“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11).
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6–7).
We should first consider the fact that in this place the gospel is being proclaimed by a flying angel in the midst of the sky. We know from the record of Scripture that the gospel was fundamentally entrusted to the church, and not to angels (Matt. 28:18-20). But the fact that men are the ordinary preachers of gospel does not require the angels to be silent about it, as in this instance the angel isn’t. When Paul chides the Galatians for drifting away from the gospel, he says this: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). The problem here was that it was a different gospel, and not the fact that it was preached by an angel. So ordinarily men are to preach the gospel, but this proclamation from the heavens fits in with what we are taught elsewhere.
We are coming to the climax of God’s wrath being poured out over Jerusalem, and Jesus had predicted this very thing before that destruction. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14). This angel speaks to all nations—to “them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” This is a sign that the demolition of Jerusalem is about to happen.
This angel preaches, it says, with a “loud voice.” What is the content of what he says? What is the shape of this everlasting gospel? What the angel says here fits in with what we are taught elsewhere. He says that men are to “fear God” (Luke 1:50; Luke 12:5). “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:35). He says that men must “give glory to him” (Matt. 5:16; Matt. 9:8). “Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel” (Matt. 15:31). He says that “the hour of his judgment is come” (John 12:23, 31-32). “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:8–11). And as we saw in the first chapters of Genesis, the God of the gospel is the God who made all things—whether “heaven, and earth, and the sea,” or “the fountains of waters.”
In short, what the angel declared in the preparation for Jerusalem’s destruction sounds very much like what the apostle Paul declared.
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:24–31).