Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, July 5, 2015

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From Rev 12 onwards, we are introduced to the main players in the conflict between good and evil and told about their ultimate destinies. On the one hand are the wicked triumvirate of Dragon, Beast and False Prophet backed by the kings and inhabitants of the world; on the other hand are the Lamb and “the followers of the Lamb,” “a woman clothed with the sun,” “the remnant,” “the 144 000”. Despite the odds the Lamb triumphs over the Beast, and the remnant share in His victory. 

The central verses of the book of Revelation are 12:7-12 (there are 200 verses before and 198 verses after this portion). They contain an astounding disclosure and a triumphant declaration. The disclosure is in v.7: “And there was war in heaven.” This must rank as one of the most startling admissions of Scripture. In the very presence of God, in the household of the Prince of Peace, in the last place we would expect it, there was war! Evil was birthed in the holiest place in the universe. God’s own children turned rebellious. A third of the angels distrusted His love and spurned His authority, throwing in their lot with the Dragon. 

The triumphant declaration comes in vv. 10-11, amidst a courtroom scene: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” At the very center of the book of Revelation, at the vortex of the cosmic conflict, is planted the cross of Calvary. The authority of Christ to save us from Satan’s accusations, true as they may be, is vested in His shed blood. We have no other argument against them. We cannot excuse them; we cannot minimize them; we cannot wipe out the list by the good things we do. All we can do is give our personal testimony to the death of Jesus for those sins (see Rom 10:10). That’s all we’ll ever have in our favor; but, praise God, that’s all we’ll ever need.  

 

Garth Bainbridge

Greater Sydney Conference 

Australia