God, and with greater eagerness they turned to seek the friendship of the world. Here was the cause of that fearful condition of worldliness, backsliding, and spiritual death which existed in the churches in 1844.”
– White, Ellen G., The Great Controversy, p. 379, 380.
The Second Angel
As a result of the churches rejecting the special message that was sent from heaven to prepare them for the investigative judgement, the second angel’s message (Rev. 14:8) became applicable to them.
“The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844, and it then had a more direct application to the churches of the United States, where the warning of the judgement had been most widely proclaimed and most generally rejected, and where the declension in the churches had been most rapid. But the message of the second angel did not reach its complete fulfillment in 1844. The churches then experienced a moral fall, in consequence of their refusal of the light of the advent message; but that fall was not complete. As they have continued to reject the special truths for this time they have fallen lower and lower. Not yet, however can it be said that “Babylon is fallen . . . . . . because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” She has not yet made all nations do this. The spirit of world conforming and indifference to the testing truths for our time exists and has been gaining ground in churches of the Protestant faith in all the countries of Christendom; and these churches are included in the solemn and terrible denunciation of the second angel. But the work of apostasy has not yet reached its culmination.
“The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord, Satan will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness;” and they that “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” will be left to receive “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. Not until this condition shall be reached, and the union of the church with the world shall be fully accomplished throughout Christendom, will the fall of Babylon be complete. The change is a progressive one, and the perfect fulfillment of Revelation 14:8 is yet future.”
– White, Ellen G., The Great Controversy, p. 389, 390.
The Third Angel
While the churches that existed in 1844 rejected the judgement hour message and experienced a moral fall, the few persons who accepted the message received further light. They were shown the fact that the phase of Christ’s heavenly ministry which began in 1844 was the reality to which the ancient Jewish Day of Atonement pointed; that it was the judgement during which the sins of God’s professed people would be forever blotted out or otherwise, their names blotted from God’s book of life.
The little company was further blessed with the Spirit of Prophecy which was given to one of their number, Ellen Gould White (nee Harmon). They were further awakened to the breach that was created in God’s holy law by unsanctified human hands which foisted on the world a spurious sabbath in place of God’s holy Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, which is the eternal sign that He is the creator and the One who sanctifies His people (Ex. 20:8-11 ; Eze. 20:12,20). This awakening brought to them the realization that they were specially called by God and peculiarly denominated by Him as messengers who had a special responsibility to prepare for Him a people who could stand in the judgement. In order to accomplish this task, it would be a significant part of their mission to point men and women to the perfect law of God in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary (Rev. 11:19; 2 Chron. 5:10) which is the standard by which all persons would be judged (James 2:10-12).
A transcript of God’s law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai and right in the bosom of that law was the fourth commandment which enjoined the observance of the seventh day Sabbath as holy unto the Lord. This commandment above all the others was being disregarded by a world which had almost entirely been deceived into accepting the spurious sabbath of human invention.
Hence, it would be the responsibility of each one to stand as a “repairer of the breach” (Isa. 58:12) by drawing attention, particularly, to the sabbath of the Lord as enjoined by the fourth commandment. This work was represented prophetically as that of the third angel (Rev. 14:9-12).
“As foretold in the Scriptures, the ministration of Christ in the most holy place began at the termination of the prophetic days in 1844. To this time apply the words of the Revelator, “The temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” The ark of God’s testament is in the second apartment of the sanctuary. As Christ entered there, to minister in the sinner’s behalf, the inner temple was opened, and the ark of God was brought to view. To those who by faith beheld the Saviour in his work of intercession, God’s majesty and power were revealed. As the train of his glory filled the temple, light from the holy of holies was shed upon his waiting people on the earth.
“They had by faith followed their High Priest from the holy to the most holy, and they saw him pleading his blood before the ark of God. Within that sacred ark is the Father’s law, the same that was spoken by God himself amid the thunders of Sinai, and written with his own finger on tables of stone. Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or tittle has been changed. While God gave to Moses a copy of his law, he preserved the great original in the sanctuary above. Tracing down its holy precepts, the seekers for truth found, in the very bosom of the decalogue, the fourth commandment, as it was first proclaimed: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor, thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
“The spirit of God impressed the hearts of these students of his word. The conviction was urged upon them, that they had ignorantly transgressed the fourth commandment by disregarding the Creator’s rest-day. They began to examine the reasons for observing the first day of the week instead of the day which God had sanctified. They could find no evidence in the Scriptures that the fourth commandment had been abolished, or that the Sabbath had been changed; the blessing which first hallowed the seventh day had never been removed. They had been honestly seeking to know and do God’s will, and now, as they saw themselves transgressors of his law, sorrow filled their hearts. They at once evinced their loyalty to God by keeping his Sabbath holy.
“Many and earnest were the efforts made to overthrow their faith. None could fail to see that if the earthly sanctuary was a figure or pattern of the heavenly, the law deposited in the ark on earth was an exact transcript of the law in the ark in Heaven, and that an acceptance of the truth concerning the heavenly sanctuary involved an acknowledgement of the claims of God’s law, and the obligation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Here was the secret of the bitter and determined opposition to the harmonious exposition of the Scriptures that brought to view the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary . . . . . . Christ had opened the door, or ministration, of the most holy place, light was shining from that open door of the sanctuary in heaven, and the fourth commandment was shown to be included in the law within the ark; what God had established, no man could overthrow.
“Those who had accepted the light concerning the mediation of Christ and the perpetuity of the law of God, found that these were the truths brought to view in the third message.”
– White, Ellen G., The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 273-275.
“As the ministration of Jesus closed in the Holy place, and he passed into the Holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, he sent another mighty angel to earth with the third message. He placed a parchment in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to earth in majesty and power, he proclaimed a fearful warning, the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, and show them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, yet they must hold fast the truth. The third angel closes his message with these words, Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
– White, Ellen G., Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, p. 162.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
For further information, please visit Patience of the Saints at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/
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