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The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

The Authority Of His Christ:
The Salvation, The Power And The Kingdom

Revelation 12:7-12  

Rev. Wayne Dobratz  

 Sooner or later almost every Christian reads the Book of Revelation. Many experience confusion and don’t benefit much from the experience. Part of the problem is that they read it only as a book of prophecy–predictions about what is to come for Planet Earth. While there are some things found there about the future, much of Revelation is a colorful description of what has already taken place. Such is the case with today’s text. John describes the victory of God’s persecuted children over the old evil foe "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." John encouraged them to persevere as he wrote about:

The Authority Of His Christ:
The Salvation, The Power And The Kingdom

I. Salvation from sin’s accusations–Job 1:9ff.; 1 John 2:1-2

II. The Power

    A. of His Blood–Eph. 2:13; Heb. 9:12-15, 10:1-7 & 19; 12:24; 13:20-21.

    B. of the Word–Matt. 8:5-13; Mk. 2:1-12; John 15:3ff.; Acts 6:7, 12:24; 13:46;         16:25ff.; 20:32; Rom. 10:8-10; 1 Cor. 15:1ff.; Eph. 1:13; 5:25b-26; 
        Col. 1:25ff.; 1 Thess. 2:13.

III. The Kingdom...

    A. of grace–Matt. 28:18, Acts 20:24, Rom. 5:1-2.

    B. of glory–2 Tim. 4:18; Rom. 5:2; Heb. 12:22

 

Adam Clarke wrote: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb

"Here is given the reason why the followers of Christ prevailed at this time against all their adversaries. It was because they fought against the dragon in the armor of God. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb—by proclaiming salvation to sinners through Christ crucified, and by their continual intercession at the throne of grace for the conversion of the heathen world."

And by the word of their testimonyBy constantly testifying against the errors and follies of mankind.

And they loved not their lives unto the deathThey regarded not their present temporal estate, but even gladly delivered up their lives to the fury of their persecutors, and thus sealed the truth of what they spoke with their blood.

Albert Barnes wrote: By the blood of the LambThe Lord Jesus—the Lamb of God.

"The blood of Christ was that by which they were redeemed, and it was in virtue of the efficacy of the atonement that they were enabled to achieve the victory. Christ himself achieved a victory over Satan by his death, and it is in virtue of the victory which he thus achieved that we are now able to triumph over our great foe."

"I ask them whence their victory came.

They, with united breath,

Ascribe their conquest to the Lamb,

Their triumph to his death."

And by the word of their testimonyThe faithful testimony which they bore to the truth. That is, they adhered to the truth in their sufferings, they declared their belief in it, even in the pains of martyrdom; and it was by this that they overcame the great enemy—that is, by this that the belief in the gospel was established and maintained in the world. The reference here is to the effects of persecution and to the efforts of Satan to drive religion from the world by persecution. John says that the result as he saw it in vision was, that the persecuted church bore a faithful testimony to the truth, and that the great enemy was overcome.

And they loved not their lives unto the deathThey did not so love their lives that they were unwilling to die as martyrs. They did not shrink back when threatened with death, but remained firm in their attachment to their Savior, and left their dying testimony to the truth and power of religion. It was by these means that Christianity was established in the world, and John, in the scene before us, saw it thus triumphant, and saw the angels and the redeemed in heaven celebrating the triumph. 

The result of the attempts to destroy the Christian religion by persecution demonstrated that it was to triumph. No more mighty power could be employed to crush it than was employed by the Roman emperors; and when it was seen that Christianity could survive those efforts to crush it it was certain that it was destined to live forever.

Rev. Wayne Dobratz  

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