Overcoming the World

Revelations 12:11

And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.

There seems to be confusion over who fights and who wins the battles of life. What role does Jesus play? What role do we play? Has he not defeated the enemy? Fortunately, the Bible answers these challenging questions for us, as you will see.

Let’s answer it this way. You know of how Moses led the Israelite nation out of Egypt, the pursuit by Pharaoh’s army and ultimately Israel’s escape through the Red Sea. Let us look at some key language from that event. “Then the Lord said to Moses, . . . ‘Lift up your staff and reach out with your hand over the sea and divide it’. Then Moses reached out with his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided,” (Exodus 14: 15 – 16, 21). So, who parted the Red Sea? If you answered “both” you are right and that is what we need to understand. The answer to overcoming trouble is in our partnership with the Trinity.

Now look at John 16: 33, “These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Why should we be encouraged that Jesus overcame the world? He just said we would have trouble in the world. Jesus understood the partnership with the Father. It is the intertwined life which is the message of this ministry. In Jesus and through his victory, we too can be victorious. It isn’t automatic though. If it were, he wouldn’t have need to encourage us and he certainly would not have told us that in this world we were going to have trouble. He would have said, “All your problems will be taken care of because I am victorious.” He didn’t say that though, did he? He said, take heart because I have overcome, meaning that in his overcoming is our own. Because he overcame the world, we are now able to be overcomers too.

Today’s verse wasn’t an accident. John wrote out the formula for overcoming problems. Victory is in the blood of the lamb and in the word of our testimony. Isn’t that what it says? This is so huge. There is no way to overstate the importance of these two elements. Jesus has already done his part but ours is constant. In every situation we must speak. In fact, our words cast the deciding ballot. Victory was purchased by the blood of the lamb. It must, however, be applied to our lives and situations and we do that with our words. We either speak the victory or confess defeat with our words. Am I sick, or healed? What does the Word say? Am I rich or poor? What does the Word say? What should I expect in my work and my relationships? Is the blessing operating in my life, or the curse?

The blood of the lamb has been cast. All that is left is the word of our testimony. If we do nothing with the victory Jesus purchased with his blood, then we will have no victory. If Moses didn’t raise his staff, that sea would never have parted. God wants to teach us this extremely valuable lesson. Victory is yours but only if you apply it to your life. What is the word of your testimony? Will it bring you what you desire? If not, what should you say which would be in line with victory? Maybe I should have titled today’s message “Blood and Guts” because it is going to take both to overcome the world. Now then, tell me, what are you saying?

It’s Done

1 John 5: 4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

I like the saying, and the confidence expressed through it, “I have read the end of the book and we win!” There is great comfort in that expression. However, there is another revelation I would share with you. It is this, I have read the earlier part of the book and we have already won! Can I get an Amen?

You see, Jesus has already defeated the enemy. We are already winners in him. That makes me happy! In fact, this is shouting ground. God’s people have the victory in their grasp right now. Our faith has already overcome the world with all of its negativity and problems. Jesus has already triumphed over all of the damage done to God’s beautiful creation and Jesus has ushered in the Kingdom. It’s been done. Remember Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19: 30). He wasn’t kidding. He didn’t leave with the job half done. He knew his mission and he completed it. I will grant you that we don’t see all of the fruit of his victory in full manifestation but that does not make it any less true. He is victorious now. We don’t have to wait until the end of the book to discover that we are going to win. We won when we declared Jesus as our lord and savior.

Do you think there is any power in the earth, or for that matter, anywhere in the universe that has supremacy over Jesus? Do you think he is waiting for Armageddon so he can be pronounced the winner? “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Revelation 3: 21). Jesus has already won; he already overcame. Now is our time. We are overcomers right now in Jesus. You don’t have to wait ‘til tomorrow. You don’t have to wait until Sunday. You are the victorious in Christ Jesus. If that doesn’t fill you with joy, check your pulse.

Put on your victory. Don’t allow anyone to steal it from you. Grab and hold onto everything Jesus won for you.

Take Heart

Luke 10: 19

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

I have written to you recently about the authority of the church over the power of the enemy. This is a delicate and somewhat perplexing topic but by writing to you about it I hope to encourage clarity or at least inspired consideration. The problem is that as a body, we seem uncertain about our position relative to the devil. Does he have any power? Is he a defeated foe? Why is there any Biblical discussion about “the enemy” since Jesus marched into hell and took the keys from Satan?

These are all very good questions and important ones. If you actually have an enemy but are unaware that said enemy is plotting against you, then you are defenseless. If you are conscious of the enemy, is it possible to give him too much credit and subsequently fall victim to another deception, that of chasing demons? We are not naïve. We know by now, and the scriptures inform us, that there is an enemy and his name is Satan. He has been the enemy of humanity since the beginning. The real question seems to be, what power and/or influence does he wield today? The parallel question is, didn’t Jesus’ victory whip the devil forever? Good question – glad you asked.

Today’s verse encapsulates the answer. I will state it this way even though it is a bit of an overstatement, Jesus defeated the devil, but have you? What I intend to imply is that Jesus has done his part but there is still something we must do in order for his victory to be effective in our lives. Look again at today’s verse. Jesus said he has given power to us. Okay, that is easy enough to understand but why need he give power to us if he has already defeated the enemy? He said, “nothing shall by any means hurt you.” There is a huge assumption in this last statement though, the assumption being that we have employed the power he has given us.

Because of Jesus’ victory we too can stand victorious against the devil. Too many of us believe, erroneously, that Jesus’ victory gives us a free pass. That is to say, sometimes we think we do not have to do anything in order to live the triumphant life Jesus won for us. I thought the same thing as a young person. I thought being a Christian meant that I should live a, relatively, care free, trouble free life. Well, I learned better and frankly, that belief is not even scriptural. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble,” (John 16: 33). That is a clear statement of fact. However, it is not the end of the story and here is where Jesus’ triumph over Satan comes in. The end of John 16: 33 records Jesus saying, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In other words, yes, the world will bring you trouble and you will be troubled all the days of your life UNLESS you apply Jesus’ overcoming power. Jesus said being “in him” is the victory that overcomes the world. This is the key point we must come to understand. Jesus won the victory for us but it is we who must overcome using that which he has provided. In him is peace, perfect peace. So take heart and use all that Jesus won for you.

Desert Days

Luke 4: 1 – 2

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days; and when they had ended, He became hungry.

I want you to notice a few words in this passage, those being, “being tempted by the devil.” You see, right after this verse begins the telling of the three temptations with which we are all familiar. Has anyone else missed this part though, that he was tempted for 40 days before those famous three temptations? It certainly had eluded me.

Here is another question for you. How did the devil tempt him? Jesus wandered around in the desert, presumptively alone, for 40 days not eating. As if that was not enough, apparently the devil was pestering him the whole time too. Do you think the devil appeared to him? Did he just whisper in Jesus’ ear? We know next to nothing about this forty day period.

I also find it interesting that he wandered around in the desert for forty days being led by the Holy Spirit. That is very reminiscent of the forty years the Israelites roamed around in the desert though they were led by God. Were they also tempted in the desert for those forty years like Jesus was for the forty days he was in the desert? Jesus never failed, he never gave into the temptations. He made it to the promised land without succumbing to the devil’s machinations. It is as if he put to right the disastrous journey of the Israelite nation by making his forty day sojourn.

Whatever the devil dishes out, there has always been the power available to overcome him. The Israelites had God with them. He was in the cloud by day and the pillar by night. Somehow, though, they were unable to connect with the power which accompanied them day and night. Jesus showed that people can overcome the temptations of the devil. He connected with the power which accompanied him, namely, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gave him company so that he was never really alone and he empowered Jesus with everything he need to succeed.

All the Israelites had and all that Jesus had is with us today too. We can access the power of the trinity at all times because they are always with us. We no longer need wander around in the desert lost, alone and afraid. We have a redeemer and a comforter. We have an overcomer. They have led us to the oasis. Hallelujah.


Revelation 12: 11

And they overcame him (the devil) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.

Jesus told us that the devil comes “to steal, and kill, and destroy” (John 10: 10). But we are over comers (1 John 2: 13) through him that came to bring us the victory. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4). You see, Jesus overcame the world. He has done his part. In John 16: 33 he told us to take courage for he has overcome the world. And yet some of us are not walking in the full measure of Jesus’ victory. Why? How can that be?

It seems that we have a part in this victory as well. While Jesus has overcome the devil and all of his minions through his blood we must include ourselves in that victory through the use of our testimony, or our confession, and our faith. This means that our words have something to do with the measure of Jesus’ victory we will walk in. Satan is overcome by Jesus’ shed blood and our confession. Faith is believing God’s word, even in the face of contradictory evidence. The expression of faith is the confession of our mouth. What comes out of our mouths demonstrates exactly where our faith is. Are you sick, going to get healed, getting healed or healed? You see, those words indicate levels of faith. There is no condemnation if you are not yet confessing the greater part of faith. It just shows where you are currently. Tomorrow you can be in a different place altogether. Further, the more your confession matches the Word of God, the more of Jesus’ victory you will experience. 

We must all learn to order our words aright. Every one of us must be vigilante regarding the words that proceed from our mouths. Proverb 18: 21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. We need to learn to wield that power to our benefit. We will thereby overcome the devil and all of his machinations.

Big Brother

1 John 4: 4

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

We are God’s little children and precious in his sight. He cares for us as any good parent would look after their small children. He is protection to us as well as leadership, guidance and even correction when necessary. It was out of his great love that he sent his son in the first place. Jesus is the perfect big brother. He has fought the bully who has tried to pick on the younger, smaller siblings. When we were defenseless, he arrived on the scene to overcome all manner of torment and aggression. He defeated the devil and all of his cronies and purchased our freedom from the tyranny of our former bondage. Now, in the freedom that Jesus purchased for us, we are overcomers because he lives in us and greater is he who lives in us than all of the problems, demons and challenges of this world. Greater is Christ in us than anything the devil can throw at us. When he tries to overcome us, even if by a horde of his devilment, we just shout the name of our big brother and He comes to our side and sets the bully into fearful flight.

Overcoming Peace

John 16: 33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Jesus says to us, in this passage, that we can have peace “in” Him. He has already overcome the world and all of its tribulation and trouble. Being “in Him” means we do not have to participate in that tribulation. Yes, there are always bumps in the road but because He has already overcome, we can keep our peace. We do not have to get all upset and worried. Really we should not. He came so that we might have life in abundance (John 10:10). As we roll all of our care onto him; putting our full trust in Him and in His victory, then we do not have to suffer the emotional turmoil that the world is tortured with. Jesus is with us every day and we are everyday learning to draw closer and closer to Him and into His peace. He is, after all, the Prince of Peace.