A Powerful Argument

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by F.T. Wright
From The News Review, October 1974

For quite some time we have been very much aware that the angel of Revelation 18, whose glory shall fill the whole earth, is a very definite movement. This is stated in The Great Controversy, p. 604.

We know, also, that in 1888, the beginning of the light of this angel began to shine. We know, too, that this light is again shining today. The fourth angel’s movement is here.

But the average Seventh-day Adventist does not understand this and needs to be convinced of it. Loving our former brethren as we do, we are anxious to know how best to convince them so that they can find their place in the final movement and so in the kingdom.

From my experience of late, I have found the following line of argument to be very convincing and powerful.

In Revelation 18:1, John declares,

“And I saw another angel….”

On reading this verse, the emphasis is then laid on the thought that the very angel who had already seen the going forth of the first three angels, does not now say, “I saw again the third angel….” Instead, he says “another angel”.

The significance of this becomes more apparent when consideration is given to the mistakes of the past. The disciples preached the truth for the hour, but did not understand that there was yet still more to come.

Therefore, they thought that they had the final message. See The Great Controversy, p. 352. Likewise, the early Adventists thought that they had the last message, while they failed to understand that there were yet other messages symbolized by other angels, following the first angel’s message.

This is clearly brought to view in The Great Controversy, p. 353, which follows:

But as the early disciples declared, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand,” based on the prophecy of Daniel 9, while they failed to perceive that the death of the Messiah was foretold in the same scripture; so Miller and his associates preached the message based on Daniel 8:14 and Revelation 14:7, and failed to see that there was still other messages brought to view in Revelation 14, which were also to be given before the advent of the Lord.

As we see the mistake made in each case by these men of God in the past, we become alerted to the fact that we could make the same mistake. From the above we know that the first angel’s message was not the last. Nor was the second, but what of the third?

The average Seventh-day Adventist today complacently and firmly believes that the third angel is the last—the very last. He, as well as we, needs to understand very clearly that the third is not the last, for beyond that third angel is this other angel, the angel of Revelation 18 whose glory shall fill the whole earth.

This is the last, as is plainly stated in The Great Controversy, p. 390, 603-604. In the first reference it is plainly stated:

“This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work.”

In the second reference, the chapter which deals with the work of this angel is entitled “The Final Warning“. The third reference states:

“These announcements, uniting with the third angel’s message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.” (Emphasis ours)

So then, it is to be made very clear to any Adventist to whom you are speaking that the third angel’s message and movement are not the last. There is another message and movement to follow the third.

As Adventists today fully and correctly believe that the denomination was raised up to be the third angel’s movement, they need to understand that there must be added to the third angel’s message and movement the message of this other angel.

At this point, the argument has led to the point where it can be stressed that the four angels with their successive messages were sent to prepare a people for translation. Therefore, the work can never be finished unless the work of all four angels is combined. Therefore, it must be impressed upon the mind, irrespective of how well one may know and believe the messages of the first, second and third angels, this is not enough. All those who would be found as a part of the finishing work and fit for translation, must know, understand and experience the message of this other angel in addition to that of the former three.

Weight may be added to this by showing how that all who accepted the first angel’s message but refused to go on to the second, or accepted the first and the second and refused to go on to the third, actually lost their eternal life.

If an Adventist sincerely wishes to have a part in the finishing work and as sincerely desires eternal life and translation, then he must respond to this argument and desire to know the message of this other angel, the mere beginning of whose message began to sound back in 1888 through the ministry of Elders Waggoner and Jones.

This, then, is a very effective appeal to make to any Adventist, the making of which will not only serve to awaken him to his opportunities and responsibilities, but will serve to stir our own souls as well.

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