Hi everyone! I have to admit, the main reason I have been a little inconsistent with my posts is because I am finding the later chapters of Revelation very intimidating. I am reading, re-reading, and re-reading some more; praise God I am getting more each time.
In any case, if you’ve been rolling with me through the New Testament, after today we will only have seven chapters left since I am going to go through chapters 14 and 15 today.
It doesn’t seem that Revelation is giving events chronologically and I am not sure how and when verse six happens, but it does put to rest the age old argument, “what about the people who have never heard about Jesus?”
Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—
The instruction that the angel in verse 6 gives is about as simple and straight forward as you can get; 1) Fear God 2) Give Him Glory 3) Judgment is coming 4) Worship Him 5) He made everything:
Revelation 14:7 saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
Clearly the warning and instruction of the angel in verses 6 and 7 was not heeded, thus a second angel gives the result and assurance of victory that belongs to the Lord:
Revelation 14:8 And another angel followed, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
Babylon is most likely referring to the false religions and other idolatry the world bows down to instead of fearing, glorifying, or worshipping the One True God that made the Heavens and the Earth. Notice how not only will these things get tore down, but those that have given themselves over to them will experience the Wrath of God that is due to them for pride-fully ignoring the warnings of Almighty God.
I used to think that hell was a place where God was not present. Verses 9-11 put that assumption to rest. Make no mistake, the blessings of God will be removed from all who inhabit hell, but it seems clear that Jesus and His Holy Angels will be there:
Revelation 14:9-11 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
I don’t think any of us can get our mind around never ending torment; however, God gives us just a sliver of the anguish in these verses. Even if we can’t understand the “full strength” of God’s Wrath, we can relate to being without rest to some extent. When people speak of being in captivity there seems to be one thing that is worse than everything else and that is sleep deprivation. When someone is completely exhausted and they are not allowed rest they get crazy; but in hell there is no rest and there is no insanity because an insane mind would be a form of rest from reality and it is clear that there is NO REST day or night, forever.
God then gives us a contrast with the same line of thinking. Those who obey God and put their faith in Jesus Christ will be given rest from their labors:
Revelation 14:12-13 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
The rest of chapter 14 gives us the imagery of Jesus taking in the harvest; some to eternal Life and some to eternal death. Then chapter 15 begins with John saying another sign he seen was “great and marvelous”. When I read that I was thinking, “everything we’ve read so far is pretty great and marvelous” what is so much more so that John would describe it in this way; answer, “the Wrath of God is complete”:
Revelation 15:1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
Isn’t that amazing to consider? Most pulpits today will not speak of the Wrath of God, yet John speaks of the complete Wrath of God being great and marvelous.
Then look at the scene of those that have victory over the beast!
Revelation 15:2-4 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."