(6) Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
This angel symbolically roleplays the spread of the gospel into all the world. This literally happened by the feet of the apostles and disciples of the Lord in the first century. Jesus told the apostles, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). The vision of this angel demonstrating that the gospel has gone out to all who dwell on earth is confirmation that the apostles and disciples completed the task which the Lord gave them in Mark 16:15 and later in Acts 1:7-8. Other scriptures confirm this accomplishment as well; for by the time Paul wrote to the Romans, the gospel had already gone “to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:18) and had been made known to “all nations” (Romans 16:26). Then, when Paul wrote to the Colossians, he confirmed that the gospel had been taught to the “whole world” (Colossians 1:6) and had already been “proclaimed in all creation under heaven” (Colossians 1:23). But what does this have to do with Revelation? Why is there a vision which roleplays this accomplishment? To fulfill the word of God. Jesus, when speaking of the fall of Judea, said, “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14). So, the gospel was to be delivered to all nations before Jerusalem fell. This gospel would universally bring the greatest indictment against the old covenant people. It would give every Jew on the planet the opportunity to fear God and repent; and for those who refused the graceful message, it would reveal to the whole world why God has come in such vengeful wrath against the house of Israel; just as Ezekiel explained,
“And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.” (Ezekiel 39:23-24).
(7) And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
All the way up to the hour of judgment against the house of Israel we see that God is still looking for the “eleventh-hour” laborers who might turn to him (see 13:13 and Matthew 20:1-16). This vision is a picture drawn out of the very nature of God, who is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).