Author: Ron Graham
Judgment of the Beasts (Revelation 12-20) >Seven Signs >6th sign >Three Angelic Messengers
An Exposition of Revelation 14:6-13. Three angels fly through the sky calling out their messages. One brings the gospel and a call to worship God. The second brings an announcement of the fall of Babylon. The third warns of the wrath of God upon all who worship the Beast and have his mark upon them.
eternal gospel The first angel had "the eternal gospel" (Revelation 14:6). The book of Revelation is a presentation of the gospel of Christ. The visions came from God through Christ and his angel to John (Revelation 1:12). The book of Revelation teaches by an extraordinary method, namely heavenly visions. However it teaches exactly the same gospel as in the other books of the Bible. This gospel is called "the eternal gospel" because it is able to give eternal life to "those who live on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people" (Revelation 14:6).
hour of his judgment One of the key teachings in the gospel is that people should "fear God and give him the glory, because the hour of his judgment is come" (Revelation 14:7). In the vision the hour had come for the reapers to harvest (Revelation 14:15). In the real world we might say that the hour is yet to come. However, it is dangerous to say that the hour of judgment has not yet come. Jesus said, "Nobody knows that day and hour... you do not know what hour your Lord is coming " (Matthew 24:36,42). So how do we know the hour has not yet come, and what reason do we have for believing that hour is far in the future?
who made the heavens and the earth Another key teaching in the gospel is that in the beginning Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:13-17). This is part of the "was" in Jesus’s statement, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come" (Revelation 1:8).
Babylon The second angel has a short message, "Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink the wine of the wrath of her immorality" (Revelation 14:8). In a later vision, the atrocious woman has "on her forehead a name written, a mystery, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5). This name Babylon is a “type” or symbol. The name of the ancient capital of the Chaldean world empire is used to stand for the antichristian kingdom of darkness —the kingdom of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet. In Revelation chapters 17 and 18, much more is said about the fall and doom of this “Babylon” .
wrath of her immorality (Revelation 14:8). Later, in the vision of the Reapers, John sees "the winepress of God’s wrath" (Revelation 14:19). So here when it says "Babylon... made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her immorality" (Revelation 14:8), the meaning is that she brought God’s judgment and wrath upon the multitudes whom she deceived, who shared in her abominations and wore her mark and name.
fire and brimstone The third angel warns that anyone who worships the beast and receives his mark will "also drink of the wine of God’s wrath" (Revelation 14:9-10). The angel goes on to speak of torment with "fire and brimstone" (Revelation 14:10-11). This is a reference to upcoming visions in which John sees "the lake of fire and brimstone" into which the beasts are cast (Revelation 19:20, Revelation 20:10).
mark of his name (Revelation 14:11). In a previous vision, all those who worshipped the image received a mark or name on their right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16). Jesus has promised to write his new and heavenly name upon every one of his followers (Revelation 3:12 cf Revelation 14:1). Not to be outdone, the beast marks his own name upon those who follow him. We must choose our mark —either the name of God and his kingdom, or the name of the beast and his kingdom. We are citizens in one or the other.
patience of the saints A key idea in Revelation is that all who are made holy by Christ persevere under much tribulation. Two things stand out in this verse (Revelation 14:12). First there is keeping the commandments of God. Second, there is having have faith in Jesus. Some people say that we are saved and persevere by faith alone. But this verse (Revelation 14:12) shows that we are saved and persevere by obedience together with faith (cf Romans 1:5).
blessed are the dead (Revelation 14:13). The vision ends with the beatitude, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!" This does not mean that those who died in the Lord previously are not blessed. It means that all who die in the Lord will be blessed and safe on judgment day and beyond. They rest from their labours of their perseverance on earth amid tribulation. They are destined for everlasting heavenly peace and joy.
their deeds follow them (Revelation 14:13). Again the importance of obedience is stated. The earthly labours of the saints are not left behind when the earth is destroyed. The deeds follow the saints into heaven and become eternal. When we arrive at the airport of heaven, so to speak, our luggage will be come through on the carousel. It won't have been lost, left behind, or sent to the wrong place. That luggage is our righteous deeds and our patient work for the Lord when times were tough.