Some Thoughts Regarding The Three Angel’s Message

Reading Time: 8 minutes(Bible Prophecy Explained)

“Someone might say, “Look, this is new,” but that thing has always been here. It was here before we were.” (Eccl 1:10).

light in the clouds
light in the clouds

“Martin Luther once told Philipp Melanchthon, “Preach so that if the people don’t hate their sin, they will hate you.” This does not mean that preachers should make their manner offensive, but they must courageously proclaim the eternal consequences and immediate requirements of the gospel.” (Chapell, Bryan. Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon . Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

What are the eternal realities and immediate requirements of “the everlasting gospel” sometimes called “The Three Angel’s Message?”

This week’s email starts out with an unlikely text, one that some would say is not a part of the three angel’s message:

“And I heard a sound from heaven as loud as the crashing of floodwaters or claps of thunder. But it sounded like harpists playing their harps.” (Rev 14:2, ERV)

Something like Martin Luther once said to Melanchthon, I guess some would try to say I do not know what I am talking about because of my use of Rev 14:2 for the opening text of today’s Weekly on The Three Angels Message. In most Bibles that have headings over various passages of scripture, they will start with The Three Angel’s Message, for the title at Rev 14:6, and usually to verse 12.

But why did John say it like this in Rev 14:2?

There are likely several answer for that, all of which would be equally applicable, but perhaps, from some variation in points of view.

The reason this verse, (Rev 14:2) stood out to me as I went to read Rev 14:6-12 on The Three Angel’s Message is because of what the prophet said about what he was hearing, or what he heard, when he was given this vision. In the first instance John said he heard “a sound,” and that sound was from heaven. How he knew thats where the sound was coming from is also an interesting study; but perhaps for a different post?

The prophet said three things about this “sound” he heard “from heaven:”

1) “loud as the crashing of floodwaters,
2) “or claps of thunder”
3) “but it sounded like harpists playing their harps.”

Whatever one’s “interpretation” of Rev 14:2 is, I think its apparent that all could agree that whatever John heard “from heaven” was really loud, and, indeed, thats exactly how the “first angel” sounded when it said:

“Fear God and give him praise. The time has come for God to judge all people. Worship God. He made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water.” (Rev 14:7, ERV).

There are texts which tell us that God is the master of chaos. In scripture, we are told in multivariate ways how that any chaos that was going on in the world was ALWAYS in God’s favor. From the beginning we are told:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Gen 1:1-3).

One of many reasons I have long said: “there’s always a little Light…” And this is the reason this web site is called: “Light In The Clouds.”

“All things work together for good if we love Jesus…” (Rom 8:28).

This “all things” must also include all Bible prophecy.

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We have a time, in the beginning, when God moved reverently in the midst of the chaos, and everything He did in that chaos, He called “Good.” Just as Gen 1:3 talks about “the light,” so too does Bible prophecy, and we have reached yet another time in earth’s history where all is chaos, and turbulence, and strife of every kind. And yet, none of this present chaos is the end, for scripture promises that God will “do a new thing.”

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isa 43:19).

Even though some parts of Bible prophecy are fearsome and intimidating, and depicting a time of utter pandemonium and chaos; LIGHT IS STILL INVOLVED, JUST AS IT WAS BACK IN GEN 1:3. Light arises from the chaos of a well-worn world in the last throes of rejecting the Savior who died for them.

The apostle said it like this:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Pet 1:19). 

Here, we see that “prophecy” is “a light.” And what specifically could this light be? I believe that Jesus IS and WILL BE that Light, as “in the beginning,” and at the very loud sound of The Three Angel’s Message; arising out of the world-wide chaos, fear, and isolation, and lighting the whole earth with His glory:

“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Isa 60:2).

Jesus declared “I am the light of the world: (John 8:12)

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.””I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46).

Now, we have The Three Angel’s Message, arising out of the terrible chaos that is smothering the world now:

“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. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 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: (Rev 14:6-12).

Now, I don’t know about you, but this message sounds like a very frightening time to live. A life-threatening time to be alive. And yet, out of all that chaos, “the Light of the world” arises with “healing in His wings…”

“…unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth…(Mal 4:2).

Now, at the beginning of this message we were talking about Rev 14:2 and what John heard “from heaven…”  Is this “Three Angel’s Message from heaven? Yes, it sure is, as we are told in Rev 14:6

“…I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven…”

But according to Rev 14:2, John heard several different sounds. Why was that? I think that we can note here that to people who reject God, they don’t hear the same thing that we Christians hear, when God speaks. His Voice sounds different, to all kinds of people: it’s not the same for everyone.

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I think Job must have reflected upon this very point. This is how he said it:

“Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?” (Job 40:9)

There were others who heard God’s voice, and to them it also sounded like thunder; but to some, it was “a voice from heaven:”

“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mat 3:17). Could this be that same “loud voice” heard from heaven in The Three Angel’s Message? There is nothing in scripture to suggest otherwise. The Psalmist aptly stated:

“The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.” (Psalms 77:18).

Now in John, chapter 12, Jesus said a very special, and significant prayer about this very thing:

“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28).

The reaction of the people that were present when Jesus spoke this prayer had two results. Some of them thought they heard thunder. Others were saying that it was the voice of God:

“The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.” (John 12:29)

As the voice was heard, a light darted from the cloud, and encircled Christ, as if the arms of Infinite Power were thrown about Him like a wall of fire. The people beheld this scene with terror and amazement. No one dared to speak. With silent lips and bated breath all stood with eyes fixed upon Jesus. The testimony of the Father having been given, the cloud lifted, and scattered in the heavens. For the time the visible communion between the Father and the Son was ended. {DA 625.1}

The voice of God had been heard at the baptism of Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, and again at His transfiguration on the mount. Now at the close of His ministry it was heard for the third time, by a larger number of persons, and under peculiar circumstances. Jesus had just spoken the most solemn truth regarding the condition of the Jews. He had made His last appeal, and pronounced their doom. Now God again set His seal to the mission of His Son. The Father publically recognized the One whom Israel had rejected. “This voice came not because of Me,” said Jesus, “but for your sakes.” It was the crowning evidence of His Messiahship, the signal from the Father that Jesus had spoken the truth, and was the Son of God.

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Christ gives everyone evidence. Jesus speaks to everyone. But not all accept the evidence. They do not hear the voice of God when Jesus speaks. Many show plainly that it is not evidence they want, but an excuse for disregarding a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Instead of fearing and trembling before God, rejoicing that they have the privilege of listening to warnings and reproof, some inwardly wish that light had never come to them, to bring them to the test of decision. I have actually heard people say this to me! “I wish I never knew all this stuff!”

Bible prophecy is about “the light.” Jesus is the Light of the world.  Bible prophecy is not history, it is HIS – STORY. Everyone who knows and loves Him will “let their light shine,”  (Mat 5:16) and all will know the voice of God when they hear it. (Zech 6:15).

What do you see in your clouds? Do you see Jesus, or something else? If you do not see Jesus in your clouds, then you may miss out on the most important cloud!

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thes 4:16-17)

Did you catch that? JESUS meets us “in the clouds.”  Now, other voices, not God’s Voice, shout out their messages of “comfort” when a loved one dies, and say things like “Oh, they are in heaven now, and not suffering anymore,” but there is not a single Bible text that tells us to comfort one another with those words! So whose voice is that?

Speaking of 1 Thes 4:16-17, the apostle continues, as God’s Voice:

“wherefore, comfort one another with THESE WORDS.” (see 1 Thes 4:18).

Next Week: we will study what Bible prophecy has to say about why 1 Thes 4:18 is so important to understand. I pray that there will be the light of Christ in your clouds today.

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