Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In the last days the saints, because of the working of Christ in and with them, will overcome Satan. Satan then will be cast down from the heavens to the earth. Finally, Satan will be bound by one angel and hurled into the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:2).
We are to be God’s conquerors, His Israel, His sons.
God shall not give His glory to another. We who carry the Glory of the Lord must die and be raised again in Christ. It must be Christ who is living and not us. If we are not willing to die, Christ cannot live. Only Christ is the Conqueror. If we would conquer with God we must die so the only true Conqueror can overthrow the adversary.
Table of Contents
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, (Revelation 2:7)
"And there was war in heaven"!
War is being waged in the spirit realm. Therefore the normal human life is filled with strife. In order to avoid strife an individual must sin, or shed responsibility, or otherwise turn away from the unpleasant tasks and situations that conscience and integrity demand he or she face and overcome.
The war is between God and Satan. In the last days the saints, because of the working of Christ in and with them, will overcome Satan. Satan then will be cast down from the heavens to the earth. Finally, Satan will be bound by one angel and hurled into the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:2).
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)
They overcame him.
Every Christian must have two facts established firmly in his or her thinking:
We are in a warfare against a competent, vicious, determined enemy. We cannot escape from the daily conflict without turning away from that which is our responsibility before God.
We must overcome or else we will be overcome. There is no middle ground. Either we shall win or we shall lose. To win is to become an heir of all things (Revelation 21:7). To lose is to accept some lesser place in the creation or else to be led away into a place of torment.
The earth is a spiritual battleground.
We have no worthwhile choice other than that of fighting the good fight of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
To refuse to endure the rigors of the present conflict is to choose to be something other than a son of God, something other than true man as God has destined man to be. The second chapter of the Book of Hebrews reveals that man is destined to inherit all of the works of God’s hands.
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (Hebrews 2:7)
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
The principal forces of darkness, which are Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet—the spirit of religious delusion (the unholy trinity), are far too wise and powerful for us to challenge. Nevertheless we will overcome them. Let us see what the Scripture says about the correct method of overcoming the authorities and powers of darkness.
The wrestling of Jacob with God is a portrayal of what every true son of God must endure.
The name of each of us is "Jacob." We have a deceitful heart. We are self-centered, self-seeking. We speak lies. We seek our own advantage at the expense of our friends. We are tricky. We gain our ends by deviousness.
Then there comes a day, at some point in our Christian pilgrimage, when the claws of the Lion of Judah break the seals of the scroll that is our life. We come face to face with God.
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. (Genesis 32:24)
We come to the Lord "alone." No one but God can help us in that hour. Our friends may offer sympathy and pray for us in our affliction. But this is a matter between God and us.
We struggle for our life. We struggle until our name, and the name of God, are called into question. "Who am I?—who is God?" we ask. "I thought I was such an experienced Christian, such a help to the saints. Now I find I am not as pure as I thought I was and God is not the big Santa Claus I thought He was."
Jacob was a liar, a conniver. But when he was pressed hard enough his integrity came forth. He did not quit. Although he was certain his brother, Esau (one of those whom he had cheated), would destroy him and his family in the morning, Jacob held fast to God in prayer. He did not give up. We Christians must never quit. God’s Word is true. In Christ we can and will conquer every problem if we continue praying and trusting in God’s Word.
Because Jacob would not let go of God, God met him and answered his prayer. This is what we call "praying through." We pray until we know God has heard and answered prayer. When we know He hears us we are assured we have the answer. Experienced saints know what it means to "pray through" (I John 5:15).
Jacob prayed until he knew God had heard him and answered his petition. When Jacob met Esau the next day there was no trouble.
And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. (Genesis 32:28)
The name "Israel" means he struggles with God. Jacob, the supplanter, became the man who struggled with God.
Notice that God stated, "as a prince hast thou power with God and with men."
If we would gain power with men we first must struggle with God.
When people become a hindrance to us we can prevail in one or two ways. We can attempt to utilize our deviousness, our scheming, our manipulations, or even violence, or we can go to God. If we go to God concerning someone who is causing trouble for us, and achieve victory with God, then we will achieve victory over our human circumstances.
We do not go to God and curse the troublesome individual. God wants us laughing and blessing, not cursing. Neither do we try to be "sweet" and tell God how much we love our adversary. Jacob did not continue reciting how much he loved Esau or attempt to bless Esau.
Rather, we bring the problem to God. If we attempt to overcome evil with evil we will fail. The wicked are masters of evil. They will defeat us if we use their weapons. Evil must be overcome with the good that comes from God alone.
We are to laugh with Isaac. If the selfish strive with us we move (in God) and dig another well. It is the wicked who are to fret and fume, not the saints. Soon God will provide a well for us that the wicked cannot touch. We are to laugh, to praise the Lord, to rejoice in Him and give Him strength by our utter confidence in His Character and Word. We are to stand aside and allow the Lord to avenge us.
We are to be God’s conquerors, His Israel, His sons.
Notice that we overcome our adversary indirectly. Instead of wrestling with "Esau" we wrestle with God. When we achieve victory with God, God prevents Esau from harming us.
So it is in overcoming Satan. We overcome indirectly. Ordinarily we do not attack Satan directly. Rather, we go to Jesus and achieve victory with Him. Our struggle is with God. As soon as we gain total victory with God, Satan will be cast out of the heavens. We overcome Satan by prevailing in our wrestling match with the Lord.
There are three means by which we overcome Satan, by which we are changed from "Jacob," the supplanter, to "Israel," the struggler with God:
By the blood of the Lamb.
By the word of our testimony.
By loving not our life to the point of death.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)
The "blood of the Lamb" has to do with overcoming condemnation and sin.
The "word of our testimony" has to do with overcoming Satan by faith in God’s Word.
"Loving not our life to the death" has to do with overcoming the instinct for self-preservation, self-fulfillment, and self-glorification.
We must overcome sin. We cannot walk with God or have any fellowship with Him while we are continuing in sin, especially known sin. We cannot persist in sinning willfully and expect anything in our future other than Divine wrath.
God has given to us the blood of His Lamb, Christ, so we may be able to overcome the presence of sin in our life.
First of all, the blood of the Lamb forgives our sins of the past:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)
"The remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." This is freedom from condemnation.
Second, the blood of the Lamb cleanses us from our sins of the present. We must continue washing our robes, our conduct, our behavior, in the blood of the Lamb:
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14)
We must wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb. We must keep ourselves spiritually clean and holy, free from sin. How do we do this?
By walking carefully in the light of God’s will, praying and seeking His will at all times, presenting our physical body a living sacrifice to Him.
By confessing our sins and repenting of them, as they are revealed to us by the light of God. When we confess our sins and repent of them, the blood of the Lamb forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Then the Holy Spirit adds to us the Life of Christ, of God’s Conqueror, so we can resist those sins the next time we are tempted (I John 1:7-9).
This is how we wash our robes, keeping them white in the blood of the Lamb. We overcome with God in the area of sin. We become "Israel," the struggler, in the area of sin. We overcome with God and prevail against Satan, against the adversary of God and man.
Overcoming the problems and pressures of life, the tribulations, difficulties, and temptations experienced by sinner and saint alike, is accomplished by faith in God’s Word. The Holy Spirit of God is the One who gives us the power and wisdom that enable us to overcome Satan as he strives continually to cause us to fail in our struggle toward God’s rest.
Our testimony is that Jesus is Lord, that He died for our sins, that He arose bodily from the dead, that He keeps us by His power, and that He is coming again to raise us to glory. Our testimony is the unrelenting declaration of our faith and trust in God’s Character, in what He has declared to be true.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (I John 5:4)
The eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrew is a record of men and women who overcame the problems and temptations of life through faith in God’s Character. Because of their faith in God they were able to stand true in spite of Satan’s unceasing efforts to persuade them to disobey God, to give up in discouragement and despair, or else to turn to other gods for the protection of their animal existence, their desire for joy and worship, and their ambition to express themselves and to exercise authority and power.
Overcoming the accusations and devices of Satan can be extraordinarily difficult, as anyone knows who is attempting to serve God in these days. There are numerous problems that face each individual. There are problems in the home, problems of finance, problems in finding the Lord’s will, problems of health, problems in keeping our courage and confidence strong enough to persevere throughout these trying circumstances. Then there are the imprisonments and deaths the Lord brings upon us for our perfecting and so that life and truth may flow from us to other people.
What we are, what we say, and what we do constitute our testimony. Either we are overcoming Satan by our testimony, by our faithful confidence in what God has declared to be true, or else we are grumbling, weeping, bemoaning our fate, being filled with every kind of dread and terror.
Either we are surrendering to our fear and unbelief or else we are asserting our confidence in the Word of God.
Do we have financial trouble? God has promised in numerous passages of the Scriptures to take care of the material needs of the saints.
Do we lack wisdom? Let us ask of God. Are we having problems in our home? The Lord Jesus has promised that if we will ask anything in His name He will do it. There may be a long, hard struggle but God eventually will lead us to a solution that brings peace.
Are we having problems of health? Many passages of the Scriptures promise healing to God’s people. When we are sick, or a loved one is sick or injured, we are to go to prayer and ask in faith for God’s delivering power. God heals the righteous. We may have many afflictions but God delivers us out of them all. He heals all our diseases. He removes sickness from us and blesses our food and our drink, provided we are serving Him as we should.
If healing is delayed we are to keep our faith and joy strong in the Lord, for such hope and confidence are an important part of our testimony.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
It is not enough that the Lord’s ministers preach and teach His Word. We must become the message. How many times did God require the Hebrew prophets to become the message, to lay on their side and pretend to attack Jerusalem, to walk naked and barefoot, to marry a prostitute? The farmer who labors must be the first to eat from his field.
Becoming the message, the testimony of Christ, may cause us much pain, much bewilderment, as He uses us to convey His thoughts to particular people at particular times. We must be faithful to the point of death. We must through faith in Jesus, with the help of the Holy Spirit, overcome every attempt of Satan to cause us to give up in despair. We must stand faithfully, declaring that Jesus never will leave us or forsake us.
We overcome the pressures and problems of life, the tribulations of the world, the testings and dealings of God, by maintaining our testimony of God’s faithfulness. We stand in unswerving faith on His written Word and also on His Word revealed to us as an individual.
We are to keep our courage and faith strong in the Lord, bearing witness of His faithfulness. His love and power will enter us increasing our hope and trust. The Holy Spirit will continue to give the strength and wisdom we need. God’s Presence then will enter the circumstances that are troubling us.
The Lord Jesus through His Spirit is able to deliver us out of every difficulty no matter how impossible of solution. God shall move the mountain!
In addition to our personal testimony of God’s faithfulness we also are to tell what we have seen and heard with the Lord, as the Spirit guides and enables us. This is the testimony of the prophet as he declares what God is saying today. The Lord Jesus faithfully spoke and did that which He saw the Father do and heard the Father say. John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus conquered the enemy as They proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God and the need for people to repent.
The testimony of the servant of the Lord is that Christ is true and faithful. Let us never quit until we overcome the accusations and deceits of Satan by the word of our testimony. The Holy Spirit will help us for it is the Spirit who creates the Divine testimony in us.
We may be gaining victory over sin, and proclaiming the true Word of God, and yet be having problems with self-will.
Loving not our life to the death can prove to be the most difficult area of our wrestling with God. Yet it is right here, in the willingness to allow God to do with our life as He will, that the richest fruits of Canaan are grown.
We may think we have "given our heart to Jesus," but the actual giving of our heart, our life, to Christ is another matter indeed. Only suffering—patient, cross-carrying suffering—can produce the right kind of death in us.
The problem is that of passing from self-rule to the rule of Christ. God has many devices for accomplishing this all-important transition.
It is impossible for us to rule with God as one of His sons until our instinct for self-glorification has been slain and the will of God through Christ has taken its place.
Our self-centeredness is destroyed as God brings us into situations in which we cannot grasp what He is doing. We are carried this way and that way. We do not understand what is taking place. Total trust in God is necessary if the final victory over the accuser is to be gained.
Are you willing to follow God through years of deferred gratification when you are not sure what He is doing? This is a hard death to die.
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. (Isaiah 50:10)
We must learn to trust in the Lord and not be afraid. It is not easy, but there is no other route to the total victory we are seeking.
God will not give His Glory to another, and so we who bear the Glory of the Lord must die and be raised again in Christ. It must be Christ who is living and not us.
If we are not willing to die, Christ cannot live. Only Christ is the Conqueror. If we would conquer with God we must die so the only true Conqueror can overthrow the adversary.
The Apostle Paul has borne the fruit that he has because the Lord slew him.
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (II Corinthians 4:11)
Paul was troubled, perplexed, persecuted, cast down. He was persecuted by the Roman Empire. The Judaizers were busy corrupting the minds of the Gentile believers from the simplicity that is in Christ. Some of Paul’s coworkers left him to go to other places. There was one problem after another.
The Apostle Paul loved not his life to the point of death. He relinquished his instinct for self-fulfillment and self-glorification so the Life of Christ could come to those to whom he was ministering. Paul revealed in himself the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Think of the effect Paul’s writings have had on the history of the world! This profound influence has proceeded from the fact that Paul was willing to die in Christ.
Wrestling to the point of personal death brings forth all that is in us. If there is anything of self-glorification remaining, be sure it will be brought to the light. All must go.
Today we see the hand of the Lord falling upon the Christian believers. God is calling us away from our personal kingdoms and self-aggrandizement into a walk of faith and humility. How many of the Lord’s people are ready to lay down their own accomplishments and favor in the sight of people and walk in this new (to our generation) way of lowly, cross-carrying obedience to Christ?
The Day of the Lord is at hand. No flesh will stand in His Presence. Those who insist on preserving their prominence, their ministry, their ways of doing, their groups, the people, objects, and places familiar to them, will surely fall. Each of us must decide to follow Christ or else to follow the self-love encouraged by Antichrist. The hour of decision is upon us. Multitudes are in the valley of decision. The Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The rewards go to the conquerors, to God’s Israel. Only those who suffer will reign with the Lord Jesus. Spiritual rulers are created in the present world, as we bow in the travail of death so God’s Christ may be formed in us.
We overcome sin through the blood of the Lamb.
We overcome the tribulations and temptations of the world, and the wiles of Satan, by our Spirit-enabled testimony that God is true and faithful, that His Kingdom shall come and His will shall be done in the earth.
We overcome our separation from God by dying to our instinct for self-glorification.
We struggle with God until all hindrances to total victory are conquered. We are changed from "Jacob" to "Israel."
In so doing we overcome the accuser of the brothers.