Berean Bible Corner

THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE

 A SEVERE WARNING AGAINST THE BEAST, IMAGE AND MARK.

 Scripture reading: Rev.14:9-11

The theme of greatest importance is the third angel’s message, embracing the messages of the first and second angels. All should understand the truth contained in these messages and demonstrate them in daily life, for this is essential in salvation. We shall have to study earnestly, prayerfully, in order to understand these grand truths; and our power to learn and comprehend will be taxed to the utmost.

(Ellen G.White in Evangelism p.196)

 

This message deals again with worship. It warns against worship of the beast, its

image and against receiving the mark of the beast, and those who do worship will

suffer divine retribution from which there is no return, it will be final And

that will be for the people who ignore this warning and who worship beast, image

and receive the mark.

In the first angel message we have the challenge to worship the Creator, which is

acceptable worship. Here we have a warning against false worship and which is not

acceptable.

 

It is not about one church against another church. It is between true and false or between genuine and counterfeit worship.

It becomes of great importance to find out what is the beast, what is its image and what is its mark.

We also like to make it crystal clear that in Biblical terms worship is a matter of choice. Not something enforced upon people, one way or the other. Read Joshua 24:15 choose you this day whom ye will serve. Jesus said in John 7:17 if any will do his will and then in Matth.23:37 Christ’s emotional complaint ye would not.

The last part of Revelation is again expressed in an invitation Come¼and whosoever will. Rev.22:17 The Mark of the beast is not enforced upon people, but they will receive it because they have chosen the wrong type of worship and then will receive that mark.

 

The book of the Revelation can be divided into different parts.

One division is that of the two trilogies:

First trilogy Rev.1-11

1. Rev.1-3    Introduction and Jesus’ seven letters to His church.

2. Rev.4-8:1 Vision of the seals, the suffering and conquering Lamb and His church.

3. Rev.8:2-11 The seven trumpets, divine retribution over God’s enemies.

 

Chapter 12 the interlude vision of the Great Controversy.

 

Second trilogy Rev.13-22

1. Rev.13 and 14 the beasts and last day messages against these beasts.

2. Rev.15-20        Final divine retribution, worldwide.

3. Rev.21 and 22 Glorious restorations.

 

Some do overlap each other or are a repeat of a previously mentioned event, like chapter 17 and 18, enlarging chapter 13.

Part of chapter 13 is mentioned during the first trilogy during the Thyatira church period. Rev.2:18-29

 

In the second trilogy we find the beast described and what will happen to it.

Chs. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 has referrals to this beast. It is the leading symbol of apostasy.

We underline strongly that beasts do not represent people, but stand for systems which have been created by people. Those who create those systems will be held responsible and those who choose to serve in those systems will be held responsible as well. Only heaven is able to judge people, we can only judge systems if they are Bible based or not. Isa.8:20; 2Tim.3:16

 

Apostasy was already foretold by the apostle Paul in Acts 20:29.30, wolves from inside and outside. Also mentioned in 2 Thess.2:3, 4 and 2 Tim.4; 3, 4

In church history we have seen the fulfilment of these predictions and the present spiritual situation in the world around us still confirms the same. A spiritual downturn and living by traditions instead of the plain Word of God. (See study Christ and His seven churches in the REVELATION section of this website)

 

Paul’s prediction in 2 Thessalonians started before the fall of Pagan Rome and continued into the time of Papal Rome, thus fulfilling the work of the little horn of Daniel’s prophecy.

 

1.Dan.7:25 : Speaking against the most high.

Wearing out the saints, persecution.

Changing times and law.

Lasting 3 and 1/2 times, 538-1798 AD.

 

2.Dan.8:11 Exaltation against the Prince, Christ.

Taking away the Tamid, Christ’s heavenly priestly ministry.

(See Daniel section regarding Sanctuary and Tamid)

Putting down the truth.

Time of this desolation would last until 1844(Dan.8:14)

(See Daniel section, 1844, for correctness of this date)

3.Dan.11:31 King of the north, Papal Rome doing same as L.Horn of

Dan.8:11, which is same as the L.Horn of Dan.7

(Go to Daniel section of this website and read Dan.11:40-45)

 

THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL SEVEN BECOMES THE FIRST BEAST OF           REVELATION 13 AND ANSWERS TO THE SAME IDENTIFICCATION.

 

These three prophetic visions of Daniel represent the spiritual rebellion and darkness of what is also pictured in Rev.13 under the first multifaceted beast, vs.1-10.

Beast and L.Horn do show identical items of description. Speaking blasphemies, 13:5,

Blasphemies against God, God’s tabernacle,13:6, also making war with the saints, religious persecution, 13:7 and accepting worship from the people, 13:8

These items are identical to the L.Horn of Dan.7

It is multifaceted because it has something of the Leopard, Bear and Lion and receives power from the Dragon of Rev.12:9, Pagan Rome.Rev.12 deals with the dragon in the form of Pagan Rome trying to kill the child, Christ, delivered by the woman

In the Church of Rome we find religious traces of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.

 

(Read the book THE TWO BABYLONS or THE PAPAL WORSHIP by the late Rev.Alexander Hislop. Published by TEACH Services, Inc.Brushton New York USA and available from Adventist Book Centres)

 

THE APOCALYPTIC BEAST

 

Satan is the Dragon but masquerades himself under different human powers.

Babylon, Medo/Persia, Greece, Rome Pagan and Rome Papal, followed by Atheism (beast of Rev.11:7), during the time the beast was suffering its deadly wound

and finally under the Lamb like beast of Rev.13:11-17,which will be instrumental to heal the deadly wound. This gives us 7 prophetic symbol beasts (for more detail read study on Rev.17 in the REVELATION section of this website))

 

Papal Rome, as the L. Horn or beast is the dragon’s masterpiece of deception whose time is mentioned 6 times:

.Dan.7:25    3 ½ times               Rev.11:3    1260 days

12:7       ib                          12:6              ib

12:14           3 1/2

13:5             42 mo.

 

Pagan Rome ended in 476AD and Papal Rome got into full power in 538AD and was brought to an end under the French revolution in 1798, giving a total of 1260 years of supremacy. We use the standard year-day principle. History tells us that Papal Rome inherited all the power, names and administrative system from Pagan Rome.

 

Persons reading this study and interested to know more about this subject of the L.Horn of Daniel are encouraged to purchase the book “OPEN SECRETS OF THE ANTICHRIST. Has the beast of Bible Prophecy Identified itself?” Written by Donald Ernest Mansell., and available from Adventist Book Centres http://www.adventistbookcenter.com

 

At the end of that time a deadly wound would be inflicted, Rev.13:3

Many were thinking, the wound is fatal, causing the end of Papal Rome.

 

The reality is, the end of one era or one form of apostasy in 1798, is followed by

another era of apostasy  since 1798 and completed by the last era, being a repeat  or

setting up of an image of the first era from before 1798. The beast symbolically representing Papacy is the only one from the 7 symbol beasts to receive a deadly wound and which wound is healed thus making a comeback in later years possible.

 

The first era of the beast ended with a deadly wound in 1798,

the last era will end in final destruction,Rev.19:20 (17:16; Dan.11:45)

 

THE IMAGE OF THE “BEAST”

 

Q. How do we know the first era of church apostasy will be repeated?

A. The wound of Rev.13:3a will be healed, 13:3b

Rev.13:3c, 4 and 8, the entire world will worship, except those whose names are

in the book of life. More details in Rev.17

 

Our name will be written in the book of life, if one is genuinely born again into the Kingdom of God

and living by the true principles of righteousness by faith.

(See study Gospel Operations on this website REVELATION section).

Q. What is the meaning of the healing?

A. The healing can only be understood if we know the nature of the wound.

 

Q. What was the status of the first beast of Rev.13?

A. A combination of church and state. Unsuccessful mingling of iron and clay as

foretold by Daniel in Dan.2:42, 43  A form of unity between church and state.

1. Papacy was part of the Roman Empire. (Secular Rome became “Holy” Rome)

2. This was the unsuccessful mixture of iron and clay, church/state.

3. The church using the state to dictate and to enforce its policies.

 

The reformation started to oppose this “marriage”, and the church-state system

was terminated by the French revolution, completing this in 1798.

In Rev.17:3 the beast is apocalyptically seen as being in the wilderness, separated,

or as a “widow”, Rev.18:7  Nursing its “wound”.

The healing must be a return to this former “marriage” between state and church.

This healing is called the setting up of an “image”, eikon, not a shadow but a true

likeness, replica or photo-copy .Church and state will work together again.

 

Such a healing process takes time, but signs of healing are clearly noticeable.

1. After the imprisonment of the Pope in 1798, a new pope instituted.

2. The wound became more severe when Papacy lost its secular power and

sovereignty.

3. Healing started in 1870 with the declaration of Papal infallibility.

4. In 1929 return of secular power, the Vatican a sovereign state again.

5. After WWII Popes become world travellers.

6. Most nations have appointed an ambassador to the Holy See, even USA

7. Papal involvement in bringing down international communism.

8. Christian coalition, signed documents of relationship with the Vatican.

9. LWF and RC Church sign a theological agreement, virtually signing

away what Luther started in 1517.(LWF = Lutheran World Federation)

10. Pope seeking seriously to lift the schism between RC and Orthodox

11. Even USA Presbyterian Church seeking dialogue with the Vatican

12. The Holy See is also very much involved in the European Union.

But the image hasn’t been set up yet. Papacy is not yet able to use the state to dictate its policies as the situation was before 1798.

                “When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular

                  power to sustain a false religion, for opposing  which their

                 ancestors endured  the fiercest persecution; when the state shall

                use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions

                of the church – then will Protestant America have formed an image

                to the papacy, and their will be a national apostasy which will end

                only in national ruin.” (SDABC 7a, p.976) 

 

                  PAPACY WILL REGAIN ITS LOST SUPREMACY.

 

Q. Which power will erect the image and prepare its worship?

A. Rev.13:11-17 A second beast appears. What is its description?

a. Out of the Earth, not from the roaring waves of the sea of nations.

The first beast, papal power rose from among people in Europe.

The second beast came up out of the earth, a place with no nation(s).

b. Two lamb-like horns:

                      i. Initially harmless and peaceful

ii. Horns are separated: 1.Church-state separated.

2. State without a king.

3. Church without a Pope

4. No dictatorship,

c. Will speak like the dragon, satanic power, Spiritualistic.

d. Exercises same power as beast whose deadly wound was healed.

The real character of this beast to be seen after the deadly wound is

healed.

e. Works with spiritual deception, is also called “false prophet”16:13

NASB footnote “lieutenant”. (“This means it is Antichrist’s lieutenant)

f. Will enforce the worship of the image.

g. It will cause to worship the beast; cause = to make it happen, to produce

a law.

 

There is general confusion among churches regarding the identification of this beast power.

 

John Andrews became the first SDA spokesperson to identify this beast as American Protestantism.

However Litch, before 1844, hinted in his days already in the direction of a non RC power.

But in the 18th century some writers pointed already in that direction, like the Baptist Isaac Bachus who called it “Protestant beast”    (see Froom Vol. IV 1098/9).

 

Thus this is not an exclusive SDA prophetic invented interpretation.

 

See previous statement regarding EGW’s confirmation of the meaning of the image,

(SDABC 7a, p.976)

 

Q. When will this take place?

A.  Must be before the close of probation, because the third angel warns against it.

The warning is not of any value after probation has been closed.

 

The Lamblike, two horned beast will (Rev.13:14, 15):

a. Lead the way.

b. Will make the image.

c. Give life to the image, make it work.

d. Legislate its worship, death penalty.

 

The church will take hold of government power to enforce its aims.

 

This means it has to do with worship, as in Daniel 3 image worship was enforced by the power of the government of the day, and a death decree.

 

Q: Will a day of enlightenment prevent such Sunday legislation:

A: Ellen G.White answers this question in her book The GREAT CONTROVERSY p.572/3: A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favourable to the success of papacy. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favourable for its success.”

 

     The first angel’s message calls for true worship of the Creator God.

Paul in Rom.12:1, 2 defines what true worship is, non conformity to the world.

Not to conform to the dictates of the world is reasonable worship.

 

To follow Satan’s suggestions is unreasonable, regarding the results.

 

 

THE MARK.

The mark of the beast must have a relationship with worship, because worship is the

key issue in this prophetic scenario

Q. Which part of God’s law involves worship?

A. First part:  No other Gods

No images of God

                      No misuse of God’s name.

No other day for worship than the 7th day.

 

The first angel message calls for worship of the God who created the heaven, and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters, Rev.14:7. That is a clear quote from Exo.20:11 the fourth commandment about the 7th   day Sabbath, the standard memorial day of God’s creation, a day to be remembered. This commandment also carries the marks of a seal, name, title and territory.

Therefore it is logic thinking that the warning of the third angel message against worship of beast and image must be against something of the opposite nature, which tends strongly to forget God as Creator and His day of memorial.

 

Q. Why would Satan strike at the 4th command?

A. 1. That’s the one which can make a universal impact because it involves a rest day.

2. Society is geared towards a weekly day of rest, for religious or social reasons.

3. The 4th command reminds people of their Creator; Satan supports evolutionism which is the opposite of creationism

4. Sabbath keeping leads into true Creator-God worship, Satan leads into false counterfeit worship.

5. Sabbath reminds us of divine true salvation, rest in Christ. Read Hebr.4

6. Sabbath is connected with God’s sanctification process Eze.20:12

     7. Sabbath is part of God’s law, which Satan hates and declares it cannot be kept faithfully.

 

It will be interested to note here that the change from Sabbath to Sunday was not by divine authority but by the Roman Catholic Church authority. We give here a few statements for confirmation:

You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find

      a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The scriptures enforce

     the religious observance of Saturday a day we never sanctify

(James  Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers,(1917 ed) pp.72,73)

 

The church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time

    added other days as holy days.”

  (Vincent Kelly (catholic), forbidden Sunday and feast days Occupations, 1943 ed.p.2)

 

More statements could be added giving clear evidence that the Roman Catholic Church by its authority has changed the law and gives as an example of the change from 7th day Sabbath observance to first day Sunday observance.

Protestant churches like Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and others agree that there is no Biblical support for Sunday observance.

 

The enforced change by legislation to Sunday observance will be the mark

which will show the difference between true and false Creator-God

worship, but…..

 

           “Sunday keeping is not yet the mark of the beast, and will not be

           until the decree goes forth causing men to worship this idol Sabbath.

          The time will come when this day will be the test but that time has not

          come yet”  (SDABC 7a, p.977)

 

When this will take place, then people will have to make their

choice to accept one day or the other. Joshua 24:15

 

When that choice is made for one reason or another, then people will have that mark in their forehead or right hand; Rev.13:16; 14:9

Q. Do we see signs of the lamb-like beast starting to speak as the dragon?

A. First: the same three powers coming forth out of the mouth of the dragon in

Rev.16:13 are involved and warned against in the 3rd angel’s message:

i. the beast, same as in 16:13

The growing influence of the Vatican, Papacy, in the world today is clearly noticeable.

ii. the image, erected by the false prophet (lieutenant NASB) of 16:13.

Protestantism and Roman Catholicism are growing together more and more.

iii. deceiving miracles,13:13.14 same as in 16:14 working miracles (spiritism)

Occultism, New Age with its so-called miracles is a strong growing phenomenon in the world around us.

Children, the new generation, are being brainwashed, prepared through the Harry Potter fiction books and other post modern teachings.

 

B…Second: we must notice that in Rev.16:12 the 6th plague is the drying up of

apocalyptic Euphrates, the waters of Rev.17:15.

The waters are the people, nations giving support to the beast.

The apocalyptic scenario of 16:13, 14 takes place before the drying up of

those waters, and the 3rd angel warns against this event, for not being

gathered together in the wrong group.

 

Two gatherings will take place, one around mount Sion, God’s holy mount,

the other around mount Mageddon, mount of Satan’s destruction.

 

Satan sends his message three fold: beast, false prophet, spiritism, for gathering the people, Rev.16:13, 14, and 16

The Lord has His three angels to gather God’s people into safety.Rev.14:6-12

Two mountain gatherings see here above.

 

Q. Do we see developments which make the 3rd angel message relevant?

A. a. See previous listing of signs of healing of the deadly wound.

b. Deceiving miracles are taking place, charismatic movements, Pentecostalism,

Mary visions and Mary interest in non RC faith communities.

c. Actions of the false prophet with a false message of salvation and incorrect

prophetic interpretations. (Futurism/preterism instead of historicism)

d. Pope’s message regarding Sunday keeping (May 1998)

      e. Papal calls for more Sunday observance:

          Pope John XXIII called upon ‘public authorities’, employers and workers, to

           observe the sanctity of Sunday’.

           Said the Pope:” This presupposes a change of mind in society and the

          intervention of  the powers of  the state.”

          In 1998’s  Dies Domini, Pope John Paul II emphasized the moral obligation of 

          of the state to facilitate the “Sabbath”  ‘Obligation’

Pope Benedict XVI also urged for better Sunday observance as he did

during Papal visit to Austria in 2007.

A growing support for the European Sunday alliance.

 

 

Q. How should we accept this message?

A. The content may seem negative but is completed in a positive character description

of such people accepting and living this message, Rev.14.12.

a. They are people with patience,

b. Obedient to God’s commandments, and

c. Keeping the faith of Jesus. They are true genuine Christians.

An apparent negative message calls for a positive response as expressed in Rev.14:12

We should accept this message, answer the call of Rev.18:1-4 and thrive to belong to the people as described in Rev.12:17; 14:12

 

It’s a question of life and death,

              “The third angel’s message is to be regarded as of the highest importance It is a life

              and death question. The impression made by this message will be in proportionate to

               the earnestness and solemnity with which it is proclaimed.” (SDABC 7a-980)

 

We either join the false prophet people of Rev.14:9-11 or the true prophet people of 14:12

It is false righteousness by faith through human works with the spirit of antinomianism or true righteousness by faith through the saving grace and work of Christ. Eph. 2:8-10.; Titus 2:11-13

 

“Several have written to me inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel’s message and I have answered, it is the third angel’s message in verity.”

(Rev.&.Herald April 1, 1890, vol.67-13)

 

It is the third angel’s message in verity because it calls us away from counterfeit worship

to genuine Worship in Spirit and Truth of the Creator God. From Anti-Christ to Christ

 

The true message of faith will call people away from the false one.

Genuine justification by faith leads into sanctification by faith, Acts 26:18

 

In Christ we find forgiveness of our sins, justification, but also sanctification,

overcoming the power of sin.  His name shall be Jesus, because He shall save

His people from their sins, Matth.1:21

 

                           This is the verity of the third angel’s message.

 

Full and complete restoration in Christ through the merits of His substitutionary

vicarious atoning sacrifice and through the power of His atoning ministry in the

heavenly sanctuary.

 

CONCLUSION:

This message warns against a half gospel and presents a genuine

full everlasting gospel.

 

It is also the eternal Gospel in verity as first presented by the Lord Himself

in the garden of Eden. Gen.3:15

 

It presents a challenge to those hearing this message, calling for

a. to fear God,

b. give glory to Him, and

c. worship the Creator God in true sanctifying Sabbath observance.

 

It also gives a clear unmistaken picture for those rejecting this message.

 

Those who have accepted this message have become “stewards of the mysteries

          of God, and are required to be found  faithful.  See 1 Cor.4:1, 2

 

Let this be our position in the day of Christ’s glorious soon coming.

 

 

 

Jan.T.Knopper

November 2007

Edited November 2010

Revisited September 2013

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