Revelation 14:6 is the foundation of the three messages given by angels in the chapter. The term angel simply means messenger. Angels flying in heaven with a loud voice give metaphorical expression to the fact that these messengers have an imperative message that must be expressed urgently and immediately. According to John, the message is none other than the gospel.
Notice that the first angel breaks down the foundation of the gospel into three specific sections: (1) fear God and give glory to Him, (2) for the hour of His judgment has come, and (3) worship God because He is the Creator.
Fear God and Give Glory to Him
To fear God and give Him glory is the gospel’s immediate and direct call to action. It is what God needs us to do. As we studied in lesson 4, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom that education seeks to impart to the student. We fear God by seeking after Him in sincerity (Josh. 24:14). To fear God means to obey Him and to seek after godliness (Deut. 6:2; 10:12). Faithfulness to God is an act of fearing Him (Deut. 10:20). We are fearing God when we choose not to rebel against Him (1 Sam. 12:24) but surrender ourselves in humility to His will in our lives.
Most of all, to fear God means to have faith in His character: to trust Him (Ps. 115:11), to believe that His mercy toward us endures forever (Ps. 118:4) and to be satisfied (Ps. 34:9) because we trust that He has our best interests in mind. In education as in the context of the gospel, the goal of the fear of God is a mature faith: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
Judgment Has Come
“The hour of His judgment has come” refers to the fact that there is a time limit to redemption. The life that we have is probationary, for God will and must put an end to sin and death. Redemption has an expiration date, and now is the time to take hold of God’s redemptive power. From an Adventist perspective, education and redemption are the same. Thus, the everlasting gospel is an urgent and immediate call to educate!
Worship the Creator
The call to worship is a call to remember our Creator. We worship God because He created us and because He created everything we need to sustain and enjoy the life we live.
As a memorial of creation, God instituted the Sabbath. Unlike the year or month, nothing in nature identifies the need for a seven-day week except the Word of God spoken at creation regarding the Sabbath. The everlasting gospel of Revelation calls us to worship the Creator on the seventh-day Sabbath to remember that we are not our own.
Likewise, the first work of education is to introduce the student to a knowledge of God as our Creator. In the gospel as in education, creation and redemption are the foundation.