ON REVELATION - LESSON 16
from the Angels
A young man named
Sushil belonged to a non-Christian family. One day he ran across
an advertisement for a Bible correspondence course and immediately
wrote for the lessons. After they arrived, he soaked up the messages
like dry, parched ground soaks up water. The more Sushil studied,
the more the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart. Finally he accepted
Jesus as Savior of his life and determined to follow Him.
parents heard about this they became extremely angry. They demanded
that he reject Christianity. Sushil refused. So his father dragged
him before a local committee which dealt with the "heretics" of the
village. The father hoped these religious officials could convince
his son to recant. Sushil stood firm. The committee decreed a punishment.
Sushil was to be humiliated. His face was blackened. He was dressed
in rags and led through the village amidst the jeers of his neighbors.
As the noisy procession
following Sushil wound its way down the street, it passed a blacksmith
shop. Wild with rage, Sushil's father grabbed a red hot steel bar
from the shop, rushed up to his son and branded him on his left thigh.
Sushil was left to groan in agony. Fortunately, kind villagers took
the young man in and cared for him. Though rejected and abused, Sushil
remained firm in his decision to follow Christ. He would not give
up the beautiful truths he had discovered in the Bible.
is this message that has compelled Sushil, and countless others, to
stand faithful in spite of persecution, ridicule, imprisonment, and
even death? It is the central truth of Christianity: Jesus, the Savior
of the world, gave Himself up that we might live. The apostle Peter
expressed it this way, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there
is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved"
The Bible clearly
teaches that all of us are lost in sin and face the penalty of death
(Romans 6:23). All have sinned (Romans 3:23), so all face death.
Every person needs to be rescued from the condemnation of sin. Jesus
is the only one who can provide that rescue, that salvation. We are
not saved by works, but by God's free gift. We are saved by Jesus,
and Jesus alone. He gives us this assurance in John 6:40, "And this
is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and
believes in Him may have everlasting life."
verses reveal God's purpose for your life:
- "I have come
that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John
having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
- "As Moses lifted
up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be
lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but
have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world
to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John
- "But God demonstrates
His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ
died for us" (Romans 5:8).
- "But as many
as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of
God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).
- "If we confess
our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
- "For by grace
you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians
wonderful assurances! What fantastic promises! Who would want to say
"No" to a God who has expressed His love in such a powerful way? If
you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, why not bow your head and
repeat this prayer of acceptance, "Dear God, I need You. I am
sorry for my sins and ask You to forgive me. I believe that Jesus died
for my sins. I give You my life and receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You for hearing
me and helping me to follow Jesus. In His name, Amen."
this is your first decision for Jesus, then welcome to the
family of God!
Belief in Jesus
is the foundation of genuine religion. It's what the church of Jesus
Christ is built on. We can get to know Jesus through His Word, the
Bible. He said, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think
you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me" (John
The more we study
the Bible, the clearer our picture of Jesus will become. Jesus wants
the good news about Him to be shared with the world. He wants all
to be saved for eternity. Jesus has made it easy for everyone to
good news about accepting Jesus and worshiping God is part of a special
message for last-day Christians. This threefold message appears in
Revelation 14:6-13. Verses 14-16 tell us that after these three messages
have been delivered to earth's inhabitants, Jesus will come for His
people. Christ's second coming is described as a harvest of Earth.
Let's study these
messages in the context of what we have already studied in Revelation
the vision of Revelation 13, John sees the Lamb of God standing with
144,000 people who have God's name written on their foreheads (Revelation
14:1-5). This special group of people are those who have been completely
loyal to Jesus. This group did not receive the "mark of the beast" because
they were faithful to God's commandments and accepted His free gift
John sees three angels with special messages from God. These three messages
(vss. 6-13) are end-time messages; they precede the harvest of God's
people at Jesus' second coming (vss. 14-20). Let's take a closer look
at these three messages.
The angel is a
blur of white streaking across the heavens with a special message
from God to Earth's inhabitants. This is a message for those living
on South Pacific islands, for those hunting in the snow-covered expanse
of the Arctic, for those farming in the jungles of Malaysia, for
those working in the factories of Russia. No matter where you live,
no matter what you're doing, God says, "Stop! Look up into the heavens.
Listen to the angel's message! It is for every nation, tribe, tongue,
The entire series
of messages is described as the "everlasting gospel." But it will
be delivered in three parts, by three different angels.
First Angel's Message (verses 6, 7)
What is the
gospel? (Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-19.)
The gospel is good newsthat Jesus lived a perfect life and died for us.
This is not a
new gospel. It is the same message of salvation that people in the
Old Testament accepted by faith. It is the same gospel taught by
Jesus and the apostles. This is the same gospel that has circled
the globe down through the centuries. It is the message that God's
people share with their friends and neighbors. It must reach men
and women who live in every home around the world. That is why so
many believers have left their families, left their homes, left their
own countries, and gone out to live in the remotest villages and
relate to all kinds of cultures. They are compelled to go by Jesus
Christ to share His everlasting gospel.
What reason does the first angel give for fearing God and giving Him
glory? (Revelation 14:7.)
Because He is all powerful.
Because He demands our worship.
the hour of His judgment has come.
- To fear God
means to give Him utmost respect. We show that respect by giving
God praise and honor.
- To glorify someone
also means to show utmost respect. We show this type of respect
for God by demonstrating before others His character of love. We
do this by our kind words and by our acts of compassion. A life
changed by Jesus is the ultimate reflection of who He is and of
the power available through Him.
- Judgment: We
learned in our study of the 2,300-day/year prophecy in Daniel chapters
8 and 9 that Jesus began
the work of preparing for His coming to Earth in 1844. This preparation is
the "pre-advent judgment." "Advent" means "coming." "Pre" means "before." This
means God's judgment is taking place now!
That is why it
is so urgent for God's people to preach the messages of these three
angels. They are special messages for the time we live in. They are
special messages that prepare us for His soon return to Earth.
What else does the first angel tell us to do? (Revelation 14:7.)
Him who made the heavens and the earth.
that we will never disobey God.
God to forgive us for our sins and give us power to overcome them.
This is a call
to worship God, the Creator of the Earth. We are to honor God every
day. In addition, we have learned that the Bible calls on God's people
to "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" to worship Him
on the Sabbath. Why? "Because in six days the Lord made the heavens
and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh
day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (
Exodus 20:8-11). One of the ways we respect (fear) God and demonstrate
our respect (give Him glory) is by living a life that is obedient
to His scriptural teachings. We don't do this to earn salvation;
salvation is a free gift. We do this as a loving response to a loving
Second Angel's Message (verse 8)
What announcement does the second angel make? (Revelation 14:8.)
beast power is about to attack God's people.
has decided on the day and hour of Jesus' return.
we previously learned, "Babylon" in prophecy represents religious confusion.
This second message strongly warns us against compromising our faith.
Revelation 17 pictures Babylon as an immoral woman (vs. 5). She is contrasted
with the pure woman of Revelation 12, who represents the Christian church.
Teachings that stand in opposition to God's Word will fail us in the
end. We need to make sure we are clinging to the truths that God Himself
God calls people
to "come out" of Babylon and into whole-hearted devotion to Jesus.
He wants a people who desire to follow Him on every point, not
just on the issues they choose. He wants genuine disciples who
depend on Jesus by faith and follow His teachings in the Bible.
Individuals can keep the commandments only through faith in Jesus.
This faith trusts in the power of God to give us the strength
we need to become His faithful followers.
Those who "come
out" of Babylon reject anti-biblical teachings. They follow all
of God's commandments. They worship God as revealed in His Word
because they love and care for Him, not because they have to.
A healthy relationship with Christ is a love relationship. Couples
in love do special things for each other. They go the extra mile
because they want to, not because someone forces them to. Serving
each other is a pleasure, not a burden. Why? Because they are
motivated by love. Because they have chosen the way of love. They
have chosen to invest themselves in someone else. They have chosen
to give themselves up for the good of the other person. That is
their source of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Third Angel's Message (verses 9-11)
describe the punishment and torment that result from persistently
rejecting Jesus' free gift of eternal life.
Who receives the terrible punishments described by the third angel? (Revelation
who worship the beast and its image and receive its mark.
who neglect to pray and stay close to God.
who persecute others who believe differently than they do.
The third angel's
message cries out for a decision. There are two choices placed before
every person in the world. We can either: (1) worship the beast and
his image and receive the mark of the beast; or (2) reject the authority
of the beast and remain faithful to Jesus, obeying His commandments
(vs. 12). Notice how this message compares with the first angel's
message. The first angel calls for the worship of Jesus; the third
angel warns of worshiping the beast power. These two types of worship
have life-and-death consequenceseternal consequences.
OF THE MESSAGES
God's message to
those who are living in the end time of Earth's history is this:
Jesus is the everlasting gospel! He came to this Earth to give us
eternal life. He lived a perfect life for us. He died for our sins
on the cross. He rose from the grave and went back to heaven and
is coming again for us so we can live forever with Him! He holds
out His hands and says, "Our walk together can begin right now. You
can begin a better life at this moment."
three angels together are crying out, "Accept Jesus before it's too
- First angel: Because
He is your Creator. He made you and loves you. He deserves to be
worshiped because He has given us all thingsthe Earth we
live on, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the happiness we
enjoy, and the free gift of eternal life!
- Second angel: Listen
closelyGod is judging the people of the earth; He is determining
who has accepted Him, who is following His Word, who desires eternal
- Third angel: Don't
wait too long! Babylon is fallen! False religions which substitute
human traditions for the Bible's clear teachings are fallen! Human
ideologies will crumble like sand castles on the seashore. Those
who turn away from God's Word will receive the mark of the beast.
They will make a decision not to follow God completely, including
all of the ten commandments. Their rebellious choices will result
in destruction, in eternal separation from God.
Who does the third angel say will be saved to live with Jesus? (Revelation
who resist the claims of the beast and refuse to worship its image even
if it means
losing their lives.
who have been baptized and whose names are recorded as members of the
who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
chapter ends with a description of the wonderful harvest at the coming
of Jesus. Remember, through all the turmoil of last-day events, God
is with you. Jesus is coming for you. He cares about you. He loves you.
His faithful ones who perish are called "blessed" (vs. 13). Why? Because
death is only a pause in our lives. Because after God awakens them from
the sleep of death, they will see Jesus "face-to-face."
Yes, sometimes it's
hard to stand tall for Jesus. When a loved one ridicules your faith,
when an employer threatens to fire you for your beliefs, when it seems
you stand alone in a world that disregards God's Word, remember that
God was there with Daniel in the lions' den. He was there with Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. And He promises those who
overcome: "I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God... and I
will write on him the name of my God" (Revelation 3:12).
The "bottom-line" message
of the three angels is this: Whom are you going to worship? Will
you worship the beast or will you worship the Lamb of God? Worship
is our response to someone's worth. What is God worth to you? Don't
you believe He is worthy of your very best?
§ § §
day at a high school in Littleton, Colorado, two teenagers began
planting home-made bombs and firing at their classmates with automatic
weapons. They shot students outside the cafeteria. Laughing diabolically,
they shot teens upstairs in the library. Many of the students were
gunned down as they ran away in terror. But one young girl, Cassie
Bernall, came face-to-face with the killers. As she crouched under
a table in the library, one gunman asked her coldly, "Do you believe
see the sprawled bodies of her friends. She could have said, "No," and
perhaps saved her life. But this young woman had placed her faith
in Jesus Christ. Like many of those kids in that terrible hour,
she was clinging to Him for strength. And she just couldn't lie.
She just couldn't pretend that her God wasn't real. And so she
answered simply, quietly, "Yes."
The gun fired
at point-blank range, and Cassie slumped to the floor and died.
It was a terrible tragedya terrible tragedy for her family
and friends, a terrible tragedy for the school. It was a terrible
tragedy for all that heard the story. But that teenage girl had
said "Yes" to Jesusin the worst of circumstances. And Jesus
is going to say "Yes" to Cassie one glorious day when He comes.
Days before her death Cassie wrote these words, "Now I have given
up on everything elseI have found it to be the only way to
really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought
Him back to life again, and to find out what it really means to
suffer and to die with Him." (Reader's Digest, August 1999,
§ § §
Friend, do you
want to say "Yes" to Jesus? Do you want to be counted with those
who "keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus?" (Revelation
14:12). If so, bow your head and tell Jesus, "Lord, I give
my life to You. I give You my all."
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