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. (Revelation 12:11 NKJV)
This is such a powerful key and I want everyone to have this key that the Lord set in my hand today.
The past few days have brought me pain and hurt in my life, I have found myself walking around angry. It is not like just one hurt in one day. It has been many hurts for quite a few days. I am trying to set the picture, so that when I describe what happened this morning you can not only hear but see and possibly relate to circumstances. What has been amazing through this season is by God’s grace I have not reacted in the moment of the hurt but only afterward in a safe place has the hurt and pain come out. I was not taking it out on someone else but just talking (processing) about what happened with a trusted someone (this being my husband).
I have in the past, dealt with such situations by thinking: I should not be thinking these things, I must capture my thoughts, I must forgive, I must repent, I must give this to God and forget this and then Jesus will set me free from these thoughts and feelings and then He will give me peace and comfort. These steps have not really helped me because the thoughts, hurt and feelings would resurface time and again. This only caused me to try and go through the above steps again and again. Please note all the “I” statements.
Today though something very different took place for me and this is what I really want to share with you. It is so good and so very exciting!!
As I woke up, I just didn’t want to be angry anymore. I didn’t want someone else’s actions to mitigate or have power over me. I really didn’t want to fume over the hurt anymore. (This is usually where I would start the above list of “things to do” my “I statements”, to get right with God.). Yet because God is trying to show me something different, I asked Him what do I do with this anger and hurt Abba. (You need to know I have been forgiving the people daily with God’s grace). He told me to thank Him for His Blood that was the perfect sacrifice once and for all for me. I thanked Him for His Blood and because I am a visual and kinesthetic learner, I saw and felt Jesus as He washed the hurt and pain from my body, soul and spirit. It felt so good, and so wonderful. Then He said, “proclaim who you are and Whose you are.” So I said, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” Three or four times.
Here is a deeper look at what happened:
I confessed by agreeing with God that I really didn’t want to fume any more. I repented meaning I changed my mind and consented to God’s help with my situation. See, at first I had wanted to walk around angry because of the hurt that had been done to me; but now I no longer wanted to do that. This is confession and repentance by conviction. God had been telling me, convincing (convicting) me, “Darlene I don’t want you to live like this, with this pain and hurt. This isn’t very fun; look at the stress on your body and your relationships.”. This morning, I confessed (agreed with God about needing His help) and then consented (repented or changed my mind) to God helping me. Remember, that God will not force His will on us, we have a free will. I confessed- agreed with God that I was only hurting myself; then I repented, consenting to His help. He was waiting for me to agree with Him (confess) that I was lost and repent (change my mind). He was on the edge of His seat just waiting for me to agree and consent to Him helping me. I had been trying to do it on my own-I shouldn’t feel this way-stop feeling this way-I shouldn’t have these thoughts-I need to capture these thoughts or I wanted to be angry because of the hurt-I had a right to my anger-I have been wronged. When I confessed to His conviction: God You are right and consented (repented) to His help Father God grabbed hold of me washed the tears, pain and anger off of me and loved me so tenderly as I agreed, consented or changed my mind to His helping me.
If you have children or have taught children or even have been around children you will understand this illustration: I have never been able to force my love or help on any child or for that matter any person until they agree (confess) that what they are doing is not helping them or that they are unable to do it “on their own”. Once they realize that and consent (repent) meaning they changed their mind to your helping them. I work at convincing (convicting) them they need my help by talking to them about how much I love them, remind them of how I helped them before and want to do so again etc. Just like I see God do with us. Otherwise it is manipulation, if you force your will onto someone.
I want you to understand that God never left me or forsake me even in the midst of my anger, hurt and my spewing of words about what had happened to me. Remember, all this time, He was wanting me to agree with Him that what I was doing was harmful and was convincing me (conviction) that I needed Him. If He broke fellowship with me, as some people believe, when I had sinned then there would be no way He could convict me that I needed Him and there would be no way I would know what I needed to agree with Him (confess) about. He actually followed me (His sheep) out into the wilderness, continued to walk with me speaking to me about what I needed to agree with Him about, convincing me (conviction) that I needed to change my mind and ask for or consent (repent) to His help (See Luke 15:1-7). I am hoping confession, repentance and conviction are being understood a little more clearly.
There is another part to this that is so important and I haven’t really understood this until today. As Abba loved on me and I was thanking Him for how He loves me and never leaves me nor forsakes me even when I have done something “wrong” as a believer, remember He told me to proclaim who you are and Whose you are. That is when I said, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” three or four times. The Lord then said to me, “they overcame by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” This surprised me a bit as I have been taught that our testimony here in this scripture, Revelation 12:11, is about telling what God has done for us in the past. Now, I am in no way stating that this is wrong. It is good to tell of the good things God does and has done in our lives, He is always good! What I am trying to share here is a deeper insight into the context of where and what this passage may mean.
In this passage in Revelation, John is describing how believers can overcome Satan. If you have read my blog, “Coming Out of the Cave” you will understand that Satan needs a law to accuse you. In Revelation we hear how Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven and thrown to earth. This part of scripture also talks about how salvation, strength, the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come=Jesus to His believers. It also states that the accuser of the brethren, who stood before God day and night to accuse has been cast down=to earth. Then John states how we=Believers in Jesus, overcome: by the Blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony and not loving our lives unto death. John also states that the enemy has great wrath for the inhabitants of the earth and sea because he knows he has a short time=right now. (See Rev 12:7-12).
The first time this particular Greek word for “testimony” is used is found in Luke 22:71. Here it is, in context:
As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.” (Luke 22:66-71 NKJV)
The other occurrence of this word “testimony”‘ in Greek, is in Revelation 12:11. The definition of the Greek word marturia in these two verses is:
In a legal sense, of a testimony before a judge.
What the Lord was showing me is that we overcome any besetting sin, addiction, accusation, temptation, transgression by first believing that the Blood of the Lamb is sufficient for all time and is continuously covering you or washing you from sin (it is a constant car wash because we live in the light (see 1John 1:7) as we believe in the Christ! Jesus. I believed, by thanking Him for what He did on the Cross for me for all time. This is the truth I walk in as a believer in Jesus Christ. Second, I proclaimed the testimony of “who we are and Whose we are” which shuts the voice of the enemy in any courtroom. The enemy’s mouth of condemnation/accusation is bound when we proclaim the Gospel of Grace Truth that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The enemies of God can not hurl any accusations towards you about breaking the law when you pronounce this truth of the Gospel of Grace. Your judgement has been paid in full and you have a “paid in full” stamp on your empty folder in the courtroom and you are reminding yourself and the enemy of the Truth in the “word of your testimony” of who you are in Jesus Christ and what He has done for you for all time. The “word of you testimony” is simply:
“I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”
One last thing, I want to go a little deeper and this may or may not make sense to you. For such a long time it hadn’t to me and I had been told I would have grace when and if I needed it, which I also believe. Yet, because of my deeper understanding of the Truth with this incomparable Grace gift and just how good it truly is, I have to say I can a little better understand why the apostles and many others in the early church were so willing to not love their lives unto death.