14:6, note g
Who hears the
message? — and who doesn't?
"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." (Rev. 14:6)
To whom does the angel preach?
Everyone. But, according to the structure of the sentence, they are divided
into two groups with the second group divided again into four. The first
division is "them that dwell on the earth." The word, dwell, here is from
the Greek, katoikeo, emphasizing the dwelling as settled dwelling.
The naming of the other groups, "every nation, and kindred, and tongue,
and people" certainly emphasizes the message's universality. The five designations
seem somewhat redundant, giving us reason to probe the meaning a little
The phrase, "them that dwell
on the earth," reminds us of our earlier
study where the location specified for people was a key to know who
they follow or worship. Here the earth dwellers are those who would be
deceived by the beast from the earth and hence follow him. From studying
chapter 13 we learned that this earth beast (a) arose after the time when
the beast from the sea was wounded and (b) directed worship to him.
The earth dwellers
may also be seen as the wicked world in general.
We also see a beast
in chapter 17. We will find that the
on that beast is the powerful but apostate church through the ages after
the time of Christ and that she takes both paganism and apostate Protestantism
under her wing.
After seeing the beast in
chapter 17 and the evil woman on it, we could read on to find that she
also sits on waters, and is also symbolized as Babylon (Rev.
17:5, 18). The description of the waters holds a clue for our present
verse. We read, "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where
the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."
In other words, the whore (or prostitute) we figured out to be the apostate
church (Deut. 31:16; Ezek
23:30) and the waters, according to this verse, are those she dominates:
the peoples, and multitudes, and nations and tongues — essentially the
same "everybody" who hears the message of the first angel.
We also saw both the "everybody"
and the earth dwellers in Chapter 13. "And it was given unto him [the beast
from the sea] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power
was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that
dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in
the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev.
Reading a little farther
we can see how the deception of the earth people came after the wound,
which restored his former power, was healed. "And [the earth beast] deceiveth
them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had
power to do in the sight of the [sea] beast; saying to them that dwell
on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the
wound by a sword, and did live. (Rev. 13:14)
Moving on to our place in
chapter 14 we find the angel preaching to both the earth people (who had
been deceived by the earth beast), and the "everybody" (who had been dominated
by the sea beast). His purpose, as we will find, is to save both.
This "everyone" group is
the one following the healed, apostate church at the end of time. The earth
dwellers are apparently part of it, but merit special mention. Let me explain.
Conclusions here are drawn
after seeing the significance of other texts, especially in chapter 13,
which deserve careful study unless you have their meaning very clearly
in mind. The United States is fast becoming a religious as well as a political
power and is fulfilling the role of the two-horned earth beast of chapter
13. Protestants (no longer protesting) are taking the reigns of power in
the government. As I read the symbols, they are destined to become even
more forceful as they direct the world to make an image to the beast from
The earth dwellers are mentioned
first in our text. They are distinct from the general "nation, kindred,
tongue, and people" because, although the message of the first angel was
preached to the whole world, it was first directed in strength to the earth
dwellers here in the US. We will understand a little better when we
study the next verse which tells what that message is. Also see chapter
So what significant
group is not targeted by the message? those already in harmony with it
In studying Revelation 13:6,
we discovered a group "that dwell in heaven" 1306a2.
The beast from the sea blasphemed God's name, His tabernacle, and "them
that dwell in heaven." The heaven dwellers' home is in heaven, but we know
that they are still expatriates on earth because the beast is still alive
and trying to curse them. The heaven dwellers are those who, although not
yet physically in heaven, are members of the group Jesus referred to as
"the kingdom of heaven." Those who have heard the message of the kingdom
and have changed their citizenship (Heb.
11:16). They are no longer sea or earth dwellers. We looked ahead to
see them as the 144,000 on Mount Zion at the beginning of chapter 14. go.
We are getting a little ahead
of the story which becomes firmer as we study more. Next we will take a
closer look at the heaven dwellers — the ones, having already accepted
the message, are no longer preached to.
"Then shall the kingdom of
heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth
to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise. . . ." (Matt. 25:1)
What a beautiful invitation
Jesus has given us, to become part of the wise young women who go out to
meet the groom — citizens of the kingdom of heaven.
the "everybody" group — the sea dwellers
Except for lists in 13:7
and 14:6, the mass of humanity seen
seven times in the book of Revelation is made up of different sets. Only
two sets, "nations" and "tongues," appear in all the lists. This difference
among lists of groups may reflect the viewpoint in the particular passage.
This topic needs more study. Until we learn more, we must assume that each
instance refers to everyone. The red balls
indicate inferred inclusions.
of the seven lists of groups preached to
Is this other
angel an angel?
"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." (Rev. 14:6)
Because the gospel is being
preached, in verse 6. The door to salvation is still open. The picture
of the redeemed on Mount Zion in the first five verses comes after that
door is closed. It was a projection showing their victory. At victory time,
it is too late be preaching to encourage acceptance of the gospel (Gen.
6:3; Jer 8:2), to
fight the good fight of faith (1
Tim. 6:12). Playing harps on the mountain top is the result of hearing
the gospel and following the Lamb.
The discussion about the
faithful ones in Hebrews 11 confirms that those who have died are not in
heaven. The whole point of the chapter is that the Jewish Christians were
to keep their courage strong even though Jesus had not returned (Heb
10:35-37). After all, the heroes of the past were faithful even though
they had not realized the reward they had looked for. Abraham, for example,
looked for the heavenly city (Heb.
11:10). They had assurance through faith but, without the rest of us
(those living when Jesus comes), they will not get their reward. Until
then, they will not be made perfect (11:39,
40) — freed from being subject to death (1
Cor. 15:52-57). Jesus told the disciples and us that we would go to
heaven — His Father's house — when he comes back to get us. (John
14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11).
Many believe that we go to our reward of heaven or hell when we die, but
Jesus said He would bring the rewards with Him when He returns. Everyone
will be rewarded then (Rev. 22:12; Matt
16:27). That event will be visible to all (Rev.
1:7) and after the time has passed for either the wicked or the righteous
to change (22:11, 12).
(Because of traditional understandings, popular in the pagan world, most
Christians since the early centuries after Christ have misunderstood the
simple Bible teaching about the dead.) This is clarified by the story of
the rich man and Lazarus Luke 16b.
Since the righteous aren't taken to heaven at death, we may understand
that the scene of the redeemed on Mt. Zion does not happen before the preaching
of the angel.
that the angel with the gospel call represents those who preach that gospel
in the time of the end (Dan.
12:4). They are heaven dwellers by faith (Heb.
11:9, 10) They are "another angel" — similar because they, like the
144,000, have chosen to follow Jesus. They differ in that not all who preach
truth will make it to the top of Mount Zion (1
Cor. 9:27; Heb.
7:22, 23). Those who do arrive at the top will have persevered to get
victory over sin. They are the symbolic 144,000. So the other angel may
be seen both after and before the first two warning messages of Rev. 13.
They are human witnesses for Christ.
We see the same picture of
human witnesses giving the end-time gospel call in the symbol of Elijah
in Mal. 4:5, 6.
In this symbol set, those
who preach the gospel fill the role of Elijah during the end time. The
angel's preaching helps explain why the dragon is angry with the remnant
of the woman's seed (Rev. 12:17).
It's an uphill climb but,
by God's grace, you and I can be faithful to the end and arrive at the
top. Jesus died to make it possible! Next time we will hear what the angel
has to say.
We saw that
the faithful of Hebrews 11, then dead like Abel (v.13),
had not received what was promised and would not get it before the author
to the Hebrews and his readers would (vss.
39, 40). Some do not go to heaven ahead of others unless specifically
chosen as Enoch was (v.5).
do we read Heb. 12:1 which
is a continuation of the discussion? "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed
about with so great a cloud of witnesses [the faithful of chapter 11],
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Heb. 12:1).
Are all the dead heroes now living spirits floating in a cloud and watching
the heroes of faith as already in the heaven watching the Hebrews is contrary
to 11:10, 13.
The heroes, by their victory, are witness to the fact that the race can
be won. They are called witnesses because they obtained a testimony (or
good report) through their faith (11:39). That testimony, like the blood
of Abel, was speaking to the Hebrews (11:4;
4:10) pointing to Christ (Heb.
12:2) and promising the power for victory! By God's grace we, too,
not in heaven, where are the dead? Simply sleeping in their graves (1
Kings 2:10; Acts
2:29, 34; Heb.
11:32). This is where Lazarus was when Jesus called him (John
To understand more clearly that Abraham and others in the cloud were not
in heaven, see the story of the rich man and Lazarus Luke