The three angels’ messages (Rev. 14:6–12) have been at the heart of the Seventh-day Adventist Church since the movement began.
The first angel’s message brings the “everlasting gospel” to the entire world—a call to worship God as Creator and an announcement of the hour of His judgment. The second builds upon the first, proclaiming that Babylon—a false system of worship that rejects the proclamation of the first angel, accepts the delusions of Satan, and unites with the world—is fallen. The third angel’s message brings to light the mark of the beast in contrast to God’s true Sabbath as the seal of God, urging people not to receive the mark.
Seventh-day Adventists are familiar with the content of these messages, but how often are they proclaimed, other than in public evangelistic meetings?
“The angels are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning, and having a direct bearing upon the people living in the last days of this earth’s history,” wrote Ellen White. “No one hears the voice of these angels, for they are a symbol to represent the people of God who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven. Men and women, enlightened by the Spirit of God, and sanctified through the truth, proclaim the three messages in their order.”1
Clearly, we are called to proclaim these life-saving messages, but how do we do so in an angelic way? Here are four practical aspects to keep in mind:
1. Believe the messages personally and allow them to transform our hearts
We cannot authentically present a message as true if we are in doubt. Now is the time to carefully study the three angels’ messages and let their meaning sink in deeply. But head knowledge is not enough; these messages must penetrate the heart.
“The enemy will set everything in operation to uproot the confidence of the believers in the pillars of our faith in the messages of the past, which have placed us upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, and which have established and given character to the work,” wrote Ellen White. “Those who have a hold of the truth theoretically, with their finger tips as it were, who have not brought its principles into the inner sanctuary of the soul, but have kept the vital truth in the outer court, will see nothing sacred in the past history of this people, which has made them what they are, and has established them as earnest, determined missionary workers in the world. The truth for this time is precious; but those whose hearts have not been broken by falling on the rock Christ Jesus, will not see and understand what is truth.”2
Let’s believe God’s Word and allow it to do a work of reformation in our own hearts.
2. Allow God’s Spirit to fill us with a deep, Christlike love for everyone
The theme of God’s love permeates the Bible. “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).3 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (v. 11).
In Luke 10, we see God’s love illustrated in both practical and spiritual ways. When asked, “ ‘Who is my neighbor?’ ” (v. 29), Christ responded with the story of the good Samaritan, who went out of his way to compassionately care for the wounded man’s needs in a very practical way.
Later, we find Jesus at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha is annoyed because Mary is not helping with the practical aspects of entertaining. Instead, Mary is listening to Jesus, who then gently reproves Martha while commending Mary, who has “ ‘chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her’ ” (v. 42).
While we must do what we can to relieve pain and suffering, how important to provide “ ‘that good part, which will not be taken away.’ ” These words of Christ were given from a deep love for all humanity and, as such, should be shared—particularly through the three angels’ messages—in that same spirit.
3. Use biblically based methods to share the complete message
In 1 Corinthians 9:22, Paul declares, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Along the same lines, God has blessed us with multiple ways of reaching people—even during COVID-19. While traditional public evangelism efforts were put on hold, hundreds of thousands of lives were touched through online evangelism, telephone evangelism, social media, and small online groups, as well as through television, radio, and more—efforts that are continuing.
Comprehensive health ministry has become increasingly important as health crises have come to the forefront. Thousands are looking for ways to improve and maintain good health—physically, mentally, and spiritually—and we have so much to offer through our God-given health message. This can be an entering wedge that leads people to deeper truths.
Reaching people through literature—print and online—is a very important method of spreading the three angels’ messages, especially with the 2022 Missionary Book of the Year, The Final Hope: Three Messages for an Anxious World,4 and The Great Controversy. I urge you to share these heavenly messages in every way possible, as the Lord leads.
Also, when considering how to reach people, we often refer to “Christ’s method alone,” as described in The Ministry of Healing. While this is certainly a divine method, it is important to keep in mind the full context of that well-known statement:
“We are living in the midst of an ‘epidemic of crime,’ at which thoughtful, God-fearing men everywhere stand aghast. . . . Who can doubt that satanic agencies are at work among men with increasing activity to distract and corrupt the mind, and defile and destroy the body?
“And while the world is filled with these evils, the gospel is too often presented in so indifferent a manner as to make but little impression upon the consciences or the lives of men. Everywhere there are hearts crying out for something which they have not. They long for a power that will give them mastery over sin, a power that will deliver them from the bondage of evil, a power that will give health and life and peace. Many who once knew the power of God’s word have dwelt where there is no recognition of God, and they long for the divine presence.
“The world needs today what it needed nineteen hundred years ago—a revelation of Christ. A great work of reform is demanded, and it is only through the grace of Christ that the work of restoration, physical, mental, and spiritual, can be accomplished.
“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’ ”5
We are called to come close to people and, through the power of God’s love, to share the last-day messages of Revelation 14, inviting them to follow Jesus.
4. Create a supportive, faith-affirming atmosphere
“In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen 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.”6
How important it is, then, for pastors and leaders to create a supportive, faith-affirming atmosphere, where all members are encouraged to become disciples and share these important messages. This can be done through modeling and mentoring, through classes and workshops, and much more. Use your creativity in finding ways to promote an atmosphere encouraging total member involvement in the proclamation of the three angels’ messages!
Proclaim the truth
Friends, God is changing the hearts of those who hear these marvelous messages. The Holy Spirit moves on the minds of individuals who need to make a decision for Christ, and what a privilege is ours to be used as God’s instruments to reach others for Him.
Only by relying completely on Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit will we be able to accomplish anything. God is now preparing us for something very unusual—the outpouring of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit. Let the second coming of Christ and His three angels’ messages be proclaimed by every Seventh-day Adventist around the world because Jesus is coming soon!
- Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), 429; emphasis added.
- White, 430, 431.
- Scripture is from the New King James Version.
- Clifford Goldstein, The Final Hope: Three Messages for an Anxious World (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 2021).
- Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), 142, 143.
- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9 (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), 19.