This We Believe (3)
October 30 – November 5, 2022
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.” Revelation 14:6
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 355, 356, 603–607
“The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; but it is a part of the gospel to warn the sinner of the doom that awaits the unbelieving and unrepentant soul.” The Signs of the Times, April 18, 1895
1 PART OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
1.a. What did Jesus say will happen when the gospel has gone to the entire world? Matthew 24:14
Note: “It [the first angel’s message] is declared to be a part of the ‘everlasting gospel;’ and it announces the opening of the judgment. The message of salvation has been preached in all ages; but this message is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come.” The Great Controversy [1888 edition], 355, 356. [Author’s emphasis.]
1.b. What is the first angel’s warning, and how is it to be given? Revelation 14:6, 7 (compare Revelation 22:12)
Note: “[Revelation 22:12 quoted.] It is this work of judgment, immediately preceding the second advent, that is announced in the first angel’s message of Revelation 14:7.” The Great Controversy, 352
2 THE ONLY OBJECT OF WORSHIP
2.a. Who is the only object of worship? Exodus 20:4–6? What does the second commandment forbid? Revelation 19:10; 22:8, 9
Note: “God is to be the subject of thought, the object of worship; and anything that attracts the mind from the solemn, sacred service is an offence to Him.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 499
“The second commandment forbids the worship of the true God by images or similitudes. Many heathen nations claimed that their images were mere figures or symbols by which the Deity was worshiped, but God has declared such worship to be sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 306
2.b. By keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, what are we acknowledging about true worship? Exodus 20:8–11; Revelation 14:7, last part
Note: “In the fourth commandment, God is revealed as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and is thereby distinguished from all false gods. It was as a memorial of the work of creation that the seventh day was sanctified as a rest day for man. It was designed to keep the living God ever before the minds of men as the source of being and the object of reverence and worship.” The Great Controversy, 54
“ ‘The Sabbath … lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten.’ (J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27). It was to keep this truth ever before the minds of men, that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden; and so long as the fact that He is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man’s thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The keeping of the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to the true God … that the message which commands men to worship God and keep His commandments will especially call upon them to keep the fourth commandment.” Ibid., 437, 438
3 BABYLON IS FALLEN
3.a. What does the second angel announce, and what is the meaning of his message? Revelation 14:8
Note: “The term ‘Babylon’ is derived from ‘Babel,’ and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion. In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman—a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.” The Great Controversy, 381
“Babylon is said to be ‘the mother of harlots.’ By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt.” Ibid., 382, 383. [Author’s emphasis.]
3.b. When was the second angel’s message proclaimed for the first time, and when will it be repeated? Revelation 18:1–5; Revelation 14:6–8
Note: “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 judgment 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 fulfilment in 1844.” The Great Controversy, 389
“God still has a people in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments these faithful ones must be called out. … Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven. … announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ ” Ibid., 604
“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!’ … And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.’ ” Revelation 18:1, 2, 4
“This scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given.” Ibid., 603
4 THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE
4.a. Against what specific sins does the third angel warn the inhabitants of the earth? Revelation 14:9, 10
Note: “That institution [the Sabbath] which points to God as the Creator is a sign of His rightful authority over the beings He has made. The change of the Sabbath is the sign, or mark, of the authority of the Romish Church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false in place of the true Sabbath, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. …
“In the issue of the great contest, two distinct, opposite classes are developed. One class ‘worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark,’ and thus bring upon themselves the awful judgments threatened by the third angel. The other class, in marked contrast to the world, ‘keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:9, 12.” The Story of Redemption, 383
4.b. In order to escape the wrath of God we should heed the warning of the third angel. What or who is the beast, the image of the beast, and what is the mark of the beast? Revelation 13:1–7, 14–16
Note: “ ‘The beast’ mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two horned beast, is the first, or leopardlike beast of Revelation 13—the papacy. The ‘image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.” The Great Controversy, 445
“The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation. …
“The mark of the beast is the opposite of this—the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.” Testimonies, Vol. 8, 117
“John was called to behold a people distinct from those who worship the beast or his image by keeping the first day of the week. The observance of this day is the mark of the beast.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 133
5 THE RESULT OF THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE
5.a. As the third angel concludes his warning, what is declared about God’s people? Revelation 14:12
Note: “The third angel’s message is the proclamation of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. …
“ ‘The faith of Jesus.’ It is talked of, but not understood. What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the third angel’s message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. And faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus. …
“Christ ‘was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5). ‘Saved by the blood of Jesus Christ,’ will be our only hope for time and our song throughout eternity.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 172, 173
5.b. Where did the apostle John see those that have overcome the beast, his image, and have not received the mark of the beast? Revelation 15:2, 3; 14:1–3
Note: “Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire—so resplendent is it with the glory of God—are gathered the company that have ‘gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.’ With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, ‘having the harps of God,’ they stand, the hundred and forty and four thousand.” The Great Controversy, 648
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How is the everlasting gospel deeper than most people realize?
2 Why is the day on which we spiritually rest so important to God?
3 What constitutes spiritual Babylon in the last days?
4 Why do people need to understand the third angel’s message?
5 What reveals the great victory of those who accept this vital truth?
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