Overcoming the Enemy – Revelation 12, by Ty Tamasaka

Overcoming the Enemy

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Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“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 brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
  Revelation 12:1-11 NIV

As Revelation 12 continues, we are reminded that we are in the mid-point of the Great Tribulation.  We see a war breaking out in Heaven where God begins to turn the tide on Satan first in Heaven, then on earth.  Although Satan had been previously cast out of Heaven, we learned from Job 1 that Satan still has access to Heaven.  The word devil, literally means “accuser” or “slanderer.”  The word Satan means “adversary” or “one who lies in wait.”  The “adversary” stands at the throne of God and fights the saints by accusing them.

It is interesting that this war occurs in Heaven at the judgment seat of Christ.  Satan the accuser of the brethren stays near the Judgment Seat of Christ and accuses God’s people.  Our salvation is secure, not because of our works, but because of the finished work of Jesus at Calvary.  That is the great white judgment seat.  This Judgment Seat of Christ, or the bhema judgment, is the judgment believers will face in which they will have their works examined.  On this judgment, reward will be given.  Satan accuses the saints, pointing out their

“What?  Him?  Really?  Jesus do you know what he did?  He’s not worthy.  Do you realize what kind of thoughts he had?”

“Jesus, her?  Are you sure?  She’s not good enough.  Do you know what she said about her family?”

How do we know if we are hearing condemnation from the Devil or conviction from the Holy Spirit?

We should understand the difference between condemnation – which is from Satan; and conviction – which is from the Holy Spirit.  The accusations from Satan is about self not measuring up and always push us away from Jesus.  It emphasizes hopelessness and pushes us away from the cross and from God.  Conviction from the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, always draws you closer to Jesus.  Conviction from the Holy Spirit encourages forgiveness.  It builds hope for God’s glory and grace.

How do we overcome the enemy?

1 – By the blood of the Lamb. 

11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb

and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.” 
Revelation 12:11 NIV, emphasis mine

The blood of Jesus is not a superstitious potion.  It speaks of the real suffering and death of Jesus in our place.  It is because of Jesus’ completed work on the cross that we overcome.  The blood of Jesus is not meant for us to admire.  The blood of the Lamb is used to overcome the enemy.  It is used in spiritual warfare.

In Exodus 12, the blood of the lamb, applied over the door, spared the firstborn of the family as the angel of death flew over Egypt.  In the same way, God will bless your home, family, and marriage not based on how good you’ve been, but based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The enemy comes to accuse and condemn.  When he says, “You aren’t good enough.” Or “Don’t you realize how bad your past is?”  “You aren’t gifted enough to receive rewards from God.”  Don’t fight him.  Don’t give into argument with him.  Plea the blood of Jesus. “You are right Satan, I’m not good enough, but it is by the blood of Jesus, I am forgiven.”  You are right Satan, my past is terrible… but I am redeemed because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.”  “You are right Devil, I am not gifted enough… but it’s not about my gifting, it’s about Jesus’ sacrifice and what He has done on my behalf.”

2 – By the word of their testimony.

11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.” 
Revelation 12:11 NIV, emphasis mine

What is my testimony?  It is the story of what God has done for me.  It is the story of what I was… what happened when Jesus intervened in my life… and what has happened since then.

Every cult and false religious system has man reaching up to God.  Only the Christian recognizes that God reached down to man.  “I didn’t seek God, but He came for me.”  “I wasn’t righteous.  But He loved me while I was yet a sinner!”  The word of my testimony is this. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound… that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost, but now am found.  I was blind, but now I see.”

3 – By losing themselves in Jesus Christ.

11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.”
 
Revelation 12:11 NIV, emphasis mine

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus taught His disciples… and us… to deny ourselves.  Forget yourself and let God bless you.  Let Him use you regardless how you think or feel. Will your life be the most precious thing to you, or will we find ourselves losing it for Jesus?

The same serpent who accused the saints in Heaven, accuses the saints on earth and deceives nations on earth.  One of his strategies is to lie about the church.  He deceives nations into thinking the people of God are dangerous, deluded, and destructive.  As people of God, we should expect opposition.  We should expect persecution.  We should expect hostility from the world.  In light of that, we should “not love our lives so much as to shrink back from death.”  Why?  In death, we find victory!  Be willing to lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

Oh Holy Spirit thank You for the blood of Jesus which covers my sin and shame.  Thank You for coming for me before I ever thought of You.  I surrender myself to You.  Empower me to lose myself in You.  In the matchless name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry  He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book Starting Fresh: Following Jesus on the Adventure of a Lifetime in addition to More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.    

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