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Revelation 12:1-17



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 Christ.

For the accuser of our brothers,

who accuses them before our God day and night,

has been hurled down.

They overcame 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.”

(verses 10-11)

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We get a sighting here of the cosmic battle, the devil raging against the Sovereign Lord and against his purposes and people, yet ultimately being overcome by all of them. It’s insightful instruction for our own engagement in spiritual battle, because although the fight rages and the possibility of wounding is real, in the end it’s an unequal conflict. The devil will not win.


Just a few verses earlier we see opposing forces battling in the heavenlies. In the conflict, it’s telling that the forces of heaven are led not by the Lamb, but rather by his deputy, the angel Michael. In this cosmic match-up, the devil meets his match, for “he was not strong enough, and they (he and his angels) lost their place in heaven … He was hurled down to the earth, and his angels with him” (verses 8-9).


This, of course, intensifies the devil’s rage. While the heavens rejoice, “Woe” is pronounced on earth and sea, because his fury is deathly real. In Martin Luther’s words, “His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.”


Yet the loud voice in heaven which gives commentary over this battleground, frames the conflict from an eternal perspective. “The kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ” is established and sure. Those who belong to Christ have been securely embraced by his salvation and power. Praise be to his name!


And so, although the evil one fights with a myriad of flaming missiles, and though he unrelentingly attacks with accusations that could produce intense damage in any soul, yet the reality is that the saints overcome! Yes! “Though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.” The triumph comes not from our own strength, but, as Luther so aptly says, through “his truth” – through the eternal reality that the blood of the Lamb has sealed our position in Christ. We are redeemed. The accusations mean nothing, except to reinforce the immensity of the pardon we have already received in Christ! So, while we as believers live securely in this new identity – rejoicing, as Paul always did, that we are “in Christ”the “word of our testimony” turns aside the fiery darts of the Accuser.


There is more. This battle on earth may inflict bodily harm. Indeed, death may result, as faithful servants of Christ down the years will testify through all eternity. But death does not spell the devil’s victory, only the hope-filled security of the Lamb’s followers, who “did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”


All of this resounds with the foundational theme of this entire vision: Christ is the Victor! The skirmishes may continue, but the battle is won.


We give Luther the final word:

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He:

Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,

And he must win the battle.

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Dear Lord Jesus, Victorious Lamb, Great Redeemer, Mighty Conqueror – praise your name. I am secure in your blood. Equip me in the battle. Strengthen and use the word of my testimony. To your glory. Amen.

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Reflect:

What skirmishes are you aware of in your own life at the moment? Bring them to Jesus. Pray “Your kingdom come.” Stand firm in your identity in him.

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Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

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