The Third Message and the Last Call
by John N. Loughborough

Last Day Tokens, Chapter Ten

The Lord’s Message
Captain Bates and the Seventh day Sabbath
Battle of the Great Day
Publishing a Paper
The Winds Held
Growth of the Message

IN the foregoing pages of this book we have endeavored to show that all the important developments in the Second Advent movement were in exact fulfillment of the divine predictions made concerning them. And for the convenience of the reader in obtaining dates and facts, we recapitulate and condense in the following brief:



The points briefly noted in the above summary stamp this Second Advent movement as the Lord’s message, developed in His own appointed time; hence it is neither a false fulfillment of prophecy, nor a spurious message. Being settled in the conviction that the Lord is in the work, we are fully justified in the claim that this movement is the Lord’s method of warning the world, and that He has set His hand to the work of preparing a people for His coming; therefore the question asked by Israel of old, “Is the Lord among us or not?” would in our case be unreasonable.

In the preceding chapters, attention has been especially given to the first and second messages.

The third angel was to follow them; as expressed in some translations, it “went with them,” implying that in the last call the three were to unite. The advent message now is, in fact, a threefold warning, the truths relating to the first and the second being taught with the third. So also is this threefold message now to reach the same classes mentioned in the three calls of Luke 14. The invitation is to those who have been “bidden;” to the wounded and oppressed in the “streets and lanes of the city;” and most emphatically to those in the highways and hedges is now the call, “Whosoever will, let him come.”


In the fall of 1844, soon after the close of the twenty-three hundred days, Elder Joseph Bates, of Fairhaven, Mass., who, because of his former seafaring life, is designated as CAPTAIN BATES began the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, being one of the earliest pioneers in advocating the third angel’s message. Not many months elapsed, however, ere he was joined in his work by Elder James White and Mrs. E. G. White. These three labored incessantly and earnestly in planting the message in New England and in the central states. The Lord abundantly blessed their labors, and those of others who soon united with them. At this time the believers in the third angel’s message were, for the greater part, of the poor of this world, schooled in poverty.

It was not until the year 1848 that those advocating the third angel’s message had their attention especially called to the seventh chapter of Revelation - to the sealing work. As they prayerfully studied this subject, they saw a message to go forth bearing the sign (seal) of the living God to the world. [2]

This message was to prepare a people to stand when the great day of the Lord’s wrath should come. Just as this truth was clearly unfolding to their minds, and their hearts were becoming imbued with the spirit of it, the great confusion of 1848, among the principalities, kingdoms, and empires of Europe, broke out, beginning with the riot in Paris on February 22. About the same time the “spirit rappings” began in the state of New York.


The time-setting Adventists thought then they surely had evidence that the Lord was immediately to come. Said they, “The BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY is to be the end of the commotion.”

What better proof could they have? Spirits of devils were to gather the nations to that final conflict, and here were the spirits already going forth. The Seventh-day Adventists viewed the situation differently; “For,” said they, “a sealing message is to do its work in preparing a people to stand when the nations shall be angered, and God’s wrath at last comes.”

The first-day Adventists, who were continually setting the time for the Lord to come, made light of the Sabbath message and the small company who were to deliver it, and one of their leaders said to them, “It will take 144,000 years to accomplish the work you contemplate.” However, the humble few were not disheartened. They were only reminded of the difficulties experienced by the Israelites, when, in their poverty and weakness, they were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. “If a fox,” said their enemies, tauntingly, “go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.” And, like them, they cried, “Hear, O our God; for we are despised.”[3]

The belief was strong that the third angel’s message and the sealing work was the truth of God, to be heralded to the world; but the question was, How can it be done? With the thought of publishing in mind, without the means with which to do the work, Brethren Bates and White, Mrs. White, and a few others, met in Dorchester, Mass., Nov. 18, 1848, to engage in prayer for divine guidance - to inquire of One who knows the end from the beginning how to publish the truth. The Lord graciously heard, and gave light.

It was a fact that the winds of war and strife were about to be loosened for the final conflict; but the Lord in mercy commissioned His angels to “hold the winds” (keep back the battle of the great day) until the sealing of God’s servants should be accomplished. This Sabbath message, so small in its beginning, was to rise in strength and power, like the rising of the sun.


The commission was given to publish the truth to the world, with the assurance that the blessing of God would attend the effort. [4] With this encouragement, Elder White began the work of publishing a paper.

It was small at first; but as the people read it, money was sent him with which to print, and thus the work grew. From that small beginning, the truth was spread, until, as represented to him by another, “like streams of light it has encircled the world.” The first issue of the paper appeared July, 1849, with the approval of the few who, at the time, were associated with him, and with the sanction of high Heaven.


The seventh-day people began to print the truth, as advised. Soon the turmoil of the nations of Europe ceased. Of its cessation, however, the editor of the New York Tribune said, “It was a great wonder to us all what started so suddenly that confusion among the nations, but it is a greater wonder still what stopped it.” To the children of God all was plain. The Lord had a message to be given to the world. He commissioned His angels to hold the winds of war, so that the final conflict of the nations could not come until a people were sealed, and prepared to stand in the trying day.

From 1848 to this day, though wars have been here and there, and such preparations for warfare made as never before, still the nations are held in check. Almost every year the politicians have foretold the bursting of the war-cloud which would involve all nations, and still they are restrained. Millions of soldiers in the various nations are “armed to the teeth,” and anxious for the encounter; yet the spirit of war only breaks out in limited places, and the final contest is kept in abeyance. And why is all this? - That the Lord’s last great and final message of warning, bearing the sign (seal) of the living God, may be heralded to the ends of the earth.

Space is lacking to trace in these few pages all the interesting history of the rise of the third angel’s message. This is given more fully in larger works. [5]


Yet a few thoughts in reference to the results of the publishing work begun under such adverse circumstances, can not well be omitted when endeavoring to show to some extent the GROWTH OF THE MESSAGE and how the “streams of light” before mentioned are fast making their way around the world.

Instead of that one little eight-page paper, eight by five inches, of which Elder White printed eleven numbers, in the years 1849 and 1850, Seventh-day Adventists, according to statements made in the General Conference Year Book of 1911, now have twenty-seven publishing houses, issuing literature in sixty-seven languages, with an annual circulation of approximately $1,550,000 worth a year, in the form of 333 bound books, 287 pamphlets, 126 periodicals, and 1,096 tracts, - a total of 1,842 publications. To obtain one copy of each would require $493.00.

The number of educational institutions at the close of 1910, is noted as follows: Ninety-one doing work above the primary grades. These schools, located in twenty-two countries, have an enrollment of about 7,000, employ more than 500 teachers, and their estimated value is over $1,500,000. The special object before these schools is preparation for active service in some branch of the denominational work.

Besides this, in the different countries, there are 576 primary schools doing work in grades one to eight, with 668 teachers, and having an enrollment of 11,835, and a valuation of $144,318.84. Another agency for the preparation of workers is the sanitariums of the denomination, in which medical missionaries are prepared for active service in that line. The Year Book gives a total of eighty-one of these institutions in different parts of the world. More than a thousand physicians and nurses are employed. The total valuation of these institutions is over three million dollars. In connection with this work there is annually expended, in charity, nearly $100,000.

The work of the denomination is embraced in 110 local conferences and 96 mission fields. During 1909, 134 additional laborers were sent to these missions. In fact the denomination has more missions among veritable heathen than any other one denomination. The New York Methodist Christian Advocate recently said of the work of the Seventh-day Adventists: “Its aim avowedly is to run the earth; and small though the denomination still is, it has its missionaries scattered through every region of the globe.”

The last four years the denomination has sent out 393 missionaries, and contributed $383,000 for their support. The number of organized churches, as given in the Year Book, is 2,691; and the communicants are given as about 100,000. The number of evangelistic laborers is given as 4,104; institutional laborers 3,611; a total of 7,715. The funds contributed in one year for the support of the evangelistic work are $1,770,649.07.

It may be a matter of interest to the reader to have a list of the languages in which the printed matter of the denomination is circulated. The following is given in the Year Book:

Arabic, Armenian, Armeno-Turkish
Battak, Bengali, Bohemian, Bulgarian, Burmese,
Cantonese (China), Chasu (East Africa), Chitonga (South Africa,)
Danish, Dutch
English, Esthonian
Fijian, Finnish,French
German, Greek (Modern), Greco-Turkish
Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian Icelandic,Italian
Japanese, Java-Malay
Kafir (Xhosa), Korean
Laplandish, Croatian Lettonian, Lithuanian
Malay (Singapore), Mandarin (China), Manganja (East Africa), Maori (New Zealand), Marathi
Niue, Norwegian
Polish, Portuguese
Raratongan,Rumanian, Russian,
Samoan, Santali, Servian, Sesuto (South Africa), Slovakian, Soenda (Roman), Spanish, Swahili, Swedish
Tahitian, Tamil (India), Tongan, Turkish, Tagalog
Urdu (Roman), Urdu (Persian)
Welsh, Wendie, Wen-li (China)

The above figures and facts are given with no spirit of vaunting, but rather with that of gratitude to to the Giver of all good for His blessings, which have been innumerable, and without which our efforts would have been unavailing, and the work long before this would have come to naught. Had there been a zeal and devotion to the cause such as the work demands, the visible progress would be still greater.

Beholding the Seventh-day Adventists with their publishing houses, publications, schools, sanitariums, missions, and missionaries pressing on with this truth to the different peoples, nations, and tongues of the earth, can it not be confidently affirmed that here, in the order of events, in this line of prophecy, is the true third angel’s message? The Lord’s time came for such a call to be given, and here is the message. As of the other portions of the advent prophecy, so it may be said of this, the message must be the true fulfillment, for it came in just the time for such a warning, and is doing just the work predicted that it should do.

Happy will it be for those who recognize the hand of God in the work for this time, and place themselves on the side of His truth, yielding to Him mind, might, and strength for His work. But how will it be with those who reject the warning, refuse the gracious invitation to come and take of the water of life freely? “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, COME. . . . And whosoever will, let him” COME.

1. Voice of Truth, Rochester, N. Y., November, 1844.
2. The sign of God is the seventh-day Sabbath. See Exodus 31:13,17; Ezekiel 20:12,20.
3. Nehemiah 4:3,4.
4. It is not the purpose of this little volume to explain all the features of the third angel's message. For a full exposition, see the work on "Daniel and the Revelation," which can be obtained from the publishers of this book.
5. See "The Great Second Advent Movement. Its Rise and Progress," which may be obtained from the publishers of this work.

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