John’s vision in Revelation 14 is essential to introduce the 144,000, to preach the message of the three angels, and to harvest consistently. Interestingly enough, the Bible classifies the first of the three messages as the everlasting gospel. It is said to be a gospel that will be preached to every nation, tribe, language, and people. The designation of the first message as the eternal gospel seems to set it apart from the other two in its eternal meaning.
In the schema of the prophecy at Revelation 14, it seems that this message will matter more to the last days than to any previous dispensation. You will recall a series of predictions by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 that he stated that the final preaching of The Everlasting Gospel on a global scale was one of the main signs of the Second Coming. I want you to pay attention to the language he uses to describe the kind of message that is to be spread to the world in the end time:
The message to be preached in the last days is called “the gospel of the kingdom
” When I think of the phrase “gospel of the kingdom,” I only remember the fact that this is what Christ and His disciples were preaching all along. There was always an emphasis in their day on the need to prepare for the kingdom to come. According to the scriptures, this was the message he was preaching when Christ’s ministry officially began. Here’s what Mark says:
It was the same message that John the Baptist preached when he says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. It was the same gospel that Jesus commissioned to preach to his disciples when he sent them to seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In his commandment, he admonished the twelve, saying, “Go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The kingdom of God is spoken of in two ways: first, you have the kingdom of grace and then you have the kingdom of glory. It is quite necessary that the former should precede the latter. Every Christian today is considered part of this kingdom of grace because of his benefit from the extended mercy of our God who sent His Son to die for our sins. The way we walk as subjects of the kingdom of grace will determine whether or not we inherit the kingdom of glory.
Just as the eternal destiny of the apostolic generation depends on the way the gospel is treated
so much will it be in the last days. However, when you look at what the first angel’s message is about, you will see that the word “kingdom” is not even mentioned. Here is how the prophet John describes the message:
Since the phrase “the kingdom of God is at hand” does not appear in this message, does this mean that it differs from what Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24? Far away from here; since both the Gospel of the Kingdom and The Everlasting Gospel are to be preached to every nation and will be preached in the last days just before the second coming, it is difficult to see the contrast between them.
When we consider the gospel of the kingdom
It is quite evident that the center of this message is about a special rule to come, and that reign is about Christ’s. According to the scriptures, the kingdom of God is about “justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Rom. Therefore, this kingdom in question is not only a structure that is built for us in the heavens but also a holy life resulting from a qualitative relationship with God. Kingdom proclamation aims to lead men and women to true repentance and to realize that they can live a righteous life in Christ.
When you study the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14, you are actually teaching the same principle using different words. Here’s what it teaches.
What interests me most about this message is the call to recognize God as the Creator of heaven and earth. The God-marked way to celebrate God’s creation is by keeping the Sabbath. But what does Sabbath-keeping have to do with the call to repentance and relationship with God? Here is what the prophet Isaiah says about what it means to truly celebrate this special day of worship:
without making your own ways of finding your own delight, or uttering your own words: then enjoy Lord, and I will make you ride in the heights.
The message of Revelation 14 is indeed a call to “delight in the Lord” by keeping the Sabbath. The stark contrast between the message of the pre-apostolic dispensation and the message of the last days is because there is a difference in the contexts in which they are preached. The current truth in Christ’s day was about the kingdom because Christ was to establish His kingdom of grace, the Church. But in the last days, the message will be about invoking people to fear God and celebrating His creative work as the world will pay homage to the beast during
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