Revelation 14:9
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
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(9) And the third angel . .—Better, And another angel, a third, followed them, saying in a loud voice, If any man worship the wild beast and his image, and a mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, he also himself shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mingled pure (in full strength, undiluted, e.g., “He shall have judgment without mercy that hath showed no mercy,” James 2:13) in the cup of his indignation, and shall be tormented in fire, &c., &c. This third angel naturally follows the other two, which describe the powers which are in conflict: the word of God, and the Babylon of the world; the gospel will triumph; Babylon is doomed; hence comes the warning that men should not identify themselves with the city of worldliness, falsehood, and sin. The reference to the wild beast, the image, and the mark, carries us back to the last chapter, and shows us that Babylon is only another aspect of the work of God’s enemies: it is the city of the world-power. The warning not to receive the mark is a declaration that man, individual man, is responsible: there is no necessity for his receiving the mark, the hall-mark of a cowardly connivance at wrong-doing, or for setting his judgments by the fashions of the world.

Revelation 14:9-12. And the third angel followed — At no great distance of time; saying — As the two former had done; with a loud voice — With authority and earnestness; If any man worship the beast, &c. — The commission of this angel reaches further than that of the preceding; it extends not only to the capital city, not only to the principal agents and promoters of idolatry, but to all the subjects of the beast, whom it consigns over to everlasting punishment. If any man worship the beast — That is, embrace and profess the religion of the beast; or, what is the same, the religion of the Papal hierarchy; the same shall drink, &c. — The worship against which judgment is here denounced, consists partly in an inward submission to the beast, a persuasion that all who are subject to Christ must be subject to the beast, or they cannot receive the influences of divine grace; or, as their expression is, “There is no salvation out of the church;” and partly in a suitable outward reverence to the beast and his image — the antichristian kingdom, and the pope that rules in it. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God — The wine of God’s indignation, tempered with various ingredients of wrath; which is poured out without mixture — Namely, of mercy, and without hope. Bishop Newton renders the expression, the poisonous wrath of God; observing, “His punishment shall correspond with his crime; as he drank of the poisonous wine of Babylon, so he shall be made to drink of the poisonous wine of God; του κεκερασμενου ακρατου, which is mixed unmixed, the poisonous ingredients being stronger when mixed with mere, or unmixed wine;” in the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone — In the day of God’s future vengeance; in the presence of the holy angels — From hence some conjecture that possibly the torments of the damned may, at certain seasons, through eternal ages, become a spectacle to the inhabitants of the blessed world above; and in the presence of the Lamb — This signifies that their punishment shall not only be appointed by the infinite majesty of God, but approved moreover by men and angels, and by him also who loved us unto death, even Christ, our merciful and compassionate High-Priest. In all the Scriptures there is not another threatening so terrible as this. And God, by this greater fear, intended to arm his servants against the fear of the beast. The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever — “When I seriously reflect on this text,” says Doddridge, “and how directly the force of it lies against those who, contrary to the light of their consciences, continue in the communion of the Church of Rome for secular advantage, or to avoid the terror of persecution, it almost makes me tremble.” By this third angel following the others with a loud voice, we may understand principally Luther and his fellow-reformers, who, with a loud voice, protested against the corruptions of the Church of Rome, and declared them to be destructive of salvation to all who obstinately continued in the practice and profession of them. This would be a time of great trial, Revelation 14:12. Here is the patience of the saints — Manifested in suffering all things, rather than receive this mark of the beast, the badge of their devotedness to him, and making an open profession of his religion; who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus — The character of all true saints. It is very well known that this was a time of great trial and persecution; the Reformation was not introduced and established without much bloodshed; there were many martyrs in every country, but they were comforted with a solemn declaration from heaven in the next words.

14:6-13 The progress of the Reformation appears to be here set forth. The four proclamations are plain in their meaning; that all Christians may be encouraged, in the time of trial, to be faithful to their Lord. The gospel is the great means whereby men are brought to fear God, and to give glory to him. The preaching of the everlasting gospel shakes the foundations of antichrist in the world, and hastens its downfal. If any persist in being subject to the beast, and in promoting his cause, they must expect to be for ever miserable in soul and body. The believer is to venture or suffer any thing in obeying the commandments of God, and professing the faith of Jesus. May God bestow this patience upon us. Observe the description of those that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as are found in Christ when death comes. They rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution; for there the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Their works follow them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above all their services and sufferings. This is made sure by the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the written word.And the third angel followed them - This was a new vision designed to represent the removal of all the obstructions to the final prevalence of the gospel. We are not necessarily to suppose that this event would succeed those mentioned before in the order of time, though this would be the natural construction. The design of this is to show that the worshippers of the beast and his image would be certainly and finally destroyed.

Saying with a loud voice - Making a loud proclamation. Revelation 14:7.

If any man worship the beast and his image - See the notes on Revelation 13:4, Revelation 13:8, Revelation 13:12, Revelation 13:15. This declaration is universal, affirming of all who thus render idolatrous reverence to the power represented by the beast and his image that they should drink of the wine of the wrath of God. The general meaning is, that they were guilty of idolatry of a gross form; and wherever this existed they who were guilty of it would come under the denunciations in the Scriptures against idolaters. And why should not such denunciations fall on idolaters under the papacy as well as on others? Is it not true that there is as real idolatry there as in the pagan world? Is not the idolatry as gross and debasing? Is it not attended with as real corruption in the heart and the life? Is it not encompassed with as many things to inflame the passions, corrupt the morals, and alienate the soul from God? And is it not all the worse for being a perversion of Christianity, and practiced under the forms of the religion of the Saviour? On what principle should idolatry be denounced and condemned anywhere if it is not in papal Rome? Compare the notes on 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

And receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand - See the notes on Revelation 13:16. The word "receive" here implies that there was, on their part, some degree of voluntariness: it was not a mark impressed by force, but a mark received. This is true in respect to all idolatry; and this lays the ground for condemnation. Whatever art is used to induce people to worship the beast and his image, it is still true that the worshippers are voluntary, and that, being voluntary, it is right that they should be treated as such. It is on this ground only that any idolaters, or any sinners of any kind, can be, in the proper sense of that term, published.

9. A, B, C, and Andreas read, "another, a third angel." Compare with this verse Re 13:15, 16. God letteth his servant John know, that during the reign and rage of antichrist, as he would have ministers of the gospel that should preach the truth, and mind men to keep themselves from idols, worshipping God alone; and others that should assure them the papacy should go down, mystical Babylon should fall; so he would have others that should give warning to men and women of those dreadful plagues that should come upon them that entered themselves in this great city, either worshipping the devil after the pagan manner, or the image of the beast, i.e. committing idolatry after the antichristian, popish fashion, or that should either be subject to this idolatrous head, or be a soldier to fight for it. What those judgments should be, God showeth in Revelation 14:10, and possibly there is not a more severe denunciation of judgment in the whole book of God.

And the third angel followed them,.... The two preceding ones, and that very quickly; by whom is meant not Luther, and his associates in the Reformation, as some think; nor his successors, or the ministers of the Gospel in general from his time till Christ's second coming, as others have thought; but a set of Gospel ministers in the spiritual reign of Christ: the first set of them publish the everlasting Gospel, which leads on to the ruin of antichrist; the second set proclaim the downfall of Rome, and this third set denounce the wrath of God upon all that have professed the Popish religion:

saying with a loud voice; as the first angel did, with like authority and vehemence, in order to strike terror, and express indignation:

if any man worship the beast and his image; give in to the idolatries of the church of Rome, and embrace, maintain, and defend the Popish religion, which bears a resemblance to the worship of the Heathens, and is the very image of Rome Pagan; see Revelation 13:4

and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand; openly profess Popery, and swear allegiance to the man of sin, and do all they can to support his interest; see Revelation 13:16.

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, {7} If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

(7) That is, will not worship God alone, but will transfer his divine honour to this beast, whether he do it with his heart, or counterfeiting in show. For he (says Christ) that denies me before men, him will I deny before my Father and his angels Mt 10:32. This is the voice of the holy ministry, which at this time is used of the holy and faithful servants of God. For having now sufficiently found out the public obstinacy of Babylon, they no longer work to speak out against the same: but to save some particular members by terror (as Jude speaks) and to pluck them out of the flame: or else lead them away by vehement commiseration of their state, they set before them eternal death into which they rush unaware, unless they return to God in time, but the godly who are of their own flock, they exhort to patience, obedience and faith to others.

Revelation 14:9-11. That the wine of fornication is at the same time a wine of Divine wrath (Revelation 14:8), follows from the message of the third angel, inasmuch as this expressly announces to the worshippers of the beast the impending Divine retribution: καὶ αὐτὸς πίεται ἐκ τοῦ οἰνου τοῦ θυμοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, κ.τ.λ., for the words εἴ τις προσκυνεὶ, κ.τ.λ., describe, according to the measure of ch. 13,[3503] the meaning of the figurative expression πορνεία, Revelation 14:8.

[3503] It really makes no difference that in Revelation 13:16 the ἐπι τ. χειρ. precedes, and in this passage the ἐπὶ τ. μετώπ. But with respect to change of case (cf. Winer, p. 382), it cannot be disregarded that in both places (cf. also Revelation 13:1) the genitive precedes. Cf. Revelation 7:1, where, however, a modification of the idea is recognizable in ἐπὶ τῆς γ., τῆς θ. (on the earth, the sea) and ἑπι τι δενδρον (on any tree, against any tree). The accus. occurs twice, Revelation 20:4.

Revelation 14:9-11. The third angel proclaims that the deliberate adherents of the Imperial cultus are to be held responsible for their actions, and punished accordingly. The object is that these votaries may be “scared into faith by warning of sin’s pains”. The plea of force (Revelation 13:12) is no excuse (cf Matthew 10:28).

9. the third angel] Read, another angel, a third.

Revelation 14:9. Ἄλλος, another) The preaching of the angel with the everlasting Gospel is a good, that of the second and third is also a good: but yet the second and the third angel are distinct from each other. Spener, for instance, properly confined himself within his own limits; see Canstein, in his Life, § 32. But if any one should suppose that the investigation and testimony to the truth of prophecy is to be confined within the same limits on the part of posterity, he would commit an error. There is a variety both in gifts and times. See Erkl. Offenb. pp. 145, 158, 159, 166, 167, 176, etc., 1041, 1042, 1117.—εἴ τις, κ.τ.λ.) If any man shall worship the beast and his image, and shall receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture in the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the angels, and before the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, who have worshipped the beast, and whosoever shall have received the mark of his name. This threatening stands by it self, and is the most dreadful of all contained in the whole of the Scripture. The fear of Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body, banishes the fear of those who slay the body: Luke 12:4-5.

Verse 9. - And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice; and another, a third angel, etc. (see on ver. 8). (On "loud voice," see on ver. 7.) If any man worship the beast and his image. Here those who worship the beast and those who worship his image are regarded as one class, which they practically are (but see on Revelation 13:14). This is the fornication referred to in ver. 8, the retribution for which follows in ver. 10. And receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand; a mark; but doubtless the mark of the beast alluded to in Revelation 13:16 (which see). In his forehead, etc. (see on Revelation 13:16). Revelation 14:9The third angel (τρίτος ἄγγελος)

Add ἄλλος another. Rev., another angel, a third.

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