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"Discerning the Times in the Light of the Word"

This excerpt is from chapter five of the book
Disarming the Powers of Darkness
by Eric Barger and David Benoit.

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There's Power in the Word!

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.

—Revelation 12:11

Here in Revelation 12:11, we see the Greek word logos translated “word” in the King James Version of the Bible. It simply means, “to speak,” or “something said,” “utterance,” “treatise,” “talk.” The logos of God is His Word, the Bible, spoken to man. “Testimony” in this passage is marturia in Greek or “something spoken,” “evidence,” “record of,” “report,” “witness,” or “testimony.”

This verse could read, “The saints of God defeated Satan by applying the power of the blood of Jesus Christ against his works. They spoke their report as witnesses for God of the evidence received and experienced through His salvation. These saints were so adamant in their battle against evil that their very lives did not count—only the victory in God!”

As we continue to examine this powerful passage, more truth flows out. First, the blood of the Lamb is a weapon we want to wield against the enemy. Next, we see the key to using the weapon of the blood. It is the work of a Christian testifying to the power of Christ’s blood. Once we take a deeper grip of what God has accomplished through the blood of the cross, the enemy should take notice and flee! How can the Christian who understands his authority in Christ, his Kingdom ambassadorship, and his awesome responsibility to herald this news, ever be silent again? Our voice is the primary instrument to deliver the “payload” in Spiritual Warfare. Canadian author and evangelist Terry Law calls the lips the “launching pad” for the weapons of our Warfare, which the Bible says are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4).

Though it sounds easy, here is a major obstacle for us. Many Christians are severely intimidated at the idea of actually waging Spiritual Warfare. Doing this is seen as “radical,” “unsophisticated,” “spooky,” or even “scary.” Some are often intimidated for fear of being thought of as “weird” because they actually DO what the Bible says to do. Some see it as somehow “charismatic.” Regardless of what men have made of the use of the tongue in Spiritual Warfare, it should be inconsequential to us who care to follow God and see captives set free from the power of Satan. The book of Mark reflects Jesus’ overriding concern with this very thing. In Mark’s gospel, we read repeatedly of His emphasis on deliverance from demons and on disarming and binding the “strong man” (Mark 3:27), etc. Jesus’ numerous encounters with demons are all straight forward, head-on, with no avoiding the issue. Shouldn’t it be that way for us, His disciples? How sad that so many wait and only resort to doing what Scripture commands when the chips are down, when Satan is winning, or when desperation sets in.

“I Plead the Blood . . .”

In times of Spiritual Warfare and travail, the old-time Baptists, Pentecostals and others would declare, “I plead the blood.” Though this saying may seem antiquated and foreign to some today, it was the standard among many who have effectively waged war against the Devil. What they were saying is, “I bring the power of the blood of Jesus to bear against the forces of evil.” Or, “As God’s ambassador I apply the blood of Jesus, by faith, to any given situation, person, or thing.” No matter what your peripheral doctrinal prospective may be, one cannot argue with the forthright tenacity of these saints who understood and fearlessly applied this principle.

The blood of Christ is an awesome, powerful and protective covering, but is it everywhere? No. It must be applied by the saints of God. And just as the hyssop branch was used to apply the blood in the Exodus, the blood does not accomplish what it can today without the proper paintbrush. We need to think of it like this: when the blood of the Lamb meets the word of our testimony, it’s like “nitro” meeting “glycerin”! These entities depend on one another to create the intended effect. Both are powerful elements; however individually they don’t accomplish their mission—but together they are explosive!

Our Example Is Jesus

Jesus taught by example, in love, in power, in healing, in justice. In fact, from the beginning of time, we can trace the paramount importance of the spoken word.

* First of all, God spoke the world into existence. The phrase “And God said” is throughout Genesis chapter one.

* As we’ve noted, salvation comes by hearing the spoken word of God (Romans 10:17) and then by speaking directly to God (Romans 10:9–10).

* Jesus spoke and Peter and Andrew followed Him (Matthew 4:19–20). Matthew did the same (Matthew 9:9), and Levi and Zacchaeus, too (Luke 5:27–28, 19:1–9).

* Jesus spoke and the storm ceased (Mark 4:39).

* When Jesus fed five thousand people with two fishes and five loaves of bread (John 6:1–15) and four thousand people with seven loaves and a few small fish (Mark 8:1–9), He gave thanks—He spoke and there was more than enough to go around.

* Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead by speaking to them (Mark 5:41–42, 7:31–37; Luke 4:11–17, 5:12–15; John 11:38–44).

* And Jesus dealt with demons by speaking to them (Mark 9:14–29; Luke 4:33–37)!

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. (He spoke to them. . . .) And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

—Mark 5:1–19

Jesus instructed the man to go and testify of his deliverance. Sound familiar? YES! We are to testify of our deliverance from captivity as well! By doing so, we let every human and every spirit know who we are and in whose power we operate.

Scripture tells us that Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil (I John 3:8). We can rest assured that the spilling of His precious blood was enough to do so. But as Jesus walked here on the earth, what example did He leave us in dealing with Satan’s lies, threats, and deceptions? In Matthew chapter four, Satan comes to Jesus to tempt Him and we see just how Jesus battled back—and won.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

—Matthew 4:1–11

Jesus had just fasted and though spiritually empowered, He was physically weak. From both Scripture and experience, we know that Satan often attacks in our times of weakness. But here we know that Jesus’ great, life-changing ministry was just ahead of Him. He was about to deliver the greatest message of all time—the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). So the message for us is this: when you are experiencing an unusual amount of Spiritual Warfare and attack, remember that something great may be just around the next corner!

So now, how did Jesus resist the Evil One? He chose the weapon of the Word of God! And since its instruction to us (the canon of Scripture) is now complete, in our post-crucifixion, post-resurrection age, what weapons should we choose in our struggle against the enemy? The one that eternally finished off the Devil—the blood of Christ, mixed with God’s Word, in Jesus’ name! We must acclimate ourselves to follow the example that Jesus set. HE USED THE POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD—DIRECTLY AGAINST SATAN HIMSELF—just as we must! Concerning the application of our weapons of Spiritual War, there could be no better example than this!

All rights reserved. Copyright 2002, Eric Barger and David Benoit

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