We have nothing to fear for the future,
except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us,
and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 196. This quotation has
been the theme of the last two Bible studies (LandMarks
July 2011, August 2011). The subject we have been contemplating is the Three
Angels’ Messages. So far we have looked at the first two angels, and in this
article we will look at the third angel’s message. “The unlearned as well as
the educated are to comprehend the truths of the third angel’s message, and
they must be taught in simplicity.” Medical Ministry, 299. With this in mind, let us begin.
“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.” Revelation 14:9–12.
There are five characteristics of the message
to be noted:
third angel followed them
worship of the beast and his image
the mark of the beast
the wrath of God
patience of the saints
Because this message is very broad, here we
will study only the last aspect, that which has to do with the patience of the
saints (Revelation 14:12). As for the first description, whom
the third angel followed, we have already touched upon this over the first two
parts. The third angel follows the first and second angels of Revelation 14.
The three are united in proclaiming the last message of mercy to a perishing
world. In this study we will reflect upon the solution rather than the problem
and more upon the protagonist than the antagonist.
Recall the great disappointment we studied in
part two (LandMarks, August 2011). The early
Adventist Christians believed that the earth was the sanctuary and that the
year 1844 was the end of the 2,300 symbolic days. Therefore, they thought that
Jesus was going to return in 1844 and bring an end to sin. But after the
passing of October 22, 1844, the Adventist believers became greatly
disappointed when Jesus did not return to this earth to cleanse it as they
expected. At the time, these believers needed great patience. One can only
imagine the pain they felt not only by the disappointment, but also by the
scorn, ridicule, and mocking they received from the whole world. Without
patience they could have easily lost their souls, but they exhibited the
patience of the saints. Patience is for all who keep the commandments of God
and the faith of Jesus. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that
keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. In
order to do this, there is only one place in the entire universe where we must
abide; there is only one place wherein we can become saints.
“Jesus did not come to the earth as the
waiting, joyful company expected, to cleanse the sanctuary by purifying the
earth by fire. I saw that they were correct in their reckoning of the prophetic
periods; prophetic time closed in 1844, and Jesus entered the Most Holy Place
to cleanse the sanctuary at the ending of the days. …
“He sent His angels to direct their minds
that they might follow Him where He was.” Early Writings, 243, 244. The
third angel was to direct the minds of the believers to where Jesus was,
namely, the Most Holy Place. “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 with a third message to the world.” Ibid., 254. The Most Holy Place is the only place wherein we
can become saints. And what significant articles do we find in there?
“And thou shalt put
the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt
put the testimony that I shall give thee.” Exodus 25:21. Here we learn that the
mercy seat is found above the ark, and the testimony (the ten commandment law)
is found inside the ark. But where is the ark? “And thou shalt
hang up the vail under the taches,
that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail
shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in
the most holy place.” Exodus 26:33, 34. The ark itself
is found in the Most Holy Place of God’s Temple. So, the mercy seat and the ark
of the testimony are the two articles found in the Most Holy Place representing
grace and law.
“Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10. Therefore, in
order for us to keep the commandments of God, we must look into the ark that
contains the commandments, and in order to look into the ark we must first
enter into the Most Holy Place. There is only one way to enter into that sacred
place. “I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones the
way to the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary. As they by faith enter the most
holy, they find Jesus, and hope and joy spring up anew.” Early Writings, 254, 255.
The question must be asked, How do we enter into the Most Holy Place? We enter by faith,
and not just by any faith. Ephesians 4:5 says there is only “One Lord, one
faith, one baptism.” (Emphasis added.) The only faith by which we can enter the
Most Holy Place is the all-sufficient faith of Jesus. Only by this faith can we
enter into the Most Holy where Jesus is and behold the precious law of liberty.
Let’s conclude by examining three characteristics of this faith:
object of our faith is the power of God alone
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in
demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in
the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2:4, 5. And what is
the power of God? “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” I
Corinthians 1:24. Do you have faith in the power of God? Do you believe He can
save you from sin?
Faith must be united with works
“Was not Abraham our father
justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works,
and by works was faith made perfect?” James 2:21, 22. It is not enough to say
we believe; we must show we believe by obedience to present truth. Faith
without works is dead.
Faith enables us to overcome the sin
that is of this world
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4.
“The divine Intercessor presents the
plea that all who have overcome through faith in His blood be forgiven their
transgressions, that they be restored to their Eden home.” The Great Controversy, 484.
Do you want to overcome? If thou
canst believe, all things are possible to him that believes.
Are you praying for victory over sin? Do you
truly believe that God will grant you this request? “True faith lays hold of
and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt. We must send
up our petitions in faith within the second veil and let our faith take hold of
the promised blessing and claim it as ours. We are then to believe that we
receive the blessing, because our faith has hold of it, and according to the
Word it is ours.” Early
Writings, 72. If we have been praying for victory, then we must take
hold of the promised blessing and believe that we have received it. And what
will be the results of such blessing?
“For this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, saith the
Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I
will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people … For I will be
merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I
remember no more.” Hebrews 8:10, 12. Notice, the law of God will be engraved
into our characters, and our sins will never again be remembered.
This is the goal of the New Covenant; this is
character perfection. This is how we “keep the commandments of God, and the
faith of Jesus.” May the three angels help us to reach this standard! In the
meanwhile, remember, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we
shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past
to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 31.
Demario Carter is currently
working as a Bible worker for Steps to Life. He may be contacted by email at: