Hold Fast What You Have - Part 3

Jesus Is Coming!

Ted N. C. Wilson
Hold Fast What You Have - Part 3
GC President Ted Wilson preaches at the Divine Worship Service, Saturday, June 11, 2022 during the 61st General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Americas Center Convention Complex, St Louis, Missouri, USA, June 6-11, 2022.

This is the third of three parts abridged from Pastor Wilson’s sermon to the General Conference Session on June 11, 2022. Watch the full sermon at:

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 fourth angel of Revelation 18. 

We are told, “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchman 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.”1 Since these messages are central to our mission as Seventh-day Adventists, let’s review some of their vitally important points, reminding ourselves what our God-given mission really is. 

First Angel

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, sanctifying righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

Verse 7: “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.’ ” This first angel’s voice is loud so everyone will hear and give glory to God. 

The text indicates, “for the hour of His judgment has come.” In 1844 the investigative judgment began in the most holy place in heaven as the Lord began reviewing the lives of people down through history. Soon probation will close, so it is vital to always lean on Jesus and His righteousness. 

This judgment is before the entire universe, revealing that God’s wonderful character of love is just, pure, perfect, and true. We are to worship Him who made heaven, 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—a distinct sign of His authority. This will be one of the great controversial topics of the last days, and will lead to the ultimate decision of whom to worship by indicating where our loyalties lie. 

Second Angel

Revelation 14:8 states, “And another angel followed, saying, ‘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 of the Middle Ages that continues today, led by the Papacy. 

Babylon, a symbol of confusion, chaos, and the mixing of truth and error, is fallen because it represents satanic influences confusing people. We are told, “Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. 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 this step of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.”2 This is not a conditional prophecy; it confirms Revelation 13 and 14. 

Revelation 13:12 states, “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” This clearly shows that the image to the beast—the United States combined with apostate Protestantism—will initiate activities to support the beast and a Sunday law and will make the whole earth worship the beast whose deadly wound was healed. 

Third Angel

Revelation 14:9-11 says: “Then 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 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 the 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.” 

We are told, “The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath.” “When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the keeping of Sunday.” “The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation.”3 

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.” And 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.”4 

Share these precious three angels’ messages with heavenly kindness and Christian love. They not only have a strong warning but offer great hope through the righteousness of Christ revealed in the everlasting gospel. Don’t get weary or discouraged! Don’t give way to complaining and skepticism. Don’t turn away from the Lord and the task He has entrusted to us. Look to Christ, His merits, His righteousness, His everlasting biblical truth, and live as you respond to God’s instructions for His last-day remnant people. 

Eyes Fixed on Christ

In the Ellen G. White Estate offices at the General Conference headquarters a large painting called Christ of the Narrow Way portrays God’s people moving along a treacherous pathway. Created by veteran Seventh-day Adventist artist Elfred Lee, it depicts Ellen White’s vision showing the tribulations and triumphs of God’s last-day remnant church as it moves along the ever-narrowing pathway. As long as God’s people—both individually and as a united body—keep their eyes fixed on Christ at the front of the pathway and do not compromise their faith, they are safe. Let us stop looking to each other, stop looking to outside “experts,” stop looking to worldly influences, stop compromising , stop looking to errant theological thinking, stop looking to humanly devised church growth methods, and turn our eyes upon Jesus and His heavenly instructions. 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 day. 

1 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 9, p. 19.

2 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. 588.

3 Ellen G. White, Last Day Events (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1992), p. 224.

4 Ellen G. White, Principles for Christian Leaders (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 2018), p. 306.

Ted N. C. Wilson