The attention of the seer was now turned again to the heavenly order. The redeemed are seen standing with the Lamb, a company of obedient souls who follow Him "whithersoever He goeth."
In distinction from the seventh angel who had sounded the trumpet John now refers to "another angel." At this point the unfallen angels are described as exercising a remarkable ministry on earth. The first of them proclaims eternal good tidings. Yet another proclaims the fall of Babylon. The Gospel calling men to submission having been sounded, and the defeat of Babylon announced "another angel, a third," goes forth with a message of warning. In this proclamation the continuity of the divine recognition of human will is evident. All are called on to choose. The beast and the prophet insist that men receive their mark, and those refusing are slain. On the other hand, God's angel messenger warns against receiving that mark.
It is in that connection that it was announced, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth." To those who through terrible suffering are faithful unto death will be granted the way of entry on the higher service.
A double view of impending judgment is given in the figures of the harvest and the vineyard. As to the harvest, it is briefly stated, "He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped." That sweep of the sickle in the right hand of the Son of man is a perfect symbol of the final and all-inclusive judgment. The figure of the vintage is an angel holding a sickle and gathering "the clusters of the vine of the earth."