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Revelation 14, Part 2

Revelation 14 introduces what is commonly known as the three angel's messages. This page will cover the first of those. After verse five, there is a flashback scene. (Go back to Revelation 14, part 1.) The vision starting in verse 6 comes before the scene in verses 1-5 where the 144,000 are pictured as being in heaven.

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," (Rev 14:6)

The word "another" may not belong there. The next few verses would indicate that this is the first in a series of angels. The term "angel" can refer to a human being not just to an angelic being. The gospel commission was given to man with no record of it ever having been given to angels:

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matt 28:19)
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom 10:14-15)

Angelic beings are involved as well. Whether it was people giving the message aided by angels or angels giving the message aided by people, the message would go out. The Bible record speaks of it being given by people. Note also, it is the "everlasting" and thus the only gospel. This verse is talking of the fulfillment of one of the requirements for the Second Coming:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt 24:14)
"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Rev 14:7)

What we have so far in Revelation 14 is a description of the 144,000 (v 1-5) - and they are made to sound pretty good. Then we have the mention of a message (v6) being given to the whole earth. In verse seven, is given the first of a series of messages often referred to as "the three angel's messages."

This first message of Revelation 14 has four significant parts:
  1. fear God
  2. give glory to Him
  3. His judgment is come
  4. worship Him as Creator
1. Fear God

It is useful to examine the setting - where this happens in time - to understand why each is important. Previous to this, in chapter 7, the 144,000 were first mentioned and their sealing was described as the winds were being held from bringing destruction on the earth. Then, in chapter 8, there is a very interesting event that can be understood as the anointing of the 144,000 to give a message:

"And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake." (Rev 8:5)

What is cast to the earth is not the censer - "it" is a supplied word. It is not just one coal that is cast to the earth but a whole censer full. Here is a passage that will greatly help with the understanding of Rev 8:5:

"Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not." (Isa 6:6-9)

We can see a parallel between the experience of the prophet Isaiah and what the 144,000 will experience in the last days:

The 144,000
one of the seraphims (Isa 6:6) the angel (Rev 8:5)
a live coal (Isa 6:6) fire (Rev 8:5)
from off the altar (Isa 6:6) of the altar (Rev 8:5)
touched thy lips (Isa 6:7) in their mouth was found no guile (Rev 14:5) sealed in their foreheads (Rev 7:3)
thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged (Isa 6:7) without fault (Rev 14:5); his Father's name in their foreheads. (Rev 14:1)
whom shall I send (Isa 6:8)
go and tell this people (Isa 6:9) three angel's messages (Rev 14:6-12)

Many have misunderstood the casting down of the censer to be a reference to the close of probation. But this idea does not make sense when you consider that just following it the trumpets are blown as messages of warning.

Also, if the coals were solely for the purpose of burning incense, it wouldn't make sense to fill the censer with coals and then throw the censer down - the purpose of filling it with coals of fire is to place incense on the coals to produce the smoke that comes from burning incense.

Considering the scenario here will help to put the three angel's messages of Revelation 14 into perspective and understand their purpose. The trumpets will have happened a short time before. These are warnings that will wake people up to eternal realities. They are accompanied by destructive events that will surely get people's attention. There is good evidence that the destructive events associated with the trumpets are actually Satan's counterfeit; his effort to distract people from paying attention to eternal matters.

People will be very afraid and concerned about what is happening on Planet Earth. For many people, their focus will be just to stay alive. In this scenario, the message will be given to "fear God." That doesn't necessarily mean to say that people should be afraid of God as though He were their enemy. It could be a way of saying pay attention to God rather than to all these things that are going on around you.

2. Give Glory to Him

How does one "Give glory to God?" No one can actually give any glory as in something like physical brightness to Him - He already has much more of that than we do. Remember, that God's glory can be understood as His character. To give glory to Him could be to recognize His character - His character of love. This can be understood in the experience of Moses:

"And he (Moses) said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy." (Exo 33:18-19)
"And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped." (Exo 34:5-8)

What was Moses doing when he worshipped? - He acknowledged the character of God. God is loving and merciful; His object in the proclamation of the three angel's messages of Revelation 14 will be to try to save everyone He can before the end.

3. His Judgment is Come

What would happen if you went out to the streets of your community today and started proclaiming that the judgment of God has come? Do you think anyone would give serious consideration to you? What if you were to do it after the events of the trumpets? Wouldn't you likely get more attention then? People would then be wondering what is going on. They may even say "yes, I can see that judgments are being poured out, please tell me more." That will likely be the best opportunity for God's people to explain what is going - the opportunity that will bring the best results.

While many will perceive this time as an outpouring of the judgments of God, there is a sense in which God Himself is being judged:

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." (Rom 3:4)

In what sense could that happen - that God Himself would be judged? People will be making up their minds about God and making decisions about whether to trust and follow Him or not.

"Hour" is a reference to the time of judgment not to a literal hour. In verse 15, the same word is translated as "time." (Also, see John 4:21, 23)

4. Worship Him as Creator

Isn't "worship Him that made ..." a call to worship Him as the Creator? God is much more than just our Creator but that call may have special significance in light of what is described as happening in Revelation 13. In that chapter, as we saw, a power will (and is presently) working to obscure the truth that God is the Creator and to substitute another memorial that does not recognize that fact. Doesn't it seem logical that the call to worship Him as Creator would include the memorial He instituted to remember that He is the Creator of all things? That, of course, is referring to the Sabbath commandment:

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exo 20:8-11)

The power that has attempted ("... think to change times and laws ..." Dan 7:25) to change the law of God (a law that involves time) has declared that Sunday, the first day of the week, should be substituted for the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. Here are a couple of significant statements in that regard:

"Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."
(Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1957, p. 50.)

"Of course the Catholic church claims that the change was her act ... and the act is a mark ecclesiastical authority in religious things." (Mr. H. F. Thomas, Chancellor to Cardinal Gibbons, in a letter replying to an inquiry as to whether the Catholic Church claims to have changed the Sabbath, 1895)
When will this message: "the hour of His judgment is come" be given? In the context of the message of Revelation 14, it is given, it seems, primarily by the 144,000 in connection with the trumpet warnings of Revelation 8 and 9. And when you read what will be happening on earth as the trumpets sound, you can see that likely many people's reactions will be something like: "Yes, I can see that the judgments are falling - tell me more." Go to Revelation 14, part 3 the second angel's message.  

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The Greek has multiple words for forgiveness? God forgives (charizomai) whether we ask or not. Receiving forgiveness (apheimi) is by our choice.
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