In a recent article on God TV, Rhoda Gayle discussed a sermon by John Kilpatrick who is head pastor of Church of His Presence in Daphne, AL.
Pastor Kilpatrick shared that there are signs that spiritual attacks against Christians are increasing.
He told his audience, “The level of warfare is definitely increasing. You can think back to when you were much younger, you can think back to whenever you have a much simpler life… Today, everything has changed.”
We know from the book of Revelation, that Satan’s attack on believers will become more overt and aggressive in the end times.
But out of this heightened warfare will emerge a group of believers who conquered or overcame satan:
11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even[a]when faced with death. (Revelation 12:11 NASV
The Greek word translated ‘overcome’, ‘enikēsan’, speaks of such an overwhelming defeat, that according to the Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, it means that the victorious soldiers were ‘transferred from battle to other conflicts’, because there was no fear of a counter-attack.
And this verse provides three keys to this overwhelming victory in spiritual warfare.
The overcame satan by the Blood of the Lamb
First, it says they overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb. To understand what this is referring to, we need to look at the previous verse that says Satan was hurling accusations at the ‘brothers and sisters’ day and night. In other words, this was even happening while they slept.
Condemnation is one of Satan’s most hideous forms of spiritual warfare. Negative, condemning thoughts of things you did years, even decades earlier, will suddenly drop into your mind.
These thoughts have only one purpose, they are intended to beat you down. They bring home the message that you are no good. You are a useless Christian and you might as well just give up.
This victorious group of believers overcame it by understanding they had been completely and utterly forgiven by the blood of Jesus.
In the book of Zechariah, we read that satan was standing beside the High Priest Joshua and hurling accusations (Zechariah 3:1).
Joshua never saw Satan, but we know these condemning thoughts were hitting home as we are told Joshua was wearing filthy garments.
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” (Zechariah 3:3-4 NIV)
The word filthy is literally the word for excrement. Now we know in the physical realm, Joshua was not wearing those type of clothes as he ministered in the Temple, but this is how he felt spiritually as Satan rehearsed all Joshua’s past failures and sins.
But suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and put clean clothes on Joshua, because he was completely forgiven.
The breast plate of righteousness, as Paul describes it, will be our first line of defence against this relentless barrage of condemnation, as we full embrace our position in Christ.
By the word of their testimony
Secondly, we are told another weapon these believers used to defeat Satan was the word of their testimony. The Greek word for word is ‘logos,’ a direct reference to Christ.
This was referring to the testimony of what Jesus had done in their lives.
Your testimony is another major weapon in spiritual warfare.
But, how often do you use it?
Have you actually thought about writing down your personal testimony, citing example of what God has done in your life.
In the book of Judges, Israel was being attacked by the Midians and Amalekites who were relentlessly plundering their crops.
After, they called on God for help, the lord sent a prophet and the first thing he did was remind Israel how God had delivered them out of Egypt (Judges 6:7-9).
We need to constantly remind ourselves of God’s past faithfulness, to ensure victory in the future.
The final weapon was courage
Finally, we are told that they did not love their life unto death. They were not terrified of dying.
Death had no hold on them and because of this they were full of courage.
During World War 2, one of the most dangerous missions involved allied bombing runs in France and Germany.
It was particularly dangerous between 1942 and 1943, when some of the bombing raids recorded nearly 20% losses. During this period, it was statistically impossible for crews to complete 25 missions.
So how did they deal with this fear?
Before they took off, the bomber crews were not only required to make sure their wills were in order, but were also told to acknowledge that they were already dead.
The fear of death had no hold on them.