Angel Messages From Outer Space
Angels are real! Sometimes called cherubim or seraphim, these powerful ministering spirits appear all through Bible history. Often they are seen protecting and guiding God’s people, and sometimes they are punishing evil. But one of their most important missions is to reveal and explain prophecy. Did you know God has said something special through His angels to the stressed-out people of our hectic world? In Revelation 14, He reveals awesome messages for these last days, messages coded in the symbolism of three flying angels. So significant are these messages, Jesus won’t return until they are all fulfilled! This Study Guide will give you an eye-opening overview, and the following eight Study Guides will present the incredible details. Get ready—God’s personal message to you is about to be explained!
1. Why are we studying Revelation? Isn’t it sealed?
Answer: There are six crucial reasons to study Revelation:
A. It never has been sealed (Revelation 22:10). The age-long controversy between Christ and Satan, as well as the devil’s last-day strategies, are exposed in Revelation. Satan cannot easily trap people who are aware of his deceptions in advance, so he hopes people will believe that Revelation is sealed.
B. The very name “Revelation” means “unveiling,” “opening,” or “revealing”—the opposite of being sealed. It always has been wide open.
C. Revelation is Jesus’ book in a unique way. It begins, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). It even gives a word picture of Him in Revelation 1:13–16. No other Bible book reveals Jesus and His last-day instructions and plans for His work and His people as does Revelation.
F. Revelation describes God’s end-time people (His church) with startling clarity. It makes the Bible come to life when you see the last-day events depicted in Revelation taking place. It also tells precisely what God’s church should be preaching in the last days (Revelation 14:6–14). This Guide gives an overview of that preaching so you can recognize it when you hear it.
Note:Before proceeding, please read Revelation 14:6–14.
2. God commissioned His church to take the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). How does He symbolize this sacred work in Revelation?
“I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach. ... And another angel followed, saying. ... Then a third angel followed them, saying ...” (Revelation 14:6, 8, 9).
Answer: The word “angel” literally means “messenger,” so it is fitting that God uses three angels to symbolize the preaching of His three-point gospel message for the last days. God uses the symbolism of angels to remind us that supernatural power will accompany the messages.
3. What two crucial points does Revelation14:6 reveal about God’s message for the last days?
“I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6).
Answer: The two crucial points are: (1) that it is the “everlasting gospel,” and (2) that it must be preached to every person on earth. The three angels’ messages stress the gospel, which makes it plain that people are saved by faith in—and acceptance of—Jesus Christ alone (Acts 4:10–12; John 14:6). Since no other way to salvation exists, it is evil to claim that there is some other way.
Satan’s counterfeits, while many, include two very effective ones: (1) salvation by works, and (2) salvation in sin. These two counterfeits are uncovered and revealed in the three angels’ messages. Many, without realizing it, have embraced one of these two errors and are trying to build their salvation upon it—an impossible feat. We also must stress that no one is truly preaching the gospel of Jesus for the end time who does not include the three angels’ messages.
4. What four distinctive points does the first angel’s message cover?
“Saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’ ” (Revelation 14:7).
A. Fear God. This means we should revere God and look upon Him with love, trust, and respect—eager to do His bidding. This keeps us from evil. “By the fear of the Lord one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). Solomon, the wise man, also said, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all [whole duty]” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
C. The hour of His judgment is come. This indicates that everyone is accountable to God, and it is a clear statement that the judgment is now in session. A number of translations say “has” come instead of “is” come. (Full details of this judgment are given in Study Guides 18 and 19.)
D. Worship the Creator. This command rejects idolatry of all kinds—including self-worship—and repudiates the theory of evolution, which denies that God is Creator and Redeemer. (Many books and talk shows stress self-esteem, which can lead to self-worship. Christians find their value in Christ, who makes us sons and daughters of God.)
The gospel includes the creation and redemption of the world by the Lord God. Worshiping the Creator includes worshiping Him on the day He set aside as a memorial of Creation (the seventh-day Sabbath). That Revelation 14:7 refers to the seventh-day Sabbath is made clear by the fact that the words “made heaven and earth, the sea” were lifted right out of the Sabbath commandment (Exodus 20:11 KJV) and used here. (See Study Guide 7 for more information on the Sabbath.) Our roots are found in God alone, who made us in His image in the beginning. Those who do not worship God as Creator—no matter what else they might worship—will never discover their roots.
5. What solemn statement does the second angel make about Babylon? What does the angel of Revelation 18 urge God’s people to do?
“Another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen’ ” (Revelation 14:8). “I saw another angel coming down from heaven. ... And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen.’ ... And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people’ ” (Revelation 18:1, 2, 4).
Answer: The second angel states that “Babylon is fallen,” and the voice from heaven urges all of God’s people to come out of Babylon at once so they will not be destroyed along with it. Unless you know what Babylon is, you could easily end up staying in it. Think about it—you could be in Babylon now! (Study Guide 20 gives a clear presentation of Babylon.)
6. Against what does the third angel’s message solemnly warn?
“A third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God’ ” (Revelation 14:9, 10).
Answer: The third angel’s message warns people against worshiping the beast and his image and receiving the mark of the beast in their forehead or hand. The first angel commands true worship. The third angel tells of the tragic consequences connected with false worship. Do you know for certain who the beast is? And what his mark is? Unless you know, you could end up worshiping the beast without realizing it. (Study Guide 20 provides full details regarding the beast and his mark. Study Guide 21 explains his image.)
7. What four-point description does God give in Revelation 14:12 of His people who accept and follow the three angels’ messages?
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
A. They are patient, persevering, and faithful to the end. God’s people reveal Him by their patient, loving conduct and by their faithfulness to holiness in their lives.
B. They are saints, or “holy ones,” because they are fully on God’s side.
C. They keep the commandments of God. These faithful people happily obey His Ten Commandments and all other commandments He has given. Their first aim is to please Him, whom they love (1 John 3:22). (Study Guide 6 gives more information on the Ten Commandments.)
D. They have the faith of Jesus. This also can be translated “faith in Jesus.” In either case, God’s people fully follow Jesus and fully trust Him.
8. What happens immediately following the teaching of the three angels’ messages to all people?
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown” (Revelation 14:14).
Immediately after the teaching of the three angels’ messages to every person, Jesus will return in the clouds to take His people to their heavenly home. At His appearing, the great 1,000-year blackout of Revelation chapter 20 will begin. (Study Guide 12 tells about these 1,000 years. Study Guide 8 gives the details of Jesus’ second coming.)
When all have heard Jesus' end-time message, He will return to earth to take His people with Him to heaven.
The special emphasis of Noah’s “present truth” was a coming flood
9. In 2 Peter 1:12, the apostle speaks of “present truth.” What does he mean?
Answer: Present truth is an aspect of the everlasting gospel that has particular urgency for a certain time. Examples are:
A. Noah’s message of the Flood (Genesis 6 and 7; 2 Peter 2:5). Noah was a preacher of righteousness. He taught God’s love as he warned of a coming flood that would destroy the world. The Flood message was “present truth” for that time. Its urgent cry was “get into the boat.” And it was so important that it would have been irresponsible not to preach it.
B. Jonah’s message to Nineveh (Jonah 3:4) Jonah’s “present truth” was that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days. Jonah also uplifted the Savior, and the city repented. To omit the 40-day warning would have been unfaithful. It was present truth. It fitted that time in a special way.
C. John the Baptist’s message (Matthew 3:1–3; Luke 1:17). John’s “present truth” was that Jesus, the Messiah, was about to appear. His work was to present the gospel and prepare people for Jesus’ first coming. To have omitted that first coming element of the gospel for his day would have been unthinkable.
D. The three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:6–14). God’s “present truth” for today is contained in the three angels’ messages. Of course, salvation through Jesus Christ alone is central to these messages. However, the “present truth” of the three angels also has been given to prepare people for Jesus’ second coming and to open their eyes to Satan’s highly convincing deceptions. Unless people understand these messages, Satan could capture and destroy them. Jesus knew we needed these three special messages, so in loving kindness He has given them. They must not be omitted. Please pray earnestly as you examine them point by point in the next eight Study Guides.
Some of your discoveries might be shocking. But all will be satisfying. Your heart will be tremendously stirred. You will sense Jesus speaking to you! After all, they are His messages.
10. Who does the Bible say will come to give a “present truth” message before the great day of the Lord?
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5).
Answer: Elijah the prophet. There is something significant about Elijah and his message, as we shall see in the next few questions.
11. What did Elijah do that caused the Lord to focus on him?
Note: Please read 1 Kings 18:17–40.
Answer: Elijah urged the people to make up their minds about whom they would serve (verse 21). The nation was almost wholly idolatrous. Most had forsaken the true God and His commandments. There was one prophet of God, Elijah, and 450 heathen prophets of Baal (verse 22). Elijah
suggested that both he and the idolaters build altars and place wood and a bull on them. He then suggested they ask the true God to reveal Himself by setting fire to His altar. The heathen god did not answer, but the true God of Elijah sent fire from heaven and burned up Elijah’s sacrifice.
The Message Demanded a Decision
Elijah’s message came at a time of deep spiritual crisis and national apostasy. It came with such power from heaven that it stopped “business as usual” and drew national attention. Elijah then insisted that people decide whom they would serve, God or Baal. Deeply moved and fully convinced, the people chose God (verse 39).
12. The Elijah message has a twofold application. It was a “present truth” message to prepare people for Jesus’ first advent and a “present truth” message to prepare people for His second coming. Who did Jesus say preached the Elijah message to prepare people for His first advent?
Jesus called John’s preaching to prepare people for His first advent “Elijah,” or the Elijah message. John’s message, as in Elijah’s day, made truth very clear and then insisted on a decision. The Bible says of John the Baptist, “He will ... go ... in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17).
John the Baptist presented the “Elijah” message of his day. Those who preach Revelation 14:6–14 have the Elijah message for today.
13. How do we know the prophecy has a second application to our time–just before the second advent?
“I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31).
Please take note that two events will occur before the coming of “the great and awesome day of the Lord” mentioned in Joel 2:31—one, the coming of the Elijah message, and two, the tremendous signs in the heavens. This helps us locate both events. The dark day occurred May 19, 1780. That same night, the moon appeared as blood. Matthew 24:29 includes one more sign—the falling of the stars, which took place November 13, 1833. From this, we know the end-time Elijah message must begin near or after 1833—before the coming of the great day of the Lord.
Second Elijah Message After Sky Signs
It is clear that John’s “Elijah message” does not apply to the second “Elijah message” because God’s great sky signs appeared more than 1,700 years after John preached his message. The Elijah message of Joel 2:31 had to begin after those sky signs in 1833 and must prepare people for Jesus’ second coming. The threefold “present truth” message of Revelation 14:6–14 fits perfectly. It began around 1844 and is preparing people worldwide for Jesus’ second advent (verse 14), which will take place after the threefold message has reached every person on earth. (Details on the 1844 date are given in Study Guides 18 and 19.)
The Message Demands a Decision
Elijah insisted evil be met head-on and that all decide whom they would serve. So it is also with God’s threefold message for us today. A decision must be made. God’s threefold message unmasks Satan and his plans. It reveals God’s love and His requirements. God is calling people today back to true worship—worship of God alone. To knowingly serve anyone or anything else in this crucial day amounts to disloyalty and will result in eternal death. God miraculously reached hearts in Elijah’s day (1 Kings 18:37, 39) and in the days of John the Baptist. He will do the same in these last days as people respond to the three angels’ messages (Revelation 18:1–4).
God’s final Elijah message will bring families together in joy, love, and happiness.
14. What wonderful blessing will the preaching of the Elijah message (the three angels’ messages) bring?
“Elijah ... will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers”
Answer: Praise God! The Elijah message—or three angels’ messages—will bring family members together in a loving, close, joyous, heavenly relationship. What a blessed promise!
15. The word “gospel” means good news. Do the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 provide good news?
Answer: Yes! Let’s review the good news we have discovered in this overview of the three angels’ messages:
A. Every person will have an opportunity to hear and understand the last-day gospel. Not one will be passed by.
B. The devil’s powerful plans to trap and destroy people will be revealed to us, so we need not be ensnared.
C. Heaven’s power will accompany the spreading of God’s message in these last days.
D. God’s people will be patient. He calls them “saints.”
E. God’s people will have the faith of Jesus.
F. God’s people will, out of love, obey His commandments
G. God loves us so much that He has sent special messages to prepare us for Jesus’ second coming.
H. God’s messages for these last days will bring family members together in love and unity.
I. The major emphasis of the three angels’ messages is that salvation has been provided for everyone through Jesus Christ. He gives His righteousness to cover our past and miraculously imparts His righteousness to us daily so we will grow in grace and become like Him. With Him, we cannot fail. Without Him, we cannot succeed.
A. Further Word
Points of the three angels’ messages that will be explained in upcoming Study Guides are:
A. God’s judgment hour has arrived!
B. Come out of fallen Babylon.
C. Don’t receive the mark of the beast.
Much more good news will be revealed as you prayerfully study these subjects in future Study Guides. You will be surprised and gladdened at some things, shocked and saddened at others. Some points might be hard to accept. But since Jesus sent special messages from heaven to help and guide each one of us in these last days, surely nothing could be more important than to hear each message, to understand each one fully, and follow each one fully.
16. Do you feel thankful to learn that Jesus has a special three-point message to guide and assist His people in these last days of earth’s history? Answer:
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
1. Will every person on earth be reached with the three angels’ messages before Jesus returns? With billions of people now living, how can this be possible?
Answer: Yes—it will happen because God promised it (Mark 16:15). Paul said the gospel went “to every creature under heaven” in his day (Colossians 1:23). Jonah, by God’s grace, reached the entire city of Nineveh in less than 40 days (Jonah 3:4–10). The Bible says God will finish the work and cut it short (Romans 9:28). Count on it. It will happen—very quickly!
2. Did Moses and Elijah actually appear with Jesus at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3)—or was it only a vision?
Answer: The event was literal. The Greek word “horama,” translated “vision” in verse 9, means “what had been seen.” Moses was raised from the dead and taken to heaven (Jude 1:9), and Elijah was translated without seeing death (2 Kings 2:1, 11, 12). These two men, who had been on earth and suffered terribly from the onslaughts of the devil and the rebellion of God’s people, understood what Jesus was experiencing. They came to encourage and remind Him of all who would be translated into His kingdom without seeing death (like Elijah) and raised to life from the grave to enter His kingdom (like Moses) because of His sacrifice for our sins.
3. Why did John the Baptist say he was not Elijah (John 1:19–21) when Jesus said that he was (Matthew 11:10–14)?
Answer: The answer comes from Luke 1:3–17. The angel who announced John’s coming birth said, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. ... He will be great in the sight of the Lord. ... He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (verses 13–17). When Jesus referred to John as Elijah, He was referring to his life, spirit, power, and work being like that of Elijah. The same is true of the Elijah message for these last days. The emphasis is on the message, not the man. So John was not Elijah in person, but he was presenting the Elijah message.
4. Is it possible for someone to be preaching Jesus’ full end-time truth for today without including the three angels’ messages?
Answer: No. The three angels’ messages must be included. In the book of Revelation, Jesus Himself reveals His end-time message (Revelation 1:1) and says that His people must keep on following what He has revealed in the book (Revelation 1:3; 22:7). So the faithful in the end times must preach Jesus’ messages from the book of Revelation. This, of course, includes preaching His special three-point message of Revelation 14:6–14. Notice that Jesus calls these messages the “everlasting gospel” in verse 6. He also says they must be taken to every person on earth before He returns for His people. Here are three solemn thoughts:
A. No one is truly preaching Jesus’ “everlasting gospel” unless he includes the three angels’ messages.
B. No one has the right to call his messages the everlasting gospel if he omits the three angels’ messages.
C. The three angels’ messages prepare people for Jesus’ second coming (Revelation 14:12–14). Unless you hear, understand, and accept Jesus’ three-point end-time messages, you may not be prepared for His second coming.
Special Messages for the End-time
Jesus, who knows what we need, gave us three special messages for the end times. We must understand and follow them. The next eight Study Guides will make these messages clear.
5. Luke 1:17 says the Elijah message was to turn “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” What does this mean?
Answer: “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). The just have the wisdom to rest their salvation upon faith in the Savior. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). John’s Elijah message was to make this clear to everyone. A faith that is anchored to anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ can never save from sin and lead to a changed life. People must hear and understand this. This truth is the very heart of God’s three-point Elijah message for us today.