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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 14 - Verse 9

Verse 9. And the third angel followed them. This was a new vision designed to represent the removal of all the obstructions to the final prevalence of the gospel. We are not necessarily to suppose that this event would succeed those mentioned before, in the order of time, though this would be the natural construction. The design of this is to show that the worshippers of the beast and his image would be certainly and finally destroyed.

Saying with a loud voice. Making a loud proclamation. Re 14:7.

If any man worship the beast and his image. See Barnes on "Re 13:4, seq. This declaration is universal, affirming of all who thus render idolatrous reverence to the power represented by the beast and his image, that they should drink of the wine of the wrath of God. The general meaning is, that they were guilty of idolatry of a gross form; and wherever this existed, they who were guilty of it would come under the denunciations in the Scriptures against idolaters. And why should not such denunciations fall on idolaters under the Papacy as well as on others? Is it not true that there is as real idolatry there as in the heathen world? Is not the idolatry as gross and debasing? Is it not attended with as real corruption in the heart and the life? Is it not encompassed with as many things to inflame the passions, corrupt the morals, and alienate the soul from God? And is it not all the worse for being a perversion of Christianity, and practised under the forms of the religion of the Saviour? On what principle should idolatry be denounced and condemned anywhere, if it is not in Papal Rome? Compare See Barnes "2 Th 2:4".

 

And receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand. See Barnes "Re 13:16".

The word "receive" here implies that there was, on their part, some degree of voluntariness: it was not a mark impressed by force, but a mark received. This is true in respect to all idolatry; and this lays the ground for condemnation. Whatever art is used to induce men to worship the beast and his image, it is still true that the worshippers are voluntary, and that, being voluntary, it is right that they should be treated as such. It is on this ground only that any idolaters, or any sinners of any kind, can be, in the proper sense of that term, punished.

{b} "any man" Re 13:14-16

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