Revelation 14:6-7 ESV
“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.’”
No matter where you believe we are presently regarding the timing of all of this, there are truths here in this passage of Scripture which are foundational to our Christian faith, which apply to us all the time.
The true gospel is still going forth, even though it is largely being overridden by the false diluted gospel. And it is going out across the globe, largely now via the internet or television. And it is bearing fruit for God’s eternal kingdom, although the majority of people are still not on board with it.
And this gospel says, “Fear God and give him glory.” And to fear God is to worship, honor, respect, revere and obey him. It is to submit to him as Lord. It is to forsake our former lives of sin to now follow him in obedience, in the surrendering of our lives to him (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).
And to worship God is much the same. It is to give our lives (bodies) to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our true worship of him. And we are not to be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in the renewing of our minds, that we might be able to discern God’s best for us, i.e. his perfect will for our lives (Rom 12:1-2).
And we are to do so, not just because it is the right thing to do, and not just because of God’s love and grace to us, but because God will judge those who have refused Jesus Christ. And refusing him is not just unbelief, but it is refusing to submit to him, to obey him, and to forsake our lives of sin, too.
If we continue living in sin, walking in the ways of this world, according to our flesh, then we will die in our sins no matter what we profess with our lips or think we believe in our hearts (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8).
Revelation 14:8 ESV
“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.’”
I believe this is speaking of God’s judgment on Babylon the great for her many sins against God and against humanity. I will not get into a discussion about who this great harlot is or isn’t only to say that she represents an entity which seduces the nations of the world with her immorality.
She causes the nations of the world to sin with her, so she has enormous influence over the world, and she has much power and persuasion, so much so that she is able to even force compliance to her wicked ways and to her evil plans, which are the plans of Satan and of his beast/antichrist.
We are warned in Revelation 18 to come out of her so that we do not share in her sins and in her punishment, for her sins are piled high to heaven. So, certainly she does represent the world’s system leading up to this rule of the beast, and she also represents false religion or institutional Christianity, which is of man, not of God.
She is under the judgment of God, so we are not to participate with her in her sins. We are not to walk in her ways, which are the ways of the flesh and of the world. And this includes the institutional (state) church which is market-driven and flesh-driven, which dilutes the gospel, and which appeases human flesh. We are to come away from her (Rev 18:4-5).
Revelation 14:9-10 ESV
“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.’”
Now, this is where it gets interesting. There are many ideas out there regarding what this image and this mark of the beast are. So, I will share with you what I believe, which is consistent with the teachings of Scripture, and which I believe the Lord gave me insight into.
We are warned here not to take the mark of the beast. We are also told not to worship the beast and its image. A mark can be a characteristic trait. An image can be a likeness of something. And worship is honor, respect, obedience, and submission. And the beast is a representative of Satan.
We are not to take on the character of what is antichrist on our minds (foreheads) and on our deeds (hands). We are not to honor and submit to what is antichrist (against God). But we are to take on the character of Christ on our minds and deeds, and we are to submit to Him as Lord.
So, this is talking about not taking on the influence and the characteristic traits of what is antichrist, i.e. what is of the flesh and what is opposed to God. And it is about not taking this “mark” on our minds and on our deeds. We are not to become like the world. We are to become like Christ.
So many people have their focus on a physical mark, which it could be also, but while they are missing the fact that they have already taken on that mark (character) of what is antichrist on their minds and deeds. And they are already giving their worship (allegiance) to what is not of God.
For, if you believe that you don’t have to leave your lives of sin behind you, that you don’t have to obey the Lord, and that you don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord, then you have already taken on the mark of the beast, and you are already worshiping him and his likeness.
Or, if you have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but you are still walking according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, so you haven’t truly been born of the Spirit of God, then you have already taken on the character of what is antichrist on your minds and on your deeds.
But, going back to Romans 12:1-2, we are to worship God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit – only with our lives. And this means surrendering our lives to Christ, forsaking our sins, and walking in obedience to his commands. And we are to be conformed to HIS likeness, not to the likeness of what is antichrist and is of this world and of the flesh of man.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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