Around this globe, Seventh-day Adventists have the great expectation that “Jesus is coming soon!” What a wonderful spirit of spiritual dedication and evangelistic enthusiasm in our worldwide family. With so many countries and cultures in our global church family, we praise God that there is one culture of Christ that binds us together and makes us all citizens of heaven.
“Jesus Is Coming Soon!” and the Bible tells us, “Hold fast what you have!” Let us never give up the pure Bible truth as we see the signs of the Second Coming increasing all around us. Many signs point to the end of time and the imperative need to “hold fast what we have”—never give up the pure Bible truth. The Holy Scriptures say: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Rev. 3:11).
Despite the swirling chaos all around us, we can plant our feet directly on and believe completely in the unchanging Holy Word of God—the Bible! Satan has attacked God’s Word down through the ages since his defection from heaven, but God has always protected His Holy Word and always will. He asks us to stand up for the truth and hold fast what we have believed. Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as it reads and as the foundation for all our religious beliefs. From the Holy Word, we understand Seventh-day Adventists to be God’s called remnant church with prophetic identity—it is a unique movement with a unique message on a unique heavenly mission.
As God’s remnant people identified in Revelation 12:17 “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” we have a special message of warning, grace, and hope. “Seventh-day Adventists have been chosen by God as a peculiar people, separate from the world. . . . He has made them His representatives and has called them to be ambassadors for Him in the last work of salvation.”1
Regardless of the many obstacles we face, let us hold fast our belief in God’s Word and His love for His church. His church will not fail. It will go through to the end under the power of the Holy Spirit. In these last days of earth’s history and in response to our earnest prayers, God will pour out His Spirit on all who humble themselves and conform their lives to His will as expressed in His Holy Word and His instructions in the Spirit of Prophecy, showing His infinite love for the human race.
Let’s review the many vital truths from God’s Word that He would have us hold fast (see sidebar).
My brothers and sisters, stand firm for God’s amazing biblical truth for this time. Do not be distracted, but rather focus fully on God’s Word and Spirit of Prophecy counsel giving us connection to God, hope for the future, and our reason for being Seventh-day Adventists.
Let’s focus on our specific calling by God as His remnant church for these last days of earth’s history—to proclaim worldwide the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 and the corresponding fourth angel of Revelation 18.
Allow the Holy Spirit to spiritually revitalize your life, your family, your activities, your work for the Lord, and your local church. Let’s earnestly pray for the falling of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this work in our lives.
We are told: “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”2
Since these messages are so central to our mission as Seventh-day Adventists, let us review some of the vitally important points of these messages, reminding ourselves as to what our God-given mission really is.
We read in Revelation 14:6: “Then 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.” The core of the three angels’ messages is the justifying and sanctifying righteousness of Jesus Christ. As Christ’s followers, we proclaim Him because we’re connected to Him and His righteousness.
According to verse 7 this first angel’s voice is loud so everyone will hear and give glory and praise to God, and the angel indicates “the hour of His judgment has come.” We are to worship Him who made heaven and earth and the sea, which ties into the third angel’s message signifying that God is the all-powerful Creator. We are to worship Him on the seventh-day Sabbath, which is a distinct sign of His authority. The time will come to make the ultimate decision of who to worship by indicating where our loyalties lie—with God, by worshipping on His holy, seventh-day Sabbath, regardless of the consequences; or by following the beast, who has set up his false day of worship on Sunday. It is at that time that those who choose to keep Sunday will receive the mark of the beast.3
The second angel in Revelation 14:8 states: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This is the church down through the Middle Ages that continues today, led by the papacy. It will, according to Bible prophecy, unite with apostate Protestantism and spiritualism to form the triumvirate powers attempting to force submission from all who faithfully follow the Word of God.
Babylon, a symbol of complete confusion, chaos, and the mixing of truth and error, is fallen because it represents the devil and satanic influences confusing people.4 We are told that “through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions.”5
Continuing on we read, “The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power, and under the influence of this threefold union, this country,” referring to the United States, “will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.”6 This is not a conditional prophecy; it confirms Revelation 13 and 14.
The third angel follows, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or in his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of his indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
Receiving this mark in the forehead represents a conscious acceptance and belief of the beast’s instructions. Receiving the mark in the hand represents that even if you may not believe the instructions, you will sacrifice your eternal life simply to temporarily save your current physical life.7
Brothers and sisters, lean on Christ, His Holy Word, and His Spirit of Prophecy as we prepare for what is soon to come. Let’s remember the three angels’ messages end with marvelous verse 12: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” By God’s grace and power, let’s keep all the commandments of God and have complete faith in Jesus.
As the three angels’ messages are proclaimed, the Holy Spirit will guide us to be unified. “His transforming grace upon human hearts will lead to unity that has not yet been realized, for all who are assimilated to Christ will be in harmony with one another. The Holy Spirit will create unity. . . . I am instructed to say to Seventh-day Adventists the world over, God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of hosts to the end of time.”8
We are to share these precious three angels’ messages with heavenly kindness and Christian love. They not only have a strong warning but share great hope through the righteousness of Christ as revealed in the everlasting gospel.
As long as God’s people—individually and as a united body—keep their eyes fixed on Christ and do not compromise their faith, they are safe. Jesus Christ is the True Leader of this church, and He is the only One who can guide us safely to our heavenly home as we look to Him alone each and every day.
One day very soon, we will look up in the eastern sky and see a small cloud approaching. We will realize it is the second coming of Christ! That cloud will get brighter and brighter and larger and larger, all of heaven poured out for this climactic event—and in the middle of that cloud, we will see Jesus. We will say, “This is the God that we have waited for, and He will save us.” Jesus will look down and say, “Well done, good and faithful servants, enter into the joy of your Lord,” and we will ascend to heaven together.
Today, Jesus asks you and me to “Go” for Him as we prepare the world to behold Him—our Savior and King. What a day that will be when we shall behold Him!
To read a list of the 25 items Ted Wilson, General Conference president, mentioned during his sermon Hold Fast What You Have, click here.
1Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 138.
2Ellen G. White, Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 19.
3This is explained further in The Great Controversy, pp. 604-605.
4See Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 588.
5White, The Great Controversy, p. 588.
7See Ellen G. White, Last Day Events, p. 224.
8Ellen G. White, Principles for Christian Leaders, p. 306.