Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Where is there any Good News in the terrible message of the third angel of Revelation 14:9-11?
(1) The "third angel follows" the first who tells "the everlasting gospel" to the world (vss. 6, 7). Obviously then the third also has Good News, even if we may be too blind to see it.
(2) The reason for the unprecedented wrath of God is seen in the preceding chapter: for the first time in 6000 years the world unites in a decree to slay God's true people (13:13-15). Any father worth his salt gets furious if someone tries to kill his helpless children. The mark of the beast is still future; and so is this "wrath." God will not be on a temper tantrum; His wrath will be 100 percent righteous, and under full control.
(3) Chapter 7 has detailed the proclamation of the seal-of-God message which has gone to all the world with the first and second angels' messages (and the message of His much more abounding grace will have lightened the earth; Rev. 18:1-4). This last message of grace has been despised and rejected by the world, before this terrible wrath can burst forth. The "beast" who plans to enforce the death decree will marshal the world to repeat the sin of crucifying Christ--this time in the person of His saints. What a response to His much more abounding grace! The Father forgave the world for crucifying His Son the first time; the second? Don't play games with Him.
(4) This message is Good News because it tells the world there's no need for even one person to get ensnared in Satan's clever counterfeit of the gospel--the mark of the beast. For the first time in world history, "all men" will be fully cognizant of the issues in the great controversy. And therein is the Good News--salvation from that wrath.
(5) The Greek of the expression "in the presence of" (14:10) means that those who worship the beast will have to look into the eyes of the Lamb. There is no fire hot enough to equal the anguish of those who look into the eyes of the Son of God and know at last that He died their second death, and whose love they have cruelly despised. No, Christ and the angels will not enjoy their anguish. He wants you to know all about it now.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 13, 2001.
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