Wednesday, 7 April 2021
Then 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, Revelation 14:9
This is now the third angel flying in the midst of the heavens, following the first two. The first called out, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” The second angel brought words of destruction concerning the great city of harlotry and enmity with God – “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
Now this third angel will give a strong warning. John begins with, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice.” This is the same thing that was said of the first angel. It called out in a loud voice that God is to be worshiped. This one now calls out in a loud voice, a notion that complements the cry of the first angel, saying, “If anyone worships the beast and his image.”
God is to be worshiped. In worshiping any other, there will be consequences. The warning has been called out in a loud voice. Allegiance to the beasts and its image is considered idolatry. The thought continues with, “and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand.”
The word translated as “receives” is lambanó. It signifies to take, or lay hold of. HELPS Word Studies notes that it “emphasizes the volition (assertiveness) of the receiver.” Thus, it is a voluntary allegiance to the authority and rule of the beast. The mark can be either on the right hand or on the forehead. This is repeated from verse 13:16. Whether the mark is actually visible or not, it signifies either an oath of allegiance (right hand) or a mental assertion (forehead) of the authority of the beast.
The warning has been given. The consequences for ignoring the warning are forthcoming.
Life application: We can see the progression of thought concerning the pronouncement of the three angels –
1) A note to follow the true God.
2) A proclamation that the enemies of the true God are defeated. And finally,
3) A warning to anyone who would follow the enemies of the true God.
What do you think the warning will include? Certainly not rewards of candy and pleasantries! Instead, there will be the just reward of the Creator who has given every possible chance for the people of the world to acknowledge Him and His greatness and to, by faith, call out to Him, trusting in His eternal promises which were validated in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Worshiping the beast and his image means worshiping that which is less than God. Receiving the mark on the forehead means making a mental assertion that following the beast is worth the price of the bread one eats. Receiving the mark on one’s hand is the sworn allegiance to the beast and his image, and it means that allegiance to God has been rejected.
What will be gained by temporary relief will be regretted in everlasting destruction. What can man do to us but harm our temporary, physical life? But what great blessings God can bestow upon us when we place our eternal souls in His mighty hands. Be sure to make the right choice. Call out to God today. Call out to JESUS!
Here we are Lord, all people of the earth are facing eternal decisions. Shall we walk with You, hold to Your word, and call on the name of Jesus? Or shall we walk according to the dictates of our own minds, reject the truth You have given us, and turn away from the only sacrifice which can reconcile us to You? May we be wise and choose life. May we choose Jesus. Amen.