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The importance of the threefold message of Revelation fourteen has been undervalued in our understanding of the reformation specific to our time. Within this piece I will detail briefly the role these angels play in the unfolding events of these last days. It will also be seen that the work they do indicate, not only their function, but the involvement they sustain with the various Bible narratives we place on our line.

It is true that the first angel has his beginning in the Time of the End marked by 1798. His work is one of reform and we know this to be so based on the following verses:  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.

The Bible says many things about fear. To begin with, it says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding. In the books of Psalms and Proverbs we find accompanying statements that provide gravity to the above definition. These statements include: i. The knowledge of the holy is understanding; ii. A good understanding have all they that do his commandments and; iii. But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Wisdom and knowledge are used interchangeably throughout the Bible and this allows for me to quote Hosea 4:6 in order to summarize my point. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” The first angel just on the premise of the word fear allows us to see that a series of results follow its arrival; 1. A reformation is initiated; 2. The law is reintroduced into history 3. A series of knowledge is increased in order that; 4. Two classes of people may be had. This is the primary role and work of the first angel. For a second witness let us look at John 16:8-11 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” The word reprove is the Greek G1651 which means to correct, convict through bringing light, to chasten and to punish. Under the message to the Laodicean church we find the following words: As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Revelation 3:19. Repent means, in Greek, to change one’s mind for the better; and to heartily amend, with abhorrence, of one’s past sin. In short to repent means to reform and to reform means to fear God the way His word instructs. And any call to fear God is followed by the four results named previously.
The First angel is said to have the everlasting gospel to preach to all on the earth. This gospel has three steps to it, which, the Millerites understood to be the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 (see Early Writings 258.3). It begs to reason then, that the first has in its message the components of all three messages; similarly to how the first degree of Cyrus comprised all the components of the two decrees that followed his. The “give glory to him” of the first angel’s message is the “Babylon is fallen, is fallen” of the second angel and the “righteousness” of John 16:8. These three points furnish us with the clues we need to know the work of the second angel.

To give glory in the Bible means to give thanks like the leper of Luke 17:16-18. It means more perfectly to live the life of Christ; see John 13:31 &32 and John 21:19. In John 7:18 we find the following words on how glory is given to another: “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” To show glory to God is to be righteous, truthful, and to speak of Him. What is righteousness? “Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and “God is love.” 1 John 4:16. It is conformity to the law of God, for “all Thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172), and “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him.”  {Thoughts on the Mount of Blessings, page 18.1} But what relationship do these findings have on the fall of Babylon? The fall of Babylon is the fall of all that opposes God. Babylon has its beginning in the tower of Babylon found in Genesis 11. In verses 1-4 there is pictured a type of rebellion against the instruction God gave Noah in the ninth chapter of Genesis. Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 pictures another characteristic of Babylon: self-exaltation or self-glory which takes us back to what we covered before on giving glory to God. All these, in combination, show the work of the second angel to be one of righteousness, self-abnegation, sanctification (godly living) and all these like the fall of Babylon are visual manifestations of the internal work the fear of God begins in the heart.

“The hour of his judgment is come,” is the last part of the first angel’s message and it corresponds nicely with the “judgment” of John 16:8 and the words of the third angel’s message which says: 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, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and 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 ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Revelation 14:9-11. Another component of the first angel’s message is visible within the third and it’s the portion on worship: “and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” But there is a dichotomy in the information we receive on worship in the first and third messages. The first pictures the seal of God: the Sabbath; while the latter pictures the mark of the beast: Sunday Observance. The cohabitation of false and true worship on a false and true rest day is the feature of the third angel’s message. The divine response to this is the judgment of God which falls in blessings upon the faithful and curses upon the wicked or unfaithful ones. Under the first angel’s message a generic mention is made to the approach of God’s hour of judgment (which began October 22, 1844) and during the third message we see details on how the wicked will be rewarded for their evil deeds. One speaks to the beginning of the Judgment while the other speaks to the final close of this hour at the Close of Human Probation

The information within this piece when rightly applied can help us in locating the correct place for the various Bible stories of the Scriptures and how it does so is simple. If you know where on our line the three messages are marked you only need to recognize the angel whose work best suites the details of the Bible story you are reading. For example, in the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel you see predominantly the third message on display. Wherever the third angel is on our line, Christ’s line, Noah’s line and the Millerites’ line is where you’d place this Bible story. Wherever you see the law being given, a reform being entered upon, knowledge being increased and a developing difference between two class of people, know that you place these stories wherever the first angel is on the various reform lines. Wherever you see a work being made toward righteousness, sanctification and self-abnegation and this work is externally visible, place the stories with these elements where the second angel is on the reform line.

Whenever the Bible is read through the lens of the work and role of the three angels, the harmony of the Scriptures will be better discerned and the words from Great Controversy 343.1 will have their proper weight and bearing on our minds: “The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former ages has lessons of great value for our own time.” Try at the suggestion of this piece and watch the Bible come alive to you.