In his vision of Apocalyptic Judgments John sees many angels at work. Here he sees one flying in "MID-HEAVEN." That is, in the heaven or atmosphere that surrounds our earth. The mission of this Angel is to preach the
unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people on the earth. Here is the first and only place in the Bible where an angel is commissioned to preach the Gospel. An angel could not tell Cornelius how to be saved, he could only tell him to send for Peter for that purpose. Acts 10:3-6. In this "Gospel Age" only redeemed men can preach the
[paragraph continues] Gospel, but at the "End Time," just before the return of the Lord, an angel will go forth to preach the "EVERLASTING GOSPEL," or as the revised Version puts it, the "ETERNAL GOSPEL." The word "Gospel" means "Good News." Four forms of the Gospel are mentioned in the New Testament, and we must distinguish carefully between them.
This is the "Good News" that God purposes to set up a Kingdom on this earth over which David's Son, JESUS, shall reign, as prophesied in Luke 1:32-33. Two preachings of this Gospel are mentioned, one past, beginning with the ministry of John the Baptist, and preached by Jesus and His Disciples, but it ended with the rejection of Jesus as King. This Gospel is to be preached again after the Church is taken out. It will be the fulfilment of Matt. 24:14, where it says: "This Gospel of 'THE KINGDOM' shall be preached in all the world for a WITNESS unto all nations: and then shall the end come." This has no reference to the Gospel that is now being preached. to the nations. It is the Gospel of SALVATION, but the "Gospel of the Kingdom" is not for "Salvation" but for a WITNESS, that is. it is the announcement that the time has come to SET UP THE KINGDOM. It will be preached first by Elijah the forerunner (Mal. 4:5-6): and by others who shall be commissioned to bear the news to all nations as a proclamation of the Coming of Christ as King to occupy the Throne of David, and for the purpose of regathering Israel to the Promised Land,
This is the "Good News" that Jesus Christ the rejected King died on the Cross for our SALVATION. This form of the Gospel is described in many ways. It is called the "GOSPEL OF GOD" (Rom. 1:1), because it has its source in the LOVE OF GOD. John 3:16. Its Character is "GRACE." Acts 20:24. Its subject is CHRIST (Rom. 1:16; 2. Cor. 10:14), and it is the POWER OF GOD UNTIL SALVATION. It is also a "GLORIOUS GOSPEL" because it speaks of Him who is in the GLORY, and has been GLORIFIED, and who is bringing many sons to GLORY. 1. Tim. 1:11, 2. Cor. 4:4, Heb. 2:10. And it is the "GOSPEL OF PEACE," because it makes peace between the sinner and God, and brings peace to the soul. Eph. 6:15.
Rom. 2:16. (Acts 26:16-18.)
This is the same as the "Gospel of the Grace of God," or of Salvation, with the additional revelations that were made known to Paul as to the Church (Eph. 3:1-7), and as to Israel. Rom. 11:1-36.
This is what the Angel preaches in this chapter. It is neither the "Gospel of the Kingdom," nor of "Grace." Its burden is not Salvation but JUDGMENT. "Fear God, and give glory to Him: for the HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT IS COME." It is "Good News" to Israel, and all who are passing through the "fires of Judgment," because it declares that their troubles will soon end in the judgment and destruction of Antichrist. It calls on men to worship God as "Creator," and not as "Saviour," and so it is called in the Revised Version--"THE ETERNAL GOSPEL," the Gospel that has been proclaimed from Eden down by Patriarchs' and Prophets, and not an "Everlasting Gospel" in the sense that it saves men for all eternity.
There is "ANOTHER GOSPEL" (Gal. 1:6-12, 2. Cor. 11:4), which is not another, and which Paul repudiated. It is a perversion of the true Gospel and has many seductive forms, and in the main teaches that "faith" is not sufficient to Salvation, nor able to keep and perfect, and so emphasizes "Good Works." Col. 2:18-23, Heb. 6:1, 9:14. The Apostle pronounces a fearful "Anathema" upon its preachers and teachers. Gal. 1:8-9. Our message is: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31. The Angel's message is: "Fear God for the HOUR of His Judgment is come." Men reject the human messenger and they will also reject the Angelic message, they will not believe even though the ONE (Jesus) rose from the dead.
Here is proof that the City of Babylon is to be rebuilt. For further proof see chapter eighteen. As to the fall and destruction of the literal City of Babylon this proclamation is anticipative, but as a declaration that Babylon had fallen to fearful depths of wickedness and apostasy, and had become "the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird," as described in chapter 18:2, it was already true, for the City of Babylon
will have been rebuilt at the time when this Angel utters his proclamation. The Angel's warning was that God's people might hear His voice saying: "Come out of her, MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4.
This is a most awful warning. Any man who worships the Beast, and receives his 'Mark' in forehead or hand, his doom is fixed FOREVER, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Holy Angels and of the Lamb, and the smoke of his torment shall ascend for ever and ever, and they shall have no rest day or night. That means during the 3½ years of Antichrist's reign, after they have received the "Mark," for there is no day or night in eternity. If "Eternal Punishment" is taught nowhere else in the Bible it is taught here, and if here, why is it not true as to other classes of sinners? Just think of the horror of remorse in the "Lake of Fire," as these worshippers of the Beast shall recall the "Mark of the Beast" as it was imprinted on their forehead or right hand with their own consent because of their desire to enrich themselves in the markets of their day.