God has very important truth to reveal to us today, and he is using his angels to do so! Sometimes called cherubim or seraphim, these powerful ministering spirits (Heb 1:14) appear all through Bible history. Often they are seen protecting and guiding God’s people, and sometimes they are punishing evil. But one of their most important missions is to reveal and explain prophecy. (Rev 1:1) Did you know God has said something special through His angels to the stressed-out people of our hectic world? In Revelation 14, He reveals awesome messages for these last days, messages coded in the symbolism of three flying angels.
1. Why are we studying Revelation? Isn’t it sealed?
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” (Revelation 1:1)
Answer: There are six crucial reasons to study Revelation:
A. It never has been sealed (Revelation 22:10). The age-long controversy between Christ and Satan, as well as the devil’s last-day strategies, are exposed in Revelation. Satan cannot easily trap people who are aware of his deceptions in advance, so he hopes people will believe that Revelation is sealed.
B. The very name “Revelation” means “unveiling,” “opening,” or “revealing”—the opposite of being sealed. It always has been wide open.
C. Revelation is Jesus’ book in a unique way. It begins, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). It even gives a word picture of Him in Revelation 1:13–16. No other Bible book reveals Jesus and His last-day instructions and plans for His work and His people as does Revelation.
D. Revelation is written primarily for and geared to the people of our day—just before Jesus’ return (Revelation 1:1–3; 3:11; 22:6, 7, 12, 20).
E. A special blessing is pronounced upon those who read Revelation and heed its counsel (Revelation 1:3; 22:7).
F. Revelation describes God’s end-time people (His church) with startling clarity. It makes the Bible come to life when you see the last-day events depicted in Revelation taking place. It also tells precisely what God’s church should be preaching in the last days (Revelation 14:6–14). This Study gives an overview of that preaching so you can recognize it when you hear it.
2. God commissioned His church to take the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). How does He symbolize this sacred work in Revelation?
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach.… And there followed another angel, saying. … And the third angel followed them, saying…” (Revelation 14:6, 8, 9).
Answer: The word “angel” literally means “messenger,” so it is fitting that God uses three angels to symbolize the preaching of His three-point gospel message for the last days. God uses the symbolism of angels to remind us that supernatural power will accompany the messages.
3. What two crucial points does Revelation14:6 reveal about God’s message for the last days?
“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,” (Revelation 14:6)
Answer: The two crucial points are: (1) that it is the “everlasting gospel,” and (2) that it is to be preached to all nations and people on earth. The three angels’ messages stress the gospel, which makes it plain that people are saved by faith in—and acceptance of—Jesus Christ alone (Acts 4:10–12; John 14:6). Since no other way to salvation exists, it is evil to claim that there is some other way.
Satan’s counterfeits, while many, include two very effective ones: (1) salvation by works, and (2) salvation in sin. These two counterfeits are uncovered and revealed in the three angels’ messages. Many, without realizing it, have embraced one of these two errors and are trying to build their salvation upon it—an impossible feat. Even many who profess to be sharing this message. We also must stress that no one is truly preaching the gospel of Jesus for the end time who does not include the three angels’ messages.
4. What four distinctive points does the first angel’s message cover?
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:7)
A. Fear God. This means we should revere God and look upon Him with love, trust, and respect—eager to do His bidding. This keeps us from evil. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
B. Give glory to God. We fulfill this command when we praise, thank, and obey God for His goodness to us. One of the major sins of the last days is unthankfulness (2 Timothy 3:1, 2). The Bible says “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) That means that all actions in life should be giving glory to God.
C. The hour of His judgment is come. This indicates that everyone is accountable to God, and it is a clear statement that the judgment is now in session. A number of translations say “has” come instead of “is” come. God wants us to understand that there are judgments and that they are “true and righteous.” (Rev 16:7, 19:2, 11)
D. Worship the Creator. This command rejects idolatry of all kinds—including self-worship—and repudiates the theory of evolution, which denies that God is Creator and Redeemer. Perhaps this command is given because most of the world including modern Christianity is worshiping another god. We will get into that in the next study.
The gospel includes the creation and redemption of the world by the Lord God. The gospel is ever the same and does not change from dispensation of time to dispensation of time. Worshiping the Creator includes worshiping Him on the day He set aside as a memorial of Creation (the seventh-day Sabbath). That (Revelation 14:7) refers to the seventh-day Sabbath is made clear by the fact that the words “made heaven and earth, the sea” were lifted right out of the Sabbath commandment (Exodus 20:11) and used here. Our roots are found in God alone, who made us in His image in the beginning. Those who do not worship God as Creator—no matter what else they might worship—will never discover their roots.
5. What solemn statement does the second angel make about Babylon? What does the angel of Revelation 18 urge God’s people to do?
“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.” (Revelation 14:8).
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen; … 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.” (Revelation 18:1,2,4)
Answer: The second angel states that “Babylon is fallen,” and the voice from heaven urges all of God’s people to come out of Babylon at once so they will not be destroyed along with it. The judgments will fall on those who remain in Babylon. Unless you know what Babylon is, you could easily end up staying in it. Think about it—you could be in Babylon now! But God be thanked, as we continue our studies he will lead us out of Babylon.
6. Against what does the third angel’s message solemnly warn?
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,”The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God’” (Revelation 14:9,10)
Answer: The third angel’s message warns people against worshiping the beast and his image and receiving the mark of the beast in their forehead or hand. The first angel commands true worship. The third angel tells of the tragic consequences connected with false worship. Do you know for certain who the beast is? And what his mark is? Unless you know, you could end up worshiping the beast without realizing it. The answers are clearly laid out for us on these issues as we shall see in continued studies.
7. What four-point description does God give in Revelation 14:12 of His people who accept and follow the three angels’ messages?
“Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12)
A. They are patient, persevering, and faithful to the end. God’s people reveal Him by their patient, loving conduct and by their faithfulness to holiness in their lives.
B. They are saints, or “holy ones,” because they are fully on God’s side.
C. They keep the commandments of God. These faithful people happily obey His Ten Commandments and all other commandments He has given. Their first aim is to please Him, whom they love (1 John 3:22)
D. They have the faith of Jesus. God’s people fully follow Jesus and fully trust Him. When all have heard Jesus’ end-time message, He will return to earth to take His people with Him to heaven.
8. What happens immediately following the teaching of the three angels’ messages to all people?
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” (Revelation 14:14)
Answer: Immediately after the teaching of the three angels’ messages to every person, Jesus will return in the clouds to take His people to their heavenly home. At His appearing, the great 1,000-year blackout of Revelation chapter 20 will begin.
9. In 2 Peter 1:12, the apostle speaks of “present truth.” What does he mean?
The special emphasis of Noah’s “present truth” was a coming flood
Answer: Present truth is an aspect of the everlasting gospel that has particular urgency for a certain time. Examples are:
A. Noah’s message of the Flood (Genesis 6 and 7; 2 Peter 2:5). Noah was a preacher of righteousness. He taught God’s love as he warned of a coming flood that would destroy the world. The Flood message was “present truth” for that time. Its urgent cry was “get into the boat.” And it was so important that it would have been irresponsible not to preach it.
B. Jonah’s message to Nineveh (Jonah 3:4) Jonah’s “present truth” was that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days. Jonah also uplifted the Savior, and the city repented. To omit the 40-day warning would have been unfaithful. It was present truth. It fitted that time in a special way.
C. John the Baptist’s message (Matthew 3:1–3; Luke 1:17). John’s “present truth” was that Jesus, the Messiah, was about to appear. His work was to present the gospel and prepare people for Jesus’ first coming. To have omitted that first coming element of the gospel for his day would have been unthinkable.
D. The three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:6–14). God’s “present truth” for today is contained in the three angels’ messages. Of course, salvation through Jesus Christ alone is central to these messages. However, the “present truth” of the three angels also has been given to prepare people for Jesus’ second coming and to open their eyes to Satan’s highly convincing deceptions.
Unless people understand these messages, Satan could capture and destroy them. Jesus knew we needed these three special messages, so in loving kindness He has given them. They must not be omitted. Please pray earnestly as you examine them point by point throughout these upcoming study guides.
Some of your discoveries might be shocking. But all will be satisfying. Your heart will be tremendously stirred. You will sense Jesus speaking to you! After all, they are His messages. Furthermore Jesus said “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
10. What does the Bible say will come to give a “present truth” message before the great day of the Lord?
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:” (Malachi 4:4, 5)
Answer: Elijah the prophet. There is something significant about Elijah and his message, as we shall see in the next few questions.
11. What did Elijah do that caused the Lord to focus on him?
Note: Please read 1 Kings 18:17–40.
Answer: Elijah urged the people to make up their minds about whom they would serve (verse 21). The nation was almost wholly idolatrous worshipping another god. Most had forsaken the true God and His law. (1 Kin 18:18) There was one prophet of God, Elijah, and 450 heathen prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:22). Elijah suggested that both he and the idolaters build altars and place wood and a bull on them. He then suggested they ask the true God to reveal Himself by setting fire to His altar. The heathen god did not answer, but the true God of Elijah sent fire from heaven and burned up Elijah’s sacrifice. (1 Kin 18:38)
The Message Demanded a Decision
Elijah’s message came at a time of deep spiritual crisis and national apostasy. It came with such power from heaven that it stopped “business as usual” and drew national attention. Elijah then insisted that people decide whom they would serve, God or Baal. Deeply moved and fully convinced, the people chose God (1 Kings 18:39).
John the Baptist presented the “Elijah” message of his day. Those who are to preach Revelation 14:6–14 restoring hearts to the true God have the Elijah message for today. History is repeating itself. Be sure to understand history, so that you are on the right side.
12. The Elijah message has a twofold application. It was a “present truth” message to prepare people for Jesus’ first advent and a “present truth” message to prepare people for His second coming. Who did Jesus say preached the Elijah message to prepare people for His first advent?
“Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist. … And if ye will receive [it], this is Elias, which was for to come.” (Matthew 11:11, 14)
Answer: Jesus called John’s preaching to prepare people for His first advent “Elijah,” or the Elijah message. John’s message, as in Elijah’s day, made truth very clear and then insisted on a decision. The Bible says of John the Baptist, “And he shall… go… before him in the spirit and power of Elias” (Luke 1:17)
13. How do we know the prophecy has a second application to our time–just before the second advent?
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch…Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:” (Malachi 4:1, 5)
Answer: Elijah was prophesied to come just before the coming of the great day of the Lord. That is at the second coming.
The Message Demands a Decision
Elijah insisted evil be met head-on and that all decide whom they would serve. So it is also with God’s threefold message for us today. A decision must be made. God’s threefold message unmasks Satan and his plans. It reveals God’s love and His requirements. God is calling people today back to true worship—worship of God alone. To knowingly serve anyone or anything else in this crucial day amounts to disloyalty and will result in eternal death. God miraculously reached hearts in Elijah’s day (1 Kings 18:37, 39) and in the days of John the Baptist. He will do the same in these last days as people respond to the three angels’ messages. (Malachi 4:6, Revelation 18:1–4).
14. What wonderful blessing will the preaching of the Elijah message (the three angels’ messages) bring?
“Behold, I will send you Elijah…”And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:6)
Answer: Praise God! The Elijah message—or three angels’ messages—will bring family members together in a loving, close, joyous, heavenly relationship. What a blessed promise!
The Elijah message really is the three angels messages, the first which is worship the true God, the second angel talks about how the church has gone to the kings of the earth. Similar to Jezebel using Ahab to destroy Elijah. The third is about keeping the commandments of God, something Israel had forsaken in Elijah’s day. (1 Kin 18:18)
15. The word “gospel” means good news. Do the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 provide good news?
Answer: Yes! Though many see through the lenses of love for the world and the hope that the world continues on like it is. To them the three angels message sounds like bad news and many don’t want to hear it. However, this is a message that there is a better world to come. Pray for those eyes which have their focus on the things of the world to come. Let’s review the good news we have discovered in this overview of the three angels’ messages:
A. Every person will have an opportunity to hear and understand the last-day gospel.
B. The devil’s powerful plans to trap and destroy people will be revealed to us, so we need not be ensnared.
C. Heaven’s power will accompany the spreading of God’s message in these last days.
D. God’s people will be patient. He calls them “saints.”
E. God’s people will have the faith of Jesus.
F. God’s people will, out of love, obey His commandments
G. God loves us so much that He has sent special messages to prepare us for Jesus’ second coming.
H. God’s messages for these last days will bring family members together in love and unity.
I. The major emphasis of the three angels’ messages is that salvation has been provided for everyone through Jesus Christ. He gives His righteousness to cover our past and miraculously imparts His righteousness to us daily so we will grow in grace and become like Him. With Him, we cannot fail. Without Him, we cannot succeed.
A Further Word
Points of the three angels’ messages that will be explained in upcoming Study Guides are:
A. God’s judgment hour has arrived! Worship the true God.
B. Come out of fallen Babylon.
C. Don’t receive the mark of the beast and keep the faith and His law.
Much more good news will be revealed as you prayerfully study these subjects in future Study Guides. You will be surprised and gladdened at some things, shocked and saddened at others. Some points might be hard to accept. But since Jesus sent special messages from heaven to help and guide each one of us in these last days, surely nothing could be more important than to hear each message, to understand each one fully, and follow each one fully.
16. Do you feel thankful to learn that Jesus has a special three-point message to guide and assist His people in these last days of earth’s history?
1. Will every person on earth be reached with the gospel before Jesus returns?
Yes—it will happen because God promised it to a greater or lesser degree (Mark 16:15). Paul said the gospel went “to every creature under heaven” in his day (Colossians 1:23). Jonah, by God’s grace, reached the entire city of Nineveh in less than 40 days (Jonah 3:4–10). The Bible says God will finish the work and cut it short (Romans 9:28). Count on it. It will happen—very quickly! Paul said “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” (Romans 1:16) And respecting “the power of God” which is “the gospel” he went on to say that “…the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20)
So his “power” or “gospel” is seen in the things made so that “they are without excuse”. God can use the “creation” to preach the gospel. We are told “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psalms 19:1-3)
If we are looking carefully, whether at the stars, or at the earth, or at the person beside us, they all point to the designer, the creator, and creation clearly declares and utters the gospel and glory of God. (Rev 14:6, 7)
2. Did Moses and Elijah actually appear with Jesus at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3)—or was it only a vision?
The event was literal. The Greek word “horama,” translated “vision” in verse 9, means “what had been seen.” Moses was raised from the dead and taken to heaven (Jude 1:9), and Elijah was translated without seeing death (2 Kings 2:1, 11, 12). These two men, who had been on earth and suffered terribly from the onslaughts of the devil and the rebellion of God’s people, understood what Jesus was experiencing. They came to encourage and remind Him of all who would be translated into His kingdom without seeing death (like Elijah) and raised to life from the grave to enter His kingdom (like Moses) because of His sacrifice for our sins.
3. Why did John the Baptist say he was not Elijah (John 1:19–21) when Jesus said that he was (Matthew 11:10–14)?
The answer comes from (Luke 1:3–17). The angel who announced John’s coming birth said, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. … He will be great in the sight of the Lord. … He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13–17). When Jesus referred to John as Elijah, He was referring to his life, spirit, power, and work being like that of Elijah. The same is true of the Elijah message for these last days. The emphasis is on the message, not the man. So John was not Elijah in person, but he was presenting the Elijah message. Elijah really means “God is Jehovah”. That is the message of the last day.
4. Is it possible for someone to be preaching Jesus’ full end-time truth for today without including the three angels’ messages?
No. The three angels’ messages must be included. In the book of Revelation, Jesus Himself reveals His end-time message (Revelation 1:1) and says that His people must keep on following what He has revealed in the book (Revelation 1:3; 22:7). So the faithful in the end times must preach Jesus’ messages from the book of Revelation. This, of course, includes preaching His special three-point message of Revelation 14:6–14. Notice that Jesus calls these messages the “everlasting gospel” in verse 6. He also says they must be taken to every person on earth before He returns for His people. Here are three solemn thoughts:
A. No one is truly preaching Jesus’ “everlasting gospel” unless he includes the three angels’ messages.
B. No one has the right to call his messages the everlasting gospel if he omits the threeangels’ messages.
C. The three angels’ messages prepare people for Jesus’ second coming (Revelation 14:12–14). Unless you hear, understand, and accept Jesus’ three-point end-time messages, you may not be prepared for His second coming.
Special Messages for the End-time
Jesus, who knows what we need, gave us three special messages for the end times. We must understand and follow them.
5. Luke 1:17 says the Elijah message was to turn “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” What does this mean?
“The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). The just have the wisdom to rest their salvation upon faith in the Savior. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). John’s Elijah message was to make this clear to everyone. A faith that is anchored to anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ can never save from sin and lead to a changed life. People must hear and understand this. This truth is the very heart of God’s three-point Elijah message for us today.
- The three angels of Revelation 14 (1)
_____ Are literal and must shout loudly to be heard.
_____ Represent God’s last-day message moving with speed and power.
_____ Are a figment of someone’s imagination.
- Which items below tell the truth about Revelation? (3)
_____ The book is sealed.
_____ The name means “unveiling” or “revealing.”
_____ It tells what message God’s people will preach in the last days.
_____ It contains a word picture of Jesus.
_____ God pronounced a curse on those who study it.
- The message of the three angels must go to every person before Jesus returns. (1)
- The first angel’s message stresses the following: (3)
_____ It is the everlasting gospel being presented.
_____ It can’t be understood.
_____ Evolution is a fine Christian theory.
_____ The judgment is now in session.
_____ We should respect and truly trust God.
_____ Each person should worship whatever or whomever he wishes.
- The second angel’s message says Babylon is fallen, and the angel of Revelation 18 urges God’s people who are in Babylon to come out. (1)
- The third angel’s message urges all of God’s people to receive the mark of the beast. (1)
- How does Revelation 14:12 speak of God’s people? (2)
_____ They are patient.
_____ They are saints.
_____ They do not believe that we are to remember the law.
_____ They have very little faith.
- What happens immediately after the gospel has reached every person? (1)
_____ The nations are all converted.
_____ God rebuilds New York and London.
_____ The second coming of Jesus takes place.
- Which of the following are “present truth” messages for today? (1)
_____ Jonah’s message to Nineveh.
_____ Noah’s message before the Flood.
_____ The three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-14.
- Which items are true about the three angels’ messages? (6)
_____ These messages are being preached now.
_____ These messages stress salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
_____ They can also be called the “Elijah message.”
_____ Elijah will appear in person to help present them.
_____ They stress the Christian values of evolution.
_____ Most people will never hear about them.
_____ They will bring family members together in a close, loving relationship.
_____ Supernatural power will accompany them.
_____ They help prepare people for Jesus’ second coming.
- John the Baptist was called the Elijah of his day because (1)
_____ He liked to call down fire from heaven.
_____ The high priest preferred that name.
_____ His preaching, with the spirit and power of Elijah, prepared people for Jesus’ first coming.
- The word “gospel” means “good news.” (1)
- Jesus promises to bring family members close together in love and unity in these last days. Are you praying for this experience in your family?
- Are you relieved and thankful that Jesus has a special message to guide His people through the end time?