Here is the Patience of the Saints!
- | Chris McCann
- A study of the phrase, “Here is the patience of the saints,” found in Revelation 14:12.
Revelation 14:9-12 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and 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 ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Here is the patience of the saints—why here? Why is God referring to, “the patience of the saints” in the context of Judgment Day?
Before we answer this question, let’s first look at some key Scriptures that will help us realize just how vitally important patience is at this time for the people of God.
Patience is supremely important at this time because of what we read in Luke 21, the parallel chapter to Matthew 24. In Luke 21:19:
In your patience possess ye your souls.
Of course the Lord identifies the possess (or keeping) of our souls in patience, we quickly understand its enormous significance to our own spiritual welfare.
The Bible also tells us that we have a need of patience as we read in Hebrews 10:35-36:
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
The above verse is very puzzling. Since the child of God does the will of God on a daily basis, how could it ever be said that we have, “done the will of God” in the past tense?
After reviewing the context we find that the time of the end and the return of Christ is in view in Hebrews 10:37:
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Understanding the context greatly helps us in discovering what the Lord has in mind by saying that we have “need” of patience after having done the will of God. The answer is that the Lord’s people have done, or accomplished His will as far as the sending forth of the gospel into the world goes. We have completed the task of evangelizing the world in order that all the elect might hear and become saved. This was all done prior to the coming of May 21, 2011. Now, during these days after the tribulation all God’s people have, “need of patience.”
We can see how vital patience is at this time. But how are we to obtain the necessary patience in order to possess our souls? The Lord tells us how we may develop patience in James 1:3:
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
At this time, the Bible is clear that we are all being tried in a fiery trial to see whether we are gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay, and stubble. Patience is key throughout this process. A lack of patience will mean a loss of our souls.
This is the reason Revelation 14:12 says in the context of Judgment Day itself, “Here is the patience of the saints.”
Perhaps you’ve read that statement (or something similar) before? There is one other verse in the Bible that is has very similar language. It is found in Revelation 13:8-10:
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
The context of Revelation chapter 13 is that of the beast coming up out of the sea and assuming authority over the churches and congregations of the world during the time of the great tribulation.
Some theologians have said that the believers will not be on the earth during the time of the great tribulation. They have developed theologies called, “Pre-trib” raptures which say that the Lord will take away His people from the earth prior to bringing about the great tribulation. Of course that’s totally wrong. We know this absolutely since we’ve just gone through the great tribulation period. All of the elect remained upon the earth and lived through this most difficult period of time. And just so we properly understand this, the Lord has made a point of inserting directly into the context of the beast’s (Satan’s) ascension during the time judgment begins at the house of God—the statement that says, “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints”.
Read the verses prior to Revelation 13:10 and they describe the great tribulation period. Read the verses after Revelation 13:10 and they also describe the time of the great tribulation. Right in the midst of all of this language describing the judgment upon the churches, we find the simple statement which tells us God’s people will remain upon the earth and live through the time of the great tribulation, “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Yes, God’s people will show forth great patience as they live the Christian life during that most difficult time of the 23 year period of Great Tribulation. But now we can thank the Lord that we have come through it. Thankfully, the Lord gave His people the needed patience to endure the great affliction that came upon us.
Again, the only other place we read of a similar statement is the verse we’ve been looking at in Revelation 14:12. This verse also is set in a context in which theologians have told us that God’s people will no longer be upon the earth. It’s the time of the wrath of God being poured out upon the wicked of the world. The context of Revelation 14:8-11 describes Judgment Day. Then we find our verse in Revelation 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints!” And then in verse 14 through the end of the chapter the focus returns to Judgment Day. The layout of the passage parallels very much what we saw in chapter 13.
“Here” is the patience of the saints. This means at this point—at this time—in the Day of Judgment. We all have great need of patience. For each of our souls is found in it.