Summary of passage: A loud voice announces that the kingdom of God has come and the accuser has been hurled to earth. He was overcome by the blood of the Lamb. Heaven rejoices but woe to earth for the devil has been flung down and he is full of fury as he knows his time is limited.
9) Part personal Question. My answer: The accuser was hurled out of heaven unto earth. Honestly, I don’t feel guilty. I let them go. The past is in the past and I know God has forgiven me and I know Jesus has defeated the devil and cleansed me. Take to heart Hebrews 9:14: “How much more then will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
Romans 8:1: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:33-34 are good as well.
By not fully allowing Jesus’s sacrifice into our hearts and by letting feelings of guilt overwhelm us we are doing a huge disservice and dishonor to his sacrifice and letting Satan win. Please. Let go.
Note on Question 10: This question is very confusing. The emphasis should be on the three ways the saints (who are the pronoun “they” here) and ultimately us as believers overcame the devil: 1) by the blood of the Lamb 2) by the word of their testimony 3) by not loving their lives so much to fear death. By separating out the verb (triumphed or overcame in NIV), the meaning is lost and jumbled and befuddled.
10) Personal Question. My answers:
“They triumphed over him”: It means just that: we overcame the devil. Period. The scriptures they give here are not very helpful.
“By the blood of the Lamb”: Jesus paid the price for my sins, making me righteous and able to stand before God. God chose me through unimaginable grace as His.
Note here: BSF missed the more important verse in Romans! Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” It is God’s love that brung us back to Him. He sent His only Son to die for us. In Romans 5:7, Paul astutely points out: what person do you know would die for you? Someone who loves you. But a stranger? And would they die for a sinner like you? A righteous man, maybe. God’s love saved us. He is so good. See also: (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14, and Hebrews 9:14).
“And by the word of their testimony”: Knowing and remembering God’s work in my life is my testimony. It allows me to overcome the lies Satan whispers in my ear. As I walk in God with faith, my life is a powerful testimony to unbelievers as I proclaim His power in my life. See End Notes for explanation on testimony.
Should say Revelation 1:2, not Revelation 1:3 here in my opinion since 1:2 uses the word “testimony”. This is referring to the Gospel as John says “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ”. John is using Jesus’ life to overcome the devil. And so should we.
“They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”: Remembering my home is in heaven instead of here on earth and we find life by losing it to Jesus (Mark 8:35). The Greek word here for love is “agape”, the love that is all-encompassing, self-sacrificing, profound love. Willing to sacrifice for my faith even my life marks a Christian.
11a) Personal Question. My answer: As my faith has grown, my reliance on Him to overcome not only the evil in my life but the evil in the world has grown. I give it to God and let Him take it from there.
b) Personal Question. My answer: So many! Scripture foremost is Philippians 4:6; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Exodus 20; Romans 8:31 to name but a few. Songs: My Savior My God by Aaron Shust is my all-time favorite. Others: Great I Am by Phillips, Craig & Dean and Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets.
Conclusions: All personal questions but only a part of one directly asking what’s happening here. Again, asking about worship when we see here the beginning of God’s final victory over Satan and soon we’ll see his capture and banishment. This is to be celebrated!
Question 9: Sometimes I think questions like this do the opposite: we feel guilty because we don’t feel guilty over our past sins when you shouldn’t feel guilty at all. Living in the past and dwelling on guilt from past sins robs you of your life today. Give it to God. He will handle it. Know you are His and move on! You life will dwindle away moment by moment until one day you realize you didn’t accomplish God’s purpose for your life because of the past. Live for Him today. That’s all you have. Tomorrow you may not be here. And then what?
BSF’s worst lesson in Revelation in my opinion so far. So I made it my own. By researching what exactly are the saints telling me here THEN AND ONLY THEN can I tell you what they mean to me. Since I am a saint, I need to know this!
I personally feel beaten up by the “how my worship has been affected” questions. Because I don’t feel my worship has been affected and thus being asked the question makes me feel guilty because I feel like it should be affected. I spoke of this as well in Lesson 14 Day 3 and counted the number of times we’ve been asked.
The same goes for “comforted” and “encouraged.” Right now, I’m not. But I feel I should be. So guiltily, my response is “I’m not affected” or “I’m not comforted” or “I’m not encouraged.” Or I’m just cynical, hard-hearted, or shallow. In time I pray. In time.
End Notes: The loud voice is NOT Jesus or God or an angel. We know this because of the text says “the accuser of our brothers”, our being humanity.
Once Satan is thrown out of heaven, the accusing stops. Until then, we must fight the good fight. However, Satan’s accusations are meaningless if we have Christ.
Jesus’s victory is our victory. Imagine if we lived our lives every day knowing that one Truth.
Definition of testify according to Webster’s Dictionary: “to make a statement based on personal knowledge or belief: bear witness; to serve as evidence or proof.”
Definition of testimony according to Webster’s Dictionary: “firsthand authentication of a fact; evidence; a public profession of religious experience.”
In the book of Revelation, testimony refers to the Gospel (Revelation 1:2).
“by the word of their testimony”. John, being the symbolic guy that he is, speaks of testimony in 1 John 5:6-12. Water may be Jesus’ baptism. Blood is his death on the cross. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. He says these three together are God’s testimony about Jesus. We are saved eternally through God’s testimony of His Son, Jesus Christ–as long as we believe this in our hearts.
Thus, the saints who are speaking here know what they’ve seen and heard and experienced in their lives from God and can recognize Satan’s lies that go against God.
Also, here, notice “the word”. This doesn’t explicitly apply to God’s Word (the Bible) but we can use that as a testimony against the devil. The more we know the Word, the more we can use that against the devil.
The angels and all of heaven is relieved Satan is gone. It’s like when a visiting relative overstays their welcome and they finally leave! You can almost hear the sigh of relief upon the door closing forever to Satan’s presence.
Satan’s release upon the earth is the third and final prophetic “woe” announced earlier upon the inhabitants of the earth (Rev.8:13).
In Revelation 20, we will see what ultimately happens to Satan. Looking forward to it!