Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11
We have seen that the first two proclamations announce the preaching of the everlasting gospel, and the fall of the kingdoms of this world, as the Lamb appears on Mount Zion with those who have been marked by His Father’s name coming with Him. Those two proclamations are occurring right now, and have been since the time of the Reformation. The third proclamation concerns the people who stayed true to the beast and his mark, instead of converting to the Lamb and receiving His mark as a result of the preaching of the everlasting gospel. (Here is a quick review of what Scripture is talking about when it discusses being marked on the hand and forehead.)
The third proclamation announces the fate of those who worship the beast, and retain his mark. The wine of the wrath of God, which has not yet been poured out (that is coming up in Revelation) is reserved for them. The wrath that God is going to pour out on the world for its sin is NOT directed at us, people! That encouraged me so much when I realized it! I can take the wrath of man, as long as the wrath of God is not directed at me! The punishment of the beast, the fire and brimstone, is reserved for them.
Revelation is a book of comfort and hope for those of us who bear the mark of the name of the Father of the Lamb on their foreheads! But for those who bear the mark of the name of the beast on their foreheads, Revelation is a book of dread.
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 14: the patience of the saints