Revelation 14:6-13

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

August 27, 1997

Introduction

We are somewhere past the middle part of the tribulation.

We've seen the rise of the antichrist and his false prophet (ch. 13).

We've seen how Jesus will be standing with His 144,000 witnesses while they're on earth, working for Jesus.

:6-7 1st Angelic Warning

:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven

in the midst of heaven - mesouranema (middle + heaven) - it could either refer to the "middle heaven", being outer space (three heavens: 1-atmosphere, 2-space, 3-God's dwelling); or it oculd refer to the highest point in the sky, where the sun is at noontime, where all can see and hear.

:6 having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

There is a verse used often by missions organizations as a way of motivation to reach the world with the gospel:

(Mat 24:14 KJV) 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.

Some have said that Jesus can't come back because the gospel hasn't been preached in all the world yet.

Yet the Bible says here in Revelation, that there will be an "angel" who will preach to the earth.

That doesn't quite get us off the hook though, because we're still commanded to preach the gospel:

(Mat 28:19-20 KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

It is possible that this "angel" could simply be just that, an angelic being.

Some have suggested that this angel could be a satellite broadcasting Christian radio or TV to the earth.

Remember that the word for angel (Greek - angelos) simply means "messenger". It is not only used of the creatures we refer to as "angels", but even of John the Baptist (Mat 11:10). In a way, a satellite is an excellent messenger, something sent to relay a message.

This is from Billy Graham's autobiography, Just As I Am, pg.639f -

In March, 1995, we went to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a Crusade in Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Next door to the stadium, in a huge indoor arena, our staff oversaw the installation of a dazzling array of technical equipment to transmit the meetings via satellite to venues in 185 countries and territories. One network executive from a major international satellite corporation said that our project was a more complex undertaking than the broadcasts his organization had done for the Winter Olympics from Norway the previous year. It may have been the most extensive single evangelistic outreach in the history of the Church.

Skilled interpreters in booths at the arena translated the messages simultaneously into forty-eight languages. Musical portions and testimonies appropriate for various areas of the world were inserted into the regional programs. For example, the Mandarin language version featured Chinese Christian musical groups and a testimony by tennis star Michael Chang. Some broadcasts went out on a "silent channel" - that is, with silence during the time my message was being interpreted into Spanish in San Juan, so that local interpretation into other languages could be added.

Thousands of places around the world were set up to receive the telecasts through small, inexpensive satellite dishes or by means of videotape; the signals were then projected onto large screens. Settings ranged from theaters and sports palaces in the former Soviet Union to the refugee camps of Rwanda and the rain forests of French Guiana.

In one African country that had recently undergone serious political turmoil, the meetings took place in the main city square. One local church leader said, "Three years ago we would have been arrested for suggesting religious meetings like this."

In the capital of one eastern European country, the meetings were held in the building formerly used by the Communist Party for its annual conferences.

South Korea had one hundred and twenty locations. One large Presbyterian church there trained every one of its 17,000 members to be counselors in the effort.

An estimated 1 million attended the meetings in South Africa, with 50,000 commitment cards returned afterward.

A student at one of the satellite meetings in Kazakhstan told her counselor, "I've tried everything, and now I turn to God as the last hope Something happened for which I've waited all my life."

A prostitute in Mexico who had consistently abused her children came forward in one meeting to confess her sins and give her life to Christ in the presence of her children.

Later, videotapes of these Global Mission programs were rebroadcast over national television networks in many countries, extending the audience by additional tens of millions. In some countries with a strong non-Christian tradition, we did not advertise the programs in order to avoid problems for the local sponsors; but we still heard many stories of people who came to Christ in those places. We were particularly surprised that the door opened in India for a specially prepared program that made extensive use of music and drama before the message.

If it's possible that this "angel" is something along the lines of a satellite, then it's kind of exciting to see the growth of technology today, and how it might fit into the prophetic picture.

:7 Fear God, and give glory to him

Here's the message that the angel gives:

1. Fear God

I'm afraid we water down this concept too much in the church today.

We are always talking about God's love for us, and how Jesus calls us His "friends", yet we need to be careful not to lower our concept of God Almighty to just "one of my pals I hang around with".

The greek word is phobeo, we get words like "phobia" from it. It means: "to terrify, frighten; pass., (always in NT) to be seized with fear, be affrighted, fear. It is used of God as a reverential fear.

It's more than being afraid of displeasing Him. In our passage it says to "fear God" because "the hour of His judgment has come". We need to fear because God is a righteous judge. He will punish unrighteousness. It's not just the fear that a child has of not pleasing his father, but a fear of the paddle his father has sitting on the refrigerator.

We need a balance. Not all fear, but not all familiarity.

2. Give Him glory

The greek word here (doxan) means "opinion, estimation" in which one is held, in NT always good opinion, "reputation, praise, honor, glory".

The angel is exhorting the people of the earth to put God in a place of honor in their heart.

In our society today, we like to glorify people in the media, whether movie stars, sports figures, TV personalities, etc.

God wants the glory.

This was partly why Nadab and Abihu got toasted, because apparently they wanted a little of the glory that was going on when God first sent fire upon the sacrifices at the tabernacle.

(Lev 10:3 KJV) Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

3. Judgment has come

Too often we are encouraging people to come to Christ only because of the "personal benefits" they receive. That's only part of the truth. The other half is just as important. They are escaping the coming judgment of God upon unbelievers.

People like to make fun of "hell-fire and brimstone" preachers. The problem is that it doesn't diminish the fact that God will indeed one day judge the world.

At this point in the tribulation, the angel is declaring that God's judgment isn't future, its now.

4. Worship Him

The greek word (proskuneo) here comes from the word "to kiss" (kuneo) and means "to make obeisance (to bow), do reverence to, worship.

Here's the balance of the fear. Not only should we have a healthy, respectful fear of God, but also to bow in love and adoration to Him.

This week, we read in Psalm 2:

(Psa 2:10-12 KJV) Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. {11} Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. {12} Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Here again is the balance, both fear, and loving worship.

5. Who has made the heaven and the earth

There is a powerful witness about God in creation.

Psalm 19:1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Rom 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; {19} Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. {20} For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Some people like to make loud protests, claiming that there is no God, but they're trying their hardest to cover up the witness in the creation around them.

God has left a witness in the world about Himself in creation. Men are without excuse.

The angel will be appealing to this knowledge that is evident all around the people.

:8 2nd Angelic Warning

:8 And there followed another angel

The Greek word for "another" means "another of the same kind", and so if it's at all possible that the first angel might be some kind of satellite, this could be another of the same kind. Possibly.

:8 saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Babylon -

Up until a few years ago, just about every Bible interpreter took this "Babylon" to be figuratively, that is didn't apply to a real "Babylon", since there wasn't one.

But apparently one of Saddam Hussein's undertakings in Iraq has been the rebuilding of the ancient city as a kind of tourist resort.

I wonder if this could passage could be talking about a literal Babylon.

It seems that in Revelation, there are two forms of "Babylon", both a religious form (Rev. 17) and a commercial form (Rev. 18).

It's generally taken that this is talking about the destruction of the "world system", both religious and commercial, that it's all coming down.

Lesson:

Don't get tied to a loser.

Stock analysts are always looking for a good stock to make money on.

They don't like to invest in something that's going down the tubes.

The world is going down the tubes!

There will be a day when it will be "fallen".

(1 John 2:15-17 KJV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. {17} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Just how caught up are you in the world?

How much are you living to please your flesh?

How much are you out to "acquire" more toys?

How important is it that you make a name for yourself in the world?

Be careful that you don't become like Lot or his family.

Genesis 19:1-28

The time for judgment had come for Sodom and Gomorrah.

Lot had been living in a place he shouldn't have, getting too close to the wickedness, and if eventually took it's toll on his family.

Vs.8 - willing to give his daughters to the crowd.

Vs.14 - his sons-in-law didn't take him too seriously, and they perished.

Vs.26 - Lot's wife couldn't let go of the world, she had gotten too close to it.

Even his daughters became polluted by the world, eventually getting themselves pregnant by their dad.

:9-12 3rd Angelic Warning

:9 If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Again, as we've noted before, I don't believe that the mark is gong to be something that you can just "accidentally" get.

It is a sign of worshipping and following the antichrist.

As long as you follow Jesus Christ, there's nothing to worry about!

: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

In Bible times, wine was sometimes mixed or diluted with water. Some thought it was bad to mix wine with water because it diluted it. Some thought that it was good in that it added to the taste.

God isn't going to dilute His anger upon those who take the mark of the beast.

:10 and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

This third angel will be warning the people on the earth not to take the mark or worship the antichrist.

Those that take the mark will be doing it against the warnings of the angel.

: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.

Lesson:

Hell is forever.

Hell is a place of horrible torment that will never stop.

I think there's something in us that kind of hopes that those who go to hell will burn a little, then just kind of disappear.

Not so.

Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

It's tough to tell people bad news. I remember having to sit in on a person's "review" and listen to the supervisor tell them they weren't cutting the mustard. It's tough. We tend to avoid these kind of confrontations.

The truth is this, hell is a very real place, and we need to be telling the truth about it. It lasts forever and ever. It will never end.

When the jokes at work turn to making fun of "hellfire and damnation", don't give in and laugh with them, don't be silent either. They might be laughing, but hell is very real, and if they don't turn to Jesus now, they'll be living eternally there.

Just as the angel will warn people during the tribulation period, we need to be warning people now.

(2 Th 2:8-12 NLT) Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. {9} This evil man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. {10} He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them. {11} So God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies. {12} Then they will be condemned for not believing the truth and for enjoying the evil they do.

Why do we have to tell people now? Why not just wait until the angels preach it in the tribulation?

Because those friends of yours who have rejected the gospel now will be the ones taking the mark then. If they do not "love the truth" now, they will be deluded then.

:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Here we see that another thing that will keep the saints going is knowing that those who take the mark will go into eternal judgment and torment.

It will help them persevere knowing that if they would give in and take the beast's mark, they would end up in hell.

What if I told you that if you that if you committed adultery, that you too would go to hell? Would it keep you from doing it?

I Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

If you fall into this area, either by doing it and not repenting, or doing it as a way of life, you are in danger.

: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.

Because its only going to get harder and harder for believers on the earth. Antichrist will be full on persecuting them, killing many. Those who die will escape it.