Have SDA’s got the Three Angel’s Messages right?
The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is ”to proclaim the everlasting gospel embraced by the three angels’’ messages’ (Revelation 14:6-12).
Interestingly, most SDA’s do not have a clue about the meaning of the Three Angel’s Messages. Just talk to a lay member. Not just that. SDA’s have built a mission statement based on a twisted interpretation of Revelation and the three angels. Here’s how it goes.
What do SDA’s teach on the three angels of Revelation 14?
- SDA’s teach that the first angel’s message was proclaimed and fulfilled in 1843/1844, through those (Millerites) who were preaching the soon coming of Christ:
Ellen White, SDA prophet, wrote: ”Prophecy was fulfilled in the first and second angels’ messages. They were given at the right time  and accomplished the work” (Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 235).
Further, when Revelation 14 says ”the judgement is come” (Rev 14:7), SDA’s teach that God began judging and investigating the righteous from 1844.
- SDA’s teach that the second angel’s message is a call for Christians attending non-Adventist churches (referred to as Babylon) to leave those churches and join the true remnant church–the Seventh-day Adventists.
Ellen White wrote: ‘’As the churches refused to receive the first angel’s message, they rejected the light from heaven and fell from the favor of God” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 134).
- SDA’s teach the third angel’s message is a warning against receiving the Mark of the Beast, which is said to be worship on Sunday.
“The Sabbath is the great test question. It is the line of demarcation between the loyal and true and the disloyal and transgressor. … It is the seal of the living God” (Ellen White, Selected Messages Book 3, p. 423)
Problems with SDA teachings
Fulfilled in 1844?
- The Bible says the 3 angels messages were to go:
“…to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).
- But the Millerite Movement in 1844 was largely confined to the Northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and perhaps 2,000 to 3,000 followers in Britain, and a handful of believers in a few scattered places in Europe.
How could a message that reached less than 1% of the world’s population–mainly English speakers–be a fulfilment of a prophecy that was to go “to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people“?
Judgment of the righteous in Revelation?
- There is not a hint anywhere in Revelation 14 of a judgment upon the righteous or any investigation of the righteous. This is a SDA invention. The judgment is a judgment of vengeance and punishment of the wicked. In the book of Revelation, the souls of the martyrs (righteous) are heard crying out for vengeance/judgment:
”How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:1)
- Hence, the ‘judgement is come’ is not for the righteous, but the wicked. The Bible is very clear that believers will not come into condemnation: ”Whoever hears my word and believes him [Jesus] who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged [condemned] but has crossed over from death to life” (Jn 5:24).
- True, the Bible says God will judge both the righteous and the wicked. Since, judgement is mysteriously present in preaching of the gospel (John 3:18), those who disobey the gospel are judged already (John 5:24). Hence, God doesn’t require any further investigation to decide who are his children.
- If there is a time for judgement, it is at his appearing, and not before or from 1844. : ‘I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom‘ (2 Timothy 4:1)
SDA’s have no basis contextually to say that the judgement specifically in Revelation is on the righteous, and there is certainly no investigative judgement. The context points to a judgment of the wicked.
Are all the protestant churches Babylon?
- In Revelation 18, Babylon ”is the great city as a woman who commits fornication with the kings of the earth” (Rev. 18:3).
“The great city…is…where our Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8). All Christians agree that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, which is what the Bible refers to as Babylon.
- Moreover, speaking about “Babylon”, it says that “in your streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world” (Rev. 18:4). Sound familiar? It should. Jesus Christ said:
“As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time” (Matt. 23:35). “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers!” (Matt. 23:37).
The identification of “Babylon” leaves no room for any doubt. On the authority of Jesus Christ himself, “Babylon” was old Jerusalem, not some other past, present of future city or non-Adventist churches.
Sunday is the mark of the beast?
- Contrary to SDA teachings, the third angel’s message warning on the mark of the beast has nothing to do with a day of worship (Saturday). Not once in the New Testament is Sunday ever referred to as the Mark of the Beast. The Seal of God is the Holy Spirit, not a sign of an obsolete covenant God made with Israel. “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit..” (Ephesians 1:13). Jesus and His Apostles emphasized that true Christianity is a matter of the heart. The Mark of the Beast are those who do not have the Holy Spirit. See: Sabbath in the Bible
Seventh-day Adventism has elevated an obscure and easily-misunderstood passage in the book of Revelation to a position of prime importance to their church. Unfortunately, they have misinterpreted the meaning of this passage, resulting in a twisted and warped understanding of their relationship to other Christian churches.
SDA’s twist Revelation!
- John explains repeatedly in his book of Revelation that it deals with things that were about to happen shortly after the book was written.
”This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place” (Rev. 1:1). See also: Rev. 2:5, 16; 3:11; 22.
- In the SDA mind-set, all those inspired expressions become meaningless, since Adventists claim that ‘soon’ means exactly the same as ‘distant’, ‘remote’ or ‘indefinite’. Naturally, that’s utter nonsense. When God caused the false prophet Balaam to predict Israel’s future, he knew very well the difference between ‘soon’ and ‘distant in time’ (Num. 24:17), and when God told Daniel about the future, he specified that a significant portion of his prophecy was for distant times (Dan. 8:26; 12:4, 9).
Revelation can be a daunting book
- The author said ”Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book” (Rev. 22:10) because the events were shortly to come to pass, so I take him at his word that a good part of the book refers to 1st century events. However, I leave open the door for the latter half of the book to be more geared towards the time of the end. I also will acknowledge that some of the prophecies may have dual fulfilment—the first fulfilment being in the 1st century, and then a repeat and more complete fulfilment at the end of time.