Summary: This is a chapter from the author’s book on Revelation.
THE LORD GOD TRIUMPHANT: Part two
Text: Revelation 14:9-20
This continuation of chapter fourteen, beginning in verse number nine lets us know that God deals with sin and He does so in a very firm manner. During the tribulation, the Lord God Almighty will bring His powerful anger against those who “worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand”. This begins with a very strong warning from the third angel.
III. THE GRAVITY OF THE WARNING MIDST THE TRIBULATION. (Vv.9-13)
It is an awesome thing to have to endure the judgment of God when it does not have to be so. The Book of Hebrews shows how the judgment of God being predicted should cause men to be warned. The warning given in Hebrews tells us that we should not refuse Him that is speaking. Notice what Hebrews 12:25-29 says about judgment.
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God [is] a consuming fire.
These verses certainly indicate to us the severity of God’s judgment. We are told by the writer of Hebrews that God keeps His Word. It was true when he originally “shook the earth”. The writer of Hebrews is warning the reader not to refuse “him that speaketh”. Just as the one “that speaketh” had previously brought judgment, He will also bring judgment again. In this Revelation study, we learn that the Lord is fulfilling that which was previously predicted.
A warning is compassionately given many times in the Scripture for the purpose of turning people from their paths that lead to destruction. Even as we live in the economy of grace, this grace dispensation is being tempered by the fact of God’s impending judgment. Men can not sin willfully continuously against God and not expect to face the judgment. This is one of the reasons that the Lord gives us the warnings in the Revelation prophecy.
A. Not Heeding the Warning Against Beast Worship Meant Death. (Vv. 9-11)
Our Text tells us that “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, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation: and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”
This is the way that the scriptures express the intensity of the punishment. He refers to their punishment as drinking of the wine of God’s wrath. His anger is not diluted; it is full strength. The unbeliever will be cast into the place of everlasting torment and will remain there for ever. There will be no hope of annihilation or release from the awful torment. The same will also be true for every Christ rejecting soul today who goes out into eternity without being saved. Today is the day of salvation.
B. Heeding The Warning Against the Beast Worship Meant Delight. (Vv. 12-13)
There is such a great and notable contrast that is seen in the saints as recorded in our Text. For the unbeliever there is an ongoing never ending torment. For the believer there is everlasting rest. What a difference, yet man is so determined to refuse the hope of God’s eternal blessings in exchange for just a few moments of a self-willed life. It may all be factored into one word, “unbelief”.
1. The saints were promised rest. (Vv. 12-13a)
Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
This voice from heaven will be such an encouragement to the tribulation saints knowing that they will be able to rest from their labours and that they will be rewarded for their good works as well.
Faith has always produced spiritual rest. Even in the Old Testament, those who were unbelievers could not enjoy God’s rest. Notice that the unbelievers in Moses’ day “entered not in because of unbelief.”(Hebrews 4:6). A lack of faith or belief has always caused a lack of spiritual rest. There is a faith rest that can only come from belief in the Lord resulting in obedience. Hebrews 4:11 says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”