“Here is the patience of the saints. Here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12)
In 14:9-11 we see the sad condition of those who live “by faith alone”. This a picture of unrepentant sin. Now in this verse is shown of those “who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”.
What are “the commandments of God”? It is what is told in Exodus; “And He gave to Moses, when He had made an end of speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18).
This is what we know as the Ten Commandments. The holiest and most powerful document ever seen on earth. This moral code is written on the hearts of every human since antiquity. This is what is called the human conscience. But it also has been given to us through the written word of the “Book” or the Holy Bible. It is the gold standard of LOVE from and for the kingdom of God.
This is why it is so important for Christians (“saints”), and non-Christians to put it upon themselves to adhere to and follow these simple moral rules. As we know, one tablet is moral conduct toward God. And the other tablet is moral conduct toward our neighbor. This takes a serious concerted effort on our part to do our part. Because we at our core are nothing but selfish evil. We are prone to selfish lusts and desires to be found in the world. And the root of these is our SELF. This is our struggle, this is our battle as Christians to overcome SELF. In this verse, it is called “the patience of the saints”.
For it is in “that old rugged cross”, the emblem of suffering and shame that this patience is found. For we are following in the footsteps of our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is “the faith of Jesus”. It is only through the blood (the WORD) and through the cross (LOVE of God) are we able to overcome. And these two attributes of God, LOVE, and TRUTH are deeply reflected in “the commandments of God”. This is the moral foundation of heaven. The church on earth was created to reflect God’s love toward this foundation.
This is the keystone and message of the Book of Revelation
The reformed church says “Sola Fide”, or what is grace plus faith plus nothing is our salvation into the kingdom of God obtained. But this is so far from the truth it is astonishing.
For it says here in chapter 14:12. “Behold, look and see here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”. It is almost like the Lord Jesus is saying, “these ones here have followed my example and teachings while I was on earth”. As we saw in Chapter 1 when Jesus greeted the seven churches of Asia, He said to each one “I will give”. This is clearly a reward for those who “who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”. We have our part in working out our salvation.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” Php 2:12 KJV.
This is in direct opposition and contradiction to “Justification by faith alone”. This is the doctrine of “the beast” discussed earlier. This is why it is so offensive. It goes against everything that Jesus taught and lived by while taking on human form on the earth. We and they have missed the mark. The LOVE and TRUTH of our Lord have been obliterated like a dark overcast day. So in 14:9-11 we see the sad condition of those who live “by faith alone”.
But here in 14:12 we see the haggard, frazzled and weary “saints”. They are the ones who Jesus commends for their “patience”. They have kept the commandments and followed the example of Jesus. They have as the Apostle Paul said;
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (“of Jesus”) (2Tius 4:7).
Hot diggity dog! What a blessed day that will be! No wonder the pugnacious apostle fought the good fight! He did not get into the boxing ring to sit on the couch and wait for the door to eternity to open up. No, he fought to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil within. And while he was engaged in that, in the back of his mind he was always striving to further his Poppas kingdom. And to share it with everyone he came into contact with.
“And I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they shall rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (Revelation 14:13)
“I heard a voice from Heaven” signifies another proclamation. John is told to write it down “write” what he has heard so that others may receive it. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” meaning dying to SELF.
“But those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25).
“Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies (regeneration, transformation) it brings forth much fruit. He who loves his life shall lose it. And he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal” (John 12:24-25).
This is speaking of the emerging new church that “they shall rest from their labors”.
This is in direct correlation with the previous verse and having “patience”. For “rest from their labors” means the struggles, trials, and temptations of living a hard life in the world.
And the “labors” also means the “works” they have been engaged in. Not works to gain salvation or to make SELF look good. But works to honor and obey God because they love Him. So again, this is a world away from “Justification by faith alone”. For this is the doctrine of the beast.
This is what the Lord was teaching in John 12:24-25, “if it dies, it brings forth much fruit”. We have to “die” to SELF. This is an active participant in our salvation. And this is active participation in our love to our neighbor. Even though we can do nothing through ourselves, we have to tap into the power of the blood and the power of the cross. This is a matter of inner strength and making choices in our mind and our will. For in doing so it brings forth fruit. The power of LOVE and TRUTH is released into our lives. So it is not that we are unable to do anything in our own strength (“by faith alone”), but that we can do those things that Poppa God expects us to do from His holy Word;
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).