Elon, North Carolina
In Revelation 14, John sees several incredible visions. He saw a vision of the 144,00 standing on Mount Zion in victory. They are standing with Jesus, and they are worshiping. They are in a heavenly choir, and they are singing.
Today, we come to a second vision. The first was a vision of the 144,000. The second was a vision of three angels. Each one of these angels had a message to proclaim to people on earth. Each message was different. We are going to learn something about the ministry of angels.
You might be shocked to learn some of the things that angels do today. When most of us think of angels, we think of guardian angels. The job of angels is to guard and protect us. That is one of their jobs.
In Revelation 14, they do two other things. They preach and they are involved in judgment. We are going to see preaching angels and judging angels in this chapter.
Angels do something in this chapter that angels do not do anywhere else in the Bible. They preach the gospel. God gave us the job to preach the gospel to people. He gave us the Great Commission.
That was not given to angels but to people but, near the end of the Tribulation Period, He will use some angels to preach the gospel and they will probably do a better job than people do.
Some would say that this is what has happened for the last two thousand years. The gospel has gone out all over the world. That is true but it has not gone out by an angel flying in the sky preaching. They will not only preach the gospel; they will do it from the sky.
This is the only time in the Book of Revelation that the word “gospel” (εὐαγγέλιον) is used. It seems strange to us that angels would do any preaching, but this is not the first time that God used angels to preach.
Angels were the first to announce the birth of Jesus. In Luke 2, a group of shepherds were the first people to get the message that Jesus was born, and they got that message, not from people, but from angels.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11 NIV).
Angels were the first to preach the resurrection of Jesus. When the women went to the tomb on Easter Sunday, they encountered an angel at the tomb.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” (Matthew 28:5-7 NIV)
The men got the message of the resurrection from the women, but the women learned about it directly from angels, because they were the first ones to get to the tomb.
Revelation 14 shows us grace in the Tribulation Period. The Tribulation will be the darkest time on earth.
There will be demon possessed politicians and false worship. People will be worshiping the Antichrist. There will be false miracles. Believers will be killed.
It will be like the time before the Flood. The Bible says that there was violence in the earth. People were demon-possessed, and the Bible says that people were only evil continually. While the world was completely wicked, God sent one righteous man to that dark pace (Noah).
The Tribulation will be bad, but God will still show up. God does the same thing to us. He shows up in our darkest hour when we are in a pit and there is no one else to help. God will do three things to reach out to people in the Tribulation Period.
First, He will send the 144,000 on earth. God’s servants minister in the Tribulation.
Second, He will send two prophets in Jerusalem to preach to people and perform incredible miracles.
Third, He will send an angel to preach the gospel. In Revelation 14, humanity is given one final warning. God gives everyone one final warning before Jesus returns. Everyone gets one last chance to believe.
There will be all kinds of deception in the Tribulation. There will be false miracles and lying signs. If people do not get saved during that time, it will be their own fault. They will hear the message from an angel.
God is not just going to send one angel; He is going to send three angels. Each will have a different message to proclaim but they are related. Let’s look at these three angelic messages.
The First Angel – Message of Salvation
What was the message of the first angel? The message of the first angel in the Tribulation will be for people to repent, get saved and worship God. There are four things to notice about the message of the first angel. Several things stand out.
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7 NIV)
1) This angel will preach the eternal gospel
It is not just good news. That is what “gospel” means. It is ETERNAL good news. We live in a world where we hear all kinds of bad news all of the time. You can’t watch the news and not hear bad news every day.
This is not only good news; it is eternal good news. It is a message not just of life but of ETERNAL LIFE. It is not just life we get after we die. We can have eternal life now (John 5:24).
This angel will preach the eternal gospel. There are all kinds of gospels being preached today. The Mormons have their gospel. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have their gospel. We are to preach the eternal gospel, the same gospel that has been preached through history.
Some of the old dispensationalists taught that this gospel was different from the gospel of grace. It is a gospel of judgment, which does not sound like much of a gospel.
Judgment is bad news, not good news but this was the view of C.I. Scofield and John Walvoord. Charles Ryrie corrects this old dispensationalist view in his Ryrie Study Bible.
The problem with the old dispensationalist view is that this is not called “The Tribulation Gospel” or “The Seven Year Gospel.” It is called “The Eternal Gospel” (εὐαγγέλιον αἰώνιον).
2) He will preach it to everyone on earth
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people (Revelation 14:6 NIV)
This will be a global message to every country and every race. It will be preached in Russian, Chinese and Hindi. It will be preached in every language and dialect. This angel must be multilingual. He will preach the gospel and he will do it in a loud voice. He won’t be whispering.
This will help us to understand what Jesus meant in Matthew 24. He said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NIV)
Jesus will not come back until this message is proclaimed to every nation. We work hard to get that accomplished and we should. I have always wondered when that prophecy will be fulfilled.
Has everyone all over the globe heard the gospel? No. Jesus said that He can’t come back until it is fulfilled. This prophecy may not be completely fulfilled by people. Angels may help fulfill it in the Tribulation Period. It may be fulfilled by one angel in Revelation 14.
There is no evidence that a great revival will take place after this message goes forth. It does not mention a lot of conversions taking place. The angel may get the same reaction that Noah did in his day.
3) This message will be about Jesus
The eternal gospel deals with Jesus. It deals with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Is all through the NT. We do not see this in this chapter. The 144,000 were redeemed from the earth (Revelation 14:3, 4). This is how people get redeemed.
They are redeemed by the death of Christ. They get redeemed by the Lamb who was slain (Revelation 5:6). Jesus was not only slain; He was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8)
Jesus is worthy because he was slain and with his blood “purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9 NIV)
The angels do not mention Jesus specifically. There is no mention here of any invitation but keep in mind that this is just a summary. It is not everything that the angel will say.
4) This message will require a response
He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7 NIV)
The gospel always requires a response from people. The response is to accept the message, bow down and worship the Creator, the One who made the heavens and the earth. Paul preached the same message.
Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. (Acts 14:14 NIV)
This angel does not just preach the gospel; he applies it. He tells people to not only accept the gospel but to worship God. Give Him glory.
If you notice, the angel mentions creation. They preached the gospel of creationism. God created the world and one day we will all stand before that Creator.
Most scientists today believe in evolution. Some in the church believe in evolution. Christians believe in evolution. In some liberal churches, they have an Evolution Sunday. The Bible teaches creation. It teaches the exact opposite. Evolution teaches that we are getting better through time.
The Bible teaches that Adam and Eve were created perfect. They sinned and humans did not get better, they got worse. They are getting worse today.
This angel will not say a word about evolution. He will not praise evolution for getting us here. He will praise God for creating everything on the planet.
There is no good news in evolution. It is random chance. It is survival of the fittest. There is good news in creation. Evolution cannot solve our problems, but the gospel of Jesus can.
Many think that creation is a minor doctrine. It is not a minor doctrine. It is a major doctrine. If humans evolved from lower life forms, then Adam and Eve were not the first humans and the whole human race did not come from them.
If there was no literal Adam and Eve, then there is no original sin. They did not cause the first human sin and death on the planet. If there is no original sin, there is no need for Jesus to come to earth to save sinners.
Apparently, this angel thought creation was important enough to mention it as he proclaims the eternal gospel to people all over the globe. Creation is the foundation of the gospel.
The Second Angel – Message of Judgment
A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” (Revelation 14:8 NIV)
The first angel preached a message of salvation to individuals. The second angel preaches a message of judgment. It is a message of judgment on a whole city, the city Babylon.
This is the first time we see the word Babylon in Revelation. We will learn more about it later in the book. It will not be literal Babylon, but it does represent a city.
Babylon represents a real city. From this one verse, we learn that this city will be powerful. It will be wicked. It will be influential. It will be destroyed. The city will also represent an anti-God system. It is a system that is in complete rebellion to God.
This city will be powerful. It is called Babylon THE GREAT. It will be a world power. It will be the capital of the Antichrist, but it will also be wicked It will be a city that promotes idolatry and sin. It will be a city that encourages religious persecution of believers.
This will be influential. We are told that Babylon will get other nations to drink the wine of her adulteries.
It is encouraging to know that no matter how wicked a city is, no matter how much it persecutes the church, no matter how much power it has over people’s live and over believers, one day that city and system will fall.
Nazi Germany had incredible power over people. It was a police state led by a dictator and mass murderer. It was led a totalitarian leader, and he was popular, but that country did not last forever.
One day that country fell. Hitler said that the Third Reich would last a thousand years. He thought it would last forever. It only lasted twelve years.
The fall of Babylon is so certain that this second angel describes it in the past tense as if it had already occurred. The angel does NOT say, “Babylon will fall.” He says “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon” before it had fallen. Babylon does not fall until Revelation 17-18.
The Third Angel – Message of Warning
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-11 NIV)
The third angel has a message of warning. Don’t take the mark of the Beast. Don’t worship the Beast. If you do, you will suffer in Hell forever.
This brings us to one of the most terrifying pictures in all the Bible. No other passage of the Bible describes the terrors of Hell than this passage. This is one of the most sobering passages in the Bible.
In many churches today, we have a different message preached. We hear the message of love, mercy and compassion and God is not angry with you. He would never send anyone to Hell.
Many preachers today no longer preach this doctrine. There are not too many Hell, Fire and Brimstone preachers. That is not very positive. Preachers today like to deliver positive messages that encourage people.
They won’t come back if you talk about Hell Fire and Brimstone. We need to preach the whole counsel of God. We need to preach the parts people like to hear and the parts we don’t like to hear.
The third angel preaches a message that says, “Don’t worship the Beast” and says what will happen if people do worship the Beast. If they worship the Beast, they will drink of the wine of God’s wrath. If they drink Babylon’s wine, they will drink God’s wine.
“If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured FULL STRENGTH into the cup of his wrath.(Revelation 14:9-10 NIV)
In the Tribulation, people will think the mark will protect them. They will get to buy food. They will get to live. The truth is that the mark will not protect them; it will doom them. It will seal their fate.
We are going to see five truths about Hell from this passage. Many don’t believe these truths. Some Christians don’t believe them, but they are clearly taught in this passage.
Five Truths about Hell
1) Hell is a place of TORMENT
Many do not believe that. Many think that when people die, they cease to exist. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that. It is the doctrine of annihilationism. People don’t go to hell after they die, they are just annihilated. They cease to exist.
There is a problem with this idea in the Book of Revelation, a big problem. People who take the Mark of the Beast do not cease to exist. They are punished.
They will be TORMENTED with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their TORMENT will rise for ever and ever” (Revelation 14:10-11 NIV).
Many believe that the wicked will be destroyed in Hell, but this passage says that they will be tormented.
K. Beale notes, the word βασανισμός (“torment”) in Rev. 14:10–11 is used nowhere in Revelation or biblical literature in the sense of annihilation of personal existence. Without exception, Revelation uses it of conscious suffering on the part of people (9:5; 11:10; 12:2; 18:7, 10, 15; 20:10).
That is how that word is used in the rest of the NT (Matthew 4:24; 8:6, 29; 28:34; Mark 5:7; 6:48; Luke 8:28; 16:23, 28; II Peter 2:8). It NEVER means annihilation.
Of course, you have to be conscious to be tormented. A punishment that is not felt is not punishment. Jesus told the story about a wicked rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus in Luke 16.
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in TORMENT, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am IN AGONY in this fire.’ (Luke 16:19-24 NIV)
2) Hell is a place of FIRE
They will be tormented with BURNING sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the SMOKE of their torment will rise for ever and ever. (Revelation 14:10-11 NIV)
Fire is the instrument of punishment in the Book of Revelation for the wicked. They will be case into a lake of fire (Revelation 20:10, 14, 15). Jesus called it “a furnace of fire” (Matt 13:42, 50).
Most people don’t like Fire and Brimstone preachers. They are too negative. They scream at people.
Hell is described as Fire and Brimstone four times in the book (Revelation 14:10; 19:20; 20:10; 21:8).
Those who worship the Beast will be tormented with fire and brimstone (Revelation 14:10 KJV)
When Jesus comes back, the Beast and the False Prophet will be cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20 KJV)
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are (Revelation 20:10 KJV)
This is further proof that annihilationism is wrong. The Beast and the False Prophet and thrown into this place where there is fire and brimstone. They do not cease to exist. When Satan is thrown into hell, they are still there and they were not angels, just ordinary people.
The wicked will have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8 KJV)
3) Hell is a place of NO REST
There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:11 NIV)
Hell will be a place of no rest. There will be no break from the punishment day or night. Indeed, annihilation would be a kind of rest or relief from the excruciating torment of the brief final judgment.
It will be pure unadulterated wrath. There will be no mercy, no grace and no pity. In Revelation 14, some will rest after they die (Revelation 14:13) and some will have no rest (Revelation 14:11). It is a picture of eternal fatigue.
4) Hell is ETERNAL
And the smoke of their torment will rise FOREVER AND EVER (Revelation 14:11). That phrase “forever and ever” occurs thirteen times in Revelation and always refers to eternity. It always means “forever and ever” (cf. Revelation 1:6, 18; 4:9, 10; 14; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5).
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! (Revelation 1:18 NIV)
the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. (Revelation 4:10 NIV)
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15 NIV)
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5 NIV)
If Hell is not Eternal, they heaven is not eternal, and God is not eternal. Some say that hell does not last forever, only the consequences last forever. With that logic, you would have to say that heaven does not last forever, just the consequences of heaven.
5) Hell is a place of SEPARATION
The sheep go to one place and the goats to another place. In Luke 16, there is said to be a gulf between the two and the wicked could see heaven from a distance. They could see what they were missing. In Revelation 14, we are told that the holy angels and the Lamb could see Hell as well.
They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. (Revelation 14:10 NIV)
What are the applications from this sobering passage? There are three.
1) Get saved
Have we accepted the eternal gospel? Do we know for sure if we are saved? None of us want to go to the Hell described in Revelation 14 (a place of fire and brimstone, a place of torment, a place where there is no rest day or night).
2) Tell others about Jesus
We need to make sure to tell others about Jesus. Others around us are lost. Many are dying and going to hell every day. Many have never heard the salvation message. We need to reach out to them in love and share with them the gospel of Christ.
3) Worship God
Worship God our Creator. Worship the One who created all things. Praise His name every day. Give Him glory.
4) Don’t Take the Mark
If we are alive during the Tribulation Period, we need to make sure never to take the Mark of the Beast, no matter how much pressure there is to take it.
 See Scofield Reference Bible (1917) and The New Scofield Reference Bible (1967) on Revelation 14:6; John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ: A Commentary (1966), 217.
 Henry Morris, New Defender Study Bible,
 G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 762.
 G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 764.
 G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 764.