Victory by blood and testimony…

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Revelation 12: And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah, for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death. 

I’ll be honest with you. The book of Revelation is often strange and confusing to me as much of it is essentially written in code. Bible commentaries are little help much of the time, since scholars aren’t exactly sure what the author was trying to communicate either. Maybe this. Maybe that. Maybe something else. However, this passage is among those in Revelation which are clearer than most.

“A war broke out in heaven…”

The bible makes plain there is a spiritual battle in the heavenly realm continually taking place. In our passage the author describes a vision in which the archangel Michael leads the heavenly host of the Lord against the devil and his demonic legions. What I find interesting is how the victory was won. There are two points I want to make from the words of v.11:

11 But they (Christian martyrs) have conquered (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death. 

First, you might expect that God’s forces would prevail because of the blood of the devil and his demonic hordes, but that’s not what the passage says. It wasn’t by might that God won the victory, but by the “blood of the lamb”. The “accuser” (Satan) who calls out the sins of God’s people no longer has a case. Why? Because Jesus’ blood on the cross paid the debt of human sin forever. The accuser has nothing left to accuse.

Second, while the forces of evil on earth persecute Christians, even to the point of death, it is a temporary death. Why? Because of the testimony of the believers who call on the name of Jesus and are saved. Not saved from mortal death necessarily, but saved from eternal death to eternal life when Jesus comes again. As Jesus was raised from death so will all those who profess Jesus as Lord in this life. That’s a good word friends. Lord thank you for the victory over sin, death, and the devil. Amen.

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