Text: Rev 12:7-17
Summary: May the word of your testimony and mine silence the Accuser in Jesus’ Name.
Father, during this unusual time, we ask you to teach us about spiritual battle. We pray that we can emerge out of this lockdown with a testimony and many testimonies. I pray that you would teach us about your power and your authority. Your rule and your reign. Your salvation for the world. Father, teach us many things. Be with us during this time. We pray that you would speak. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen
Please turn with me to Revelation 12.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 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. 10 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. 11 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. 12 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!” 13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
I want to talk today about spiritual battle and the role of our testimony, the word of our testimony, as it says. With COVID-19, the world is on trial as I see it, and we as believers living in 2020, we also are part of this trial. And the word for trial in the Bible has two connotations. One negative and one positive. It depends on the context. And when it’s talking about satan, obviously it’s negative. Satan uses trials in order to tempt us and to eventually destroy us. That is his end goal. And God uses the very same trial to test us, to build us up. And faith needs to be tested. And when our faith is tested and we overcome, what emerges is our testimony. A testimony emerges when your faith is tested.
When I read Revelation 12, it is such a helpful picture for me. It gives me a clear picture of this world. It says that satan who is the accuser of the brothers, the one who deceives the whole world, went after Jesus at his birth. Because he could not successfully defeat Jesus, and actually Jesus defeated him at Calvary, now all of the fury of satan is directed at all of us, the offspring.
And so it’s just a helpful picture to me, that we are not strolling through the park going through this life. We are actually at war, and satan has declared war on the believers of Christ. And his two biggest weapons are deception and accusation. It says in v9 that satan is the deceiver of the whole world.
And I used to think that because I became a Christian I’m no longer deceived. How wrong I was. There are so many layers to satan’s deceptions. Of course, the biggest deception is that Jesus was just a man. He is just a teacher. He is just a founder of a religion like all the other religions, you don’t have to pay attention to Him. You don’t have to live for Him, you don’t have to. He is not the Savior of the world or the Son of God. That is of course his greatest deception. But there are so many layers of his deception. And I just want to ask, do you know that we are so susceptible to satan’s deceptions? Do you know this?
What I thought when I became a Christian in 1993, was that I was no longer in deception. I thought my eyes were open. I thought for the rest of my life I could see clearly. Boy, was I wrong. I think for the first few years, God gifted me with a good conscience. I was enjoying the Lord. I could enter His presence. Clearly I was still sinning because I was still a spiritual infant, but there was so much grace that was poured out in the first few years, and God’s protection was upon me, and I could approach the throne of grace with confidence. And that was the beginning point, when God was growing me in His grace.
But over the years, through false teaching and through bad examples in the church, I lost touch with Jesus. And Jesus is the head and I was like a body without a head. I was a member of the body without a head and I was lost. And I thought I was seeing properly. I thought that serving God and living for Him and serving the church, isn’t that the Christian life? But I was so deceived. And God in His mercy, and I’ll get back to my testimony at the end, in His mercy, He has been pursuing me. He has been bringing me out of deception. One deception after another. And I pray that all of us as believers, we would never think that just because I believe in Jesus that I’ve come out of deception because it says satan has deceived the whole world. That includes believers, and he has many tricks up his sleeves.
And so I think just humbly we should just acknowledge without Jesus as the light of the world, I am so susceptible to be deceived. I am so prone to follow the wrong path. I am so confident when actually I’m on the wrong path. It is a humble statement for the believer to say, Lord Jesus, lead me because today I might fall into deception. That is just a humble statement that satan has deceived the whole world. Let’s not be proud and say, well, I’m not deceived. I have Jesus. I see clearly.
Clearly satan is tempting and deceiving the world right now. And one of his schemes I think has been unveiled. I never knew how the mark of the beast in Revelation 13 would come to pass. I thought that maybe he would forcibly impose this mark. But I realized after going through this relatively minor pandemic, that there could be a situation in our future that is so severe that people will gladly take a mark, and they will gladly submit to one world leader and look for one person to solve all the problems of this world, especially when my health or my life is at risk.
I didn’t understand until 2020 that this is possibly an outline of satan’s future agenda. And he will not be twisting arms to take the mark to be given. People will be begging for the mark and begging for a world later to bring everything under control, and we will gladly if we’re deceived. We will gladly submit to this figure, and we will come under one rule system, probably one cryptocurrency, a cashless society, and we will be enslaved.
I didn’t see it until this year. And so, we should just acknowledge that satan is such a clever deceiver and humbly admit without the Lord shining His light and without us following the light of the world, I can be so easily deceived. His second trick is accusation. And it says that he is going to and fro on the earth. And those are the same words as 2 Chronicles 16:9 that God is looking to and fro on the earth, and He is looking for someone with wholehearted devotion to Jesus. And He is going to show Himself to be strong to that person and in so doing, He will strengthen that person.
And so God is 24/7/365, looking for someone who is wholly devoted to His Son. Satan is also 24/7/365 looking to devour. He is a lion looking to devour. And he is checking, looking you up and down, looking for a weakness and he’s looking for a vulnerability to bring you down, because we are at war with this accuser of the brethren.
And if you are accused today by condemnation, by guilt, by words of you are not worthy, clearly these are not from God. These are words from the accuser. And we have to be able to discern it. And I think all of us can. We have many times when you’re just on your own, you’re not even thinking and then suddenly, those types of condemning thoughts and thoughts of guilt just come in and feelings of unworthiness and trying to perform and merit God’s favor and His love. These thoughts without even trying, they just pop in.
If you’re not trying to, if you’re not thinking about anything, do your thoughts naturally move toward worship of God, or thanksgiving to God? I think if we are honest, it takes work for us to give thanksgiving to God, it takes work to worship God, it takes work to get on our knees and lay down every burden at Jesus’s feet. But it does not take work at all for these thoughts of condemnation and guilt to enter in. And when that happens, just know that you’re being accused by satan.
And did you know that accusation starts in the throne room of God and that satan is accusing us day and night? It says in Revelation 12:10 that satan accuses all of us day and night before our God. Did you notice that the accusation of satan begins and starts at the throne of God? And we see this in the book of Job, the oldest in terms of the date of when it was recorded. The oldest chronological book in the Bible is the book of Job.
And satan has just come back from going to and fro, because that’s all that he does, he is like a lion who prowls around, and he’s looking to and fro. He’s looking for a weakness, and if he finds that weakness, he’s going to capitalize and he’s going to accuse the person. But on this day, he comes back, and maybe he hasn’t found the one that he really wants to attack.
Maybe he’s frustrated that there are some people that it doesn’t seem like there’s a way in. And so he is coming to God, after he has accused all the weaker brothers and sisters and now he’s going for maybe the stronger brothers and sisters. And so he comes to God and says in the book of Job 1:7 that he’s come back from going to and fro on the earth and walking up and down on it. And interestingly in v8, God is the one who recommends Job. God is the one who handpicks Job for this trial. He says in v8:
8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Satan has gone out to and fro. He’s already accused and tempted many believers on the earth. And then he enters into God’s presence. And God says, have you seen my servant Job? He is a righteous man. He is an upright man, this brother is not going to fall to your accusations. And it’s a test. Will satan win? Will satan accuse and bring this brother down? Or will God be vindicated by the word of Job’s testimony?
And satan’s accusation at the end is basically all the same. He says all believers, we are counterfeits. We are fakes. We’ve been propped up by all the blessings of God. God has been so good to His people, He’s put a hedge of protection around Job. Does Job fear God for nothing? Do we fear God for nothing because we’ve been so blessed? God has protected us. God has given us so much. And in the case of Job, he is the greatest man in the east. He is so wealthy. He’s been so favored by the Lord. He has 11,000 livestock. He has many servants. He has 10 children. This man is blessed. And satan says, let me just tempt this guy, he will fall. He will curse you to your face.
And God puts a limit on satan’s temptation. He says, yes, you can do whatever you want, but you can not take Job out. So satan’s biggest tricks are deception and accusation. But that doesn’t mean he can’t touch us. Satan can do quite a bit with God’s permission. He can take away, as in the case of Job, he took away all the livestock. He killed all the children all on the same day. The series of bad news just got from bad to the worst nightmare he could ever imagine, all on the same day.
And do you think satan was done? Actually, let me read the end of Job 1, just an incredible word of Job’s testimony. After he’s been tested more than I can even imagine, losing everything including your family. And Job says this:
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
So the accusation started at the throne room of God. God handpicks Job for this trial. Job loses all of his wealth and all of his children on the same day. And he ends with this kind of amazing testimony that came out of his mouth. The word of his testimony.
But do you think satan stops? Just because he took away his children, his livestock, his wealth. Do you think that he will stop? Because remember, the accusation of satan is always the same, that we’re all fakes. We’re all counterfeit. We’re not overcomers. You just put the right test, and everybody will fail. I just have to find a severe enough test. Everybody is a phony. That is satan’s accusation. And he says that in Job 2.
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.
You would think that God after He allows Job to be tested so severely, that He would give Job a breather and choose somebody else. But God wants to make a point that there are children and servants and disciples of Jesus, who will never bow the knee to satan. Who will never deny Christ. And he says, let me prove it to you, accuser. I will prove it to you again through Job. You can now attack his very body, and I will show you that he will stand. He will endure.
When something happens to us, there are many reasons why things happen. For example, when you become sick, it may be an opportunity for God to be glorified. That is one reason you may be sick, because God wants to heal you and you will give glory to God in your healing. Another reason that you might be sick is that you’ve committed sin. And that’s why it says in James 5, that when you ask people to pray, one of the things that they should ask you while praying for your healing is, have you sinned? And maybe God will show you your sin and you will repent and you will see that this sickness is connected to it.
It could also be Hebrews 12, the discipline of the Lord, that He wants to raise your game. He wants you to struggle with sin to the point of shedding blood. He wants you to be trained up in righteousness. He wants you to grow in holiness. He wants your feeble hands and your weak knees to be strengthened. There are many reasons why we can be sick in our body, but clearly in this example, it was purely a satanic attack.
And for many people, this is the final straw. How many people have you seen when they are suffering from cancer, they were a strong Christian all the way throughout and then suddenly, after cancer, it’s like, God, how could you do this to me? And they become so angry and so bitter and they turn their face from God.
Job is not like this. Job has a word of his testimony, and he proves it chapter after chapter. He’s proving his righteousness, and although he complains and he does have to repent of the sins of his lips, he never curses God. He never turns his back on God. He holds on to his faith all the way through.
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
And you see that the accuser of the brethren can even use our loved ones. And there are times that we could be used as instruments of satan. Satan can use our very mouth to proclaim accusation. Through our parents, through our children, through our spouses. And you just have to recognize and not take things personally and see at the root of it, it’s the accuser. He wants you to curse God and turn away. Now I want to go back to our main text, and how we can become an overcomer and proclaim victory. The way that Job did over the accuser.
10 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. 11 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.
I used to read v11 by itself, they conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, they loved not their lives even unto death. But the thing that the Lord told me this past week, is you must read v11 with v10.
10 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.
How can we conquer satan’s accusations, which also can manifest through hardship, tragedy, and even physical sickness and attack? How can we overcome all of his attacks? It says that salvation has come. That means Jesus has come. The Savior has come. And when it says, the kingdom has come, it’s basically saying, King Jesus has come. The Savior Jesus has come. King Jesus has come. And in Jesus, there is power and there is authority.
And did you know that the same power and authority of Jesus it says in Matthew 28 has been given to you and me? And so when we face satan, we face him not alone but with Jesus. We confront him with the power and authority of Jesus. In Matthew 16, Jesus asks Peter, who do you say that I am? And Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, answers, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus is so pleased. He praises the confession of Peter.
And you look at the Greek. It says Peter is Cephas which means little pebble. Jesus says to Peter, you’re this little pebble of a person, this little stone of a person and you’ve made this mountainous confession. That’s the Greek, little person. This pebble of a person has made this incredible mountainous Mount Everest like confession. You are the Christ. And it says that this Kingdom of God that has come, that you now have been ushered in, and the gates of Hades will not prevail over you.
And this Kingdom has now come. And so we confront satan because the Savior has come. Because the king, King Jesus, has come. And we have His power and His authority because we are in Christ. And we confront the gates of hell and satan himself with the power and authority of Jesus. And we proclaim His victory over our body, over our soul, over our spirit, over our loved ones, over everything that happens. And we, in the face of satan’s accusations, me, this brother, this sister, we will not fall to his accusation. We are overcomers.
And we proclaim the word of our own testimony. At the end of Job’s life, think of the testimony that Joe has. How much more did he grow in his confidence of who God is. Yes, he lost much but he gained so much more. He actually regained a lot more wealth than he had before. I think God blessed them with so much more. But but more than material things more than the children, God blessed him with so much spiritual understanding. So much maturity happened during this disciplining, during this testing from the Lord, and this temptation from satan.
Think when satan approaches the throne of God again, what can God say to the accuser of Job? God can say, didn’t I tell you, didn’t I tell you this brother, this servant of mine, he’s not going to fall? And He can testify to the accuser, I am right, you are wrong. And so for every believer may that be our testimony that we will not fall. God is right when He says that this brother, this sister that God has handpicked for this trial, they will prove through the word of their testimony, and they will validate God’s testimony about us that we will not fall.
I hope you have many testimonies. I hope God births many testimonies through coronavirus. I had a chance to remember how God was so gracious to me over the last eight years. Ever since Hill Community was established by Him. In 2012, I got seriously injured in my back. And I was playing basketball when I got injured and I was in my 30s but I was living as if I was in my 20s. And I didn’t understand I was living in deception that I was still young. And clearly I was not young.
And looking back, I was just so deceived in many ways. I was so unhealthy physically and spiritually in so many ways. I was actually 20 pounds heavier. It’s hard to believe. I look at the picture when Dongyoon and Andre were being baptized and I’m thinking, who is that person 20 pounds heavier? That guy is obese. I mean, I’m not slim now but 20 pounds heavier, that was too much. And in my late 30s with my injured back and being 20 pounds heavier, looking back, I just see the Lord’s hand. He was disciplining me.
It’s like what He’s doing to the world today. There’s a timeout. And during a timeout you get to look in the mirror and see, am I doing anything wrong, Lord? Am I out of shape? Do I need to repent? Is there a way in which I’m living before you that’s displeasing? And the Lord was doing that for me and I didn’t even know it in 2012 that it was a timeout. He was stopping me in my tracks because I had all these plans of what I was going to do for the Lord. And He was slowing me down physically so that I would slow down spiritually. So that I would understand the deception I was in and the spiritual condition I was in.
And God in His mercy, step by step led me, starting in 2013 and being connected to Pastor Brian and being part of a spiritual revival. And during that revival God showed me the many burdens I was carrying. And God was lifting those burdens off of me. I saw a picture of my earthly father and his expectations of me and him wanting me to be perfect and wanting me to merit his love. And then seeing my Heavenly Father in that light that He must also not be pleased with me and so I must keep working harder and harder. And I saw a picture of all of that during that time of prayer and those burdens were lifted.
And that night I came home and in the middle of the night, God woke me up. And He touched His finger on the exact spot that was hurting, and in a moment, He healed my back. He could have done it at the revival service but I think God wanted to make clear who the healer is. It is not a gifted minister who heals. It is Jesus Christ. And God gave me that clear message and so that was further restoration.
I realized I was deceived. Like I read in the Bible that He heals, but I actually didn’t believe it. And so when I had a headache, I could have gone to my Healer, but instead I reached for Advil. When I had a stomach ache, I could have asked for help from my Healer, but I reached for Zantac. And I did that for decades, I just didn’t realize how deceived I was. But as God is my witness, from that day I have not taken a single pill, and the Lord has protected my health. From that day, my confidence grew that He alone is my Healer and in His blood is total healing.
The physical stuff I think is easier. The spiritual stuff, I think is much harder. And God in His mercy step by step, He set me free from things I didn’t even know I had. Like I didn’t know that I was bound by a spirit of religion. I didn’t know that this kept me from seeing God for who He is. I just kept boxing Him in. I kept relying on doctrine to just put Him in a little bubble. And I wanted to serve in a systematic way as I saw other people systematically serving Him. And I wanted to follow that same routine and same program.
And I realized that that box needed to be shattered. And God in His mercy, He lifted the spirit of religion. And I can’t explain how He did it but over the last eight years, all I can say is my eyes have been opened to spiritual reality. My eyes have been opened to the truth that Jesus really has power. He really is my Healer. He really is my Deliverer. And so before I turn to anybody or anything, the first person I will always turn to is Jesus Christ, because the Savior has come. The King has come and Him and Him alone, His power and authority.
And this power and authority has been conferred. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to His church, all believers. So our faith needs to be tested. But when your faith is tested, the amazing thing is, you will have your own testimony. And when you have a testimony of your own healing, or your own deliverance, guess what? Your faith gets boosted even more.
And so it’s a momentum that builds. It’s like your faith is down here, but then God breaks through and He shows you a new side of Him that He is the Healer. He’s the Deliverer and you see He has power and authority. And when you see it with your own eyes and it happens to you or your loved ones, what happens is your faith that is down here gets lifted and gets built up. And when your faith is tested a testimony emerges and your faith grows.
And it says in Revelation 12:11, for they loved not their lives even unto death. And as we looked at the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, if satan can not get you through sickness, through deception, or through false teaching, he will get you the way he gets 99% of the world and believers. His last temptation is to persecute you, even unto death.
And if we are one so privileged to live in a time of persecution in the end, may we have a testimony that even if satan accuses me and tempts me to the point of death, because I am not loving my life in this world, because I’m not clinging to my life, because I don’t have any bucket list that I have to get married and I have to have kids, I have to see my grandkids, and I have to have all these things checked off. Because we don’t love our lives in this world, even the final accusation of satan to God, that these believers really love their lives in this world and if you threaten their life, they will curse you, may we be ones who never curse God, even in the face of death. May the word of your testimony and the word of my testimony silence the accuser in Jesus Name.
Father, thank you for teaching us so much about spiritual battle. Satan’s deception and his accusation. Some of us, especially during the coronavirus, are really suffering the accusations of satan who accuses us day and night. Jesus, you are the King and you’ve come. And Jesus, you are our Savior and salvation has come in. Lord Jesus, in you is power and authority.
So I come in the power and authority of Jesus Christ. I bind and rebuke every spirit of religion, I cast you into the abyss, never to torment your people. I bind and rebuke the spirit of rebellion, I cast you into the abyss, never to torment your people. I bind and rebuke the spirit of doubt, I cast you into the abyss. I bind in rebuke the spirit of condemnation, I cast you into the abyss.
I come in the power and authority of Jesus Christ, I bind and rebuke the spirit of guilt, I cast you into the abyss, never to torment your people again. I bind and rebuke the spirit of fear. I cast you into the abyss. I bind and rebuke the spirit of lust, I cast you into the abyss, never to torment your people. I bind and rebuke the spirit of selfish ambition, I cast you into the abyss. I bind and rebuke the spirit of pride. I cast you into the abyss.
To every unclean spirit, the ones that haven’t been named, I bind and rebuke you in Jesus Name, I cast you into the abyss. I plead the blood of Jesus over all our bodies, soul, spirit, mind, will, and emotion. I pray for total cleansing in Jesus Name. Jesus, I pray that you would meet us continuously in these last days. I pray that you would build up our faith, that we would have our own testimony, many testimonies.
We will declare it to others, the words of our testimonies, so that we can silence the accuser once and for all, and God, you would be vindicated that you can also silence the accuser and say, that’s my boy. That’s my girl. They will not bow the knee to satan’s accusations. They are overcomers. Jesus, thank you. Lord, we praise you for who you are. We pray that you will establish us more and more in your power and in your authority. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen