Receiving the undiluted wrath of God, punished by the seven last plagues, and, in the end, cast into the lake of fire. What a contrast to those who refused the mark of the beast and stand on the sea of glass triumphantly singing praise to God and the Lamb!
What is this mark that no one would want to receive? Clearly, the above verses connect it with false worship. Also, as we saw in a previous lesson, the fourth beast power of Daniel chapter 7, in its latter phase (also depicted as the sea beast of Revelation chapter 13), would “think to change times and laws” (Dan. 7:25). One law that it thought to change was the Sabbath, the fourth commandment — the only one of the ten that refers to time and points directly to God as the One who “made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exod. 20:11) .
Significantly, the first angel’s message points us back to this commandment that the beast power tried to change and makes it clear that we are to worship the Lord alone as the Creator. In fact, of the seven verses referring to worship in Revelation chapters 12-14, this (Rev. 14:7) is the only one about true worship; the other six warn against falsely worshiping the beast and his image (Rev. 13:4, Rev. 13:8, Rev. 13:12, Rev. 13:15; Rev. 14:9, Rev. 14:11) . Immediately after the third angel’s description of the fate of those who engage in this false worship, the true worshipers of God are described: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
In other words, proclamation of these three messages separates all of humanity into two groups: those who worship the Creator by keeping all of His commandments, including the seventh-day Sabbath command, and those who worship the beast and his image. This false form of worship, then, offers an alternative to worshiping the Creator by keeping the Sabbath commandment.
|Think more about the connection between worship and loyalty. What aspects of worship are essential in order to show our loyalty to God?|