Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.
God has never destroyed a city or a nation without first sending His messenger there to warn the people, thus giving them a chance to escape. He warned the world before the flood came, and Jesus tells us (Matthew 24:37-40) that it will be the same when he comes again as it was in the days of Noah. God warned the people of Sodom and Gomorrah before He rained fire from heaven and destroyed them, and Jesus says it will be the same when he comes (Luke 17:27-30). The Lord warned Babylon before destruction came: He sent His messengers to warn Ninevah, Tyre and Sidon; and He also declares there is to be a definite message going forth to warn the whole world before Jesus comes the second time. The Third Angel’s Message is a warning message.
In Revelation 14:6-9, there are three messages described, symbolized by an angel flying through the midst of heaven. One is the everlasting gospel, the other cry is that Babylon has fallen, and the last one is a warning to all the world not to receive the mark of the beast in their forehead or hand, telling of the dreadful consequences if they do.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he told us in Matthew 24:14 that the gospel of the kingdom was to go to the entire world as a witness to all nations, and then the end would come. Later, in the above chapter of Revelation, he divides this gospel into three divisions. The everlasting gospel has gone to all the world; the Reformation Message, which was a cry against the corruption of Babylon, has gone to all the world; and now the last message, the final warning against the “mark of the beast” is going with speed and effect. Babylon is described in Revelation 17 as a woman, symbolizing a church, and this one church ruled the world at the time of the Reformation, and the message was that Babylon had spiritually fallen, and become the habitation of devils and false doctrines.
The Third Angel’s Message has for its theme the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, (verse 12) and is a live issue at this time.
This message precedes the return of our Lord, and as the signs of our time declare his coming near, it is now going, and will continue to the end.
Daniel, being a key to Revelation 7:17-23, tells us a beast symbolizes a kingdom upon earth. These same symbols apply to other parts of the Bible, and in Revelation 17:3-5, where a beast carries a woman; we have a figure of the kingdoms of the world carrying a church. It pictures a church riding upon the civil governments of the world, and is exactly what we had during the 1260 years of papal persecution when the Catholic Church was united with civil power, and the Catholic religion was forced by law upon the people or they were killed. This beast is to be wounded and come to life again, according to verses 8-11, just before it goes into perdition or destruction. We can now look back through history and see when it was, but now it is not, but the Lord says it yet is (Revelation 17:8). It will come up out of the bottomless pit, a place of seclusion, and then go into perdition. The Third Angel’s Message is a special warning against it, when it makes its last appearance. It is now arising.
We are told in Revelation 13:1, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy”. Blasphemy is the mark of the Beast. Anything that contradicts God’s Word is blasphemy. There are many such contradictions in the world today. Many of these contradictions occur in the name of religion, therefore it is our job to know the truth and dispel untruth by studying God’s Word.
The mark of the beast is also made clear, with the warning, and those wishing to escape the things coming to pass, and have divine protection for their loved ones, should understand fully what God has revealed and have this message in their home.
The Church of God - Publishing House- Salem, West Virginia