Sabbath, May 5, 2007
1. What do these three angels represent?
Revelation 14:6-12 And 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, Saying 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. 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. And 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, The 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: And 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. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
“The three angels are represented as flying in midheaven and proclaiming their message to every nation and tongue (ch. 14:6). These three messages constitute God’s last invitation to all men to accept the everlasting gospel and His final warning against the wine of Babylon and the judgments soon to be visited upon Babylon. Immediately following the proclamation of these messages, the judgments of God fall upon Babylon and upon all who have identified their fortunes with hers, and Christ comes in the clouds of heaven.” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia,
2. What opinion did Reformers of the sixteenth century have about these three angels?
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
“In the post-Reformation times these three angels were occasionally interpreted as representing certain Reformers or pre- or post-Reformation preachers,….” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia, Commentary Reference
3. Whom do these angels symbolize according to some expositors of the nineteenth century?
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
“… but in the ‘Advent Awakening’– the great surge of interest in the Second Advent in the early nineteenth century – there was widespread contemporary application of these symbols. Many of the British expositors of prophecy saw the first angel fulfilled in the new movements for the worldwide spread of the gospel (Bible and mission societies), and especially in their own proclamation of the nearness of the Advent – the ‘hour of his judgment.’ Some included the second and third messages, but others considered these still future.” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia, Commentary Reference Series, vol. 10, p. 1484.
IN THE TIME OF THE MILLERITES
4. How did the Millerites understand these three messages?
Jude 14:15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
“In America the people who called themselves Adventists, and who were called Millerites by others, regarded themselves as giving the message of the first angel—‘The hour of his judgment is come.’ Some of them declared that they were sounding the second message, ‘Babylon is fallen,’ in 1844, at the time when many of them left or were expelled from the churches that were denouncing them.” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia, Commentary Reference Series, vol. 10, p. 1484.
IN THE TIME OF THE EARLY SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
5. What interpretation was given by the early Seventh-day Adventists concerning these three messages?
Daniel 7:9-11, 13, 14 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.… I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
1 John 2:1, 2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
“The SDA pioneers believed that the Millerites and others had given the first two angels’ messages, but that they themselves were giving the third.” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia, Commentary Reference Series, vol. 10, p. 1484.
6. What was the final explanation given by the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers about these three messages?
Leviticus 16:16, 18, 20, 21 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.…And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about….And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:. And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
“James White summarized the three stages thus: The first angel’s message was the proclamation to the church and to the world, to gather out a people prepared for the near Second Advent. When the churches in general shut their doors to this message, the way was prepared for the second–Babylon is fallen–and the call to ‘come out.’
“With the third angel’s warning against the worship of the beast and his image, and the characterization of the last-day ‘saints’ as those who ‘keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus’ (Revelation 14:12) as opposed to the mark of the beast, the SDA pioneers linked the fourth commandment, the Sabbath. Joseph Bates, in the 1847 edition of his booklet The Seventh Day Sabbath, (p. 59), made this identification of the third angel’s message, the final message. James White urged that ‘we must seek a full and free pardon of all our transgressions and errors, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, now while He pleads His blood before the Father.’ (Present Truth, 1:69, April,1850).
“As the SDA teaching developed, the third angel’s message came to be taught as not only climaxing but also including the threefold message. The SDA mission to the world is to give the everlasting gospel to ‘every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,’ calling them to worship God as the Creator, for the hour of His judgment is come (now, in the sense of the investigative judgment); to come out of the Babylon of confusion and false systems; and, in the final test, to stand firm against the worship of the beast and on the full Christian platform of ‘the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:12.” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia, Commentary Reference Series, vol. 10, p. 1484.