They overcame [the Accuser] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Revelations 12:11 NKJV)
Let’s paraphrase that: We gain access to God’s favor and Presence by the sacrifice of His Son, escaping our slavery to the Devil. By living out the implications of His teaching, we present a claim to other people who are similarly trapped. We are willing to press this claim in the face of any resistance and threat.
We know that the only way anyone will accept our claim is by the miracle of God’s grace in their souls, making them receptive to the truth of our message because He writes it into their hearts. But we present the message to all we encounter, because we have no way of knowing who has already been sealed by the Spirit. All we can know about it is that, at any given time and place, the majority will not be moved.
There is no argument we can offer to break human resistance to our message. It’s not a matter of words and logic, but the power of the Holy Spirit working in their hearts. So we must ensure first that we live this message, so that any words are but a mere aspect of the bigger message of our existence. Don’t rely on reason and debate, even if you are highly talented in that area. Use every tool God places in your hands to present the message for those whom God has prepared to receive it.
We can sum up that testimony as living by Biblical Law. That’s a synonym for the character and personality of Jesus Christ; He is the living Law of God. Jesus acted under the Covenant of Moses, though He flatly stated that the written record of that covenant had flaws. Unlike His opponents, He didn’t hang everything on mere words. He taught His followers to read between the lines and see the heart of His Father.
Because of His Father’s moral character, there were times Jesus cracked a whip, and even told His followers to buy swords. There were other times He was silent before His accusers, and healed those who came to arrest Him. He bore His Cross with firm commitment. Every bit of that was consistent with the revelation of His Father’s wishes.
It’s been a long time since His day, and a very long distance, both geographically and culturally. The world we live in today has both denied His message and sought to pervert it. All kinds of preposterous claims are made on His behalf, when it really comes from fallen human reason and imagination. His truth is a contradiction to what the world claims.
Our choice to live His teachings is a rejection of the world. They don’t take that kindly. They will come at as with all sorts of moral claims that are false. Don’t placate them. Don’t reason with them, except in the limited sense of explaining just how wrong they are, and why. Remain consistent within the divine logic of your convictions, and reject their demands for consistency with a false standard.
We who walk by the Spirit in this way are unique individuals, no two of us alike. Yet we manage to recognize each other and fellowship together. We understand from the heart that moral consistency that sees each of us doing things a little differently. You have your calling and I have mine. We like it that way. The consistency is not in the details, but the power to act in the face of opposition. We see the divine sweetness of shalom in each other’s lives. What we see is not visible to fallen human minds, only to the mind awakened by subjection to the Spirit, who makes us all the Father’s unique children.
This power to walk together is part of our witness. However, nothing will convince anyone who isn’t elect. Only those called can accept the truth without argument. They are not going to like what we say and do, so steel yourself for resistance. Don’t apologize; be bold.