Aug 20, 2007 A Rescue Operation is Under Way Kathleen Maples Rev 12:10 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. Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. In verse 9, the devil is referred to by four names. (1) A mighty dragon, which means a great and fascinating serpent, (2) that old, or original serpent, which means a malicious and clever, crafty person. The symbol of the snake was an emblem of cunning and wisdom. Gen 3 says the serpent was more subtil (crafty, cunning, in a bad sense) than any other animal in the garden. Ironic, the devil uses the smartest creature he can find, and God uses the weak and foolish things of this world.... (3) Devil (in the Greek, diabolos, where the word "diabolical" comes from.) It means slanderer, false accuser, one who attacks the reputation of another by slander or libel. (4) Satan- (of Chaldee origin,) accuser, adversary, one who opposes another's purpose or deeds. He has a chronic habit of opposing God and Christ, incites apostasy from God, and entices one to sin, surround so as to force to give up, will seek to beat us through cleverness and wit, distract or trick us so we avoid or try to avoid, as of duties, questions and issues. Isn't this what He seeks to get us to do, to avoid our duties to God, and avoid letting God deal with the issues in our hearts and lives that hinder us from communion with God the way He meant it be? The devil accuses us day and night before God. He puts us down, lies on us, but often what he says is not a lie; it's never good. We are failures, we are flawed, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. We have all lived way beneath our privilege and allowed ourselves to be hindered from doing and living the life and work God has for us. That adversary is right there to point it out to God. Do you think it hurts God's heart when the adversary sees us neglect our Lord and get so busy, and here he goes again, throwing our failures and carnality and our neglect up in God's face? Can't you just imagine the devil flinging accusations in God's face, not wildly, but carefully, deliberately, desiring to use our failures to cause pain in the heart of God? He wants to rub God's nose in it. Can't you just hear him whisper, "They don't love you. They let any and everything hinder them from talking to you, and coming to your house. They don't read your Book like you told them, they don't teach their children to respect and fear you like you commanded. they have time for everything and everyone but YOU. All they do is make excuses. Why don't you just rain fire down on them and start over? They aren't worth saving. Look how they treat You after all You have done for them! They aren't worthy of You and You know it! They are so in their flesh, they aren't a true representation of You! They don't want to suffer and deny themselves! They are a joke!" I had not fully considered this before now. But as I do, something is stirring in my spirit, both mourning and outrage. Now, consider how many accusations you have battled in your mind, but have you stopped to consider that God hears the flip side of these accusations, as well? Does HE hang His head and feel sorry for Himself, and let the devil depress Him and cause Him to think negatively toward us like we sometimes do Him? We entertain our Father's and our own worst enemy and allow him to try to make us doubt the truth of God's Word and love for us. We look at ourselves, and feel like we are nothing. True, we should not be proud and think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We should not be arrogant or sit in the seat of the scornful-we are not to speak evil of any man, according to the Scriptures. But, God proved what He thought of us by sending the most precious thing He had-His Son, to suffer horribly so we wouldn't have to, and so communication and relationship between God and man be restored. In Job 1 and 2, the sons of God presented themselves to God. Whenever we try to present ourselves to God, in prayer, and pray through to His presence, is not the voice of the accuser always present to try to hinder us and make us feel unworthy of entering in and make us doubt our acceptance? Satan was forcefully thrown out of Heaven, as well as the angels he deceived into following him in rebellion against God. In verse 10, something wonderful happens, not because of Satan's fall but in spite of it. Rev 12:10 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. NOW, just now, at this present time, there is a rescue operation underway. Deliverance has come from this fallen one. The word for strength is 'dunamis' and means supernatural, miraculous power, and it implicitly implies ability, abundance of power, and mighty work. There is a realm, a place where only God rules, and there the exousia, the masterful power and potentate authority, given Christ by God who set His beloved Son over all, having put all things under His feet. He alone has the jurisdiction, the liberty and the rule over this adversary, and his dark works, and everything and everyone else. The anointed One, the Messiah reigns, and is incomparable to anyone. The Scripture says the the one who has come in the court of God's law and filed a complaint against mankind, especially us, the children of God, has been thrown down, and so have his objections, and accusations. He charges us before God with sin and breaking of God's laws. Rightly so. He was doing this on a continual basis. Surely, God tired of hearing all this slander and accusation. He also knew a lot of what Satan said had a ring of truth to it. He watches us and tells on us to God-who already knows when we fail, before we fail. But we have a hope the devil doesn't have! Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. We prevail, and conquer the enemy, subdue him, and get the victory because we have two things pleading our cause before the judgment seat of God Almighty in the face of the accusations of the enemy: #1, the BLOOD of Jesus Christ, shed for our sins, #2, the testimony that we have trusted and surrendered our life into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is able to keep that which we commit unto Him against that day.... Hallelujah!!!!!!!!! The Word of our Testimony is simply this: God said it, I believe it, that is the way it is-I am what HE says I am, and He is Who He says He is, and I stake my life on it, and the devil can't change God's Word! Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord! We are what God's Word says we are-justified, redeemed, saved, secured, by the precious blood of the Lamb, begotten by the Word of a Holy and Almighty God. We see a picture of this kind of work of Satan in Job 1 and 2 when the children of God went to present themselves to God, the accuser was right there, to try to interfere and bring trouble upon one of God's children. He was so envious of Job's good standing with God, he so hated the fellowship Job had with God, and wanted desperately to break that and cause a separation between Job and God, that he demanded the right to sift Job's faith, just as he did Peter's in the New Testament. He demanded the right to test this man's loyalty to God, and he will do the same to us. He will flood our minds with lies and accusations and junk, to try to separate us from God, to try to hinder us from the presence of God who is our very present HELP. These children of God love not their lives unto death- meaning they are willing to surrender everything into the hands of the Lord, and live or die they are His. They are content to cast everything, every detail, every part of their lives into the capable, keeping hands of the Lord. They are willing to turn over the reins of their lives, into His control. They are willing to give up everything for Him, even their own physical life. They are no longer their own, they have been bought with a price and they know it. This kind of surrender on our part, Satan wants to defeat and hinder because it will defeat him every time. The word death here means separation. Of course it also means literal death of the body, as well. But, there is more to it than that. Not only do we allow Christ by the Holy Spirit to separate us from the sin we once took pleasure in when we were in darkness, He separates us from everything unlike Him. We die to this world, its ways, and our carnal thoughts, our fleshly demands for attention and gratification. We die to everything that is hostile and against the work and life of God. When it howls and wars against us, we do not yield to it, we reject it in the name of Christ and look to Him for strength to stand. He moves in and takes over, and we relinquish complete control into His hands. He separates us from the carnal, from the worldly, from the darkness, and begins to fill us with light and truth that sets us free and cuts us loose from the ties of this earth that would hold us down as we present ourselves to His truth and spend time with Him. Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Who dwells in the heavenlies but the angels who do God's bidding, and creation itself? They have been liberated from the stench of the presence of Satan, but oh, grief to mankind, the residents of earth and sea. The devil has descended on us, with great and passionate rage. He's inflamed with bitterness and has a passionate desire to destroy and cause turmoil and despair where ever he goes. He knows he has only a limited, or set amount of time before he will be bound and judged. Just as God used foreign nations who hated Israel as weapons of chastening to ultimately cause Israel in their misery to return and cry out to God, to help them realize they still needed their God, I believe that is one reason He allows Satan the lee way he has. Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. It's so important to realize what this means. The word "persecuted" means to pursue, follow after, with the intent to harass, cause trouble and molest the one being pursued. I was surprised when I read the definition in the Greek of the word "persecuted" here. When he messes around with our minds, he molests us, and he makes us feel unclean and unworthy because HE IS unclean and unworthy. He only went after the woman, Israel, who brought forth the man child, which was Christ. Rev 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. Rev 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. This adversary pours out a flood of never ending lies, accusations, misrepresentations, and distortions of the truth. He does this because he is enraged at being defeated by Christ, among other reasons. He watches, he hides, and plots, and sharply observes everything about us, as a stalker. He's constantly seeking a way to attack, looking for any weakness. He lays in wait to ambush. He will strive against our growth and progress and understanding in and of the Lord. He will fight and war against us with his lies and distortions. The only real weapons he has are the lies and his diligence. He hopes by continually harassing and fighting against our minds, to wear us out and cause us to give up. He constantly seeks to shoot his fiery darts of doubt and unbelief into our minds in an attempt to overthrow our faith in God and His promises. Who does the adversary attack most? Look at verse 17-those who know the truth of God's Word and protect it, guard it, keep it close. They know what the Word says because they spend time in it, meditating on it, digging in and seeking understanding from the Lord. They do not want to lose what has been taught them by the Holy Spirit, so they study, and carefully consider. They feed on the Word. Satan does not attack the casual reader of the Word who only opens the Bible during the church service and forgets it and prayer the rest of the week. They are not a threat. Why waste time battling someone who has no weapon and is not causing you problems? If you bother them, you might provoke them to get serious with God. They are not armed and dangerous with the Gospel. How can they speak life into others if they are not feeding on this life themselves? It takes more than just reading your Bible on Sundays during the service. No, this kind Satan marks and pursues are those who love the Word, who eat this Book, and pray about what they read, and hunger for this Word. They do not want to neglect or let slip anything in this Book, and they highly regard and revere the Word. They want to know and seek to live this Word. They are unwilling to take another man's word for what this Book says. They search these things out themselves. They want to know HIM themselves. They are careful to observe what they read, or are striving to, and pray for help to do so. They understand the weakness of their flesh, and need to keep the carnal mind down, so they seek the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit. They keep the Word of God, they hold it as treasure in their heart. As a result of their devotion, they possess the evidence of the life of Christ in them. They can be true witnesses for HIM because they are learning to know HIM and they trust HIM and that makes them a threat in the eyes of the devil. He spews out his filthy lies to discourage and try to depress us. He wants us to be overcome by the flood out of his mouth. Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. In the Hebrew, that "wearing out" of the saints means to afflict and constantly harass. To erode, or wear away. Your faith and love for the Lord is what he is after. That life of Christ in you he wants to snuff out. Like a fire that is not fed will die, if we don't feed on the Lord and His Word, He said we have no life in us. Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. The Word of God shall stand firm. The devil can not overthrow it. What God has said will be will be. Satan is the big loser. But remember, the Word Jesus spoke, saints: Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. No wonder the Lord exhorts His people all through the Word to be strong, of good courage, and not to be dismayed. Remember He is with us, He loves us, and will preserve us if we trust Him and draw nigh to Him. We cannot afford to be casual about the things of God, folks. We cannot afford to get lazy about reading His Word and spending time with Him alone and pray and communicate with Him. It is they who wait on the Lord who will have strength. We must have the Word in our hearts. Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense. Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. We know the Spirit of God will deliver the right Word to His children to strengthen them, and chase away the lies of the enemy. He will strengthen us with His Word! And His Word will prevail! Nothing can defeat the Word of God, that is why it is so important to get in this BOOK and read it and devour it, and pray for the Lord to open our eyes so we can, like David, behold wondrous things out His Word! (Psa 119:18). He is no respecter of persons, He will teach us. He told Jeremiah, and He tells you, Call upon me and I will answer thee and I will show you great and mighty things you don't know! (Jer 33:3). We need to set our faces and our hearts like flint and allow nothing to separate us or hinder us from running to God, from spending time with Him! We need Him! If we love Him, we will truly keep His commandments. We will guard them in our hearts carefully and pray for strength to live and walk in the glorious truth of God.