The theme of the great book of Revelation is simpler than it might seem – God and Satan get into a fight and God wins. Throughout the book of Revelation, God promises victory for His people, the followers of the Lamb, and destruction for His enemies, followers of the beast. In 2:10, God says, “Satan is about to throw some of you into prison…be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life.” The crown that God promises is not the royal diadem – that belongs to Him who sits on the throne. God promises us the stephanos – the victor’s crown. When God ends the war, we will share in His victory. Make no mistake about it, God will win!
We can know for certain that God will win because God has never lost. This is one of the great problems with Premillennialism. Premillennialists argue that Jesus failed to establish the Kingdom when He first came to earth so He established the Church and will come back to establish the Kingdom. What a sorry view of God and His chosen Messiah! When has God ever failed? How do you put your complete faith in a God that MIGHT fail? If Christ could not get it done the first time, who is to say He can get it done next time? The real explanation is that premillennialists have failed to understand the book of Revelation properly.
We can know for certain that God will win because of what we read in the Old Testament. In Genesis 3:15, God promises Eve that her seed will crush the head of the serpent – is that not what happened when Jesus died on the cross and rose three days later? God was sorrowful because of the evil on earth in the days of Noah, so He declared war against that sin…and won! As Sodom and Gomorrah fell further into depravity and unnatural acts, God announced to Abraham His plan to destroy those cities (Genesis 19). Not even ten righteous people could be found and God won the day.
After a new king came to power in Egypt and oppressed the Israelites (because he did not know Joseph), God went to war against Egypt and her Pharaoh. God told Moses of His coming victory in Exodus 3:7f, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their suffering, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians…” As the ten plagues passed one by one, one or more gods of the Egyptian pantheon fell as useless or worse, nonexistent! Once out of Egypt, God led the people into, what seemed to be, a deathtrap. Caught between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, the people began to cry, “Were there not enough graves in Egypt that we needed to die out here.” And Moses, whose faith was now fully placed in God, said, “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” What an awesome statement! Moses would reiterate this idea two more times (Deuteronomy 1:30; 20:4), as would Joshua (10:25), and Nehemiah (4:20). God declared war on Egypt, her king, and her gods and (as usual) He won.
As the people marched through the wilderness (for 40 years) towards the Promised Land, they would come across a tribe or country of hostile people and God would take His people into battle and win it for them. When Joshua sent spies into Jericho, Rahab hid the spies because she knew that God would win – “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:9-11)
When the Israelites went to battle against the inhabitants of Canaan, we see the victory of God, just as He promised to Moses – “I will deliver them…and bring them into the land.” Joshua 10 provides a great example of God fighting for His people against the kings of the land. In verse 10, God threw the enemies into a panic, allowing the Israelites to strike them “with a great blow.” In verse 11, God threw stones (or hailstones, KJV and NKJV) at the people. God killed more enemies with stones than the Israelites did with the sword. And in verses 12-14, God stopped the sun in its tracks so that Israel could continue the fight “for the LORD fought for Israel” (Joshua 10:14).
This should provide plenty of evidence that when God fights, He wins! And this is just through the book of Joshua!
The battle lines are drawn, where are you lining up?
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” Romans 6:12
When children get angry with one another they may scream or hit and blame it on the action of the other child. “He made me angry!” We have told our children that they cannot allow what someone else does or doesn’t do to make them misbehave. They must be in control. Children’s feelings are easily affected by others. Our daughter will cry because our son said something she didn’t like, so we tell her, “Don’t let him control your happiness. You are in control of that.”
We understand this concept with children. But as Christians, we struggle with a similar problem. We allow something to influence us to sinful behavior. We allow something to affect our attitude. However, the Bible is clear that we must be in control. Paul tells the Romans that once we have died to sin we cannot allow it to have influence over us. When we sin, we cannot blame Satan or someone else. We must be in control. The life of a Christian, the ins and outs of our daily decisions, and our struggle with temptation might be summarized in the concept of self-control. It is absolutely essential in our walk with God. This is what Jesus meant when He said “take up our cross.”
However, it is not just about self-control – avoiding sin and doing good. If we back up and understand that the Christian life if about becoming more like Christ, then we have a purpose in our self-control. To borrows Paul’s language from Romans 6:5, the goal is to be “united with Him.” The simple fact is that we cannot allow anyone or anything to hinder our relationship with our Father and our Savior. The biggest hindrance to our bond with God is sin. Therefore, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.”