They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb
Revelation 12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The Woman, Israel
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
The Red Dragon, Satan
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
The Male Child, Christ
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
The Angel, Michael
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives 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, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Again in today’s text I don’t want to delve too deeply into the interpretation and representations of the things seen and described by John. There are many resources that can do that much more accurately and effectively. Instead, let us see what we can glean and understand based on the simple reading of the word. The text says: “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” There is a law of thermodynamics that says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. In a similar way God’s truth cannot be created or destroyed. Truth remains from time past to time present and to the future. The difference is that in addition to not being destroyed, God’s truth also remains unchanged. What was true is true and will continue to be true. The text says: the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. How does Satan, who was cast down from heaven, continue to accuse the brethren before God? Since darkness has no place before God, who is it that accuses believers before the throne of God? Sadly it is other believers, those who have been granted access by the blood of Jesus. When we complain to God about what other believers have done; when we use prayer as an excuse to gossip about others; when we ask God to judge them rather than forgive them, we accuse them before God. In Matthew 7:1-2 Jesus says: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” When we accuse others, we accuse ourselves. There are two thrones described in heaven. One is the judgment seat of Christ. When we come to the throne with accusations and judgment, we present ourselves to be judged. The other throne is mentioned in Hebrews 4:16, where it says: Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. If we present the needs of others at the throne of grace, offering forgiveness and grace, we receive mercy and find grace in our own time of need.
The text says: they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Our testimony, the overcoming testimony that we have, is found in and upon the blood of Christ. In Psalm 23:4 the psalmist says: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. The first and great commandment is that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind. If we love God then we need not fear death. It is merely a shadow. Because of the overcoming blood of Christ we have eternal life. Fear of death is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against us. We overcome him, when we do not love our lives, but rather we love God with our whole heart, soul and mind.
Today’s text ends saying: the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Whether we know it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not, we are at war. 1 Peter 5:8 says: Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The abundant life that Jesus gives is not necessarily an abundance of wealth or of material blessing as some have made it seem. The abundance of Christ is described in what He says in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Ephesians 4:6-7 says: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The abundance of Christ is an abundance of peace even in difficult times. In John 16:33 Jesus says: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for the overcoming power of Your love. Thank You for the abundant peace of knowing that I have eternal life because of the blood of the Lamb. May I walk in Your eternal truth and offer love, grace and forgiveness to everyone I meet. Amen.