Week - 26 Three Angelic Messengers Revelation 14:6-11
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Authored by Jerry Marshall Introduction:
About a decade ago, there seemed to be a profound interest in angels demonstrated by the proliferation of angel artifacts becoming a big market with “heavenly profits.”
“There were books, movies, catalogs, seminars, angel pins, angel newsletters and all sorts of angel sightings. So much so, that the Los Angeles Daily News stated that “it looks like the winged ones have left the cosmic back lot for the forefront of popular consciousness.”
I have a magazine advertisement for “The Guardian Angel Teddy Bear collection,” in which the advertisement declares; “Teddy bears are just like guardian angels. They make you happy when you’re mad...make you feel better when you’re sick. And they’re always with you.”
The authors of a book titled “Ask Your Angels,” write of the channeled wisdom of an angel whose name is Abigrael, and a genderless being they claim was sent to instruct them. They also lead New Age-flavored workshops on getting in touch with “celestials” and aligning with “angelic energy fields.” Conversing with angels, they write, is another “divination tool.” Knowing that many of their readers face major decisions, the authors give instructions on making a deck of “Angel Oracle” cards.
Once again, we have proof that when our world does not reference God’s Word regarding these spiritual matters and spiritual beings, they come to many silly, false and misguided conclusions. In the flawed reasoning of our fallen world, the assumption is made that all angels are good angels. But the Scriptures would not agree with that notion.
In referencing God’s Word, we find that it was God who created angelic beings. He created them all at the same time and He created them as spirit beings. Thus unlike people, they don’t procreate and they are not subject to death. Although all angels were created holy and good, because of the rebellion and consequent fall of Satan (who is an angel), and those angels who joined him in his rebellion against God (demons), we now have two moral classifications of angels.
Those that are Holy and elect (Mark 8:38; 1 Timothy 5:21) and those that are evil and unclean (Luke 8:2; 11:24-26).
The scriptures teach that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light
(2 Corinthians 11:14), and that his demons are the purveyors of false doctrine
(1 Timothy 4:1-5). We also find in the Word of God that the true recipients of the sacrifices offered to idols are demons (1 Corinthians 10:19-20).
Those angels who are elect and holy serve as God’s ministers sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
Scripture teaches that angels guard and minister to God’s people (Psalm 91:11; Hebrews 1:14) and that these spiritual beings may be assigned specific areas of responsibility (Daniel 12:1). Though Matthew 18:10 is sometimes interpreted to mean that each believer has a personal angelic guardian (Acts 12:15), this popular belief goes beyond the biblical evidence. Nevertheless, God’s care of His people through angels should be an encouragement to Christians.
The elect and holy angels of God will play a significant role in end time events. At the time of the rapture of the church, it will be the shout of an archangel that will initiate the rapture of the church to meet their Lord in the air.
In Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50, we read of angels gathering the unsaved for judgment at the time of the Second Coming of Christ.
Angels will accompany the Lord at the time of His triumphant Second Coming and it will be angels who gather those saints who have lived through the Great Tribulation in order that they might populate the earth during the time of the millennial rule of Christ.
An Angel of God played a significant role in the process of giving John the content of this book that we have been studying, the book of Revelation.
1 “ The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1-2).”
Thus far, in our studies, we have seen angels involved in the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the inhabitants of the earth. But now in this fourteenth chapter, we see three angels doing what the term angel means, and that is being a messenger. More specifically, messengers of God. The three angels who will be the focus of our attention this morning will give some astonishing proclamations to the world during the end times regarding the consummation of the age.
The messages anticipate the sounding of the seventh trumpet judgment in which the final expression of God’s unmixed wrath will be poured out upon this world in the form of rapid-fire bowl judgments.
In these angelic proclamations, there are several practical insights into the awesome character of God which we will uncover this morning that will serve to affirm our faith, love and confidence in the only true God of all creation.
I. The First Angel: Proclaiming the Eternal Gospel
A. The Message (6)
6 “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.”
Just as a side issue, the fact that this angel is flying in midair, proclaiming the eternal Gospel to our fallen world during the final days of the Great Tribulation, suggests to me, the absence of the church from the world at this time. I say that because, the only reason for the church to be in the world is to proclaim this glorious message of the good news of the redemptive work of Christ and the salvation it brings.
At a past Shepherd’s conference, Dr. MacArthur stated “that the only reason for the church to remain in this world is for evangelism because everything else the church does could be done far better in heaven.”
During the Great Tribulation we have two powerful witnesses, 144,000 Jewish evangelists and now this angel flying in midair proclaiming the eternal Gospel.
John saw this angel flying in mid-heaven which is a translation from the Greek word mesouranema (mes-oo-ran-ay-mah), which Strong’s lexicon defines as the highest point in the heavens, which the sun occupies at noon, where what is done can be seen and heard by all. It is the best vantage point from which this angel was in the sight of all and his proclamation was audible to all.
He was declaring the eternal Gospel, aionios (ahee-o-nee-os) euaggelion
(yoo-ang-ghel-ee-on). This is the glorious good news that has always been and will always be. There is nothing new or different about it other than the agent proclaiming it.
We know that this is not a new gospel or a different gospel because of the warning the Paul issued to the Galatians in 1:8-9.
8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: if anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”
This is last time that the word gospel is used in the Bible. The word proclaim is a play on the original word for Gospel, which is euaggelizo which, means to announce good news. In particular, it is the good news that God will forgive all the sins of those that repent and believe in the substitutionary death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation.
Presently, it is to be the central message of the church. Unfortunately, many have gotten off message. It is the Gospel of God and not the gospel of the church because it comes from God through the church to the world.
The Apostle Paul stated that He received this Gospel by revelation from Christ and not from any man.
11 “ I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
The essential aspects of the gospel are declared for us in
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 “ Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”
Although the Bible describes the Gospel in many ways, none changes its essential meaning but only provide further insight into its nature.
- The Gospel of God (1 Peter 4:17)
- The Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15)
- The Gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:14-15)
- The Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24)
- The Gospel of salvation (Ephesians 1:13)
- The Message of truth (Ephesians 1:13)
This angel is able to do what the church has longed to do and that is cover the entire world with this glorious Good News. And boy, did the world need this message at this time. By the time this angel begins his special midair proclamation, the world would have already experienced a whole lot of bad news. The world at this time would have experienced the devastation of the seal judgments and the trumpet judgments. Death will be universal.
B. The Mandates (7)
7 “He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
In addition to the proclamation of the eternal Gospel, this angel will declare in a loud voice, so that all can hear, three very distinct commands. The need for a quick and right response to these commands is expressed by the fact that the hour of God’s final judgment is imminent. Soon now, God will unleash the undiluted fury of His wrath upon those who inhabit the earth and have given their loyalty, devotion and worship to the Antichrist. Soon the full fury of God’s wrath will be expressed in the rapid fire of the bowl judgments. If there ever was a time to obey these commands, it would be then!
The thrust of these three commands is a call to the people of the world to change their allegiance from the Antichrist to the Lamb of God.
1. Fear God
Instead of fearing the Antichrist, instead of giving this beast their reverence, allegiance, awe and honor - they needed to fear the only one truly worthy of our fear and that is the living and true God.
Jesus warned His disciples of the danger of misdirected fear.
28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The Bible is replete with exhortations to fear God (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 23:17).
King Solomon stated that He found it to be the most important value of life.
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
What does it mean to fear God? It is descriptive of a mindset of reverence, awe, honor and deference for and to God. It also encompasses a wholesome dread of living independent of His will, knowing that His love requires that He disciplines His children. It also incorporates a wholesome dread of disappointing God.
2. Glorify God
To glorify God is to give Him the honor that is due Him. It is to elevate the character of God in a favorable way, stimulating reverence, worship and devotion to Him. We glorify God when we live in humble submission to His will, and when we acknowledge that God is the source of our salvation and not us. God is the source of our spiritual life and not us. God is the source of all the good things that are bestowed upon us because of His grace.
The inhabitants of the world at this time need to quite giving glory to the Antichrist and to give all glory to the only one to whom all glory should be directed.
8 “I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.”
Now mind you, this was the time to respond to these commands because their opportunity was fading fast. The bowl judgment would soon be poured out upon this world and the return of Christ to judge the unbelieving world was at hand.
3. Worship God
Proskuneo literally means to kiss the hand toward one as a token expression of reverence, to fall upon the knees and to touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence.
Here it serves as an exhortation to ascribe the worth and worthiness of our creator God. It is not the Antichrist, nor his image that is to be worshipped. The only true God, who is the source of all that exists, is the only worthy one of our worship.
II. The Second Angel: Pronouncing Judgment
8 “A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
This second angel follows the first with a message that he must deliver to the entire world. It is an announcement of certain judgment of the one world system headed by the antichrist, with a one-world economy and its one world religion. This system is metaphorically called Babylon, “The Great Citadel of paganism” (Mounce).
A. Babylon’s Demise (8a)
8 a “A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great.”
Fallen is a translation of the Greek word Pipto which is in the proleptic aorist tense indicating that the fall of this final world system headed by the Antichrist is so certain, that it is spoken of as though it had already taken place.
Even though this final system of world government, religion and economics is not yet in place, in the time measurement of God, it has already been judged and destroyed in terms of God’s scheme of world events. This will be a shocking turn of events for those who inhabit the earth at this time because they had thought that the Beast and his kingdom were indestructible.
4 “Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?”
The name Babylon has always been tied to false worship and spiritual corruption.
“Babylon has from its inception symbolized evil and rebellion against God. It was founded by Nimrod (Genesis 10:9), a proud, powerful, God rejecting ruler. Babel (Babylon) was the site of the first organized system of idolatrous false religion
B. Babylon’s Seduction (8b)
(This evil system of Satan) made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
You’ll recall from chapter thirteen, that if the inhabitants of the earth did not worship the beast and receive the mark of the beast they would not be able to do business and ultimately lose their lives.
Because of such a harsh demand, it is right to say that world was made to drink of the maddening wine of Babylon’s adulteries. The world will be intoxicated, deceived, and seduced by this Babylonian false worldwide religious system which is headed by the Antichrist.
Adulteries in this context is not primarily referring to marital unfaithfulness but rather spiritual unfaithfulness through the vehicle of spiritual prostitution, driven by the false prophet in behalf of the Antichrist.
III. The Third Angel: Promising Eternal Torment
A. A Terrifying Warning (9-10a)
9 “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.”
B. A Horrifying Fate (10b-11)
10 “He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”
If you receive the mark of the beast, you will join the fate of the beast.
1. The gracious pattern of God is that He provides one last opportunity for lost people to turn from their sins and toward Him in faith even up to the very brink of the exercise of His final judgment.
- This pattern is seen in the Lord’s dealings with the people of Noah’s day.
- This pattern is seen in God’s dealings with Israel.
- This gracious pattern is seen in God’s dealing with Nineveh.
- This gracious pattern is seen in God’s dealing with us today.
- This pattern is seen in God’s dealing with those who will inhabit the earth during the time of the Great Tribulation.
But there is a time when God’s gracious patience will come to an end. It will give way to the full unmixed expression of His wrath.
2. There is hell to pay for giving your love, devotion, loyalty and worship to someone or something other than God.