Revelation 12:11 (NKJV) reads: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
Starting with Revelation 12:7-10, it tells about Satan being kicked out of the heavenlies and being cast down to earth for we earthlings to have to presumably deal with in greater intensity. Revelation 12:11 is giving Christians three different categories of effective spiritual strategies to use to overcome Satan’s never-ending attacks upon their minds and bodies.
Let’s examine these three different categories (Notice the order I place them: 1,3,2)
1) “And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb” is essentially the truth of the Good News of the Christian Gospel message. None other than God HIMSELF shed His innocent blood on the cross so that mankind can have total forgiveness for their sins – receive the imputed righteousness of God that is the ONLY righteousness God will find acceptable on the Judgment Day to stay with Him for all eternity – and be at peace with God no matter how intense the demonic battle rages against them to try to somehow shipwreck (hinder, slow-down, rob, steal) their confidence in God.
2) “And they overcame him by the word of their testimony” has a very important 2 Part understanding:
1 - It is applying the Word of God wisely to every situation we face -- that is what God wants us to understand in the above scripture. It can be expressed this way: "And they overcame him by the WORD." -- HIS WORD!
To hopefully bring clearer understanding … it may be better understood to say, “And they overcame him by the Word.” Consistent with so many other scriptures given in the Old and New Testament Bible, believing and standing on the wisely applied Word of God when human intellect would appear to say something ELSE … this is how God tells Christians “to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.” (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Here is a highly recommended video broadcast we've done to help understand the importance of grasping this truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJb-hVYeKdU
2 - Yet there is another very important revelation God wants us to understand regarding evangelism in the above scripture. Our born again testimony of making Jesus Christ our personal Lord and Savior is literally a divine seed of GOD that gets implanted in the heart's of the unsaved whose heart's are fertile (which the Holy Spirit has tilled) when they either read your Jesus-glorifying testimony or hear it, if it is shared in humble appreciation for what Jesus Christ means to you and what He has accomplished for you through His death, burial and resurrection! (In other words, How your testimony is shared is crucially important). I can't think of any better way for Christians to get this crucially important revelation than to hear an anointed video clip. Listen to the first 10 minutes of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nPnkbXnp8o
3) “And they did not love their lives to the death” is addressing total surrender to God in that even if called to have to do so – die as a martyr for one’s faith in Jesus Christ. Once one is no longer afraid to die for their faith in Jesus Christ and all He stands for (however painfully cruel that death might be), Satan is no longer able to use fear to control them.
Back to point 1: For those who have read their Bible a great deal, they are familiar with Ephesians 6:10-18. Found therein are the spiritual weapons God has given Christians to counter Satan’s attacks against them, and sharing one’s personal testimony is not included in them. Rather - Ephesians 6:17 reads: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
In Jesus’ 40 day encounter with Satan in the desert (See Matthew Chapter 4), what weapon did the Holy Spirit reveal to us for today that Jesus used against Satan’s temptations? “It is written” – and then Jesus would quote to Satan the wisely applied scripture that addressed the temptation.
Satan had no comeback when Jesus quoted Him back the Word during that 40 day confrontation in the desert. Satan may attempt to try to convince us that quoting him the Word has no effect on His plans for our lives TODAY, but he’s bluffing. He’s lying. God has not allowed Satan to have power over God’s wisely (correctly) applied Word. The best Satan can do is to do everything he can to try to get people to believe that the Word of God can’t be trusted and/or has been inaccurately translated (“Therefore don’t trust it" - sayeth Satan, ESPECIALLY if it calls something a sin that we don’t like, such as homosexuality being a sin that the Bible says it IS, or sex outside of marriage IS a sin, as examples). Satan can get people to twist Holy Scripture out of context (UNWISELY misunderstood and UNWISELY misapplied) which cults and false prophets (“well-meaning” Christians included) thrive in doing, because Satan knows God does NOT honor His Word when it is being used out of context, no matter how much we quote it out of context … let alone try to make it fit our situation.
Here is what God has to say about His Word: For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
And if we have any lingering doubt about how serious God is about the words in the Bible He has recorded for mankind to live their lives by:
“Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33)
Jesus said, "If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed;" (John 8:31).
Satan’s attacks (attempted mind control) over people becomes so much easier when people don’t believe the ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY and TRUSTWORTHY ACCURACY of God’s Word. Or – maybe they just haven’t studied God’s Word sufficiently enough to be able to STAND on His Word when it’s time to BELIEVE it and KEEP believing it as doctrinal disputes and/or as personal conflict arises.
Believing and confessing God’s wisely applied Word as the FINAL SAY on every situation we face in this life are the “the words of our testimony” that Satan hates. The more we are equipped to know HOW to wisely apply God’s Word to every situation life confronts us with … the greater victory we’ll maintain in our relationship with God.
Conversely – the less we know how to apply God’s Word to each and every situation we face in this life … the easier it is for Satan to control our thought-life (And remember: Our ultimate actions start with what we first think).
In case you haven’t noticed, near tops on Satan’s agenda is to discredit the Holy Bible, (Old and ESPECIALLY the New Testament) every way he can think of. If Satan can keep a person ignorant of God’s Word; get people to not trust God’s Word; get people to misapply scripture in regards to their situation or the situation of others … he can make HUGE headway in keeping that Christian from becoming ALL that God would like that Christian to become, which most likely will cause a loss of eternal rewards for them.
Of course, another tactic of Satan is to attempt to deceive people into believing that writings other than the Old and New Testament Bible are ALSO God’s word(s). When the exclusivity of the Holy Bible being God’s sole final authority on all matters spiritual and eternal becomes “questionable”, then it is “up for grabs” as to WHAT can be, and IS, God’s written and/or spoken authority and what isn’t.
The Book of Mormon is not in any way God’s word, no matter how they try to spin it, though a fully deceived Mormon will try to convince you differently. The Koran is not God’s word, though devout yet deceived Muslims will try to convince you differently. (Other examples could be given). God’s word is SOLELY recorded in the Old and New Testament. Everything humanity needs to know in how to please God is recorded in the Old and New Testament Bible. Anyone willing to believe and TEACH differently will find out the hard way on the Judgment Day (See James 3:1). Revelation 22:18-19 is a very sobering directive regarding such:
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Could it be made much clearer? Do NOT mess with God’s Word! Be quick to testify to its first, complete and final authority on what is spiritual truth and what is not, and never waver. That’s the greatest “word of your testimony” Satan goes into a seething rage over!
No OTHER spoken or written words are needed to explain the Holy Bible. Everything we need to know to please God has been written in the Holy Bible, and the Holy Spirit is FULLY QUALIFIED to give us more than sufficient illumination of the truths in the Holy Bible – especially if our heart’s desire is to please God every way He would desire we please Him. If there is any small doubt in your mind regarding this matter … BEWARE! Satan already has an open door into your mind!
A Christian who has diligently studied God’s Word and diligently dug in with the Holy Spirit to know how to wisely APPLY God’s Word in all of life’s situations – this is the “Word of our testimony” that God is telling us to use in every waking moment of our life here on this planet if we want to walk in maximized victory in our relationship with God.
Saying it another way … when our confession lines up with God’s wisely applied Word because we have chosen to elevate God’s Word as the FINAL say in all matters human and spiritual … we are honoring God in probably the HIGHEST way we can honor Him in this life, other than giving him full obedience to His commands in the New Testament Bible (See Revelation 12:17)
Bottom line: Anytime anyone makes a claim or tries to teach you something that is inconsistent with the Bible, you should know right away that it is wrong. But you have to know what a trustworthy translation of the Bible says in order to make a wise judgment call! So … study, study, prayerfully study God’s Holy Word to know what the REAL is … so you can spot deception (the false) when you’re being confronted with it.
Additionally: Just because masses of humanity start to believe a thing does NOT mean God endorses it. It makes no difference if millions or billions of people believe a given thing. If what they are believing disagrees with God’s clearly revealed Word … the masses are believing lies and spiritual deception. The same applies to “human logic.” When our human logic – human reasoning - wants to believe contrary to the clearly revealed Word of God – our logic - human reasoning - has to be thrown in a garbage can to be hauled off to the public dump to be burned to ashes.
If there is one thing to remember in all things spiritual … God LOVES to be honored. When we fall for Satan’s lies and deception and become passionate about passing our deception along to others … God sees that as dishonoring Him. If you want maximized blessing from God, do everything it says to do in His Word to honor Him. Refraining from being caught up in spiritual deception as to what is God’s word and what isn’t – and how God’s word is to be wisely applied - is the wisest place to start giving honor to God.
As a side note: For those who may be struggling as to WHICH Bible or Bibles can be trusted the most for being the most accurately translated from the original Greek and Hebrew texts: The original King James translation can be fully trusted, though it can be a difficult translation to understand for some. (However, I always read what the original King James translation has to say before coming to any final conclusions on a matter). The New King James translation is my personal choice because it is easier for me to understand than the original King James, though I have a number of different translations at my disposal to study when it’s called for. The New American Standard is a trustworthy translation, and there are a few others that you won’t go wrong in reading and believing. However – in my opinion and in the opinion of many other believers, too many different translations of the Bible are now being published and promoted, and deep within my spirit, one word comes to mind: Caution!
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WHAT IS “THE WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY”
THAT OVERCOMES SATAN?