"Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
Revelation 14:12 (NKJV)
We conclude this brief look back at 1888, a key year for Seventh-day Adventists, with the text found in Revelation 14:12 (see above). This is what Seventh-day Adventists call the Third Angel's Message. The final message for the end times just before Christ returns. We believe we are in those times right now!
What happened in 1888 is that most Seventh-day Adventists embraced more fully the true meaning of the Third Angel's message. The keeping of the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus. Prior to 1888 there had been more focus in teaching and preaching on keeping the commandments of God, especially the Sabbath, and insufficient emphasis on the faith of Jesus, which makes it all meaningful. It is understandable why this happened as the focus during those early days of the Adventist movement was to those already in church on a Sunday.
That is why what happened in 1888, and the clearer message, is still so relevant for today! Most people today do not go to church. Rarely do they open the bible, and yet many will say they have some spiritual experience in their lives. That is why the full meaning of the Third Angel's message is so relevant for today. It sets out an absolute moral standard. People don't like that, they want to make up their own. And that moral standard leads us to Christ in repentance, for forgiveness of sins and faith in Him alone for salvation. Then Christ leads us back to the commandments and says, keep these if you love me, because you are now my child. Show that faith in every part of your life. Live fully for me.
This coming Monday night we will look at a link between James Chapter 2 and the Third Angel's Message. It is around that phrase "the faith of Jesus". If you want a preview, look at James 2:1. The letter of James is all about very practical Christianity, and so is the Third Angel's message!
We end this brief look at 1888 with some words from Mrs White, written in the wake of 1888, repeated here once again...“Of all professed Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world.… The law and the gospel, blended, will convict of sin. God’s law, while condemning sin, points to the gospel, revealing Jesus Christ.… In no discourse are [the law and the gospel] to be divorced" (EGW 1888 Materials p.892-3). Amen!