The Third Angel’s Message.
What Is It as to Babylon the Daughters?
SO LONG as a person walks in the light of God, loves and accepts the truth of God, however that truth may come to him, so long the presence and the power of God will accompany him, and he will have influence with men. The abiding presence and power of God is the only true source of legitimate power and influence with men. When Jacob knew that he had no strength against Esau, who was coming with four hundred armed men, he earnestly sought God all night, until the break of day; and when the angel exclaimed, "Let me go, for the day breaketh," Jacob said, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." "And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." Gen. 32:26-28.
Thus the abiding presence and power of God is the only true source of legitimate power and influence with men. And continuing to walk in advancing light, the receiving of additional truth, is the only true means of having this abiding presence and power of God; because this is the only way of faith: and faith is the only means of God's dwelling with us, or we with him. Therefore, in the nature of things, whenever advance light or additional truth is rejected, the power and presence of God are lost; and, in this, the true source of legitimate power and influence with men is lost. And whenever this is so, whether in the case of an individual or of a church, this loss is discerned by that individual or church: and then resort is invariably had to inventions of their own, to external and worldly means, to secure power and influence with men.
In all the instances in all this course of history, from the apostles' days until now, whenever a church has refused to walk in the advancing light, has refused to receive additional truth, she has separated from the presence and power of God, and then has invariably resorted to inventions of her own, and to external and worldly means of securing power and influence with men. And since 1840-44 it has been, and is, so with this church in the United States. She rejected the message of God; and so separated herself from the presence and power of God, and thus lost power and influence with men.
But power belongs to the church of God. That is settled: it is the power of God. And power she will have: power she must have, or perish. But it is only the power of God that can keep her alive. By any other power, however great it may be, she will surely perish. The power of God, as manifested in the true gospel of Christ, draws men; for it is written: "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." And, in the nature of things, when the church has rejected the drawing power of the everlasting gospel of the crucified Christ, she is compelled to resort to other means of drawing men. And when she resorts to other means to draw men, again, in the nature of things, she draws them not unto Christ, but unto herself: there is a "falling away:" she exalts herself, in the place of God, and draws disciples to herself.
Everybody knows that the Protestant churches in the United States have followed this very course. Beginning with strawberry festivals in summer, and oyster suppers in winter, they have passed through the successive stages of "grab-bags," "fish-ponds," "kissing bees," "auction sales," "ring-cakes," "crazy suppers," lotteries, raffles, etc., etc., etc. All this is too notorious to need any sort of proof.
And this bad gradation, from the milder to the more intense sort, is all perfectly logical, because when the churches had resorted to such means of drawing the crowd and "influencing the masses," the milder forms of entertainment soon grew stale. And these having lost their drawing power, other and more novel devices had to be invented. As these, in turn, grew stale and lest their power to draw, still others had to be invented. And at last they were brought to their wits’ end for any such resources.
But there was one source of power and influence with men that still had not been touched: that was—the state. And true to the logic of the case, and true to the whole course of history, this power of the state was at last not simply invoked, but under threats of political perdition to legislators, and "bull-dozing their congressional representatives," they actually seized the power of the United States government, and since have boasted that they hold the government of the United States in their hands. And by their own statements and the acknowledgment of the leading statesmen of the nation, the power of the state and the influence of the law are the only power and influence depended upon by the church to control the masses, even of her own membership.
And thus these churches have run the whole course, after the example of Babylon the great, the mother; and, by rejecting truth, separating from their Lord, and joining themselves to the kings of the earth, they have made themselves true daughters of "Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth."
Thus the rejection of the first of the three angels messages of Revelation 14, resulted in the "falling away" from the truth, and the formation of Babylon the daughters. And, therefore, the second message became due to the world, and must be given: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
And as the first "falling away," which resulted in Babylon the mother, ended in the formation of "the beast," so this latter falling away, which results in Babylon the daughters, ends in the formation of "the image of the beast." And this necessitates the third of the three angels' messages,—the great and mighty Third Angel's Message,—which follows the first two, "saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation." Rev. 14: and 9, 10.
Such is the philosophy, and such the course of the things that are the cause of the Third Angel’s Message being given in the world. And thus we are brought to the time of the Third Angel's Message, and to the condition of things which demands that that message shall be given. And, therefore, we are brought to the consideration of the Third Angel's Message itself, as it has to do with the beast and his image."