Friday, January 6, 2012

Revelation 12 (Part 8) The Fight With satan

By Odon Bulamba (10th August 2007) Revelations 12:7-17

Revelation 12:9, "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with them".

We see in this verse that satan, who is called the dragon, is clearly identified.

What is a dragon?  Have you already seen a dragon? And what comes with a dragon?

The dragon is a myth, a legend, something created. He was given a shape we can’t really define or describe. Some people can draw a dragon with scales like a fish and we will see at the end of the dragon’s tail a hook or an arrow with a head like a crocodile with strange shaped teeth. It is something that people adore, something people enjoy to have: some even have dragons’ tattoos on their bodies.

Dragons are represented to show power, to show defence, the value of our ancestors, according to them but the dragon is satan, and although he took that picture of a monster, something people will fear, God told us not to fear him. He just tries to cover himself but that dragon is satan and satan means “someone who lies”, someone you cannot trust, because all his ways are just lies. So this satan is trying his best to deceive the world, to remove the world from the right path and put them aside. That is his mission. And this mission started only after he was cast down from heaven: he became jealous…

“I have to kill people. I have to make their lives hard. I have to struggle so that they can perish to let God down and show Him that He had created people who don’t even respect Him, and don’t even care about You. Those people don’t even belong to you!”

This is satan’s mission. As you can see he wasn’t cast down alone but he came down with his angels and then…

Revelation 12:10-11, ‘Then 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 has come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before God day and night.  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 when faced with death.”

Amen! John heard this voice and it was a loud voice. Someone was talking loudly. He couldn’t describe or tell us who was that person but he said: “a loud voice coming from heaven” and he said: “Now the salvation and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ”. This declaration means something to us. A voice came from heaven, this is John’s time, we are in the New Testament. He was told now….

- Amen! The kingdom of God has come. This is the time for Christ to rule. This is the time you have to know you are starting a new adventure, a new life adventure. Things will change, satan will not rule anymore. There is now a new ruler, this is Jesus Christ and if you look clearly: satan was cast down from heaven but God continued to give satan the opportunity to meet with him, to catch up with Him. satan will talk to Him…

- God, do you know? Odon has been doing such and such and Hayley stole me such and such.

But on this day, things changed. Jesus said that satan’s right to go back to accuse people before God was stopped. Although he didn’t have a place in the heaven, he still could go and chat with God but from this time on, it was the end of that story, he was told not to report anymore.

As you know, satan went to accuse a few people in the Kingdom of God. For instance, what did Job do wrong? Nothing. satan was there just to accuse him. There was another man who was also accused. Do you know who it was? Joshua. If you read the book of Zachariah.

Zachariah 3:1, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and satan standing at his right hand to accuse him”.

Amen! Look at this man! Whenever Joshua stands in front of his God, satan also comes and starts to accuse him for what he had done wrong somewhere, for sin. So this time now, Jesus has decided that:

- This is too much. The people who are free now, people who trust in me don’t need to carry on suffering sent by this accuser. I have to stop these accusations. And in John 12:31, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out”.

So Jesus told his disciples:

- From now on, the prince of this world who is satan, will just leave. He will be out, he doesn’t have anymore power to come here and tell us stories.

In John 16:11, “And concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged”.

It is clear that satan was condemned, he was driven out and God said: ‘Finished! You are not the accuser anymore, you cannot continue to accuse people, because these people have overcome you by the blood of the Lamb”. What is the role of the blood of the Lamb? To purify us. Jesus is the name of God and the blood is there just for you and I to be purified. So whoever is forgiven by God, whoever is purified by the blood of God becomes automatically sinless. So satan can’t go and report to God:

- Look at such person, he is a sinner, he did such and such.

If you read carefully John 13, you can see how God was teaching us that the battle is finished and Jesus continues to talk:

- “I’m going. I’m going to do something for you, to prepare a place for you."

He gave us a lot of promises, he told us a lot about his blood, he told us a lot about forgiveness, He taught us a lot about life after life and finally He gave us the authority to cast out demons, to fight against the power of darkness and everything that you know. He never ever said that satan will be stronger than us, never and ever. Jesus says, “You will win everywhere, just trust in me”. To the point that He said, “even if your faith is really tiny, you need just that to win the battle”.

So Revelation1:5, And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first born of the dead, and the ruler of the things of the earth.  To Him, who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood”

Amen! Then we received that freedom. And God said it was not important that satan reports to me, the blood is enough. So, whenever you are attacked, whenever he tries to annoy you, just try to remind him of the blood of Christ: the blood is enough. “Don’t continue to harass me and make me feel guilty, or make me feel I am far from God’s will, satan, get out of my way!”

Romans 8:33 says that people chosen by God, people elected by God can never and ever be condemned anymore. So, unlike or Joshua, although they were God’s elected people, satan continued to show them that they must be condemned because they did something wrong. Jesus doesn’t allow this to happen anymore to the church.

“Those people overcame by the blood and the word of their testimony”. “The word of their testimony”, what does it mean? It is just the gospel we have. The Bible, the Gospel you read will overcome satan, will win the battle. This means that if you read the Bible, if you understand what it says, and you apply it in your life, satan won’t be able to overcome you but if you don’t do it, you will see the consequences.

For instance: The church of Smyrna had that problem. It is said that among them were disciples of satan, demons were living in that church. Even in the church of Philadelphia: Be careful, demons are there, they are just the temple of satan and today every church under the sun will proclaim they are the Philadelphia, they are the best one.

So if everybody is Philadelphia, who is Laodicea, who is Smyrna and who are the other churches? The Bible said that the number of people, who will inherit the kingdom of God, will be small: many people will perish. Just look around and see how many believe in Christ today, I think it’s more than you can imagine: lots of people believe in God and want to go to heaven, everybody we can say they want to go to heaven. I might say: “I am the son of satan. I want to go to hell”. It’s actually just a way of speaking, but if I saw the picture of hell and when death comes, I can easily change my mind. Now many people want to inherit that kingdom but they don’t want to fit in the rules of that kingdom.

For instance, someone wanted to travel. He was wearing a Tee-shirt, with “Bush” on it (it was on TV), he was told not to travel with that Tee-shirt because the picture with Bush and the words written on it didn’t honour Bush. Although it was not a criteria to go to Australia, or to go wherever, they made it a rule. And in the Kingdom of God, things are sometimes not written in the Bible but if they don’t please God, they become a problem. Someone might say: it is not written in the Bible not to smoke. If the Bible doesn’t say: “Don’t smoke” how come smoking is a sin? Last week we discussed the question: Can the pastor’s wife wear a bikini? Is that a sin? What to say about it? Someone can come to you and say:

- Look, I’ve got some money but I’m not sure if I should help or not because the person I want to help will spend it on drinking alcohol. So, should I help or not?

There are things not written in the Bible, but God will find this is a sin or this is correct. So, we have to learn the Word of God and understand it.

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