Revelation 14:6-13 is a message from angels for all generations. These angels have the true wisdom and the true vision of what is going on in the world. I always view their message as not just for the end times but for all people of all generations. There are three angels and three messages. I see these as like those spiritual markers set out by the early church fathers: Purgative-summarized by loving God more than the world, Illuminative—having the mind of Christ, understanding that only God understands, and Unitive—oneness with Christ—the hope of all Christians. (Or in the Orthodox tradition: Catharsis, Theoria, Theosis).
The message of the first angel is: Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water (Revelation 14:6-7).” The gospel is given to all people of all times. Rather than worshipping heaven and earth, the angel is summarizing the gospel. The message is not to get so caught up in the world that you don’t look up and recognize that this world is all you can see with your eyes but there is a Creator God who loves the creation and must judge the world to be consistent with who He is.
The second message is: “Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality (Revelation 14:8).” This is the shortest message yet the most important for how we live each day and even in our times. A truth cannot be more clearly revealed about my own heart. I have gotten caught up in being made to drink the wine of the sexual passion of Babylon. Until I read a message like this from the angel and think deeply through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, I can ignore this sentence as relevant to me. Afterall, I’m a 60-year-old married woman who expresses sexual passion according to God’s Word. How do I get caught up in Babylon’s sexual immorality? The answer comes when I examine the ways I feel compulsive about thinking, doing, and avoiding the Creator of my soul.
Here’s an example. I set out to have a pilgrimage the other day. I started at the foot of the cross and expressed my intention in prayer. It wasn’t just a few blocks before I recognized that I was not thinking about God at all. In fact, He was last on the list of thoughts that were going through my mind. You can find the ways you too are “made” to drink from Babylon and her sexual passion—what decisions have you made from fear? The current war in our world makes me think of this too. Rather than follow Jesus’ words—“Judge not so that you are not judged (Matthew 7:1). I see so many Christians’ trying to make others take a vaccine they do not want to take and so many Christians’ accusing those who take the vaccine as foolish. I’m glad that our Supreme Court Justices have found it unconstitutional for our government to make people follow the advice of the government. I am also glad that each Christian has the Holy Spirit living in them and can prayerfully make the decision rather than being made. We can only fight the urge of being made to do something with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to examine your heart and discover the subconscious ways you are being “Made” to follow Babylon’s ways—they are not only sexual immorality, yet they have the same power as lust.
So, with these two realities clearly summarized by the angels, here’s the ultimate warning for any who live in those last days. “And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name (Revelation 14:9-11).” Don’t ever, ever, ever let Babylon make you worship the beast and his image or take his mark. Be ever on your guard, especially as we are so easily made to drink the sexual passion of Babylon. We can’t fight alone. I’m also so grateful that I as a human creation will not be exposed to those who are suffering, it’s only the angels and the Lamb who have the spiritual wisdom to accept the reality of what I deserve but won’t suffer because of Christ.
Lastly, Revelation 14:12-13 tells us the hope after fallen Babylon. “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Now, that is the earnest hope from the angel’s message.