of Satan against us. When we walk in the light of all that He procured for
us, we may experience His victory and His overcoming.
WHAT DO WE HAVE TO OVERCOME?
In our spiritual walk, the principle things to overcome are the power of Satan and Antichrist, the effect of our carnal natures on our spiritual walk, and the corrupted state of the church and world.
The State of the End Time Worldly Church
Before His crucifixion, Christ warned that the end-time church would be characterised by lawless self-works accompanied by lying signs and wonders, false prophets and teachers, and lovelessness towards one another.
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” [Matt 7:22-23].
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” [Matt 24:24].
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” [Matt 24:12-13].
In his letter to Timothy, Paul presented this prophecy concerning the nature of some who attend the worldly church, who will have allowed their carnal natures to rule them.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” [2 Tim 3:1-5].
The fact that these people have a form of godliness, and Paul’s further warning to Timothy, bears witness that these people are associated with the church. “And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” [2 Tim 3:5-8].
This parallel prophecy from Isaiah relates to both Israel and the end-time church.
Because they are filled with eastern ways;
They are soothsayers like the Philistines [engage in occultist practices],
And they are pleased with the children of foreigners [acceptance of the world].
Their land is also full of silver and gold,
And there is no end to their treasures [preoccupation with wealth];
Their land is also full of horses,
And there is no end to their chariots [internal strife and warfare].
Their land is also full of idols;
They worship the work of their own hands [buildings, regalia, and adornments]” [Isa 2:6-8].
The State of the World
It is obvious prophetically and factually, that the last days will be characterised by all manner of wickedness, such as violent hatred, lawlessness, warfare, terrorism, extortion, destruction of the environment, poverty, treachery, brutality, covetousness, idolatry, self-centredness, complacency, mocking, luxury and pleasure seeking, moral depravity and godlessness. The following are some warnings from the New Testament.
“And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” [Matt 24:4-14].
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” [Matt 24:37-40].
“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.” [1 Cor 5:9-11].
“The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” [Rev 11:18].
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” [1 Cor 6:9-11].
Oppositions and Temptations from Satan
Christians continually face Satan’s temptations to turn away from their allegiance to Christ as Lord of their lives, and return to satisfying the desires of the flesh, and succumbing to the enticements of the world.
“…by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.” [2 Peter 2:19-20].
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” [2 Tim 2:24-26].
The Justification of Promiscuity
Sexual immorality is not only tolerated, but also justified to the degree that people’s right to offend is legally constituted. Warnings in the bible are explicit in their condemnation.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Cor 6:18-20].
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonour their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie…For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” [Rom 1:24-27].
Outspoken minorities have pressed their cases so vigorously that they have overridden the complacency of the majority, and have obtained indiscriminate legal rights for a multitude of questionable causes - like homosexuality, prostitution, sexual freedom, defacto relationships, sacrilegious expression, and occultist practice. Even the just rights of women and children have been pressed so far that the biblical instruction that wives submit to their own husbands is now declared to be outdated, and parents discipline their children under the threat of prosecution. Isaiah foresaw the result in this end-time prophecy.
“As for My people, children are their oppressors,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err,
And destroy the way of your paths.” [Isa 3:12].
A Prelude to Judgment
The Scriptures consistently warn of God’s righteous judgment of the lawlessness of the end-time church and the wickedness the world, exhorting all to repent.
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” [Acts 17:30-31].
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him?” [Heb 2:1-3].
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” [1 Peter 4:17-18].
As the name suggests, the overcomers are victorious Christians, who down through the church age have gained victory over the power of Satan and the spirit of Antichrist, by walking in the light of God’s defeat of Satan through the cross of Christ.
Because God is just and righteous, when Adam, as the representative of mankind, chose to obey Satan rather than God Himself at the fall, He gave man his heart’s desire and he fell into Satan’s domain. Man’s redemption and restoration to the kingdom of God was accomplished through Christ’s death on the cross, followed by His victorious resurrection. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” [Col 1:13-14].
The cross of Jesus Christ, and our personally receiving all that it obtained for us, is now the only basis for overcoming all the power of Satan and the spirit of Antichrist. Jesus is now the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE that overcomes.
Even though God is invincible, “righteousness and justice are the foundation of (His) throne,” (Ps 89:14), and every legal claim Satan held against us had to be nullified before he could be overthrown. God accomplished this through the cross of Jesus, which removed every legitimate claim of Satan against us.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [every legal claim] that was against us, which was contrary to [opposing] us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it [the victory of the cross].” [Col 2:13-15].
The proof of God’s victory over Satan by the cross was that Satan no longer had any legal claim to hold Jesus captive in death, and had insufficient power to withstand God justly and triumphantly resurrecting Him. The reasons why Satan’s legal rights had been stripped away were that firstly, Jesus, the Son of God, had been perfectly righteous and obedient to God His Father. Secondly, as man, and facing all of the temptations common to man, He was perfectly sinless. He was “the spotless Lamb of God,” a worthy sacrificial offering to pay the debt for the sin of mankind. Thirdly, as mankind’s representative, He willingly received the penalty of death as the full punishment for sin. By allowing Himself to be crucified on the cross, Jesus payed the debt for the sin of all mankind.
The Attributes of Jesus Christ that Overcome Satan
Jesus represented God on the cross, because as Paul points out, He had equality with God and was sent by God. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God…” [Phil 2:5-7]. Just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus prayed, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” [John 17:5]. He called Himself “the Son of God,” and the fact that He was resurrected after dying on the cross proved His divinity. He was God the Son, and the fact that Satan could not hold Jesus in death in the grave, was proof of God’s righteous victory over Satan.
Jesus Was the Son of Man
Jesus was a man on earth, having put off His divine glory, having “…made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” [Phil 2:7]. He delighted to call Himself “the Son of man,” and on the cross Jesus fully represented mankind, to the degree that spiritually He was corporate man. Although sinless, He allowed Himself to represent the sin of mankind, so that it could be judged on behalf of all mankind. In willingly receiving the full punishment of death on the cross for sin, Jesus payed the debt of all mankind. This applies to every person in the world, whether they receive the benefit of it or not. “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” [1 John 2:2].
Jesus was the “spotless Lamb of God,” a perfect sacrificial offering to pay the debt for the sins of mankind. He “knew no sin.” “For He made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” [2 Cor 5:21].
There were no spirits of Satan in Him. Jesus said, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” [John 14:30].
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” [Phil 2:8].
When the time for Jesus to be crucified had come, His prayer to God shows us that in His ministry, Jesus was obedient in accomplishing all that God had given Him to do.
“I have glorified You [God] on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do”…”I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.” [John 17:4 & 6]. And having accomplished all of God’s purposes on the cross, “He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” [John 19:30]. It was a perfect work, perfectly completed.
Jesus Took Responsibility for that which He had Created
All things were created through Jesus, and He took responsibility for mankind who were part of His creation. Paul wrote, “For by Him [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” [Col 1:16-17].
Jesus was the indisputable representative of mankind. Not only was man created by Him and for Him, Jesus became the ransom price to redeem man when he fell into Satan’s domain. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…” [1 Tim 2:5-6].
Because Jesus was, from a spiritual point of view, mankind on the cross, we are spiritually incorporated in His death, burial, and resurrection. In the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul discloses that if we were baptised into Christ, we were spiritually baptised into His death, burial, and resurrection.
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised [spiritually] into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of [added words] His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” [Rom 6:3-6]. The words “the likeness of” preceding “His resurrection” were not in the original manuscripts, but were added by translators. The original manuscripts read “were baptised into the likeness of His death….we also shall be in His resurrection.” We are raised as new creations, sharing the full victory of His resurrection.
Our ‘old man,’ primarily refers to the carnal fleshly character of the person we were before we were redeemed. In Colossians, Paul refers to the ‘old man’ as “the body of the sins of the flesh.”
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were [spiritually] raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” [Col 2:11-12].
Our union with Christ as partakers of His resurrection life is the basis of our capacity to overcome the power of Satan. The fact that we were spiritually one with Jesus in His resurrection means that we are one with Him in His triumph, and recipients of the spiritual blessings He acquired for us in His defeat of Satan.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” [Eph 1:3-6].
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” [Eph 2:4-7].
Spiritually, we are Holy, Blameless, and Eternally Righteous
In the kingdoms of God and Satan, all have to acknowledge that through the cross the full punishment of our sins was borne by Jesus, and all of Satan’s accusations against us have been stripped away and “nailed to the cross.” By Christ’s finished work on the cross we have been justified, and consequently declared by God to be holy and blameless.
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight…” [Col 1:21-22].
Not only are we holy and blameless in God’s sight, we are now His adopted children, recipients of all of the blessings of the new covenant. “…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself.” [Eph 1:4-5].
We were under the cloud of sin and death, but now have been set free. We are new creations, indwelt by the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” [2 Cor 5:16-18].
We are now spiritually raised with Christ as new creations, abiding in Him, and He in us. Because He dwells in us, we may now live according to the power of His indwelling life. That is why Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” [Phil 4:13]. He in us “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.” [Eph 3:20].
MAKING THE SPIRITUAL REALITY A KNOWN REALITY IN OUR LIVES
Having accepted our new spiritual state, we must ‘put it on,’ and ‘walk in it.’ Paul likens the process to changing clothes. We are to “put off…the old man,” reckoning it crucified in Christ, and “put on the new man”, that is, receiving the indwelling life of Christ.
“…put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man [Christ indwelling us and manifested through us] which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” [Eph 4:22-24].
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…” [Col 3:9-10].
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Rom 6:11].
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.” [Rom 13:14].
GOD HAS EQUIPPED US TO OVERCOME THROUGH CHRIST’S INDWELLING
Jesus told His listeners that He was the living bread that came down from heaven, and that if we received His life within ourselves and walked in the light of its power, we would be able to live as He did on earth. As He continually depended and drew on the miraculous indwelling life of His Father, we can continually draw on His indwelling life.
Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” [Jn 6:56-57].
These Scriptures show that Jesus came that we may know the abundance of His indwelling life to meet every need. He promised, “The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. [John 10:10]. We may continually call on the indwelling life of Jesus to overcome our weaknesses and infirmities. When Paul asked to be relieved of an infirmity, Jesus replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul responded, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” [2 Cor 12:9-10].
“To this end I also labour, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” [Col 1:29].
We Have Been Provided with Weapons to Overcome
Our Weapons are Spiritual
Since Satan and Antichrist are spirit beings, they cannot be bound or overthrown by our natural capabilities. Spiritual weapons must be used to defeat spirit beings.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [according to our natural capacities] but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” [2 Cor 10:4-5]. The following are some spiritual weapons at our disposal.
The word of God is the essential basis for the use of all spiritual weapons, because each one is derived from the Scriptures, the infallible truth, ordained and upheld by God.
“For the word of God is living and powerful [through the Spirit], and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [Heb 4:12].
When we testify to what the Scriptures say, believing that they apply to us personally, Satan has to yield, because the Holy Spirit endorses the word in power. “For there are three that bear witness [in power to uphold their truth] in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” [1 John 5:7]. That is why Jesus used the Scriptural word to combat every temptation of Satan in the wilderness. E.g. “And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’ But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” [Luke 4:3-4].
For instance, if Satan accuses us of guilt, we may reply, “I have confessed my sins, and the Scriptures say,” “If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9].
Through the blood of Jesus we are redeemed, forgiven, made eternally righteous, sanctified, and reconciled to God to the degree that we may abide in His presence. The following Scriptures are just a few of the many examples of how the blood of Jesus has set us free from every accusation of Satan, and delivered us into the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.” [Eph 1:4-9].
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” [1 John 1:7].
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” [Heb 10:19-23].
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” [Col 1:19-20].
“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” [Matt 26:27-29].
The Authority of the Name of Jesus
The Hebrews knew that authority and power were associated with the names of dignitaries, and when the lame man was miraculously healed, they asked Peter, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:7). Peter replied, “…let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” [Acts 4:10.]
Peter knew that we had been granted the authority to use the name of Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit would respond with accompanying power. Jesus had granted the use of His authority to all of His believers.
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” [Luke 10:19].
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Matt 28:18-20].
When Jesus rebuked a fig tree and it withered from the roots, His disciples asked Him why it had withered so soon. Jesus replied, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain [a symbol of an opposing obstruction], ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.” [Matt 21:21].
We see an example of this happening when Jesus rebuked the fever that had inflicted Peter’s wife. “So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.” [Luke 4:39].
Jesus promised His disciples: “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” [Matt 18:18]. For instance, we may use the authority of the name of Jesus to bind Satan’s obstructions that are preventing a person from receiving truth, or loose a person’s mind from preconceived ideas that are preventing him from receiving spiritual insight.
Jesus promised that if two or more are brought to perfect harmony by the Spirit, and pray accordingly, He would be in their midst, and their prayer would be answered.
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” [Matt 18:19-20].
The reading below from Revelation, declares all Christians are potentially set free from the accusations of Satan, and have access to the kingdom of God and the overcoming power of His Christ. The reading also presents the three fundamental elements of our overcoming.
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren [Satan], who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” [Rev 12:10-12].
The three fundamental avenues of our overcoming are:
· the blood of the Lamb.
· the word of their testimony.
· they did not love their lives to the death.
Although the “blood of the Lamb” is mentioned first, without the accompanying word it is ineffectual. In fact every spiritual weapon has its effectiveness based on being a word of Scripture that is used as a “word of our testimony.”
Revelation presents a picture of Jesus going forth with His army to overcome the nations at the end of the age. He is called “The Word of God,” or the perfect manifestation of the logos or knowledge of God. The word is His primary weapon, and it is said to go out of His mouth [through His end-time teachers and prophets], to strike and overcome the nations, or all those who oppose Him and His doctrine.
“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God [the fullness of the logos]. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.” [Rev 19:13-15].
The Greek word ‘marturia,’ translated “testimony,” means, “witness or testify to in agreement.” In our testimonies, we agree with the word of God as being the truth, and that it applies to us personally. Particularly, we agree that we are recipients of all that Jesus did on the cross to acquire our salvation and redemption. The following Scripture sets a firm foundation as a word of testimony, as it declares,
· We are forgiven of all our trespasses,
· We are raised in Jesus Christ, and are partakers of His life,
· Every legal claim of Satan that opposed us is ‘nailed to the cross,’ or nullified,
· Jesus has disarmed the principalities and powers of Satan that oppose us.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him [united us and made us partakers of His life], having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [every legal claim of Satan] that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross [nullified it by the cross]. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them [by Christ being raised to heaven through their midst], triumphing over them in it [His resurrection from the cross].” [Col 2:12-15].
On the cross, Jesus bore the punishment for our disobedience, that we may receive the blessings of His obedience to God. We receive these blessings by claiming them in our testimonies.
Jesus came to undo the works of Satan, and among those is the sickness he causes. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” [Acts 10:38]. The word says that the penalty of sin is death. Jesus bore that death that we might have abundant life. Peter writes,
“Himself bore our sins [with their punishment of sickness] in His own body on the tree [the cross], that we, having died to sins [specifically, the law of sin and death], might live for righteousness [and the spirit of life in Christ Jesus] --by whose stripes you were healed.” [1 Peter 2:24] [see also Isa 53:5, Mt 8:15-17].
This is a spiritual healing that has set our bodies free from every legal claim of Satan. Our bodies are now “the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you.” [1 Cor 6:19]. Since God and the Holy Spirit testify in power to the cross, the way is now open for us to pray for and receive physical healing through the word. “He sent His word and healed them…” [Ps 107:20].
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” [Gal 3:13-14]. We may use this reading to refute and break every curse directed at us.
When Satan accuses us of our sinfulness and rejection by God, we may use these Scriptures to show that He bore our rejection that we might receive God’s acceptance. His rejection is attested to by Isaiah: He was “despised and rejected by men…” [Isa 53:3]. In Ephesians, Paul shows us that we are now accepted by God. “…[God] having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” [Eph 1:5-6].
Jesus Became Poverty-stricken that we might Receive God’s Provision
Before His crucifixion Jesus was stripped naked, and even after His death soldiers cast lots for His clothes. He was completely poverty - stricken that we might receive our provision from God. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” [Phil 4:19]. One of God’s names is “Jehovah Jireh,” translated, ‘He who provides.’
When we testify to what the word of God says [in applying it to our circumstances], Jesus presents our testimony before the throne of God.
“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” [Heb 2:17-18].
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession [or profession - what one professes], Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him.” [Heb 3:1-2].
If our testimony to the truth of the word has been presented with belief and faith, the Holy Spirit will bring it about, being the “Spirit of the Lord” and the “Spirit of truth. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” [John 15:26].
The blood of Jesus provides us with the most potent offensive and defensive weapon to use against Satan and all of his hosts of wickedness. By its application, all of Satan’s claims against us are negated.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” [Col 1:13-14].
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” [Acts 20:28-29].
By the blood of Jesus we are redeemed, sanctified, our sins are forgiven, and we are cleansed from an evil conscience. We are reconciled to God, and have access to His throne of grace, being holy and blameless in His sight.
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight…” [Col 1: 21-22].
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” [Heb 10:19-22].
No matter how much Satan may accuse us, we need not deny our sin, but instead declare it brought under the power of the blood of the cross. Jesus has borne the punishment for our sins, and by the grace of God we are forgiven, and declared to be holy and righteous. Satan has no comeback. As long as we attribute our righteousness to the blood of Jesus poured out on the cross, and not on our own worthiness, Satan’s accusations are “nailed to the cross.”
Covering With the Blood of Jesus
The writer of Hebrews tells us that Moses sprinkled the blood of sacrificial animals on the tabernacle and its vessels of ministry to purify and sanctify them. “Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” [Heb 9:21-24].
He also indicates that the heavenly things, or the things of the New Covenant, may be ‘sprinkled,’ or declared covered and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. When we have consecrated our family and household, and all of our possessions, setting them apart to the Lord, we may declare them covered by the blood of Jesus, by faith knowing that they are then protected by a holy covering that spirits of Satan cannot penetrate.
Jesus said that the kingdom of God, which is synonymous with the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of heaven, is within us. “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” [Luke 17:21]. A kingdom is the place where a king rules. There are parts of our natures where Christ rules, and they are of His kingdom. There are other parts of us that are carnal, where our fleshly desires or self reigns. It is the carnal part of our natures where Satan can intrude and impart his influence and control.
Overcoming Christians have learned to apply the power of the cross in their manner of living, in order to negate Satan’s control over them. Particularly they have learned to appropriate their death [i.e. the death of the ‘old man’ or nature of sin] in Jesus on the Cross. Paul states emphatically that our ‘old man’ was crucified with Jesus. Once again we are talking about spiritual realities that have to be accepted by faith before they can be appropriated.
“I [the power of SELF] have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” [Gal 2:20-21].
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life… knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin… Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Rom 6:3-4, 6, & 11].
Overcoming Christians have learned to appropriate the spiritual death of their ‘old man’ on the Cross with Jesus, making it a reality by faith. They have learned to “put off the old man” and clothe themselves with Jesus Christ, as part of their daily prayers of consecration to the purposes of God. As they testify to the death of their “old man” in Jesus, the Holy Spirit quenches carnal desires. Paul explains this in Romans. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body [the old man], you will live,” [Romans 8:13].
The truth of the matter is this - to the degree of desire and willingness to know the old man crucified, is the degree that the Holy Spirit can put to death the carnal desires of the flesh. If we hold back one part of our carnal nature, we retain its carnal appetites. But the basic fact remains that even the youngest Christians can learn to appropriate their death in Jesus Christ, and live in victory over the appetites of the flesh. **