“I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He said with a loud voice, “Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!…”
“… I heard the voice from heaven saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow with them.”
Revelation 14:6-7 and 13
These three angles in the vision summarise that three general messages in this book so far.
The first angel has the Good News that there is salvation from God for all who repent from their wicked ways and turn to the Lord. It is the timeless and unchanging message of the gospel and is offered to every kindred, tribe and tongue on the planet. The message is clear. We must fear the Lord and give Him His proper place in our lives and worship. It is the end of all things and judgement is at hand. We must “Flee from the wrath to come.” This is the message of this first angel, which represents the servants of the Lord, the messengers, who proclaim the gospel with authority, power and vehemency. They preach the everlasting message of redeeming grace for all who will believe.
We are to ensure we are worshipping the true God and not some figment of our own making. We worship the one who made the heavens and the earth and to whom all glory belongs. He is the only Saviour and is revealled to us in His Word the Holy Scripture. The end is not yet. But time is running out and judgement is ahead for all who refuse the message of the gospel and the Saviour that it preaches.
“Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
We are not saved through our works or outward form of religion, but only through faith in the shed blood of Christ and we have peace with God only though Him. The Christian perseveres through faith and reaches the heavenly city by walking through this life and bearing its burdens and the rejection of other people, in faith and hope in God alone.
The second angel tells us that the kingdom of this world is over. The great Babylon has fallen to the wrath of God and is bearing the consequences for her infidelity to the LORD. Babylon cannot sustain us or provide for our souls. The consequences of seeking restitution in her are the same fate that she faces- eternal death. This is the eternal outcome for all who do not repent, for they will bear their own iniquity and suffer the consequences of their own sin. the infidelity of the kingdom of Babylon has caused many to stumble and fall away from the faith and into the night of unbelief.
“Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will lead many astray. Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
The third angel has a voice of warning to all who worship the Beast of this world and gives themselves into its influence. Anyone who worships him or receives his mark on they forehead or hand, will also drink out of the cup of Gods wrath, which is unmixed wrath and is the full force of God’s just punishment for sin. These people will be tormented forever before the Lamb, who was slain that they might not suffer so. Yet they have deliberately turned away and so they experience eternal punishment forever. There is no rest for them and they spend eternity in stark contrast to the peace of the people of God.
Those who remain faithful and wait patiently for their redemption, remain obedient to the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus will receive eternal life.
The theme for the people of God is rest from all their labours. Those who die in the Lord are kept safe in Christ until the end time when they will be released from death by the resurrection of the people of God. They receive rest from their service and sufferings for the sake of Christ and are safe in His warm embrace.
“For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”