The three angels

 

The three angels that we see in Revelation 14 are doing their work throughout the tribulation period. The specific names of the angels are not revealed. God has thousands upon thousands of such angels at His disposal. He elects angels to perform specific tasks in specific places and at specific times. These three angels are no different. All three are delivering special messages to the unsaved living on the earth during the reign of the Antichrist. The first message is a message of good news, the second is a message of bad news, and the third is a final warning to all those who do not respond to God’s call.

A message of good news. Notice what the scripture says in verses 6-7. “Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” [1] Here we find the amazing mercy and grace of God. As we study human history, we find the countless numbers of times that God withholds or delays His wrath in order to give man yet another chance to repent and turn to Him for salvation. “Before the end the Gospel is to be preached for a witness unto all nations: not that all nations shall be converted, but all nations shall have had the opportunity given them of deciding whether they will be for, or against, Christ.” [2] This is certainly a prime example of how God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”.  As John MacArthur writes, “It would seem that the angel’s warnings would be superfluous. After all, by this point people will have experienced the devastating seal and trumpet judgments. The earth will have been devastated by worldwide wars, famines, and earthquakes, eventually they will realize those disasters are God’s judgments, yet they will defiantly refuse to repent. Still, in His grace and mercy, God will again call sinners to repentance through the preaching of this angel. The angel gives one final reason for sinners to turn from Antichrist to God….”[3] The angel cries out to all nations and tribes. Every nation and every people group is given the opportunity to repent. It is because God is so merciful that mankind is without excuse. Living in this age of grace, you and I have been given the greatest opportunities to believe on the Lord Jesus and be transformed by the power of the Gospel. The question to consider would be, ‘have you responded to the Gospel?’ If not, God is giving you yet another opportunity right here and right now to respond to that glorious message of hope and good news. The choice is yours. Will you respond to the Gospel today? Will you accept the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior?

A message of bad news. The second angel brings bad news. Notice what it says in verse 8. “Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” [4] Here the announcement is given that the rule of the Antichrist will come to an end. All those who follow the Antichrist will suffer the full wrath of God. At this time, God will hold nothing back. He will unleash His full wrath upon those who follow the Antichrist. “Babylon is God’s name for the world system of “the beast,” the entire economic and political organization by which he rules. “The harlot” (Rev. 17) is the religious system that “the beast” uses to help build his organization. When Antichrist establishes his own religion (Rev. 13:11–15), he will destroy the “harlot”; but it is God who will destroy Babylon.”[5] No nation or kingdom that stands against God will stand. This world system will not last. This is a lesson for us all today. We must be very careful that we do not allow ourselves to be consumed by this world’s system. The world today that is so against the things of God will not last. Only those who follow Christ will last.

A final warning. In verses 9-11, a final warning is given. “And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”[6] Again, God is giving the people of the earth one more chance to repent. The third angel gives a dire warning to all those who refuse to repent. “The third message is directed especially to those who are deciding about following “the beast.” It is a warning that “the easy way” is really the hard way, that to “go along with the world” means to go away from God.”[7] The fact that the wine of is poured in full strength refers to the idea that the wrath of God will not be mixed with mercy. However, God still gives the people ample warning and opportunity to repent. “The Greek text reads, “If any man continues to worship the beast,” suggesting that there is still opportunity for repentance and salvation.”[8]

Many of you today have heard the Gospel over and over. God has given you ample opportunity to repent and get right with Him. Please, do not delay any longer. Now is the time. Now is the time to repent and turn to Him.

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Re 14:6–7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Re 14:6). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] MacArthur, John. Because the time is near. p. 233

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Re 14:8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[5] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 607–608). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Re 14:9–11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[7] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 608). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[8] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 608). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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