The Blood of the Lamb; The Word of Their Testimony

I am considering, this morning, Revelation 12:10, and 12:11:
(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 Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
(11) 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.

It strikes me this morning that we have an enemy, the "accuser of the brethren." I understand this to be evidently Satan, the devil, the adversary. We can discuss his strategies another time, but suffice it to say for now that he has one, and he is hell bent on destroying those who love Jesus Christ and call him Lord.

We have an enemy. And how easy it is to go through life as if there weren't someone lurking about who hates us with a murderous and destructive hatred, and desires only to ruin us.

But "they overcame him." We see here the saints overcame the accuser of the brethren through several means. The first of which is the "blood of the lamb."  We are justified and made righteous by the blood of Jesus, not by ANYTHING that we are or have done of merit. The blood is totally sufficient to answer the accusations of Satan. You'll notice, if you have lived any amount of time as a Christian, how we experience accusation in ourselves against ourselves -- sometimes so strong as to cause crushing despair. It seems no one can point out our faults better than WE can. What we often don't realize, is that we have help in pointing out these faults. There is someone whispering to us, enlarging our sin, failures, and shortcomings so as to blot out God and the value of what He did for us in the finished work of the cross - sending his son to die for our sins; and imputing his righteousness to all who believe. When Satan reminds you of the wicked, depraved, sick, and twisted mess that you are, you remind him of the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for the remission of your sins. You tell the accuser that if he thinks he has a case, he can go and take it up with Jesus Christ, who ransomed you. Who purchased you. Who put himself in your stead, in regards to the punishment you justly deserved. The blood of Jesus Christ is a weapon; for Satan's key strategy is to get us so focused on the problem (ourselves and our depravity) that we forget our savior, our hope, and our only victory.

I will tell you right now -- we don't get any better by self-effort motivated by shame and condemnation. We don't get any better by striving to obey the law perfectly -- the weakness of the law is not the law!  The weakness of the law is US, and our utter inability to walk in perfection. Satan's strategy is to engage us in self-effort, apart from the spirit of God, which leads to failure compounded. God himself -- God's spirit -- is the essential ingredient in true growth. Satan tries to take God out of the picture and get us on our own.

"You'd better get it together, Johnny."  "What's your problem?"  "Every time you try, you fail!" "I am worthless." "What's wrong with me?" "How does God expect me to get this done?"

Have you heard any of this before? This is death in a box, and it is the kind of thinking that Satan loves. Romans 7 talks about the cycle of failure, that leads me to the blessed revelation that I can't, I was never meant to, and He can, and I can in HIM and HIM alone!

The way we grow, and the only way we grow, is with Christ Jesus in view. We grow by faith. We grow by the Word. We grow by repentance. There is effort, but our effort is in concert, in harmony, with the power of God. We seek him first, all else is secondary. We believe Him; all else is peripheral to faith. Our effort isolated from the power of God is failure, in all things that truly matter. Failure. Miserable and inevitable.

What has my attention today is the phrase "by the word of their testimony." The word is the Greek "Logos." This means "a word as embodying an idea; a statement, a speech." This is something spoken. Words overcome the accuser of the brethren -- but the reference here is to a certain kind of word. Words of testimony. Testimony is a beautiful, simple word. It's the Greek "Marturia" which is where we get the word "Martyr." Marturia means "testimony." It comes from "martus" which means "evidence given (judicially or genitive case) -- record, report, testimony, witness." It's a legal term, implying the testimony of an eye witness.

The word of my testimony is simply the utterance of what I have personally seen, heard, or know. I love the simplicity of this!  I don't need to feel around for the right stuff to say. There are things that I know by my own experience -- the powerful conclusions that God has brought me to, personally, through the unique experiences of my own life. There is power to overcome Satan in the simple act of speaking what we know. Not what we don't know, or are unsure about, but what we have personally seen, heard, and know. Of course I am referring here to spiritual, biblical, relevant truth. I don't overcome Satan by stating, "the sky is blue!" But there are simple Christian truths that are just as self-evident, for the believer, as the color of the sky. We must give the word of our testimony. And this testimony is constantly growing as we grow as believers!

We go back to what we KNOW. Every born-again believer knows something important; or else he would not have been born again. We know and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. We know that God is good, that God is a deliverer and a savior.

Consider for a moment the things that you know. The things that you really know; that God has shown you through experience -- the things that are grounded in God's Word. The intersection of what the Bible says and your personal experience. Don't be afraid. And keep it simple -- don't get caught up endless doubts and confusions. You know what you know! God has lead you on the path of your peculiar life for a  reason! The byproduct of your journey is personal experience of Biblical truths. Don't downplay the importance and significance of your testimony. It is a powerful weapon against the accuser.

Gotta go.

--Johnny Levy

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