The First Angel's Message
Has God appointed the day of judgment?
"Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness." Acts 17:31.
To whom has this event been made known?
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.
Where is the announcement of the judgment made?
"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Rev. 14:7.
What does the angel preach who makes this announcement?
"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.
NOTE: "Angel is from an original word meaning 'messenger,' and is used sometimes of ministering spirits sent of God to men with a message, tec., as in the Old Testament, Gospels, and Acts; sometimes of men so sent, as in the epistles and book of Revelation." --S.S. Teachers' Helps to the Study of the Bible, page 96.
By what is this angel accompanied before his work is accomplished?
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen... And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God." Rev. 14:8-10.
What will be the effect of the united work of these three messages?
"And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap,. for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Rev. 14:15. (See Matt. 13:39.)
What takes place in connection with the harvest?
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle." Rev. 14:14.
NOTE: The truths preached under these three angels, are to culminate in the Lord's advent, and the world's harvest. It is, then, clear that these messages must all go to one generation, and that generation the last one before the close of probation. No great religious movement ordained of God is ever sprung upon the world unheralded. See the work of Noah, John the Baptist, and others, in confirmation of this. So we may expect that just prior to the opening of the judgment announced by this first angel, God will have men in all parts of the world calling attention to the important time just before them.
What was the appearance of an angel seen by John, as recorded in chapter ten?
"And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire." Rev. 10:1.
What did he hold in his hand?
"And he had in his hand a little book open." Rev. 10:2.
And what did the angel do?
"And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth." Rev. 10:2, 3.
What was the burden of this message?
"And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer." ("Delay no longer," margin of R.V.) Rev. 10:5, 6.
The book in the hand of the angel, from which he proclaimed this time message, was said to be "open." When was the only sealed book of the Bible, that contained definite time, to be opened?
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Dan. 12:4.
NOTE: Such a message, then, could not go to the world till "the time of the end" came; for when it is proclaimed, the little book is "open," and in the hands of those who are represented by the angel.
What does the prophet Daniel say about the judgment?
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down [placed, R.V.], and the Ancient of days did sit, . . . thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Dan.7:9, 10.
What did Daniel see the little horn (Roman Church) do after the judgment opened?
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake." Dan. 7:11.
When did the angel say this judgment work, called the cleansing of the sanctuary would commence?
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Dan. 8:14.
NOTE: lt may here be stated that Since the closing of the 2300 days, in 1844, some of the greatest words of the Roman hierarchy have been uttered. For instance, the infallibility dogma of Pius IX, propagated in 1870. It is also a remarkable fulfillment of the prophecy that just prior to the close of that prophetic period, and in fulfillment of the first angel's message of Rev. 14:6, 7, men in various parts of the world did go forth proclaiming that "the hour of His judgment is come." It will be noticed in Rev. 10:2, that the angel set one foot on the sea and the other on the land, implying that his message is a world-wide one. In fulfillment of this, Joseph Wolfe in Asia, lrving in England, and Miller in America, with hundreds of co-laborers, heralded to the world, between the years 1836 and 1844, the message of the judgment hour.
Mourant Brock, an English writer, says of the extent of that message: "It is not merely in Great Britian that the expectation of the near return of the Redeemer is entertained, and the voice of warning raised, but also in America, India, and on the continent of Europe. In America about three hundred ministers of the word are thus preaching 'this gospel of the kingdom;' whilst in this country about seven hundred of the Church of England are raising the same cry." --Advent Tracts,
Vol. 2, page 135.
"The Voice of the Church," by D.T. Taylor, pages 342, 343, speaks thus of the work done in the different countries of the world by those who proclaimed that message: "In Wirtemberg there is a Christian colony numbering hundreds, who look for the speedy advent of Christ; also another on the shores of the Caspian; the Molokaners, a large body of dlssenters from the Russian Greek Church, residing on the shores of the Baltic, --a very pious people, of whom it is said, 'Taking the Bible alone for their creed, the norm of their faith is simply the Holy Scriptures,' --are characterized by the 'expectation of Christ's immediate and visible reign upon the earth.' In Russia, the doctrine of Christ's coming and reign is preached to some extent, and received by many of the lower class. It has been extensively agitated in Germany, particularly in the south part among the Moravians. In Norway, charts and books on the advent have bean circulated extensively, and the doctrine received by many. Among the Tartars in Tartary, there prevails an expectation of Christ's advent about this time. English and American publications on this doctrine have bean sent to Holland, Germany, India, Ireland, Constantinople, Rome, and to nearly every missionary station on the globe. At the Turks islands, it has been received to some extent among the Wesleyans. Mr. Fox, a Scottish missionary to the Teloogoo people was a believer in Christ's soon coming. James Mac Gregor Bertram, a Scottish missionary of the Baptist order at St. Helena, has sounded the cry extensively on that island, making many converts and pre-millennialists; he has also preached it in South Africa at the missionary stations there. David N. Lord informs us that a large proportion of the
missionaries who have gone from Great Britian to make known the gospel to the heathen, and who are now laboring in Asia and Africa, are millenialists; and Joseph Wolfe, D.D.; according to his journals, between the years 1821 and 1845 proclaimed the Lord's speedy advent in Palestine, Egypt, on the shores of the Red Sea, Mesopotamia, the Crimea, Persia, Georgia, throughout the Ottoman Empire, in Greece; Arabia, Turkestan, Bokhara, Afghanistan, Cashmere, Hindustan, Tibet, in Holland, Scotland, and Ireland, at Constantinople, Jerusalem, St Helena, also on shipboard in the Mediterranean, and at New York City, to all denominations. He declares he has preached among the Jews, Turks, Mohammedans; Parsees, Hindus, Chaldeans, Yeseedes, Syrians, Sabeans, to pashas, sheiks, shahs, the kings of Organtsh and Bokhara, the queen of Greece, etc.; and of his extraordinary labors, the Investigator says, 'No individual has, perhaps given greater publicity to the doctrine of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ than has this well-known missionary to the world. Wherever he goes, he proclaims the approaching advent of the Messiah in glory.'"
What did John do with the little book given him by the angel? And what effect did it have upon him?
"And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter." Rev. 10:10.
What was symbolized by his eating the book?
"Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel." Eze. 3:1.
NOTE: To eat, or fill one's self, so as to speak what the roll contained, would be to take in or understand its contents. John, representing the Lord's messengers in this important message to be given, ate (devoured) the book, which was pleasant at first to contemplate, but became bitter afterward, representing the disappointment when the time passed in 1844, and the Lord did not come, as was anticipated.
Were not the disciples disappointed in their expectations concerning Christ's work at His first advent?
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, will thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Acts 1:6. See also Luke 24:19-21.
NOTE: The disappointment of the disciples of Christ did not prove His mission false. As He rode into Jerusalem amid the shouts of "Hosanna!" from the delighted disciples, who supposed He would then take the throne of David and commence His reign, the Pharisees asked Him to rebuke the disciples. But Christ answered: "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out" (Luke 19:40). And why? Because the prophecies relating to His earthly work had predicted this entry into Jerusalem (Zech. 9:9), and it must be fulfilled, even should the stones be caused to fulfill it. Then the Lord in this event suffered His disciples to be disappointed; and yet they were fulfilling prophecy. When Israel left Egypt, under the impression that they would in a few days, at farthest, enter the promised land, they, too, were disappointed. But that did not disprove the divine call of Moses, nor show that the departure from Egypt was not ordered by God. In every great movement which God has inaugurated among His people, He has suffered disappointment to come, in order to test the faith of those engaged in it. It was so in the cases of Elijah, Jonah, and others. And so it was in 1844. God suffered His people to misapprehend the intent of the prophecy, and thus their faith was tested. The disappointment was due, not to an error in locating the beginning or the end of the 2300 days, but in the nature of the event to occur at the end of those days. They supposed the cleansing of the sanctuary meant the purifying of the earth by fire, at the coming of Christ. For an exposition of the 2300 days, see reading on "A Great Prophetic Period."
What did the Lord say should afterward be done?
"And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." Rev. 10:11.
What message was immediately to follow the proclamation of the judgment?
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen." Rev. 14:8. For explanation of this message, see the next chapter (51).