This message was originally given in November of 1965.
We come to the last study in this important series on the overwhelming surprise that’s about to engulf the world, and how you and I can escape it.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” Titus 2:11–14.
Here is where we get the expression, “the blessed hope” that is so frequently used for those who are looking for our Savior’s appearing. It is a blessed hope, isn’t it friend. Well, you noticed that the result of it is manifest in the lives of God’s children. They are made a peculiar people. I like some of the other translations on that. “A people of His own.” “A people who should be especially His own.” “A people who should be peculiarly His own.” And as the world gets more and more of the mold of the great enemy, those who are indeed the children of God will be a peculiar people—peculiarly His own.
“The grace of God that bringeth salvation hast appeared to all men.” The New English Bible says, “The grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind.” Isn’t that nice? There is a remedy for this world’s problems.
“A great work is to be accomplished in setting before men the saving truths of the gospel. This is the means ordained by God to stem the tide of moral corruption. This is His means of restoring His moral image in man. It is His remedy for universal disorganization” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 6, page 11.
The world has its program to try to cure its ills. The papacy is trying to show men the path of peace. Our nation is trying to demonstrate the great society, but all those human plans will fail. We’ve seen why. But God has a remedy, friends—it’s the gospel. As focused upon this last generation in the threefold message of Revelation 14, John says:
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” Revelation 14:6.
Then follows the second and third messages. Speaking of the Gospel as focused upon this last generation:
“It is the power that draws men together in unity. To present these truths is the work of the third angel’s message. The Lord designs that the presentation of this message shall be the highest, greatest work carried on in the world at this time” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 6, page 11.
If the third angel’s message is thus appointed by God to accomplish this wonderful purpose, what is my business and your business? To give this message. What else have we to live for? We want to avoid everything that would hinder that. Take this statement:
“The third angel’s message is to be our burden of warning. The side issues are not for us to meddle with” Testimonies to Ministers, page 331.
And oh what a bunch of side issues there are, clamoring for attention from every angle. The people of God, in the midst of all this confusion of clamoring voices, will keep their hearts uplifted toward Heaven, their eyes on the Temple in Heaven, and their voices are sounding this note of the great threefold message of Revelation 14. Why? It is God’s remedy for universal disorganization. Thank God, His grace has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind. All earth’s ills can be cured—physical, mental, and spiritual, political, social, economical. They can all be cured through accepting the great threefold message of Revelation 14.
This is truly the path to peace. This is truly the way to the great society. There is no other. This is it. Are we convinced? Oh, God grant that we may be.
Take this wonderful statement:
“In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angel’s messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”They are not to engage in speculation, neither are they to enter into business enterprises with unbelievers; for this would hinder them in their God-given work” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, page 19.
What’s our work, friends? To give this message. That’s what we’re here for. That was Noah’s work long ago. He was given a message and a work. What would you think of going back there a finding Noah was all tied up in business speculation so that he had only a few hours a week to devote to building the Ark or preaching the message? Why, what a contradiction; what a travesty! But here are a people appointed today to do in our generation what Noah did back there—to give the message. That is the answer to the world’s problems. It is the way out of all earth’s ills. And we’re to allow nothing to divert us.
“The third angel, flying in the midst of heaven and heralding the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, represents our work” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, page 383.
What’s the angel doing? Flying. Flying with radio waves, flying through the TV, flying with the jet planes, and flying with the millions of pages of literature. But remember, with all those wonderful means of communication, souls are gathered one by one. It is a sickle that reaps the harvest. Jesus is looking for human hands to wield that sickle. He wants you and me, with undivided attention, to devote ourselves to giving the great message of Revelation 14 to a perishing world. And, of course, living it.
Suppose we think of an engine, a battery, some wheels, and a steering wheel. Is there any use for those things? Yes, provided you can get them together, integrated, organized. There is very little use for any of them alone, but together they make an automobile that can carry us down the highway sixty miles an hour.
The truths of the great threefold message of Revelation 14 belong together. And it is as we see them together that we discern their full meaning. It is as we give them together that they have power.
Let me illustrate that with some specific examples. Take this matter of the Sabbath. If there’s anything that Seventh-day Adventists are known for, it is the Sabbath truth. But speaking of a certain man who was preaching the Sabbath but had not embraced certain other points:
“As far as the Sabbath is concerned, he occupies the same position as the Seventh-day Baptists. Separate the Sabbath from the messages, and it loses its power; but when connected with the message of the third angel, a power attends it which convicts unbelievers and infidels, and brings them out with strength to stand, to live, grow, and flourish in the Lord” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, page 337.
Where is the power of the Sabbath? It’s in connection with the messages of Revelation 14. Separate the Sabbath from those messages and it loses its power. So the message for this hour is not just the Seventh-day Sabbath. Think of the Jews who have had the Sabbath for generations. I visited a synagogue not long ago on Sunday morning to look at the building, and low and behold they were having their Sunday-school classes and their service on Sunday, just like the rest of Babylon. There is nothing in the Sabbath to give the power we need today. But when you come to the threefold message, you find the Sabbath in every one of those three phases. The first message: worship the Creator in this evolutionary age. The second angel’s message: Babylon is fallen, come out of her My people, and the great sign of Babylon through the ages has been connected with the sun, and the Sun-day. The third message is a specific warning against the mark of the beast. What’s that? The false sabbath. So you see, the Sabbath stands out in all those three messages.
There’s a reason for its appeal. There are many people out in the world who know that Saturday is the Bible Sabbath; but what are they doing about it? When they see it in the setting of Revelation 14, a power attends it, which convicts unbelievers and even infidels, and brings them out to accept this message and walk in the light. And this is becoming increasingly more important every passing day as these issues of creation versus evolution, the true Sabbath versus the mark of the beast, and the issues of loyalty to God versus loyalty to the papacy. As these become more and more prominent, it becomes still more important to present the Sabbath in the setting of these messages of Revelation 14.
That’s true with every one of the great pillars of our truth. They are linked together. They support one another. They belong together. They’re all parts of the great truth of God.
“The only safety now is to search for the truth as revealed in the word of God, as for hid treasure. The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold God’s people in these perilous times” Ibid., page 300.
What are three great truths set forth here? The Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus. What’s the testimony of Jesus? The Spirit of Prophecy. Three great truths and these are an anchor to hold the people of God. Is the Sabbath going to hold us through this crisis ahead? Yes. It holds us against this mark of the beast, which is a sign of the world confederacy in revolt against God. The nature of man—will that hold us? That holds us against spiritualism, which is the power of that great confederacy. The testimony of Jesus—will that hold us? Oh yes. That’s the agency through which the plans of Satan have been unmasked, and the plan of God has been revealed. This gift is what makes us know that this is the true church and that there is no other movement that God has chosen today through which to give this last message.
Do you see the anchor in these three holding truths? But remember they belong together. They belong as a part of this great threefold message of Revelation 14. Take another statement:
“There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is ‘present truth’ that the flock needs now” Early Writings, page 63.
Could it be that even in the study of the Bible, men might miss the point? Is it not a fact that in the days when Jesus was on earth, the schools He did not attend were the rabbinical schools in which the Old Testament Scriptures were studied. By the time those Jewish children were 12 years old, they knew by heart Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Why didn’t Jesus go to those schools? Because in the very act of studying the Scriptures, human speculation was so mixed with the Word of God that it was impossible for the average mind to distinguish between the two. And they did not make a correct application of Old Testament prophecy to the times in which they were living.
So today, there are millions of people in the popular churches who are studying the Bible, and millions of preachers take their texts from the Scriptures. But there’s a message for this hour. What is it? Present truth. Well, what is that? I’ll read it to you:
“Such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell” Ibid.
Well, here we have then the great Advent message: not merely telling that Christ is coming right away. But pointing to that open door in the sanctuary in Heaven, showing the law in the Ark, showing the Sabbath in the law, showing Jesus as the great Creator and Redeemer Who can lift us from sin and make us like Himself. And showing that Jesus has sent His angel in these latter days with a revelation through the gift of prophecy, and exposing the designs of Satan and his masterpiece of spiritualism in the papacy—these are the great subjects which, united all together in one, make a program that God has chosen to be the means of saving everyone who will be ready for His coming. Truly friends, the grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind. What do you say? [audience response: Amen] Amen. That’s right. That’s it.
Now, I want you to notice friends, how all of this is the presentation of Jesus Christ. He’s the only Savior. There’s no other one who can save. But in order to experience the fullness of the saving power of Jesus in this last generation, in order to be among those people who walk in all the light as the world goes out in darkness, we need to know Jesus as He has revealed Himself in this message.
Now, look at your hand, look at your thumb and the four fingers. I want you to just associate those fingers with these various pillars of truth as they reveal Jesus. Think of that hand as the hand of Christ extended in invitation. Think of that thumb as the great truth of His imminent appearing. Isn’t that good news? The servant of the Lord says:
“The return of Christ to our world will not be long delayed. Let this be the keynote of every message.
“The blessed hope of the second appearing of Christ, with its solemn realities, needs to be often presented to the people” Testimonies for the Church, Volume 6, page 406.
As the King’s Heralds sing it:
Lift up the trumpet and loud let it ring,
Jesus is coming again.
Tell me. Could you present that great truth and leave Jesus out? People talk about putting Christ in the message. Why bless your heart, He’s already there, friends. You’d have to do a tremendous piece of surgery to get Him out. There He is. Christ is coming. Oh, what a glorious message.
But now take the second great pillar: and here take your index finger. That, my dear friend, is the great truth of the sanctuary. What do we find when we look at the sanctuary? We see a Lamb and a Priest. But Who’s the Lamb?
“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” John 1:29.
Who’s the Priest?
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession” Hebrews 4:14.
Can you give the sanctuary and leave Jesus out? Why, what would you have? A bunch of boards and furniture. That’s all. Jesus is there, friends.
Now take the third point—the Sabbath. There you have that great prominent seal that makes the people of God different from the world—“Seventh-day Adventist.” Is the Sabbath one of the great landmarks and pillars of this message? Without a question. Is Jesus in it? Well, tell me: the Sabbath is a sign of creation. Who’s the Creator?
“For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him” Colossians 1:16.
“Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them” Ezekiel 20:12.
Well, Who’s the sanctifier? Why, Jesus is. That great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, will make you perfect in every good work to do His will. Is Jesus in the Sabbath then? Why sure, He’s the Creator. He’s the sanctifier. Talk about putting Christ in the message—He’s there! As I say, you’d have to do a terrible piece of surgery to give the Sabbath without Jesus.
Well, let’s take that fourth point—the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. We’ve seen that’s one of the great leading truths. Is Jesus in the spirit of prophecy? Well, what is the spirit of prophecy? The testimony of Jesus (Revelation 19:10). “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the church” (Revelation 22:16). This is the message of the faithful and True Witness. This is Heaven’s great evidence of the love of Christ to the remnant church, the love letters of the Bridegroom to His earthly bride. Talk about putting Christ in the message, friend. He’s there! Let’s just not leave Him out, what do you say?
And then this last point, the nature of man, the state of the dead. Is Christ
connected with that? Well, tell me friend: is our message merely that the dead are unconscious or is it a message that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” 1 John 5:11–12.
Christ as the life-giver, the Creator that gave us life in the beginning, the One who maintains our life now, and the One who is going to give us immortality at His appearing. Talk about putting Christ in the message; He’s there, friend! Let’s just not leave Him out, what do you say!
And there you have those five great landmarks, pillars, waymarks. Put them together in one in the great message of Revelation 14, and you have a hand that beckons to Heaven, a hand that points the way to the city of God, a hand extended in loving invitation—the hand of Jesus.
Oh friends, what else is there to live for except to give this message? The grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind. How practical it is. It’s not merely a chain of doctrines. It is a way of life.
Take our great work of temperance and health reform. Is it a part of this message? Certainly it is. The first message says to worship the Creator. We need to see what He made to work with Him. The second message says we are not to drink the wine of Babylon. Certainly that includes the literal intoxicating potions that are offered to the lips of the nations today. It takes a sober people to know and appreciate this message. And the third message? Oh friends, here are a people who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The natural laws are a part of His commandments as well as the spiritual.
Take this great message to get out of the cities. Is that a part of the third angel’s message? Well friends, I think so. Do you think so? Look what we’ve been studying—the approaching economic pressure of the labor unions and the nations as they combine together to enforce the mark of the beast. What has inspiration told us? What has Jesus told us through His witness? Out of the cities is My message. Get out in the country. Learn to grow your own fruits and vegetables against that time when the economic pressure of the boycott when they try to enforce the mark of the beast. In other words, there’s something practical to do as we accept this message.
All the points of truth and practice found in the message of Revelation 14 are practical. And the message of Revelation 14 comes from the heart and hand of Jesus.
Dear Lord, we thank Thee for the revelation of Jesus Christ and for the great privilege of sharing with a distraught world the hope of Heaven, the message that means life now and life forever. Help us to prune from our lives and programs every hindering thing. Keep us focused on our job. Help us to carry out our commission. And may we share in the glory that is soon to be revealed. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
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