God’s Everlasting Gospel

God’s Everlasting Gospel

Scripture: Revelation 14:6-12, Matthew 24:14, Exodus 20:2-11
Date: 03/09/2019  Lesson: 10
"How is our view of Creation and Salvation related? Why is resting on the Sabbath as God did so important?"

Revelation: The Bride, the Beast & Babylon - DVD or Digital Download

Revelation: The Bride, the Beast & Babylon - DVD or Digital Download
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Hello, friends, welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. I'd like to welcome those who are joining us online. I know we have a number of online members that tune in every week to be part of our Bible study time right here at the church. I'd also like to welcome those who are watching on the various television networks. And we're glad that you're part of our study time. As well as our regular church members, and I know we have some visitors who are joining us this morning, I'd like to welcome all of you. You've come for a great Bible study this morning. As many of you know, we've been studying through the Book of Revelation. That's been our theme for the entire quarter. Today, we find ourselves in the very heart of the Book of Revelation. Our lesson is lesson number 10, and it's entitled "God's Everlasting Gospel." We're going to be talking about the three angels' messages. Well, before we get to our study for today, I'd like to let those who are watching know about a wonderful free offer that we have. It's one of our new sharing DVDs. And this is going to be available for those who call and ask. The number to call if you'd like to receive this is 866-788-3966, and you can ask for offer number 817. We'll be happy to send this out to anyone who calls and asks or you can send a text message to the number, send the code, "SH055" to the number 40544, and you'll be able to get a link as to where you'll be able to watch "Revelation: The Bride, the Beast, and Babylon," just a great documentary dealing with a number of these important truths that we find in the Book of Revelation. Well, before we get to our study today, let's begin with the word of prayer.

Dear Father, once again, we are grateful that we have this opportunity to gather together and open up Your Word and study a very important passage found in the Book of Revelation. And, Lord, I pray that as we open the scripture, and as we study together, Your Holy Spirit to come and got our hearts, our minds, and help us to grasp and understand this very important end time message that is found right here in Revelation 14, for we ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. Well, today, we're going to have Pastor Doug Batchelor lead us in our study this morning, but I'm going to be joining him on stage, one of my favorite topics also is the three angels' messages. And so we'll try and do this together this morning. Pastor Doug, good morning.

Good morning, Pastor Ross. You know, the Bible says that when Jesus sent out the disciples, He sent them out two by two. And so we're going to try to get the dual stereo benefit of Pastor Ross and I teaching this together. And we didn't practice this today, so I don't know what part of it he's going to say or what part of it I'm going to say. But we do a radio program every Sunday, where we kind of tag team in the answers. Now when we do the radio program, we're looking at each other, most people are just listening, and we can give, you know, signals like I got a thought over here, you know. And sometimes Pastor Ross will go like that mean, I got something I want to say. And if I'm not done, I avoid eye contact. And until I'm done, and then I say okay. So, but what we're going to do now is we get this purple, and I have a tendency to get carried away, so if Pastor Ross has a thought, and I'm going too far, he'd just... That's what he's got to do to tell me, "That's my turn to talk." So we're very... And this is, you know, this subject today is absolutely foundational for Seventh-day Adventist. As you travel around the world, and you see Seventh-day Adventist churches, how many remember when they had the logo of the globe, it kind of had a globe with some lines through it, and three angels going around it. That was our official logo. And then since then we've updated the logo, so it's like three swirls going around the globe, same principle. The three angels' message is foundational to the Seventh-day Adventist movement. And so it's very important for us to understand our study today. So we're going to get right into lesson number 10, and we've got a memory verse, you see it on the screen. I hope everyone will say it with me, the memory verse is actually from Chapter 12. Most of what we're studying today is going to be Chapter 14. I'm sorry, Revelation 14:12, and we invite you to say that with me. Are you ready? "Here is the patience of the saints, and here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ." And that'll sort of be the point we're aiming for in our lesson. Now I ask Pastor Ross to do the same thing we did last week on Revelation 13. In case we don't get all the way through it. I said, let's just at least read through the verses we're going to consider today. I think it's what, 6-12?

Yes. Revelation, if you're following your Bibles, we're going to be looking at Revelation Chapter 14, we're going to be looking at the three angels' messages, and it begins in verse 6, and we'll read through the verse 12. So Revelation Chapter 14 beginning now in verse 6. "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those that dwell upon the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him that made the heavens, the sea, and the springs of water.' And another angel followed saying, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication.' Then a third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives these mark in their forehead or in their 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."

All right, thank you. You know, one thing, you're noticing right here. First of all, this is the most fearful curse that you find in the Bible. It's in Revelation Chapter 14 in the third angel's message. It doesn't get more serious than the smoke of their torment ascending up forever and ever, if you get the mark of the beast. That is in contrast at the end, where those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, and so you've got the two polar opposite groups in the last days. Now to understand why it's so important for us to read the three angels' message, the next verses, matter of fact, Pastor Ross, why don't you read verse 14? What happens right after these three messages were given? Read verse 14 and, well, maybe 15.

So immediately after the proclamation of the three angels' messages, verse 14, John in vision says, "Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having upon His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle." Then it says, "Another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that who sat on the cloud, 'Thrust in Thy sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.'"

All right, so who is it that we see sitting on a cloud coming to harvest? Jesus. What time is that? It's the Second Coming. Christ said, "I am the sower, the Word of God is the seed, harvest is the end of the world," in His parables. So these three angels' messages are happening immediately prior to the Second Coming. So these are messages that go to the world. So that's why it's so important for us to look at that. First angel's message, let's review, and we'll start now going through them one by one. "I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel…" All right, let's pause right there. What is the everlasting gospel? Is that a different gospel than the one that Abraham knew? Were the Jews saved under a different gospel than the Gentiles? Is there a different gospel in the New Testament than the Old Testament? Or is the everlasting gospel, the same gospel that goes from Adam, all the way to the second coming of Jesus. It's that we are saved by grace through faith, we are saved from our sin, God gives us a new heart. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. They were saved by faith, looking forward to the cross, we are saved by faith, looking back to the cross, the power is in the cross, we're all saved by the blood of Jesus. The everlasting gospel is the same gospel. So this gospel is then to go tells us the scope of it to all those who dwell on the earth. Is this a message just for Israel? Or is it... It's a global message, right? And what's the great commission in Matthew Chapter 28?

"We're told to go preach, make disciples, baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit." You'll notice the first angel's message goes to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, actually all three messages do. And the reason for that is, immediately following the proclamation of the three angels' message, you have the second coming of Christ, which will affect every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. So the gospel is go to all the world because all the world is going to be affected at the Second Coming of Jesus. So it's a worldwide proclamation of good news. As Pastor Doug mentioned that good news is the same that was preached in the Old Testament and the New Testament. It's centered in Jesus, the savior. Jesus said, "And this is eternal life, that they might know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." The essence of the everlasting gospel is coming into a personal saving relationship with Jesus.

Amen. So first part of this, of course, is this angel flying, and what does it mean, an angel flying in the midst of heaven? I'll get to that in a second. Here's a great quote, why this is such an important priority. In the Book of Testimonies volume 7, page 19, "In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchman and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention." So if you're going to a church, and they're not talking about the three angels' message, that doesn't mean all year long, every sermon. But if that doesn't have a high priority, something else is occupying their attention. Now why are these messages to be so important? I think the whole gospel's wrapped in there. Now, first, we got to kind of back up and explain. We're talking about three angels' messages. You notice it says, "Another angel," in verse 6. Why does it say another angel? Because you've been seeing angels all through the book. You got angels that are, you know, opening seals, and pouring out vials. And angel says, "Come here." And what does this mean? And so there's angels all through the book. But these three are doing something particular. The word "Angel" means messenger, but it often is translated to mean announcement or proclamation flying in the heavens. You know, I don't want to… I want to sound too sensational, but, you know, I always thought that it was very interesting when Three Angels Broadcasting started broadcasting. They rented time on satellites in the sky, and the satellites have these big solar wings that capture light and turn it to electricity to broadcast the gospel. I just thought that was an interesting analogy. I don't think those satellites are angels. And I'm not saying that this prophecy is talking about satellites 'cause right now, these Christian ministries have about 20 satellites that they're using. So don't make a big deal out of that. But I always thought that was really interesting.

Also, with reference to the word "Angel," we always think of angelic beings, when you think of angels. But all angels mentioned in the Bible, they're not all necessarily angelic beings. Someone who was on a mission or an errand, someone who is a messenger is sometimes referred to as angel because the word in the original Greek, angel, means messenger. So these three angels, don't just think of angelic beings. And I'm sure there will be angels as we think of them assisting in the proclamation. But in essence, God has given us a message to take to the world. So in the three angels' messages, you see God's people doing a special work of proclaiming these three end time warning messages to the world.

Amen. So that's what the word "Angel" means. And it says that they have the everlasting gospel to preach to them that are on the earth to every tribe, tongue, and nation saying, Here's verse 7, "With a loud voice…" Don't miss that it says loud voice here. It says, loud voice for the third angel's message, but it doesn't say loud voice for the second angel's message the first time. So just make a note of that. "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come." We'll talk about the judgment part in a minute. What does it mean to fear God? Do you expect Job to be in heaven? What does the Bible say about Job? "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, that man was blameless and upright, one that feared God and hated evil." I think another verse says, "The fear of the Lord is to depart from evil." I think it was John Wesley who said, "If I had 300 men that feared nothing but God and hated sin, I could change the world." And so another verse here, Psalm 25:14, "The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant." So fearing God doesn't necessarily mean being afraid so you run from God. It's talking about, there may be some fear in that, but it's like, it's a reverence. A child might fear the strength of their father, but they're not afraid to go to their father. And another one that I think helps is Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." So we just need to understand what it's talking about when it says to fear God? There's a message to have reverence for God. Now do we... Are we at risk of losing a sense of reverence in some of our churches in modern Protestant America? Have you noticed that? I think that, you know, we should be reverent with the Bible, not treat it like other books. I think that we should be reverent when we come into sacred time of worship. There should be respect, there shouldn't be background talking going on, you know, whispering and chattering. There's a sense of, we're in the presence of someone holy. There ought to be a sanctity about the things of God that we respect.

You know, when you look in the Bible, in Old Testament times, also in New, when the Bible describes God's glory, His throne room, it talks about these angels that have six wings. Read about this in the Old Testament. With two of the wings, they fly, with two of the wings, they cover their feet, with two of the wings, they cover their faces, and in the presence of God, their constant cry is holy, holy, holy. So these angels that are being in the very presence of God, they have an essence of God's glory and His holiness. These are perfect angelic beings, and yet their constant cry is holy, holy, holy. How much more reverence should we have when we enter into God's presence as we come to worship Him?

Yeah, notice the modesty of the angels. They are even covering their faces and their feet. And so there should be... Adam and Eve, when they saw they sinned, they thought, better cover up. And then one of the important summaries for what it means to fear God, we'll move on is Ecclesiastes 12:13. This is the end of Solomon's book on wisdom following Proverbs, and he said, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments." So one of the ways we show fear for God is what? Keeping His commandments. What do we read in verse 12 of this chapter? Here are those that keep the commandments of God? Is that talking about 50%? Or is it a people that consistently keeps all of them. And so I think that's one of the identifying characteristics we find about God's people in the last days is a returning to the entire covenant of God and recognizing what sin is. "Sin is the transgression of the law. We fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Notice what else Solomon says, "For God will bring every work into judgment." Do we find judgment in this first angel's message? "With every secret thing, whether it be good or evil." And so any thoughts on that?

I think we're going to get to the next part of giving or fearing God is also giving Him glory. They go together. And I think that's the next verse that we have here. 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God." Isn't that interesting? We can even eat or drink to God's glory, meaning there are certain things that God would have us eat that bring glory to Him. Obviously, there are things that He would not have us eat or not have us drink that would not bring glory to Him. So even in the very practical aspects of life, we ought to bring God glory, reveal His character.

Have you ever heard the health message be given in the context of the three angels' messages? It's part of what we're doing is we're giving glory to God, and also keeping the commandments. It says, do not kill yourself with your fork and your spoon. 1 Peter 4:11, "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as the ability which God supplies, that in all things God might be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs to glory and the dominion forever and ever." So the purpose in our lives is to bring glory to God by whatever you do, whatever you say, whatever you eat, whatever you drink, we should be living for the glory of God. All right, now we're going to move on. You want to read that one, Pastor Ross?

Revelation 14:7, "Saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God, give Him glory, for the hour of His judgment has come."

All right, so let's talk a little bit about the judgment. Now, does it make sense to everybody that when the apostles live, the great judgment of God had not happened yet. The verses you read, it talks about the judgment to come, all shall stand before, all shall bow before the judgment seat of God. Paul talked about the judgment to come when he was before Felix and Festus. It was always future tense. But, obviously some judgment takes place before Jesus comes, follow me. When the Lord comes, is He dispensing rewards? Does He know who gets caught up in a glorified body and who does not get resurrected in the first resurrection? So the Lord... Those things are determined before He comes. God doesn't, you know, pull people out of heaven and say, "Now it's time for the judgment." And He doesn't pull people out of hell and say, "We're gonna find out if you really were guilty." The judgment happens prior to the Second Coming. But at the time of the Bible writing that hadn't happen yet. This is often called as pre-advent judgment. It also happened in the Jewish feasts, that ten days, it was a period of time before the end of the year when they enter what they call the Yom Kippur, we call it Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a time of investigation, judgment, separating God's people from their sins before the end of the year. We believe that we've entered that last phase of the church known as Laodicea and God's people on the last days have a message of judgment that we need to prepare to meet our maker, which is a solemn message, not a popular message, but it's biblical.

You know, it's very interesting when you study the judgment message found in the first angel's message. There is a connection between Revelation Chapter 14 and Daniel Chapter 7, a very tight connection Daniel 7, Daniel 8 because it talks about this judgment that is to happen in Daniel, just before the Second Coming of Christ. Now we find the fulfillment of that prophesied judgment in Daniel being fulfilled in Revelation Chapter 14 in the first angel's message. So I think on the screen, we actually have that verse that talks about the judgment in Daniel 8:14, "And he said unto me, 'For two thousand three hundred days, then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.'"

And leading up to that Daniel 7, it talks about a time when thrones are set in a position and the books were opened. It's very clearly a great judgment scene, talks about the witnesses and the angels. And then going over to Daniel 8, it finally gives the date or the period of time reaching up to that final judgment. Now you know, the disciples when Jesus lived, they totally misunderstood the nature of His first coming. They heard Jesus say, "You know, I've come, My kingdom of heaven is at hand." They thought that He was coming the first time to set up a literal kingdom. And even after He rose from the dead, they said, "Will You at this time establish the kingdom?" And He thought, "You still don't get it. My first coming is a lamb coming, the next time I come like a lion." First is the sacrifice. Next is the King. Well, that got them backwards and so they were greatly disappointed. There was a movement that took place about 150 years ago. It's called the Great Advent movement, not connected with Seventh-day Adventist because this took place in the 1830s and '40s, Seventh-day Adventists were not organized until 1863. But the Millerites read this verse in Daniel 8, 2300 days then the sanctuary will be cleansed. They looked at the starting point there in Daniel Chapter 9 from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince. And it's the only starting point given for these prophecies. Well, that reads to 1844 from 457 and they said, "Sanctuary will be cleansed. Jesus is going to come." They thought that the earth was a sanctuary to be cleansed by the fires, that are described in 2 Peter Chapter 3 and they made that one little mistake there that... But the Lord made the best of it. They thought this is it and they were highly motivated and God didn't really go very far to correct them. And everyone... There's a great revival that took place because the Lord was, they thought about to come. But He said, "No, we're about to enter the age of judgment, the final age of the church."

It's also interesting to note that the wording that we have in Daniel 8:14, says, "Then the sanctuary shall be cleansed." Now, as Pastor Doug mentioned, the Millerites thought the earth was the sanctuary. But God allowed them to kind of preach, and teach, and talk about the soon coming of Christ, because after the experience, after Jesus didn't come when they expected him to come, they went back and search the Scriptures and they began to retrace their steps, and they read this and they began to ask the question, "Well, where is the sanctuary?" Then it was that they began to understand in the Book of Hebrews, talks quite a bit about the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus ministers as our high priest. Then it is that they began to understand this very important work of judgment, pre-advent judgment before Jesus comes. And so it was through that disappointment that God was leading them into a clear understanding of His will and His purpose, just like Jesus led the disciples through their sorrow when Christ was crucified. And as He rose from the dead, then they begin to understand the prophecies of the Old Testament so much more and that gave power to their witness in their testimony.

This was really the last piece in one of the most important and one of the longest prophecies in the Bible, that not only talked about entering the last age of judgment which began with the church of Laodicea in... The word Laodicea means a judging of the people, in 1844. But it also helped them understand the 490 year day prophecy that talked about when Jesus would come the first time and die, and this time that was going to be cut off for the Jewish nation. This is a chart, we don't have time to go through this whole prophecy, will never get through this lesson. But when it talks about the hour of His judgment is come, part and parcel of the first angel's message was understanding these prophecies in Daniel and Revelation about Jesus' first and second coming that just exploded prophetic interest in understanding. So yeah, we don't have time to get into that one.

Yeah, I think we just have a summary, it says, "The judgment here mentioned" in Revelation Chapter 14, "began at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. The preaching of William Miller and his associates marks the beginning of the message of the first angel, but the message will continue till the end of time." Now that's important to note. Revelation 14 says, the hour of His judgment has come, meaning present tense. It is now. So we have a time that we can connect with the proclamation of the first angel's message, at the end of the 2300 days or years, 1844. So we are currently living, during that time period of the proclamation of the three angels' messages.

Yeah, and that's another very good point is someone might say, "Well, is the time of the first angel past, or is the time of the second angel message past or the third angel, is it only future. All of these messages became relevant when we enter that last phase of the church history, and they still are today. We're going to get into some of those messages now a little more. By the way, Peter says, speaking of the judgment, "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel?" Have you read in Ezekiel 9, it talks about a marking of God's people, and a judgment that begins at the house of God and those who received the mark are spared. In Ezekiel 9, the ones who get the mark are spared. Put a mark in the foreheads of those who sigh and cry for the abominations that are done in Israel. That's a good mark. It's like the seal of God, a good mark. But He says, "Begin at my sanctuary." It's almost like the story where they were all gathered to stone Mary Magdalene who was caught in the act of adultery in the temple. Christ began to write out the sins of her accusers, the priests, religious leaders till they one by one left condemned, so judgment in the house of God. You see this pattern through the Bible. So the final judgment is it for the world? No, Jesus said, the world's already condemned. I didn't come to condemn the worlds, I already condemned, I came to save. So this is a judgment, evaluating those who have taken the name of Christ and their authenticity. All right, you need to keep moving here. Second angel's or first angel's message part two, I should say, you want to read that, Pastor Ross?

Verse 7 continues and says, "Worship Him that made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the fountains of water."

All right, we'll focus first on the worship Him that made. In a crisis to soon come, the inhabitants of the earth will need to choose between worshiping God or the beast. The Creatorship is one of the distinguishing features of the true God contrasted with false gods. The appeal to worship God as Creator implies that we recognize the sign of God's creative works in the seventh day Sabbath." And now are we living in a time when people are doubting that God is Creator? Isn't that interesting that for the first 6000 years of history, almost 6000 years of history, virtually every nation in the world believed in God. They might have been polytheistic or monotheistic, but they believed in God. They believe... But finally about the time of the French Revolution, nations began to organize that were officially atheistic in their belief. And until the fall of the iron curtain, the majority of people in the world, between Russia and China and others, claim there was no God. So this is a time when God really needed to get back that message, worship Him that made. This is a Creator that we are to worship, and the Sabbath is a sign of that.

We're reading Ezekiel 20:12, talking about worshiping the Creator. "More over also I gave them My Sabbath, to be assigned between them and Me that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctifies them." So not only is the Sabbath the sign that God creates us, it is also a sign that God recreates us that is to be sanctified, to be set apart for a holy use.

And why don't you read this verse as well?

Exodus 20:11, "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them and He rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Now that comes from one of the Ten Commandments, which commandment is that?

Fourth.

That's the fourth commandment.

Notice something that you find in Revelation 14:7, in the first angel's message still, "Worship Him that made," look at the words, "heaven, earth, sea, springs of water." Now you see in Exodus 20:11, "He made heaven, earth, sea." Where are those words that you find in the first angel's message drawn specifically from in the Ten Commandments? Sabbath Commandment? It's especially calling God's people back to the Sabbath. So His people are not only commandment keepers, but it's highlighting worshiping the Creator, and the Sabbath, God says, is a sign that I'm Creator. That's all part of the warp and woof of this message.

You also want to notice in this verse that the Sabbath commandment, the last part says, worship Him that made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. But when you read this in the first angel's message, worship Him that made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the fountains of water, a slight different application there at the end. Well, if you go back to the Old Testament, and you read about when the fountains of the deep broke open or the fountains of water, it's a reference to the flood. It's a reference judgment that came upon the wicked in the days of Noah. It's also important to note that round the same time period, around 1844, there were some ideas that were being presented, fairly new ideas up to that point, saying that everything that we see in nature is the result of long periods of time, and over slow changes, you know, men evolved. Well, the Bible is telling us that these changes that we see in our environment isn't because of millions of years, the Bible tells us that occurred at the flood. The fountains of the great deep broke open.

Right about the time of 1844 is when I believe that was Darwin's voyage of the Beagle and he was forming his thesis. You know, here's the actual original title of the book, "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, and of the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life." Preservation of favorite races? A lot of people have changed the title because it's an extremely racist view that Darwin had. He believed that the people in Europe were more further evolved than other peoples. And he says so very specifically. And so that part of the evolutionary theory is not taught in schools, is it? But that was part of the same man, who was teaching the theory of evolution which of course took off. Okay. What's next here? Second angel's message. Want to read that?

Revelation 14:8, says, "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

All right, so it's talking about Babylon. We need to find out, who is Babylon? Is it talking about those ruins that you find over there and God going to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon? No, the prophecies are very clear. Ancient Babylon is not what's being referenced here. You look in Isaiah 13 and there's a prophecy says, "And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation." He says, it's gonna be a place where the goats are going to play and nobody's going to rebuild that city. Just a little footnote, you might find interesting. There it says, yeah, "Or the Arabian pitches tend to there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there. But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, their houses will be full of owls, ostriches will dwell there, wild goats will scamper or caper there." Saddam Hussein knew that the Hebrew prophecy said, the Babylon would never be rebuilt. And he said, "I'm going to prove that wrong." So he had very expensive plans to completely rebuild Babylon, which was nothing but ruins up until the time. And you can read here and this is a quote from a Newsweek magazine, "Saddam had himself photograph not long ago, in a replica of the war chariot of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who Saddam apparently revered as his hero," He actually said, he was a reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar. "Despite about of insanity that's recounted in the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar made his name and history by destroying Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and driving its inhabitants in the 70 years of captivity. It is fair warning." Here Saddam was saying, I'm going to teach those Jews a lesson. I'm the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar. I'm going to rebuild Babylon. And then the Gulf War broke out. That's as far as he got with a tourism center in Babylon. You can see they restored some streets, nobody lives there. It's still ruins. And so what Babylon is Revelation talking about in Chapter 2?

Well, to understand who Babylon is in Revelation 14, you need to look in Revelation Chapter 17. Revelation 17 describes a woman and her name written on a forehead is Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth. Now you'll remember in a previous study, we looked at what a woman represents in Bible prophecy. A woman represents a church. Revelation Chapter 12, you have the true church, a woman clothed with the sun, standing upon the moon, a crown of 12 stars, representing God's true church throughout the Christian era. But now in Revelation 17, you have a woman that is a persecuting power, and her name is Babylon. So the Bible is describing a religious organization, a religious political organization, because it says the woman is sitting upon a beast. The beast in Bible prophecy represents a political power, and the woman is controlling the beast, meaning this religious church is controlling political powers. So Babylon in Bible prophecy represents this false religious system in the last days. Now, it's interesting, it says, the first angel's message, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen," she falls twice. In Revelation Chapter 17, you have the mother Babylon, but you also have the daughters Babylon. So the mother church, the mother Babylon would represent the church of Rome, the daughter churches would represent those Protestant churches that came from the mother, and yet held on to the false doctrines and teachings of the mother church. So there is a warning in the second angel's message, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen."

Yeah. And then if you look in Revelation 18, to better understand how Babylon... What Babylon is? It says, "The first and the third angels describe having a loud voice. But the second angel is simply announcing that 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen.' Why does the second angel not proclaim the message with a loud voice?'" But you go to Revelation Chapter 18, and you can see where it says, "Babylon the city, the great is fallen," and it says that there he cried mightily with a loud voice. That's Revelation 14:8. Yeah. "He cries mightily with a loud voice," in Revelation 18:1-2, "Come out of her, my people." Now to understand coming out of Babylon, first of all got to go way back. Babylon starts out as Mesopotamia. Babylon is a very old city. Who was it that began? Nimrod building, his first city was Babel. Abraham brings his wife out of Mesopotamia into the Promised Land. Then later he doesn't want Isaac to marry the local pagan girl. He sends his servant Eliezer back to Mesopotamia, to get Rebecca and brings her out of Babylon to the Promised Land. Rebecca then sends Jacob to find a wife. He goes back to Mesopotamia. He comes back with four wives into the Promised Land. And then God's people are carried off to Babylon. And they got comfortable there after 70 years. And God says, "My plagues are going to fall on Babylon, come out of her My people." What's the struggle for them to come out? They got used to being in Babylon. They adopted the customs of Babylon. They spoke Babylonian. He said, look, I'm calling you to be my peculiar people. So it was a real struggle. Some of them didn't come out. They said, "We're comfortable here. We've been here too long." You have that same problem happening to God's people in the last days. He's asking His people, God has His people mixed up in many religions. They love the Lord. They've got elements of truth, but they've got some of the doctrines of devils that are in Babylon. And a curse is ultimately going to fall on Babylon. God says, "Come out of her, My people that you receive not of her plagues, that you're not guilty of her sins." And that's a message that's to go out. Now to come back to pure biblical Christianity, the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

You know just to build on that.

Get ready to hit the buzzer there.

You know what? I forgot.

There it is, okay. Want to add something. Talking about the fourth angel? You have the second angel that says, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen," but it's not proclaimed with a loud voice. But it should be proclaimed with a loud voice, because it's going to go to all the world. So now you find the fourth angel in Revelation 18, which does just that. Revelation 18:2, it talks about, well, one talks about this mighty angel coming down the earth, he is illuminated with his glory. In verse 2, "And he cries mightily with a loud voice," there it is, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, has become the dwelling place of demons, a prison of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hated bird." Now remember, Babylon is referring to this religious institution, this church that has become corrupt. There's an interesting parallel passage talking about this, notice it says, a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. This is actually a quote from a prophecy in Jeremiah Chapter 5. I'd like to read it. Jeremiah 5:26, 27. Notice to what it says here. It says, "For among my people are found wicked men. They lie in wait as one that sets snares, they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses," or you might add their churches, "full of deceit, therefore, they have become great and grown rich." Is that a description of what's happening in a lot of churches today where false doctrine is being preached and the people become very wealthy, very influential? So what's being described here in Revelation 18 and Revelation 14 is the condition that we see in Christianity by large today. Now, of course, there's always exceptions, God has got faithful people scattered throughout Babylon. But part of the three angels' messages is to call people to come out of religious confusion, make their stand upon Bible truth.

Yeah, also just highlighting what Pastor Ross was saying, not only is this message loud, don't miss the part where it says, the earth is illuminated. Is that a good light? There's gonna be the message, finally going forth with great power in the last days. We want to be part of that, don't we? It's part of why we're doing, what we're doing here at Granite Bay and where they are building, we're wanting to broadcast with great light this message around the world. And to pray that we're effective that way. And the message record is come out of her. Notice he says, "My people." Does God have His people in many different churches?

Yes.

They love the Lord. We're going to find a lot of folks in heaven that maybe didn't understand everything about the health message or go to church the right day, but they walked in the light they had and they love the Lord. They understood the basics of the gospel. And these churches need to hear the message. How they're going to hear it? Now, not only are they're being called out of Babylon, what are they being called into? How many churches are there in the last days? Well, it's two. True and false. Got mark of the beast, seal of God? There's going to be a shaking and a polarizing, you're going to notice that everybody's going to be coming towards one or the other. So when they come out of Babylon, what did they come into? Jesus said, "Other sheep I have," this is John 10:16, "which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, they will hear my voice and there will be one fold and one shepherd." Okay, so God's pulling His people together, they'll be united group. When Jesus sent the disciples out, He said, "All men will know you're My disciples by your love for one another." Is a Christian church united today?

No.

Is there a false call to unity in the Christian church today? I mean, does even the pope tell everybody we need to unite. John 17, put aside our differences. Does he want us to unite for the sake of unity or to unite for truth? Truth needs to be uniting factor. All right, we got to hurry along third angel's message. Want to read that, Pastor Ross?

Revelation 14, beginning in verse 9, it says, "Then a third angel followed them saying," notice, "with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast or his image and receives his mark in his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink the wine of the wrath of God…" By the way, the wine of the wrath of God is described later in Revelation as the seven last plagues, "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 whosoever receives the mark of his name.'"

Notice that, those that have the seal of God, the Bible says they remember the Sabbath. They remember God is Creator. Those who worship the beast have no rest. Doesn't the Bible tells us that the Sabbath He gave, spake in a certain place of the seventh day that they should enter into his rest. Hebrews Chapter 4, Jesus said, "Come unto me and I'll give you," what?

"Rest." The Sabbath embodies the rest that we have in Christ. Those who worship the beast, they don't rest, they don't have a rest day or night.

You'll notice the first angel's message talks about true worship, fear God, give Him glory, the hour of His judgment is come, worship the Creator. The third angel warns us about false worship. So the first angel is all about true worship. The third angel is all about false worship. Anyone who worships the beast or his image or receives his mark in the last days, all the world's going to be divided up, everybody's going to be worshiping someone or something. Those of the seal of God will be worshiping the Creator God and keeping the commandments of God. Those who worship the beast power will be keeping the commandments of the beast. And so two groups of people are set up in the last days.

Amen. You remember, it's the same battle that starts all the way back in Cain and Abel. They both claimed to worship God. There are only two groups, Cain's way and Abel's way. And Cain when he manufactured his own form of worship, a curse was placed on him and a mark. So you can't read Revelation 13 and Revelation 14 without thinking about, this is the devil's attempt in the beginning to set up counterfeit worship opposed to the worship of God. It says, Cain went out from the presence of the Lord just like Adam and Eve. They ran from God. These are people who are separated, your sins have separated you from God. Represents all the sinners who were separated from God. And ultimately they received that mark, and then a very fearful judgment falls upon them in the end. So it's asking the question, "Will we keep the commandments of God or the commandments of the beast?" You've got two kinds of marks. Bible tells us in Deuteronomy Chapter 6, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one. Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength. And these words that I command you this day," Ten Commandments He just gave in Chapter 5, "they'll be in your heart. Teach them diligently to your children, when you lay down, when you rise up, when you go out, when you come in, they'll be on the doors of your house. You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." So if we accept the everlasting gospel, we have the law of God in our hearts, it will then be in our actions, that means, it's in your thoughts, it's in your hands. If you do not have the seal of God, then you got the mark of the beast. The works of the beast in your hand and in your forehead.

You know, so the key issue at the end of time revolves around worship and important part of worship is obedience. So God's people will have to make a stand in obeying God, in being faithful to His commandments. Yes, there'll be some persecution in the last days. But the Bible promises that if we're faithful to God, God will be faithful to us. It's far better in the last days to have the seal of God and may be face some persecution than to have the mark of the beast and face the seven last plagues.

Amen.

We need to decide which side we want to be on.

Now, ultimately, as we are preaching the three angel's message and especially when that second angel goes again, like Revelation 18, great power, loud, illuminates the earth. What will the devil do when God's message takes off? Does he just stand back and acts after the gospel was being preached and the Holy Spirit was poured out? You read in Chapter 8, a great persecution arose. All that live godly will suffer persecution. The beast power will consolidate and begin to persecute God's people during that time, till eventually probation is closed. There's a statement from the book, Last Day Events, "When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will be to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land, and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin." Friends, there are things happening in the world today that should really capture our attention and excite us to be sharing the message. I just saw this week in Russia. Jehovah's Witnesses have been outlawed, now their property is being seized and they're being imprisoned. You can read this for yourself. Now I don't agree with some of their beliefs. But I know a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses and they're not criminals. They don't rampage up and down the streets, they're law-abiding citizens and they are in Russia. And Ukraine got a call this week, I was supposed to do a TV interview yesterday, it's being postponed. Christians in Ukraine, Protestants are being persecuted by the Orthodox Church to being imprisoned. Those things happening all around the world and we think, "Oh, that would never happen in our country." But prophecy says ultimately it will. And so now's when we need to be getting those messages out. One more thought before… I know you might have a closing thought, you know, we have a free offer, we want to reiterate, but Amazing Facts also has a lesson on this. And it's called Angel Messages from Outer Space. You can read it for free by simply going to the Amazing Facts website or go to Bible Universe and just, you can type in the title, you'll probably find it online. But if you want to better understand this, we're giving you a condensed version of Revelation 14, just Angel Messages from Space.

We'd also like to remind those who are watching about our free offer today. This is just a great resource, entitled, "Revelation: The Bride, the Beast, and Babylon. This is a DVD documentary that really looks at Revelation Chapter 17. If you'd like to receive it, the number to call is 866-788-3966. And you can ask for offer number 817, or you can text the code "SH055" to the number 40544.

Thank you very much. You can honk the horn. We're done now.

We're done. Time is up.

We'll see you God willing, friends, next week, and we want to thank you for joining us for our Sabbath School Study Hour.

Among the people living in the tropics, for thousands of years the coconut has been a virtual tree of life. The people use it for food, for clothing, for water, for tools, for soap, it does just about everything. The coconut has also saved a lot of lives. During World War II, pilots that were shot down or sailors that were stranded on Pacific Islands, they lived for many months on nothing other than the coconut trees that were on their islands. Yes, sir, the coconut is a tree of life. One of the amazing things about coconut is they're designed so they're actually able to float across oceans. Coconuts can go thousands of miles after many months be washed up on some deserted sandy beach, then they take root, sprout, come to life and they'll develop a whole new ecosystem, holding islands in place through a hurricane. When the ancient Polynesian travelers crossing oceans saw an island with coconut trees, they knew there was hope. It's amazing how in virtually no time at all, those living on Pacific Islands know how to make baskets and all kinds of tools from the leaves of the coconut tree. The coconuts even serve different purposes at different times in their development. The younger green coconut, they're full of water and that'll keep you alive. You can even make utensils from the coconut. My spoon is part of the green shell and here, this is a coconut jelly, makes good for breakfast. The more mature coconuts, that's where you get the meat, but you want to make sure that they're not bad, the way you test this is you can hear the water inside. You bring that mike over here. Can you hear it? That's a good one. How about we take a bite? Now that makes meal that will really fill you up and it cleanse your teeth at the same time. Throughout the Bible, Jesus uses a number of metaphors to remind us that everything we need to survive comes from Him. He says that He's the living water. Jesus tells us He is the bread of life. His robe covers us with righteousness. He is our good shepherd that protects us. Jesus is the living vine through which we get our life and our nourishment. You might say Jesus is like the coconut tree, a tree of life. You know, the first few verses in the Bible tell that God provided a tree of life for man so he could live forever, but because of sin man was separated from that tree and from the garden. But through trusting in Jesus and trusting in His sacrifice on the cross, we once again will have access to the tree of life and have eternal life with Him in the kingdom. But this is all made possible because we trust in Jesus, who is the real tree of life. Jesus said, "Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you." But when we accept Christ as our sacrifice and we allow Him to cleanse us and fill us with His Spirit, we become new creatures, and we can be with Him in sharing the gift of everlasting life with others. Matter of fact, we could do that right now by tossing a coconut out and praying that it lands on a deserted beach.

Amazing Facts Changed Lives.

I was heading south on Interstate 5, this commercial come on KFBK radio about a Revelation seminar by Amazing Facts. I began, my chest began to tighten up, I began sweating profusely. I had difficulty in breathing. There was this big rest area and at this time I pulled into there, I thought, well, maybe I'm having a heart attack. I got out of my truck, walked into the men's restroom therein, put cold water on my face and then finally things subsided. A week later, again, I heard this Amazing Facts commercial come on the radio. In fact, the meetings were gonna start that very night, and again immediately I had the same symptoms, I thought, you know, this isn't my heart, I have to go to that meeting. And as I was going down the Sacramento, I decided to park and go inside. Well, I got in and walked into the furthermost rear seat they had in the pew there, and this particular evangelist, his name was Kim Karen. It was like taking one layer off at a time of an onion. He laid it out so perfectly that we could all understand it, and I was really motivated, I couldn’t believe it. Well, I finished, I didn’t miss the meeting. In fact, on the fifth night, they had an altar call and my knees stood right up and I walked forward and I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I've learned throughout this whole thing that when you leave the devil's territory, he gets pretty active and causing a lot of problems. Well, I have the evangelist come out and they had prayer with me about my business. I would find a sick business and make it well and then market it. I finally ended up with a business that I really enjoyed, that was one that was building equestrian centers and they said to me, Steve, he said, you know, if you're gonna really keep the Sabbath, you gotta shut your doors on the Sabbath. Well, I did and so I sold the business to my brother. Took me 22 years to build that business and he lost it in 33 months. My son who was my business partner, I've been giving him 10% of the business every year. He thought I just fallen of the bridge. My son didn’t talk to me for five and a half years and then a few other things happened. So I had an ex-employee living in my guest house, he kind of watched after our place and he said, "Steve," he said, "There's an elite moving van, backed up to your front door in your home." I said, "You're kidding." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "They're moving everything out of your house into this truck and your wife is out there supervising them. And when I went home and opened the front door, my voice echoed in that house. There wasn’t any furniture left anywhere. There was one bed left in the house. I knew my wife was upset because of my coming to this church. But I had no idea that she would move out like this, that was a total shock to me. It was sometime there, that I locked myself in the bedroom and I began reading the Bible. It's been about a half a year, just every night getting home and I would study. It allowed me to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Well, to make a long story short, I met Crystal and she was a godly woman. That was the Lord's doing, not mine. And He was just there to let me know that I'm with you all the way, even though you're gonna have some trials, you're gonna have some hardships. I want you to know that I'll be with you because no matter what I do now, He is my leader, He's the leader of my marriage, He's the leader of everything in my life today. That one meeting with the Amazing Facts seminar changed my entire life and to this day, I'm still on fire for God, I'm still witnessing to my neighbors. My name is Steve Johnson and it's because of you that Amazing Facts has changed my life.

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