I have always slightly taken this particular passage of scripture our of context by assuming this passage was referring to us. Let me preface my remarks by adding, I DO believe WE overcome by the blood, and I DO believe WE overcome by the word of OUR testimony! However, it dawned on me while reading this passage recently that this verse was in reference to the “war in heaven” and it is regarding the successful fight of Michael and his angels over the dragon and his.
I began to realize that the events of Revelations chapter 12 were a spiritual picture of spiritual warfare. The woman in verse 1 is a spiritual representation of the church, the fact that she’s with child signifies that the church is on the brink of revival! But as wonderful as that picture is, scripture reminds us rather quickly that there is a dragon, whose mission is to destroy the baby. As the scenes of chapter 12 unfold, we see the war between righteous angels and fallen angels. The ultimate battle between good and evil. And scripture emphatically declares that the dragon and his angels “prevailed not…”!
I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful to be a part of a church that’s built on the rock! When Jesus began to design a church, he didn’t leave us out here vulnerable to the attacks of Hell; but he said “upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”! No matter how hard Hell fights, and regardless of what venue or avenue Hell sends its regime, the gates of Hell shall not prevail!
Vs 11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony…”
They overcame… In spite of the odds, they overcame! In spite of the enemy, they overcame! We don’t have to live in fear over our enemy, God designed a prevailing church! So how do WE conform this model of prevailing power into our lives? I became intrigued by the mere notion that I can live in this realm of victory!
As I realized what I was reading my first thoughts were, “the blood works for angels?” Which was quickly followed by “How do angels testify?” As I began to immerse myself into this passage I felt the direction of the spirit leading me, “If you want to understand how the blood works for angels, you first need to understand what the word of testimony really means.”
So I began to dig… The word testimony in Greek is martyrha (pronounced martooree-a), meaning to testify as an old testament prophet. It means to witness what has NOT yet been seen. It’s root word, many of us are familiar with, is the word martyr (pronounced martoor) which means to witness, as in a legal procedure; to testify of what you HAVE seen.
So I quickly gathered that there are two significant dynamics to the testimony of angels. When the angels began to testify they were speaking of what God HAS done, and then they would testify of what God WILL do!
As I began to study this Greek word for testimony, I discovered that this word was used in a very “apostolic” passage in Acts 1:8. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost shall come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses…” In other words Jesus is telling them that He will empowered His church with a prophetic voice to “testify” in the spirit!
Prevailing prayer requires faith! We will never overcome the devil until we learn the power of prevailing prayer!
Let’s take this a step farther, The Apostle Paul told Timothy that he would that men would pray everywhere lifting up holy hands. How do we pray with holy hands? I thought prayer was the means by which we attained holy hands? As I pondered these thoughts the Lord began to take me on a spiritual journey. He led me to the tabernacle…
…And I saw what Paul was saying! The Tabernacle, as you can see, was built with a gate, an outer court, a holy place and the holiest of holies. As the priest would enter the gate he would immediately find a brazen altar. Here the priest would make sacrifice before proceeding to the outer courts where he would wash in the brazen lavar. He would then perform his ceremonial duties in the holy place, but right before he ventured into the holiest of all the priest would find a golden altar. At this altar the priest would make sacrifice for the people and pour the blood to the mercy seat. And I realized that there was sacrifice performed twice before the ceremony was complete.
As the priest would sacrifice the Bible says in Leviticus 4:6 that the anointed priest would dip his fingers in the blood and sprinkle it upon the horns of the altar 7 times. This would happen twice, once at the gate and once before the veil. After the sprinkling of blood was complete the priest would then lift his (holy) hands towards heaven and begin to thank God for the blood!
When I saw this suddenly I began to hear the spirit tell me, “Perhaps that’s what the Psalmist meant when he said ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and enter his courts with praise’…”
You will never truly entertain His presence in praise, if you don’t first stop at the gate and begin to thank Him for the blood!
When Paul said to pray with holy hands, what he was saying is you’ve got to get this right! There is an order of prayer! Before you ask Him for one thing, even before you praise His name; stop at the gates of the Tabernacle, come in contact with the sacrifice of your savior, and begin to thank Him for the blood!
Psalm 100:4 poses a very interesting question, how do we thank God twice? The Psalmist said, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless His name.” The answer is simple we do thank Him twice! We enter into His gates thanking Him for what the blood has already done, only then can we truly praise Him in His courts. But the journey must continue to the second altar, where we begin to testify of what the blood is about to do!
I pray you can make the connection in the spirit! I want you to prevail! But I realized that the blood of the lamb is powerless until somebody opens up their mouths and testifies in the Holy Ghost!
I imagine the scene of Revelations 12 differently now, I can hear the “word of testimony” sounding something like this… “Devil let me remind you of what God has already done… NOW let me testify of the the Lord is about to do!” And they overcame him, by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony!
There can be victory in your life, if you will learn to apply the dynamic power of prevailing prayer. I’ve been empowered to “testify”! If you will apply these principles, your reward may sound a little like this…
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, NOW is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.“