3:14-15, we are introduced to the curse of the serpent who
tempted Eve with the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and
evil. This curse is not merely the future of men versus serpents.
It is the future of the womanís seed, that is the Christ,
crushing the serpent, that is Satan. Notice the three main
characters in this curse: the woman, the seed and the serpent. At
the other end of the Bible we are reintroduced to these same
characters in Revelation
12. In Revelation
12:1-2 we meet the woman pregnant with her seed. Then in vs.
9, we learn the dragon is actually the great serpent of
old, Satan. Notice briefly what takes place in Revelation
12. In vss.
1-6, Satan fights against the woman and her son. Satan
loses. In vss.
7-9, Satan fights against the forces of heaven. Satan
loses. In vss.
13-17, Satan is fighting against the followers of the seed
on earth. Our Bible is bookended with this story. In Genesis
we see the curse that the seed of the woman will crush the
serpent. In Revelation
we see the explanation of that. While Revelation
was originally written for the persecution the first century
Christians faced, this same battle is taking place today. Ephesians
6:12 explains that we are in a battle right now, even
though we cannot see the battle physically. There is a great
spiritual battle taking place even through our lives right now.
According to I
Peter 5:8, Satan is seeking whom he may devour. In Genesis
3, he devoured Eve and Adam. How do we keep him from
devouring us? We want to be in this Revelation
12 picture. We want to be part of the conquering horde in Revelation
12:10-11. But how? How do we overcome Satan? Revelation
12:11 tells us how.
We conquer by the blood of the Lamb.
The heart of our problem is, by ourselves, we have already
lost the battle. Romans
3:23 explains that we have all sinned and fallen short of
Godís glory. Like Adam and Eve, Satan has already overcome us.
Whatís even worse, the more we try to rely on ourselves to
merely pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and be righteous all on
our own the more we just keep sinning. At least, that is what
happened to Paul according to Romans
Gratefully, we donít have to fight this battle on our
own. According to Revelation
12:11, we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb. This is
the same Lamb who was worthy to open the seals of the scroll of
Godís plan in Revelation
5:5-6. This is the Lamb who was slain and by His blood
ďransomed people for God from every tribe and language and
people and nation.Ē He has made us a kingdom of priests who will
reign on the earth. By the death of Jesus we become conquering and
victorious kings and priests.
No doubt the Jews who had been looking for the Messiah
struggled with this. They were looking for physical victory and
vindication over their Roman oppressors, but the Christians were
learning that this is what God planned all along. Spiritual
victory over Satan in Christ. In fact, this is the fulfillment of Isaiah
53. According to Isaiah
53:6 each of us have fallen short and sinned. We have gone
our own ways like wandering sheep. However, according to Isaiah
53:5, 7, 10-12, the Messiah, Godís servant, would be
sacrificed and slain that we might live.
If you want to overcome Satan, donít try to do it by
yourself. You can only conquer through the blood of the Lamb that
was slain to save you.
We conquer by the word of our testimony.
Obviously, without the blood and strength that comes from
Christ, we are nothing and can do nothing to overcome Satan.
However, we must not take that to mean we can do nothing and still
overcome. Jesus did not die so we could sit on our thumbs and just
bask in the victory He offers. Rather, if we are going to
overcome, it will also be by the word of our testimony.
talks about the role of confession in being initially saved. We
must testify our faith in Jesus as the Christ. We must confess
that we believe Jesus is Christ and Lord in order to be saved. Acts
8:37 provides a great example of this when Philip asked
the eunuch if he believed and he said, ďI believe that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God.Ē
explains we must acknowledge or confess God before men if we want
Him to acknowledge and confess us before God. That is, Jesusí
blood provides us the victory we cannot hope to have by ourselves.
However, we have to testify, acknowledge and confess Jesus before
the world. We cannot hide our relationship with Him; we must
While this is mainly a verbal work. We canít help but
5:16 which explains we need to be a shining light by our
good works that point people to God and His glory. We must not
only confess God by our words, but also by our actions. When we
obey God, we confess to the world that we believe God. When we
seek first His kingdom and righteousness we confess to the world
that we believe He will provide for us. When we seek to close the
door on the devil by not letting anger have a foothold in our
lives, we confess to the world that we believe Godís peaceful
path is right. On and on this list could go.
If you want to overcome Satan, then display the word and
action of your testimony.
We conquer by not loving our lives even to death.
When John wrote Revelation,
the disciples were enduring intense persecution. Many were dying
for their faith. Jesus had told the Smyrnan Christians if they
were faithful unto death, He would give them a crown of life (Revelation
2:10). When He addressed the brethren in Pergamum, He
recalled the death of Antipas who was martyred for the word of his
2:13). The point here is these disciples overcame because
they were willing to die rather than turn their back on the Lamb
who had died rather than turn His back on them.
Satan is taking a different approach in his attack against
us today. We have a hard time grasping this ďfaithful unto
deathĒ concept because we do not face the kind of persecution
that might lead to our deaths (not yet, anyway). How does this
transfer to us?
says as Christians, we are crucified with Christ and we live based
on what He wants, not what we want. Our lives are surrendered to
16:24-25 says we must take up our cross and follow Jesus.
We may not die physically, but we do crucify ourselves
spiritually. We put ourselves on the cross and Jesus on the throne
in our lives. We donít argue with Jesus about how much serving
Him we really have to do to go to heaven; we just find what He
says and do it because we know it is best for us.
This will sometimes call for extreme measures in our lives
understanding that half measures will avail us nothing in our
fight against Satan. We may not be killed by our government or by
false religion this week, but we may have to cut off our right
hand or pluck out our right eye. As Jesus said in Matthew
5:29-30, if something causes us to stumble we need to
sacrifice it, surrendering it to God. Let Him have it as we lay it
on the altar before Him. Let me highlight something from this
verse that we often overlook. In this passage, it says if your hand or eye causes
you to stumble. In other words, Jesus is not establishing a law
for everyone per se. Therefore, with some of the things you have
to cut out of your life and surrender to God, you wonít be able
to find a verse that says, ďThou shalt not.Ē But if you want
life and want to overcome, you had better cut it off. If you
canít go into a convenience store without picking up a beer,
then you are going to have to quit going into convenience stores.
If you canít watch a certain show without lusting for a certain
actor or actress, then you are going to have to quit watching that
show. If you canít control your time in front of the television
and it is eating your life away, then you are just going to have
to get rid of your tv. If video games cause you to waste all of
your time and they get in the way of your devotion to God, then
you are just going to have to get rid of video games. If you
canít hang out with certain people without getting involved in
gossip, then you are just going to have to quit hanging out with
them. You wonít be able to turn around and make a rule for
everybody on these issues. However, if you want life, you will cut
these things off even though it is like plucking out your right
If we want to overcome Satan, we must not love our lives
even unto death.
Satan will lose that third battle as well. In fact, we know
he already has. Revelation
12:10-12 is not just about the defeat of Satan by the
heavenly foes. It is the proclamation of his utter defeat period
before God and His children. As Revelation
12:12 says, we, who are the citizens of heaven (cf. Philippians
3:20) can rejoice because Satan is losing, will lose and,
in fact, has already lost. We will overcome, if we are on the
to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Church of Christ