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. “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. 12:11-12
A Confusing Outlook
On reading 12:11-17 it becomes apparent that this section must be interlaced into the story of the Church. Technically, it does not come before nor does it follow the section about the seven churches. This section must be seen as running parallel to and for the full duration of the time of the seven churches.
This section stretches from the time the Church is born, 12:1-6, until the Church moves to heaven. Although Mr. McGee* does not believe that the seals, trumpets and bowls represent the same “evils”, he does say the following. My feeling is that we have a complete history of the church in the seven churches, and that we have the complete Great Tribulation period in each one of the series of sevens; in other words, each group of seven covers it all. By, each one of the series of seven, he is referring to “the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls”. It is not understandable that he says, that each covers all, and yet he insists that they follow each other chronologically.
He insists that The Revelation must be interpreted in the order in which we have it in the Bible; however, he has no qualms about the fact that, according to him, Christ is born in chapter 12, after the rapture of the church, which is in chapter 11. but then, without any apparent reason, he places the rapture into chapter 3. With that arrangement how can he say that The Revelation must be interpreted in the order in which we have it in the Bible?
If the book must be followed chronologically and if the rapture of the Church happens in chapter 3 then anything after chapter 3 would in no way relate to the church.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. In 12:3 we were officially introduced to the Dragon, and we know how he came to be on earth; because of a war which he lost against Michael and his angels. In 12:4, we learned that his intentions were to destroy the woman (Israel) and her male child (the Church) and now, in 12:11, we learn how we can overcome him; by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.
The word of their testimony may refer to the testimony of the Old Testament writers. Throughout the New Testament the writers repeatedly refer to the writings of the Old Testament saints with the greatest respect and admonish us to pay attention to their words. For example, Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. Heb. 2:1 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place. 2 Pet. 1:19.
Although, it is also possible that The word of their testimony also refers to the sermons and admonitions of New testament saints. After all, The Church was almost 70 years old by the time John wrote these words.
The Conflict Continues
they did not love their lives to the death. The following numbers do not include any deaths by war. Note that over 20 million were martyred in Soviet prison camps, and that well over half of the 70 million Christian martyrs were killed in the 20th century alone.
It was stated that till 2010 an average of 159,960 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith per year.
One out of every 120 Christians in the past has been martyred, or in the future is likely to so be. A contemporary example is the church in China. In 1949, there were only one million Christians. Fifty years of anti religious Communist rule produced some 1.2 million martyrs. The result: explosive church growth to today’s 100 million believers.
Even though state-ruling powers (atheists and others) are responsible for most martyrdom, closer examination of the entire list of martyrdom situations reveals that Christians themselves have been the persecutors responsible for martyring 5.5 million other Christians. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Would any of us be willing to pay the price? Or would we think that what we believe is not really important enough to die for?
Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.
When Satan was cast out of heaven those who live there can now rejoice. But their pleasure is our pain. The devil is very angry because he knows he does not have much time left. In the time that he has left he will do what he can to destroy decency, humanitarianism and love for fellow humans. St. Paul wrote, But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. 2 Timothy 3:1.
The people of the United States own approximately one firearm for every man, woman, child and baby in their country. Many take their guns with them when they go shopping. Would they really rather kill a person than have a week's worth of groceries stolen from them?
But we in Canada can not point our fingers at anyone else. We have our share of gun violence, road rage, thefts, etc. Satan is doing his best worldwide to destroy everything that is good and Jehovah honouring.
There is consolation - Saint John wrote, he has a short time.
* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.