The Third Angel’s Message.
What Is It?
THE hour of God’s judgment is come. This is the basic fact of the great threefold message, which forms the complete Third Angel’s Message.
The Third Angel’s Message is therefore the judgment message. This has been already shown to some extent, and will be seen more and more as we advance in the study of the message.
This message is to prepare for the judgment all who will be prepared for that crisis of human destiny. Accordingly all who accept this message will enter into the judgment, they will subject themselves to all the tests of the judgment.
They will open the whole life to Him who is the Judge; for “God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccl. 12:14. And because God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, all people are exhorted to “fear God, and keep his commandments.” Verse 13.
This word in Ecclesiastes is complemented and emphasized in the word of this great threefold message, in which the everlasting gospel is preached to them that dwell on the earth,—to every nation and kindred and tongue and people,—saying, with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come. . . . Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
They that have sinned in the law, that is, with a knowledge of the law of God, “shall be judged by the law; in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” And since now the “hour of his judgment is come,” and since all to whom this message comes will be judged by the law of God, it is certain that all who accept the message will set their whole lives in the light of that law, that every secret thing that is out of harmony with that holy law may be searched out and put away.
For that law does reach the most secret things, the very thoughts and intents of the heart. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [vain fellow], shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matt. 5:21, 22.
Therefore with all who accept this message in sincerity, the prayer will constantly be, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23, 24. Every one who prays thus, every one who thus opens the life to God, and invites him in to search and see if there be any wicked way there,—every such one will be prepared for the crisis of the judgment whenever it may come. For then God will search the heart and purify the life, and make it all that it must be to be holy before God. And every one who does this will be led by the Lord in the way everlasting.
And why should it ever be otherwise? And of all times, now, in the hour of his judgment, why should it ever be otherwise? For does not God see all the life anyhow? Are not all things “naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do”? Can anything be hidden from him? Are not our secret sins set in the light of his countenance? Ps. 90:8. Has he not searched us and known us? Does he not know our very thought “afar off,” long before we think it?
Since all this is true every moment of every life anyhow, what kind of person must he be who will pass along day after day and year after year as if it were not so at all? And since it is all true every moment of every life, and since we are now in the time when it is especially true in the fact that the hour of his judgment is come, what kind of person would he be who would professedly accept this message that the hour of His judgment is come, and then would pass along a single day as if it were not so?
No, no; no such thing as that can ever be, with the people of this judgment message. It comes to them as the judgment message, they accept it as the judgment message, and accordingly they enter hourly into the judgment. Since he has set our secret sins in the light of his countenance, we ourselves will set our secret sins in the light of his countenance. Since he has searched us and known us, we will hourly say unto him, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me.” Since all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do, we ourselves will constantly hold all things naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Then God will occupy all the life, and will cleanse and purify it by his own presence, making it a fit habitation for himself to dwell in. Then he will clothe us with the garments of his own salvation, and will put upon us the robe of his own righteousness. And then, when the crisis in the judgment as to each individual comes, with Christ thus presenting us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, the glad work will thrill each soul, He “is righteous, let him be righteous still.” He “is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Thank the Lord for such a precious message of faithful warning. Praise God for such a glorious message of justification, sanctification, and redemption.