Thursday: The “Patience” of the Saints
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The second and third angels’ messages of Revelation are a warning to all who do not heed the divine call of the first angel’s message. If people continue on their wrong path, they will partake of God’s seven last plagues, which are seen as “the wine of the wrath of God” (Rev. 14:10), and this wine will be poured out on those who remain in Babylon.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

In the Bible, Babylon stands for rebellion against God (Gen. 11:1–9; Jeremiah 50, 51). Babylon arrogantly assumes the place of God and is the enemy of God’s people. By the time of the New Testament, Babylon has become a code word for Rome (1 Pet. 5:13). In the book of Revelation, the harlot Babylon is a religious-political power in opposition to God and to His people, and, as such, attempts to control the world. Revelation 13:15–17 describes the “Babylonian crisis” when the beastly powers of Revelation 13 join forces to persecute the remnant of God. Babylon is thus a symbol of the end-time alliance of apostate churches together with the corrupt political powers of the world.

The message of the three angels calls God’s followers in Babylon to come out and join the faithful and visible end-time remnant of God (Rev. 18:4-5). Yes, there is still a faithful remnant in Babylon, and they need to hear the Seventh-day Adventist end-time message.

As we saw yesterday, Revelation 14:12 clearly depicts God’s faithful remnant. The “perseverance,” or “patience,” of the saints does not describe so much a passive endurance of hostile activities but rather a steadfast awaiting of Christ. The believers not only follow the commandments, but also proclaim them to the world.

At the same time, the “faith of Jesus” can refer to the believers’ “faith in Jesus” (NASB) and also to Jesus’ loyalty that carries the believers faithfully through. The end of the third angel’s message, directs our eyes to Christ. Through His merits and His loyalty, God’s people are able to persevere and keep His commandments. “Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel’s message, and I have answered, ‘It is the third angel’s message in verity.’ ”—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 372.

However central the commandments of God are to the final crisis, Ellen G. White says that justification by faith is the three angels’ message “in verity.” How does this help us to understand why, first and foremost, we must rely only on Jesus and His merits for salvation, as the great hope that will get us through the final crisis?

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Thursday: The “Patience” of the Saints — 14 Comments

  1. The entire story is all about God and what He does. Necessarily, the patience of the saints, keeping the commandments and having the testimony of Jesus is also all about God and what He does. I may choose to "trust and obey," but all the power comes from the Lord. I must look to Him for everything, and depend upon Him. He is the Author and Finisher.

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  2. I find this lesson to be sad in some ways. Sad because we (the SDA church) like to focus on Rome as being the one who is in confusion as to who God is. Yesterday's lesson was sad because it depicted God as being arbitrary concerning an imposed law (Sabbath). Our church needs to consider the possiblity that it might have view points that are Babylon.

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    • I agree with you that sometimes we focus too closely on Rome, and that such a narrow focus often restricts us from seeing the deceptive powers that are around us that are potentially more effective in diverting us from Christ. We need to be on guard against the subtle persuasiveness of some of the deceptions that are closer to home.

      On the other hand I resist the temptation to call some of the viewpoints expressed by those in the church as those of Babylon. Babylon is a symbol for an entity, typically a power or organization that is dedicated to to deception of the righteous. I find that those who suggest that church members have Babylonian views are typically using the terminology to lay a guilt trip on those who think differently to them. True there are differences in the church and we should work to resolve those differences but calling someone else's idea Babylonian does little to help the situation.

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      • I apologize for the harsh term "Babylon". However, being 3rd generation Adventist and really trying to perform some of those mental gymnastics just don't make sense to me.

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  3. hie saints let us not focus on rome much .we should have a sound vetical connection with the source of power like job or moses

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  4. The wine of Babylon is the way we view God's law. Is it imposed or is it a design template. Will God (Jesus) destroy in the end or will he let go? Have we delivered the 1st angel's message?

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  5. [Moderator's note: Please remember to use your full name]

    I think God's people at times have babylonial tendencies we to need to be peculiar people that don't only stand but do right for our lord I get your point Larry.

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  6. Happy sabbath saints!! I think the whole of these quarter's lesson entails total surrender and dieing to self every day because judgement has started.So if at all we want to be warmly ushered into the gates of pearl whose streets are of gold then we have to abide by the rules of the race.be blessed.

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  7. Hellow fellow adventist let us keep encouraging each other to put off Babylonians characters so that we will not look like them .

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  8. If a person ( faithful believer) found committing minor mistakes on the day of opening of his her book of records, what will be his her fate ? Will he or she be justified by faith ?

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    • Rajesh, if we have sins then our names will be blotted out from the book of life. If our names are not in the book of life that means we will not make it to heaven because the book of life contains only the names of people who will be saved.

      BUT the final decision of our case will be made only after our probation closes. The opening of the book of life is just the start of the investigative judgment. Who are we when the book closes will determine our destiny.

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