Five Celestial Messengers

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3 (incomplete)

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still Will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

We are longing so much to meet and to be in peace with those angels in eternity. God’s people have cried throughout the ages, How long, O Lord. However just prior to His coming there are very few who cry that. Those who claim to be preaching the coming of Jesus are saying, My Lord delayeth His coming. No one wants to say that if they are longing for His soon coming. For us, we live in the closing scenes. We live in the time of the voice of Revelation 18:4. Verse 4 is part of the Revelation 18 angel (from verses 1 to 4) which has been sounding ever since 1888, and the powerful conveyance of pure truth has taken place ever since that time, and it is swelling to a loud cry. The final loud cry is verse 4:

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

This is the comment of Uriah Smith on this text:

The voice coming from heaven denotes that it will be a message of power attended with heavenly glory. How marked becomes the interposition of Heaven, and how the agents for the accomplishment of God’s work multiply, as the great crisis approaches! This voice from heaven is called “another” voice, showing that a new agency is here introduced. We now have five celestial messengers expressly mentioned as engaged in this last religious reformation. These are the first, second, and third angels of chapter 14; fourth, the angel of verse one of this chapter; and fifth, the agency indicated by the “voice” of verse 4, now before us. Three of these are already in operation [when he wrote this, 1897]. The second angel has joined the first, and the third has joined them. The first and second have not ceased. All three now have the field. The angel of verse 1 is entering upon his mission, as the conditions which call for his work are supplied; and the divine call from heaven must take place in connection with his work. {1897 UrS, DAR 716.3}

We have already firmly recognized that this angel of Revelation 18:1 commenced his work in 1888. That was over a hundred years ago. Is it not yet that the divine call from heaven is taking place in connection with his work? The following description really helps us to recognize where we now stand:

Meanwhile, great Babylon’s sins mount up to the heavens, and the remembrance of her iniquities comes up before God. {1897 UrS, DAR 717.1}

Remember what verse 4 says? “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

The storm of vengeance gathers. The great tidal wave of supernal wrath rolls onward. The feathery foam plays along its crest, indicating that but an instant remains ere it will burst upon the great city of confusion, and proud Babylon will go down as a millstone sinks in the depths of the sea. Suddenly another voice rings out from heaven, “Come out of her, my people!” The humble, sincere, devoted children of God, of whom there are some still left, and who sigh and cry over the abominations done in the land, heed the voice, wash their hands of her sins, separate from her communion, escape, and are saved, while Babylon becomes the victim of the just judgments of God. There are stirring times before the church. Let us be ready for the crisis. {1897 UrS, DAR 717.1}

This was written a long time ago. As he describes the feathery foam playing along its crest as the breaker is rolling in, can you see the feathery foam truly playing along its crest? Is this what we are seeing in the events of the world around us? When I read these things, I become more and more convinced that we are there. I don’t know whether you have ever seen breakers coming in, but they sometimes get that feathery crest and then for some reason or another it keeps on delaying, until it finally crashes. That is where we are presently at.

In connection with this Revelation 18 angel is the voice – the voice of heaven is that other agency, as he puts it. There is the angel, which is the movement, and there is another agency. We read in Revelation 18:1 that the angel, who were the people who had that message to give, came “down from heaven having great power and the earth was lightened with his glory.” The glory, the light, can never excel the light of Jesus Christ. Jesus, who is the Light of the world, is the source of that light. At the first advent Jesus, the Light of the world, came, and His coming caused the angels to sing. A powerful light came to the church at that time, and as it came, Jesus talked to the woman at the well and the very same scenario as the one which we have today was played out before her. Because she was a member of a church which was in contradiction to the other church, she said to him:

John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain [Samaria]; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

Here was the setting when Jesus, the Light of the world, came. Was He recognized by the church, the mountain, that He claimed was where they worshipped God correctly? “We know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” Did those Jews benefit from the revelation of the light? We have read many statements in regard to this, but listen to this quote. Here Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees, the Jews of whom He said to the woman, Salvation is of the Jews:

“I receive not honor from men,” Christ said. It was not the influence or sanction of the Sanhedrim that Christ desired. He wished not for human honor or approbation. He was invested with power from above. {RH, March 26, 1901 par. 11}

A voice from heaven (Rev. 18:4)? Jesus had power from above.

Had He desired honor, how quickly would the heavenly angels have come to His side! How quickly would the Father again have testified to the divinity of His Son! From no human source did Christ crave honor. He could not have been rendered more honourable if the whole school of the rabbis had lent Him their influence. {RH, March 26, 1901 par. 11}

“I know you,” Christ declared to the Pharisees, “that ye have not the love of God in you.” He spoke to them thus plainly because they could not discern His divinity under the veil of humanity. {RH, March 26, 1901 par. 12}

These are very significant words. Here was a human being and they could not discern the divinity under the veil of humanity. They could not discern the voice from heaven.

He was God in human flesh, and He could not but work the works of God. Unbelief, prejudice, and jealousy beat about Him, and if His humanity had not been united with divinity, He would have failed and become discouraged. At times His divinity flashed through humanity, and He stood forth as the Son of God, His veil of flesh too transparent to hide His majesty. But the men who claimed to be the expositors of the prophecies refused to believe that He was the Christ. Satan had control of their minds, and they utterly refused to acknowledge the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. {RH, March 26, 1901 par. 12}

Since Christ was treated thus, can we be surprised when those to whom He has given His message are rejected and scorned by men whose resistance of light is even less excusable than was the resistance of the Jews? {RH, March 26, 1901 par. 13}

Do we hear in the message of Christ our righteousness that divinity is to dwell in humanity?  Are the people who receive the 1888 message a people who have divinity working through them? By receiving the 1888 message we are to be perfect until Christ is perfected in humanity. When that is developed in the movement of the Revelation 18 angel, who will speak to the people in Babylon? It will be none other but the Holy Spirit, the divine voice that speaks through humanity – the voice from heaven. Will they be recognized? What is the message that comes and that calls to neither the Samaritan nor the Jewish mountain? What did that voice in the time of Christ call them to? Where were the true worshippers called to worship?

Hebrews 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, … 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, [that] Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

Which mountain? Mount Zion, not the mountain in Jerusalem, or Samaria, but the heavenly Jerusalem.

Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel.

What was the message at the time of Jesus? “Not in that or this mountain, come out from there and become part of the church of the first born written in heaven.” So they came out at the voice of God.

Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Remember the shaking?

Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God [is] a consuming fire.

Is that a relevant message for our time now? God is a consuming fire, and just before the destruction by fire takes place, God’s people are called out just like they were called out back then. Not to Samaria, not to the mountain of the Jews, not those two organizations, but where? To the church in heaven. As they took hold of that church in heaven they became a representative on earth of that church in heaven. Since then many church organizations have developed until we are here today, and the same arguments stand, “You are in the wrong church;” “Are we to worship in that mountain or this mountain?” But the same arguments and the same crucial responsibility to heed the voice from heaven come to us.

Those who have had living faith in the messages of God for the time in which they have lived, and who have acted out their faith in obedience to his commands, have been accepted of God, and have escaped the judgments that were to fall upon the disobedient and unbelieving. The word came to Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me.” Noah obeyed and was saved. The message came to Lot, “Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.” He placed himself under the guardianship of the heavenly messengers, and was saved. Those who obeyed the warning of Christ in marking the sign of the coming ruin, and in fleeing from Jerusalem, were not involved in her destruction. The message comes in our own time, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen. . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 11}

Can you see the sequence of timings, the same message?

Those who obey this message will escape the terrible plagues that will surely be visited upon her. {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 11}

Just as crucial as the message of Noah, and of Lot, and of Jesus in His time, is the message for today. As in the past, is it going to be any different now in regards to the people accepting it?

But this gracious message will be as generally rejected by the professed Christian world, as was the message of the Messiah by the Jewish nation. Only a few will receive the testimony of truth, for every influence that Satan can bring to bear against the reception of the truth of God will be employed. {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 9}

This is true, isn’t it? Every influence whether it comes from within the churches or from within the world, is distracting those that should be responding to this message.

In these last days the agency of the evil one will be hidden under a cloak of godliness, so that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. The word of God declares that Satan will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” His miracle-working power will be displayed to its utmost. But none who wish to know the truth need be deceived. God has promised to give to his people the Spirit of truth, to guide them into all truth. {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 9}

Here we are in precisely the same circumstance as this gracious message that was given by Jesus Himself; it is now being given by the Revelation 18 angel with the power and light that Jesus had. And it is rejected by the professed Christian world as was Jesus the Messiah by the professed Jewish world. Why? Because Satan is truly working by his deceptive arts to confuse if possible the very elect. I have been watching this since my youth.

Do you know that you and I who stand on the old Seventh-day Adventist doctrines are a cult in the eyes of the protestant churches? In 1951, Martin and Barnhouse, two very learned men from the evangelical churches, entered into the SDA leadership headquarters and enquired of them their doctrines because they were asked whether the Seventh-day Adventist church was a cult or not. When the leaders were challenged on the doctrines, the nature of Christ, the judgment hour, Ellen White, and other things, they back-tracked and brought to negative the original Adventist doctrines. They made them of little effect because they knew that if they didn’t they would be regarded as a cult. What do you hear people saying today about those who stand in the old paths? They are regarded even by their own brethren as a cult. Why? The old-fashioned messages are not welcome. They are the messages that have been handed down from early Adventism.

They are messages that come from 1888, and from the early reformers from the First World War, who lived a holy, reformed and pure life, and we in pursuing that are regarded as a cult. Why? Because everyone is snugly comforted in their several organizations. Faithful messengers suffer the opposition and ridicule of snug organizational Christians, just like in the organization of the Jewish church the people opposed Jesus Himself and the apostles thereafter. What did they do with them? They persecuted them; and these ended up in the mountains running for their lives, using all their wealth. Joseph of Arimathaea and other rich men became poor for Jesus’ sake. What do you expect of the Revelation 18 people who are faithful and who become instruments of the same impact as that of Jesus and His disciples? Anyone today who responds to the call needs to forsake those comfort zones and join the church of Hebrews 12. What was that church? The church of the first born. The company of people who are equal to all the company of people who have ever lived through the ages. That is the church they are to be part of. But because they are so small in this time of history, as they were small in past history, people think, That can’t be right, we have to be part of a BIG organization, so we can feel comfortable. No, it is those in Hebrews 11. This is the church written in heaven. Let us identify with them and proclaim exactly what we are meant to proclaim – the voice from heaven. What is the church you are part of?

Hebrews 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and [in] dens and caves of the earth.

Is this where we will be soon? That is the church of heaven that God is calling the people to. These are the people who will be protected in the munitions of rocks, who will be hiding from their former brethren.

Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Observe the kind of character of this church. Remember what is written? We are to gather warmth from the coldness of others. We are to show ourselves heroes when champions are few. All these that were before us are waiting for us to join them through the voice of heaven.

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Can you see how precisely this message from heaven, this Revelation 18:4 message, is calling us to be part of this company? We are called upon to respond to a message that says, Come out of Babylon to join this church. It is not a church that is qualified by profession or by organizational prowess. It is qualified by the condition that is here delineated in Hebrews 11. That is the church – it is the church of the first born written in heaven.

The question of most vital importance for this time is, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will unite with the angel in giving the message of truth to the world? Who will receive the light that is to fill the whole earth with its glory?” Those who cherish the light that they have, will receive more. Increasing light will shine about the souls who yield to the softening, subduing grace of Christ; and those who love the light, will be saved from the delusions of Satan. He will strive with intense energy to exhibit, through his miracle-working power, signs and wonders that will seem to eclipse the work that God will do in the earth. And all will be deceived except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. We need light now at every step, lest we be swept away with the error of the wicked. {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 12}

I can feel this more vivid now than ever before. I have preached it before, but now it’s become more and more intense. Some people who have heard this so frequently say, Have you got anything new? I have nothing new, just the old, beautiful truth that we can be part of now. May God help us to identify perfectly with those He has called in the past, just as He is calling for us today to be one hundred percent under His tuition.

Amen.

Posted on July 14, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes, The Church of God and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. JEREMIAH OTEMO

    Excellent! Who is on the Lord’s side? This was the Elijah message, it was John the Baptist’s message, It was Mose’s message when Korah and Abiram rebelled against the Lord. It was the message of the three boys in Babylon when they stood aloof and declared publicly that they were on the Lord’s side. It was the message of Daniel when he prayed three times as usual and his house windows wide open facing Jerusalem even after falsely being trapped.All these were clothed with the robe of Chris’s righteousness and managed to escape the judgments that were coming upon those who transgressed the law of God. These were regarded as the representatives and witnesses of Christ in the generations they lived.
    Yes, we have nothing new to represent to the world. The first gospel which was preached right there in Eden to Adam and Eve, is the same message today. Only that the times we are living differ but there is no new thing under the sun. What has been is and was.
    ‘Only by being clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness can we escape the judgments that are coming upon the earth”.-letter 20, 1901. We can not escape it by presenting something new to the people. Neither can we escape the wrath of God by belonging to a particular or certain group. We cannot escape it by belonging to a well organized cathedral.
    “The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place.Today you are to give yourselves to God, that He may make you vessels unto honor, and meet for His service. Today you are to give yourself to God, that you may be emptied of envy, jealousy, evil surmising,, strife, everything that shall be dishonoring to God. Today you to have your vessel purified that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for showers of the latter rain , for the latter rain will come , and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified. from every defilement.. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord- fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit”. The Review and Herald, March 22, 1892.
    Thank you Sabbath sermons for your devoted time to present to a dying world such an awakening message of our time. God bless you.

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