Messages from three *angels – Revelation 14:6-13
v6 Then I saw another *angel. He was flying high in the sky. He had good news to tell. This good news was true for all time. It was a message to all the peoples of the earth, to every *tribe, language, and nation. v7 He said in a loud voice, ‘You must respect God. Tell him how great he is. The time has come when he as the judge will test all people. *Worship him because he created all things. He made the heavens and the earth, the seas and the sources of water.’
v8 A second *angel came after the first one. He said, ‘The great city called Babylon has fallen. That city is completely *ruined. Babylon is like a woman who was guilty of *sins of sex. She caused all the nations to *sin in a similar way. It was as if she made them drink too much wine. This wine means the emotions that caused Babylon to *sin.’
v9 Then after the first two *angels, a third *angel came. He spoke with a loud voice. ‘I speak to those who *worship the *beast and his image. They receive the mark of the *beast on the front of their heads or on their hands. v10 Such people will suffer because God is angry with them. It will be as if he has prepared strong wine. And he will force them to drink it because of his anger. They will suffer pain as in a fire that burns with *sulphur. As they suffer, the holy *angels and the *Lamb will see them there. v11 Their terrible pain will be like a fire that never ends. The smoke that rises from that fire will never stop. For those who *worship the *beast and its image, there is no relief day or night. There is no relief for those who accept the mark of the *beast.’ v12 This means that God’s people must be patient. They must obey God’s commands and they must have *faith in Jesus.
v13 Then I heard a voice from heaven. It said, ‘Write this. From now on, the *Lord will *bless those who die for him.’ ‘Yes’, said the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their hard work. They will receive the reward for their good deeds.’
Verse 6 John saw the first of three *angels. The angel was flying in the sky above the earth. The *angel came to tell people about the plans of God. God said that his people should have *eternal life. This is good news to all who believe God’s words. And they will serve God. The *angel made certain that all the peoples of the earth heard him. Every person had the opportunity to hear the good news.
The *angel called all people to *repent while there was time. This was their last chance. Soon it would be too late.
Verse 7 This is the message that the *angel brought. All people must be afraid of God and everyone must give him honour. They must respect him as the *Lord of all. They must know that he is the God of all power.
The people were surprised at the power of the *beast. But God is so much more powerful than the *beast. And God will be the judge of each person. The time had almost come when he would do this. Those who oppose God cannot expect a happy future.
God made the heavens and the earth. He made the seas and the rivers. God made the whole world, and it belongs to him. So, all people ought to *worship him. They should turn to God and they should serve him alone.
Verse 8 Then the second *angel declared that Babylon had fallen. Babylon was a great city in the ancient region called Mesopotamia. It had been the capital of the *kingdom called Babylon. It was an evil place of luxury and *sin. Worse than that, it was the great enemy of God’s people.
The name Babylon here means the centre (most important place) of all on earth that opposed the real God. It was the centre of all false beliefs. It was the centre of the world’s religion and commerce.
God destroyed the city called Babylon, because it was the centre of such evil practices. But all the nations of the world had become like Babylon. So, all the nations will suffer the same fate as Babylon. God is angry with them and he will destroy them.
Verses 9-10 Then a third *angel came. And he spoke to those who had the mark of the *beast.
The *beast would try to kill those who had not received his mark. But those who had received the mark of the *beast would have a worse fate. They will suffer the anger of God. He will punish them with pains that will never end. When God punished the cities called Sodom and Gomorrah, he burned them with *sulphur (Genesis 19:28). The pains of those who have the mark of the *beast will be like that. This will be the fate of those who denied Christ.
The fire and *sulphur is a description of the place of punishment. God will send the *Antichrist and the false *prophet there. All who follow the *beast (*Antichrist) will go there as well.
The *Lamb and his *angels will see them suffer.
Verse 11 For those who refuse the love of God their punishment will never end. They chose evil ways rather than good ways. They will receive evil things and not good rewards. Their end is to be without God. That place is hell where the fire never stops (Mark 9:44).
Verse 12 God’s people may suffer much here on earth. But the terrible pain of those who do not believe will be far worse. God’s people must be patient and they must trust God. It would be foolish to lose their confidence in the *Lord. Their troubles would soon be over and they will live with God.
Verse 13 Death is not the end. All who believe in God will rise again from death. God will raise them up to live in a place of rest and happiness. The Holy Spirit agrees that this is so. This is true about all God’s people. But verse 13 is mainly about people who die because of their *faith in Jesus. God will make sure that they receive their reward. Their lives on this earth were hard. But God has prepared a place where they will be content.