The Third Angel’s Message
“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
“And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:9-12).
The Third Angel’s message warns people against worshiping the beast and his image and receiving the mark of the beast in their foreheads or hands. Of the three angels’ messages, the first angel commands true worship, but the Third Angel’s message tells of the awesome consequences connected with false worship. In order to avoid worshiping the beast, we need to identify the beast, his image and his mark:
The Point of Controversy in the Third Angel’s Message
The special point of Controversy will be the fourth of the Ten Commandments-the Sabbath. There is general agreement among Christians that the other nine are of universal obligation, but early in the Christian Era men began to set aside the seventh-day Sabbath and to substitute the observance of the first day of the week as the day of worship (Daniel 7:25). But there is not a single verse in the Bible that supports Sunday observance.
The Third Angel’s Message says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). The two identifying characteristics of the faithful ones is: the keeping of the commandments of God and of the faith of Jesus.
Deceived by Satan’s lies, the world will bow to the beast and its image, and carry out its decrees (Revelation 13:8). But the saints, on the other hand, will refuse to obey its demands. Instead they will obey the commandments of God (Exodus 20:3-17) through His enabling grace by faith (Romans 8:3, 4).
The crisis will come when symbolic Babylon prevails upon the state to enforce Sunday observance by civil law and seeks to punish all dissenters so that “no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17). This will be followed by the death decree (verse 15). In this dark hour those who cling to the Bible will refuse to give up the observance of the true Sabbath.
In His service,