Three Angels' Message Part 5
Thanks again for joining us, as we continue to give study the messages of the three angels, located in Revelation 14:6-12. What have we discovered so far? We have seen that these messages are God’s last appeal to Planet Earth. What could be more important than that? And yet, so many people are totally uninformed about these vital messages. For some reason, they’ve never heard about them!
Let’s begin by addressing something that is very crucial. Understanding this point will have a direct bearing on how we approach and apply the material. Revelation 14:6 opens by saying, “Then I saw another angel.” Who is this “angel,” and who are the other “angels” that are spoken of in this passage? When most people use the word “angel,” their minds go directly to the heavenly beings of which the Bible speaks. Is that the best way to understand the word in this context?
It’s always helpful to look at the word used in Scripture, to see what its background is, and how to see how it is used in other places of the Bible. A tool that makes that very easy is called Blue Letter Bible, a free app that you can download on your device. It allows you to study the original word, and even if you’re not an expert in Greek or Hebrew, you can learn a lot by using this amazing app.
Notice that our word “angel” comes directly from a Greek word (angelos). Long ago, the word angelos was simply brought into the English language and became a part of our vocabulary. When this happens, it is called “transliteration,” just putting English letters to a foreign word. Looking at the definition, which is very easy to do if you are using Blue Letter Bible, we find that the word angelos means “messenger,” or “one who carries a message.” It is true that most often in Scripture the term refers to the hosts of heaven who minister to their King, in the classic meaning of the word “angel.” But the Bible speaks of others to whom this term is applied who are not of the heavenly company.
By seeing the word as it is used in other places in the Bible, you can discover that there is a very apt illustration of the word “angel” found in the Gospels, which is applied to John the Baptist. It is rather hidden, since the translators chose not to translate the word angelos as “angel” in this passage,” perhaps to avoid confusion. Did you know that the Scriptures call him an “angel”? This usage is very much in point because we know that John was the delegated messenger sent to herald the first coming of Jesus; he was commissioned to “make ready a people for the coming of the Lord.” Luke 1:17. Ponder that job description well: this is precisely the objective of the messages found in Revelation 14. They are given to precede and to prepare for the coming of the Lord; not His first coming, as was John the Baptist, but His glorious and climactic second coming.
Where does it say that John the Baptist was God’s “angel”? Notice how John was described this way by Jesus Himself. Christ spoke to the multitude concerning him and asked them, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’” Matthew 11:7-10. In this, Jesus quoted from the close of the Old Testament, Malachi 3:1.
If you were to read this passage in the Greek language, both from Matthew’s account in the New Testament as well as from the Septuagint (Greek) version of the Old Testament, you would see that Jesus said, “Behold I send My angelos, (My ‘angel’) before Your face.” In a sense then, John the Baptist was God’s “angel” delivering the message that would announce the coming of Jesus and prepare for His arrival.
Likewise, the “angels” of Revelation 14 occupy a similar role as did John the Baptist, in that they announce the second coming of Jesus with a message calculated to prepare the world for this momentous event. These are the last day “John the Baptists” or “angels” who give to the world God’s last warning message. They are human beings doing a heavenly work.
And since Jesus is quoting from the Old Testament book of Malachi, we should note that the Hebrew word translated “messenger” in that text is malak, a word which is used scores of times to refer to the angels of heaven as well as being translated about an equal number of times as “messenger” and being used to refer to humans in a role of bearing a message. The very title of that last book of the Old Testament comes from this root malak and therefore “Malachi” can be rendered “My messenger.”
In addition, we might also point out that Bible students have long recognized the letters of Christ to the seven churches, found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, each of which is addressed to the “angel” of a church, as being directed to the pastors of those churches, the “stars” who are held in His right hand. Revelation 1:20. In a similar way, when James commented on the spies who were hidden by Rahab, he used the word angelos. James 2:25. Again, the translators refrained from using the word “angel,” to avoid misunderstanding. Because he conveyed the Gospel to them, Paul in his letter to the Galatians, mentions that they received him as an “angel of God.” Galatians 4:14.
Drawing a comparison between the two great events of Scripture, we can say that in a literal sense, there were “angels in the sky” who sang their announcement of the first coming of Jesus to the shepherds of Bethlehem. In a figurative sense, there are “angels in the sky” depicted in Revelation 14 who are actually human beings, God’s last day messengers, who bear the final warning message to Planet Earth announcing His second coming. They are the spiritual descendants of John the Baptist, the “angel,” who was sent to “make ready a people prepared for the coming of the day of the Lord.” Are you one of them? God wants you to be!
Please join us next time as we continue in our study of the Revelation 14:6-12, the messages God wants the world to hear in these last days.
To “keep” those things which are written therein, For us in our time, Christians in the very last days, to “keep” those things which are written therein is to live the messages and proclaim them to others.
I accidentally submitted that last comment before I was done editing it.