"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).

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THE REVELATION OF CHRIST

THE TRIUMPH OF THE GOSPEL

Part 9

By Given O. Blakely

THE PATIENCE OF THE SAINTS

"Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." This is not the first time we have read of the "patience" of the saints. Earlier, "the patience and faith of the saints" were declared as the means through which the first beast was overcome (13:10). At the very beginning of the book, John described himself as a "companion" in the "patience of Jesus Christ," indicating he was not being overcome by his own exile (1:9).

In Scripture, "patience" is endurance, or perseverance. In this text, it refers to those who do NOT worship the beast or his image, and refuse affiliation with him. Thus they survive the deceptive attack of the wicked one. Even at the expense of losing their lives, they avoid identity with the enemies of the Lord. They will not embrace a form of godliness that lacks the power, and refuse to give honor to corrupt religion. From heaven's point of view, that is endurance, or patience. It is something sorely needed in our time.

In preference to the offerings of the beast, the "saints" keep "the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." First, this reveals Satan's ultimate goal. He tempts men to relinquish their hold upon the commandments of God. He seeks to cause them to abandon the faith authored by Jesus, as though it were a worthless thing. If he can turn people from a consideration of Divine demands and reliance on the Lamb, he shall have lured them into condemnation.

The people of God were also described earlier as those who "keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (12:10). It is edifying to read this description of the saints. They are not simply people who have adopted a certain religious position, or identified with a particular movement. While carnal men boast in such things, the saints do not. When it comes to submission, they think of "the commandments of God." That is what they choose to retain in their minds. They know that, in Christ, "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters" (1 Cor 7:19). Further, you can boil these commandments down to their essence. The word "commandments" are not limited to a moral code. The Law summarized the commandments in this manner. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31). The apostles provided an even more definitive view. "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment" (1 John 3;23).

Those who "keep the commandments of God" refuse to loosen their grip upon them. They will not allow a flood of worldly care to wash them from their memory. Nor, indeed, will they permit devotion to lifeless religion to deprive them of a walk in the light of the Lord.

"The faith of Jesus" is a phrase denoting faith IN Jesus. It also assumes Him to be the Origin of that faith. He is, after all, the "Author and Finisher of our faith" (Heb 12:2). The word "Author" literally means one who causes something to begin, originator, founder, initiator. Those who "keep the faith of Jesus" maintain their persuasion of and reliance upon the Jesus. They refuse to give their allegiance to Satan's substitute, and thus overcome him.

In Christ, we receive "a kingdom that cannot be shaken" (Heb 12:28). Where this is known and embraced, strength will be granted to withstand the delusional floods of Satan. But where this is NOT known, the artifices of the devil will not be withstood.

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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).

 

 

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InJesus