Refocus in the middle distance,
Between the sublime and the mundane,
3 angels’ announcements,
then the voice from heaven
audible signals to any
with ears to hear.
Imagine these 3 angels –
As 3 streaming services available to download,
As 3 media content providers or networks, with a ‘voice’
You recognize each in an instant –
You can ‘binge’ them, or replay them –
One harps on reverence –
Revere (fear) God –
Allahu akbar –
God is greater!
Beware the claims of the penultimate!
One harps on condemnation –
Babylon the Great is fallen –
Its excesses are over
But infected every nation
One harps on war crimes sentences
Those who ran the genocides of Babylon
They/we are due for punishment
Proportionate to the suffering of the martyrs
Meanwhile, leaving that vengeance to God,
The saints might find patience for now
The concluding voice
Tells John to write
(and us to hear)
Encouragement for those who die now,
In apparent futility –
Vindicated in the big picture….
6 Then I saw another angel, flying high overhead, sent to announce the gospel of eternity to all who live on the earth, every nation, race, language and tribe.
7 He was calling, 'Fear God and glorify him, because the time has come for him to sit in judgment; worship the maker of heaven and earth and sea and the springs of water.'
8 A second angel followed him, calling, 'Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, Babylon which gave the whole world the wine of retribution to drink.'
9 A third angel followed, shouting aloud, 'All those who worship the beast and his statue, or have had themselves branded on the hand or forehead,
10 will be made to drink the wine of God's fury which is ready, undiluted, in his cup of retribution; in fire and brimstone they will be tortured in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb
11 and the smoke of their torture will rise for ever and ever. There will be no respite, night or day, for those who worship the beast or its statue or accept branding with its name.'
12 This is why there must be perseverance in the saints who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say to me, 'Write down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord! Blessed indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.'
News from 3 More Angels
6 Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth— to every nation and tribe and language and people.
7He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgement has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’
8 Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’
9 Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, ‘Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands,
10they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’
12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them.’