Editorial – Two Key Texts for Our Time

There are certain texts in the Bible that have special meaning for a certain time. For example, in the time of the apostle Paul, a key text for the first century Christians to understand was that the righteous man shall live by faith. (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:16, 17.) A key text that was present truth during the days of John Wesley was that without holiness no man will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14.) A key text in 1844 was, “Behold the bridegroom comes; go out to meet Him.” Matthew 25:6.

Two key texts for the last generation living since 1798 are Revelation 12:17 and Revelation 14:12. These two texts point out the chief characteristics of God’s chosen people in the last days of earth’s history. The first one describes God’s people as the remnant, or last of the descendants of the woman; in other words, God’s elect people in the last days, His final movement or church. (Genesis 3:15 distinguishes between the children of God as descendants of the woman, in contrast to the children of the devil who are the descendants of the serpent. They are described as those who: keep the commandments. This means they would have to be Sabbath keepers because if you break one you have broken all. (James 2:8-12.); they have the testimony of Jesus and that is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10.) In other words, the spirit of prophecy has been manifested in their midst.

Revelation 14:12 describes again God’s holy people (saints) in the last days, in contrast to those who worship the beast and his image and receive the beast’s mark in their forehead or in their hand. The faith of Jesus is that religious faith by which a person lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. A person is enabled to have this faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. (See John 14–16 and Romans 8.)

It is stated immediately after the warning of receiving the beast’s mark or worshiping his image, that the holy people of God keep His commandments. This directly implies that the receiving of the beast’s mark, or worshiping his image, involves the breaking of God’s commandments.

The Three Angels’ Messages are the focal point of the latter half of the book of Revelation which describes the very last epochal events in our world. Revelation 14:12 is a key text that everybody who desires to be saved at the end should especially study.