And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death…Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (Revelation 12:9-11, 17 ESV)
Satan is a deceiver of men, cleverly working to confuse right from wrong, encourage men to pursue the desire of their hearts (which are bent by their sinful nature), and hide from them their own need. As you look at culture, you can see that he is quite effective in that. On the other front he stands as the accuser of man, bringing as evidence all of his sin before God. And still on another front he stirs forces up to bring persecution against believers.
But there is victory for the believers “by the blood of the lamb” that covers their guilt, “and by the word of their testimony” that is their faith and witness that proclaims Jesus is the Christ in the face of death.
What is the worst persecution that you have had to face as a believer in Christ?
God provides the church for believers to stand together against the schemes of the devil and strengthen your faith. Give thanks to God and commit yourself to his church as a means of support.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 25, Re 12, Zech 8, Ps 137-138