“The Power of Your Testimony”
Part 3 of “Plugged in, Powered Up”
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11
Life has its challenges. Circumstances never end up as we anticipate. Our picture-perfect world is often shattered by major health issues, death, financial struggles, divorce, depression, handicaps and more. The enemy will try anything to get you down. But here is the good news: As believers in Jesus Christ, can overcome!
The word overcome here in Revelation 12:11 is also used in the Old Testament. In Exodus 17, we read the story of Joshua fighting an intense battle (Anyone here going thru an intense battle today?) Exodus 17:10 says this . . .
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. (Jehovah Nissi) – Hebrew. 16 He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD.
Two hands. Two keys to overcoming . . . the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!
How do we overcome?
1) You cannot overcome without the Blood of Jesus Christ!
5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. I Cor. 1:5, 6
What is the testimony of Christ? Jesus Christ shed his blood for you and I on the cross of Calvary. And because of that, we can overcome!!
Jesus has already paid the price
Jesus has already fought our battle.
Here in verse 11, the original Greek word, Nikao, that we read “overcame” means to prevail, to get the victory!
To the young lady who compromised her sexual purity, the blood of Jesus means the world. She can be an overcomer by allowing the blood of Jesus to forgive her of her sins and cleanse her of all unrighteousness, never to fall into that sin again. She is now covered by the Blood!!
To the man who struggles with pornography – he knows it is wrong, but his flesh brings him down. Because of the blood of Jesus, he can overcome those temptations and never go there again . . . He is now covered by the blood!!!
To the married couple who have already decided to give up – they now have hope. Because of the blood of Jesus, they have the power to reconcile and be overcomers! Their marriage is now covered by the blood!
To the woman who is discouraged – life has gotten the best of her. Her flesh falls into a depression, but because of the blood of Jesus, she can rise up to the promises of God as an overcomer. She is now covered by the blood!
To the individuals who are constantly bombarded with guilt from the devil who reminds them of all the things they’ve done in their past, today is a new day. Because of the blood of Jesus, all their past is washed away and they are now overcomers! They are now covered by the blood!
You cannot overcome without the blood of Jesus!
2) You cannot overcome without a testimony
How? Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross of Calvary, He overame death, hell and the grave. We can be overcomes when we claim the Blood of Jesus over our situation and our lives.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14
Jesus healed a man of leprosy, and then He gave him a unique challenge not to tell people about the healing, but rather show them. Mark 1:43, 44
43Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44"See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.
Actions speak louder than words.
You can say all that you want about being a Christian, but if you don’t show it, you ruin your testimony.
Ex: (Ray on FB) Recently, I confronted a guy who used to attend FC because on Facebook, he mentioned that he was living with his girlfriend. I called him out on that. He gave me an answer that someone from the world would give me. He said, “My girlfriend and I are living together but it definitely has not detoured me away from God's Principles....if anything it is drawing me closer.” He thinks that living in sin draws him closer to God. He is being deceived by the enemy himself.
He lost his testimony.
You cannot overcome without your Testimony. Do you realize that God has a purpose in everything you face in life? You have a testimony. Are you ready to testify to the Power of God in your life?
Webster defines the word “testify” in three ways: (1) to make a statement based on personal knowledge or belief, (2) to serve as evidence or proof, and (3) to express a personal conviction.
Story. A man was arraigned for murder in Los Angeles about
70 years ago. The case against him looked pretty good, but his lawyer thought of
an ingenious ploy:
In his summing up speech, he said: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, you must find my client not guilty of murder if there is the slightest doubt in your minds that he is the murderer. And now I have one final witness. The true murderer is about to walk through the door.”
All eyes swung towards the door but no one came in.
“You see” the lawyer continued: “there is doubt in your minds about my client’s guilt, otherwise you would not have looked towards the door.”
The jury retired to deliberate and came back after an hour with a “Guilty” verdict. The lawyer was beside himself.
Before the judge could pass sentence, he sprang up and said “But I proved beyond doubt - that you had a doubt about my client’s guilt.”
A shrewd old man in the jury stood up and replied:
“As everyone looked towards the door, I watched your client’s eyes. He didn’t look towards the door because he knew no one was coming through. Why? Because he was the guilty one.”
You have a testimony. Perhaps your testimony is of God’s love, God’s forgiveness, God’s deliverance or God’s protection. Whatever you’ve been through, good or bad, you have a testimony. You can’t be an overcome without a testimony . .
Charles Colson in his book “Loving God” tells about his
experience in prison. While in prison he remembered his life before prison, the
honors he earned, the court cases he won, and the prestige in government
positions. His life had been the perfect success story, the great American dream
fulfilled. But while in prison he had time to think and pray. He realized all
his achievements meant nothing in God’s economy.
His greatest victory was his biggest failure, begin sent to prison was his great humiliation – but prison was the beginning of God’s greatest work in his life. God chose the one experience in which he could not glory for His glory.
3) You cannot have a testimony without a test
And you can’t have a testimony without a TEST!
So, the next time you question God about the ‘test’ you are experiencing, you can begin to thank Him because it is only a set up for your testimony, which is a set up for your victory!
Our testimony often takes us through a four-fold process
During the Korean War, a group of believers were in a
little chapel when communist soldiers barged in with machine guns. One of the
soldiers said, "Everybody, get up!" So they got off their knees. He said, "Line
up against the wall!" They did. Then that soldier ripped a picture of Christ off
the wall and threw it down on the floor. He said, "Everyone come by here, spit o
this picture, and curse His name." The first three in line were men of the
church. They obeyed the soldier’s blasphemous command. The fourth one in line
was a young girl. She came up before the picture and she dropped to her knees.
She wiped the spittle off with her skirt and she said, "Go ahead and kill me. I
cannot curse His name." The soldier said, "Get up!" They blindfolded that girl
and the three men, and marched them out behind the chapel. The people inside
heard three shots.
The soldiers came back in with the girl --alive. “Anyone who gives up what they believe that easily is not fit to be a communist," the ring-leader said. And they marched out.
Here is a case where a woman was actually saved by the word of her testimony. If you want to defeat the devil, you must exercise your faith and share it, both by word and by deed.
The servants of God overcame Satan, [1.] By the blood of the Lamb, as the meritorious cause. Christ by dying destroyed him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil. [2.] By the word of their testimony, as the great instrument of war, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, —by a resolute powerful preaching of the everlasting gospel, which is mighty, through God, to pull down strongholds, —and by their courage and patience in sufferings; they loved not their lives unto the death, when the love of life stood in competition with their loyalty to Christ; they loved not their lives so well but they could give them up to death, could lay them down in Christ’s cause; their love to their own lives was overcome by stronger affections of another nature; and this their courage and zeal helped to confound their enemies, to convince many of the spectators, to confirm the souls of the faithful, and so contributed greatly to this victory.
Joke: The devil enters a big conference room and everyone clears out because they are utterly afraid of him. But one lady just continued to sit there. The devil walked up to her and asked, “Do you know who I am?” “Aren’t you scared of me?”
She said, “Nope, I’ve been married to your brother for 28 years.”
4) You cannot live for Christ unless you’re willing to die for Him.
Did you catch the last portion of verse 11?
Rev. 12:11 (The Message)
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren't in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.
Are you will to die for what you live for?
Cassie was in the school library reading her Bible when two
young killers burst in. According to witnesses, one of the killers pointed his
gun at Cassie and asked, do you believe in God?" Cassie answered, "Yes, I
believe in God." "Why?" the gunman asked. Cassie did not have a chance to
respond; the gunman had shot her dead.
But what you may not know is that just a few years before this Cassie had dabbled in the occult, including witchcraft. She had once embraced the same darkness that drove her killers to commit such horrible crimes. She wrote one time, “I love the power of darkness!” But two years later, Cassie had an encounter with Jesus Christ, and was dramatically changed.
According to the Boston Globe, on the night of Cassie’s death, her brother Chris found a poem she had written just two days before she died. This is her poem:
"Now I have given up on everything else, I have found it to be the only way
To really know Christ and to experience, The mighty power that brought
Him back to life again, and to find, Out what it means to suffer and to
Die with him. So, whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh
Newness of life of those who are, Alive from the dead."
Cassie Bernall had gone from loving darkness to living by the truth, she encountered Jesus Christ, she experienced His power, and now she is in the Light.
Lord Jesus, I thank You for my testimony.
I thank You for all the junk I’ve been through in life.
Forgive me. Cleanse me. I repent.
Forgive me for the wrong choices I have made. I am wiser now.
I thank You for every trial I’ve faced, because they have only made me stronger.
I thank You for Your blood that brings me victory.
I pray that my testimony will not only make me an overcomer, but also serve to bring others into a true relationship with You. Amen.