The Third Angel’s Message

WHAT IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST?

This mark is very conspicuous, in the forehead or hand, and signifies not a literal mark, but a prominent profession, that all may see and know. It is the mark of the beast; therefore it is a prominent point of religious faith introduced by the Papal power, which is the observance of the first day of the week as a holy day of rest instead of the seventh. TTAM 8.1

The only weekly Sabbath of the Bible is the seventh-day rest. The New Testament recognizes no other. Christ and his holy apostles have not spoken of any other. Some say they keep the first day in honor of Christ’s resurrection; but who has told them to do so? Has Jesus? No, never, neither have the apostles. We defy Sunday keepers to bring the least evidence from the word of God for keeping the first day of the week as a holy day of rest. The example of Christ and his disciples, in travelling fifteen miles on the very day of the resurrection, and the example of the Apostle Paul at Troas [Acts 20:7-15,] is sufficient to show any one that they did not regard the first day as a day of rest; but as the first working day, as God set the example when he made the world. Then as there is no evidence for the first day in the holy scriptures, we inquire, who effected the change of weekly rest from the seventh to the first day? TTAM 8.2

From the time of the apostles to Constantine the Sabbath was generally observed, while the first day was regarded as a festival of no greater importance or authority than Good Friday or Holy Thursday. TTAM 9.1

In 321, Constantine published his edicts enjoining the observance of the first day, in all cities and towns, while the country people were allowed to work, and at that time and after, most of the churches observed the Sabbath; therefore Constantine did not effect the CHANGE. TTAM 9.2

Dr. Chambers says - “By Constantine’s laws, made in 321, it was decreed that for the future the Sunday should be kept a day of rest in the cities and towns; but he allowed the country people to follow their work. In 538, the council of Orleans prohibited this country labor.” Encyclop. Art. Sund. Lond. 1791. TTAM 9.3

Socrates, A. D. 440, says - There are various customs concerning assembling; for though all the churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath day, yet the Alexandrians and the Romans, from an ancient tradition refuse to do this.” Socrates Eccl. Hist. B. 5, ch. 21, Basel ed. TTAM 9.4

St. Jerome, in a funeral oration for the lady Paula, in the early part of the fifth century, says -“She with all her virgins and widows who lived at Bethlehem in a cloister with her, upon the Lord’s day, repaired duly to the church, or house of God, which was nigh to her cell; and after her return from thence to her own lodgings, she herself and all her company fell to work, and every one performed their task, which was the making of clothes and garments for themselves and for others, as they were appointed.” TTAM 9.5

St. Chrysostom, patriarch of Constantinople, “recommended to his audience, after impressing upon themselves and their families what they had heard on the Lord’s day, to return to their daily employment and trades.” Burnside on the Sabbath, p. 16. [From Sabbath Tract, No. 4.] TTAM 10.1

In 538, at the very beginning of the “forty and two months,” [1260 years] that the Papal beast was to blaspheme against God, and “make war with the saints, and to overcome them,” “the council of Orleans prohibited the country labor on Sunday, which Constantine, by his laws permitted. TTAM 10.2

From this time, the observance of the first day was gradually but forcibly urged upon the people, and the Sabbath dismissed wherever they owed allegiance to the Pope as head of the church, and in England and Scotland as late as the thirteenth century. Then it was decreed that it should be holy time from Sunday noon until Monday. TTAM 10.3

“And he [little horn] shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25. TTAM 10.4

The Pope had power to change the laws of men, and did change them, and Daniel saw him speaking great words of blasphemy against the Most High, and thinking to change the laws in God. The saints, times and laws were given in to his hand for 1260 years. He was permitted to trample down the Sabbath, and the saints for that time. The former he caused to be desecrated, and the latter put to death. TTAM 11.1

Then as the observance of the first day as a day of holy rest, instead of the seventh, is a mark of the beast, it undoubtedly is the mark mentioned in the solemn message of the third angel. - This is strongly established by this plain fact that the mark of the beast is in direct opposition to keeping the commandments of God. One class keep the commandments of God, and of course they keep the Sabbath, and they are seen on mount Zion with the Lamb. The other class have the mark of the beast and they drink of the unmingled cup of the wrath of God. O, my brethren, what an awfully solemn subject is this now before us! And what an hour will soon burst upon the world like a thief! Never did I have such feelings while holding my pen as now. - And never did I see and feel the importance of the Sabbath as I do this moment. Surely the Sabbath truth, like the rising sun ascending from the east, has increased in light, in power and in importance until it is the great sealing truth. - Its rays of holy light cheer and sanctify the true believer, and condemn those who reject it. TTAM 11.2

The second angel’s message reached to the fall of 1844, where the cry - “Come out of her my people” closed: then the time for the third came. A part of the third angel’s message is - “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God,” etc. We know that the saints’ patient waiting time has been since their disappointment in 1844. - Well here it is, and we all know it. We cannot be mistaken here. We know then that the time for this third message is now. We know also that the time for keeping all the commandments right has been since 1844, since God called us out of Babylon. If we had stayed there, bound down by ministers and creeds, the glorious light of the Holy Sabbath never would have reached us, but glory to God, the second angel’s message called us out from the fallen churches where we are now free to think, and act for ourselves in the fear of God. It is an exceedingly interesting fact, that the Sabbath question began to be agitated among second advent believers immediately after they were called out of the churches by the second angel’s message. God’s work moves in order. The Sabbath truth came up in just the right time to fulfill prophecy. Amen. TTAM 11.3

God led the children of Israel about in the wilderness forty years, after their deliverance from Egypt, to humble them, and to prove them, to know what was in their heart, whether they would keep his commandments or not; see Deuteronomy 8:2, and in like manner he called us from the bondage of the churches in 1844, and there humbled us, and has been proving us, and has been developing the hearts of his people, and seeing whether they would keep his commandments. A few Calebs and Joshuas can still bring a good report, and are resolved to “wholly follow the Lord.” Many stopped at the first angel’s message, and others at the second, and many will refuse the third; but a few will “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,” and go up and possess the land. Though they have to pass through fire and blood, or witness the “time of trouble such as never was,” they will not yield, and “receive the mark of the beast,” but they will struggle on, and press their holy warfare until they, with the harps of God, strike the note of victory on mount Zion. TTAM 12.1

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Revelation 11:19. Did John see the ark of the ten commandments in heaven? Yes, so he testifies; and none who believe the Bible will doubt his testimony, and say that he somehow fell into a mesmeric state, and saw things incorrectly. Then if the commandments are preserved in heaven, certainly they are not abolished on earth. TTAM 13.1

In the type, the temple of God on earth, the place for the ark, was in the “holiest of all,” within the second vail. In the antitype, “the temple of God” “in heaven,” the ark must be in the same place, for the earthly were “patterns of things in the heavens.” In the earthly, the “holiest of all” was opened at the end of the year, for the high priest alone to enter on the day that he cleansed the sanctuary; but the “holiest of all” of the heavenly “temple” was not opened until Jesus, our High Priest, entered to cleanse the sanctuary at the end of the 2300 days, in 1844. “And there was seen in his temple, the ark of his testament.” John does not say that he saw it, tho’ he doubtless saw the whole transaction in vision; but, that it “was seen.” He saw the waiting saints, after the 2300 days ended, by faith looking to their Great High Priest, who stands by the ark in the “holiest of all.” They are keeping the commandments of God; and by faith they see the ark of the testament, or ten commandments in the temple in heaven. Mark this: The second wo was past, (August 11, 1840,) and the seventh angel had begun to sound (in 1844,) when the ark of the testament was seen. This also shows that the time for keeping all the commandments right, the Sabbath with the rest, has been since 1844, where the third angel’s message commenced. TTAM 13.2

The second angel’s message called the second advent host from the various sects, and formed the Philadelphia church, or church of Brotherly Love, in the fall of 1844. To this church it is said - “Behold, I have set before thee an open door.” This doubtless refers to the tabernacle of the testimony which was then opened, that the light of the holy law of God might shine out upon the waiting saints. Now we are prepared to see and feel the force of the declaration of the third angel - “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God.” Our past experience and present position is so clearly marked that the saints may see their whereabouts, and understand present truth and present duty. TTAM 14.1

The wrath of God mentioned by the third angel is the seven last plagues. “In them is filled up the wrath of God,” Revelation 15:1. The four angels [Revelation 7:1,] will hold the four winds, and the vials of God’s wrath will not be poured out until the saints hear the “loud voice” of the third angel, and are sealed with the seal of the living God. TTAM 14.2

This angel delivers the last message of mercy to the scattered flock; therefore, it is the sealing message. The next event in their history, which immediately follows, is the day and night cry of God’s elect or sealed ones, [Luke 18:7,] represented by the loud cry of the fourth angel, [Revelation 14:14, 15,] - “Thrust in thy sickle and reap; for the time has come for thee to reap.” The third angel’s sealing message, is represented by the man clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side, [Ezekiel 9:2-4] marking the sighing and crying ones. After his work is accomplished, six men with slaughter-weapons follow, and slay utterly. These represent the wrath of God in the seven last plagues. The sealed ones will be safe in that dread hour of slaughter; for the men with slaughter-weapons have this charge - “Come not near any man upon whom is the mark.” They will abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” “His truth” will be their “shield and buckler.” TTAM 15.1

“A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.” Psalm 91:7, 8. We may now see the great separation into two classes. One class keep the commandments, and are marked or sealed with the seal of the living God, and are to be protected in the day of slaughter. The other class have an opposite mark, which is of the beast, and they are to drink the wrath of God. TTAM 15.2

The living God instituted, sanctified and blessed the seventh day in Eden, and with an audible voice from Mount Sinai decreed that it should be observed as holy time. The beast decreed that the first day of the week should be holy time. Here are seen the two opposite marks. Both are conspicuous, in the forehead, which denotes a prominent profession. No point of religious faith is so conspicuous, and so easily seen by all around, as the observance of a day of holy rest; therefore it is said to be in the forehead. TTAM 15.3

Dear reader, I entreat you to heed the solemn message of the third angel. Think not that we were free from the mark of the beast when we left the churches. The second angel’s message only brought us from that cage, where we are now free to hear the third, which if received and obeyed, will strip us from the last vestige of Popery, and seal us with the seal of the living God. If you are still professing to observe the first day of the week in honor of Christ’s resurrection, let me tell you that you have no scripture authority for so doing. In this you are not honoring Christ, nor his resurrection, but an institution of the beast. No longer hug to your bosom this child of the “mother of harlots,” as a holy thing of heavenly birth. TTAM 16.1

We are fast approaching an awful hour. Nothing but truth and righteousness will save us. We must humble ourselves before the Mighty God, and obey and honor him by keeping his commandments. TTAM 16.2

We must seek a full and free pardon of all our transgressions and errors, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, now while he pleads his blood before the Father. TTAM 16.3

JAMES WHITE.