Revelation chapters 2 and 3 contain a series of promises to Christians who overcome. Here, in Revelation chapter 12, we have this important explanation of how they overcome. Also, we discover here whom their principal enemy is: it is Satan, the devil.
Christians should not imagine that their real enemies are other people. Their real enemies are not the rulers who make wicked laws; nor are they the people who act cruelly towards them. Christians suffer because of the actions of evil spirits, who are powerful forces in the spirit world (Ephesians 6:12). The leader of those forces is the devil (1 Peter 5:8). When Christians serve God, even in the normal actions of their lives, they are actually making war against the devil (Ephesians 6:13-17). So it is not surprising that the devil fights against them.
You might think that Christians are much too weak to defeat such a powerful and terrible enemy. Certainly, their situation would be hopeless if they depended on their own efforts, skills and intelligence. However, their success is certain because they depend not on themselves, but on Christ’s work for them. Here, Christ is called ‘the Lamb’; his ‘blood’ refers to the fact that Christ died on their behalf. The death of Christ defeated the devil (Hebrews 2:14) and gave them a right relationship with God (Hebrews 9:14). It is that fact that they declare as witnesses; it is by that fact that they overcome the devil.
They overcome because they remain loyal to God. That does not mean that they are perfect. They are not, but they trust God to work in their lives. They have chosen to live for him, so they are willing even to die for him (Mark 8:34). For them, that is not loss, but the gain of something much better (Mark 8:35; Philippians 1:21). Christians who overcome will live with God always in the New Jerusalem (21:1-4).
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© 2016, Keith Simons.