Revelation 9-13 (11.23.19)
Grab your Bible, and let’s go deeper into Revelation 12.
Read again Revelation 12:9-12:
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!’”
This passage is one of the famous ones used in Scripture to give us insight into Satan. I thought we would take a little time this morning to look to the Scriptures and remind our hearts about who Satan is, the power he has, and how we have victory over him.
First, who is Satan?
Satan opposes God as the chief of all fallen angels by deceiving, tempting, and lying. Satan only has the access and ability that God permits him. He is also known as the devil, the enemy, the tempter, the father of lies, the adversary, and the accuser.
Satan uses things like:
Doubt—to make you question God’s Word and His goodness.
Discouragement—to make you look at your problems rather than at God.
Diversion—to make wrong things seem attractive, so you will want them more than right things.
Defeat—to make you feel like a failure, so you don’t even try.
Delay—to make you put off doing the God-honoring things, so they never get done.
In Genesis 3:1 we see Satan using his tricks to tempt Adam and Eve to sin.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Now, I could spend a lot of time focusing on all the things that Satan does to trick us, trip us up, and sway us to sin, but I want to focus more on a right understanding of who we are in Christ and what that means for Satan’s ultimate influence in our lives. Notice in Genesis 3:1, it says that Satan was the shrewdest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. The truth is that all things that are not God are God’s creation—even our adversary, the devil.
God alone is the almighty Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of everything. There is nothing equal with Him. There is no adversary by which God is frustrated. There is no one that trips God up and makes things hard for him. Everything that is is because God allows it to be. This includes Satan. Satan does nothing that the almighty Creator and Sustainer doesn’t ultimately allow.
We see so many examples of this, but none clearer than Satan’s persecution of Job. Nothing that Satan did to Job was outside of the permission and authority of God.
Often, we see these modern pictures or paintings of Jesus and Satan arm wrestling, with heaven and hell waiting in the background, but the truth of Scripture reveals this to be an inaccurate view of the relationship between Satan and Jesus. Satan holds no authority or power over God. Satan is not God’s contender. Satan is 100% at the mercy of the One who holds all things under His rule and reign—that is God Almighty. The dominion Satan has been given is given by God. The dominion of hell that Satan will eternally suffer in will be held together, not by Satan, but by God.
Our passage says that Satan knows his time is short, so he is vigilant in his attacks and tricks and work. But we must never forget who ultimately sits on the throne and rules over all things—God! We must never give Satan more credit or power than he is due. We are saved, sanctified, and secured by the power of God. It is in God we trust. It is in God we believe. It is in God we rest. It is in God we live and do what we do.
This truth must be correctly understood in our hearts, so we don’t ever see Satan’s hand on our lives as having more power than God’s. Can you choose to give into temptation and sin and thereby give into Satan’s advances? Absolutely! But that NEVER means that he is more powerful than God. We must always see Satan as being under the sovereign and almighty hand of God. Our hope is not in avoiding Satan’s advances; our hope is in CHRIST!
Let’s remember what has happened.
Our passage today says that Satan is conquered. This is a great truth we must rightly understand.
God declared war and victory on Satan all in the same verse: Genesis 3:15.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
In other words, the Son of God, Jesus, will come and He will defeat you. We who have repented of our sin and trusted our lives to Jesus alone are victorious in Christ.
Colossians 2:13-14 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
It is in Christ that we confidently stand up to the devil and yell the words of 1 Corinthians 15:54-56:
… “’Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:31-39 says it so well:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In all these sufferings we are more than conquerors! Conquerors means they are under our feet! They are defeated!
So when we read in our passage, Revelation 12:10-11, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death,” it is saying, “Satan has been conquered, and Jesus has him and death under His feet.”
The accuser has been defeated, because we now have an advocate of the greatest kind—Jesus Christ Himself. The accusers, adversaries, and enemies are conquered by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus)!
Romans 3:25 (NIV) God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith …
Praise God that our bloodied champion came and conquered the enemy you and I never could. This is what God promised would happen back in Genesis 3:15.
So, we must understand rightly that:
- Satan is in no way on the same level as God, dueling it out in a cosmic battle. NO! God always has, and always will have, supreme and complete authority over all things—including Satan.
- Satan has been defeated on our behalf. We are now more than conquerors with Christ. We are no longer enslaved to sin and his rule in our lives. We have a new power at work within us. A new power to fight the temptation of sin we still face.
Romans 6:5-11 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
It is on this foundation that we put on our spiritual armor and fight sin and Satan every day until God determines his time on earth is finally done and calls it all to an end and calls us home.
Soldiers, we must know God is God and there is no equal. Jesus has conquered Satan and death, and we will join Him in that victory. We must also know that we are still at war as we testify of Christ to the lost. Our adversary is still on the hunt to trip us up in order to make our testimony weak or our faith in God less. While his efforts are futile in the end, they still can cause great damage to our lives and mission.
This is why Peter says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
This is why James says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Are we at war? Yes. Has that war already been won? Yes. Do we armor up and fight on because our Commander has saved us and called us to it? Yes.
We must have a right view of Satan and God. We must have a right view of Christ’s victory over sin and death on our behalf.
We must know that Satan loses! He has been conquered and will be conquered in another final way on the day that God has decided! Soldier up, men!
I leave you with the words of the apostle Paul found in Ephesians 6.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
By His grace and for His glory,
Pastor Joshua Kirstine