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FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part XXXII
The Third Angel’s Message and His Work
Today is April Fools’ Day. Wikipedia says some precursors of this “day of fools” include the Roman Festival of Hilaria, the Holi festival of India, and the Medieval Feast of Fools.
But fools and their follies date back much further but much more so in the future. See 2 Samuel chapter 26. When David for the second time spared the life of his insanely jealous and murderous father-in-law, Saul, the first king by popular choice of Israel, obtained by their persistent clamor to God to have a king rule over them like the heathen nations surrounding them, He finally relented with warnings through the prophet Samuel of the dire consequences of their corporate demand.
Thus forever ended the first and last theocracy, replaced by the precursor of Israel’s troubled monarchies thereafter. Saul, at that time still within range of repentance, shame-facedly said to David. “I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will harm you no more, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Indeed I have played the fool and erred exceedingly.” verse 21.
How many national leaders in the past, and those currently aspiring to be, centuries after, are still playing the fool like Saul, nursing their narcissism, megalomania, lust for power, earthly glory, and mammon instead of humbling themselves, David-like, seeking wisdom from above, and setting the example as true leaders in honoring the Creator by following His will for their nation, particularly in this final generation? The third angel’s message, soon to swell into the final loud cry of Revelation 18 is directed to them as well. It still concludes with God’s merciful, urgent but not forever plea: “Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Heb. 4: 7. “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Rev. 2: 7, 11, 17, 29; 3: 6, 13, 22.
Calls attention to the Ten Commandments and the Sanctuary message. – See the “open and shut doors” of Rev. 3: 7, 8, and the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8: 14. “As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place [the door shut], and He passed into the holiest [the door opened], and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world.
A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and 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 upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation [Rev. 3: 10] and anguish that was before them. Said the angel: ‘They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope for eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.’
“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.’ Rev. 14: 12. As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all those who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.
“After Jesus opened the door of the most holy [on October, 1844], the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were tested [already back then], as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they would keep God’s law [Exo. 16: 27-29, 1-26; Num.11, 12]. I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones [during the Great Disappointment of the Millerites] 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. I saw them looking back, reviewing the past, from the proclamation of the second advent of Jesus, down through their experience to the passing of the time in 1844. They see their disappointment explained, and joy and certainty again animate them. The third angel had lighted up the past, the present, and the future, and they know that God has indeed led them by His mysterious providence.
“It was represented to me that the remnant followed Jesus to the most holy place and beheld the ark and the mercy seat, and were captivated with their glory. Jesus then raised the cover of the ark, and lo! The tables of stone, with the Ten Commandments written upon them. They trace down the lively oracles, but start back with trembling when they see the light of the fourth commandment [which the man of sin “thought to change”] among the ten holy precepts, with brighter light shining upon it than upon the other nine, and a halo of glory all around it. They find nothing there informing them that the Sabbath has been abolished, or changed to the first day of the week.
The commandment reads as it had been spoken by the voice of God in solemn and awful grandeur upon the mount, while the lightning flashed and the thunders rolled; it is the same as when written by His own finger on the tables of stone: ‘Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.’
They are amazed as they behold the care taken of the ten commandments. They see them placed close to Jehovah, overshadowed and protected by His holiness. They see that they have been trampling upon the fourth commandment of the Decalogue, and observed a day handed down by the heathen and papists, instead of the day sanctified by Jehovah. They humble themselves before God and mourn over their past transgressions. . . .
“Many who embraced the third message had not had an experience in the two former messages. Satan understood this, and his evil eyes was upon them to overthrow them;but the third angel was pointing them to the most holy place and those who had had an experience in the past messages were pointing them the way to the heavenly sanctuary. Many saw the perfect chain truth in the angels’ messages, and gladly received them in their order, and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly sanctuary.
“These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan.” – Ibid, Early Writings, pp. 255-257.
Do we really understand this anchor-doctrines also referred to as “present truth,”“firm platform,” “sure and main pillars of our faith,” “old landmarks, ” “great way marks,” “fundamental articles of the faith” such that we can stand alone to explain them to those who inquire as well as to those who are clueless and are confused?
By what truth metric shall we evaluate “Host Morgan Freeman on Geographic Channel’sStory of God and its quest to understand how different faiths answer our biggest questions—and what we all have in common”? This six-episode series premieres April 3on National Geographic Channel. Sarah Marston wrote the story for the Daily Beast’s Curious World series that “explores fascinating intersections of science with culture.”
What caught my eye, apropos to this current FMM issue was Lori McCreary, co-producer with Freeman, and James Younger, saying: “I don’t know that most people in America realize Jesus is part of Islamic tradition, and those are the kinds of things that might engender conversations.” “Part of the reason we look at people as different is ignorance.We don’t know what they believe, and just think it must be something completely different. But the three Abrahamic religions [Judaism, Islam, and Christianity] have so much in common, much more in common that they have differences.”http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/21/morgan-freeman-on-religion-science-and-the-story-of God.html.
One, if not the greatest common denominator between these three Abrahamic monotheistic world religions is that none of them believe that Jesus Christ is the Creator of heaven and earth, is God and in the flesh in the incarnation, the Messiah, the Lord of the Sabbath, the only Savior, Redeemer, and Intercessor between God and man who is soon returning in all His glory as King of kings and Lord of lords bringing His reward of eternal life to all who die in Him and come up in “resurrection of the just,” etc.
McCreary cited “ignorance,” and “we don’t know what they [we] believe.” How true. This is the bane of almost all religions and “believers.” They do not realize how shallow and even confused their understanding is of their respective core beliefs and “present truths” are —until tested individually. Adventists must address this question right now as they have been warned since 1915:
“I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of the present truth, know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidence of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others, who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested, they knew not their great ignorance.
“And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe, but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. Whenseparated from those of like faith, and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. [Why?] Certain it is that there has been among us a departure from the living God, and a turning to men, putting human wisdom in place of divine.
“God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep [Rom. 13: 11-14]. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures [not the sayings of the “great men of the earth”], and most critical examination of the positions we hold.
“God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God, so that when the testing time shall come, and they are brought before councils [Matthew 10: 16-18] to answer for their faith, they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear. [1 Peter. 3: 15].”- Ibid, Counsels to Writers & Editors, pp. 39, 40: 1915.
Woe to Anyone Tampering with the Three Angels’ and Sanctuary Messages
“I saw a company well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps—the first, second, and third angel’s messages. Said my accompanying angel: “Woe to him who shall move one block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.
I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed upon them a solid, immoveable platform. “- Ibid, p, 259.
The Sanctuary A Special Point Of Attack. – “In the future [this was written in 1905] deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith [not necessarily from the “church!”] Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving us for the last fifty years [1845-1905]?—Ibid, Review & Herald, May 25, 1905/ Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 53.
“The third angel’s message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and this truth must be brought before the world; but the great Center of attraction, Jesus Christ, must not be left out of the third angel’s message . . . .The sinner must ever look toward Calvary; and with the simple faith of a little child, he must rest in the merits of Christ, accepting His righteousness and believing in His mercy. Laborers in the cause of truth should present the righteousness of Christ.” – Ibid, Review & Herald, March 20, 1894/Evangelism, p. 185.
(To be continued next week)