THE first thing to be thought of in every case is the message. In fact, we may say that the only thing that we as Seventh-day Adventists need to know is what is termed among us the third angel's message, which is but another name for the closing up of the everlasting gospel. Paul determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified ; and that was what gave him success.
Even so will it be in these days. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. All men are in the same condition, having the same need; for God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17: 26), and hath fashioned all their hearts alike. Ps. 33:15. "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3 : 23), and all who believe are alike justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Since there is no difference in men, no matter in what part of the earth they dwell, God puts no difference between them in the matter of salvation, but purifies the hearts of all alike, by faith.
What is known as the third angel's message, or, better still, the threefold, closing message of the gospel, is simply the announcement that the Lord is soon coming, and of the power of God to prepare men for that event. "All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field." "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever." This is the message: Man is nothing, but God is everything; man is weakness, but God is strength; man is sinful, but God is righteousness; man is ignorant, but God is wisdom; man is as frail as the grass, but God has life in himself; and all that God is, he gives to every one who will accept him; for he “gave himself for us."
The message, then, is the announcement of the power of God, as contrasted with the weakness of men, and as working in weak and sinful men. It is the setting forth of the mind of Christ, and showing that as God was manifest in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, who emptied himself that the Father alone might be revealed in him, so he will reveal himself in the flesh of every one who will yield himself to God, that he may be emptied of self. Now the power of God is always the same. It cannot be measured, for it is infinite. To create the smallest thing, or to cleanse the least sin, requires nothing less than the power of God, and to create the entire universe, or to save the world, requires nothing more than that same power. All things are alike to God. Nothing is too hard for him. Jer. 32:17-19. With a word all things are accomplished by him, and it requires no more effort for him to speak the word that brings the universe into existence than to speak the word that causes a single blade of grass to grow. The same word that cast the devil out of Mary, a Jewess, also cast the devil out of the daughter of the Syrophenician woman. "The same Lord over all is rich unto all that Call upon him." Rom. 10 :12.
E. J. Waggoner.
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald | January 2, 1894.