It is clear in v. 6 that John is having a vision as he writes what he sees. The first angel declared a message under the umbrella of the eternal gospel. That message is the perfect message for that especially dark time when the antichrist will be in power. That message, which somehow will be heard globally by all, is: (1) fear God, (2) give God glory and (3) worship God. Perhaps, God will have his angels, rather than people, deliver those precious words because of what Jesus once predicted:
... Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4)
Spiritual night will be present at that time when those three angels messages will be proclaimed.
NOTE: We are to worship the creator—the one who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water (Rev. 14:7). To worship anyone or anything else is idolatry, as is also greed.
The timing of the second angel’s message will be when Babylon the Great is fallen. Until that happens, this angel’s message will not go forth. Babylon the Great is described by all the spiritual harm done by it. Because such evil is still being done, Babylon is still present and such disproves the false interpretation that Revelation was already fulfilled. The fall of Babylon is also announced four chapters later:
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” (Rev 18:1-3)
The double reference to the same event shows that not everything in Revelation is in sequential order. The fall of Babylon is one of the major events at the very end of this age.
This angel’s message is a warning about the chief single danger then—worshiping the beast and his image and receiving his mark. That single sin is so grave that anyone, including Christians, who buckle under the pressure of the day and sin in that way will be damned. That truth destroys the myth of eternal security. John wrote: Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)
The judgment for all who receive the mark of the beast is again restated for emphasis. Among other things there will be no rest for the transgressors.
All of this and more will occur before the rapture. The faithful saints alive then must have patient endurance. The chief sinful temptation then will be idolatry—false worship.
To die in the Lord has always been a sign of being blessed, but to do so at that time will probably mean to give up one’s life to remain faithful. This blessed group will find rest, while the group which takes the mark will find no rest. See 14:11. NOTE: Our deeds will follow us after death:
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden. (1 Tim 5:24, 25)
2. This lake of fire warning to not take the mark of the beast was given even to the "saints". That reality DISPROVES Eternal Security (also known as "Once Saved Always Saved"). NOTE: "saints" are not false converts, but real Christians. It was the true followers of Jesus who were given that lake of fire warning over that ONE SIN, which can NEVER BE FORGIVEN. Warnings to the saints of them possibly going to the lake of fire are critical, but are all withheld in many congregations due to the heresy of Eternal Security, which claims that is impossible for a truly saved person to ever lose his salvation.
3. This passage, like scores of others, also DISPROVES Universal Salvation, that is, the notion that everyone is going to be saved because Jesus died for everyone. The truth is: the majority of the people will go to the lake of fire in the end (Mt. 7:13,14) and one must be righteously different in order to enter Paradise (Mt. 5:8; Heb. 12:14; Rev. 21:27).
4. Rev. 14:9-12 also DISPROVES Annihilation of the Wicked Dead because ALL the people who do receive the mark of the beast will go to the lake of fire to be "TORMENTED WITH BURNING SULFUR" for ever and ever. See also Rev. 20:10; 21:8.
Please also note the word "angel" means MESSENGER and could refer to Christians worldwide, who are warning people not to receive the mark of the beast needed to "buy or sell" (Rev. 14:9-12).
Remember the three angel's messages and do NOT take the mark!