Just before the end, God sends His warning messages, symbolically portrayed in terms of three vocal angels flying in the sky. The Greek word for angel (angelos) means “messenger”. Evidence from Revelation suggests that the three angels stand for God’s people who are entrusted with the end-time message to share with the world.
Read Revelation 14:6 along with Matthew 24:14. The first angel’s message is referred to as the “everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6). What does describing this proclamation as “the everlasting gospel” tell us about the content and purpose of the first angel’s message? Why is this message central to all that we believe?
This first end-time message is the gospel proclamation in the context of the hour of God’s judgment that has come upon the world. The gospel is good news about God, who saves human beings on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ and His work for them. The gospel is “everlasting” because God never changes. His plan was put in place even before we existed (2 Tim. 1:9, Titus 1:2). The first angel’s message includes both salvation and judgment. It is good news for those who give glory to God and worship Him as their Creator, but it also is a judgment warning for those who reject the Creator and the sign of true worship He has given – the seventh-day Sabbath.
The three angels are described as proclaiming the messages with “a loud voice” (Rev. 14:7, Rev. 14:9). These messages are urgent and important; they must be heard by all because it concerns their eternal destiny. As such, they must be proclaimed to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. This proclamation is particularly significant because, at the time of the end, the beast will exercise authority over “every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Rev. 13:7, NKJV). Satan’s deceptive activities, worldwide in scope, are met by the end-time proclamation of the gospel worldwide.
The three angels’ messages are proclaimed by God’s people to counter Satan and his end-time allies – the dragon, a symbol of paganism/spiritualism; the sea beast, which signifies Roman Catholicism; and the false prophet, or lamblike beast, representing apostate Protestantism (Revelation chapter 13). They will operate up through the time of the sixth plague (Rev. 16:13-14). Thus, the world is presented with two rival messages, each with the goal to win the allegiance of the people on earth.
|As Seventh-day Adventists, we are called to reach the world with the end-time truths contained in the three angels’ messages. What are you doing to help do just that? What more could you also be doing?|