The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 12/30

Posted on | December 30, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 12/30

Scripture reading: Revelation 12:1–17

Cosmic Christmas

And they have conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,

for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:11)

 

Revelation 12 is not your typical Christmas text. Set in the heavens and occurring at an unspecified time, the passage uses apocalyptic imagery to tell a story that echoes the biblical narrative of Jesus’ birth. A godly woman gives birth to a child destined to rule the nations. But an evil monster tries to kill the baby. However, God protects the child and the woman so that the kingdom the child came to establish could be set up on the earth and the forces of evil brought to ruin. Sound familiar? The book of Revelation is describing a “Cosmic Christmas.” It is the story of the Lamb told without reference to Bethlehem, Galilee or even Jerusalem. The messiah is no longer a peasant rabbi but a Cosmic Christ, come to “rule the nations with a rod of iron” (v. 5). No longer riding a donkey and coming in meekness, Christ returns on a white horse to destroy forever Satan and his evil forces (Revelation 19:11–21). In other words, the events in the Gospel (the incarnation, the cross, the resurrection, the ascension) are in reality only a prelude, a prequel. The Main Event is yet to come!

And 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 have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before God. (v. 10)

Revelation 12 is telling us that every life has cosmic significance. There is a battle going on of eternal and universal dimensions, and every human being is involved. From all outward appearances, Satan has the upper hand. He has supernatural power and his forces are formidable. But don’t be fooled! Those in the army of the Lamb have a three-fold battle plan that makes them invincible. They will conquer Satan (v. 11):

 

  1. By the blood of the Lamb. Victory in this battle comes not through our efforts, but his! Jesus’ atoning blood renders impotent the accusations of Satan. Because of the forgiveness that comes through the cross there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). But his blood does even more. In dying for sin, Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them (Colossians 2:15). As followers of the Lamb we are able to share in the cosmic victory he has already won!
  2. By the word of their testimony. Victory comes only when we open our mouths and verbally identify ourselves as followers of Jesus. Those who fail to bear witness to Christ through fear or embarrassment live in constant defeat. The path to victory is in naming the Name: Jesus. There is salvation in no one else (Acts 4:12).
  3. By their readiness for martyrdom. They loved not their lives even unto death (v. 11). Victory over Satan comes only to those who have come to a place of total surrender and full consecration so that they are ready to die if necessary for the one who died for them! Jesus said, Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it (Luke 9:24).

Today, if you are feeling defeated, discouraged and depressed, then follow the apostolic three-fold strategy for victory. It works every time. Jesus himself guarantees it!

 

 

 

 

If it is true, this Bethlehem story, it is a story like no other.

Never again need we wonder whether what happens on this dirty

little tennis ball of a planet matters to the rest of the universe. —Philip Yancey

 

 

point to ponder Jesus’ humble birth in a manger has significance for the entire universe!

 

prayer focus Those being persecuted because they are followers of the Lamb of God.

 

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