Martin Luther - the angel with the gospel

When Martin Luther died, Pastor Johann Bugenhagen preached his funeral sermon.  Although he cited many texts concerning the resurrection of the dead, he also included this commentary on Revelation 14:6-8:

“For Dr. Martin Luther was without doubt the angel written about in Revelation 14, who flew through the midst of heaven and had an eternal Gospel, etc., as the text says:  ‘Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’  A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’


“This angel who says, ‘Fear God and give him glory,’ was Dr. Martin Luther. And what is written here, ‘Fear God and give him glory,’ are the two parts of Dr. Martin Luther’s doctrine, the Law and the Gospel, through which all of Scripture is unlocked and Christ, our righteousness and eternal life, is recognized.  To these two he has also added this passage (‘the hour of his judgment has come’) and has taught regarding proper prayer and invocation of God the heavenly Father in Spirit and in truth.  As the angel also says in Revelation 14: ‘Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, etc.’


“For after the teaching of this angel, another angel will follow, who will proclaim comfort to the sorrowful and persecuted Church and the lightning and thunder of eternal judgment and condemnation against its adversaries, as, after all, the other angel said: ‘Fallen!  Fallen is Babylon the Great.’  Therefore, the adversaries will not rejoice long over our sorrow, as Christ also says in John 16: ‘Your sorrow shall turn to joy.’ For according to Revelation, the fourteenth chapter, we see that this has happened before and still happens.”


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