Revelation 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Here we see the reason why one group receives the Mark of the Beast and one group does not. According to Revelation 14:12, it's because this second group keep the Commandments of God, and have faith in Jesus. You see faith is very important. The Bible uses words like "faith" and "following" - to follow is to have faith. If we follow the Lord then we will walk with Him by faith.
The Bible says that if we do not have faith in Christ we won't make it into the kingdom no matter how religious we are, no matter how many scriptures we can recite. This may come as a surprise to some people, but you see it does not matter how religious we are, we will not make it into the kingdom of Heaven if we don't exercise faith. If we truly love and follow God then we will also be keeping His Commandments and be willing to give our lives rather than disobey His law.
This is what it talks about in Matthew 7...
Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
We might be the one crying "Lord, Lord", but we are not going to get into the kingdom unless we do the will of God and surrender all to Him. When we surrender all then that's following, that's trusting, and accepting.
Matthew 7:22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?"
Here are people that prophesied in his name who cast out devils, who did wonderful works, but what does Jesus reply...
Mathew 7:23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Jesus says; "I don't know who you are, depart from me." Why? Because they didn't follow by faith. You see faith involves following and trusting in God completely for everything, doing as He has asked us to do.
Now, the question we have to ask ourselves is; has the beast power that we are identifying, done anything that affects faith in Jesus Christ; because the Bible says this is what this power will do. Here are a couple of statements that shed light on this...
"If anyone says that the sacramental absolution of the priest" (this means the priest forgiving you of your sins) "is not a judicial act but a bare ministry of pronouncing and declaring sins to be forgiven to him who confesses, provided only he believes himself to be absolved, or (even though the priest absolve not in earnest, but as a joke; or saith that the confession of that pennant is not required in order that the priest may be able to absolve him, let him be an anthema." Dogmatic Canons and Decrees Council of Trent. Page 118
So it's saying here that when the Catholic priest says he has the power to forgive sins, even if he says it as a joke, you are forgiven, and if a person does not believe, he is lost.
These statements affect our faith in God. Let's look at one more Catholic statement of belief...
"The authority apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and of the Holy scripture which we must interpret and understand only in the sense which our Holy Mother the Catholic Church has held and does hold and everything else that has been defined and declared by the sacred canons and by the General Councils and particularly by the Holy Council of Trent."
This is talking about tradition, it's talking about the Word of God. It's saying the only way we can understand the word of God is as the Catholic church interprets it.
This certainly affects our faith and trust in Jesus. We need to understand that OUR SALVATION IS NOT IN A CHURCH, WHATEVER CHURCH THAT MAY BE - OUR SALVATION IS NOT IN A MAN, WHOEVER HE CLAIMS TO BE - OUR SALVATION IS IN JESUS CHRIST, AND IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORD ALONE.
Revelation goes on to say that the people who have the seal of God not only have faith in Jesus, but they keep the Commandments of God. Jesus said...
John 14:15 "If you love me, keep my commandments."
It says "If you love Me" - to love someone means you walk with them, you want to please them...
John 14:21 "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
Jesus is saying that He has given us the Commandments not because they save us but because they show us our need for Him. Sin is transgression of the law of the Commandments of God. Of ourselves we cannot keep God's law, but with Jesus abiding in our hearts He will overcome for us, so that we can keep his Commandments and be found faultless before God the Father. The Commandments are based on love, and God is love...
1 John 5:3 "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."
This is what it means to love of God – it means to keep his Commandments, to follow Him, that's what He asks us to do.
So has this beast power done anything to the Commandments of God? Because those that have the patience of the saints and keep the Commandments of God do not receive the Mark of the Beast. Some of you may have heard of the catechism - the catechism is used in the Catholic Church and is in question and answer form, that's how it's put together, so let's have a look at what it says...
Question: "Have you any other way of proving that the Roman Catholic Church has the power to institute festivals or precepts?"
Answer: "Had she not such power, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority."
So here the Catholic church is saying there is no scriptural authority for the Sabbath day being changed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, the Biblical day of worship, there is not one word in scripture to authorise the change to Sunday, but, it was their act, it was changed on their authority. This is God's Commandment, which no one has the right to change. In fact the Bible gives us a stern warning about changing God's word...
Revelation 22:18-19 "18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
Here is another quote from the Catholic Encyclopaedia...
"The Church, on the other hand after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or the seventh day of the week to the first, made the third commandment referred to as Sunday as the day to be kept holy, as the Lord's day." Catholic Encyclopaedia
So here the Catholic church admits this was their change. This it is not something you find taught in scripture, it is a change that the Catholic church made. They also refer to the Sabbath as the Jewish Sabbath, however, when you study God's word you find that His Commandments were kept from the time of Adam, if this had not been so then Cain would not have been punished for killing his brother Abel and Joseph would not have known it was a sin to sleep with his master's wife. Also if there had been no law then there would have been nothing for Satan to transgress and he would not have been thrown out of Heaven. The 10 Commandments are God's universal law, they are the foundation of His government of all creation, and will be kept throughout eternity...
Isaiah 66:22-23 "22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."
So we see that the Commandments were not just for the Jews but for all mankind to keep for eternity, for all those who love and follow God.