The Three Angels’ Message|
by E.H. Jack Sequeira
Please turn your Bibles to Revelation 14. We are beginning a new series for the next six studies. Beginning today, we are going to look in some detail at the Three Angels’ Message which really is an extension of what we have been studying for the last quarter, the Laodicean message. The Laodicean message is a call of Christ to the last generation of Christians to repent, to turn from self-righteousness to Christs righteousness.
God wants a people that he can seal, that he can expose to the world and say, Here are my people. Those that are sealed we saw in the last two studies are the 144,000, and we discovered that the message that will produce such a people is the Three Angels’ Message. First I would like to look in a general way at what the Three Angels’ Message is all about and then we will go on in detail from next session onwards.
In Revelation 14, remember, verse 5 describes the 144,000. Then verses 6-12 is the Three Angels’ Message that will produce such a people. Now the first thing I would like to say is that these are not three messages; they are one message, but in three settings. Because you see the word followed in verse 8, and the word followed in verse 9 in the Greek can mean to accompany or to join. For example, if I am going to Marvedin I go in my car and at Pasco, the pastor of the Pasco church joins me, and then we go up to Colfax, and then the pastor there joins me and together we all go to Marvedin.
The first angel has in his hands the everlasting gospel, the second angel joins that first angel, and the third angel then joins them both. Each angel preaches the everlasting gospel but from a different view point. And were going to look at the Three Angels Message from three different settings, in three different contexts, but the same message.
Okay, now with this introduction, what is the Three Angels’ Message? Well, the Three Angels’ Message is introduced in verse 6. Well cover verses 6 and 7 in more detail next, but Im just giving you a general study today. In verse 6 we see another angel.
I saw another angel [which means there were other angels previous to verse 6 doing different things, but here we see another angel, not the sealing angel, but this is the angel who has in his hands, who...] is in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel.
Now that word everlasting is also the word eternal. It is the same thing. The words everlasting and eternal are the same word. It means, This is the gospel that God has ordained since eternity. The words, the expression “everlasting gospel” means that God has only one way of saving man. It doesnt matter whether you lived in the Old Testament times or the New Testament times, or whether youre a Jew or a Gentile. God is one, and his method of salvation is one. There are many methods in the world. And even the Bible describes more than one method, but only one true method.
For example, the Jews tried to go to heaven by the works of the law. The Bible mentions that. But the Bible doesnt agree with that. I want you to be clear that there must be no other gospel and God is very strong that we do not pervert this gospel. Thats why the Three Angels’ Message is a restoration of the true gospel which was ordained since eternity and which is made available to us now. But let me give you some texts regarding how strong God feels about this. Lets start with 2 Corinthians 11.
Now the Corinthian Christians were mainly Greeks, they were philosophers, they came up with all kinds of ideas and Paul was concerned in this chapter about the gospel he preached to them. 2 Cor.11 and well read verses 3 and 4. Paul is concerned about a problem that he thinks the Corinthian Christians will be easily led into. So he begins in verse 3 by saying:
But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [the English word today would be deceived] as the serpent deceived Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
And folks, today you are hearing all kinds of ideas, and the trouble is that the sincere people are trapped. And Paul is saying, I am scared, Im afraid that you Corinthian Christians will be deceived just like Eve was by Satans subtlety. In other words, he comes to you as an angel of light. Now what is his concern? Verse 4:
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we [referring to the apostles] have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received or another gospel which you have not accepted you might well bear with him. [In other words, its so easy to deceive you folks, and Im concerned.]
There is only one gospel folks. It is the everlasting gospel.
Turn your Bible a few pages to Galatians 1. Now you know the sternest letter Paul ever wrote was Galatians, because here he is not warning, he is rebuking a church that was deceived. And hes really mad. His introduction is very short, normally he has a fairly long introduction but here he says, I am not going to mince my words, Im going to begin with my concern. And what is his concern? Gal.1:6,7:
I marvel [Im shocked, Im surprised] that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Jesus Christ unto another gospel [you have been sidetracked from the truth of the gospel] which is not another [there is no other gospel, there is only one]; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
And then he makes this statement in verses 8 & 9:
But though we, or an angel from heaven [please remember the Three Angels’ Message is an angel from heaven, but that angel must agree with this] preach any other gospel unto you then that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
So please, the Three Angels’ Message is not something different from what the apostles preached. There are some people who think the Three Angels’ Message is different from what Paul preached, but here Paul says, If an angel comes from heaven and preaches another gospel to you than which we [i.e., the apostles] have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Now, for emphasis, Paul repeats himself in verse 9:
As we said before, so say I now [in other words, The apostles have made this clear and I add to it] again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
There is only one gospel, folks. And the Three Angels’ Message calls it the everlasting or the eternal gospel. And some translations which are correct say, The gospel which God has decreed from eternity. And thats a correct translation from the Greek. And let me give you a couple of statements that defends this clearly. Lets start with Ephesians 1:4.
According as he had chosen us in him [that in him is in Christ] before the foundation of the world.
So please remember, when did God decree our redemption? From before the foundation of the world. And if you go to Revelation 13:8:
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
So God ordained our salvation in Christ and Him crucified from the foundation of the world. So this is the everlasting gospel, folks. It is the gospel that God has decreed, planned, and executed in his Son, Jesus Christ, before the foundation of the world. That is the everlasting gospel. Okay, now lets go back to our text, Revelation 14:6. And it says here:
Having the everlasting gospel to preach [to whom?...] to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people.
This is Gods final message, folks. The everlasting gospel, the Three Angels’ Message is Gods final message to a doomed world. When this message is preached, Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled. And what does Matthew 24:14 say? Jesus said:
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached into all the world [And what will then happen? The end will come. But before that it says:] for a witness.
This is the last testimony, the last call of God to a perishing world. So please remember, this is the final message to the world, and so therefore, the message, the everlasting gospel, the Three Angels Message has a two-fold objective:
And if you read 2 Peter 3:9, you will notice the reason why Christ hasnt come is not because He is slack in keeping a promise, like men are.
Now, you need to understand the lifestyle in the Middle East. In the Middle East, a business man is a fool when he tells you Im sorry, my appointments are all booked, I cant do this job for you. In America they do that. You know you go to a garage and you say Can you fix my car? And theyll say, Im sorry, we cant do it; were fully booked. They will never do that in the Middle East. Theyll say Yes!
When can you finish it? I want it in a hurry!
You come next week ... Monday.
And you come Monday and they havent even touched it. Because they were already fully booked. They say Can you wait till next week? And theyll keep you waiting. I think we have a Spanish word, Mañana. Well, thats a Middle Eastern word, as well as African.
And so, is God like that when He says, Im coming soon? Is God bluffing us? Thats the context of what they mean. No, God is not slack in keeping His promise, God is not saying, Mañana. There is a reason why He hasnt come. And 2 Peter 3:9 tells us why. It is because He wants none to perish.
And I know what God is going to say to the Gentile world, the same thing that He told the Jewish nation. He said, How often I tried to bring you under my wings, and you would not. You have forced me to leave your house desolate. Because you have deliberately, persistently, consciously rejected my gift.
By the way, the first Angel is the Three Angels’ Message in the setting of the judgment. Verse 7 brings that out. The hour of Judgment is what?...come. It simply means here that probation is going to close after this message. Wherever the gospel is preached folks, the hour of judgment has come, because wherever the gospel is preached, you and I have to make a decision: either for Christ or against Christ. Before that, God winked at your ignorance, but when the true gospel is preached in clear, undefined terms....
And by the way, whenever the gospel is preached in its clarity, it is always accompanied, and you can see this in the book of Acts, by signs and wonders. Do you know that? With great power they preached Christ giving signs and wonders. In other words, God will accompany this message with a Pentecostal power so that even the scientists can say, This is no longer a hypothesis, it is a fact that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. So even the scientists will have to admit, We cant explain it but it is true! We can see it! And they would have to admit it so that no one is excusable.
Okay, so it is the hour of His judgment. Now the second angel does not add a new message. He joins the first angel and they followed or went with another angel saying, Babylon is fallen. Now were going to go in detail on this but Babylon is fallen because she has apostatized from this gospel. In other words, Babylon is rejecting this message and she is causing everybody to reject it. Notice the statement in verse 8:
And there followed another angel saying, Babylon is fallen, that great city because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Now please, I want you to notice something here. The second angel is using Babylon, the great city, the city of Daniels day, as a model. So I want to give you some homework, I want you to read folks, chapter 4 and 5 of Daniel, just two chapters. Please read chapter 4 and 5 because here Babylon is used as a model, as an example, as a type of how it will take place today; in other words, what took place in Daniels day, will be used as a type. So keep this in mind, were going to come to it. But the basic message of the second angel is Babylon has fallen because she has apostatized, because this is the issue. She has apostatized, no longer ignorantly, but deliberately. After she knew the truth she has apostasized and wants all nations to follow her. This is the message. It is a warning message. In other words, Dont look to Babylon for truth.
Now please, when the second angel speaks of Babylon, it is not talking about denominations. It is possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and be in Babylon. That is why I want you to read chapter 4 and 5 of Daniel because there we will discover this. You see, normally we take the meaning of the word Babylon as it is used from the tower of Babel, in other words, confusion. But actually, you know, if you go to the Middle East and ask the Middle Easterners, what does Babylon, or “Bab El” mean, from which we have the word Babylon. It is made up of two words: bab is gate and el is god, e.g., Elohim is the word for God as the Jews knew Him.
The Middle Easterners are very strong on monotheism. They have one God. The greatest objection that the Muslims have against us as Christians is the doctrine of the Trinity. Three Gods, you know. They accuse us of Polytheism. They have a hard time understanding that we dont believe in three Gods; we believe in one God, but three Persons. And that is a mystery to them. Its a very difficult doctrine to teach to the Muslims. But “Bab el” is man trying to reach the gate of God by his own effort. But anyway, well come to that in detail.
Now, the third angel follows the second angel and thats verse 9, saying with a loud voice; that means speaking very clearly and very strongly, and the message of the third angel is:
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, of course, verse 11 is a very big problem text for us:
...and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever...
You know, its a text that many people use to prove that unbelievers will suffer eternal torment. And well cover that when we come to the third angel.
...and they had no rest, day nor night who worship the beast and his image and whosoever receive the mark of his name.
Now please notice the contrast between this and the 144,000. The 144,000 have the seal of God on their forehead. You will notice in Revelation 14:1 how the 144,000 are described:
And I looked, and lo a lamb stood on the Mt. Zion and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand having his Fathers name written in their foreheads.
In contrast to this, the third angels message says that if you willfully, deliberately, persistently reject this final warning, then you will receive the mark of the beast. So there are two things pulling the human race at the end of the world. There is Babylon pulling you on their side. There is Christ pulling you on His side.
If you take your stand with Christ, you will be sealed with Gods name on your forehead. If you reject the Three Angels’ Message you will receive the mark of the beast. So what is the Three Angels Message?
I want you to keep your finger here. Turn to 2 Thess. I want to show you something, 2 Thess.2. The early Christians believed that the second coming of Christ would be in their day, and in Thessalonica, some of these Christians did exactly what some of our pioneers did back in 1844. They refused to harvest their potatoes; they didnt plant any food, they said, Why should we plant? Christ is coming any moment now! And when He did not come they were beginning to sponge on the other Christians. Paul is now talking about the second coming of Christ in chapter 2:
Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ [in other words, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ] and by our gathering together unto Him [which, of course, is the blessed hope of the Christian] that you be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand [please dont be deceived that Christs coming is around the corner]. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [i.e., the coming of Christ] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
Thats what Babylon has done. Babylon has got the church to sidetrack. It began in Pauls day because if you go on you will notice in verse 7:
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.
So it already began, in other words, God gave the apostles the pure, true gospel which they preached. Then came these false teachers. Listen to verse 4:
Who opposeth and exalteth himself [i.e., the man of sin] above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
In other words, I am to one to whom you must look to for salvation. And of course there was a falling away. So Paul says here in Thessalonians that the second coming of Christ will not take place until there is a falling away. Falling away from what? The everlasting gospel. Thats the falling away.
And He called it the mystery of iniquity. Why does He call it the mystery of iniquity? Because on the surface it looks right. But in truth, it is wrong. So this is talking of a perversion of the gospel. Now we saw a type of this in Galatians and I will turn to it in a moment and show you.
Will God allow the gospel to be perverted forever? And the answer is no! Before the end comes; and thats what Jesus meant in Matthew 24:14, Before the end comes, this gospel of the kingdom, which I gave the apostles [because remember the message of Christ when He was on this earth was The kingdom of God is at hand], this same gospel which I give the apostles to proclaim, the commission I gave them, will be once again proclaimed before the end comes.
And I believe, folks, that He has given us the message but I feel we need to know what the issues are. We look down on some denominations saying that they are Babylon. You know there was a time when we looked at all other Christians and said what? And we have the truth. But you know its possible that we are personally in Babylon, too. And thats why we need to go into detail and look at the Three Angels Message.
This everlasting gospel which was once proclaimed by the apostles will be restored, cleansed, purified. And that to me is the heart of the cleansing of the sanctuary in terms of this earth (there is also a work in heaven). And that message will be cleansed, purified and presented to the world with power. And that is the fourth angels message in Revelation 18. And it will be proclaimed with clarity, and everybody will hear it because it will be presented to the whole world.
And today we have the means of presenting to the whole world news that can go anywhere in the world in a short time. You know, I was amazed when I was in Africa. Even in the bush, up there in the sticks where there is no civilization, they have these transistor radios. And they are listening. When President Kennedy was shot, even the Masai there knew it. They didnt know who he was, except that he was the president of some great country called America. But thats all they knew. Because it was world news. So it doesnt take long for God. He has opened the door. He has means today through the scientific method which has enabled us to present the message in a short time. But the difficulty is not presenting the message to the world. The difficulty is restoring it. Thats the difficulty, and thats why we need to look at the Three Angels’ Message in detail.
There is a falling away first. It began in the days of the apostles and that is what Paul is concerned about when he spoke in Corinthians and said, I am fearful that you will accept another gospel. And this is what he rebuked the Galatians with, I am afraid that you have accepted a perverted gospel.
But before the end comes, folks, the true gospel, the everlasting gospel will be restored, and will be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And then the end will come.
In closing, let me just point again to Galatians 3 and show you what the perversion was in Pauls day because the perversion may have changed in outward form, but at heart it is the same. What is the essence of Babylonian preaching? What does it mean to be in Babylon? We will discuss that when we come to it but let me show you how the gospel in Galatia was perverted. (We need to understand Galatians too, as well as Romans; its a stronger book, and while Romans gives you the gospel in a straight forward way, Galatians deals with it in the context of a problem.) Look at Chapter 3 of Galatians:
O foolish Galatians [and the Greek word means stupid. Paul is using a very strong word here, almost abusive, but the King James translators did not want to make it so strong and said, O foolish Galatians], who hath bewitched you?
Now notice that the who is in the singular, at least in the original, but the people who deceived the Galatians were more than one person. Paul is looking beyond the human agent. He is looking at the source of the perversion, which is the Devil. The who refers to Satan, folks. He is the father of lies. He is the one who through his subtlety deceived Eve. He is the one who has deceived the Christian church. Hes the one who wants to deceive you.
Who hath bewitched you means who has cast a spell over you and its amazing that the devil can cast a spell over the most intellectual people. The fact that you have a high IQ doesnt exempt you from the deceptions of Satan, folks. The fact that you may have a Ph.D. in Theology doesnt exempt you from the subtlety of the Devil. Please remember that. We have to be very close to God in order not to be deceived.
O foolish [or stupid] Galatians, who hath bewitched you [or who has cast a spell] that you should not obey the truth [and you will notice that when he talks about the truth, he is referring to truth as it is in Jesus Christ] before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently [or displayed, thats what it means] set forth [i.e., crucified among you. I presented you the gospel of Christ crucified and you have turned to something else].
This only would I learn of you [this is what I want to learn from you]: Did you receive the spirit [which is the promise of God to those who believe the gospel] by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? [Did God give you the promise of the spirit by being good or by accepting his gift? Thats the question.]
Are you so foolish having begun in the spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?
Do you know what Paul is saying here? The Judaizers had convinced the Galatians that salvation is Christ plus I. They had departed from the gospel of Not I, but Christ, whether in terms of imputed righteousness which justifies us or the imparted righteousness which sanctifies us, its all of Christ. Without me, ye can do nothing.
Can God produce a people whose faith is unshakeable in Jesus Christ? Thats the issue. Can God produce a people whose faith is unshakeable in terms of Jesus Christ? That is the Three Angels Message. That is the sealing message. And for us to accept that message, we have to come out of Babylon. And if you dont come out of Babylon, God says, Im afraid your probation will close and I will have to remove all mercy. There will be no holding on of the winds of strife against you. I will let go of my protection and you will have to face the full wrath of God. And we will go over that in detail.
Now I think we must conclude. I meant to use Galatians as a last text but let me give you this one more and that is John 16. Basically, what Jesus said is what the Three Angels Message is saying.
There is a three-fold message that Jesus gave to His disciples that must be proclaimed. This is the commission He gave. You cant do it in your power, it has to be done in the Holy Spirit, but this is the message that you will preach through the Holy Spirit. And that message is three things, John 16:8:
The world needs to be convinced of three things: of sin, of righteousness, of judgment.
Now please notice, Jesus does not define sin here as the transgression of the law. Not that He disagrees with that because He says so in first John, but He defines the sin that will shut you out of the kingdom. And that sin is unbelief. Verse 9:
...of sin because they believe not on me.
That is the message of the Three Angels. If you do not accept the gospel, then you are committing what? The unpardonable sin. God cannot protect you if you sin against the gospel. Verse 10:
...of righteousness because I go to my Father.
Who sent Christ here? The Father. To do what? Not to condemn us but to do what? ...save us. Do you know God gave no furlough to His Son. He said, Son, you will not come back to heaven until you have what? ...finished your work. The fact that He had gone back to the Father means that everything essential for your salvation and mine, not only in terms of guilt and punishment, but also from the slavery and the presence of sin has already been accomplished in our Lord Jesus Christ. Thats the foundation of the Three Angels’ Message. But look at verse 11:
...of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Now remember the prince of the world is the real culprit behind Babylon. You see, you have two cities; each city is a capital. The true Jerusalem from above is the capital of Gods kingdom. Babylon is the capital of Satans world. And so you have two kingdoms in the New Testament: the kingdom of God, of which Christ is the Lord; and the kingdom of this world, of which Satan is the prince. And the capital of these two kingdoms are Jerusalem from above, which is the mother of us all (Galatians 4) and Babylon who is the mother of all the unbelievers.
And in these two kingdoms, the capitals represent two systems. And if you reject the everlasting gospel then the Third Angel says, I am going to remove my protection and you will have to experience the wrath of God without mixture of mercy.
And if you want a text that brings this out, Matthew 25:41 where Christ will say to the unbelievers in the judgment day at the end of time:
Depart from me, you cursed, into [what?] everlasting fire...
The same thing that the Three Angels Message says. But I want you to notice the next statement:
...which was prepared for the devil and his angels.
The everlasting fire was not prepared for you. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. But because you deliberately, persistently, willfully rejected, then you must join him in that fire.
And so please, the Three Angels’ Message is not only a message that will seal us, it is the final warning message, the final plea of God, Please, dont be fools. This is the only way you can make it!
And folks, the trouble is that God is not using literal angels, because the word angels means messengers, he is using human beings: you and I. And the reason why he hasnt come is because we have failed to preach this message. And the reason we have failed is because we havent fully listened to the Laodicean message. We need to repent folks. We need to turn away from our righteousness and buy the gold, tried in fire, the white raiment, and the eye salve. And I hope that this year we will do it in this valley and turn this state upside down.
This is what God has called us. The Three Angels’ Message is the message the world needs. And we need to look at it in detail. This is an overall view of it. It is our prayer that as we study this, we will understand it and we will accept it, and we will not be in the camp of Babylon.
You know, Waggoner said in his commentary on Romans that we can never ever separate the book of Romans and its sister epistle, Galatians, from the three-fold message. We want to look at the Three Angels’ Message in its setting, the three settings, so that we understand what the issues are. Please read chapter 4 and 5 of Daniel. Next I want to look at chapter 14 of Revelation verses 6 and 7. Well look at every word, and every detail and we will look at every statement there. And we must be honest. When John says, Worship Him who made heaven and earth, we need to know what he meant. Lets be honest with those texts because we need to see the relationship of that and the Sabbath and we need to see also what hes saying.
So may God bless us that we will get a clear understanding of the Three Angels’ Message and that this will lay the foundation for turning this valley upside down with the power of the gospel. God wants to use us, folks. He could have used the angels long ago but he has chosen to use us frail human beings who are afraid, who are discouraged, who are not able, and who have very little confidence in themselves to do this. He is able to do it folks. And lets pray for this!