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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Overcomers (Revelation 12:10-11)

 "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."

The Apostle John describes believers as overcomers in I John and in the Revelation of Jesus Christ sixteen times. Believers overcome in the battle over sin and self, in the battle with the world's thinking and system, and in the battle with the enemy.

We have a real and powerful enemy but we are not left helpless to his accusatory attacks. Because the Seed of man (Genesis 3:15) has crushed the head of the serpent and we are in Him we can overcome - get the better of, gain the superiority over - the enemy. We must appropriate the victory of Jesus Christ over the enemy in our own lives. Passivity in the Christian life leads to defeat.

Victory is gained by appropriating the three-fold weapon:
  1. The blood of Jesus Christ is powerful and must be proclaimed; Christ's death won the victory. "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow! No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus." Christ came to die in order to defeat sin, death, and the devil.
  2. A bold personal testimony must be verbalized. There is something powerful in verbalizing what Christ has done on your behalf. A bold testimony, like a battering ram upon castle walls, damages the hold Satan has upon fallen man. It sparks faith and illumines darkness. 
  3. A consecrated life of self denial must be lived. Pampered Christians are unprepared to face difficulty, demonic activity, and death. Disciplined soldiers courageously prepare to die for their cause. Retreat and defeat are not an option.
Does the word "overcomer" or "spiritual wimp" define your relationship with sin, with the world and with the enemy? Overcoming is a marked characteristic of sold out individuals and churches of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Revelation 11:1-14:20 (It appears that most of the events described in these chapters take place after the rapture of the church during the seven year tribulation period)
  • Where do the events of chapter eleven take place?
  • What will happen after the resurrection of the two prophets?
  • How do the twenty-four elders describe the following three and a half years?
  • The woman in chapter twelve is symbolic of Israel who gave birth to the Christ. The red dragon is Satan. The conflict between the two actually began in the garden (See Genesis 3:15). During the tribulation a new and final wave of anti-Semitism will begin. The "rest of her offspring" is the church of Jesus Christ.
  • Read 1 Peter 5:8 and describe Satan's strategy.
  • Where does the beast derive his power? (The beast is a political leader from the United States of Europe and the dragon is Satan).
  • What is the goal of the dragon and how extensive is his influence?
  • What will happen to the first beast that will astound many?
  • What will enable the 144,000 to withstand the beast?
  • What will happen to those who worship the beast?
  • What analogy is used to describe the final days?
Turning truth into prayer
One only has to look at what is taking place worldwide, in the Arab world, and in Israel to see that we are moving rapidly toward the end times. We've nothing to fear.  Every time Jesus spoke about the end times He said "Watch and pray." Ask the Lord to help you remain awake, alert, and prayerful.