Friday, January 13, 2012

Three Messages from Three Angels

Revelation Chapter 14

The information in this chapter is panoramic in that it briefly describes things that are soon going to take place, with the details following later in the book. For example in this chapter we are told of the fall of Babylon, but are not told the details until chapter 16.

Lamb with the 144,000 on Mount Zion
The first thing we see in this chapter is the Lamb with the 144,000 on Mount Zion. The Lamb in this chapter of course is the Lord for He has been called, or referred to, as a lamb many times throughout the scriptures. In the gospels we are told that John the Baptist cried out on different occasions, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Not only this, but the Lord is referred to as a lamb multiple times in this very book. There is no doubt they Lamb refers to Christ.

The 144,000 standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion are the same 144,000 that were sealed in chapter 7. In chapter 7 there were sealed 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Also in this verse we hear a voice from heaven that is described as “being like the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder.” This identifies the speaker as the same speaker in chapter one, which was the Lord. What this thundersome voice says is not told, but we know that it is followed by harp playing and singing.

As the elders have already been identified as the church, it makes sense that they are not the harp players in this chapter. Notice that these harpers play “before the elders” as described in the wording of the text. We are not told who these harpers are in this chapter. However in chapter 15:2-4 we are toldThey are those who stand on the sea of glass, the tribulation martyrs.

Three Angel Messengers

First Angel
In the book of Revelation we see the work of many angels. Angels blow trumpets, pour out vials, open pits, carry chains, and fight wars in heaven. In these verses we see an angel flying in the midst of heaven, which is the mid-heaven or the atmosphere that surrounds the earth. The purpose of the angel is to preach the "everlasting gospel."

This is the first and only place in the scriptures that we are told that an angel is to preach. God has chosen men to preach His message. Let me give you an example to prove this point. In Acts chapter 10 a man named Cornelius prayed that God would show him what he needed to do in order to be saved. God sent an angel to Cornelius. However, this angel could not go to the house of Cornelius and tell him how to be saved. The angel could only tell Cornelius to send for Peter to come and preach to him. The angel told him where to find a preacher man, and that man told him how to be saved.

In the gospel age only redeemed men are commissioned to preach the gospel, but at the end time, and just before the return of the Lord an angel will fly through heaven preaching the everlasting gospel. This is a good time to distinguish between the everlasting gospel and the other gospels preached in the scriptures. There are actually three gospels mentioned in the scriptures.

1. The gospel of the Kingdom:
This is the good news that God purposes to set up a kingdom on this earth over which the son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ, shall reign. This gospel is preached two times in the scriptures. First it was preached by John the Baptist, and Jesus and His disciples, but this ended by the rejection of Jesus by the Jews.

The second time this gospel is to be preached is by the 144,000 and the two witnesses during the tribulation period. This will be the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14. This will be the announcement that the time has come to set up the kingdom.

“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.”    Matthew 24:14

2. The gospel of the Grace of God:
This is the good news that Jesus died on the cross for salvation. This gospel is called the gospel of God in (Romans 1:1), because the source of the gospel is the love of God (John 3:16). The character of the gospel is grace, its subject is Christ, and it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.

In the scriptures it is also called the Glorious Gospel because it speaks of the one who is in glory, and has been glorified and who is bringing many sons to glory. It is also called the Gospel of Peace because it brings peace between man and God.

This is the gospel message that was first preached by the disciples beginning on Pentecost, and is still preached today.

3. The Everlasting Gospel (Revelation 14:6):
This is the gospel preached by the angel in our text. This is not the gospel of the kingdom, nor is it the gospel of the grace of God. The message of this gospel is not one of salvation, but of judgment. The angel warns that men should worship and fear God because of the impending judgment.

This gospel is good news to Israel and all others who are passing through the judgment of God, for this gospel declares that their troubles are going to soon come to an end and the destruction of the Antichrist is at hand.

Because this is not the gospel of the grace of God this gospel calls on men to worship God as creator, not Savior. You may not recognize that Christ is Savior, but you will recognize His as the creator of this universe.

The response to the angel messenger is no surprise. If people will not listen to the men of God preaching to them today, they will not listen to an angel preaching in the heaven. You will remember that the rich man cried in hell desiring for Lazarus to go warn his brothers. He believed if one rose from the dead and declared the message of salvation to them they would listen.

This is not true. In the Revelation we are told that two men will arise from the grave and preach, Moses and Elijah, and also an angel will preach in the midst of heaven. They will not receive any of these messages. The hearts of men are so hard they will not break, no matter the circumstance.

Second Angel
This verse is proof that the city of Babylon will be rebuilt. Some speculate that Baghdad will be destroyed and Babylon rebuilt in its place. Baghdad is a place of terror and bad times. Babylon however is remembered for the glory it held under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. And just like Nebuchadnezzar ruled from Babylon, so will Antichrist.

This angel proclaims that the city is fallen. This is an anticipative statement when speaking of the literal city, but it is true when you are speaking of the spiritual side of the city.

Third Angel
This is the most awful warning in all of the scriptures. Any person who worships the Antichrist, and receives his mark are doomed forever. They are to be cast into the lake of fire and tormented in the presence of the Holy angel and the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment will ascend up forever and ever. They are never to receive rest from their punishment.

Can you imagine hearing this message preached and then looking at your hand and there is the mark the angel has just spoken about?

A blessing in death
This warning will follow the warning of the False Prophet. The False Prophet will proclaim that all who refuse the mark of the beast will be killed. The angel is telling the undecided that it is better to lose your head than your soul. This is a reminder that it is better to reign with Christ for 1,000 years than with the Antichrist for 3 1/2 years.

This class of blessed believers will be blessed because when they die in the Lord. They are finally able to rest from their trials. They will also receive a martyrs crown according to Revelation 2:10.

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

The Harvest and The Reaper
There is no question who the reaper in these verses is. This is the Son of Man, Christ himself.

This harvest is not the harvest of the church, for that has already taken place in chapter 4. This is the harvest of the Gentile nations.

These verses look to the near future. For in chapter 16 the armies of the world are summoned together by three unclean spirits to the battle of Armageddon. This battle however will not take place until after the fall of the city of Babylon.

In these verses we see that the harvest is ripe and the Son of Man is commanded to cast in his sickle. This takes place with the pouring out of the vial judgments, and is finished by the battle of Armageddon.

The winepress mentioned is the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God according to Revelation 19:15. Please notice the following verses.

Isaiah 63:1-6

The winepress will cover the whole land of Palestine and it will extend as far east as Edom and Bozrah. The slaughter of that day will be so terrible that the blood will flow up to the horses bridle over the whole land of Palestine, which will cover 200 miles.

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