Lesson 8 - Revelation’s Most Thrilling Message
The book of Revelation is one of the most important books in the entire Bible. Its main theme, or central focus, is the return of Jesus Christ.
Revelation unmasks the deceptive plans of Satan. And it unfolds the plans of God for these last days.
In Revelation 14 Jesus Christ is clearly pictured as the Son of man coming on a cloud to reap the harvest of the earth (verses 14-16). Before He returns He sends a special message to prepare a people for His coming. We find this message in verses 6-12.
1. In Revelation 14:6-12 Jesus reveals His special message to prepare His people for earth's last hour. Who bears this message to earth? Revelation 14:6The Bible Answer: An angel flying-
Throughout the book of Revelation, angelic messengers are pictured as bearing a message to earth. The fact that angels are pictured as bearing this message reveals its urgent heavenly importance. Jesus commissioned His angelic messengers to impress the mind of His prophet John with heavenly visions of end-time events. John wrote these messages down in the Bible's last book, Revelation
2. How universal is this message? Whom is it for? Revelation 14:6The Bible Answer: To every nation, tribe, tongue and people-
The apostle John saw an angel flying swiftly in the heavens quickly carrying God's last-day message to the entire world. Noah preached a message of urgent importance for men and women soon to face a universal flood, and God sent a message through Joseph warning of an Egyptian famine. The messages of Noah and Joseph were sent by a loving God to prepare His people for overwhelming events that would profoundly affect millions. Once again in our day God has a special message for His people. It is a message of urgent importance.
3. What is the central feature of God's final loving appeal before He returns? What is this universal message that is to go to "every nation, tribe, tongue, and people" (NKJV)?* Revelation 14:6The Bible Answer: Having the everlasting gospel-
The heart of God's last-day message is the "everlasting gospel." The gospel is the good news about Jesus. It is the story of the cross. It is the story of Jesus' love, His forgiveness, His grace, and His mercy. The gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16). It speaks of a love that transforms our lives and makes us into new persons in Christ.
4. What particular time period does this message draw our attention to? Revelation 14:7The Bible Answer: For the Hour of his judgment has come
Notice the tense of the verb describing the judgment. The text clearly says, "The hour of [God's] judgment HAS come!" (NKJV). Some translations declare, "The hour of [God's] judgment is come." In other words, it is here. It has arrived.
5. What did Jesus and the apostle Paul declare regarding the timing of the judgment? a. In Matthew 12:36 Jesus says: b. In Acts 24:25 the apostle Paul says:The Bible Answer: a. For every idle word...will give account-future tense.
The Bible Answer: b. The judgment to come Future tense
Jesus speaks of the day of judgment in the future. Paul describes "judgment to come" (NKJV). In the days of both Jesus and Paul the judgment was certainly a future event. Revelation's urgent message for us today is "the hour of [God's] judgment is come." It is here.
6. What two classes are developed before Jesus comes? Revelation 22:11, 12The Bible Answer: Just and unjust, filthy and un-filthy, righteous and unrighteous
Jesus is coming to give rewards. A judgment must precede His coming to determine who receives what rewards when He comes. The destiny of all men and women must be decided before He returns. The reason for this judgment is not because God does not know who is saved or lost. He certainly knows. Remember, a rebel angel has challenged God's character. Lucifer has claimed God is unfair and unjust. He has charged God before the whole universe. The judgment reveals God's character of love before the whole universe. It shows that anyone who is lost is lost because of their own choices. God has done everything He could to save them. When did this judgment begin? What is the nature of the judgment? How can you and I have assurance in the judgment? These and many other questions will be answered in the next two studies. However, there is more to the message in Revelation 14 to survey in this study.
7. Whom is this message a call to worship? Revelation 14:7The Bible Answer: Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water
In an age when the evolutionary hypothesis has captured the scientific world, God invites us to worship Him as the Creator. We did not evolve. We were fashioned by a loving God. We are His. The reason we worship God is precisely because He made us. The basis of all worship is simply this. He is our life-giver. Revelation gives an urgent, last-day call to worship Christ as Creator. In a future lesson we will discover God's end-time sign of last-day allegiance, the symbol of His creative power.
8. What important announcement does the second angel make? Revelation 14:8
The Bible Answer: Babylon is fallen, fallen
9. What call does God give to people in Babylon? Why? Revelation 18:4The Bible Answer: Come out of her, my people; share I her sins and partake of her plagues-
Who composes Babylon? What does Babylon stand for? The city of Babylon was built on the site of the former tower of Babel where God confused the languages. In Revelation's prophecies, it is a symbol of religious confusion. Revelation's spiritual Babylon represents false religion. It symbolizes a departure from Bible truth. In a future lesson we will discover just how error has slipped into the Christian church and God's call back to truth.
10. What issue does the third angel deal with? Revelation 14:9-11
The Bible Answer: Worships the beast and its image and receive his mark
11. How does Revelation describe God's people just before the return of our Lord? Revelation 14:12The Bible Answer: Saints-keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus
As a result of proclaiming the message of Revelation 14, two classes are developed. One receives the mark of the beast. They persecute and oppress the true people of God. Ultimately they receive the seven last plagues. The other group, sensing it is the judgment hour, loyally stand for their Creator. Through faith in Jesus they keep the commandments of God. They flee from the falsehoods of spiritual Babylon and are protected from the plagues.
12. What promise does God give to those who study the prophecies of Revelation? Revelation 1:3The Bible Answer: Blessed is he who reads
In each of our future lessons we will especially study God's urgent last-day messages for today. Each study in the series is a vital link in a connected chain to prepare us for the coming of Jesus. Why not open your heart to God right now and tell Him that you hunger after the truth of His Word? John the Revelator promises that we will receive a triple blessing from reading, understanding and following Revelation's teachings. God has a special blessing in store for us in the next few lessons.
* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.