Introduction: Do you remember when you had some special news or a
special story that others did not know? How exciting was it to share
that special story with others? Our study this week is about a very
special message that we have to share with others. The message has to
do with worship, faith and the final judgment. Let’s wade into our
study of the Bible to learn more about this great news!

  1. First Angel

    1. Read Revelation 14:6. What is the audience for the message
      of this angel? (Everyone, everywhere.)

      1. What do you believe is the “eternal gospel?” (Our God
        became a human and lived with us. Our God, named
        Jesus, lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and
        was resurrected to return to heaven. We accept Jesus’
        sacrifice on our behalf through baptism. His life
        becomes our life, His death is our death and His
        resurrection is the promise of our resurrection to
        eternal life.)

    2. Let’s see if our view of the gospel is the same as the
      angel’s message. Read Revelation 14:7. What significance
      do you find in the “loud voice?” (This is supposed to be

      1. Let’s start with the view that “fear God” means
        exactly what it says because it introduces the idea
        that the time of judgment has come. How do you
        explain the “give Him glory” part of this message
        about judgment? (This is the gospel – that we give
        God glory because He took our place in the judgment.
        When He died, we symbolically died. When He rose, we
        symbolically rose. Could you ever stop praising
        someone who died for you?)

      2. How would you reconcile the “fear God” instruction
        with the “give Him glory” instruction? How do those
        work together? (If you want to face judgment without
        Jesus interceding for you, then you should fear
        because you will die. The fantastic news is that we
        have a way to avoid eternal death.)

      3. Notice the last sentence. We are told to worship the
        Creator. Why does this have anything to do with
        judgment or the gospel? (My study of the Bible has
        taught me that God consistently pins His authority on
        the fact that He is our Creator. Only one with
        authority can judge. Only one with authority can
        modify the rule of law. God tells us that He has the
        authority to do all of this!)

      4. Let’s step back a minute and look at the action. This
        says a flying angel will give this message. I’ve
        never seen an angel in my neighborhood loudly
        shouting this message. What do you think this
        reference to an “angel” means? (Adam Clarke’s
        commentary suggests that this could refer to a
        special group of Christians whose goal is to promote
        this gospel message.)

      5. Let’s step back a second minute and consider the
        message. What is at the heart of the angel’s message?
        (To fear God and worship God.)

        1. Fear is not something you can just grit your
          teeth and do. What, as a practical matter, are
          we being asked to do? (I think we are asked to
          “obey.” Whether fear means terror or giving
          respect, the result would be a change in our
          actions. Thus, obedience and worship are linked
          in this angel’s message.)

  2. Second Angel

    1. Read Revelation 14:8 and Isaiah 21:8-9. What do you think
      is meant by Babylon? (In the Old Testament,
      Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was the enemy of God’s people. If
      you read 1 Peter 5:13, Peter seems to refer to the Roman
      empire as “Babylon.” Why? Because it, too, was the enemy
      of God’s people. Some of the older commentaries, such as
      Barnes’ Notes and Matthew Henry, point to both pagan and
      Papal Rome as Babylon, no doubt because both were
      persecuting powers. My view is that the constant feature
      of Babylon is the power behind it – which is Satan. But,
      the human, institutional “front” for Satan changes with

      1. What do you currently see as the main, human
        institutional “front” for Satan? Let’s look next at
        some more characteristics of Babylon before we make
        up our mind.

    2. Look again at Revelation 14:8. What activity helps to
      identify Babylon? (It makes nations “drink the maddening
      wine of her adulteries.”)

      1. What do you think is meant by “adulteries” in this
        context? (Unfaithfulness to God.)

      2. Why refer to this as “wine” which is “maddening”?
        Why refer to it as “drink?” (“Maddening” means to
        lose your proper sense of things. This power promotes
        views against God that causes us to lose our proper
        perspective on things.)

      3. In your experience, what has had the most power to
        cause you to lose a right perspective on God? To make
        you want to be unfaithful to Him?(All of the
        candidates for Babylon that we discussed likely have
        little or no influence in our life today. My vote for
        the most negative institutional influence in my life
        is entertainment media. Have you ever watched a movie
        or read a book where you find yourself wanting a
        murderer or adulterer to win? I feel like the “wine”
        of this unfaithfulness to God is being poured over

        1. What is wrong with my suggestion that pagan
          media is a current candidate for “Babylon?”
          (Two things. First, Revelation 14:8 says it
          “made all nations drink.” I voluntarily read
          and watch. Second, it seems odd to call pagan
          media, among all the Babylons, the “Great” one.
          We need to explore this further with the next

    3. What is the good news of Revelation 14:8 about the work of
      Satan’s institutional agents to make us unfaithful to God?
      (They are fallen, defeated!)

  3. Third Angel

    1. Read Revelation 14:9. Let’s stop right here. What is the
      focus of the controversy? (Worship!)

      1. Think back to the message of the first angel. What
        was it about? (Worship!)

      2. What should we conclude? (The message of the three
        angels is about worship. Will you worship the Creator
        or will you worship Babylon.)

      3. Does this help clarify what is meant by “Babylon the
        Great?” (Yes. This is an institutional power whose
        focus is worship.)

    2. Now let’s add the rest of the sentence. Read Revelation
      14:9-10. What kind of problem are Satan’s agents, the
      “beast and his image,” creating? (The problem is worship
      and receiving “his mark.”)

    3. Context is very important here. Revelation 12:7-9 reveals
      that the “dragon” is Satan. If you read Revelation 13, you
      will see that the dragon gives power to at least a couple
      of beasts. Read Revelation 13:12-17. What is the greatest
      problem with this trinity of the dragon and the two
      beasts? (Coercion when it comes to worship! Those who
      refuse to worship the first beast are killed. Everyone is
      forced to receive a beast mark on the right hand or the

      1. What is the beast mark? (The fact that it is on the
        forehead (thinking) or the hand (doing) suggests that
        some will agree with beast worship and some will
        simply comply, even if they disagree.)

    4. Let’s go back to the message of the third angel in
      Revelation 14:9-10 and re-read it. What kind of problem do
      the saints face? (The beast will kill them if they do not
      accept the mark, and God will kill them if they do.)

      1. Does that seem unfair? (No. God is simply warning us
        that at some time we will have to make a choice on
        who we will worship. You can make the wrong choice by
        agreeing with Satan, or just going along with Satan.
        Either one is fatal.)

  4. Worship

    1. Let’s focus on the worship issue. What, again, is the
      basis for God’s claim to worship? Revelation 14:7 says
      being our Creator. Read Exodus 20:8-11. What is God’s
      special worship instruction which is keyed to Him being
      our Creator? (The Sabbath!)

      1. What does this suggest is the point on which worship
        of God or worship of Satan turns? (The Sabbath – the
        weekly memorial to Creation.)

      2. What else is important? (Recall the entire judgment
        issue is about righteousness by faith. If your
        Sabbath worship is not motivated by a desire to
        praise God for saving you and defeating Satan, you
        have missed the point.)

    2. Read Revelation 14:12. Wait a minute! Does this tell us
      that keeping the commandments is the standard for the
      judgment? (No! But, it does say that those who place their
      faith in Jesus, those who worship Him, have holiness as
      their goal. The rule of law is God’s standard.)

    3. Friend, would you like to be on the right side of worship?
      Would you like to share this end-time warning? Commit
      right now to worship God every Sabbath and rely on His
      righteousness alone for your salvation!

  5. Next week: The Cosmic Conflict Over God’s Character.