What did you find in your Bible reading today?
I was arrested by this phrase in Rev. 15: “And I saw…those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name…” (v.2). Conquer? I wondered, who had conquered whom? So I went back a few pages in Revelation…
John “saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.” When they asked “how long till they would be avenged, they were “told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” (Rev. 6:9-11) This doesn’t sound much like conquering!
In chapter 12 the saints “conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (v.11). However, in chapter 13 Satan uses the beast and is “allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them” (v.7). Following this terrible scene John comments, “Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” Faith and endurance are surely necessary when evil triumphs over the people of God with seemingly no retribution. So important is endurance in the face of injustice that the call is issued again in the next chapter: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (v. 12 – This is a good reminder in a time when obedience to God’s commandments is often referred to as “legalism”.)
Following these verses, then, we have John’s observation in chapter 15 that they had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name. Looks to me like we conquer Satan through faithful endurance even if it costs us our death. Should this surprise us? This is the pathway the Captain of our salvation walked—He overcame Satan by His death and resurrection.
This week let us endure, cost what may. In the end, we shall overcome! He could not keep our Captain down. Nor can He keep us down as we follow Him and endure.