Chapter Twenty Five
TWO DIFFERENT THREE ANGELS’ MESSAGES
[1ST ANGEL’S MESSAGE]
Rev. 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
Rev. 14:7 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, the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.
[2ND ANGEL’S MESSAGE]
Rev. 14:8 And there followed another angel saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all the nations drink of the wine of her fornication.
[3RD ANGEL’S MESSAGE]
Rev. 14:9 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,
Rev. 14:10 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;
Rev. 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.
Rev. 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
The “Three Angels,” and not the Seventh-day Sabbath, are the “symbol” of Seventh-day Adventism. The sign in front of each church depicts the three angels of Revelation 14:6-12. SDAs trace their existence and their calling to their unique interpretation of the Three Angels’ Messages.
However, once again SDAs are inconsistent with their interpretation of Scripture. Although trying to display continuity between early Adventists under William Miller from 1818 until 1844 and later (Seventh-day) Adventists, they actually have completely changed the message delivered from Revelation 14 by the Millerites.
Two Different First Angel’s Messages
14:7 Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come
Miller’s Interpretation: From 1818 until 1844, William Miller taught that this referred to the second coming of Christ to rescue true believers and to judge the earth with fiery destruction. This is also what Ellen G. White and early Adventists believed before October 22, 1844.
Ellen G. White’s Endorsement of William Miller: Although Miller was completely wrong when he predicted that Jesus would return to earth in 1843 and (twice in) 1844, he still received the most glowing endorsement from Ellen White.
GC320: “Endeavoring to lay aside all pre-conceived opinions …”
COMMENT: Miller was uneducated; he used the KJV and a small concordance. He valued the KJV over the Hebrew used by his detractors.
GC324-325: “Miller accepted the generally received view that in the Christian age the earth is the sanctuary…”
COMMENT: This partially contradicts the previous statement.
GC 328-329: “Miller and his associates at first believed that the 2300 days would terminate in the spring of 1844, whereas the prophecy refers to the autumn of that year.”
COMMENT: For 25 years Miller taught 1843. Regardless, all three dates were wrong.
GC 331: “As Elisha was called … so was William Miller called…”
COMMENT: EGW incorrectly compares Miller’s calling to Elisha’s calling.
GC335: “William Miller possessed … the wisdom of heaven …. enabled him to refute error and expose falsehood.”
GC339: “[God] sent chosen messengers to make known the nearness of the final judgment.”
COMMENT: Miller could not refute error because he did not know the truth.
Chapter 19, Light Through Darkness (William Miller), 343-354
GC352-353: “Those [Millerites] who proclaimed this warning [Rev 14:7] gave the right message at the right time.
COMMENT: How could it have been “the right message at the right time” if Miller always preached the second coming of Christ and never the Investigative Judgment?
GC354: “When called to endure the scoffs and reproach of the world, and the test of delay and disappointment [that Christ did not come in the spring of 1844], would they renounce the faith? Because they did not immediately understand the dealings of God with them, would they cast aside truths sustained by the clearest testimony of His word?”
COMMENT: How can they be “truths sustained by the clearest testimony of His word” if Miller was wrong about the sanctuary being earth and the cleansing being the second coming with fire?
GC353: “Yet God accomplished His own beneficent purpose in permitting the [spring 1844] warning of the judgment to be given just as it was.”
COMMENT: EGW says that God endorsed Miller’s false message of the second coming of Christ “just as it was.”
GC354: “This test [Christ failing to return in spring 1844] would reveal the strength of those who with real faith had obeyed what they believed to be the teachings of the word and the Spirit of God. It would teach them, as only such an experience could, the danger of accepting the theories and interpretations of men, instead of making the Bible its own interpreter.”
COMMENT: One must read the previous paragraph on page 354. How can believing Miller’s error teach “the danger of accepting the theories and interpretations” of those who disagreed with Miller?
SDA Post-1844 Different Interpretation of 14:7: Now, instead of the second coming to earth with fire, this refers to the Investigative Judgment which began in heaven on October 22, 1844. The phrase “worship Him that made” now refers to the Sabbath Day because it is the commandment which refers to God as the Creator.
The Problem: Although these are completely different interpretations, SDAs still teach that William Miller taught the “truth” from God. Yet Miller did not accept or teach the SDA post-1844 interpretation at all.
Two Different Second Angel’s Messages
14:8 Babylon is fallen, is fallen
Miller’s Interpretation: “Babylon” represents all of the churches which refused to believe that Christ was coming back on October 22, 1844. After the failure of the spring 1844 date-setting many of his followers returned to their former churches and ridiculed Miller. “Babylon is fallen” was Miller’s rebuke to his former followers and to other churches.
Ellen G. White’s Endorsement of Miller’s Errors:
Chapter 21, A Warning Rejected [All Non-Adventists are Babylon], 375-390
This chapter explains that the failed prediction of a second coming in the spring of 1844 and the resulting ridicule in the summer and fall of 1844 were not Miller’s fault, but God’s design.
GC373-374: “God designed to prove his people. His hand covered a mistake in the reckoning of the prophetic periods [autumn 1844 instead of spring 1844]. Adventists did not discover the error.”
COMMENT: EGW blamed Miller’s false prophecy on God. God intended for Miller to preach error about the second coming in the fall of 1843 and the spring of 1844.
GC375: “In preaching the doctrine of the second advent, William Miller and his associates had labored with the sole purpose of arousing men to a preparation for the judgment.”
COMMENT: EGW justified Miller’s error of date-setting for the second coming.
GC376: “Those [non-Millerites] who sought to shut out the testimony of God’s word they [Millerites] could not regard as constituting the church of Christ, ‘the pillar and ground of the truth.’ Hence they felt themselves justified in separating from their former connection. In the summer of 1844 about fifty thousand withdrew from the churches.”
COMMENT: EGW condemned those who left the Millerite movement after two failed false predictions for Christ’s second coming. She called Miller’s false teachings “the testimony of God’s Word.” Fifty thousand [rejected] the false doctrine.
GC379: “The first angel’s message of Revelation 14 [the false message preached by Miller] was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences of the world …. Had they [non-Millerites] received the message from heaven …
COMMENT: EGW called Mille’=s false prophecy before October 22, 1844 “the message from heaven.”
GC380: “In refusing the warning of the first angel [Miller himself], they rejected the means which heaven had provided for their restoration. They spurned the gracious messenger [Miller] that would have corrected the evils which separated them from God….”
COMMENT: After October 22, 1844 SDAs themselves rejected Miller=s false message and totally replaced it with another false doctrine. How can Miller be God’s messenger who preached the first angel’s message if he was wrong? How can believing a lie provide “restoration”?
GC389: “The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844.
COMMENT: EGW calls Miller the second angel. Again, how can Miller preach the second angel’s message if he was wrong? In the summer of 1844 Miller still preached the second coming, not the Investigative Judgment. To Miller, “Babylon” was the mass who disagreed with him. Yet after October 22, 1844 the SDAs themselves disagreed with Miller (and became the Babylon of Miller’s viewpoint).
Chapter 22, Prophecies Fulfilled [Explains Why Jesus Did Not Return in the Spring of 1844, but Would Return to Earth in October 1844], 391-408
Tarrying Time of Second Coming from Spring to Fall of 1844.
GC391 “When the time passed in which the Lord’s coming was first expected B in the spring of 1844 B those who had looked in faith for his appearing were for a season involved in doubt and uncertainty.”
GC391 “Signs which could not be mistaken pointed to the [second] coming of Christ as near.”
COMMENT: These signs included the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the 1833 meteor shower in New England, and the 1840 treaty with Turkey. EGW says that the signs were for the soon second coming and not the Investigative Judgment.
GC393 Matthew 25:1-12 parable of ten virgins teaches a delay.
GC396: “William Miller had no sympathy with those influences that led to fanaticism.”
GC398: “It was not the proclamation of the second advent that caused fanaticism and division. These [fanatics] appeared in the summer of 1844, when Adventists were in a state of doubt and perplexity concerning their real position. The preaching of the first angel’s message and the ‘midnight cry’ tended directly to repress fanaticism and dissension.”
COMMENT: These statements are in the context of why Jesus did not come in the spring of 1844. They have no relevance to the fall of 1844 or the Investigative Judgment. The real Babylonians were those who believed Miller’s next prediction that Jesus would return in October 1844.
GC400: “Like a tidal wave the movement [with its revised October 22, 1844 second coming date] swept over the land. … Fanaticism disappeared before this proclamation…. Believers saw their doubt and perplexity removed, and hope and courage animated their hearts. The work was free from those extremes which are ever manifested when there is human excitement without the controlling influence of the word and Spirit of God.”
COMMENT: The summer-of-1844-context of the statement makes it evidently ridiculous.
GC401: “Of all the great religious movements since the days of the apostles, none have been more free from human imperfection and the wiles of Satan than was that of the autumn of 1844.”
COMMENT: This is one of the most bizarre statements ever written by Ellen G. White! William Miller was still preaching that Jesus would return to earth on October 22, 1844!!!
GC402: “At the call, ‘the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him, the waiting ones arose and trimmed their lamps;’ they studied the Word of God with an intensity of interest before unknown. Angels were sent from heaven to arouse those who had become discouraged and prepare them to receive the message. The work did not stand in the wisdom and learning of men, but in the power of God. It was not the most talented, but the most humble and devoted who were the first to hear and obey the call. Farmers left their crops standing in the fields; mechanics laid down their tools, and with tears and rejoicing went out to give the warning. Those who had formerly led in the cause were among the last to join this movement. The churches in general closed their doors against this message, and a large company of those who received it withdrew from their connection. In the providence of God this proclamation untied with the second angel’s message and gave power to that work. The message, ‘Behold the bridegroom comet’= was not so much a matter of argument, though the Scripture proof was clear and conclusive.”
COMMENT: Read this again slowly for its full effect! It is still referring to Miller’s second coming message which was preached in the summer of 1844 [and was totally false –even according to SDAs!]
GC407: “God did not forsake his people; His Spirit still abode with those who did not rashly deny the light which they had received, and denounce the advent movement.”
COMMENT: EGW again condemns those who left the 1844-second-coming Millerite movement in the summer of 1844 as “rashly denying the light.” [Absurdity builds upon absurdity.]
SDA Post-1844 Different Interpretation: Instead of being those who rejected Miller’s second coming in the summer of 1844, “Babylon@ now represents all churches who reject the special truths given to the SDA church — beginning with the Investigative Judgment and including the Sabbath, non-immortality of the soul, unclean food restrictions, etc.
The Problems: (1) Miller was totally wrong. (2) Miller was a false prophet. (3) Miller’s teachings caused fanaticism. (4) God did not deliberately “design” the great lie that Jesus would come back in the spring of 1844. (5) Ellen White’s many comments about God’s truth are all wrong because Miller taught the second coming of Christ. (6) Even SDAs later rejected Miller’s teachings and condemned him as a Babylonian for not accepting the Investigative Judgment.
The pre-1844 and post-1844 explanations [of the first and second angels’ messages] are completely different. SDAs and Miller condemn each other! Since SDAs rejected Miller’s second coming doctrine, then SDAs are included in Miller’s definition of “Babylon is fallen.” And, since Miller rejected the SDA Investigative Judgment doctrine, then Miller is included in the later SDA “Babylon is fallen” condemnation. [They have concluded that their own prophet, Miller, was a false prophet.]
Two Different Third Angel’s Messages
14:8 If any man worships the beast and his image and receive his mark …
Miller’s Interpretation referred to the rejection of the everlasting gospel which included the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Miller definitely had no connection with the Investigative Judgment and the Sabbath Day doctrines.
Ellen White Finally Condemned William Miller:
Chapter 23, What is the Sanctuary, 409-422 [Why Miller was Wrong]
GC409: “Many rashly cut the knot of difficulty by denying that the 2300 days ended in 1844.”
COMMENT: They had been embarrassed by three false dates for the second coming of Christ (1843; spring 1844; autumn 1844). There was nothing rash about admitting error. The overwhelming majority of William Miller’s followers, including himself, admitted error.
GC410: “To deny that the days [of Daniel 8:14] ended at that time [October 22, 1844] was to involve the whole question in confusion, and to renounce positions which had been established by unmistakable fulfillment of prophecy.”
COMMENT: The confusion was in refusing to admit that Miller was wrong and in inventing the Investigative Judgment doctrine.
GC411: “… they found in the Bible a full explanation of the subject of the sanctuary, its nature, location, and services; the testimony of the sacred writer being so clear and simple as to place the matter beyond all question.”
COMMENT: “The matter” of the sanctuary is indeed “beyond all question.” It is clear to all except SDAs that the types, shadows, examples, and patterns were all fulfilled at Calvary. Yet, for SDAs, it is truly “the matter beyond all question” because the prophetess has written it.
GC417: “Thus the prophecy [quotes Dan. 8:14] unquestionably refers to the sanctuary in heaven.”
COMMENT: Only SDAs say this.
GC422: “Thus those who followed in the light of prophetic word saw that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the MOST HOLY PLACE of the heavenly sanctuary to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to his coming.”
COMMENT: This is completely new and completely contradicts Miller.
Chapter 24, In the Holy of Holies (Investigative Judgment), 423-432
GC423: “The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God=s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of his people.”
COMMENT: It really opened a pandora’s box of other false doctrines used to justify their error. First among these is that sacrificial blood defiles God’s Most Holy Place in heaven. Second is the doctrine of the non-immortality of the soul.
GC423: “Now in the holy of holies they again beheld him, their compassionate High Priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer.”
COMMENT: Even with the Investigative Judgment message, early Adventists still expected a “soon” return of Christ to earth. They thought that the investigation would be very short.
GC424: “The mistake had not been in the reckoning of the prophetic periods, but in the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. Through this error the believers had suffered disappointment, yet all that was foretold by the prophecy and all that they had any Scripture warrant to expect, had been accomplished.”
COMMENT: This conclusion about the Millerites’ expectations is simply wrong.
GC426: “In the summer and autumn of 1844 the proclamation, ‘Behold the bridegroom cometh’ was given.”
COMMENT: In the “summer and fall of 1844” Miller was still preaching that Jesus would return to earth, rescue true believers, and destroy the earth with fire. How can that false message be part of the three angels’ messages? Miller preached that, per Matthew 25, Jesus has only delayed his second coming, but was still coming on October 22, 1844. This is still not a reference to the Investigative Judgment.
GC428: “In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. …” [Matthew 22:1-13]
COMMENT: The discussion has [suddenly and unexplainably] changed from the second coming to the Investigative Judgment.
GC430: “It is those who by faith follow Jesus in the great work of the atonement who receive the benefits of his mediation in their behalf, WHILE those who reject the light which brings to view this work of ministration are not benefited thereby.”
COMMENT: Once again, EGW clearly says that only those who follow SDAs in accepting the Investigative Judgment message will “benefit” from it. Therefore, even William Miller forfeited his salvation!
SDA Post-1844 Different Interpretation of the Third Angel’s Message
SDAs teach that Miller was deliberately misled by God because many special truths still needed to be presented to the world by the true remnant SDA Church. This especially refers to the Sabbath and the non-immortality of the soul doctrines which Miller did not teach.
Chapter 26, A Work of Reform (Sabbath Reform), 433-450
Chapter 27, (Satanic) Modern Revivals, 461-478
Chapter 28, Facing Life=s Record (The Investigative Judgment), 479-491
Chapter 29, The Origin of Evil (Soul Sleep), 492-504
Chapter 31, Agency of Evil Spirits (Soul Sleep), 511-517
Chapter 32, Snares of Satan (Soul Sleep), 518-530
Chapter 33, The First Great Deception (Soul Sleep), 531-550
Chapter 34, Can Our Dead Speak to Us (Soul Sleep), 551-562
Compared to what Miller taught, Babylon changed to the Roman Catholic Church. Her daughters changed to all Protestantism other than themselves. The “mark” changed to Sunday worship. And the last day conflict changed to center around the Sabbath. [And SDAs call it a repeat of the same message Miller preached!]
The Problem: The completely changed First, Second, and Third Angels’ messages are not what the Millerites and early Adventists taught and believed from 1818 until October 22, 1844. The continuity they claim is simply not there! In fact, in GC430, William Miller is included among those who will not be saved because he rejected the Investigative Judgment interpretation of Daniel 8:14.
Conclusion: It is strange to see present SDA hospitals merging with “Babylonian” denominations whom they denounce as anti-Christ. Church members are taught to suspect others as last-day oppressors. While pretending to join the evangelical ranks and even join ministerial associations, SDA ministers consider all others as “Babylon” or her “harlot” false offspring churches (Rev 17:5). GC355-408.
The third angel’s message teaches that Roman Catholicism (Rev 13:1-10) and “apostate Protestantism” (Rev. 17:5) will join the United States (the false prophet nation of Rev 13:11-18) in imposing universal forced Sunday observance (Rev. 13:16-18). Anti-Christ and Satan himself will control all churches and political forces other than their own. To SDAs, the beast is the Pope and the “mark of the beast” IS “Sunday-worship.” They have created a paranoia that Sunday-keeping friends and relatives will eventually turn them over to the authorities for refusing to worship on Sunday (Rev 13:15-17; 12:14-16). Many of them live in constant mistrust of non-SDAs. See The Great Controversy, chapters 36-40.
SDAs are totally consumed with Sabbath issues. The average non-SDA has absolutely no idea how different they are. Therefore most of us tend to accept them as normal Christians and ignore their strange doctrines. To SDAs, those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 12:17:19:10) perfectly describes ONLY themselves. They claim to keep ALL the Ten Commandments, especially the Sabbath; they claim to have the “Spirit of Prophecy” in the writings of Ellen While, which, to them, means “the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 19:10). To them, Christ will not return until there are 144,000 sinless Seventh-day Adventists who prove to all mankind that the Ten Commandments can be kept perfectly (14:5). GC582-678.
DANIEL 8:14 AND REVELATION 14:6-12
William Miller Seventh-day Adventists
Sanctuary was earth. Sanctuary is God’s in heaven.
Cleansing fire destroys earth. Cleansing removes sins of saints from heaven.
Hour of judgment was 1843/1844 Hour of judgment begins in 1844
second coming to destroy earth. Investigative Judgment.
Babylon: those who rejected Babylon: those who reject SDA
second coming to earth in 1844 doctrines, especially Sabbath.
Mark on those who reject his message. Mark of beast is Sunday worship.
Rev. 14:10 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:
Rev. 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.
The three angels’ message concludes with what is perhaps the longest description in God=s Word of Gehenna, the Lake of Fire. Yet SDAs teach that these fires are very soon extinguished because they deny the doctrine of the immortality of the soul.