Thoughts on the Bible text
Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the ever lasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue and people—saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgement has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Revelation 14: 6–7
Already early in the history of fallen mankind, God’s care and help is made evident through the actions of angels. For example, in one extremely difficult situation an angel of God encounters Hagar and allows her to experience the help of God. She recognises God as the One who sees her (Genesis 16: 7–14).
The task of the angels is to worship God, fulfil His commands, and thereby serve Him. According to Hebrews 1: 14, they are “all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation”. In accordance with the will of God, angels can also become visible in certain cases (CNAC 126.96.36.199.1).
Angels proclaim the will of God
Our Bible text emphasises the angels’ mandate to proclaim God’s will and is reminiscent of the joyful message of the birth of Jesus, the Saviour and Redeemer (Luke 2: 10, 11, 14).
Another angel, which is the one mentioned in our Bible text, reminds us to fear God and give Him glory (verse 7).
- In verse 6 of our Bible text, the seer of Patmos describes him as flying in the midst of heaven, which is a reference to the rule of God over both the visible and the invisible world.
- The angel was commissioned to proclaim the everlasting gospel. This reflects the allembracing will of God to lead all people back into eternal fellowship with Him (1 Timothy 2: 3, 4).
Apostles: angels of the Son of Man
The angel which proclaims the everlasting gospel can, according to our faith, be interpreted as the re-establishment of the Apostle ministry at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The angels of the Son of Man, the Apostles of Jesus, are stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4: 1) and have the commission to warn humankind of the coming judgement (Revelation 14: 7), and to prepare an adorned bride for the coming of Christ, the bridegroom (Revelation 21: 2).
Part of their mission of preaching is to draw attention to the fall of Babylon (Revelation 14: 8)—a metaphor for remoteness from God, evil, and sinfulness. This event has already occurred through the sacrifice of Jesus, even though death, the last enemy of man, has not yet been destroyed (1 Corinthians 15: 26).
The goal of the angels’ message
Revelation 14: 12 emphasises that those who live in fellowship with God are patient and steadfast in affliction; keep the commandments of God and profess Jesus as the Son of God and Redeemer. In this way, the admonition of the angel is heeded: “Fear God and give glory to Him” (verse 7)!
WG DSG 09/2020