The Five Angels of Revelation 14
Most students of prophecy are familiar with the three angels of Revelation 14 who fly in the mid heavens and have the everlasting gospel to preach to the world. But, there are two more angels in Revelation 14 that are commonly ignored because their message is not understood or is misinterpreted. This web page will outline all five messenger angels of Revelation 14 so that their messages can be better understood . The emphasis will be on the last two angels because they have been so little understood and contain important messages for those living just before Jesus comes again. Since the last two angels' messages seem to be hidden from the reader, the author will outline a method by which one can deduce their messages so that they can be clearly understood.
The purpose of Revelation 14:1-6, is to show the reward of the righteous in heaven. This is done in consideration of the terrible ordeal they are described as having just gone through in the latter part of Revelation 13. Thus, this part of Revelation 14 really should have been placed in Revelation 13. But, we cannot change history and how the Bible was divided, can we? Not unless you can invent a time machine!
The purpose of Revelation 14:6-20 is to outline the five angels' messages that God sends to the world before Jesus comes again and their sequence of occurrence. All five of these angels' messages are given during the investigative judgment. Thus, verses 6-20 of Revelation 14 are very important because they outline the gospel messages to be given to the world from the beginning to the end of the investigative judgment, which terminates just before the seven last plagues, after which Jesus comes again. Apparently, God wanted to make sure that the church had the right message for this time, so He broadly outlined what they are to teach.
Just as there was a special message for the time of Noah, which was that if you didn't get into the ark, you were going to die, so it is today that there is a special message for the end of this world's history. This special message all centers around the investigative judgment, end time events, and the nearness of the coming of Jesus. You certainly are free to ignore this special message, for God always grants everyone the freedom to ignore his warnings, but you do so at your own peril. This special message is found in the messages of the angels of Revelation 14. Thus, though this is a long web page (it has turned out to be considerably longer than the author planned originally), it is the author's hope that this page proves helpful to you in understanding the message for the time in which we all are living.
This web page is broken up into sections to facilitate reading it in smaller blocks of information, and to make it easier to return to the place you were last reading on the web page after a break. Since it is a long page, you will definitely want to take some breaks - unless you are a natural speed reader!
The first three angels of Revelation 14 have the gospel to preach to the world, so they represent the message that is most significant for the world today. The fourth angel has a message that brings about the final harvest of people into the church and into full obedience to God's will. This occurs just before the final events of this world's history. This fourth angel will especially emphasize the second angel's message that symbolic Babylon is fallen, but will repeat it with much greater power than the first time this message was given to the world. The fifth angel will convey the very important message that people need to get out of symbolic Babylon before it is destroyed - and when this message is given, the destruction of Babylon is imminent. This is important because the people in symbolic Babylon will be destroyed right along with it, unless they get out before the destruction arrives. Their lives and eternal life will depend on making the right choice to get out while they can. Just remember that Babylon may be symbolic, but it is symbolic of a real power with real people in it. The people in this symbolic place are as real as you and I, and the destruction will be just as real as you and I.
Do note that some Bible authorities have commented that there are seven angels mentioned in Revelation 14. This observation is technically correct. However, our concern on this web site is with the five angels who have messages to convey, what those messages are, and what impact those messages will have upon those of us now living upon this earth. The impact of the other two angels is not to be ignored, of course, as they carry out important actions, so will be considered also. But the actions of the two remaining angels occur as a result of the messages of the fourth and fifth angels, so it is on the messages that we shall concentrate so as to better understand them.
As a means of deducing the fourth and fifth angels' messages, this web page will explore the link between the fourth and fifth angels' messages and the two messages delivered in Revelation 18:1-4. Most people have never noticed a connection between these two message in both chapters, but there is a real and very strong connection. This connection helps deduce the messages of both the fourth and fifth angels.
If you are not familiar with Revelation 14 or have not read it for a while, may I suggest that you find your Bible and sit down and read it over before beginning? This will help your understanding of what you are about to read.
Here is a short summary of what you are about to read with links to each section:
- The time placement of the vision of Revelation 14 is that the 144,000 are
shown first in heaven, and then the vision goes back in time to show the 5
angels' messages, which runs from the beginning of the investigative
judgment until the beginning of the seven last plagues presented in
Revelation 16. For discussion of this, read the next section or click
- Are the five angels in sequence? There are those who claim the five angels
do not occur in sequence because of chiastic patterns. The author contends
that these angels occur in sequence because the language in Revelation 14
indicates a sequence. For discussion of this, click
- The 144,000 are alive and serving God when Jesus returns the second time.
For evidence of this, click
- The three angels' messages are quite simple: (1) worship God because he is the creator and
His judgment time has come (2) Babylon
is fallen, and (3) if you ignore
the first two angels' messages, you will worship the beast or his image
or receive his mark, in which case you will receive the seven last
plagues AND you will die in terrible torture in hell fire. For the
discussion of this, click
- The fourth angel's message is empowerment of the three angels' messages
AND is a repeat of the second angel's message. For discussion of this, click
- The fifth angel's message is a message of doom and destruction because he
announces the seven last plagues are coming. His message is a saving message
for some who recognize the warning and take cover - with God. Thus, his
message is the final message the world will ever hear from God that can save
anyone. For evidence of this, click
- There is a link and direct one to one correspondence between the fourth
and fifth angels' messages of Revelation 14 and the two messages given in
Revelation 18:1-4, which explains what the messages are in the fourth and
fifth angels' messages of Revelation 14. For evidence of this, click
- There is significance to the speaking volume of the angels of Revelation
14 and 18. For discussion of this issue, click
- Who is the fifth angel? Is it an ordinary angel or is it Jesus? For the
- The significance of the end of the investigative judgment is explained in
this section. Click
- Final summary and appeal to the reader to be ready for the soon coming of Jesus. Click here for this.
Revelation 13, verses 12 through 18, deals with time that is yet future (as of 2004 when this page is being written) when the beast will return and the image beast will also form. These events occur just before the end of the world.
As a result, some may get confused when they read Revelation 14. Revelation 14 begins with the scene of the 144,000 in heaven, which is a natural progression of time from the end of Revelation 13 (it does skip over the second coming of Jesus). Since Revelation 13 ends with events very near to the end, it is natural that the reward the righteous will receive should be shown, especially because of the dangerous circumstances the 144,000 will face just before the end as revealed in Revelation 13:12-18. This scene provides a contrast to what the wicked world has just been trying to do to them. This also should provide encouragement to the righteous to stick it out, for their reward is just before them.
But then the scene shifts backwards in time. John says the following happened next:
Rev 14:6 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,
Now, this must indicate that John has been taken back in time because it is not logical that the gospel would be given after the saints are in heaven. There are those who claim that the righteous are in heaven while the wicked are still alive on earth, but that is not logical. The book of Revelation follows a pattern of repeatedly going through history (and time) from a starting point sometime after the cross, then moving forward to an ending point. Sometimes that ending point is just before the second coming and sometimes it is just after the second coming of Jesus. This pattern is done at least 7 times through the book of Revelation as you read it from beginning to end.
The Bible says there will only be one second coming of Jesus, so therefore, one gets to heaven then or one does not get there at all. Revelation 19 and 20 indicates that the wicked are in the grave during the millennium (which is the time during which the 144,000 are in heaven), so this scene of the angel having the everlasting gospel to preach absolutely has to occur BEFORE the second coming of Jesus. Thus, the rest of the chapter is dealing with the time frame from the beginning of the preaching of the first angel's message to just before the second coming of Jesus. It is very important to understand that the messages the five angels of Revelation 14 have to deliver to the world will all be delivered before the end of the investigative judgment.
The first message contains the clue as to when it is given. The first angel says "Rev 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: ...". This judgment must occur at either one of two times, which are:
- before the seven last plagues during the investigative judgment, or
- after Jesus comes and during the millennium, during which time the cases of the sinners will be judged
But once the investigative judgment has closed, there is no possibility for anyone to be saved by accepting the gospel. Consequently, for these angels' messages to have any saving effect, they must occur before the seven last plagues. Therefore, they are given during the investigative judgment because Revelation 14 tells us these messages are the everlasting gospel to be preached upon the earth, something that would be totally worthless IF this occurs after Jesus has already taken the saved to heaven. Thus, it absolutely must be that this message is given during the investigative judgment prior to the second coming of Jesus. The fact that the first angel announces that the hour of his judgment has come is a strong indication that this message goes out at the beginning of the investigative judgment. Hence, this message should have begun being preached in this world around 1844, when the investigative judgment began. History shows that is exactly what happened.
Evidence that the fifth angel's message is given before the end of the investigative judgment will be presented further down this web page.
Some question that the three angels who fly in the midst of heaven and have the everlasting gospel to preach are shown in heaven and instead believe that these angels are flying in the earth's atmosphere. It is true that they are symbolic of those on earth who will preach these messages on earth. But in the vision, John said that these symbols (angels) were shown flying in the midst of heaven. The author cannot prove that they are flying in the atmosphere above the home of God, but at no point does John say that he was transported back to earth to watch them fly and hear their messages. We know he was seeing heaven immediately before the three angels flew because he says that he saw the 144,000 sing their song before the throne of God, which almost certainly is in heaven and NOT on earth. In addition, for the fourth and fifth angels' messages, John sees angels come out of the temple, which clearly is in heaven and thereby placing the location being shown to John in heaven, not earth. This would strongly suggest that in vision he never left heaven to see the three angels fly and give their messages. Therefore, should we conclude that John sees the three angels in heaven where God is? It seems very reasonable.
There are those who argue that the five angels of Revelation 14 are not in sequence, but rather are built around chiastic structures. The author has encountered such an argument. With this idea, the message of each angel centers around the literary structure rather than around a sequence of events that occurs in time.
It is true that there are things in Revelation that are clearly out of sequence, and sometimes this happens because of the use of chiastic structures by the author of Revelation. Revelation 13 is an example where things occur out of sequence. The description of the leopard beast during it's 42 months (1260 days/years) of power and what it does certainly is not all in sequence. But it is also true that the 42 months of power of the leopard beast occurs first, and then the earthbeast occurs, which does form a sequence of events. So, there are things that are out of sequence, while other things are in sequence.
The author has made a search of the Internet and even inquired of a professional teaching theologian at a seminary about chiastic structure information for Revelation 14, but produced no results. The theologian indicated that he had not run into any such information, but suggested that the author would be "plowing new ground" by trying to find such structures, and even asked that he be kept informed of any findings on this. In any event, it would appear there are no materials available on chiastic structures of Revelation 14, and the likely reason is that the chapter was not written around a chiastic structure. Therefore, the author will not consider that Revelation 14 is built around chiastic structures for there seems to be no reason to do so.
There may be other objections to a sequential progression of events in the chapter, so the author will proceed to show that there are good grounds to consider the messages of the angels to be in sequence.
The following observations support the idea that the angels' messages of Revelation 14 occur in sequence:
- The angels' messages must all be preached before the
seven last plagues. There are people who have been preaching the first three
angels' messages for many years, so we know that they have already happened.
As of the writing of this web page (2004), the last two are poised to occur
- The scene in Revelation 14:17-20 where the angel
harvests the clusters of grapes and throws them into the winepress of the
wrath of God is clearly a reference to the seven last plagues, culminating in
the second coming of Jesus (Revelation 15, 16, and 19:15) because Jesus treads
the winepress of the wrath of God when He comes.
- IF the cloud scene is a description of the second
coming of Jesus, then it is out of order with the three angels' messages and
the seven last plagues, for the second coming cannot occur before the seven
last plagues. IF it is a description of the final harvest of souls for the
kingdom of God when people are making their final choices to serve God (and
nobody can do so after the seven last plagues start), then this would make
logical sense and would fit into the logical structure of the chapter, coming
between the three angels' messages and the warning of the seven last plagues
- There is language in the chapter which indicates a
progression of events. The following points demonstrate this:
- In verse 6 (the first angel) it says "And there followed another angel",
which clearly contains language describing an event which follows a previous
event. The previous event could be a reference to the angel that flew
through the air and proclaimed the three woes yet to come (Revelation 8:13,
King James Version - note some versions say an eagle or vulture rather than
an angel flew and made this statement about the three woes yet to come), or
it might refer to the angel standing at the altar in Revelation 8:1-5, or it
might refer to the last of the seven trumpet
language is used for the second angel (verse 8), thereby indicating a
- When the
third angel arrives, it even proclaims him to be the third angel, for it
says "And the third angel followed them"
(verse 9) This could hardly be said to not constitute a sequence.
Therefore, if there is a chiastic structure to the chapter, it cannot
overrule the obvious sequential language in these verses.
- Verses 12-13
is strongly suggestive of this being in sequence with the previous three
angels' messages, because verses 12-13 are stated to explain how the saints
react to the third angel's message and to explain that their work will not
be in vain, even after death.
- Then, verse
15, the cloud scene, has this phrase: "And another
angel came out of the temple", which strongly suggests a sequence
with what came before. Why say it this way if there was NOT another angel
that came before this one? If it is NOT part of a sequence, then would it
not be much more likely for John to have said something to the effect of "An
angel came out of the temple" using the article "an" rather than the word
"another", which clearly implies there have been others before
- The same is true of the grape cluster harvest scene. It too must follow in sequence with the fourth angel for the same identical language of the cloud scene is also used for the grape cluster harvest scene.
- In verse 6 (the first angel) it says "And there followed another angel", which clearly contains language describing an event which follows a previous event. The previous event could be a reference to the angel that flew through the air and proclaimed the three woes yet to come (Revelation 8:13, King James Version - note some versions say an eagle or vulture rather than an angel flew and made this statement about the three woes yet to come), or it might refer to the angel standing at the altar in Revelation 8:1-5, or it might refer to the last of the seven trumpet angels.
The logical conclusion is that all five angels' messages occur in sequence, one after another, thereby clearly implying that the same is also true of the historical events they are associated with.
There is additional evidence to support the conclusion that things are in sequence which is given further in this web page. Therefore, the sequence present in the chapter overrides any chiastic pattern that may be present in Revelation 14.
Revelation 14 begins with a description of the 144,000. There are various interpretation of who the 144,000 are and when they exist. Evidence in Revelation 6 and 7 strongly favors that the 144,000 are those who have chosen to serve God and are living at the time of the second coming of Jesus (which indeed is future, but it is likely near enough that many of these people who will be numbered among the 144,000 are already living today in the year 2004 when this material is being written).
Here is why the author believes that the 144,000 must be those who are living for God at the time of the second coming of Jesus. The first mention of the 144,000 in Revelation is the sealing of the 144,000 in Revelation 7. This sealing occurs during the time of the 6th seal, which begins with end-time events (1798 and onward). Here is what Revelation says about the opening of the 6th seal:
Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
During the 6th seal, the last thing recorded that the wicked say is
"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? " ( Rev 6:16).
Notice that those who say these words see:
- the face of Him who sits upon the throne, and
- the wrath of the Lamb.
The lamb is a symbol of Jesus in Revelation (see Revelation 5 and John 1:36), while He who sits on the throne probably is another reference to Jesus, but could logically be God the Father (see Revelation 4 and 5). Either way, the wicked are terrified and realize they are doomed. The story context makes it clear that this event must be at the second coming of Jesus because that will be the first time that Jesus appears to all the inhabitants of earth since His return to heaven just after His crucifixion. He must appear to them, or they would NOT say the things John recorded them saying in Revelation 6, such as wanting to be hidden from the face of the Lamb (Jesus). And that is where the 6th seal ends - with the second coming of Jesus.
In these verses, you can see that these people will be terrified at the sight of Jesus' coming! And no wonder. It is a terrible sight that they will see for they will know that this is the end of the world - and their personal end as well. At this terrifying sight, they express the question: WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND?
As if in answer to this very question, Revelation 7 turns attention to the 144,000 who are sealed by God, and who are described as blameless in Revelation 14. In Revelation 7 the instruction is given that the final troubles to hit this world are to be held back by the angels of God until the 144,000 are sealed. Now, this sealing is sandwiched between the part of the vision that is explaining the events of the 6th seal, and the opening of the 7th seal. It is there to explain who will be able to stand, to answer the question asked by the people who are terrified at the coming of Jesus.
After the sealing is complete, the winds the four angels hold back will blow upon the earth, the sea, and tress. Winds in prophetic literature are symbolic of strife among people and nations (see Daniel 7 and think of the wars that allowed those empires represented by the beasts of Daniel 7 to be built). The winds in Revelation 7 correspond to the time of the 7 last plagues of Revelation 16 since they blow AFTER the 144,000 are sealed (and refer also to the time of trouble such as has never been as written in Daniel 12:1). Thus, things are presented a little out of order between Revelation 6, 7, and 8, because the last thing in Revelation 6 is the second coming of Jesus, but in 7, it backs up in time a little in order to present the answer to the question of "who shall be able to stand"?
The opening of the 7th seal appears obscure, for all that happens is silence in heaven for about half an hour. The likely explanation of what is actually happening during the seventh seal can be found by considering what happens with the preceding seal, which culminates in the second coming of Jesus. That being the case and the seventh seal must follow the completion of the sixth seal, then the seventh seal must occur after the invasion of earth by God is completed.
Thus, to explain the 7th seal event, we need to understand that this "silence in heaven" follows the 6th seal's completion. The 7th seal would logically refer to the time spent returning to heaven once the invasion of earth is successfully completed, and, as a result, there is silence in heaven, for there is no activity in heaven during this time. Normally, heaven is a very active place, so there probably are lots sounds there. Silence clearly indicates no activity, which cannot likely be explained unless there is nobody there at the time of silence. In prophetic time, half an hour would be about seven and one half days of literal time (assuming a day for a year). This suggests that for some reason, God is going to take about seven days to transport the saved to heaven. The author's best guess is that some sort of grand tour of the universe is given during this time, for it certainly does not need to take seven days to return the saved to heaven.
Some have suggested that the 7th seal is followed by silence because of the 7 trumpets that are to follow, but that is not logical. If that were true, then the trumpets would follow the second coming of Jesus and would occur while the wicked are dead and in the grave during the millennium. That would make no sense at all. So, the authors of this web site reject that suggestion.
To reiterate, the identity of the 144,000 is: The 144,000 are those who have chosen to serve God and who are alive at the second coming of Jesus. This must be so because only such a group could answer the question of who shall be able to stand?
To see evidence of whether the 144,000 is a number that is symbolic of a much larger group of people or is a literal number, click here.
Now that we know when the 144,000 exist, let us turn to the question of what is the sealing that occurs in Revelation 7.
The sealing of the 144,000 is really a question that normally is considered with material from Revelation 7, but since the 144,000 also appear in Revelation 14, it is pertinent that this question be considered here as well.
The question of what the sealing of the 144,00 represents is a serious question because those who are not sealed clearly are not saved when Jesus comes again. So, it is very important to identify what this sealing does for a person.
The sealing is not that difficult to understand, but is not exactly straightforward either. To understand it, begin with the book of Daniel. To begin, please read the following verse:
Dan 6:17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
Notice that in this verse, the king was said to seal the den by placing the mark of his signet (possibly a ring) and that of his lords so that his purposes concerning Daniel could not be changed. The Persians had a law that once a law was passed by the king, it could not be changed, which probably lent some stability to their government (though it could perpetuate bad laws, which was NOT a good thing). But this verse has several clues to the sealing in Revelation, which are:
- Daniel is the one sealed into the den by the king
- The king placed a mark upon the stone at the opening to the den because he had the authority to do so, which meant that nobody else had that authority but him,
- The seal is that of the king's, but he added that of his lords to add authority to what he did
- This mark signified that under his authority, the purpose regarding Daniel could not be reversed
Now compare that to what you read in Revelation. In Revelation 7, we read the following regarding the sealing:
Rev 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
Rev 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Rev 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
These verses tell you the following bits of information
- The seal placed is that of the king of the universe - God's seal
- The servants of God are those who are sealed
- The seal is a mark of God upon those who are His servants
- It is God who does the sealing because it is He who has the authority and power to do so
- After the sealing is complete, the winds will blow, then causing the earth, sea, and trees to be hurt.
The only thing missing here is that part of the verse in Daniel which said "that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.", which could be rephrased in Revelation to read as "that the purpose might not be changed concerning the servants of God." Now, please don't tell people that the author is creating scripture that is not there. That phrase does not exist in Revelation but I state it to make the point that this is about all that is missing. The author wrote that phrase to simply emphasize that this is all that is missing.
Do you get the point? The sealing is a process by which the servants of God are placed into a condition (like Daniel in the lions den) in which God says that His purposes concerning them cannot ever be changed again once they are sealed. Does this make sense?
But, now that you know what the sealing accomplishes, this still begs the question of "what is the sealing?"
So, to answer this question, let us again consider the story of Daniel in the lion's den. When it became obvious that the king had to place Daniel in the lion's den because of the law he had passed which could not be changed, Daniel was placed in the lion's den and then the king "sealed" it with the mark of his signet. This signet was the visible sign of the power and authority of the king to "seal" the den shut. This told everyone that nobody dared open the den. Thus, there are two components to this:
- the visible mark the king placed over the stone covering the den
- the power that enforces the mark, which was the power behind the king giving him authority to seal it
Likewise, God has power to place a seal upon His people, and to make sure there is no mistake about it, he has a visible sign or mark. Now, what is the visible mark of God and what is the power and authority which enforces the mark of God (or in other words, what powers the placement of that mark)?
To answer this last question, consider seals that are used by governments today. They typically have three things on them:
- The name of the government or ruler
- The territory they rule
- Their authority and power
What is the seal of the government of God? This question is asking what is the visible mark of the government of God, for a seal is always something that is visible on any official documents from a government, assuming they have marked it - and they usually are so marked?
Before answering this last question, let us first determine the power and authority which enforces the mark of God. Read the next few verses for the answer to who enforces the mark of God, or who is the source of power behind that mark.
Joh 6:27 Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
2Co 1:21 Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
From these verses, you should be able to see that it is God the Father or the Holy Spirit that is the source of power and authority behind the seal of God and does the sealing.
Now, what is the visible mark of the seal of God? Remember, king Darius put a visible mark on the den so that everyone would know that Daniel was to remain in there under the king's order and authority and power. So, what do we look for to know that God has placed His seal upon a person?
There is one place in the Bible where the seal of God is found, which has the three things which all governments place on their seals. That place is found in Exodus 20:8-11, which is the fourth commandment among the 10 commandments. This visible mark or seal of God is found nowhere else in the Bible. Here is what it says:
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 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:
Exo 20:11 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.
What is the name of the government or ruler in this commandment? Answer: "the LORD thy God".
What territory does He rule? Answer: "heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is" (doesn't that just about cover the entire universe?)
By what authority does he rule this? This is asking by what right does "the Lord thy God" rule this territory? Answer: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is", or in other words, He has this right because He is the creator, it all belongs to Him because He made it all.
Now, the final question is how is this the visible mark of God of the sealing by God? Well, it is visible because one will see that those who keep this commandment will honor God by setting aside the seventh day of the week in honor of creation and of God as he asks us to do in the fourth commandment. They won't substitute something else that He has NOT commanded in it's place. In this way it is the visible sign or mark of God upon the lives of these people that they are being sealed by God through His power and authority.
So, in the final analysis, the sealing is done by God the Father and the Holy Spirit, which is the power behind this process. When God works in the life in this way, the results will be that the visible mark of God is apparent to those around, which means that such a person will choose to honor God, who is the creator and wishes to be remembered that way in our daily lives, by keeping the fourth commandment at the appointed time as He requires. This will be the visible sign that God is changing our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit..But do remember that this is a result of the inward sealing work being done by the Holy Spirit.
It should also be obvious from the Bible verses quoted above that the sealing is a process that has gone on since the beginning of sin in this world. For all people prior to the last generation that will live upon this world, this sealing process ends with death, after which they cannot sin because they are dead. But for those who are the last generation to live upon this earth because Jesus comes during their lifetime, this sealing process must be completed before death. This is so because there will come a day when the investigative judgment is finished, after which there is no more forgiveness of sin (if you doubt this, consider that in Revelation 15:8 it tells us that just before the plagues begin, the temple in heaven fills with smoke from the power of God and nothing can enter the temple until after the plagues are done, which means Jesus cannot be there to be ministering forgiveness of sins during that time - hence, there can be no forgiveness of sins from the time the temple fills with smoke onward). Therefore, those who are sealed by that point will have to live through the time of final trouble that comes upon this world without sinning, for if they do, there is no possibility of forgiveness because Jesus will have finished His work in the sanctuary in heaven. These people will, like those who were sealed by death before them, have become dead to sin and have permanently and irrevocably settled into the way of life that God has placed into their hearts and minds. They will not choose to sin. Likewise, the wicked will have permanently and irrevocably settled into the way of life that Satan has chosen for them, and they too will have a seal or mark - the mark of the beast or of his image! And these people will have a visible mark of his authority, which will be Sunday observance. His power will be enforced by threat of death from the state if you dare to disobey.
Are you being sealed by the power and authority of God? Do you display that visible mark of the sealing of God? Or is Satan busy sealing your life and fate? The decision is entirely yours to make.
After John sees the 144,000, he then sees a series of three angels who fly through the "midst of heaven" and have the everlasting gospel to deliver to the world. To understand the symbolism of flying, consider that in comparison to human movement on foot, birds move rapidly by flying. Therefore, the action of flying would suggest rapid movement or rapid progress of this message through the world.
Now, it is true that the three angels do not themselves give the gospel message to the world, for they are actually symbols of people spreading these messages on earth. So, they represent the message to be delivered in these last days, and probably represent that real angels help empower it's delivery. Their message can be summarized as follows:
- Worship God. Why? Because
- the hour of His judgment has come (a reference to the investigative
judgment that is ongoing during the giving of this message), and
- He is the creator of all things (this is also an indirect reference to
the commandment to worship on the Sabbath day, for only that commandment
speaks of His creative power and as the creator of all that exists, and of
God's ownership of all that exists).
- the hour of His judgment has come (a reference to the investigative judgment that is ongoing during the giving of this message), and
- Babylon has fallen. Why?
Because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication. The reference to fornication is a means of expressing the idea
that church and state have gotten together, a relationship God does not
approve of (see Revelation 17 and think about the woman, representing the
church, fornicating with the kings of the earth, symbols of the leaders of the
nations). But, it creates a state of anger (wrath) because it, like wine, has
an intoxicating property to it. This anger will lead the churches and nations
to do things that are wrong, things which God does not approve of and will
ultimately bring His displeasure and disapproval down upon them in the form of
the seven last plagues.
- Finally, those who worship the beast or his image, or receive his mark, will receive the seven last plagues AND be tortured with fire and brimstone. The most severe punishment threatened in the Bible is contained in this message, so God means for it to be very carefully listened to. It is vitally important for a person's survival and to avoid terrible consequences that are coming in the future to those who don't listen to God about this.
A quick summary of these messages could be:
- Worship God,
- Babylon is toast, and
- If you don't get (1) and (2), you will worship the beast or his image or receive his mark. Then, you're toast too!
Note that the first and third angels' messages are delivered with a "loud voice" (Revelation 14:7,9). The second angel's message is the only message of the five angels' messages that is not delivered with a loud voice.
The messages of these three angels will be preached until the end of this world's history, for they have the gospel to preach to the whole world for the last days. There is no other message more pertinent to these times just before Jesus comes. Just as in the days of Noah there was a special message to be preached for his time, and as in the days of Jesus there was a special message to be preached, so there is a special message to be preached in these last days that is unique to this age. The three angels' messages are first, last, and always the message for these times. Modifications of the three angels' messages constitute the core of the fourth and fifth angels' messages that will be proclaimed in the near future (as of August of 2004 when this paragraph is being edited). This does not preclude teaching about the life and death of Jesus, for that is always the central issue in salvation and must be taught. But the three angels' messages are the paramount issue for this age because of the urgency of letting people know that what is about to transpire will have a profound effect on their own future. Nothing could be more pertinent than making them aware of these events. Thus, the three angels' messages are of highest priority.
Because the fourth and fifth angels' messages are really reiterations, modifications, and reemphasis of the first three angels' messages or parts of them, it is imperative that these three messages must be thoroughly understood.
With this, we will commence the study of the three angels' messages.
The First Angel's Message
The first angel's message is that we are to worship God because the hour of his judgment has come and he is the creator. This could not refer to the judgment execution at hell, for we know that would not save anyone. John tells us that these messages are the gospel for the world so they have to have saving potential and therefore must be delivered on earth before all opportunity for salvation has closed. So, this should tell us that this must refer to the investigative judgment which takes place before Jesus comes the second time. Therefore, we should be able to look into history and find that this message of the first angel began to be preached about the time the investigative judgment began, which started in 1844 at the end of the 2300 days of prophecy as given in Daniel 8:14. And the facts of history do bear this out, for we can find that in the mid 1840s, there were people who began to preach this message.
In addition, this message is one which calls man back to the worship of God as the creator of all that is. This message should be a reminder of the claim that God has upon our lives as our creator. As creator, he owns the universe because He made it. This should also remind us that He asks to meet with us weekly in worship of Him on the seventh-day Sabbath that He originally created, which has never been set aside by God's command anywhere in the Bible. Thus, this message is sweeping in it's claims upon our lives. God claims one day of our week, the seventh day, as time we are to use to spend with him.
The Second Angel's Message
The second angel tells us that Babylon is fallen because it "made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication". This, at a fundamental level, is telling us that Babylon falls because she convinces the nations to mix church and state (see Revelation 17 and think about the woman, representing the church, fornicating with the kings of the earth, who are symbolic of the leaders of the nations), and this creates a state of anger among the nations because of the intoxicating effect this has upon them. Mixing church and state creates a relationship whereby the church substitutes the power and authority of the state for that of God, something that God definitely does not approve of. Such behavior is not an act of faith, but rather one of faithlessness. Is that the direction the church should go? Of course not! It is the exact opposite of what it should do. It should always place it's faith in Jesus and base it's authority in God, not the state. Any time the church appeals to the state to enforce it's beliefs, it has stepped away from God and directly into the hand of Satan, for it is committing an act of faithlessness that God calls fornication.
God always gives freedom to do both right or to do evil. If you don't believe that, consider the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve choose evil by believing Satan, who was talking through the serpent, instead of believing God. God could have stopped her hand as she reached out for the forbidden fruit, but He did NOT do that. So, He does allow us to choose evil as well as good. We have the God given right to choose evil if that is what we really want. He will help us choose right and will do all that He can to encourage us to choose good instead. If we choose evil, He will allow the natural consequences of doing evil to eventually come upon us, which is death. But He always gives us that freedom. Any power that says we cannot do that is working on the side of Satan, for it is Satan that forces. Anyone who says you have no right to choose evil is working on the side of Satan. You do have that right, but please choose good instead. You'll be glad you did - and so will everyone else.
Thus, when we see the churches seek the power and authority of the state to enforce it's will and beliefs upon the people in a nation, we can then know that Babylon has indeed fallen completely. Babylon is defined in the Bible and history as the Papal Church, but at the end of this world's history, it will include her daughters as well, the Protestant Churches that have apostatized. So, when these churches obtain laws from the state enforcing their will upon people, know that Babylon has indeed completely fallen and this prophecy will have reached it's final fulfillment. This movement of church and state will spread so as to eventually include the whole world in the last days of this world's history.
Babylon had fallen before during the 1260 days/years of prophetic time, but it did not then include the Protestant Churches. As we approach the final days of earth's history, this situation will change. Then, when it completes it's fall, all churches in Babylon will have rejected God's way of doing things. At that point in time, we will see the churches relying upon the power of the state to enforce their will upon people. This will be a sign to those who are aware of the meaning of this event that it is time to get out NOW or the plagues will come upon them soon.
The Third Angel's Message
The third angel's message is the most serious message in the Bible, for it threatens the most severe punishment in the Bible for those who fail to take note of it's message. This message is that those who worship the beast or his image, or receive the mark of the beast or his image, will receive the wine of the wrath of God (the seven last plagues) AND will be tormented by fire and brimstone (hell - see Revelation 20:9-10. We can know from Revelation 20:9 that this torment will continue until they are totally destroyed, never to exist again (it does say they are devoured, which makes it clear that destruction is complete). Revelation 14:11 tells us that this torment will be without rest, and since they will be destroyed eventually, it must continue without rest until destruction is complete. Thus, their destruction is perpetual for all of eternity. They will never exist again and the last conscious awareness they will have is of that fire that they cannot put out which is taking their life.
This sounds like a terrible choice. In the last days, one is beset by threat of death from the state if one does NOT worship the beast or his image or receive his mark (Revelation 13:15-17), and on the other by God who threatens with the warning of the third angel's message! This could be compared to people who are in a burning building and choose to jump out the window to their death rather than die in the fire. The whole world was witness to many who did just that when the World Trade Centers were destroyed in New York City in 2001. With a choice like that in the last days of earth's history, what is a person to do? How can a person face such a situation and go through with making the right choice?
At least part of the answer is found in the following verses in Revelation 14:
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.
These two verses indirectly tells you that the saints of God will be aware of the following:
- God can resurrect a person from the grave for eternal life, something that
Satan cannot do. So, Satan can promise the easy way out but he cannot deliver
eternal life, nor can he resurrect the dead. Satan cannot resurrect a person
from the grave for eternal life because he does not have creative power. Satan
may fake a resurrection, but he cannot recreate life in a dead body once decay
has set in. So, if a person dies at the hands of the state during these last
days and it is because of their faith in Jesus and obedience to His commands,
that person will be resurrected by God to eternal life, something that Satan
can never do and cannot take away from a person once they are dead.
- God also promises that those who work for the state and the churches,
which will be running the show from behind the scenes, in executing punishment
against the people of God, will themselves be very severely punished in the
end. This tells us that God will bring about retribution for all the evil done
against anyone for their stand on God's side. And this retribution will be
terrible for it will be a double portion of what they gave out (see Revelation
- There may be martyrs in the last days of this world's history, but each one will result in more people joining in on God's side, so their deaths will not be in vain, but will instead result in good.
Those people who keep the commandments of God in spite of the threats against them will do so because they know the reward they will receive later, and they know the reward that awaits those who may threaten them or maybe even torture or kill them. And they know it will result in more people saved in heaven. Therefore, some will yield up their lives for the greater good of others in the last days.
This is something that can only be done by someone who REALLY trusts Jesus to keep his word. They have got to know him well so that they can go through with whatever awaits them, knowing that Jesus will resurrect them to eternal life when he comes again. This means they have found righteousness by faith in Jesus and a trust in God that cannot be shaken by anything. They know their lives are fully prepared for heaven by their faith in Jesus.
But of course, the real question is HOW DO I AVOID THE MARK OF THE BEAST OR OF HIS IMAGE?
If you really want to know the answer to that, go back and read the section titled "What Is the Sealing of the 144,000?" Note that it is true that God has his mark, and so does Satan. This mark of Satan is to be avoided at all costs for it is the mark of the beast or his image and will result in eternal loss if you have it.
But there are two more angels with messages that John sees next, the fourth and fifth angels. These do not fly in the sky like the first three angels.
For the fourth angel, John is first shown a man with a sickle who is sitting on a cloud and is described as looking like the "Son of Man", a term used in the Bible to describe Jesus (see for example Matthew 8:20 and Daniel 7:13), so we can consider this man to be Jesus. Another angel then comes out of the temple and tells Jesus to thrust in His sickle and reap the harvest, for it is ready. Jesus does so, and the harvest is reaped.
A little further down this page the author will discuss the meaning of this cloud scene, but first the issue of what the cloud itself represents will be discussed.
The Cloud - What Does it mean?
The cloud is of interest, for it can be cross-referenced to Daniel 7:13, which says:
Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
This section of Daniel 7 is dealing with the investigative judgment, so it appears that Jesus is being brought near to the Father by clouds as part of the beginning of the investigative judgment. Thus, the cloud itself can be symbolic of the investigative judgment in Revelation 14 and Daniel 7 (it certainly is associated with it, and by definition, a symbol is something that is associated with something else). Note that in Revelation 14, it is not a moving cloud. It is just sitting there and He is merely sitting upon it. So, He is not going anywhere. This is important because a moving cloud brought Jesus into the place of the investigative judgment, so the fact that it is NOT MOVING could indicate that the investigative judgment is still going on and Jesus is not going anywhere.
It is interesting that in Revelation 10, an angel comes down from heaven and
is clothed with a cloud. It seems very probable that this angel is Jesus,
- He is clothed with a cloud,
- He has a rainbow over his head like that over the throne (Revelation 4:3),
- He has an open scroll in his hand (and remember that in Revelation 5, only
Jesus was found worthy to open the scroll with the seals which suggests it is
He who has this little scroll and has opened it),
- His general description is similar to that given of Jesus in Revelation 1:12-16)..
Now, what is interesting is that in this scene in Revelation 10 the cloud is moving with Him, unlike in Revelation 14 where the cloud is NOT moving. But why would it be moving here? The answer to that is in the timing of Revelation 10 (and what He is doing at the time - moving around). The story of Revelation 10 is placed just a little before 1844, shortly before the investigative judgment of God began, and running to just shortly after the beginning of the investigative judgment in 1844. This is indicated because it seems to suggest that the 7th angel has not yet sounded his trumpet and yet it also says that "time should be no longer", which means that definite prophetic time was about to end (which stopped with the end of the 2300 days in 1844). So, this means that Jesus had not yet been picked up by the cloud and taken before the Father to begin the investigative judgment. Thus, this cloud could move around with Jesus at this time until the judgment began, after which time it would probably not be moving much because Jesus would remain in one place most of the time until the judgment is finished. Daniel 7 tells us that thrones were placed, so it appears that He sits on his throne while the investigative judgment is progressing.
Note another place where clouds are associated with Jesus. A cloud was associated with Jesus when He returned to heaven after His crucifixion. Note the following verses:
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
In Matthew 24, Jesus said that he would be coming with the clouds of heaven when he returns for the second time (and note that then it will be a moving cloud). Here are the verses:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Note that these two verses not only tell us that clouds are associated with Jesus, but also heaven, for it says he is "coming in the clouds of heaven". This clearly associates clouds with heaven. And it can also be taken that the clouds of heaven are associated with his second coming. It is a moving cloud because he says he is "coming in the clouds of heaven" which is an active scene with lots of motion to it. His second coming is an event with lots of motion to it, and therefore, it cannot be with a cloud that is not moving.
As you can plainly see, the presence of a cloud with an "angel" tells us the following:
- the cloud is associated with the presence of Jesus
- the cloud is associated with the investigative judgment
- whether it is moving or not tells us something about what He may be doing
- the cloud can be symbolic of heaven itself
- the cloud can also be symbolic of the second coming of Jesus - as long as it is a moving cloud
Is the Cloud Scene the Second Coming of Jesus?
Based on the story context of Revelation 14, Jesus is sitting on the cloud AFTER the three angels' messages have been given - but note this does not mean the three angels' messages are finished yet.
There are two common hypotheses of how the cloud scene and the grape harvest scene should be interpreted. These are:
- First hypothesis:
- The cloud scene is the second coming of Jesus. This is based on the
- Jesus said he would come back in the clouds of heaven ( Matthew
24:30), so there are those who see any vision of Him sitting on a cloud as
a reference to the second coming of Jesus.
- There are statements Jesus made in which He compared the harvest to the removal of the saved from this earth at His second coming. See Matthew 13:36-43 and Mark 4:26-29.
- Jesus said he would come back in the clouds of heaven ( Matthew 24:30), so there are those who see any vision of Him sitting on a cloud as a reference to the second coming of Jesus.
The grape harvest then must be the treading of the winepress of the wrath of God at the second coming immediately after the saved are removed from the earth as recorded in Revelation 19:15, or else must be hell. This is so because these angels must occur in sequence and the grape harvest scene is described as coming after the cloud scene, which these folks define as the second coming of Jesus.
This fails to take into consideration that the wrath of God is also said to be the seven last plagues and so should include all of them. That creates a sequence problem, of course, because that places the start of the fourth angel after the fifth angels has started to do his work. Those who believe this way ignore this problem. Another problem is that the order at the second coming in which the saved are removed from this earth and the wicked destroyed is not clearly delineated in scripture. It appears from the Bible that these are simultaneous events, so how can one legitimately say that one event precedes the other when they are clearly teaching they are simultaneous? Again, those who believe this way ignore this problem also, though it might be a minor problem.
- The cloud scene is the second coming of Jesus. This is based on the following facts:
- Second hypothesis (the author favors this hypothesis):
- The cloud scene is the harvest of people into the church before the
beginning of the seven last plagues. This is based on the following
- There is no movement of this cloud, which would suggest that this
cloud scene is not the second coming. Jesus described his second coming as
very bright, very loud, and evidently with lots of speed and motion.
See Matthew 24:27, 30-31; Revelation 1:7. Revelation 6:14-17 and
Revelation 19:11-21 for descriptions of the second coming. These
descriptions are full of movement, power, speed, and very loud events,
unlike the description of the cloud scene in Revelation 14. This should be
a clue that the cloud scene is a different event.
- A cloud that does not move that is associated with Jesus suggests
that the investigative
judgment is still going on. As mentioned before, the cloud is
mentioned in association with Jesus in Daniel 7:13, where it picks Him up
and takes Him before God the Father, evidently at the beginning of the
investigative judgment. There he apparently takes his place on one of the
thrones while the investigative judgment is going on (remember it says
thrones, the plural word form, are set in place and God takes his seat on
one of them, then Jesus arrives, so it is logical that he too would take a
throne, leaving him sitting on his throne and generally not moving around
much so far as we know). Note also that in Daniel 12:1, it says the
Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.Many have argued that "Michael" in Daniel 12:1 is an angel and is not Jesus, but there is evidence that this individual is indeed Jesus. Consider the following:
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.
- Daniel 7:9 says that "thrones were cast down,
and the Ancient of days did sit". With more than one throne
having been placed, it is logical that when Jesus arrives shortly after
to participate in the judgment process(Daniel 7:13), he too takes his
place on one of the thrones that are placed for the judgment that is to
take place. It does not say that He does take a seat, but then why place
thrones? Only one throne would then be needed, and yet more than one
throne is placed.
- Thrones are for kings, and as God is the king in this judgment, it
is His right to take the thrones. It does not mention that others take
the thrones, but it is logical that only divine beings occupy the
- Then, when the Bible says later that "And at
that time shall Michael stand up", who would it be referring
to but Jesus? Daniel makes no other reference to anyone else having sat
down in the entire book except for God the father. It seems illogical to
say that "Michael" is God the Father
since it indicates that this person is our representative (something we
know Jesus does now as our high priest in heaven - and NOT God the
Father), so the only other one mentioned who could have sat down is the
"one like the Son of man" (Daniel
7:13), who is Jesus.
- What possible significance would there be for an ordinary angel to stand up? None that the author can conceive!
Thus, Micheal must be another name for Jesus.
What it all boils down to is that the cloud does not move, which would suggest that this is not the second coming that is being depicted but rather the time of the investigative judgment.
- Daniel 7:9 says that "thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit". With more than one throne having been placed, it is logical that when Jesus arrives shortly after to participate in the judgment process(Daniel 7:13), he too takes his place on one of the thrones that are placed for the judgment that is to take place. It does not say that He does take a seat, but then why place thrones? Only one throne would then be needed, and yet more than one throne is placed.
- The fourth angel's message initiates the action of the harvest. This
means that this angel's message has everything to do with the action that
follows. The three angels' spoke (in other words, their message from the
Bible was understood) and after they did, their message was delivered to
the world. Likewise, the angel speaks in the cloud scene as well - and
loudly too which suggests it is widely heard on earth. If it is heard only
in heaven, then why tell us about this message? There might be a reason
but that seems unlikely. The loud voice suggests that just like the three
angels' messages, this too is heard on earth. There is a message that is
to be delivered on earth.
IF the cloud scene is the second coming, then this event would be out of sequence with the three angels' messages because the message of the second coming of Jesus was in fact preached before the three angels' messages. The second coming of Jesus was preached by William Miller, for example, in the Northeastern United States starting in 1831, but there is evidence that no significant preaching of the three angels' messages occurred until about the mid 1840s. Thus, these events recorded in Revelation 14 would be out of order with historical events on earth IF the cloud scene is the second coming of Jesus. Clearly, that cannot be. The order of events on earth must be the order in which the messages are delivered to the world because the order of the angels represents the order in which the messages are understood and then preached on earth. Therefore, there is a problem with the hypothesis that the cloud scene is the second coming, for the facts don't fit the hypothesis.
- The symbolism of the harvest was applied by Jesus himself to more
than one event. He did apply the harvest to the second coming, but He
also applied it to the harvest of people by bringing them into the church
through preaching the gospel to them. Here is what Jesus said about
Mat 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
Thus, we cannot necessarily conclude that the cloud scene of Revelation 14 is a reference to the second coming. It may be and it may not be on the basis of this evidence alone. Other evidence, such as the sequence of events and their temporal relation to one another must be brought in to determine the identity of the event.
- It makes sense that the 3 angels' messages will continue to grow in
power as the end approaches. But it appears that the three angels'
messages are repeated as we approach the end, especially the second
angel's message. This is explained by the message of the angel at the
beginning of Revelation 18, where he says the following (which is nearly
identical with the second angel's message):
Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
- When Jesus comes the second time, the Bible tells us that He will
have a trumpet in hand. Here is the verse that tells us this fact:
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Another verse that tells us nearly the same thing is:
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Who sends the angels with the "great sound of a trumpet"? Jesus.
Therefore, Jesus has a trumpet in hand when He comes again.
But notice that in Revelation 14:14, there is no trumpet mentioned by John in the cloud scene! He did notice that Jesus was wearing a gold crown and had a sickle in hand, but no trumpet was mentioned. Why? Did he miss something? I don't think that very probable. His description seems quite complete. More likely, this scene is representative of a different event and consequently is not the second coming at all.
- There is no movement of this cloud, which would suggest that this cloud scene is not the second coming. Jesus described his second coming as very bright, very loud, and evidently with lots of speed and motion. See Matthew 24:27, 30-31; Revelation 1:7. Revelation 6:14-17 and Revelation 19:11-21 for descriptions of the second coming. These descriptions are full of movement, power, speed, and very loud events, unlike the description of the cloud scene in Revelation 14. This should be a clue that the cloud scene is a different event.
- The grape harvest scene is the seven last plagues, culminating in the
destruction of the wicked at the second coming of Jesus. This would
naturally follow the sequence of events present in the chapter. This is
likely the case because:
- The grapes are first harvested, then gathered, and finally tread in
the winepress of the wrath of God (Revelation 14:20). Immediately
following that statement in Revelation 14 is the description in Revelation
15 and 16 of the wrath of God - the seven last plagues - which strongly
argues that these define the wrath of God. Revelation 19:15 makes
reference to Jesus treading the winepress of the wrath of God, which
occurs at the second coming of Jesus. We know the second coming is the
final culmination of the seven last plagues that destroys all who have
chosen sin as their way of life who remain alive when Jesus comes. The
wrath of God is the death and destruction that occurs as a result of the
seven last plagues and from the second coming of Jesus. Thus, the crushing
of the grapes begins with the beginning of the seven last plagues. The
connection of the grape harvest to the seven last plagues cannot be
ignored as it is too obvious.
- The grapes are tread outside the city. This could be the literal
new Jerusalem, in which case this scene is indeed referring to
hell. But it is much more likely to be a symbolic new Jerusalem
rather than literal. In this case, it would represent the city
of believers in a manner similar to the reference to the city in
Revelation 11:13, which is a reference to the city of believers
who are part of the city of symbolic Babylon. If the city in Revelation
14 is symbolic of the true followers of God, then this does not
force one to believe that this is a hell scene. Believing that
this is symbolic of the believers would be consistent with the idea
that the grape harvest scene is a reference to the seven last plagues.
This does not rule out this event being the destruction of sinners at the second coming, but it certainly strongly suggests that this scene is not hell.
- Revelation 15:1 says the seven last plagues "completed the anger of God" (Literal Translation
Version). This would suggest that after this anger is done, there are no
more sinners remaining alive on earth. This also suggests that the wrath
of God is not only the destruction of the sinners by the second coming of
Jesus, but includes the process of the seven last plagues for both of
these will destroy sinners completely. The wrath of God is destruction and
death. The evidence for this is the fact that when Jesus comes, He is said
to tread the winepress of the wrath of God also (Revelation 19:15). The
remainder of Revelation 19 explains this by telling us that all not taken
to heaven will die at the second coming.
- The grapes are first harvested, then gathered, and finally tread in the winepress of the wrath of God (Revelation 14:20). Immediately following that statement in Revelation 14 is the description in Revelation 15 and 16 of the wrath of God - the seven last plagues - which strongly argues that these define the wrath of God. Revelation 19:15 makes reference to Jesus treading the winepress of the wrath of God, which occurs at the second coming of Jesus. We know the second coming is the final culmination of the seven last plagues that destroys all who have chosen sin as their way of life who remain alive when Jesus comes. The wrath of God is the death and destruction that occurs as a result of the seven last plagues and from the second coming of Jesus. Thus, the crushing of the grapes begins with the beginning of the seven last plagues. The connection of the grape harvest to the seven last plagues cannot be ignored as it is too obvious.
- The cloud scene is the harvest of people into the church before the beginning of the seven last plagues. This is based on the following facts:
It appears to the author that the predominance of the evidence would favor the hypothesis that the cloud scene is the harvest of people into the church just before the end of the investigative judgment, and that the grape harvest scene is the death and destruction of the seven last plagues, culminating in the death of all remaining sinners when Jesus comes again. For this reason, the author will accept this hypothesis as the correct explanation of the cloud scene and the grape harvest scene.
Let's Analyze the Harvest
We see in Revelation that the angel speaks to Jesus and He puts His sickle in and reaps a harvest. Let us consider what happens here in careful detail. Here, Jesus does something, and the result is the final harvest. The angel first delivers his message in heaven, and then his words are followed by an action on earth. But this is like the three angels' messages. They symbolically fly in mid heaven and proclaim their messages. This is followed by an action on earth in which these messages are preached to the world, for history shows that once these messages were understood to apply to the time of the end, there were people who began to preach these messages.
But when the fourth angel comes along, the work of spreading the gospel message will largely be finished as a result of his message. How is it that this happens at this point in time? What difference does this angel's message make that causes the work to be finished? And why is it finished at this point in time when it was not finished before? What difference is there in this message that causes the work of spreading the gospel to be finished?
You may rightfully ask why this would be the case because the gospel has been preached for more than 160 years since the end of all prophesied time (1844 was the last specific prophesied date in the Bible). Think carefully about this for a minute, if you will, and perhaps you can understand why this must be understood.
The three angels' messages are the final message for earth in these last days. That message has been given for many years by many all over the world. Because the three angels' messages are the message for these last days, there are no other gospel messages to be given to the world. Yet, with this activity of giving these messages having gone on for many years, the work has not been finished. The gospel has not yet gone to the entire world. This final harvest is different because the work will be finished. Jesus did say, did He not, that "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Mat 24:14)? Therefore, the gospel will go the the entire world before the end comes. And this fourth angel must somehow instigate this final delivery of the gospel, because after that the warning of the seven last plagues occurs, followed by the end of the investigative judgment, follow by the seven last plagues, followed by the second coming. Thus, the work has to be done before the investigative judgment ends because once that work is done, nobody can be saved after that point in time.
Logically, something must happen to motivate this activity on earth to complete the work. This must be so because of the evidence that the work is largely completed during the time of the fourth angel. So, part of this angel's message must somehow involve a motivational factor that in some way causes people to go to extraordinary lengths to finish the work and bring it to completion. But because there is no other gospel message to be preached to the world other than the three angels' messages, this message must also involve the three angels' messages as well.
But what message does this fourth angel represent that gives this motivation? What kind of counterpart message is given here on earth? When the fourth angel speaks to Jesus, he mentions that the earth is ripe for harvest. This means the following must be true:
- It helps prepare a group of people to deliver the three angels' messages
here on earth.
- Somehow it motivates them to do this work with great power and wakes them
out of their lethargy.
- It seems logical that the message he delivers somehow prepares people to
be willing to listen to the three angels' messages
- Jesus Himself takes charge of this final harvest, so we know that He will do all that can be done to help the people who are the "harvesters" finish the work. He will give them all the assistance they need to do the job.
The action of speaking in a loud voice is symbolic of the idea that the message an angel speaks is widely heard, for when you speak softly, one, or only a few nearby will hear. But if you speak in a loud voice, it can be heard over a wide area (and by many if they happen to be around). Does this make sense?
Revelation 14:15 says that when this fourth angels tells Jesus that it is time to reap the harvest, he says this in a loud voice, just like the messages of angels number one and three are given (the second angel's message is not spoken in a loud voice - you don't believe me? Go read it for yourself in Revelation 14), so this type of action might also suggest that his message is widely heard, just as two of the three angels' messages are widely heard previously. The fourth angel's message is not a quiet message delivered only to Jesus. Many hear it and it has an effect that is very powerful. The world will never have seen anything like this before.
Notice that it is Jesus who does the reaping of the final harvest, not an angel. Remember these are symbols, so this is symbolic of something that Jesus may actually do in heaven that directly affects those who live on earth, which is what the reaping of the earth would symbolize. He does this while also conducting the investigative judgment in heaven. Further, the cloud can be symbolic of heaven itself, which would suggest WHERE Jesus is when he carries out this action. Jesus has been given all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18), so it would appear that in this final harvest, He is leaving nothing undone to make sure it is done with the greatest of power that can be brought to bear and He takes personal charge of this final work. He does not leave it to the angels to complete this work. And being the final harvest, it makes sense that this final message would have great power to effect the final work of bringing people to a decision for or against God for the last time.
The fourth angel's message does not stand alone or apart from the three angels' messages, for theirs is the everlasting gospel that must be preached - first, last, and always in these last days of earth's history. This fact never changes throughout the entire time represented in the angels of Revelation 14.
History Shows Us a Parallel to Help Us
Understand the Type of
Motivating Message to Expect from the Fourth Angel
What kind of message would have the motivating effect of the fourth angel? This is an important question because there have been people preaching the three angels' messages since the 1840s, and yet the work of giving the gospel (which Revelation 14 defines as the three angels' messages) to the whole world is not yet done. Much work remains to be done, so, obviously something very significant must happen to finish the work. Those doing the final work must be very strongly motivated to finish it. So, it is compelling that we try to find out what motivates the giving of the fourth angel's message at the end.
It is known that the current time period of history is the time during which God is doing his investigative judgment in heaven. The beginning of the investigative judgment was preceded by a great religious awakening that was worldwide in scope. This began happening during the early 1830s and continued into the mid 1840s. During this time there were people all over the world preaching that Jesus was going to come in 1844. Considerable interest and excitement built up as this event preceded.
Of course, the real event that God was trying to bring people to understand was the beginning of the investigative judgment. He also wanted to start a movement that would grow until it would culminate in delivery of the final message to the world just before Jesus comes again. It makes sense that as conditions were in the 1830s and 1840s, so it might again be just before the close of the investigative judgment. In other words, since there was a religious awakening in the 1830s and 1840s that preceded the beginning of the investigative judgment, so there will likely be another religious awakening just before the judgment is to close. World events will likely ly precipitate this religious awakening. So, logically, perhaps we can learn something of what will likely happen to motivate the giving of the final message to the world based on what happened the first time around in the 1830s and 1840s. After all, it makes sense that since God brought attention to the beginning of the investigative judgment, so it seems very likely that He would bring attention to the end of it as well. So, with that, let us delve into some of the history of what happened in the 1830s and 1840s during that religious awakening and see if we cannot draw some lessons of what will happen in the future.
In 1831, a farmer who lived in the Northeastern United States by the name of William Miller, was invited to share his understanding of Bible prophecy that he had gained from a number of years of careful Bible study. He had felt the urge to share this message for a long time but was quite hesitant to do so as he was not a man given to public appearances. But with the invitation, he felt compelled to share what he know. This began a process that continued until 1844 in which he preached that Jesus was coming in about 1843. William Miller misunderstood the prophecy so that he thought Jesus would come in 1843, but in actuality, His message, though unknown to him, would lead to an understanding of the Investigative Judgment in heaven. Eventually it was realized that the 1843 date was incorrectly calculated, and the date was reset for the fall of 1844. The result was the right date but the wrong event expected for that date.
Of course, when Jesus did not appear in 1844, this resulted in what became known as the Great Disappointment of 1843-1844. Miller admitted that he was wrong and stopped preaching. He died a few years afterwards.
If you would like to read an online book about William Miller and his views of prophecy in detail, click here. For a short history of the William Miller and the Millerite experience in the 1830s and 1840s, click here
What was the problem with Miller's understanding that he had the wrong event but the right date? The prophecy he based his calculation on for determining the second coming of Jesus was Daniel 8:13-14, which says:
Dan 8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spoke, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
Dan 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
He considered the beginning of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:13-14 and the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 to be the same date (which is correct for the 70 weeks is "cut off" from a longer time period and there is no other longer time to "cut off" the 70 weeks from than the 2300 days). He dated the beginning of the 2300 days by Ussher's Chronology as 457 B.C. He was correct in this dating as the beginning date of 457 B.C. has been substantiated since that time. He also considered prophetic days to be symbolic of years in most instances of prophetic literature of Daniel and Revelation, which is correct also.
Here is the core of the problem. It was commonly believed in William Miller's day that the sanctuary to be cleansed in Daniel 8:14 was the earth itself. Religious scholars of the day knew that the earthly sanctuary was no more for it had been destroyed by the Romans almost 1800 years before. But they never considered that the original sanctuary, from which Moses was told to make a pattern for the earthly sanctuary, was a sanctuary in heaven, and that it was the sanctuary IN HEAVEN that was to be cleansed.
There is a sanctuary in heaven, even if you didn't know it. Here is evidence for that:
Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Where was the ark of the testament kept by the Israelites? Answer: In the earthly sanctuary in the most holy compartment where the presence of God was manifested above the ark of the testament. In the verse quoted above, John says he saw the ark of God's testament in His temple (obviously in heaven), which would have been the original ark of the testament that Moses patterned the earthly one after. So, this is like one of the furnishings of the earthly sanctuary which we know was patterned after the heavenly sanctuary. Therefore, we can conclude that there is an ark of the testament that God has in heaven just like the one here on earth had one when it existed. It does not seem at all likely that this ark seen in heaven is purely symbolic, for John says he clearly saw it. The only symbolic value it has in Revelation 11 is as a symbol of the presence of God. But, because we know that Moses was told to pattern the earthly sanctuary after the one in heaven, this means there should be some sort of ark of the testament in heaven. So, if John saw it, and Moses patterned the earthly one after it, it is reasonable to conclude that there really is an ark of the testament in heaven. It is real.
Logically then, the verse in Daniel 8:14 speaks of the sanctuary in heaven that was to be cleansed, for it would contain the record of all that man has done and from which all who have ever claimed Christ as their Savior are being judged, and from which all others will be judged in the future (see Daniel 7:9, Revelation 11:18-19, Leviticus 16, Revelation 20:12-13). But neither Miller nor his associates ever considered to think of the heavenly sanctuary being the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days. Not even his critics considered this idea.
Because people in Miller's day thought that the earth itself was to be cleansed, this meant that when Miller determined the approximate date for the end of the 2300 days, he and others believed that Jesus would come then and the earth would be cleansed of sin by fire. Miller and others never considered that this interpretation was wrong.
In the days of Jesus, his disciples very badly misunderstood his mission on earth. Even up until the time he left for heaven, they were asking Him when He would set up His kingdom on earth among the other earthly kingdoms (see Acts 1:6). They did not understand, even with plain instructions from Jesus, that He was NOT going to do that. Instead, when He returns, all earthly kingdoms will be dissolved and Jesus will set up His own kingdom, first in heaven, and later, after hell, on earth. And it will never be destroyed. Eventually, it appears the disciples of Jesus did begin to understand to some degree that what they hoped for would not happen.
The disciples failed to properly understand because they had erroneous preconceived ideas that got in the way of the real truth. This is a common problem and they certainly were not unique in doing this. People today do this all the time. The author himself has found that he has sometimes failed to understand real truth because of preconceived ideas, and once those are dropped, the real truth becomes easy and natural to understand. Preconceived ideas are not necessarily bad, for they can prevent ready acceptance of falsehood. But, in the case of the disciples of Jesus, they were not a good thing because they prevented understanding the real truth when Jesus presented it to them. So, the difficulty is in recognizing that one has preconceived ideas in the first place, and in the second place, one must determine whether those ideas are correct or not. Only then, if they are incorrect, should one drop them. Obviously this requires a willingness to reexamine one's beliefs from time to time to be absolutely certain that one has the truth as best one can determine it.
Do understand - real truth will always come back and bite you if you don't follow it. For example, you may choose not to believe in gravity, but try jumping off a cliff and levitating! You know levitation won't happen because you will simply fall to the ground below and you will die. Thus, the truth will bite you if you fail to follow it. There are ALWAYS CONSEQUENCES for turning away from truth. But, one has to know the real truth first.
Likewise, in William Miller's day, preconceived ideas prevented the people of that time from understanding that they had made a mistake about the event that was soon to occur. Consequently, they set themselves up for a big disappointment when the Lord did not appear on schedule. But, the real event, the beginning of the investigative judgment, did begin on time in heaven, just as predicted. We know this to be true because the prophecy says it started on the appointed date. But it is true that nothing visible happened on earth in 1844 which told the inhabitants that the judgment had started in heaven. God does keep His word, so we can trust that it happened as scheduled. Eventually people began to understand this, which explained to them why things had not turned out like they hoped.
However, do understand that the Great Disappointment of the mid 1840s was actually predicted in Revelation 10. This helps because once the prophecies regarding this are understood, it becomes clear that God knew about this ahead of time and predicted it would happen. For an explanation of Revelation 10, click here (this will take you to another website but the explanation there is well done).
But what motivated the giving of Miller's message during this time? Several factors entered into creating this motivation:
- People wanted to be ready for Jesus to come, for it meant the end of sin,
sickness, and death, and eternal life for those ready
- People were shocked to learn that prophecy was true when Josiah Litch's prediction regarding the Ottoman Empire came true. This was based on a prophecy found in the book of Revelation. This had the effect of greatly empowering the spreading of Miller's message (Great Controversy, E.G. White, 1911 edition, Pages 334-335)
In 1838, Josiah Litch, who was a minister that preached William Miller's message in the 1830s and 1840s, was studying the trumpets of Revelation 8 through 11, and determined the ending date for the 6th trumpet, which he calculated to be during the month of August of 1840. The 6th trumpet was seen as symbolic of the Muslim invasions and domination of parts of Europe that had been going on for centuries.
The Ottoman Empire, which carried out these invasions, by the early 1800s had been in decline for some time. The beginning of this decline was marked by the second failed siege of Vienna in 1683, and continued downward from there (information from Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004 computer version, taken from an article titled Reign of Süleyman I, from Islamic World). By the 1830s, the Ottoman Empire was at war with forces from Egypt who were invading it's territory - and winning. European powers were interested in preserving the Ottoman Empire, or what was left of it, and decided to intervene. Consequently, it was widely expected that the remains of the Ottoman Empire would turn itself over to the protection of the European powers. But, nobody knew when this would occur.
Litch gave the date on which the Ottoman Empire was supposed to turn itself over to the protection of the European powers. When it did occur as he predicted from the Bible, it had the very powerful effect of empowering the message that William Miller was preaching. This empowerment occurred because when Litch's prediction came true and people realized that it was based on calculations done from the Bible, they realized that God was indeed real, He is powerful, He knows what is to happen in this world far into the future and in exact detail. People concluded that based on this information, they could trust the rest of the Bible as well. This also gave them trust in William Miller's message.
Litch initially predicted in 1838 that sometime in August of 1840, the Ottoman Empire would effectively turn it's power over to the European powers, and the prophecy would be fulfilled that is recorded in Revelation 9:15. On August 1, 1840 he published the exact date based on the information given in the Bible, which he predicted to be August 11, 1840. Negotiations between the four European powers (Russia, England, Austria, and Prussia), who had decided they must intervene, and the Ottoman Empire resulted in the Treaty of London, which was signed on July 15, 1840 (information from Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004 Computer version, taken from an article titled Internal Reform, From Ottoman Empire, relating information about the Treaty of London). It is unknown to the author whether or not this treaty conclusion had reached American newspapers by the first of August of 1840, but the prophecy was still fulfilled on schedule and beforehand Litch accurately gave the date on which this was to occur. The treaty terms the European powers dictated were delivered to the head of the Egyptian government on August 11, 1840, exactly on schedule as Litch predicted. On this date, the Ottoman Empire effectively gave it's authority to the European powers, for it was they who were dictating what was to happen to the Ottoman Empire from then on.
Thus, the prophecy, which began 391 years and 15 days before (a prophetic year = 360 years, a month = 30 years, a day = 1 year, and one hour = 15 days - see Revelation 9:15), was fulfilled on the exact day it was prophesied that it would end. You can read more details as put together by the author Uriah Smith in his book, Daniel and Revelation, published in the 1870's, but well documented from historical sources and reasonably accurate historically. Click here for the chapter of his book (all of his book is available online) which explains this and other materials of Revelation 9. This material is found in chapter 9 of Uriah Smith's book if you have a copy and prefer to read it elsewhere.
Do note that the beginning date for the 5th trumpet would be July 27, 1299, and would end 150 years later on July 27, 1449 (the five prophetic months of torture = 30 days * 5 years/day = 150 years). The 6th trumpet began immediately, on July 27, 1449, and ended 391 years and 15 days later, on August 11, 1840. August 11 occurs 15 days after July 27, in case you are wondering. Also, note it is significant that the treaty of London in July of 1840 would not be counted by God as going into effect until it reached the powers it targeted, which occurred on August 11, 1840. Thus, the prophecy was accurately fulfilled.
Note further that the Muslim invasions of Christian lands were divided into three woes in Revelation 9-11 (trumpets 5 and 6 of Revelation 9 and trumpet 7 of Revelation 11). The first of these was completed by 1449, the second by 1840. The third woe is now going on. If the first two woes were Muslim invasions and wars against Christians, what do you suppose the third woe is? Surely you have heard of Bin Laden and his terrorist network! His terrorist activity against the Christian world is a continuation of what has been going on for a very long time, though active war against Christians did not start until more recently. Notice that the first two woes had ending dates, but the third woe continues until Jesus comes again. There is no ending date for it in Revelation. Revelation 11 ends with the seventh plague but no word on when the third woe ends, so the only termination date possible is when Jesus comes again.
Of course, William Miller's predicted 1844 date for the second coming of Jesus came and went, and Jesus did not return to earth. Many who had joined in the movement simply melted back into the churches from which they came and just disappeared from the Millerite movement. They did so because they concluded that the prophecy was wrong and there was nothing further to be gained by studying it further. They didn't bother to find out what the problem was in the understanding of the prophecy. Others studied to learn what had gone wrong, and some of these eventually determined that the original understanding Miller had of what was to happen had been wrong, though the date was right. They determined that the real event on that date was the beginning of the investigative judgment, rather than the second coming of Jesus. This led them to a deep study of the investigative judgment, the Old Testament sanctuary services, and prophecy related to these themes.
Some have since claimed this was simply a face saving "discovery", but that is false. There is genuine evidence for an investigative judgment before Jesus comes back the second time. There is Biblical and historical evidence that this began in 1844. If it were a nonevent, then this discovery of the explanation of what actually happened on that date in 1844 would merely be a face saving discovery. But there also would be no credible evidence to back up the discovery.
One simple evidence for the investigative judgment is found in the first of the three angels' messages of Revelation 14. The first angel says to worship God. Why does he say we should worship God? One reason is that the hour of His judgment has come. This message of His judgment is spoken as part of the gospel message, which means there is a judgment going on while the gospel is being preached, which clearly indicates a judgment occurs BEFORE Jesus comes again. This absolutely has to be true because once Jesus comes again, the gospel will not be preached again. Also, according to the prophetic timeline in Revelation 14, the second coming of Jesus is yet future, so this must be a judgment that occurs BEFORE the second coming. . This judgment could only be investigative in nature for it does not involve the giving out of rewards for the discoveries of the judgment, which comes later when the righteous go to heaven and the wicked are destroyed.
The prophecy about the cleansing of the sanctuary was simply misunderstood prior to the time that the investigative judgment was discovered in the Bible, but God used the events of 1844 to turn the attention of at least a few people to learn of the investigative judgment so that the world could eventually know of this. That is particularly important since this investigative judgment is about to end, with devastating consequences for all who are unprepared to meet God. Thus, it makes very good sense that God will do something to bring the world's attention once again to the message of the investigative judgment before the end of the world, with the hope of saving a maximum number of people from sin.
In addition, just before the second coming of Jesus, the message of the second angel is to be repeated as demonstrated by the mighty angel of Revelation 18, who carries the same message but says it with much greater volume and vigor. Note that when the second angel gave his message, he did NOT do so with a loud voice, unlike the first and third angels. The fact that the angel of Revelation 18 speaks with a very loud voice and speaks a virtually identical message tells us that this message must be a repeat of the previous message but is given with much greater power and occurs at a later date. Since Revelation 14 is an outline of all gospel messages from the beginning to the end of the investigative judgment, the angel of Revelation 18 MUST also be represented by the 4th angel. More evidence of this is presented further down on this web page.
The Bible tells us that the churches will become corrupt in what they teach (this includes most Protestant Churches) just before the end of the world comes (see Revelation 17:11-14), so as a result, all that do not follow the commandments of God will be classified as part of Babylon (this includes the daughters of the woman called Babylon). Therefore, the message of the fourth angel is to motivate the giving of the three angels' messages, and in particular to emphasize the second angel's message in the manner delivered by the angel of Revelation 18. Here is why the author knows the second angel's message is delivered with fresh vigor just before the end.
The second angel gives the following message, but it is NOT spoken loudly like the messages of the first and third angels:
Rev 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.
Below is the message of the angel of Revelation 18, but note that this angel speaks differently, though the message is basically the same. It says "he cried mightily with a strong voice". Now, that is in contrast with the second angel's message, which was not spoken with a loud voice. The fact that it was spoken mightily with a strong voice in Revelation 18 would indicate that this message is heard very widely this time. Note that the fourth angel of Revelation 14 also speaks his message with a loud voice.
Notice also that the essence of the message of this angel is nearly identical with that of the second angel for it says that "Babylon the great is fallen" and "all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication".
Rev 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
The fact that this message is essentially the same as the second angel's message, but repeated much more loudly, and that it is spoken just before the description of the destruction of Babylon, indicates that this message must be delivered shortly before the end of the investigative judgment, just before the plagues begin to fall. Hence, this must be the main message of the fourth messenger angel of Revelation 14 because the timing of both messages would roughly coincide (remember that the fourth messenger angel's message follows the three angels' messages).
But we still need to know what motivates the delivery of the fourth angel's message. Looking back into history, we can see the just as Litch's discovery motivated the giving and acceptance of the message of William Miller in the 1830s and 1840s, likewise something similar could happen today to motivate the giving and acceptance of the fourth angel's message. God acted in a marked way to endorse Miller's message just before the beginning of the investigative judgment and to bring people to study the Bible prophecies for themselves.
Therefore, it seems logical that we can expect that God will do something rather powerful to mark the approach of the end of the investigative judgment as well, with the purpose of leading as many as possible to study the Bible prophecies and to choose for God before the judgment closes, after which there is no more opportunity for salvation. Thus, history AND circumstances would strongly suggest that God will repeat history again, and by this means, will empower the spread of the gospel in a way that has never been done before.
We at 666man.net believe that message that motivates the giving of the fourth angel's message is the message we have on this web site, which is that the Papal count will come to 666 with the election of the next pope, who will therefore be the last pope. When many who have heard our message see the next pope and see that his name is unique in Papal history so that he has a count of 1 and completes the Papal count to 666, then they will know that God is about to close up earth's history - the judgment is about to close and this is the last chance for salvation. This will be the signal for them to go out and evangelize the world as never before. It is this which will empower the three angels' messages to go out as never before, and will finish the work of giving the gospel message to the world. The effect should parallel that which Josiah Litch's discovery had on William Miller's message in the 1840s, and will be even more powerful.
William Miller's message was that Jesus was coming in 1844. Litch gave power to that by showing that God was real and had predicted history accurately. Our message will convey both ideas, that Jesus is indeed coming very soon and that God is real and accurately predicted history. What could be more powerful than that?
Litch gave a specific date for a prophecy to be fulfilled. On this website, we cannot give a specific date for the election of the next pope or the second coming. There are no dated prophecies after 1844, so we can only know events. Thus, our prediction is based on an event to happen, but not an event on a specific date, for that is impossible to give. But this event clearly marks the beginning of the end events, and from that, people will know that the coming of Jesus is very near.
What will motivate many in the world to accept the fourth angel's message is the return of the beast and the formation of the image beast as predicted in Revelation 13 and 17. When both of these events occur, they will have an effect upon many in the world unlike anything else ever has or could. Many will choose for God when they see these events come to pass, and nothing, not even persecution, will stop them. They will reach out and grasp eternal life for they will know this will be their last and only opportunity. After that, the investigative judgment will close, the seven last plagues will fall, the powers that are represented by Babylon will be destroyed by fire, and then Jesus will come.
The fifth angel has a message too, one of destruction and doom of the seven last plagues that are soon to come. Revelation 14 finishes with a description of an angel coming out from the altar, who has power over fire, and he loudly tells another angel who holds a sickle, to thrust in his sickle so that he can reap the grapes that are ready for harvest. These are then placed in the "great winepress of the wrath of God" (Revelation 14:19). Immediately after this in Revelation 15 and 16, the vision shifts to explaining the seven last plagues of God, which are referred to as the "the wrath of God" (Revelation 15:1; 16:1).
Both the fact that the grapes are crushed by the winepress, which is "the wrath of God" (Revelation 14:19), and the seven last plagues are also referred to as "the wrath of God" (Revelation 16:1), suggests that these are one and the same. But additional evidence for this is gathered from the fact that the explanation of the seven last plagues occurs immediately after the end of Revelation 14. The explanation of symbols in Revelation is often near the symbol itself, and this appears not to be an exception. Thus, this harvest of the grapes and their being crushed in the winepress of the wrath of God is a reference to the seven last plagues and the multitude of lives that will be taken by these plagues. The final result is that the 5th angel's message is an announcement of coming destruction.
Like three of the other angels, this angels announces his message with "a great cry" to the angel with the sharp sickle waiting outside the temple, who then begins the grape harvest scene. What is this fifth angel's message and how can we know what his message will be here on earth? The clue is in what happens after he makes his announcement. The clusters of grapes are harvested and put into the "winepress of the wrath of God", which is the seven last plagues as described above and culminates in the destruction of sinners at the second coming of Jesus. Note that in Revelation 19:15, which is the description of the second coming (as is also Revelation 6:14-17), Jesus is described as treading the winepress of the wrath of God. Thus, this process, begun by the angels of the seven last plagues, culminates in the completed death and destruction of sinners at the second coming.
Since the first four angels had a message of importance (the three angels' messages) to the people living here on earth during the last days of earth's history, it makes sense that this too must be a message to the people here on earth. But, how do we know what this message is and when it is delivered on earth?
To answer that question, let us consider the only two possible scenarios, which are:
- The fifth angel makes his announcement BEFORE the investigative judgment
- The fifth angel makes his announcement AFTER the investigative judgment closes
Now, stop for a moment and ask yourself these two questions:
- If the fifth angel makes his announcement before the investigative
judgment closes, what message would he deliver on earth? Think carefully.
Remember that there is saving value to any such message before
the investigative judgment has closed.
- If the fifth angel makes his announcement after the investigative judgment closes, what message would he deliver on earth? Remember that there is no saving value to any such message given after the investigative judgment has closed.
If this message is delivered AFTER the investigative judgment has closed, then this message cannot be a saving message. Consider this: IF the fifth angel's message is given AFTER the close of the investigative judgment, then the only possible message would be something like this: "Hi! I am your worst nightmare COME TRUE! Welcome death, for you have earned it!" Of course, any message give after the close of the investigative judgment has no power to save, for the destiny of everyone will have been fixed by that point in time. So, it seems unlikely that this is the message of the fifth angel, for Revelation is designed to save people, not cause them to be lost.
Somehow this message must have saving power or it would probably not be mentioned. In addition, Revelation 14 is about the messages of salvation for the end of the world, so it seems likely that all five angels have a message of salvation, not just three or four of them. Therefore, the fifth angel's message on earth must occur before the close of the investigative judgment. There is other evidence that this is so. See the section titled Who Is the Fifth Angel?, which includes some additional evidence of when the fifth angel's message is given.
IF this message is given BEFORE the close of the investigative judgment, then the message would have a saving power to it. What is about to happen is obviously the subject of this message, for there must be correspondence between what the fifth messenger angel says and the action of the angel who carries out the grape harvest scene. Also, there must be correspondence between the fifth angel's message and the message given here on earth.
Logically then, this is the fifth angel's message here on earth: before the close of the investigative judgment, the world will be told that the investigative judgment is soon to close, and then the seven last plagues will fall right after that. Those who want to avoid the plagues must get out right then for that will be the LAST CALL! The sum total of this message is that because the investigative judgment is about to close, God's people must come out of Babylon NOW or else suffer the plagues that are about to fall on Babylon.
God will not let the world fall into the punishing phase of His judgments without some final fair warning of what is about to happen. This is an act of great love and mercy on God's part for He knows by this time that most of the world will have chosen against Him.
Because the fifth angel's message is the last of the five angel messages, this message IS the LAST MESSAGE people will have the opportunity of hearing from God that can save them. If they reject this message, there will be no more warning. Soon after, the investigative judgment will close and the plagues will begin to fall. All who have not chosen salvation before the close of the investigative judgment will be forever lost.
The fact that the fifth angel's message is spoken loudly (in heaven) like the others (except for the second angel's message), would strongly suggest that this angel also has a corresponding message here on earth that is widely heard. But this message will not have the same power that the fourth angel's message will have, for the fourth angel speaks with great volume here on earth. The fifth angel's message is heard in a normal volume here on earth, so it is not heard with as great power as the fourth angel's message.
There are those who might reasonably object that this is part of the first angel's message ("the hour of His judgment has come", which implies that after it ends, the reward, including punishment, follows - Revelation 14:7), which is true, but this one is a reiteration of only part of the first angel's message. The fifth angel's message is the final warning. It must be given because of what is about to happen. This will be a saving message for at least some because they will hear this very last call and finally realize that they must get out of Babylon now or reap the judgments of Babylon too.
In the final analysis, the three angels messages are the message for the end time - first, last, and always. The three angels' messages are built into the fourth and fifth angel's messages, so the three angels' messages are always paramount. God is going to give the fourth angel's message extra power for the final harvest, which will spread the messages of the three angels - in particular the second angel's message - and then just before the final end of the judgment, there is a final warning of the punishment about to fall on the world.
Revelation 14 clearly gives us the messages of three of the messenger angels and the relative sequence of all of the angels. The last two messages are not directly stated, but are stated in symbolic form so that we have to do a little bit of digging to discover the messages they convey on earth. We know the first three messages began to be preached during the 1840s beginning about the time of the investigative judgment. Based on what it tells us about the fourth angel's message, it is yet to be delivered on earth (as of 2004). Given that this message appears not to be explained in Revelation 14 and instead is stated in symbols, we are left guessing about this. We are only told that a harvest comes about because of it. So, how do we get a clue to the substance of this message? In addition, the same is true of the fifth messenger angel. His message also is stated in symbols, so again we are left wondering how we get a clue to the substance of his message? Fortunately, the fifth angel's message is a little easier to decipher. Decoding the fifth angel's message provides the key to deciphering the fourth angel's message.
There is a reasonable way to demonstrate that the fourth angel's message of Revelation 14 is the same as the angel's message of Revelation 18:1-3 (which is also nearly identical with the second angel's message of Revelation 14). It takes a bit of careful thinking through several steps to show that this is true. The following steps must be included:
- Show that the fifth messenger angel's message is the same message as the
voice of Revelation 18:1-4
- Show that the fifth messenger angel almost certainly delivers the command
to the seven angels of the seven last plagues before the end of the
investigative judgment, so that they prepare themselves to receive the vials
containing the seven last plagues
This must be so because the seven angels of the seven last plagues come out of the temple BEFORE the temple fills with smoke from the glory of God. We know that once that happens, then nobody can enter the temple for any reason, which is indicative that the investigative judgment has finished at that point. But the fact that the seven angels of the seven last plagues come out before that happens indicates they must receive a command to go into the temple and prepare to go out in preparation for receiving the vials before the investigative judgment has finished. How long before, we are not told. There must be a command for them to leave the temple or they would not have come out. Thus, the command is given before the end of the investigative judgment. They receive this command from an angel who comes from the altar outside the temple, so he cannot be the voice of God who later commands them to start the seven last plagues. Note that there are two altars John refers to. The "altar" and the "golden altar". The golden altar is obviously the equivalent of the one on the earthly sanctuary which was placed before the veil at which the priest would burn incense. See Revelation 8:3.
- Show that because the command to start the preparation for the seven last
plagues is given before the end of the investigative judgment, then it stands
to good reason that the message of the fifth angel must be delivered before
the end of the investigative judgment. That rules out the alternative of the
fifth angel's message being given after the close of the investigative
judgment (the one where the message essentially says "Hi! I am your worst
nightmare come true!").
- Given that the above is all true, then it stands to reason that the fourth
angel's message is also the one that is found in Revelation 18:1-3.
This must be true because there are fourth and fifth angels' messages, there are two messages in Revelation 18:1-4, and the fifth angel's message and the second message of Revelation 18:4 are the same. Therefore, the previous messages must also be the same.
To show that the fourth angel's message is essentially the same as the angel's message of Revelation 18:1-3, take a look at the following tables comparing the fourth and fifth angels' messages:
Fourth Angel's Message of Revelation 14 and Mighty Angel's Message of Revelation 18
|Description||What the angel said||What the angel said|
|Second Angel's Message||Rev 14:8 Babylon is fallen, is fallen||
Rev 18:1 - 3
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen,
|Fourth Angel's Message||
Rev 14:14 - 16
|Fifth Angel's Message||
Rev 14:17 - 20
|Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.|
The answer is found in the fifth angel's message and the fact that there is an exact equivalent found in the voice John hears in Revelation 18:4. Then, knowing that the voice in that verse IS the fifth angel's message, we know that the fourth angel's main message must be the message of the angel with the mighty voice heard in Revelation 18:1-3. Does this make good sense? It should, for we know that the fourth angel's message must be given BEFORE the fifth angel's message, and the same sequence is preserved in Revelation 18.
It is interesting to ask the significance of four of the five angels of Revelation 14 speaking their messages in a loud voice or with a loud cry. Why is that? What does it tell us about the corresponding messages on earth? And why are there differences in volume noted by John?
Do keep in mind that in Revelation 14, John is shown events as they occur in heaven. He is not on earth in vision during that chapter. But, in Revelation 18, he is shown events as they occur on earth while in vision. These points of reference do make a difference in what he observed about the volume of speaking of the different angels as recorded in Revelation 14 and 18.
It is interesting that when John is shown the angels speaking their messages in Revelation 14, he notes that, like all but one of the other angels' messages, the fifth angel speaks his message loudly. But later, when he hears the same fifth angel's message in Revelation 18, it is not spoken loudly. If you are observant, you might notice that in Revelation 14, he is shown the angels close up - he sees them in mid heaven as they deliver their messages. For this reason, he would hear them speak loudly when they spoke that way.
While it is not totally certain where "mid heaven" is located, the author has reason to believe that this is none other than the atmosphere around the home of God, the new Jerusalem spoken of in Revelation 21 and 22. Revelation 14:1 says that he saw the 144,000 standing with the lamb (Jesus) on mount Zion, which very likely is in the new Jerusalem, not the old earthly city of Jerusalem. This is backed up further by the fact that John hears these 144,000 sing a song in front of the throne. How would he know that is where they sang the song unless he was there to see it being performed in front of the throne, and in front of the twenty four elders, and the four beasts? It would be impossible, would it not? And after the description of the 144,000 is complete, John never says he was taken back to earth to see the angels fly in the "mid heaven". Thus, it is logical that it is almost certain that the first three angels are seen in heaven, the home of God.
In contrast to that, in Revelation 18, he is seeing the last two messages being delivered on earth. For the first of these, he sees the angel come to earth and speak with a mighty loud voice. But the next message he hears spoken from afar - the voice comes from heaven while he is on earth. Thus, it would seem natural that the voice of the last message would not be heard as loudly by John. It is natural that if a person is far away from the source of a loud sound, it will not be as loud as it would be were the person close to the sound source. This explains the contrast in volume of the fifth angel of Revelation 14 and the second message of Revelation 18, which is the voice from heaven.
The table below summarizes the volume of speaking of the different angels.
|Revelation 14:6-20||Angel Number||1||2||3||4||5|
|Where John heard it spoken||Almost certainly in heaven||Almost certainly in heaven||Almost certainly in heaven||Definitely in heaven||Definitely in heaven|
|Speaking Volume||loud voice||normal voice||loud voice||loud voice||loud cry|
|Revelation 18:1-4||Equivalent Angel Number||4||5|
|Where John heard it spoken||Definitely on earth||Definitely on earth but heard the voice coming from heaven|
|Speaking Volume||he cried mightily with a strong voice||Normal voice, from heaven|
This may seem like a trivial question, but there is great significance to the identity of the fifth angel. Here is the clue to the identity of the fifth angel:
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Would an ordinary angel say "my people"? Of course not! Then, who would say that? The only possible answer is that this angel is Jesus!!
It is interesting that this voice comes from heaven. Remember that in Revelation 18:3, John is on earth so hears this voice speaking from heaven. Therefore, he would not hear it as loudly as he did when he was close up (in heaven), like he was in Revelation 14. Remember that the fifth angel of Revelation 14 is the same as the voice of Revelation 18:4.
Notice the following additional facts that support this conclusion:
- The angel who gives the orders for the grape harvest
comes from the altar (Revelation 14:18). This probably is the altar
outside of the temple, just like the one outside the earthly sanctuary. John
differentiates between the two altars by saying one is the "golden altar" (see
for example, Revelation 8:3), while he simply calls the other one the "altar".
It appears that the "altar" is the one outside, while the "golden altar" is
the one before the throne of God. Thus, this altar that the angel comes from
is outside the temple rather than inside of it so far as we can tell.
- This same angel is said in Revelation 14:18 to have
power over fire, which is symbolic of judgments of God (Ezekiel 10:2). Only
Jesus could be said to have power over the judgments of God for only God can
order those judgments.
- Jesus is said to be our high priest in Hebrews 2:17, and since He is the
only priest for us in heaven, He is probably the only one who can offer
incense before God in the heavenly temple (which tells us who the angel is in
- The fifth angel announces the beginning of the plagues, for the grapes are
treaded in the winepress of the wrath of God. Revelation 15 and 16 explains
that the wrath of God is the seven last plagues.
- In addition, because the seven angels of the seven last plagues come out
before the investigative
judgment is done, that means the order to the seven angels to first
assemble inside the temple and then come out and receive their vials must be
the command of the 5th angel to begin the grape harvest. That must be so
because the actual command to start the seven last plagues comes from inside
the temple after the end of the investigative judgment (and smoke has filled
the temple), and since only God can be inside the temple during that time,
this means the fifth angel's order is not the voice of God but must have
occurred before the close of the investigative judgment. Also, the angels do
assemble inside the temple and then come out to receive their vials. There
must have been an order for them to come together for this purpose that
obviously is given before the end of the investigative judgment, or they would
not have assembled together at all. Ultimately this means the fifth angel's
message is heard before the close of the investigative judgment.
- There is a little time left to warn people of what is yet to come and
those who are God's people in Babylon MUST LEAVE OR BE DESTROYED WITH BABYLON.
But, this is the same message as the voice in Revelation 18:4. This must be
Jesus speaking this message, for the reasons that He has great love for His
people and does not want them destroyed, so He is giving them one last chance
to get out while they can.
As a result of this, we know who the fifth angel is - Jesus. We also know that the order commissioning the seven last plagues is given before the end of the investigative judgment. And finally, we know that there is a little time for one last warning - to come out of Babylon or be destroyed - after which the investigative judgment will finish and there will be no more opportunity for salvation after that.
What about the investigative judgment? Why is the investigative judgment so important to the authors of this web site? Why should the average reader of this web site be concerned at all with the investigative judgment?
God has a message about the approaching end of the judgment to bring to the world just before the end. He is carrying on the investigative judgment right now, and when that is done, there is no more forgiveness of sins from then on. This is logical because the investigative judgment is investigating the lives of all those who have ever claimed Christ as their Savior (see Revelation 11:18 and Daniel 7:9-13, 22). When that judgment is done, there can be no more conversions to Christianity, for that would require reopening an investigation into their lives at some point after that before Jesus can come. Since this investigative judgment is finished shortly before Jesus comes again, there is no more time for another investigative judgment. Thus, all cases are closed when the investigative judgment is finished.
When the seven last plagues are going on, Jesus cannot enter the temple, something He must do to obtain forgiveness for our sins. Revelation 15:8 says the following:
And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
Jesus, though he is God, is also a man, so during that time, He cannot be entering the temple to obtain forgiveness of sins for people because it says "no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." This means that once the seven last plagues have begun, there is no way Jesus can ever enter the temple for obtaining forgiveness of sins.
These facts mean that when the work of investigative judgment is done, God will make a terrible pronouncement upon all living on the earth in that day. He will say something to this effect:
Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
The reason He makes this pronouncement is because at that point in time, all
cases on earth will have been eternally decided. He has to bring sin to an end
at some point, and the end of the investigative
judgment IS that time to make the decision that all have
decided their destiny once and for all. Once God has made this pronouncement,
there is no turning back for anybody - forever. God will make a legally binding
decision for everyone that from that moment on, the decision a person has made
for or against God is permanent. Those who have chosen evil will never be able
to obtain mercy after that point, while those who have chosen to obtain mercy
and have decided for God will never again choose sin as their way of life.
Therefore, a part of the final message of the fourth angel is that the judgment of God is about to close. But the fifth angel will deliver that message with power, for his IS the final warning. If you want to obtain eternal life and mercy from God, you must do so before it is too late. He is giving you one last chance. After the investigative judgment is closed, there will be no way to obtain mercy or eternal life from God. You will have made your final decision and there will be no possible way to reverse that once the judgment closes, even if you want to after that. God is plainly telling us there is no second chance after that. The time to choose is NOW. Remember, to fail to make a choice for God is to make a choice for Satan and sin, a choice (or lack thereof) that cannot be avoided.
God has to bring the problem of sin to a final close, so it is necessary that He take these steps. He cannot allow it to continue indefinitely for that would mean that eventually sin might spread throughout the universe, something that He clearly wants to avoid. Thus, He has to pick a time that is right and He has to bring the whole problem to a permanent and final end. There are those who teach that we will be given a second chance, but the evidence in Revelation does not support that. Sin is very serious to God because of all the death and destruction it causes. He wants the death and destruction to stop permanently, for He knows that many people are suffering because of it. So, He won't allow it to continue indefinitely. He will bring it to an abrupt halt when the time is right.
This is the terrible message that must be given to the world. But along with it is the message that while the door to mercy is still open, the death of Jesus can give a person the standing before God that is necessary to obtain salvation and eternal life. Please, if you are reading this, take advantage of it now, while you still can. Tomorrow may be too late. None of us has a guaranteed hold on life. We can step off a street curb tomorrow and be run over by a bus. A hidden disease can strike us dead - in moments (the author had a friend who suddenly died of a heart attack at 52 years of age - he simply suddenly passed out and never revived). You cannot know what tomorrow holds for you. When you die, your destiny is fixed forever and will be decided in the judgment. Make your destiny a good one by accepting Jesus and making Him king of your life.
We don't know when the judgment will close, for we are not told. We know it continues today when these words are being written (April of 2004), but someday, without any visible warning sign on earth, the judgment will close, and after that it will be forever too late for everybody who has not taken advantage of God's offer. Sometime after that, the seven last plagues will begin to fall upon the earth, and when we see them, we will know that the judgment has closed, but will not know that before then. Think about those who are living during the 7 last plagues and who have not chosen to serve God. At some point you can be quite sure that many of them will become aware that it is forever too late for them. Think about how terrible it will be for them to have to live with this fact and that they cannot reverse it. So, please, don't let this happen to you. Get to know God now while you can and make him king of your life, for it will be your salvation.
To summarize Revelation 14, it is a chapter where the gospel for the closing days of earth's history is presented. Just as in the days of Noah there was a message to be delivered to the world, so now there is another message to be delivered to the world. It is a message to return to the worship of God as the creator (thus urging a return to the worship of God on the Sabbath as He originally commanded - on the seventh day of the week - Saturday) It is a message that Babylon is fallen and will soon be burned and destroyed forever, and you better get out while you can. It is a message that if you don't understand or listen, then you're toast too, just like Babylon will soon be. And finally, it is a message that the final message to the world is soon to be given and that the judgment of God will soon close. We at 666man.net believe that God will demonstrate that He is real and behind this message through the fulfillment of the prophecy about the last pope, which likely is the empowerment message for the three angels' messages for the last time. After that message has gone out and the judgment has closed, there is no more mercy and salvation is closed forever.
The author hopes that the reader will consider carefully the direction his life is taking (the author has to do the same). Before you turn down God's final offer, consider what Jesus did for you. He is God, and yet gave up His life in heaven - and you can be sure it was a very good life - and came to this world and became human through a process we do not understand, in which His divine being was shrouded in human form. He took upon Himself our human nature and yet did not sin. He took upon Himself the real possibility that He might choose to sin, and had He at any point chosen to sin, all chance for salvation for mankind would have been lost. There are those who claim that He could not possibly have sinned during His time on earth, but if this is so, then what value would His sacrifice have for us? None! He could only save if He also had a real chance at either failure or success, for only then could His sacrifice have any real meaning. Could He really understand our problems and our lives as our judge AND advocate for us if he did not experience life as we do and could have a real chance at both failure and success?
Consider that Jesus had a very difficult time being a human. He was God, so possessed powers that we do not even begin to understand. Yet to help us, he had to lay aside the use of those powers and rely upon God as we too must learn to do. If you do not believe this, consider these verses:
Phi 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Phi 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Phi 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Phi 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
He had to do this in order to be our example and to personally experience what we experience. The Bible says He "...was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb 4:15). But there was more for Him because of who He was. Do you think He was not tempted to lay His tormentors in the dust at His trial and crucifixion? He had the power to do just that very easily just by a thought. When He was hungry in the desert, the devil suggested that He change rocks into bread. You and I could not be tempted by such an idea because we cannot change rocks into bread. But Jesus could! So, was it a temptation for Him? OF COURSE IT WAS! Would it not have been as hard for Him to remain on the human level and not use His personal divine power for His own benefit and to turn away from sin as it is for us to choose to turn from sin and grasp divine power by faith? But if He was to be our Savior, He had to live as we do, even to the point of depending on God just as we must. So, He could not use His divine power for His own benefit and save us at the same time. This could never have been an easy choice for Him for He is a divine being BY NATURE. It was as natural for him to use his divine power as it is for us to breathe. It is natural to him because that is who he is.
Yet Jesus wonderfully succeeded, and as a result, we have a chance at eternal life. What kind of person takes such a chance for people who did not know or care about what He was doing for them that they might have this chance at eternal life? Think about that, please. What kind of person who possessed the powers He did, would lay them aside and live entirely as a human and rely solely upon God for everything? And then there was the chance that He would sin against God on top of all that! Would you take such a chance for people who generally would not appreciate it at all? But Jesus did - for you personally. So, please don't turn Him down. Ask Him to be king of your life and to lead you to heaven. Give Him charge over your life. You'll be glad you did.
So, get ready! The future is coming, ready or not. If you want to know more about how to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus, please click here for Bible studies (other Bible study lesson web links can be found on our Recommended Web Sites page and found also on the Miscellaneous Links page which you can connect to at the top of this page}.