Have you wondered about this passage in the third angel's message of Revelation 14?
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12, NKJV)
Seventh-day Adventists will easily relate to the phrase “keep the commandments of God.” We are a commandment-keeping movement. But how do we keep “the faith of Jesus”? Before that, how do we receive it?
The unique mission of Seventh-day Adventists is highlighted and summarized in the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12. We receive a special blessing by understanding what these messages mean in the context of Jesus’ Great Commission given in a Matthew 28:18-20. For an in-depth commentary, read The Great Controversy, Chapter 25, by Ellen White.
The three messages climax in the third angel’s message:
“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:9-12, NKJV)
The third angel’s message proclaims the sentence received by people who reject the gift of Christ’s righteousness and, by default, choose to live by the flesh instead of by faith. They are those who give in to their natural impulses, and chose to submit to the governments of earth rather than the kingdom of heaven.
The message also describes the victory of those who have chosen citizenship in Jesus’ kingdom. These people have received Christ’s righteousness, and, by His Spirit in them, live by the laws of God’s government and by “the faith of Jesus.”
But, what is the faith of Jesus and how do we receive it?
I’ve heard various explanations over the years. Often, the explanations have appealed to a need to depend fully on God, like Jesus did.
That’s more easily said than done! Jesus is God, after all. Doesn’t that give Him an advantage?
It occurred to me not long ago, that there’s a more practical solution. It’s a solution that gives us the same advantage Jesus had.
Hebrews 11:1 is often the go-to text for a definition of faith:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NKJV)
We usually unpack this verse by describing what faith is, for example:
These explanations are not wrong. But, I invite you to consider this: By asking what faith is we’ve not drilled down to a deeper meaning that the author of Hebrews may be pointing to.
Instead of asking what “is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen,” we ask Who “is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen”?
Did you come up with the answer I did? Jesus!
Just as in receiving Jesus we receive His righteousness, by receiving Jesus we receive His faith—the faith of Jesus.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7, NKJV)
Jesus promises us that by merging our heart and soul with His, He gives substance to our hopes and His unseen reality becomes our experience.
Do you want more faith? Receive more of Jesus today!