Reading Time: 8 mins
FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part XXXI
The Third Angel and the Fourth Angel
See Revelation 14: 6-12. We begin with the “third angel” and the nature of his work and message. The identity and work of the “fourth angel” follows later in this short series.
Here’s an overview (a review for some): The final loud cry of the Revelation 18 “fourth angel” joins the third angel of Revelation 14, at the right time, whose message and work has been “swelling,” meaning, increasing in scope and magnitude since its start even as the midnight cry, in fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins, joined the second angel’s message in the summer of 1844, and “like a tidal wave the movement swept over the land.” That “great power” for the final loud cry, the final movement, is the promised latter rain which will be “ten times more powerful than the midnight cry.” Only thus and then will “the whole earth be lightened with his glory.” “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4: 6, K.J.V.
Third angel represents a people given special warning for the world. – It definitely is not a “peace-and safety” message. See 1 Thess. 5: 3.
“I was shown that if the true Sabbath had always been kept, there would never have been an infidel or an atheist. The observance of the Sabbath would have preserved the world from idolatry. The fourth commandment has been trampled upon; therefore we are called upon to repair the breach in the law, and plead for the downtrodden Sabbath. The man of sin who exalted himself above God, and thought to change times and laws [Dan. 7: 25; cf.2 Thess. 2; 5; Rev. 13: 5-7], brought about the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. In doping this he made a breach in the law of God.
Just prior to the great day of God, a message is sent forth to warn the people to come back to their allegiance to the law of God which antichrist has broken down. By precept and example, attention must be called to the breach in the law. I was shown that the third angel, proclaiming the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, represents the people who receive this message and raise the voice of warning to the world, to keep the commandments of God as apple of the eye, and that in response to this warning man would embrace the Sabbath of the Lord.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 77.
When was the Sabbath breached: how and by whom? It had its earliest beginnings in the apostasies of ancient Israel in Baal worship and grew from then on.
“Mithraism, and outwardly refined sun worship, invaded the Roman Empire in B.C. 67, and made its way for itself by gathering under its wing all the gods of Rome, so that ‘in the middle of the third century [A.D.] Mithraism seemed on the verge of becoming the universal religion.’- Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. XVIII, art. “Mithras,” p. 624, 11th edition, 1911.
The Rev. William Frederick likewise states the same historic fact, calling Sunday-keepers as “Gentiles”: “The Gentiles were an idolatrous people who worshipped the sun, and Sunday was their most sacred day. Now, in order to reach the people in this new field, it seems but natural, as well as necessary, to make Sunday the rest day of the Church.
At this time it was necessary for the church to either adopt the Gentile’s day or else have the Gentiles change their day. To change the Gentiles’ day would have been an offense and stumbling block to them. The Church could naturally reach them better by keeping their day. There was no need in causing an unnecessary offence by dishonoring their [the Gentiles’] day.”- “Sunday and the Christian Sabbath,” pp. 169, 170; quoted in Signs of the Times, Sept. 6, 1927.
“Thomas Morer makes a similar acknowledgement. He says: ‘Sunday being the day on which Gentiles solemnly adored that planet, and called it Sunday, . . . the Christians thought fit to keep the same day and the same name of it, that they might not appear causelessly peevish, and by that means hinder the conversion of the Gentiles, and bring a greater prejudice than might be otherwise taken against the gospel.”—“Dialogues on the Lord’s Day,” p. 23. London: 1701.
“The North British Review gives the following reasons for the Christians’ adopting the heathen Sunday: ‘That very day was the Sunday of their heathen neighbors and respective countrymen, and patriotism gladly united with expediency in making it at once their Lord’s Day and their Sabbath . . . That primitive church, in fact, was shut up to the adoption of the Sunday,—until it became established and supreme, when it was too late to make another alteration.” – Vol. XVIII, p. 409. Edinburgh: Feb., 1853.
Ecumenical Council of Trent Confirms Change of Sabbath
“The Council of Trent (Latin: Concilium Tridentinum) was the 16th century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the Church’s most important councils and convened in Trent between Dec. 15, 1545, and December 4, 1563. It issues condemnations on what it defined as Protestant heresies and defined Church teachings concerning Scripture and Tradition, Original Sin, Justification, the Eucharist in Holy Mass, salvation, the sacraments, and the veneration of saints.
Because of the Archbishop Del Fosso’s speech on January 18, 1562 (see pages 73, 74 of this book for the complete story), it declared that the Church’s change of the Bible Sabbath to Sunday was the basis of its authority and the reason it could place Roman Catholic Tradition (the sayings of popes and councils) as superior to the teachings of the Bible. This was a major decision; and it was based on the fact that the Church of Rome has changed the Sabbath to Sunday and Protestants accepted it.” – The Editor, Supplementary material, caption, The Great Controversy, p. 472. Harvestime Books, P.O. Box 300, Altamont, TN 37301.
What “flying in the midst of heaven” means. “The third angel is represented as flying in the midst of heaven, showing that the message is to go throughout the length and breadth of the earth. It is the most solemn message ever given to mortals.” – E. G. White, Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students, p. 500.
Here is part of the third angel’s comprehensive warning messages that are not being adequately emphasized because they are not thoroughly studied (for whatever reasons that cannot be pled as an excuse in the judgment), thus are not reflected in the lives of those whom God designated as “watchmen and light-bearers” to a world that plunging deeper and deeper into moral and spiritual darkness. The prophet described it as: “gross darkness covers the world.”____ . But let this message be given as it should and how quickly the final events will take place!
There are three ways Biblical probation closes:
(1) at death and no mortal knows precisely when, how, and where only that “the living know they will die but the dead know not anything.” Eccl. 9: 5. It can be tonight.
(2) when one persistently rejects heaven’s merciful invitation to repent sent through His messengers, he eventually reaches “the point of no remedy” (2 Chron. 36: 16) and finally commits the unpardonable sin. Matt. 12: 31, 32.
(3) at earth’s close of probation when Christ casts down His censer as our High Priest and Mediator, concluding His closing work of atonement and pre-advent judgment in the most holy that transpired during the antitypical Day of Atonement begun 1844. It is at this time, which no man knows but the Godhead, that the Holy Spirit fully withdraws from the earth. His designated work on earth is finished as well. Only then do the seven last plagues begin to fall successively.
Thus: “We have no time to lose. We know not how soon our probation may close. Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. Christ is soon to come. The angels of God are seeking to attract us from ourselves and from earthly things. Let these angels labor in vain. When Jesus rises up in the most holy place, lays off His mediatorial robes, and clothes Himself with the garments of His vengeance [Isa. 59: 17; Rom. 12: 19; 2 Thess. 1: 8,9], the mandate will go forth, ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is filthy let him be filthy still, and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still.” [Rev. 22: 11]. And, ‘behold, I come quickly [once probation ends]; and My reward is with Me, to give every man as his work shall be.’ [Rev. 22: 12-14].
A storm is coming relentless in its fury. Are we prepared to meet it? We need not say, The perils of the last days are soon to come upon us. Already they have come. We need now the sword of the Lord [Heb. 4: 11-13] to cut to the very soul and marrow of fleshly lusts, appetites, and passions. Minds that have been given up to loose thoughts need to change . . . . .The thoughts must be centered upon God. Now is the time to put forth earnest efforts to overcome the natural tendencies of the carnal heart. Our efforts, our self-denial, our perseverance, must be proportionate to the infinite value of the object of which we are in pursuit. Only by overcoming as Christ overcame shall we win the crown [called] eternal life.
We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are too often given to comparatively insignificant things.”- E. G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 8, pp. 314-316/With God at Dawn, p. 113.
How urgent is the Third Angel’s Message for this time?
See Hebrews 5; 12-14; 6: 1-6. “It is too late in the day to feed with milk. If souls a month or two old in the truth, who are about to enter the time of trouble such as never was [Dan. 12: 1,2], cannot hear all the straight truth, or endure the strong meat of the straightness of the way, how will they stand in the day of the battle? Truths that we have been years learning must be learned in a few months by those who now embrace the third angel’s message. There is no need of milk after souls are convinced of the truth. As soon as the conviction of the truth is yielded to and the heart willing, the truth should have its effect; the truth will work like leaven and purify and purge away the passions of the natural heart.
“It is a disgrace for those who have been in the truth for years to talk of feeding souls who have been months in the truth, upon milk. [Why a disgrace?] It shows they know little of the leadings of the Spirit of the Lord, and realize not the time we are living in. Those who embrace the truth now will have to step fast. There will have to be a breaking up of the heart before the Lord, a rending of the heart, and not the garment.” – Ibid, MS No. 1, Feb. 12, 1854/ 1 MR pp. 33-34.
Ezekiel’s message is part of the Third Angel’s Message. See Ezekiel 3: 17-21; 33: 7-9. The solemn message and its accompanying empowerment (vs 8-10) given to Ezekiel is the same given to all who will accept the three angels’ messages.
“The confession of faith made by saints and martyrs was recorded for the benefit of succeeding generations. Those living examples of holiness and steadfast integrity have come down to inspire courage in those who are now called to stand for witnesses for God. They received grace and truth, not for themselves alone, but that, through them, the knowledge of God might enlighten the earth. Has God given light to His servants in this generation? Then they should let it shine forth to the world.
Anciently the Lord declared to one who spoke in His name: ‘The house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto Me.’ Nevertheless He said: ‘Thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear, or they will forbear.’ Eze. 3: 7; 2:7. To the servant of God at this time is the command addressed: ‘Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.’
So far as his opportunities extend, everyone who has received the light of truth is under the same solemn and fearful responsibility as was the prophet of Israel, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying: ‘Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me.
When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.’ Ezekiel 33: 7-19, K.J.V.
The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute.”- Ibid, Great Controversy (1911 ed), pp. 459, 460. (To be continued next week)