The Wrath-Denouncing Angel.
"And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any one worship the wild beast and his image, and receive his mark on his forehead, or on his hand, even he will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out unmingled into the cup of his wrath; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the wild beast and his image, and whoever receiveth the mark of his name!" -- Rev.14:9-11.

The cry of this angel synchronizes with the "voice from heaven" (18:4), and follows the discovery of the corruptions of Romanism. -- See the exposition of that Scripture, p.307.

The worship of the beast consisted in a regard for it, equivalent to saying, "Who is like unto the beast? and, Who is able to make war with him?" 13:4. To worship, is to manifest homage and respect. To worship any inferior object, is to bestow on it the confidence and affection which is due only to God. It is to trust in it, as invincible, able to protect, and infallible in judgment. Thus to regard any civil or ecclesiastical organization, is to substitute it for Him, by whom the powers that be are ordained (Rom.13:1), who giveth the kingdom to whomsoever he will (Dan.4:17), and by whom alone, kings reign, and princes decree justice, Prov.8:15.

Whenever any civil or ecclesiastical enactment conflicts with the requisitions of Jehovah, that power is worshipped, which is obeyed in preference to the other: "Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey?" Rom.6:16. The worship of God is incompatible with obedience to any power which compels a violation of His laws. Due obedience to government is commanded, when no question of conscience is involved. When it is, no forcible resistance to the execution of the law is permitted; but while God is obeyed, the penalty of the law is to be meekly endured.

The early Christians chose death, rather than to deny their Saviour at the command of Jewish Sanhedrim or Roman emperor. When Peter and John were commanded "not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus," their answer was, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye; for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard," Acts 4:19, 20. In like manner, the Christians living at the epoch of this angel, were to be similarly tried, which is implied in the command, not to worship.

So soon as the reformers were placed in direct conflict with the Church of Rome, her anathemas were hurled against all who assented not to her mummeries. And the power of the civil arm was also brought into exercise to compel obedience to her commands. Those who maintained their integrity, did so in opposition to the requirements of the church and state; while those who submitted to the state as invincible, or to the church as infallible, extended to the beast or its image that homage and regard which was due to God. They thus acknowledged themselves the servants of him whom they obeyed, and subjected themselves to the wrath of God.

The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest, day nor night, who worship the beast and his image. While the righteous enter into rest, the wicked are like the troubled sea which cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, Isa.57:20.

the angel announcing the fall
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