Keeping Christ’s Victory In Our Lives
By Paul E. Billheimer
"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1 John 5:18).
Nothing in this scripture is intended in any way to contradict the truth of our utter dependence upon God and our utter helplessness apart from Him. But it does indicate that the believer not only has a share in his own keeping but that there is a defense that is one hundred per cent effective.
This matter of personal victory over the attacks of Satan is on exactly the same basis as everything else we get from God. In this as in everything else the divine provision is perfect and complete. Perfect employment of the whole armour of God provides perfect protection and leaves the believer without one vulnerable spot. "He that is begotten of God keepeth himself and that wicked one toucheth him not."
Protected under the Blood
When the destroying angel passed through Egypt, slaying the first born, every home upon whose lintel and door posts the blood of a lamb was sprinkled, was safe. The guarantee was, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." That blood upon the lintel was mute testimony that death had already visited that home and the claims of the destroying angel were already cancelled. And it was typical of Christ’s shed blood upon the cross, which actually did cancel all of Satan’s claims upon all men and upon the entire creation.
Wherever therefore the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is appropriated by faith, Satan cannot establish any claim and must take his hands off. He cannot touch what the blood covers. For the blood is the token of Christ’s victory over Satan at Calvary and is the one thing, when used with faith against him, which he cannot pass.
The blood stands for Calvary. It stands for death. Christ’s death upon the cross cancelled Satan’s legal claims. When that cross touches in us that upon which Satan has a claim, that in us which belongs to Satan, Satan’s claims in us are practically cancelled. As we permit the cross to set aside our flesh, Satan loses his claims and his power over us. Wherever Satan sees the blood on any part of your life or nature he, like the destroying angel, must pass over, for death has already been there.
But this is only one phase of our redemption in Christ. In Revelation 12:11 we read, "They overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony." The word of testimony in the mouth of a man whose entire flesh life is yielded up to the cross as fast as it is revealed to him, is what defeats Satan. Satan cannot touch anything in us which the cross has touched. The way the born again soul keeps himself so that the wicked one touches him not is by constantly yielding to the cross and keeping all of his inner and outer life covered by the blood.
Recognition of Enemy Vital
Another great means of grace by which the blood-covered soul is kept so that Satan cannot touch him is by the "word of his testimony." It is Satan’s strategy to harass and wear out the saints. He attacks wherever he can find an opening. He attacks the mind, the spirit or the emotions and the body of the saint.
The Word of God clearly teaches that demons are the cause of much physical oppression and I am convinced that many such physical attacks are the result of personal demon activity. The remedy is the blood of the Lamb and the word of testimony the testimony directed definitely to Satan and his agents.
The next time you recognize an attack on your body from Satan or one of his agents, remind him that all of his claims upon you have been completely cancelled at the cross. Say to him that he has no right to touch your body and command him in the name of Jesus and of Christ’s victory at the cross to leave you and release your body at once. Keep a steady and stiff resistance to him in this way, exercising faith in the blood and believing and thanking God. Be persistent. Do not give up and as you withstand he will have to go (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Protection for the Mind and Spirit
Sometimes a saint will awaken in the morning under a mental or spiritual depression. He may not know one thing he has done to cause it. There may be no reason for it except that a demon or a number of demons have conspired to defeat him in his spirit or emotions. The remedy is the same. Recognize the attack of Satan and his agents and in the all-availing name of Jesus command them to leave you, to take their hands off of you, to release your mind and spirit, and emotions. Insist upon it, pleading the Name and the Blood of Jesus. Keep it up in faith and Satan will have to go.
Rebuke, Command in the Victor’s Name
Another of Satan’s most successful weapons against us is spiritual pride, a sense of self-satisfaction or of spiritual superiority, a spirit of exaltation. Satan knows that if he can get us to accept such a spirit, we are at his mercy and are completely defeated for all such belongs to him and he will be quick to claim what is his and put us out of the conflict.
The remedy for this is the same. First recognize such a spirit as from the enemy and immediately rebuke it in the name of Christ and command it to leave you. You will have to be constantly on your guard but if you use the blood and the word of command, in faith, you will remain victor and the wicked one will not touch you. There is absolutely no place in your life where you have been defeated that you cannot have victory.
There is power in the blood of Jesus, the stream that flows from Calvary, and when a soul is completely submerged, when the inner life is fully yielded to the cross, the wicked one toucheth him not. And the stream that flows from Calvary actually stands for death. Whatever death touches, Satan cannot touch.
If you think such a claim is too good to be true, remember the command, "Neither give place to the devil." This passage clearly teaches that we are not compelled to give him a place, and that the matter is really up to us. We hold the position of final authority in this matter. If we use the blood and the word of command when he seeks to touch us anywhere, and we are persistent and unrelenting, then we will prove the truth that a believer can so keep himself that the wicked one toucheth him not.
Take God’s Armour
This truth is clearly taught in Ephesians 6:11: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." The clear implication is that if we take the whole armour, we shall be able to stand, and the indication is that we must take the initiative in this matter. It is up to us. We must "take."
The first article in this armour is the "girdle of truth." The basis of victory over Satan is the truth, and particularly the truth of Christ’s complete victory over him in our behalf. We must comprehend, first of all, that the battle is already won. We must be convinced that Christ is not going to be but is even now on the throne. We must see that our fight is not to conquer Satan but to stand for a victory over him already won by Christ, and insist upon the manifestation of that victory.
Robbed of Their Prey
We must see that we fight in a battle that is already concluded and we must know that as we stand for Christ’s victory and insist upon Satan’s acceptance of his defeat that the real truth will become manifest. Notice our Scripture basis for this faith: "Having despoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly triumphing over them in His cross." "The dominions and powers he robbed of their prey, put them to an open shame, and led them away in triumph through His cross." "He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them triumphing over them in His cross."
They are "despoiled," "robbed of their prey," "put to shame," and "disarmed" now, already. Therefore, there is a sense in which there is no battle for us to fight. It is already won. Our fight consists of taking the position of victors, in reaching and maintaining the attitude that the battle is all over and the issue is decided. We are to stand steadfastly in that position, insisting upon the manifestation of that victory with unwavering faith in its reality. Our fight is to assume and maintain the position of victory. That is the first article of this armour, "the girdle of truth."
No Uncrucified Flesh
The next article is "the breastplate of righteousness." Moffat says, "Wear integrity as your coat of mail," that is, be living up to all your light. It is the old issue of a strict standard of ethics. No looseness. No uncrucified flesh. No refusal to face up with God on anything with which He may have a controversy.
Spiked Shoes to Tread Down the Enemy
See Psalm 91:13
Then comes the matter of the feet and again the walk of the believer comes into view. The Roman soldiers had spikes or cleats upon their shoes, just as athletes do today, to make them sure-footed, to prevent slipping. The apostle calls these shoes, "the stability of the gospel of peace." Inward disturbance and unrest, inner conflict with the will of God brings instability. I take this to mean that a truly submitted inward spirit, a spirit that has been really conquered by Christ and is at rest, makes the believer sure-footed so that he does not stumble, slip or fall.
Faith’s Perfect Protection
"Over all take the shield of faith wherewith ye shall quench all the fiery darts of the enemy." This is another clear evidence that the whole armour provides perfect protection from Satan: "quench all the fiery darts of the enemy." The position of victory assumed and maintained by the believer, brings into manifestation and demonstrates Christ’s victory and the utter defeat of Satan. That victory, so far as its manifestation upon earth is concerned remains a dead letter except as believers, seeing the truth of Christ’s victory, believing it in spite of all to the contrary, fight through to the attitude and position of victory and remain steadfast in that position. The position of faith actually quenches the fiery darts of the enemy so that he cannot touch the believer.
Satan Attacks the Mind First
The helmet of Salvation for the head reveals God’s provisions for the mind which is especially vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. Confusion, doubt, uncertainty, worry, distress--all these Satan insinuates into the mind, together with suspicions or critical thoughts. Satan usually attacks the mind first. Therefore Paul sees in salvation a deliverance for the mind by means of the blood and word of command already mentioned.
We Have the Victor in Our Hearts that We May Have His Victory in Our Lives
Let us summarize. The fully armed soldier-believer first of all gathers up all the loose ends of his attire and binds them closely to him out of the way by the girdle of truth. He then takes the helmet of salvation for the protection of mind, the breastplate of righteousness which covers the heart, for the protection of his emotions, sure-footedness provided by the gospel of peace, and over all the shield of faith. All of which means that a believer who comprehends fully the power of the blood or the victory of Christ and who, assuming the position of victor by virtue of a battle already won by Christ--uses the word of testimony and command, may be kept safely so that "the wicked one toucheth him not" and in the words of Paul’s exhortation "remains victor on the field" (Ephesians 6:10-18).