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Sunday: The Three Angel’s Messages — 26 Comments

  1. If I was to ask you to describe the Gospel in a short paragraph, most of you could probably do that in terms that the readers of the blog would understand almost straight away. You would use terms and phrases that almost any Christian would be familiar with. And while there might be a few variations in emphasis, our descriptions would be pretty similar.
    But, the point of the Three Angel’s messages is that the Gospel should be proclaimed to the whole world. Our description we use to describe the Gospel to one another would be incomprehensible to people with no experience of Bible study or church attendance. Most people fall into that category. When someone asks me what I do on Saturday and I explain that I attend church. There response is an incredulous, “Really!” and they move a couple of steps further away just in case the disease is contagious.
    In a world who has largely turned away from religion as largely irrelevant, describing the Gospel is often at best unintelligible or at worst misunderstood. How then do we proclaim the Gospel to these people? In some cases, we simply shout the message more loudly in the mistaken notion that intelligibility and loudness are linked. Others have the idea that if you use Biblical texts only, that somehow the Holy Spirit will translate the terms for you. Clearly, we have a communication problem and our effort to spread the Gospel is futile.
    Do we have a strategy for preaching the Gospel, or are we simply wearing the label “remnant Gospel preachers” because it gives us a sense of spiritual importance?

    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, Rev 14:6

    What can we say about the Gospel that an unchurched person would understand?

    • What can we say about the Gospel that an unchurched person would understand?

      There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because it depends on tailoring a conversation to who a particular person is and where things are at for them in their life/situation.

      These are some principles that I draw on:

      * people won’t care what I believe until they have first experienced that I genuinely care about them as a person and that I do so with “no strings attached”. People are so used to others being nice to them in order to ‘close the deal’ that they are suspicious that you want something from them for your benefit. I well remember speaking with a non-Christian young guy about what his experience with Christianity had been and he said that the few times he’d had Christians interact with him, he felt like it was because they would get ‘reward points’ if they successfully converted him - ‘closed the deal’. He was expressing that he felt like he was nothing more to them than a means-to-an-end.

      * 1 Pet 3:15 instructs us to always be ready to (a) give a reasoned explanation for the hope that is within us and (b) to do so with gentleness and respect. So, first I must actually have a hope within me and then I must know what the basis of this hope is. And I need to do so gently and with respect.

      * absolute reliance on the Holy Spirit to work on the other person’s heart and to guide and prompt me (and make up for my deficiencies). My prayer is that of John the Baptist (Jn 3:30) - that I decrease so that God may increase in the perception of others.

      * when Jesus walked among people, they sensed that He was someone who desired their good (they felt/experienced His self-renouncing, other-centered love), and then He invited them to follow Him if they were interested.

      So, putting this together, I have found that people need to first experience that I genuinely care about them for them (ie not for some benefit that I might get out of it).

      Second, I then invite them to share with me what has been their experience with spirituality in general. Based upon their answer to this invitation, I may then go further at this point and invite them to share their experience of Christianity. Again, depending on their response, I may then go further at this point and invite them to share with me their view of whom God is and what God is like. Where relevant, I will then affirm that in light of their past experiences, it makes sense that they would ‘view’ God the way they do. Sometimes this happens at a single conversation in time, and other times it happens across multiple occasions over considerable time (even years). It depends.

      Third, based upon what people have shared with me, I frequently acknowledge that if that is who and/or what God is, then we are in big trouble (without hope). I then raise the question for consideration, but what if God isn’t actually like that? The usual response is “what do you mean?”. Thus, a person has invited me to share the possibility of something different to or more than they have experienced. And so I paint a piece by piece picture of God in specific response to aspects of their experience that they have previously shared with me - checking with them along the way whether or not what I am saying makes any sense to them. So far, no-one has said it doesn’t.

      People are capable of getting a sufficient sense of relevant aspects of God and Satan, good and evil, heaven and ‘hell’ either from their life experiences or from Hollywood. I start with these and then go on to refine from these inviting them to consider “what if...”

      What has been/is the outcome of this? It depends.

      Sometimes it has been that the person has nothing more to do with me. This is rare and on every occasion so far has been associated with the person being involved in spiritualism.

      Most common is that a conversation has been opened between us that is now able to be comfortably retouched upon as relevant in our ongoing interaction.

      And sometimes it results in a person, over time, inviting God into their life either for the first time or re-inviting God back into their life in a new way after having attempted life on their own for a long time. All of this is because of the Work of the Holy Spirit - not because of me. I am merely someone who is available for God to use to reach others in whatever way/s.

      Anyway, that’s what I have learned and found and hopefully others will share what they too have experienced.

      • Without being in complete disagreement Phil, I have to point to Jonah, his message, and the results. God's Spirit can bring perfect conviction to any heart, even if the messenger is a stranger, a rooster or a donkey. This last message will go forward by the power of God through faithful messengers who have first received the message themselves. But whether friend or stranger, the messenger, filled with the latter rain power, will give the trumpet a certain sound and conviction will be unavoidable, which is why most will react with great protest and threats. These are always present where conviction is felt in the heart ruled by unbelief and love of sinful pleasure.

        The light will penetrate everywhere as never before, and the Spirit will urge it home to every heart. Remember that this message goes forth in response to the forming of an image to the beast, and enforcing the reception of the Mark. People will be listening, as we are told: "and the earth was lightened with his glory".

        Our work at this hour is to be transformed ourselves by understanding and responding to this same message, or we will side with those who will rise against it. This point cannot be emphasized too much.

        • That’s ok Robert. You and I do have different perspectives and opinions on many things. But what we do share in common is that we are each absolutely committed to God and to being used by Him in whatever way He chooses to use us to advance His will expressed in 2 Pet 3:9.

          At the end of the day each of us is to be fully persuaded in our own minds regarding the views and perspectives we hold (Rom 14:5).

    • The only reason we struggle how to communicate with the unchurched people is that we don't follow Christ method which is simple in sequence. “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow Me.’” - Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 143.

    • No one cares about what we have to say until we demonstrate that we care! They need to "see" that they are loved before they can hear!

    • One of the ways to preach the gospel is to model Christianity to the world. Let them thirst for what you have. It works all the time.

    • Every sinner, whether churched or unchurched, is convicted by the Holy Spirit on "sin...righteousness...judgment"(John 16:8). The gospel for sinners is salvation. Salvation is forgiveness and restoration of the divine nature in the sanctified soul.

      As Paul wrote, the gospel is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth". It is life eternal.

      It really isn't complicated and if given to sinners with the demonstration of the sanctified life, will be comprehended by anyone, whether accepted or not.

      It is not our work to convict, but to demonstrate as witnesses.

  2. I am absolutely in accord that there is a communication problem and unfortunately not just with the unchurched. The Revelation 14:7 "saying with a loud voice ... " in the experience of sharing the message one can feel so right that the "voice becomes too loud, or phlegmatic". What results is a religious fight and the would be disciple shuts the ears. It could be that "the lifestyle voice" is nothing but cacophony. Communicating the gospel is not easy. One does not know what makes a person accept or not the good news. Prayer, kindness, listening and much delicacy are among the elements that can help to deliver the message. And sometimes one cannot say anything but the lifestyle can speak with a loud voice.

  3. This is why Jesus used parables. Our challenge is to communicate the Gospel in terms of everyday life experiences anyone can identify with.

    • Jana, great idea, take what is in the news or at work or neighborhood and relate to part of the message.

  4. The first angel has to preach to two groups-
    1) "those who dwell on the earth" those who are in opposition to God's people
    2) to all the rest of the people
    What is the message?
    A) there is a God who is the Creator and ruler of the Universe
    B) He loves you
    C) He is going to put an end to misery and evil
    D) Chose to which side you want to belong.

  5. We have talked of this passage often, yet what are the present results? The condition on earth at the time this message will be given with “latter rain” power is described in the following scriptures:

    Isa 60:1-3

    Ps 50:2,5

    The contrast will be stark and no one will miss the message which will be the top story in the news, on talk shows, and social media. God has given the world the means to hear and recognize His last call to “repent and believe the gospel”(Mark 1:15).

    My question should be: “have I gathered Truth as precious jewels and the finest gold, or do the things of earth still capture my attention?” The last messages will be given by those who have made a “covenant by sacrifice”(Ps 4:3,5; 50:2,5). All others will deny their Lord.

    What does the message of this first angel mean to us personally?

    • John 5 Jesus Method
      Jesus out walking on sabbath among the sick,blind,lame and paralyzed.
      All waiting for the moving of the water.
      One man catches his eye. Been there38 yrs.
      Do you want to be made well?
      Sir I have no one to put me into the moving water....
      Rise. Take up your bed and walk.
      Immediately the man was made well, took up his bed and walked.
      It doesn’t say if he believed
      He never asked for healing
      He never confessed or repented
      He didn’t even know who Jesus was or what he had to offer.
      But he responded to the command to get up, pick up your bed and walk
      Immediately the man was made well. After 38 yrs.
      What made him respond,to try.
      Could it have been love and kindness?
      This was a chronic condition.
      Jesus could have waited one day to heal him but chose to do it on sabbath the day for healing and restoration

  6. rather than use the words "roman catholicism" the better, more accurate, phrase is "the papacy"...the deception of the world, and the people of the world is from the papacy not from any individual church member...

  7. There are actually four angel's messages. Three are in Revelation 14:6-10 and the fourth is found in Revelation 18:1-3 and he repeats the message of the Second Angel of Revelation 14:8. And Chapter 18 is very clear about the jugement that the first angel announces in Revelation 14:6---it is about the judgment of the Seven Last Plagues that come in one hour to Babylon (The Beast.) And then the God Himself announces to all people to "Come out of her," in Revelation 18:4.

  8. Christians in all denominations should never condemn other Christians. We all worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

  9. Thank you Maurice Ashton for your thought provoking message in response to the three angels’ message. And for Phil van der Klift’s reply, and comment by Shirley de Beer (at 5:30 am).
    I have an old school friend, she was a bride at 16 years and I was her bridesmaid at 16. We lost contact for nearly 60 years due to life, and shifting from the school town to other states for both of us (and me to the Pacific Ocean). Then a true retired detective from the original home town, when he visited ‘my’ Island, was able to put us in contact again at my request.
    After that my friend and I met and I had a lovely stay with her and 2nd husband. He later died and she developed this cancer of her tongue. I visited and tried last year to discuss with her ‘life after death’, but she clearly told me she did not believe in life after death and did not have a ‘personal God’. So I thought that was my last visit and I would never see her again. But with a bible message in my Christmas card I sent to her that must have resonated with her, she invited me to visit her again and discuss why I have a belief, and in ‘what’.
    My plan is to go early next month when I am on the Australian mainland and take with me a printed copy of what you two and Shirley have said in this post, ( I hope with your permission) as fuel (and with guidance from above with some earnest prayer before hand) to speak with her once more. She has little energy and does not write, and gave up emails years ago. So perhaps I can ask you to pray for me too as I speak to this ‘unchurched, altruistic’ (Maurice Ashton on March 3, 2019 at 9:12 am) lovely friend of mine who is facing death possibly soon. Godbless today, Mrs A Stolz.

    • Mrs A Stolz, you may use my posts when you judge it appropriate.
      Reading the last several posts on Sunday's lesson makes me think there are normally two aspects to the message
      1) get their attention
      2) share the love of Jesus

      However the 3 angels have added another dimension - the hour of His judgement

      I believe the best witnesses, the biggest miracle is a changed life.
      However these days being decent most of the time does not attract attention, it only matters to close contacts.
      So how can we reach the whole world, how do we get their attention?
      Even more difficult- the 3 angels are to give their message to "those who inhabit the earth" who are those in opposition to God's people? The 3 angels have the answer - announce the judgement by the Creator of the Universe!!!

  10. May God bless all of you who have commented in this section as you continue to prepare soul for His kingdom.

  11. There is no contradiction between the version of the first angel's message and the gospel as told throughout the NT. In order to truly captivate the hearts and minds of those this message is to reach it will mostly found in our posture toward the lost. If we are more concerned about converting people to our brand of belief, then we will make such a two fold more a child of hell. But if we are intend on reaching people to bring them to Christ, and place doctrines as a vehicle of doing so, then there will be a spirit that attracts hearts to the Savior. It begins with our hearts and when they are molded in the Spirit of Christ we will be agents for true heart change.

  12. We are called to refute the wine of Babylon with truth. Jeremiah said that Babylon has made all the nations drunk...mad...with confusion. And we see that all around us with the never ending versions of Biblical truth being held by the Christian churches. There is no sound exegesis any more...all are infused with error. One thing I remember about being drunk...it makes you belligerent. And that is what I meet with when discussing truth with other Christians...a belligerence and determination to hold to their present path no matter what, and anger at the suggestion they may be heading in the wrong direction.
    "Here is the patience of the saints." Here is where we demonstrate the gospel. With patience, love, understanding. And sometimes we just have to let them fall over from time to time, before they accept our help to get back up.
    Then they may be more observant and recognise that we can and do keep God's commandments, and have a faith that brings results and bears witness to the Truth.

    • 1 Pet 3:15 appears to be directly relevant to what you are reporting... especially the last 4 words of this verse.


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