Today, we can see in God’s merciful messages that which parallels the messages in the days of Noah. The Bible says, “As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be in the last days.” (Luke 17:26.)
The first angel’s message calls us to forsake worldly-mindedness and to dedicate our lives fully to the God of heaven. (See Revelation 14:6, 7.)
The area of flight indicates the worldwide nature of the three angels’ work and the proclamation of their messages to the sight and hearing of all mankind. “I [Ellen White] saw that God was in the proclamation of the time in 1843. It was his design to arouse the people, and bring them to a testing point where they should decide [for or against the truth].” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 133. That is why He sent the Three Angels’ Messages. Every believer is called to have a personal part in the worldwide witness of the Breath of Life.
The first angel’s message is the very foundation of the Advent faith. Therefore, it cannot be ignored. It is designed to prepare men and women to make the proper choice and to stand firm in the time of crisis. The time is now to prepare our lives for what is ahead and to look forward to His glorious coming.
Today, God is making His final appeal through the Three Angels’ Messages—there will not be another appeal. “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.” Revelation 14:6, 7. We are to give God reverence and loyalty and give full surrender to His will.
We are living in a wretched and sordid condition because of our unbelief, worldliness, unconsecrated lives, and strife that have kept us in this world of sin for so many years. It is time to educate our minds and thoughts to believe in God’s Word and to prepare for the future trials ahead.
We are encouraged to remain firm in our beliefs, allowing nothing to distort us. “When the testing time shall come, those who have made God’s word their rule of life will be revealed. In summer there is no noticeable difference between evergreens and other trees; but when the blasts of winter come, the evergreens remain unchanged, while other trees are stripped of their foliage. So the falsehearted professor may not now be distinguished from the real Christian, but the time is just upon us when the difference will be apparent. Let opposition arise, let bigotry and intolerance again bear sway, let persecution be kindled, and the halfhearted and hypocritical will waver and yield the faith; but the true Christian will stand firm as a rock, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, than in days of prosperity.” The Great Controversy, 602. Our finite minds can never comprehend what Christ has in store for us—it is beyond our imagination.
Jesus died to make atonement for our sins and rose triumphantly from the grave to bring the good news of our salvation. Salvation is a continuous holding fast to the Truth and the absolute conviction of believing which leads to faith. Hebrews 2:17 calls Jesus a “faithful High Priest.”
Several examples in the Bible provide us with a clear picture of what God’s last day people will be like.
“Elijah was a type of the saints who will be living on the earth at the time of the second advent of Christ.” Prophets and Kings, 227.
Paul was an example of true repentance—turning away from persecutor to disciple, a complete reversal. “He himself [Paul], when he saw his true condition, exercised repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 255. He was not able to completely forget the past. He was bothered by it, but it humbled him, and what he achieved thereafter he attributed to God’s amazing grace and power, and what he accomplished far exceeded any other prophet. No one man carried more impressive credentials than the direct authorization Paul had as an apostle. Paul was not one of the twelve, but Christ directly called him.
The children of Israel are also an example to us of how God’s last day people should not be. We should not forget the 40 years of Israel pursuant to disobedience, unbelief, and rebellion that shut out Israel from the Promised Land of Canaan. Although they were left out as a nation and experienced the judgment, they were not left out as individuals.
We who remain faithful and true to our Lord and Saviour can look forward to our salvation. Remember, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7.
In talking with His disciples before His crucifixion and ascent to heaven, Christ encouraged them with these words: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.” John 14:1–3. He forewarned them of His departure from them, so that when it occurred, their faith would be strengthened. (See verse 29.) While Jesus was building a mansion for them in heaven, they were to build characters after the Divine similitude, as they were taught by the Holy Ghost. (See verse 26.)
The Bible indicates that as we draw nearer to the end of this earth’s history our loyalty to God will become more pronounced and more important, as found in Revelation 14. Therein lies the anchor to God’s people in the last days—our Anchor, Jesus Christ.
The Lord in His great mercy sent this precious message to His people in the last days. Because there will not be another, it must be brought to the sight and hearing of all people. In these last messages it is our duty to ascertain and acknowledge the full meaning of the three messages as revealed in Revelation 14:6–12, for therein lies the perfect chain of truth.
Many have seen the perfect chain of truth in the Three Angels’ Messages and gladly received them in their order, followed Jesus by faith, and have been kept from being swept away by Satan’s delusions. This glorious gospel will continue as long as there are men and women to be saved. There are still men and women yet to be saved, and that is why our Saviour has not come.
God in His mercy is giving extra time for people to make their most important and final decision in accepting truth. He does not want anyone to be left out; that is how important everyone is to God. God wants to give everyone a fair chance to inherit eternal life.
The year 1844 marks the beginning of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and the work of judgment. The reference here is not to execute the judgment of Christ—that is yet to come when all will receive their reward. “Before the final reward is given, it must be decided who are fitted to share the inheritance of the righteous. This decision must be made prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven; for when He comes, His reward is with Him, ‘to give every man according as his work shall be.’ Revelation 22:12. Before His coming, then, the character of every man’s work will have been determined, and to every one of Christ’s followers the reward will have been apportioned according to his deeds.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310.
The Three Angels’ Messages precede the Second Coming of Christ and reveal that the day of salvation has not passed. There is still time to turn to God and escape the coming wrath.
The Three Angels’ Messages are designed to prepare a people to stand through the time of crisis just before the second coming of Christ.
Remember! These messages are the very foundation of our faith and our belief!
What parallels can we learn or draw from the story of Noah that are applicable to our time and the Three Angels’ Messages?
Noah’s experience sets a noble example for Christians who are living in these end times and who are preparing themselves for translation to heaven and a new and glorious home in the new earth.
The world conditions at the time of Noah were almost a universal apostasy.
What message did God give the people at that time? We are told that Noah preached for 120 years giving warnings, but to no avail.
“Inspiration declares that when the antediluvians rejected Noah’s words, the Spirit of God ceased to strive with them. So when men now despise the warnings which God in mercy sends them, his Spirit after a time ceases to arouse conviction in their hearts. God gives light to be cherished and obeyed, not to be despised and rejected. The light which he sends becomes darkness to those who disregard it. When the Spirit of God ceases to impress the truth upon the hearts of men, all hearing is vain, and all preaching also is vain.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 232.
There were ten generations of increased corruption that reached a climax in Noah’s day. Even God’s longsuffering had to end. The Divine influence was complete; hence, the Spirit of God had to be withdrawn.
Man cannot without impunity (punishment) reject the warnings which God in His mercy sends them. A message was sent from heaven to the world in Noah’s day. The people rejected it, and because they rejected the warning, the Spirit of God was withdrawn. His notice of Divine intent was to destroy the earth. God announced His plan through Noah.
Noah lived a good life that was in harmony with God’s will. He was a just man “perfect in his ways.” Genesis 6:9. He stood fearlessly and steadfastly against vile mockery while building the ark as God had instructed him to do.
He was not void of judgment or willpower but was strong in conviction and action. This testifies to the consistency of his religion amid the miasma (defilement) of iniquity in which he lived. To be sure, he was of pure descent in that respect, distinct from his contemporaries—men who were of the promiscuous type between the godly and the ungodly.
Not much is known of Noah till he was 500 years old. The Bible tells us that he begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Noah’s life resembled that of his pious ancestors. He walked with God and lived a life in harmony with God’s will. (Genesis 6:9, 10.)
God instructed Noah to build an ark of gopher wood, wood that was light and durable for building a vessel. It was pitch-coated inside and out. There were rooms on all three floors with a window on top. Genesis 6:15 tells us it was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high (at 18 inches to the cubit). It was larger than the largest British Man-of-War ship. However, the ark had no mast, sail, or rudder to guide it.
And Noah walked with the Lord.
“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.” Revelation 14:8. Who once was pure has become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days.
The first angel continues his ministry when the second angel joins him. In this sense, the second angel’s message accompanies that of the first angel.
“The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped [photographed] in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate. …
“Here is the work going on, measuring the temple and its worshipers to see who will stand in the last day. [See Revelation 11:1.]” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 972.
We must remember to present ourselves as servants of the living God, because we are being measured.
It is believed that Nimrod founded Babylon. (See Genesis 10:8–12.) From the beginning, the city was emblematic of disbelief in the true God and defiance of His will. Its towers were a monument of apostasy, a citadel of rebellion against God.
The prophet Isaiah identifies Lucifer as the invisible king of Babylon. Prophesying of Him during the millenium, he says: “It shall come to pass in the day that Jehovah shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy trouble, and from the hard service wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon [here representing Satan], and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! … Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers; that smote the peoples in wrath with a continual stroke, that ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained.” Isaiah 14:3–6, r.v. (See The Great Controversy, 660.) In fact, it would appear that Satan designed to make Babylon the center of his master plan in order to control the human race, even as God proposed to work through the city of Jerusalem. These two cities typified the forces of evil and good in the world. Had God not intervened, Babylon would have succeeded in banishing righteousness from the earth. For this reason, God saw fit to destroy the tower of Babel and to scatter its builders. (Genesis 11:3–9.)
Ever since the fall of ancient Babylon, Satan has sought, through one world power after another, to control the world. Without a doubt, Satan’s most audacious and nearly complete success has been through the papacy during the Middle Ages. But God intervened again, and nations have never been able to cleave together, because they were confounded and confused.
Both literal and mystical Babylon have been recognized as traditional enemies of God’s truth and people.
This message is the last that will ever be given to the world, and it will accomplish its work. “Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6–12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that ‘believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’ (II Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: ‘Come out of her, My people’ (Revelation 18:4).” The Great Controversy, 390. “Men cannot with impunity reject the warnings that God in mercy sends them. From those who persist in turning from these warnings, God withdraws His Spirit, leaving them to the deceptions that they love.” The Acts of the Apostles, 266.
As the ministration of Jesus closed in the Holy Place and he passed into the Holiest, He stood before the Ark of the Covenant containing the Law of God, and He sent another mighty angel with a parchment placed in his hands. As he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man.
This message was designed to put the children of God on their guard, showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. 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, they must hold fast to the truth.
“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.” Revelation 14:9–11.
The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Verse 12.
Ken Benjaminsen is a retired hospital administrator living in La Crescent, Minnesota. E-mails may be sent to him at: email@example.com.