Proclamations of Three Angels - Page 1 (series: Lessons on Revelation)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

Commentary on the Book of Revelation

By: Tom Lowe Date: 12/17/16


Lesson: IV.A.5: Proclamations of Three Angels (Revelation 14:6-13)


Revelation 14:6-13 (KJV)

6 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,
7 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.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9 And the third angel followed them, 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,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.


Introduction
Three angels now appear who have been commissioned by the Lord to deliver three proclamations to the earth.


Commentary

I. The Proclamation Concerning Belief (vs. 6-7)

6 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,
7 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.

“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.”
John sees an angel that appears in mid-air or midheaven. This is the place in the sky where the sun is at its highest (noon), the highest point in the sky. The scene he describes has this angel in the center point of the sky preaching the gospel to the whole world. You can be certain the Antichrist (the Beast) will not lay a hand on this servant of God. His pulpit is beyond the reach of God’s enemies. He will herald His message to the Jewish remnant that in turn will carry it throughout the earth. God’s message must be spoken. If men are silenced, then angels become vocal. If Satan could slay and silence every human witness of God’s truth, then God would see to its proclamation by some other means. It should be noted that the word “angel” literally means “messenger.” When Paul wrote “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8), he was not stating emphatically that angels do preach the gospel in our present age. But in the Tribulation, the wickedness of man and the power of Satan necessitate a change in the divine method. God will then resort to a method he used before Christ came to earth the first time: “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast . . .” (Hebrews 2:2). This angel is the first in a parade of six “another” angels mentioned in verses 8-9, 15, and 17-18.

This proclamation is God’s last call to the Gentiles. It is given during the Great Tribulation, and many are saved by it. The word “gospel” simply means “good news.” We use the word today to describe the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24), which is the good news for this age. Any person who tampers with this gospel is accursed (Galatians 1:8). But there are other aspects of the good news, aspects which apply to ages other than ours. There is the gospel of the kingdom, for example, and what is called here “the everlasting gospel.” This everlasting gospel is only a very small portion of the gospel which is preached today. Its message is designed for the terrible hour of the beast’s triumph, but it contains the essence of the gospel in any age, namely a living faith in a living God.

The nature of this gospel is described first. It is eternal in its significance, and it is universal in its scope. John says, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach.” It is everlasting because it has to do with

eternal truth. The one basic gospel (truth), in whatever form it is cast, is fear God! Glorify God! Worship God! The special significance of the everlasting gospel lies in the fact that the beast is saying to men, fear me! glorify me! worship me! This everlasting gospel is to be preached to the people on earth at the end of the Great Tribulation Period, immediately preceding the judgment of the nation’s when the sheep will be divided from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). The message is judgment—not salvation; however, even though the message is judgment, it is good news for the elect (Israel) and the saved nations, because they have gone through—and are now in—great tribulation. The saved ones will rejoice to hear the message of the everlasting gospel.

“The everlasting gospel.” The question naturally arises, How is this the gospel, since the word “gospel” means “good news?” Is this angel bringing good news? Yes, it is good news for those who are God’s children, but it is bad news for the unbelievers.
The gospel is not only everlasting in its significance; it is universal in its scope. The angel’s commission was “to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Angels do not preach the gospel of the grace of God, but they do preach the gospel of the government of God. These shining ones have watched with great interest throughout the long years of the Christian era as redeemed ones told the story of God’s grace. They have looked on in amazement at Christians wasting priceless opportunities for telling others the good news, thus hiding their life under a bushel.

During our age, the gospel has been committed to men, and they alone are the messengers of it. At the beginning of the Great Tribulation, men are the messengers of God, as the 144,000 reveal. Angels, as well as men, were the messengers of the Old Testament—“. . . the word spoken by angels was steadfast . . .” (Hebrews 2:2). The times are so intense in the Great Tribulation Period that only angels can get the messages of God through to the world. Angels are indestructible.

“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him . . . and worship him . . . that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” The news of this gospel is described next. It involves conviction, conversion, and consecration. The angel is heard “saying with a loud voice, Fear God!” The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord means to treat the Lord with awe and reverence. The call is to acknowledge God’s control and power over the earth. At this time, the beast is ruling and the world is giving its respect and reverence to him. Yet the angel has stated that fear (respect and obedience) must be given to God and not to the beast.

At this point in the world’s history, there will be so much fear on earth that all values will be distorted and all perspectives destroyed. The gospel puts the priorities straight—fear is number one!

The gospel involves conversion. The angel says, “Fear God, and give Glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” It is not merely the Day of Judgment now, but the “hour of judgment.” The unregenerate man always denies God glory; the saved man always gives God glory and thus comes into harmony with God’s great goal both in the creation and in redemption—to bring glory to Himself. All creation bears witness to God’s existence as well as to His power and wisdom. Nonetheless, “the beast will convince men that he is in charge of the world and that their destinies are in his hands. The message of the angel calls men back to basics: God is creator—worship and serve Him. The fear of the Lord, not the fear of “the beast,” is the source of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

To give glory to God is to announce the marvelous wonders that He has done and to give Him the honor he is due. The glory of God is the manifestation of His attributes. Giving glory to God is the evidence of a person’s own conversion, proof that he has entered into a new world, one to which he had been deaf and blind before. (Some commentators see this as an announcement of judgment rather than an appeal.)

The gospel involves consecration. The angel cried, “Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Worship is the highest, holiest, and happiest function of a rational, complete human being. It is the overflow of a heart filled with wonder, love, and praise for God. Intelligent worship is pouring out one’s being as a drink offering to God, the laying of one’s life upon the altar, the giving back of the life we owe. The beast may be manipulating the earth, but God is the maker of the earth. To worship God is to acknowledge who He is. In this case, He is to be acknowledged as the maker of the universe—the creator only, and not the creature, must be worshipped. This then is the first proclamation. It concerns belief.

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