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The overcomers in Rev. 14:1-5 are the saints of the Most High who are to be given the dominion when the time of the little horn ends, as Dan. 7:21, 22 tells us. In the Concordant Version of Dan. 7:18, we read that their responsibility is to “safeguard the Kingdom.” The transfer of authority is only the beginning of their thousand-year rest-work. As with Joshua, whose commission in Deut. 31:23 gave him the legal authority to invade Canaan, so also is it with the overcomers in their conquest to bring the whole earth under the feet of Christ.
The main difference between Joshua’s conquest of Canaan and the overcomers’ conquest of the earth is that these conquests are done under two very different covenants. The first was done under the Old Covenant by physical swords and war, while the second is done by the sword of the Spirit and by spiritual warfare.
On the day that Moses commissioned Joshua, he wrote a song (Deut. 31:22) and then sang it to the people in Deut. 32:1-43. This is the Song of Moses mentioned in Rev. 15:3. The song was about God’s faithfulness, but also about Israel’s corruption and foolishness. The overcomers are given “a new song” to sing, based on the New Covenant and setting forth God’s promise of deliverance by the power of His word and oath.
This New Covenant song of the Lamb sends a message to the nations. Rev. 14:6, 7 says,
6 And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7 and he said with a loud voice, Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.
The message is the “eternal gospel,” or literally, “glad tidings age-lasting” (The Emphatic Diaglott). The word gospel means good news or “glad tidings.” The word aionian, here translated “age-lasting,” indicates that it is the gospel pertaining to The Age that follows. It should be understood to mean the Gospel (or Glad Tidings) of the Kingdom, which arrives after the long domination of beast nations. The message is twofold:
1. Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come.
2. Worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.
The judgment in this case is not the Great White Throne which is seen at the end of the thousand years in Rev. 20:5, 11. It is the judgment wherein the Ancient of Days gives the Kingdom to the saints. The Concordant Version uses the term Transferrer of Days, rather than Ancient of Days. This agrees with Gesenius Lexicon, which says that the Hebrew word attiyk (“Ancient” or “Transferrer”) comes from the root word athak, “to move, proceed, advance, move on, become, be removed, transferred.”
Gesenius also tells us that the word includes the idea of advancing in years and even means “to wean” a baby (Isaiah 28:9) in the sense of advancing or transferring the child from the breast to solid food.
Hence, the “Ancient of Days” has a double meaning. It refers to One who is old or ancient (having white hair), but His purpose is to transfer the Dominion Mandate from the beasts to the saints of the Most High. For further study, see my book, Daniel, Prophet of the Ages, Book 2, chapter 4.
To some, it may seem strange that this angel would proclaim the good news of divine judgment, because most people associate God’s judgment with the bad news of eternal torment. But this passage provides us with no such picture. The judgment is the divine decree that rules against the beast and for the saints of the Most High. John gives few details, but Dan. 7:11 tells us,
11 Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.
The “burning fire” is that which comes out from the throne itself, for the prophet tells us that “His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him” (Dan. 7:9, 10). A throne is a symbol of law, by which a monarch judges the people according to the “fiery law” (Deut. 33:2, KJV). Hence, any decree that the Judge issues is pictured metaphorically as a fire coming from the throne.
The purpose of this judgment is not to destroy the earth but to save it. The destruction of the beast puts an end to the oppression of his system. It dethrones the rulers of the present world order who misuse God’s creation and enslave the people perpetually. This judgment sets men free under the rulership of the overcomers, whose character is consistent with that of Jesus Christ and who rule with love.
This is the proclamation of the Angel of Hastening Hope (my personal revelation), who is sent out to inform the world of this decree from the throne. The result is seen in Isaiah 26:9,
9 for when the earth experiences Thy judgments, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
The second message which John attributes to this angel is the decree to worship the Creator. He is identified as the one who created all things in order to set forth His right to rule that which He has created. In other words, He invokes the Law of Ownership, or of Creator’s Rights.
This angel’s message is primarily from Psalm 67, which is a Tabernacles psalm celebrating the time when the earth is set free from its taskmasters in order to serve the Creator who loves them. The psalmist longs for the transfiguration, as pictured by Moses when his face shined forth in light (Exodus 34:30-35). Psalm 67 says,
1 God be gracious unto us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us—Selah— 2 That Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations.
This light does not shine out of heaven like a spotlight in a stage performance. It is a light that shines out of us, as with Moses in Exodus 34:35, “the skin of Moses’ face shone.” This is a promise and a prophecy of transfiguration, and it is the result of God’s blessing and grace. The purpose of this transfiguration is “that Thy way may be known on the earth” and “Thy salvation (Yeshua) among all nations.” The psalmist continues,
3 Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth.
The psalmist prophesies here that God’s judgments in the earth will make the nations “sing for joy.” The day will come when the earth’s tyrants will no longer be able to rule with injustice and unrighteousness. The rule of Jesus Christ (with the overcomers) at the manifestation of His Kingdom will make the nations glad.
This is the gospel, the “good news” of the Kingdom that this angel proclaims in the heavens and which the overcomers proclaim on the earth. And this is the reason why all men ought to worship Him. They should worship Him out of love, not because they are forced to do so against their will by threats of death or torture. The psalmist ends with the climax in Psalm 67:7,
7 God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.
The blessing of transfiguration into the full image of Christ is not merely to bless the overcomers, but to extend that blessing to all the families of the earth. The Abrahamic calling was given to stewards who would dispense God’s blessing to all nations and not hoard them for themselves or for the few.
This is the angelic message in Rev. 14:7. It is the gospel of the Kingdom that must be preached to all nations before the end arrives. In Matt. 24:14 Jesus says,
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to the nations; and then the end shall come.
I have heard many sermons in the past, telling us that only a few will believe this message. They emphasize “for a witness,” explaining that Jesus says nothing about those nations actually believing the gospel that is preached. So far, this explanation seems to have validity, because few have believed this gospel during the time of beast dominion. Furthermore, the gospel that is usually preached is very limited in understanding and is based largely on the Old Covenant.
The gospel that has been preached has been based largely on fear, rather than faith. “Get saved, or burn in hell,” they say. It is no wonder that so few have believed. Such preachers are much like the disciples who were fishing all night on the left side of the boat in John 21. In the morning, Jesus called to them and told them to “cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat” (John 21:6). The left side signifies judgment; the right side signifies mercy.
This was Jesus’ final lesson on how to become “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). Fishing on the left side of the boat is based on divine judgment, which is the inevitable result of the Old Covenant method of fear-based salvation. Fishing on the right side of the boat is based on the mercy of God. Because it is based on the oath and promise of God, rather than the vows and good intentions of men, it is truly “good news” and “glad tidings.” Strictly speaking, the Old Covenant gospel is, in the end, a message of bad news and does not conform to the literal definition of the gospel.
The Angel of Hastening Hope, however, proclaims the good news of the Kingdom, and the overcomers provide the double witness on earth which agrees with the heavenly message.