LAMB ON MOUNT ZION, PART 5
a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the
beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he
himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out
full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire
and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the
Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no
rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the
mark of his name.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep
the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:9–12
messages of the first two angels are powerful and come across contradictory to
most Christian thinking. The everlasting gospel is uncompromising with its
message that the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin and restores people, not
just to a right relation with God, but to original holiness as God planned it
second angel reveals Babylon and its fallen state. People are offended by this
message because it appears to be so critical of churches in general. People
hearing this message must remember that it is not the opinion of those called to
preach it; we love God’s people in Babylon as God loves them. As God is not
content to let them remain in fallen Babylon and its environment of spiritual
fornication, we are motivated by God’s love to be fair and clear in warning
them. We do not hate or look down upon other Christians as some might think, we
are merely telling you what the Lamb on Mount Zion has to say about it.
message of this third angel is the most offensive of all because it is the
pronouncement of God’s judgment on Babylon and the people that hold to it
rather than following the Lamb and His everlasting gospel.
third angel speaks with a loud voice. The everlasting gospel is preached with a
loud voice by the first angel, and following the message that Babylon is fallen,
this third angel also speaks with a loud voice. The word translated loud
is the Greek word megas, literally
meaning big but used in the sense of
violent, mighty, or strong. The message of this angel is not friendly in the
least; it is a strong message from God that must be taken seriously.
strong message is directed towards all that worship the beast, his image, and
have received his mark on the forehead or hand. The closer religion comes to God
without offering people deliverance from sin, the more deceptive it is. The
snare in the religion of the beast and his image is that it makes people feel
that God accepts them, even though they still practice sin. The deception worked
on people is that even though they still practice sin, they feel they are living
better lives than non-Christians and this will merit heaven for them in the end.
red dragon of chapter 12 is the spirit behind Christ-less religion. Chapter 13
narrows the focus of Christ-less religion to just Catholic and Protestant: the
beast of the sea and the beast of the earth. Protestantism, the beast of the
earth, is an image of Catholic forms of religion as we studied in chapter 13.
You will recall that the mark of the beast is church membership, which is
entered into through catechism or formal membership recognized by a hand of
fellowship. Notice that the mark of the beast is received, indicating that
church membership is essentially a voluntary thing as opposed to something
forced on people.
consequence of membership in other than the body of Christ is two-fold. First,
these worshippers of the beast drink of the wine of the wrath of God, and
second, they shall be tormented with fire and brimstone.
that join these churches commit spiritual fornication and also drink the wine of
is a metaphor for God’s judgment. Wine is grape juice that has been fermented
and aged to a specific point of maturity. This illustrates that the wrath of God
is not impulsive or sporadic, it is methodical and deliberate and it is not
poured out until it is fully ready. God pours out His wrath only after He gives
the recipient of that wrath more than ample opportunity to amend his ways. We
have this assurance from Psalm 103:8–9, “The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He
will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.”
often think of the wrath of God in an Old Testament sense where God is sending
fire from heaven or opening the earth to destroy evil people. While that is
certainly an aspect of God’s wrath, it is not a New Testament concept of the
wrath of God.
Apostle Paul teaches us about the wrath of God in the first chapter of Romans
verses 16–18, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the
power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also
for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to
faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of
God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
that Paul tells us the wrath of God is directed towards all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men. What is it that saves people from ungodliness and
unrighteousness? Paul tells us it is the gospel of Christ because it alone is
the power of God to salvation. And notice that salvation is given by God to
those that believe. Salvation is received by faith and not through church
membership. In this sense the gospel is the wrath of God.
continues in verses 19–21, “Because what may be known of God is manifest in
them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His
invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are
made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were
thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were
pity about these forms of Babylon is that they do have access to the Scriptures.
Paul says, “What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it
to them.” They are capable of understanding the truth of the gospel if they
choose to do so and for that reason they are without excuse. But when people
refuse to leave the influences of the beast of the sea or the beast of the
earth, they are refusing to glorify God—refusing to submit to God’s leading.
They become unthankful to God choosing rather to stay in Babylon rather than to
follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Why? Because their foolish hearts were
darkened. In other words, they are drunk on the wine of the wrath of Babylon’s
fornication and therefore they have to drink of the wine of the wrath of God.
wrath of God is nothing more than the everlasting gospel. The everlasting gospel
tells that God is repulsed by sin and that no sinner can have part with God
under any circumstance. It tells of God’s wonderful provision for sin through
the atonement made by the blood of Jesus Christ so that the sinner can be
forgiven, cleansed from all unrighteousness, and live a holy life in the
presence of God in this life. People that receive and obey the everlasting
gospel receive righteousness from God; people that reject the everlasting gospel
receive the wrath of God.
worshippers do not reject the everlasting gospel outright but they try to dilute
the gospel by making allowance for sin in the Christian life. To this the
Apostle John says in 1 John 2:1–2, “My
little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if
anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only
but also for the whole world.” While the possibility exists that a Christian
will commit sin; that sin can still be dealt with through the atonement. The
standard for Christian living according to the New Testament is: “that you may
not sin.” It is an evidence of
Babylon’s spiritual fornication to twist this teaching to say that sinning is
the standard for Christian life. Sinning Christianity is not the standard of
life for the body of Christ.
wrath of God is the everlasting gospel; it is God’s judgment on sin and
unrighteousness. God provided deliverance from sin in this life through the
atonement in Christ. Jesus is everything we need to be made right with God and
to successfully live for God until He takes us to heaven. To those that deny the
efficacy of the gospel to deliver from sin in this life, the gospel turns into
the wrath of God because they will face the same gospel at the final judgment
and have to answer to God why they did not allow Him to lead them in holiness.
Lamb on Mount Zion brought back the fullness of the gospel and there is a host
of people that follow Him wherever He goes. Those that are drunk on the wine of
Babylon’s fornication have no use for the everlasting gospel and they reject
the message that Babylon is fallen. Under the wrath of God, they are tormented
with fire and brimstone.
of God Poured Out
much as Babylonian teachers try to mix the everlasting gospel with the
corruption of this world, it will never secure salvation for beast worshippers.
The angel cries out that God’s wrath will be poured out on them WITHOUT
MIXTURE into the cup of His indignation. This simply means that God, after He
has does everything to reach them, will punish them without mercy.
and Gomorrah are the perfect example of this. Genesis 19:24–25, “Then the
LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the
heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the
cities, and what grew on the ground.”
fire and brimstone of Sodom was literal and it resulted in the utter destruction
of the cities and inhabitants of the plain. The utter destruction of beast
worshippers is that they cannot pick and choose the parts of salvation they
want; they must accept it all or reject it all. God does not accept partial
repentance, partial commitment, or partial holiness. People must take all of
God’s work of salvation or they will receive no salvation at all. People will
either love God to the exclusion of their sins, or they will love their sins to
the exclusion of God; there is no middle ground.
angel says that this torment takes place in the presence of the holy angels and
the Lamb. Christ is present wherever His ministers preach the everlasting
gospel. He is there to save every repentant sinner from his sins. The preaching
of the everlasting gospel torments Beast worshippers when it tells them they are
not saved while professing salvation and still committing sins. The smoke of
their torment goes upward. People that are burned up by their rejection of the
everlasting gospel will fight the message of that very gospel: They will defend
their sin and disobedience and thereby expose themselves for what they truly
verse 11 the angel says that Beast worshippers have no rest day or night. Church
membership and false gospels do not give people rest. Only Jesus can give the
sinner rest from his sin. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
rested from His labors on the seventh day of creation. Salvation makes every
believer a new creation and enables him to cease from the labors of sin and to
rest with God in the beauty of His holiness.
worshippers cannot find rest from their sins in the gospels in which they are
trusting because those gospels harden their hearts against the possibility of
such a thing. Day and night many try to live for God, some even try to resist
temptations and do the right thing. They know that God has promised that no
temptation will come to them that is stronger than what they can endure and that
God will provide a way through the temptation when it comes.
But their gospel makes God a liar and they have no grace to stand in the
time of temptation. They fall and stumble and torture their hearts with more
guilt. They have no rest, day or night.
Patience of the Saints
angel introduces the patience of the saints in verse 12. Patience is
steadfastness, constancy, and endurance. In the New Testament it is the
characteristic of a man who does not swerve from his deliberate purpose and his
loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.
saints of God are determined to hold to the everlasting gospel and to its
teaching of the deliverance from sin in this life regardless of the efforts of
the beast and his image to change the gospel and make allowance for sin in the
lives of believers. The saints of God hold to the truth of the one body of
Christ, the church of the living God, and they refuse to submit to beast
Babylon may be larger in appearance and more popular than God’s true church.
It may have programs and messages that draw all kinds; but in our patience we
will wait on God, preach the everlasting gospel and live it in our lives.
will do all in our power to call God’s people that are being held captive in
Babylon out of their bondage to follow the Lamb on Mount Zion wherever He goes.