The heart of the book of Revelation is about worship. While the dragon, the beast from the sea, and the beast from the earth (often called “the false trinity”) join forces to unite the world in worshiping them (see Rev. 13:4, 8, 12, 15; 14:9, 11), God calls the human race to worship the Creator (Rev. 14:7). Those who do not worship the “image of the beast” risk losing their temporal lives (Rev. 13:15; see also Daniel 3), while those who do worship that image lose eternal life (Rev. 14:9–11).
What a choice!
Read Revelation 14:12. What does this teach us about the role of God’s commandments in the final conflict?
Worship is inextricably connected with God’s commandments. Revelation 13 and 14 are full of allusions to the Ten Commandments: “image” (Rev. 13:14-15; 14:9, 11), idolatry (Rev. 13:4, 8, 12, 15; 14:9, 11), blasphemy (Rev. 13:1, 5-6), the Sabbath (Rev. 14:7), murder (Rev. 13:10, 15), and adultery (Rev. 14:4, 8). The final “contest will be between the commandments of God and the commandments of men.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 188.
Since the rise of the theory of evolution, it has become particularly important for us to uphold and affirm our belief in a six-day Creation. This teaching is the foundation of our worship of the Lord as Creator. Evolution, even a kind that purports to believe in the Bible, guts Seventh-day Adventism of all that it stands for. Without Creation, the belief in the “everlasting gospel,” among other teachings (such as the Sabbath), is seriously compromised, even negated.
The phrase that describes God as having “made heaven and earth, [and] the sea” alludes to the Sabbath commandment (Exod. 20:11). The Sabbath is the central issue in the conflict over God’s commandments. As with no other commandment, the designated day of worship is suited for a test of loyalty because it cannot be deduced by logical reasoning. We keep it only because God has commanded us to do so. Creation also goes hand in hand with judgment. The phrase “springs of water” (Rev. 14:7) alludes to the Flood (Gen. 7:11) and points to God as the righteous Judge of the world (2 Pet. 3:5–7).
Nothing we believe as Seventh-day Adventists makes sense when taken apart from the Lord as Creator, and nothing in the Bible is as clear a sign of God’s creatorship as the Sabbath. How seriously do you take the Sabbath? How can you have a deeper experience with the Lord through obedience to this commandment?