The Three-fold Message of Revelation 14: God's End-time Mission to Restore True Worship
by Steve Sterling 11/21/2011 / Prophecy
The worldwide proclamation of the everlasting gospel in Revelation 14 will be the final message of mercy to the inhabitants of the earth before the Second Coming. It is the same end-time proclamation, referred to as the 'gospel of the kingdom', that is to be preached into all the world before the end comes (Matt. 24:14).
The survival of each individual when the gospel famine sets in will depend on how he/she treats that message. It will be a message that is specially applicable to our time and our treatment of it will be weighed with eternal consequences. As Jesus had declared in his commission to His disciples just before his ascension, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mk 16:15, 16 (KJV).
The message of the three angels is divided into three distinct categories:
1. A call for worship reform
2. A warning against a false religious system
3. A stern warning against the worship of the beast and the taking of his mark
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Rev. 14:6, 7
The message of the first angel is called the everlasting gospel because it points us to a need for the revival true worship and true worship is an exercise that will be practiced by both men and angels throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. This particular message will go forth at a point in time when the world is faced with the choice between the worship of the beast and the worship of Jehovah. Thus the message is calling attention to God as the only object of worship.
I find it quite interesting that in this appeal to worship God, it specifically identifies Him as the Creator of heaven and earth. It seems as if the messenger is conveying to us the idea that in our worship exercise we must celebrate the creative work of our God. This takes us all the way back to Genesis 2 where it says that after God ended His work on the sixth day He then rested on the seventh. In addition to resting, He also blessed and sanctified the seventh day.
When something is sanctified, it means that it is set apart for holy use. You will notice in the fourth commandment of the Decalogue where the Lord commands us to honor the seventh day of the week, that He points us back the Genesis account saying,
"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exod. 20:11 (KJV)
Therefore, the first angels' message is not just a call to worship the true God, but also to acknowledge Him as our Creator and celebrate His creatorship through Sabbath observance.
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Rev. 14:8
A study of Revelation 17 and 18 will reveal the true nature of Babylon's influence in the earth. You will see where she is represented under the symbol of a woman. The Bible's interpretation for this symbol is "that great city that reigneth over the kings of the earth." Rev. 17:18. Woman as a biblical symbol also represents a religious entity (Jer. 6:3). The fact that this woman is called a whore clearly suggests she is an apostate church. You will recall a similar case where God categorizes apostate Jerusalem as a faithful city that has become a harlot (Isa. 1:21), meaning she has become a false religion.
It will be on account of Babylon's influence why the inhabitant of planet earth will descend into the greatest apostasy that the world will ever witness. On account of her false worship scheme, and her disregard for the Creator and the day He sanctified, the people will be lead into idolatry. This level of apostasy will come as a result of the world's intoxication with the doctrine of this false religious system, hence the need to come out of her and be not partakers of her sins (Rev. 18:4).
"And the third angel followed them, saying with loud voice. If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation,; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
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. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 14:9-12
The third angel's message is the sternest warning you can find in the entire Bible against apostasy. It will be an attempt to rescue the ignorant false worshippers who are on the verge of making their decision to seal their loyalty to the beast by taking his mark. This message will be issued at a time when the world is facing the harsh realities of the mark-of-the-beast crisis. The choice will be before every man, woman, and child to decide whether to accept the message and live, or take the mark of the beast and face the horrors the wrath of God as a consequence.
As the image of the beast is set up the inhabitants of the world will be deceived into paying it homage. This message of the third angel is designed to undo that deception and enlighten the people to the dangers of participating in this apostate religious practice.
Since the beast will have power over every nation, kindred tongue and people (Rev. 13:7), it therefore means that the present form of worship as we know it will change. At present, Christians worship on Sabbaths and Sundays, but under the beast's administration there will be a one world religion - a religion that involves a disregard for Sabbath keeping and the God who ordained it. Which side will you be on?