So how did the martyrs in heaven that John saw previously (chapter 6) overcome?
Yesterday I held in my hands a hand-written copy of the book of Acts, written by a Chinese Pastor, who once the authorities had discovered it, he was martyred. How did he overcome?
In the worst of your days when facing terrible health problems or people are accusing you with all kinds of deceit and lies, how do you overcome?
Here is the answer!
“They triumphed over 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. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (Revelation 12 v 11-12)
- By the power of the cross.
This power is the blood of the Lamb. Yes the dragon may be red, the colour of blood and he may look fierce, but the Lamb is blood stained. There is more power in one drop of His blood than anything the dragon can produce. Why is this important? Because the dragon accuses us day and night. Under the blood there is no voice that can reach us because the blood speaks a better word, you are forgiven, you are cleansed, you are made new.
- Our witness.
This testimony of the work of Christ and the nature of Christ is hugely important. For we do not reduce either to a lesser level. We hold out for the truth of who Jesus is and what He does. There is no watering down. There is no weakening of our belief and our creed. We do not pamper to those who want him as one of the gods. He is the King of Kings and He demands our all.
- Our self-giving of our lives.
This suffering is not our defeat but the dragons defeat. Some of you will remember the book ‘The Heavenly Man’ by Brother Yun. I listened to him yesterday in a conference describe how when he was in prison and severely beaten up he really wanted to die a martyr and it would have been easy to do so. But his family urged him to live for Christ. Living for Christ was more of a surrender than dying for Christ. Made me think! Either way as we give of ourselves to Christ how is this overcoming the enemy? It is because what can the dragon do to us if we are cloaked with heaven, if we are not of this world then what is the worst he can do? Precisely! So we overcome!
This is how we overcome!