Now is come salvation
|Cover via Amazon|
Before I begin allow me to share something with you. I have gone through a very tough time emotionally. All the aspects of this internal trauma coincide with a book I am reading called Wild At Heart, by John Eldredge. I have struggled all my life to find a center, where at least I understand why I am here. I found that place briefly in my early twenties and then I got married. What a tragic mistake she was. We think we marry to complete us, but only God can do that. The woman becomes a substitute for God; that hole which we fill with a woman is really crying for a restored relationship with the Father. To be honest, to some degree writing these messages to the struggling church is an aspect of what makes me feel alive and a part of why I am here.
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.
(Revelation 12:10 KJV)
(ASV) “And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, Now is come the salvation, and the power,”
If you have had any religious background or training at all, the concept of salvation should not be new to you. That does not mean you have it, or that you understand it. But in essence something tells you that it happened long ago when Jesus went to the cross.
What happened on the cross?
Jesus was made to be sin and the payment for our sins. Not only our sins but the sins of the whole world. That act on the cross effectively freed us from the debt of sin.
Didn't the cross bring our salvation?
Released from the bondage to sin it gave you the freedom to choose the one who freed you. The ability to choose proves your freedom but it does not bring about salvation, it merely gives you an opportunity you did not have prior to the cross, for we were trapped, a prisoner to our sins.
Our salvation in Christ comes as we ask him to come into our lives. Doing this demonstrates your acceptance of Christ's relationship with the Father and the payment he made for you.
Assuming we have done that why then are so many of us still going through a life so filled with hell?
Because the accuser/deceiver/Satan still roams the earth. His one sole purpose seems to be to destroy anything that looks like God, and with Christ inside of you, you look just like the Son. Of course you are a target.
This is an entirely different approach to the text than my first attempts for originally my mindset screamed that Satan had already been expelled from heaven; Jesus said so. My comprehension was based upon what people told me and so I merely assumed that Satan had been stripped of all power and rendered useless. If you look forward in Revelation you will find Satan empowering the beast and the false prophet, so clearly, at this time, he is not stripped of power. Fortunately God is merciful and leaves us room for error on our part.
Having explored the context I now understand that Satan has had access all along, but will soon have it stripped.
The word salvation is the Greek word sōtēria. Thayer's Definition: 1) deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation.
Salvation means so many things but it all depends on what you are being saved from. Deliverance or preservation speaks to me of rescue. With Satan finally expelled, he is only moments away from a thousand-year lockup, and man's motivation to sin is just about gone, for at least a while.
“"Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come,”
Now comes the deliverance, the strength and ability. It feels as though God finally gets a chance to brag about his Son. This time is for real and Satan is shut up and stripped of any power he had. It's about time.
“and the kingdom of our God ….. have come,”
This is another place where some will struggle. The world looks at things like this and claim it is a contradiction. I believe God was looking into future time when he spoke the words of Revelation 11:15
Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 11:15 NASB)
Only moments later that time is here. Do not let your religious opinion constrain you; READ, you never know if your life depends on it.
What changed if the kingdom of our God is now come?
Ask yourself a question. Was Christ ever stripped of power? The answer is no, but then to be fair you might not have known that. Christ voluntarily set aside his power to be a man. One that had to operate on this earth the way we do. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and brought life to the world.
Does that sound like a powerless man?
No; so what changed? When Jesus was tested after the baptism, Satan offered him all the kingdoms of the world. You must assume that power was part of the deal. The truth is Adam handed the earth over to Satan, and God had previously given man dominion/authority to deal with it as he saw fit. Dominion is the Greek word basileia and means royal power. This was the authority that Adam had, royal power. He acted as God's representative and in that place he handed the control of the earth over to a fallen angel.
So until the moment that God retakes control, the earth belongs to the dragon, and we have had to deal with the toxic brunt since Cain and Abel walked the earth. The payments have been made, God's people have acted wisely, punishment and judgment have been dealt now that thing that man has hoped for is finally come, the kingdom with Jesus on the throne and peace at last.
“and the authority of His Christ have come,..”
Authority is the Greek word exousia, and means, according to Thayer, power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases.
Jesus had already established that he did nothing outside of the Father's instructions, so he is not turning into some tyrannical dictator now. But with the Father's blessing he has the liberty to do as he pleases, and he did nothing outside the Father's will.
"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5:30 NASB)
Think about that a moment. When he was here on earth what did he do?
Fed multitudes, healed sick people, restored life to the dead, taught that a life and relationship with the Father far outshines anything this broken world has to offer, and freely gave his life so that we may gain ours.
We should already have a clue about what his next few moves are: battle with those that wish to fight against him, establishing justice once again, and reign appropriately from his throne.
Many will say, I have nothing to fear. That is awesome, if you have a relationship with the Father, but should you find yourself concerned or feeling lost, then maybe I would re-examine my relationship with the Father before it is too late for grace to intervene.
“of His Christ...”
Separate and yet one. This struck me in a powerful way, as matter of fact the whole verse did. Finally God gets to brag on his Son, and the Son finally gets to shut the arrogant mouths.
Having dealt all the cards, it is God's turn. Just look around you right now, the world is imploding. This is what Satan is capable of as he attempts to kill off everything that looks like God, and according to the words of Jesus, as found in scripture, he will come close at some point. But God is in control, even when it does not look like it.
“ for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.”
Do you have any questions as to who the accuser is? Satan, and he has had free access to God from day one. Imagine what God has had to listen to.
Using myself as the example I have given him plenty of fodder as I exhibited anger and frustration about life, work, and other things that I cannot control. Yeah, I know, your life is perfect. LIAR! Isaiah 6 tells us that it is our righteousness that is the stinky rags before God's face. So even on our best day our works don't cut it. You have to put your faith in Christ and his sacrifice for you – that is the only way.
And they overcame him
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
(Revelation 12:11 NASB)
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the lamb and because of the word of their testimony,”
Who is the “they” here?
I might try the obvious approach and say the church, but the blood of the lamb was not just poured for them. The fact that they accepted Christ blood as theirs makes them the church but there are people within the church that are not overcoming anything. Life has just beat them down.
This passage tends to imply people who overcame something, but what?
The verse itself tends to answer the question: “and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”
What has been the immediate topic of discussion here in Revelation?
The martyred saints. We tend not to think of them as over-comers, saving that title for ourselves, the church. And why would we take that attitude? Because we are judgmental, not willing to see God's mercy poured out on anyone that did not buy an early ticket or stand in the long line awaiting heavens gates to open. But that misses the point; God's mercy never fails.
Either way, whether it be Saints or the church, God sees us as victorious over the deceiver primarily because of the blood of Jesus, but it is also the word of our testimony.
That word of our testimony aspect may not be that elaborate. During the judgment years (the seven year period we inaccurately call the tribulation) the deaths of saints will increase to a fevered pitch. So much so, that they will not tolerate your long reasoning's and attempts at converting them. It may become a mere yes or no response. Regardless denying Christ and choosing to worship the beast will get a quick ticket into the hell reserved for Satan and his followers, while refusal to follow the beast will get you, rather quickly, into the presence of God.
(A quick thought about the beast. This is bible terminology, and an allusion to something else, but let's break it down. Our minds perceive some hideous representation when we hear the word beast, and I am sure it is to God, but in reality it represents a large entity that is in vile opposition to God's will and ways. Can you think of anything, off the top of your head, that fits those parameters? Allow me to help you. Islam perfectly fits those parameters, and is therefore the beast.)
- I tend to ask myself if I am making any sense and changing lives. One can only hope, but I have to trust God. I am not one to exude with confidence but do have the desire to see you do so. Get serious about God's word for in it is the way to life, and answers to all of life.Turn your life over to Jesus Christ. Admit that you are not capable of handling it and that you want him in control.Try something like this: Jesus, I need you and I need you to take control. I want to live with you in heaven so I am asking you to cleanse me and make me whole. Bring me into your kingdom with you. While I am here on this earth I am asking your Holy Spirit to guide me and give direction. I put my faith in you Jesus, knowing that you will not disappoint and not forsake me. I thank you for being my savior and cleansing me with your blood. Thank you for giving your life for me, and returning soon to receive me into your kingdom. Take my life, it is yours, and do with it what you need. In Jesus name.