"They Overcame Him – The Accuser Because Of The Blood Of The Lamb"
By Harold M. Freligh
An overcoming Christian is a normal one. Defeat, which is all too common, is nevertheless abnormal, for God's purpose for His children is victory! The provision for overcoming is found in Revelation 12:11. It is threefold: "And they overcame him (the devil, the accuser of the brethren) because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death" (ARV).
The first means of overcoming is the blood of the Lamb. This is the token of Christ's victory and the enemy's defeat. There is no protection in His blood apart from the cooperation of our will. To use the blood of Jesus as a fetish to drive away danger is not only to misuse it, but also to show our vulnerability to the evil one. One cannot plead the blood – and at the same time countenance sin!
If the citadel of the will has not yielded to the Victor, Jesus, so that He is allowed to operate from that vantage point, there is no victory.
The enemy on the inside only opens the door to the enemy without. The blood is not a cloak to cover our ill temper, our evil nature, our jealous disposition, our fretfulness, our critical cynicism, and our self-will. These enemies must be dealt with by confession to God, and cleansing by the blood of Jesus.
Then we are in a position for victory over the enemy on the outside as we claim the deliverance procured for us by the blood of the Lamb – and advance in conquering conquests.
The blood of Jesus is a provision against Satan. As the accuser of the brethren, he attempts to bring God's children under condemnation (Rev. 12:9-11). This is different from conviction. The Holy Spirit does not leave us at Sinai, but brings us to Calvary. The conviction of the Holy Spirit shows us our sins, but also shows us the laver of sin's cleansing.
The accuser, however, brings us under the lash of self-reproach, and shows us no cure. He delights in incapacitating us by entangling us in the meshes of our own failure, and the self-effort to establish our own righteousness (see Romans 10:3). He tries to divert us by getting us on the lookout for something good in ourselves, or by luring us to excuse our failures, either to ourselves, or to others, or even to God.
Thus he scores a victory, and hinders our progress. This is not the way to meet and overcome the accuser. It is by claiming the blood of the Lamb that we are relieved of this vain endeavor and are enabled to rout Satan.
To plead the blood of the Lamb is to claim the righteousness of the innocent, pure, spotless One. There is no blemish in Christ.
Christ's righteousness is complete. And that righteousness is applied to our account when we renounce our own righteousness and claim His alone – "not having mine own righteousness…but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Phil. 3:9). Christ is "made unto us…righteousness" (1 Cor. 1:30). He was made sin "on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21, ARV).
To plead the blood of the Lamb is to claim a victory ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED! We overcome "because of the blood of the Lamb" (ARV).
That is, we are not making an experiment. We are not trying this method to see whether it will work. It is because Christ has already spoiled "principalities and powers" (Col. 2:15) that we can plead that finished fact. It is not a victory that is being accomplished, but one that is already so.
We experience victory to the extent that we are able to enter into this accomplishment, and declare our stand, on Christ's work of victory over all evil forces that would come against us – demons, evil angels, satanic accusations and Satan himself.
These foes have been fingerprinted at the Cross. They have been stripped and stunned. Christ has made them inoperative, and when we plead HIS victory over them, and His alone – they become inoperative toward US also! Christ's finished work is the reason for our overcoming the accuser!
To plead the blood is to bring the protection of the Almighty to our door. This is the meaning of the Passover in Egypt. God promised, "the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you" (Ex. 12:23).
The Passover does not mean that "the destroyer" passed over the doors where blood was sprinkled, skipping such doors and entering where there was no blood. The Passover means that God Himself spread His pinions over that door, and did not allow destruction to enter!
This is verified by Isaiah 31:5, which reveals the same protective presence of God: "As birds hovering, so will Jehovah of hosts protect Jerusalem; He will protect and deliver it, He will pass over and preserve it" (ARV). To be under the shelter of the blood of the Lamb is to be under the outspread wings of the Almighty: "He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shall thou trust" (Psa. 91:4). Who would not want the shelter of such a Deliverer, and who is safe without it?
The Authoritative "It Is Written"
But the saints also overcome "because of the word of their testimony.'' What does this mean? It does not mean giving a testimony in church, though this we should do. Nor is it a mental declaration of doctrine, though we have true doctrine as our scaffolding. The blood of the Lamb is a defensive weapon, but the Word of our testimony is an offensive one. It is the same weapon that Jesus used against the devil in the wilderness. It is the inviolable, eternal, powerful Word of God! To meet the enemy with the authoritative "It is written," is to thrust him and gain the victory!
The Word of our testimony is the "sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:17). It is the weapon the Holy Spirit uses. In His hands, as He works through us, it becomes potent and invincible! It is the aggressive piece of armor in the list given in Ephesians, chapter 6.
The Holy Spirit first uses this sword on ourselves. The Word is "living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12, ARV). It is so sharp that it can cut without gouging and mutilating. Its two edges search out every area!
The differentiation between the soul and the spirit is revealed by the Word. In the realm of the soul are the emotions, affections, reasonings, and imaginations. God's victors dare not live in this realm. Getting our "feelings" hurt indicates where we are living. Sensitiveness is a subtle form of selfishness. Human preferences and reasonings cannot dominate the overcoming life.
The Word of God divides between the “joints and marrow'' revealing and searching every connection we have through the joints with other members of the body. Any disaffection toward others will hinder our warfare. And any relationship that is so close as to be self-possessive, and hinder the work of the Word from severing mere human attachments, will make us weak-kneed and unable to stand up to the enemy.
Even the marrow, the central core of our life, is searched. The thoughts of the heart are revealed by the penetrating Word! The intents of the heart are also manifested. Pure actions come from pure motives.
All desire for praise of man, for human esteem, for worldly honor, must go!
The sword must cut into the innermost purposes if we would overcome by the Word of our testimony. An appetite that loves to feed on compliments is germinated by living "in the soul." Such a gnawing craving will hurt and not help its possessor, for it is inimical to living "in the Spirit," and robs one of feeding on Christ Himself!
To live in the realm of the spirit is to take our stand in the new life in Christ Jesus. If we would be over-comers, we must live in this higher sphere of the regenerated spirit, whence Christ has been made supreme over our entire being! From this Christ-enthroned center, the Holy Spirit works out through our soul and body too. We are simply open channels.
The Holy Spirit also uses the Word in our conquests without. The weapons of our warfare "are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Cor. 10:4). What are carnal weapons? Paul describes some of them in First Corinthians. One is the "wisdom of this world," which God has made foolish (1:20). Another is glorying in men. "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" (3:4). Another is to "walk as men," showing the manifestations of "envying, and strife, and divisions" (3:3).
Such weapons will never pull down the bulwarks of Satan. We do not overcome in this way. But when the sword of the Spirit has, with one edge, first cut inwardly in our own lives, then we can use the other edge to cut the enemies on the outside. The result will be the casting down of "imaginations (reasonings), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5).
God has put in our hands a spiritual instrument. It is sufficient and powerful! To use it, in the energizing of the Spirit, is to overcome the accuser! And again, it is something already proved, not something in the experimental stage. It is "because of the word of their (our) testimony" that we overcome. This sword is tried and attested, and it always works!
And there is one thing more. These overcoming ones described in Revelation 12:11 "loved not their lives unto the death.'' The other two methods are means that God puts in our hands; here is something we put into His hands-even our very life. We renounce the love of it! "He that loveth his life shall lose it" (John 12:25). This renunciation must be complete – "unto the death."
It is more than renunciation, however. It is identification with Christ in His death. It is not self-crucifixion – but co-crucifixion with Christ. It is not spiritual suicide, but submission to the Spirit who accomplishes in us what Christ has done for us by His crucifixion. "But if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds (doings) of the body, ye shall live" (Rom. 8:13, ARV).
It is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. It is the corn of wheat, buried with Jesus Christ in the oblivion of the Cross that much fruit, through resurrection with Him, may be forthcoming (John 12:24). Such a life is so "hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3) that victory is assured!
The accuser has no hold on such victors! The blood of the Lamb is our protection! The Word of our testimony, the Word of God, is our instrument for aggressive warfare! Identification with Christ in His crucifixion is the attitude that allows the Spirit to work unhindered through us in the power of Christ's resurrection!
Are you a normal Christian, an overcoming one?