The Message of the First Angel – Revelation 14:6-7

Revelation 14:6-13 three angels who appear in mid-heaven to announce the judgment on the kingdom of the beast is near.

angels of death Durer

Each of the three angels in this section are called “another angel,” despite there being no first angel in the series.  In 14:8 the next angel is called the second; in 14:9 the angel is the third. In Revelation 8:3 there was an eagle who announced the beginning of three woes. Similar to this angle, that eagle was flying in the mid- heaven, but it was not clear in that context the eagle was an angel. Although there is no text variant, some scholars suggest “another angel” (ἄλλον ἄγγελον) ought to read “another eagle” (ἄλλον ἀετόν).  Both the eagle (8:3) and the angel (14:6) proclaim their message to the inhabitants of the earth. But the eagle announces three woes, this angel is announcing “good news” (εὐαγγέλιον).

Despite the angel is in the air, there is no implication the angel as wings. The verb (πέτομαι) is associated with the flight of birds and insects in classical Greek, but also with running or moving quickly (BrillDAG). The angel is located in the midpoint of the sky, “midair” (NIV; μεσουράνημα), hence the ESV translation “directly overhead.”

The angel has an “eternal gospel to preach” to everyone on earth. Other than Romans 1:1, this is the only place in the New Testament where the word Gospel does not appear with the article, suggesting this is not the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus (Aune 2:825). This announcement of good news may allude to Isaiah 40:9-10 and/or 52:7-9. In both cases someone is on a mountain top and announcing good news and in both cases the good news is the salvation of Jerusalem and Zion. In the context of Isaiah 40-55, the good news of Zion’s salvation is the defeat of Babylon and the destruction of her gods (Isa 46). The next angel in Revelation 14:8 announces the fall of Babylon the great.

The angel proclaims good news to all the people of the earth and the message is simple: the day of God’s judgment has come, therefore they ought to “fear God and give him glory.” Most commentators see an allusion to Deuteronomy 10:12-15 or other similar passages. God requires all people to fear him and walk in all his ways (cf. Prov 8:13).

This announcement implies the day of judgment has already come. If this is so, is it too late to glorify God? The aorist verb “has come” may be a proleptic aorist, or an aorist of assurance (Aune, Revelation, 2:828). John often expresses the nearness of God’s judgment by declaring the time “has come.” A similar statement is made in Revelation 6:17 and 11:8 and will appear again in 18:10.

Another option the command to fear God and give him glory does not mean the ones do so are will be saved from the coming judgment. If they have taken the mark of the beast, then they are under God’s judgment. Even those under the judgment must acknowledge that God is worthy of glory. This is similar to Philippians 2:10-11, every knee will bow and acknowledge that Jesus the Messiah is Lord.

The angel concludes by declaring God is the creator. Similar to Paul’s preaching in Acts 14:15-16 and 17:24, the announcement to all peoples of the earth to fear God is based on his status as the creator of everything (cf., Romans 1:18-23).

2 thoughts on “The Message of the First Angel – Revelation 14:6-7

  1. I believe that in Revelation 14:6-7 when it talks about the message of the first Angel represents how every nation needs to remember to proclaim the gospel to everyone and to give all God the glory and praise when you are worshiping. Just as the Angel is doing, is called to send us this message and as the angel sends us this message to proclaim and spread the gospel that means they are also being an example of Christ going on to tell us to share the gospel with others.
    When I think of an angel I think of when I was a child and at Christmas time, we always drew stars and angels and the angels always had a halo on their head, along with big wings that make them fly down from Heaven. But as I have grown older, I have learned that angels can also be through someone else or even in the bible it talks about eagles. But obviously eagles can’t talk so it is just interesting to hear and see different points and visions that other people have when they think of angels. But I do believe that angels are sent by God to help give us messages. Sometimes angels can even be like someone telling you something that you needed to hear but don’t know how they knew you were struggling with that.
    Just as angels are called to do we are also called to preach and spread the gospel around to all of the nations. Matthew 24:14 is a great verse that reminds us that we are called to preach to all the nations.

  2. Thank you for your insight. You are correct. GOD uses us, because we want to be used. We desire him. To glorify him.

    What an honor. To be used by GOD 🙏✝️♥️

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