October 2, 2020

The Truth Behind The Symbols

The book is called “Revelation” for a reason.

Adventist Review Editors

For 2,000 years God’s people have been learning to see beyond the symbols of the book of Revelation. The book is called “Revelation” for a reason: through its symbols God reveals what we need to know: broad principles and specific, unmistakable details. We learn that truth and righteousness will ultimately eradicate sin, death, and evil. We learn that as we faithfully follow Christ, we shall finally share His victory.—Editors.

“Though Scripture symbolically portrays these messages as being proclaimed by three angels, it is actually God’s people—His last-day church—who deliver them to the world. Additionally, two groups emerge—those who choose to follow God’s Word completely and those who choose to mix biblical teachings with human traditions.”

—BibleInfo.com (“What ARE the Three angels’ messages?”).

“The real reason I am for separation of church and state is that unless there is clear differentiation between church and state—unless we make sure that Babylon has not seduced us into its corner by means of money—we will lose our prophetic edge. Separation of church and state isn’t important only because it keeps the government from influencing the church. Separation of church and state is crucial if the church is going to influence the government. If we take money from government, it’s as simple as this: whoever pays the fiddler calls the tune. If they are paying for our programs, they will be able to dictate what our programs are all about, and that is already happening.”

—Tony Campolo (“Dealing With Babylon,” Liberty, July-August 2004).

“While scholars may debate some of the fine details of this particular vision, the main points of application seem abundantly clear:

Culture is not neutral.

The devil attacks God’s people via the front door through governmental persecution.

The devil attacks God’s people via the backdoor through seductive, idolatrous culture.

No enemy of God’s people will finally stand. The Lord has a day and that day is coming.”

Paul Carter (“Who Is the Whore of Babylon? [And Why Does It Matter?]” The Gospel Coalition, Canadian edition, June 14, 2018).

“Knowing that Jesus has conquered sin, death, and the unjust consequences (our basic issues) for all humanity, following Jesus faithfully and worshiping the creator God who is just is key. Distinct gospel messages of judgement bringing God’s justice, a character-building lifestyle, the Ten Commandments, and the seventh-day Sabbath are a part of the package.

Glenn Townend (“Three Angels’ Messages,” record.adventistchurch.com/2020/02/13/three-angels-messages/, Feb. 13, 2020).

“[W]ords have a source or sources. And it is important to know whose words they are because subscribing to and embodying a controlling story ultimately means following someone else. The vital questions everyone should satisfactorily be able to answer in this context are, “whose words are you following?”


“Some of our [believers] have expressed fears that we shall dwell too much upon the subject of justification by faith, but I hope and pray that none will be needlessly alarmed; for there is no danger in presenting the doctrine as it is set forth in the Scriptures. . . . The exceeding great and precious promises given us in the Holy Scriptures have been lost sight of to a great extent, just as the enemy of all righteousness designed that they should be. He has cast his own dark shadow between us and our God, that we may not see the true character of God. The Lord has proclaimed Himself to be ‘merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.’

“Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel’s message, and I have answered, ‘It is the third angel’s message in verity.’”

Ellen G. White (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 372).

“We must note that the core of the three angels’ messages, proclaimed before the Second Coming, is worship. . . . The author of the book of Revelation mentions two groups of worshipers. One group worships Him ‘who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water,’ and the other worships the beast and his image. One shows obedience to God and fulfills His commandments (Rev. 12:17; 14:12), the other participates in adultery with spiritual Babylon (Rev. 17:2). One will finally rest in God (Rev. 14:13), while the other will not rest ‘day or night’ (Rev. 14:11). The three angels’ messages call every believer to choose his or her position in this great controversy between good and evil, between truth and lie.”

Eugene Zaitsev (“The Mission of Adventism: The Significance of the Three Angels’ Messages for Today,” MinistryMagazine.org, December 2012).