Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    SERMON THREE. THE FIRST MESSAGE

    TEXT. - 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, saying, with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:6, 7.OFAH 30.1

    WHOEVER will read attentively the proclamations embraced in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation, cannot fail to notice their vast importance. At whatever period in the history of the church these proclamations are made, from their very nature they must constitute the great theme of interest for that generation. Whenever the angels of this chapter are commissioned by God to announce to the nations of the earth that the hour of his Judgment is come, or to proclaim the fall of Babylon, or to utter against the worshipers of the beast the most dreadful threatening which the Bible contains, no man can disregard their work, or treat their warnings as non-essential, except at the peril of his soul. If it were merely possible that these warnings were addressed to ourselves, it would become us to examine this subject with serious attention; but if this point can be proved by decisive testimony, it is certain that we cannot too carefully attend to the warnings here uttered.OFAH 30.2

    The text is called the first message because it is the first of the series. See verse 9. John calls it “another angel” from the fact that he had previously seen an angel flying in the midst of heaven. See chap. 8:13.OFAH 30.3

    This proclamation is one of pre-eminent importance. It is not a mere local judgment, but one that concerns all the inhabitants of the earth. Hence, it has reference to the final Judgment scene. It is the same gospel that Paul preached that is here styled the “everlasting gospel.” But the great truth uttered by this angel would not have been a truth if uttered by Paul; for he lived at the commencement of the gospel dispensation, and this proclamation relates to its closing scenes. It seems to be the same as “this gospel of the kingdom,” that our Lord presents in Matthew 24:14, as the sign of the end of this dispensation, and which was to be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations before the end should come.OFAH 31.1

    The truth on this point is well expressed in the following language of the late Mr. Bliss, editor of the Advent Herald, Dec. 14, 1850:OFAH 31.2

    “As an indication of the approach of the end, there was, however, to be seen another angel flying through 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. The burden of this angel was to be the same gospel which had been before proclaimed; but connected with it was the additional motive of the proximity of the kingdom, ‘saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.’ Verse 7. No mere preaching of the gospel, without announcing its proximity, could fulfill this message.”OFAH 31.3

    In harmony with this testimony from the editor of the Herald, I will here give another from a tract on prophecy, published by J. V. Himes about the same time, which also speaks of the character of the message, and the time of its application. The title of the tract is, “Our Specific Work“:OFAH 31.4

    “The proclamation of an everlasting gospel, ‘The hour of his Judgment is come,’ Revelation 14:6, 7, is the leading Advent proclamation.OFAH 32.1

    “The facts summed up are these: John, looking into the distant future, gazing upon the theater of the final conflict, sees a messenger, a minister, of an everlasting gospel, fly through mid-heaven, with a special, elevated, joyous, public, proclamation, requiring haste and extraordinary energy in its delivery. The proclamation contains a fact, and a command founded upon that fact. 1. The fact: ‘The hour of his Judgment is come.’ 2. The command: ‘Fear God,’ etc. These are the elements of this special commission. The work of this symbol agent is thus clearly defined; no terms more specific.OFAH 32.2

    “Does this messenger symbolize a class of teachers? Such has been the general understanding of expositors. Mr. Wesley and Dr. Benson so interpret the passage. On this point there is great unanimity. It is plain from the fact that it is said to preach. That class of people is modern. Mr. Wesley and Dr. Benson make this messenger symbolize the Protestant reformers in the days of Luther. With their view agree a mass of expositors. This commission, however, cannot be Luther’s.OFAH 32.3

    “That body must exist somewhere, and in its character, and in the nature of its work, it must agree with the symbol messenger. They must agree as face to face in a mirror. Can such a body be found? The proclamation above stated has been heard. The world can bear testimony to this. The cry, ‘The hour of his Judgment is come,’ sounded through all Christendom. The multitude heard, and scoffed or trembled. By what body of believers was this proclamation made? Not by those who taught that that Judgment was a thousand years in the future. No church which holds to the doctrine of a spiritual reign can be that body, as the elements of their proclamation flatly contradict those elements above stated. Such a body now existing can be found alone among those who constitute the Advent believers in Europe and America.”OFAH 32.4

    In proof that this message has not been fulfilled in the history of past generations, we offer the following reasons:OFAH 33.1

    1. No proclamation of the hour of God’s Judgment come, was made prior to the nineteenth century.OFAH 33.2

    2. If such a proclamation had been made centuries in the past, as some contend, it would have been a false one.OFAH 33.3

    3. The prophecies on which such a proclamation to men in a state of probation must be based, were closed up and sealed to the time of the end.OFAH 33.4

    4. The Scriptures plainly locate the message of warning respecting the Judgment in a brief space immediately preceding the advent of our Lord.OFAH 33.5

    We now offer proof in support of the foregoing propositions. If they are sustained, they establish the fact that the present generation is that one to which the angels’ messages are addressed.OFAH 33.6

    1. The apostles did not make such a proclamation. On the contrary, they plainly inform us that the day of the Lord was not then at hand. Martin Luther did not make this proclamation; for he thought the Judgment about three hundred years in the future. And finally, the history of the church presents no such proclamation in the past.OFAH 34.1

    2. We are on firm ground, also, when we say that had such a proclamation been made to the world in past centuries, it would have been a false proclamation. Three reasons sustain this statement. 1. There is no part of the Bible on which such a message in the past could have been based; 2. It would have been in direct opposition to those scriptures which locate the Judgment, and the warning respecting its approach, in the period of the last generation; 3. The history of the world amply evinces that the hour of God’s Judgment had not come in the past.OFAH 34.2

    3. The prophecies which give us the time of the Judgment, and which present the succession of events leading down to that great crisis, were closed up and sealed till the time of the end. We refer particularly to the prophecies of Daniel. See chap. 8:17, 26; 12:4, 9. Hence it is evident that God reserves the warning to the generation that alone needs it. Noah’s warning respecting the flood was alone applicable to those who should witness it; thus also the warning respecting the Judgment is alone applicable to the generation that lives in the last days.OFAH 34.3

    4. The Bible locates these messages in the period which immediately precedes the second advent, and plainly warns us against the proclamation of the Judgment at hand prior to that time. If we recur to the book of Acts, we shall find Paul preaching before Felix, of the Judgment to come; and before the Athenians, that God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ. Acts 24:25; 17:31. But that book nowhere intimates that Christ was immediately coming to Judgment. Peter points his hearers to the future, saying that the heavens which had then received Christ, must retain him until the times of restitution. Acts 3:21.OFAH 34.4

    The first epistle to the Thessalonians may seem to teach that the apostles expected the coming of Christ to Judgment in their day. Indeed, it is evident that such an idea was received from it by the Thessalonian church. Hence it was, that in his second epistle to them Paul found it necessary to speak explicitly on the point. He tells them that the coming of Christ to the Judgment could not take place until the great apostasy; and that as the result of that apostasy the Man of Sin should be revealed, showing himself that he is God, and exalting himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped. That this mystery of iniquity is the great Romish apostasy, none but a Papist will deny.OFAH 35.1

    The papal supremacy began 538, and ended in 1798 with the overthrow of the Pope’s temporal power. The warning of Paul against a false proclamation respecting the Judgment at hand, therefore, expires at that time, and not before. For we have then reached the point of time where the last important event in Daniel 7, before the Judgment, has transpired.OFAH 35.2

    And what is of very deep interest, the point of time at which Paul’s warning expires is the commencement of the time of the end, - the very point to which the visions of Daniel were closed up and sealed. Compare chapter 11:33, 35; Daniel 7:25, and the fact that the 1260 years’ persecution of the saints terminates with the commencement of the time of the end, will appear obvious. How gloriously does this view of the subject make the truth of God shine out! For the warning of the apostle against a false proclamation of the Judgment at hand, expires at the very point where the seal is taken from those prophecies which show when the Judgment sits. And it is respecting this period, the time of the end, that it is said, Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge [on the very subject which was before concealed] shall be increased. Then the time of the end is the period in which the Judgment-hour cry and the subsequent messages are to be given.OFAH 35.3

    Disappointment by no means proves that God has no hand in the guidance of his people. It should lead them to correct their errors, but it should not lead them to cast away their confidence in God. It was because the children of Israel were disappointed in the wilderness that they so often denied divine guidance. They are set forth as an admonition to us, that we should not fall after the same example of unbelief.OFAH 36.1

    But it must be apparent to every student of the Scriptures, that the angel who proclaims the hour of God’s Judgment does not give the latest message of mercy. Revelation 14, presents two other and later proclamations, before the close of human probation. This fact alone is sufficient to prove that the coming of the Lord does not take place at the close of the first angel’s proclamation.OFAH 36.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents