Actually, our message is not ours – it is God’s. It is the message He commanded us to spread to “to every nation, tribe, language and people”, through the three angels that appear in Revelation 14, completed by the fourth angel in Revelation 18. The language is symbolic; therefore, to understand the message, the symbols need to be interpreted correctly.
Below is a brief explanation focusing on the main points. We dare not to give our own interpretation to the symbols – but let the Bible itself interpret them instead.
Before proceeding, we would suggest that you pray to God in thought and ask Him to give you understanding to discern whether the explanation below is true or not. Jesus promised:
John 7:17 – "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself"
The first angel's message:
Revelation 14:6-7 – “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”
1) The angel announces the "gospel".
The gospel is the “joyful news of good things”. The good news of the salvation that God has already given us through Jesus Christ. In short, they are these:
We deserved to die for our sins, our wickedness; but God has already forgiven us and made peace with us, sacrificing His Son Jesus Christ in our place. Therefore, we owe nothing to His law. The debt of each human being has already been paid. We don't have to die; rather, we are privileged to live forever, like the angels who never disobeyed God. And soon, when Jesus returns to earth a second time, we will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air, together with the dead believers whom will be resurrected at this time. Then, we will be forever with Jesus, God and the angels, in a place where there will be no more death, neither weeping nor pain. We will be forever young and happy, and live close to our loved ones on earth (whom also did not reject the salvation of God). We will be able to travel throughout the universe, discover new worlds and galaxies, and the highest achievements can be reached there. The condition to enjoy this blessing is one: to accept Jesus, His death, His justice, which is His Spirit, His breath of life and strength that motivates and enables us to obey all the Ten Commandments of the law of God. Therefore, the gospel is also the "power" of God for those who believe in Him – power given by Jesus. Biblical evidence:
Romans 10:15 – “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim the gospel of peace; of those who bring joyful news of good things”.
Thessalonians 1:5 – "For our gospel was not only in words to you, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in great certainty".
Romans 1:16 – “Of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”.
All blessings announced in the gospel are given through Christ. The good news of the gospel can be fully experienced only by those who accept Jesus. Therefore, the evangelist Paul said that he announced, "through the gospel, the incomprehensible riches of Christ" Ephesians 3:8
The gospel is “eternal” – that means it was the same, before and after Christ's death on the cross, and remains the same today. The gospel of God's “old covenant” with the people is the same as that of the new covenant. The Old Testament is the same as the New Testament. There's no difference.
2) To whom should the gospel be proclaimed?
Revelation 14:1 – "them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people".
3) How should it be preached?
Not timidly. But “with a great voice” as per Revelation 14:7. This means all means of communication should be used.
“Great voice” also means “with the power of the Holy Spirit”.
Like 1:42 – “Isabel was filled with the Holy Spirit. And he exclaimed with a loud voice, and said, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
4) What does the first angel say?
Revelation 14:7 – “Fear God and give Him glory; for the hour of His judgment has come.”
The first angel announces that the judgment of all men is at hand.
II Corinthians 5:10 – "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
5) What does the second angel say?
Revelation 14:8 – "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."
Babylon was an ancient kingdom characterized by concentrating civil and religious government in one person. Thus, the civil government imposed religion. The Babylonian religion had the following characteristics:
- Worship of the stars, especially the sun, and the “trinity” – three people in one divinity
- Consecration of the first day of the week (Sunday) for religious worship
- Consecration of images for purposes of worship (read in Daniel chapter 3)
- Belief in the immortality of the soul
The second angel of Revelation announces the spiritual fall of all present-day churches that have adopted Babylonian doctrines and practices. Jesus compared His doctrine to water:
John 3:11-14 – “The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? … Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life”.
By contrast, the doctrine, the teachings of ancient Babylon, are the drink that she gives to the nations; the wine mentioned by the angel of the Apocalypse. Every church that teaches Babylonian doctrines is giving wine to the nations to drink and is included in the angel's announcement: "Babylon has fallen, fallen."
6) What does the third angel say?
Revelation 14:9-12 – “And the third angel followed them, saying with a 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”
7) Who is the beast?
The beast is a power that unites three characteristics - it is religious, political and persecuting:
Religious, for it is worshiped:
Revelation 13:4 – "and they worshiped the beast, saying, who is like the beast?"
Political, for it has authority over the nations:
Revelation 13:7 – “authority was given over all tribe and people and language and nation”
Persecutor, for it battled against the saints:
Revelation 13:7 – “he was allowed to make war on the saints, and to overcome them”
The testimony of history proves that a “power” fits the description given by the angel – the one who, in the name of religion, persecuted and killed Bible students in the Dark Ages, classifying them as "heretics"; and that he had authority over the kings of Europe – THE PAPACY.
8) What is the image of the beast?
It is a "copy" of the beast. It is any religious power that follows the historical footsteps of the papacy – it takes control of political power and uses it to pursue and kill those who disagree with its doctrines. In calling our attention to the “image of the beast”, the third angel denounces that other churches will repeat the history of the papacy. The Christian Coalition movement, a union of Protestant churches in the United States that aim to impose religion by state power, shows that the third angel's message will soon be fulfilled, and fallen Protestant churches will become an “image of the beast”.
9) What is the “sign” of the beast?
A sign is a mark of authority. The mark of authority of the papacy, according to his own followers, is the observance of Sunday as the day of rest:
"However, Protestants do not seem to realize that... keeping Sunday... they are accepting the authority of the church's spokesman, the Pope." Source: Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic weekly, February 5, 1950 (emphasis added).
In the past, the papacy had the three characteristics of the beast, described in Revelation: it was a "political, religious and persecuting" power. Today, it does not have the power to use the government to persecute those who do not accept its doctrines. It lost one of the characteristics of the “beast”. In this sense, it is correct to say that the “beast” was, but “is not” today (Revelation 17:8). Thus, it cannot be said that the mark of his authority (the observance of Sunday) is, today, the mark of the beast. But soon it will be. Many sincere ones keep this day today in the best light they have.
But the third angel shows that the papacy will soon again regain the status of "beast". His mark of authority (Sunday rest for religious purposes) will be imposed by law. When that happens, the papacy will again have all the characteristics to become the “beast” of Revelation again. At that time, the controversy between the papal day of rest and the day ordained by God will extend to the whole world. The third angel's message, warning men not to take on the mark of papal authority, will reach the whole earth. Then, men will no longer be innocent. Thus, clarified the question, whoever prefers the sign of human authority over the sign of God’s authority, will receive the sign (or "mark") of the beast. God's sign is the “Sabbath” of the fourth commandment, as the Bible reveals:
Exodus 20:8-11 – “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 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.”
Exodus 31:16 – “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant”.
10) What does it mean to receive the mark of the beast “on the hand” and “on the forehead”?
The hand is a symbol of work. It appears on the flags of the workers', socialist parties. In the Bible, it has the same meaning. Having the mark of the beast “on the hand” means stop working on Sundays. The forehead is a symbol of "conscience". Having the mark on your forehead is consciously observing Sundays as a day of rest.
When God wanted to have the people understand that they should keep His commandments with conscience and with their hands, He commanded:
Deuteronomy 6:6-8 – These words, which I command you today, will be in your heart... they will be frontal between your eyes (forehead)”.
11) What will be the condemnation of those who receive the mark of the beast?
Revelation 14:10 - "He will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, who lay down, unmixed, in the cup of His wrath".
In other words, they will suffer the seven plagues of Revelation:
Revelation 15:1 – “I saw yet another sign in heaven, great and admirable: seven angels, who had the last seven plagues; because in them the wrath of God is consummated”.
The seven plagues are the most terrible judgments that will fall on the world and they are described in Revelation 16. They have no equal. The “chalice” of wrath will be poured out at the time of the last plague, when men will be showered with stones weighting “almost a talent”. One talent is approximately 34 kg:
Revelation 16:17, 19-21 – “The seventh angel spilled his bowl in the air; and a great voice came out of the sanctuary from the throne, saying, It is done... and God remembered great Babylon, to give him the cup of wine of the wrath of His wrath. All the islands fled, and the mountains were no more. And a great volley fell on men from heaven, stones almost the weight of a talent”.
In addition, worshipers of the beast will also suffer the penalty of the lake of fire:
Revelation 20:14 – "and will be tormented with fire and brimstone before the holy angels and before the Lamb".
In the lake of fire the wicked will suffer the “second death”:
Revelation 20:14 – “this is the second death, the lake of fire”.
This means that, after the “normal” death we know as humans, the wicked will be resurrected and then punished with the second death. The lake of fire will not be an eternal punishment. The burned wicked will suffer the second death – they will die a second time. After that, they will never come back to life:
Obadiah 1:16 – "They will be as if they never were"
In His mercy, God gives punishment to the wicked in proportion to their evil works. Everyone's sins are the fuel for his fire. When one runs out of fuel, one loses his life and the suffering ends. The debt for sin is paid.
The expression found in the third angel's message ("those who worship the beast and his image have no rest day or night") means that they have forever rejected the rest offered by God - Saturday. This is the only reason why they have no rest, neither day nor night – they have rejected the rest offered by God. And the expression "the smoke of his torment rises forever and ever" means that there will be a remembrance of the destruction of the wicked, just as the smoke after the fire is over reminds us of the fire that once existed. The reminder of the terrible consequences of sin and the punishment that the wicked have brought upon themselves will serve to lead all the saints never to desire sin again. "God will wipe every tear from your eyes".
Revelation 21:4 – "There will be no more death, no mourning, no cry, no pain, because the first things are passed away".
Sin, the transgression of God's law, will be abhorred by all, as something hateful. Everyone will delight in obedience to God, recognizing that it is the guarantee of their happiness.
12) What will be the result of hearing the third angel's message?
Revelation 14:12 – “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”
Purified by the perfect obedience to the law of God; sanctified by the perfect observance of the Sabbath, the saints will see the divine work finished in their lives: they will perfectly reflect the character of Jesus. They will be morally high people. This work will be operated in their lives by faith. The third angel points to Jesus and His work, and invites men to observe His example of faith, until they are absorbed in the contemplation of His Master to such an extent that they have His faith, His perfect trust in God. Through this faith, God will write the Ten Commandments on their hearts, fulfilling His promise:
Hebrews 10:16 – "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their hearts, and will write them in their understanding [mind]".
God's saints will gladly accept and appreciate this work of God in their lives. They will keep the commandments they have received in their hearts. The joy of obeying, which God has placed in their hearts, will be retained. You can find more in-depth studies on the revelation of God's grace given by the third angel of Revelation in other articles on this website, as well as in the books offered by this ministry – in particular those of the authors Ellet J. Waggoner and Alonzo T. Jones.
13) What is the fourth angel's message?
Revelation 18: 5 – “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, who had great power, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, the great Babylon has fallen and fallen, and has become the home of demons, and the den of every unclean spirit, and the hiding place of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations drank the wine of the wrath of their prostitution, and the kings of the earth prostituted themselves with it; and the merchants of the land were enriched by the abundance of their delights. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, get out of it, my people, lest you share in its sins, and lest you plague its plagues. Because her sins have already accumulated up to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”
The fourth angel repeats the second message, denouncing the fall of Babylon and warning men to leave the fallen churches represented by Babylon, so that they do not receive their plagues. The announced plagues are the same as those previously mentioned, described in Revelation 16. This message comes in addition to the previous three. This set of messages is the Ultimate Warning to be given to all the inhabitants of earth, so that they can save themselves, through Jesus Christ, if they so want. We hope you will listen and make the right choice!