Victory by the Blood of the Lamb
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Revelation, chapter 12, verse 7:

Revelation 12:

7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10And 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.
11And 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.

I would like for us to notice particularly the 11th verse:

Revelation 12:

11And 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.

Especially would I like for us to think about the phrase, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,…”

We have been thinking together about the Devil and his demons. I would not suggest that we have exhausted every passage of Scripture, nor would I suggest that we have exhausted the subject in its entirety. But we are bringing to a close this series of messages, and such a series would not be complete without a word as to how we might have victory over the Devil.

Three Ways To Victory

The verse of Scripture to which I call your attention presents three ways in which we as believers may have victory over the Devil. In this lesson, we will discuss the first of those three ways.

Before we begin, it might be wise to remember that the 12th chapter of the book of Revelation is prophecy. It is describing an event that is to occur in the middle of a period of time yet to come upon the earth, a period of time known as the Tribulation . The Tribulation will begin after the Lord Jesus Christ comes in the air to take His Church out of this world. The Tribulation will be a time of great trouble. It will be marked particularly by increased activity by the Devil and his demons. One of the reasons for that increased activity is that when Satan makes his appearance in Heaven to accuse the children of God, as he does all the time right now, and as he is doing even at this moment, he is going to be forbidden entrance there. He is going to resent that, and he is going to try to force his entrance into Heaven.

Michael and his archangels are going to fight with him, and they are going to win the victory. The Devil is going to be cast out of Heaven for the last time, never again to be able to enter into Heaven and accuse the saints of God. When that event occurs, all the saints of God rejoice, as is indicated in the context of the verse we have just read. All the earth is warned that they had better make special preparation for protection because the Devil realizes he has but a short time.

The scene in Revelation 12 switches back to Heaven, and we are introduced to a great number of people who are said to have overcome the Devil. They are those who no longer have to do battle with him, because they have won the victory. And for our benefit and blessing, we are told that they won the victory in these three simple ways. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and by the fact that they loved not their lives even unto death.

Blood Of Christ The Basis For Victory

We want to notice by looking at the Word of God what the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has to do with our victory over Satan. We want to be able to recognize that our only protection, as well as our victory, lies in the blood of Christ. We will consider how our victory was gained through the blood of Christ, and how it must be consistently claimed as the basis of our victory over Satan.

Open your Bibles, please, to the gospel of John, chapter 12, and notice the 31st verse. These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ when a group of Greeks approached one of His disciples, Philip by name, and said, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” Philip conveyed that message to the Lord Jesus Christ, and instead of the Lord Jesus Christ's coming out where they were and saying, “Look at me. Here I am,” He made a declaration. That declaration is contained in the 31st verse:

John 12:

31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33This he said, signifying what death he should die.

The Lord Jesus Christ said that from this time forth, the prince of the world is cast out. That is the meaning of the text in the original language. From here on out is the prince of this world deprived of his power. From here on out is the prince of this world facing judgment. Who is the prince of this world? He is none other than the Devil, as we have suggested to you again and again in this series of messages.

What is the word now indicating? At what period of time will the prince of this world be cast out and continuously so? We are told in the 32nd verse:

John 12:

32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, the prince of this world will be cast out.” Someone may say, “That means, then, that every time a preacher holds up the Lord Jesus Christ in a sermon, the Devil is defeated.” That is not what it means. He tells you in the next verse what He is talking about.

John 12:

33This he said, signifying what death he should die.

So we are told in these verses of Scripture that our victory was gained when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary. When the Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood on Calvary's Cross, He gained for us victory over the Devil. And the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ provides our victory over Satan now, in that when the Lord Jesus Christ shed that blood, that victory was gained.

Devil Deprived Of Power

Let's examine a little bit in detail and see exactly how the blood of Christ gained this victory over the Devil, how the blood of Christ deprived the Devil of his power over you and over me. Turn, please, to the book of Hebrews, chapter 2, and notice the 2nd chapter of this book, verse 14, where we read:

Hebrews 2:

14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Subject to the bondage of the Devil—here is a group of people who are slaves to the Devil. The Lord Jesus Christ through His death provided a deliverance from that slavery, and how did He do it? Look at the last part of the 14th verse and you will see. He destroyed him that had the power of death.

If you are thinking, you are saying, “Well, I am a bit confused. I did not know the Devil was destroyed. Who is this fellow that is giving me so much trouble right now, if the Devil is destroyed?”

This verse of Scripture is not suggesting the annihilation of the Devil, but is suggesting rather that the Devil has been deprived of his power. The word that is translated destroyed in the 14th verse of Hebrews, chapter 2, is translated in a number of different ways in the Word of God. Of course, you understand the reason for that. The Greek language is so rich, and the English language is so beggarly, that one English word never completely explains one Greek word.

I would like to suggest a few verses of Scripture in which we will find this same word used, but translated in a different way, so that we will be able to understand what we mean when we say that through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Devil was destroyed.

Turn, please, to the book of Romans, chapter 3, reading from verse 1:

Romans 3:

1What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
2Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
3For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

You understand that in the 3rd chapter of the book of Romans, Paul is discussing the place that the Jew has in the plan of God. God had a great plan for them. Many of the Jews did not believe, and so Paul is saying, “Are you saying that just because many of the Jews did not believe, the plan of God has been without effect?” And then he goes on to show that that could not be possible. But look at the 3rd verse:

Romans 3:

3For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Look at those two words in the last part of that verse, without effect . Those two words are the translation of the same Greek word which is translated “destroy” in the 2nd chapter of the book of Hebrews.

Devil Made Ineffective

When we read that on the Cross the Lord Jesus Christ destroyed the Devil, we mean that He made him ineffective. He made him without effect. Will you look in this same chapter at the 31st verse:

Romans 3:

31Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Look at this verse and notice the two words make void . Those two words are the translation of this same Greek word that is translated “destroy” in Hebrews 2 and “without effect” in Romans 3. Here is another slant to it, another picture. When the Lord Jesus Christ destroyed the Devil, when He died upon the Cross, He made him without any effect. He made his power void, and he is ineffective.

Turn, please, to I Corinthians, the first chapter, and notice the 27th verse:

I Corinthians 1:

27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

Will you notice in this 28th verse the words to bring to nought. Those words are the translation of this same Greek word that we are thinking about, which is translated “destroyed” in Hebrews 2:14. So when the Lord Jesus Christ destroyed the Devil through His death upon the Cross, He did not annihilate him. Rather, He made him of no effect. He made void all the things that he would try to do. As a matter of fact, He brought him to nought.

The victory has been gained for us through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Devil has been rendered ineffective through the blood of Christ.

Cancelled Our Debt

Will you turn with me to Colossians, chapter 2, and notice in this 2nd chapter something else that happened when the Lord Jesus Christ gained for us this victory over the Devil. In the 14th verse we read that in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, He:

Colossians 2:

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,…

”The handwriting of ordinances that was against us” does include the Ten Commandments, because the Ten Commandments condemn every one of us. If we are guilty at one point, we are guilty of breaking every single one of the Ten Commandments. But it includes more than that. It includes a bonded indebtedness. We were so far in debt that we could not get out, and the Lord Jesus Christ just cancelled the debt. He took it and nailed it to the Cross. This represents a figure of speech that describes a practice very common in the days of the Roman Empire. Whenever a debt was paid, it was tacked in some prominent place where everybody could see it. Everybody would know that the debt had been paid, and that the man was no longer a debtor.

Triumph Over Demons

Paul is using that figure of speech when he says, “He took this handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and He took it out of the way. He nailed it to the Cross.” But that is not all He did when He died. After He had paid our sin debt on the Cross, you will notice in verse 15:

Colossians 2:

15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

What did He do on the Cross? On the Cross He triumphed over principalities and powers. In some of our previous messages we learned from the 6th chapter of the book of Ephesians that principalities and powers are two words which describe a great host of demons that do the bidding of the Devil. The Devil was made of no effect on the Cross, but he has a myriad of demons who can do his bidding. It is possible that what he could not do, they could do if he told them to do it.

It was necessary that something be done about this great host of demons. We are told in this verse of Scripture what was done. On the Cross the Lord Jesus Christ triumphed over this great host of demons. The word that is translated triumphed here is a word tht describes putting a chain around the neck of your captive and leading him behind you as many victorious Roman conquerors did, indicating that you had won the victory over him.

But there are a few things we are told in the verse of Scripture that describes how the Lord Jesus Christ triumphed over the principalities and powers—how he triumphed over these demons. You will notice in this 15th verse, He said that He spoiled these demons. What does it mean that “He spoiled these demons?” Turn with me in your Bibles, please, to the Gospel of Luke, the 10th chapter, where we will find this same Greek word translated in yet another way. You will notice that in this chapter when an individual, trying to trap the Lord Jesus Christ, asked, “Who is my neighbor?”, the Lord Jesus Christ told him the story of the man who went down to Jericho. The story is very familiar to us, and in that story, we find the use of the word in question. Notice in verse 30:

Luke 10:

30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

We are going to stop our reading there because we are not primarily interested in the discussion of the man who went down to Jericho. But I want you to notice in the 30th verse the word stripped —they stripped him of his raiment. The word stripped in this verse is the same word that is translated spoiled in Colossians 2. Actually what happened when the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross triumphed over these demons is that He stripped them of all their power. He stripped them of all their effectiveness through His shed blood.

Will you go back to Colossians 2 once again, and notice another thing mentioned in this verse that the Lord Jesus Christ did when He shed His blood, and through the shedding of His blood gives us victory over the Devil. In verse 15:

Colossians 2:

15And having spoiled principalities and powers, [notice the second thing He did]he made a shew of them openly,…

“He made a show of them openly.” What does that mean, “He made a show of them openly”? It means that when He stripped them of their power, He held them up to the gaze of the whole universe, completely shattered, completely stripped of all their power, exposed as absolutely helpless in the face of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our victory, I repeat, was gained for us by the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Protected by the Blood

If you have been following me, you realize that our victory does not lie in anything but the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ is the only source of our victory against the Devil. It is necessary for us to remind our hearts that the victory must be consistently retained or maintained, else the Devil will have the victory over us. Perhaps some of you are saying, “Well, good. I thought for a minute that I did not have anything to worry about. I thought for a minute that the Devil was absolutely helpless.” He is, as long as the blood of Christ is between you and him.

I do not know how many of you watch television. I am not going to advocate that you watch it, because I am sure that it is a big waste of time. And there are a lot of things that you see that you have no business seeing, but I suppose all of us look at television at some time or other. And we do not always turn off the commercials as we are supposed to do. You have no doubt seen the commercial (and I do not even remember the product that it is advertising) where a man stands behind a plate of glass. You do not know it is a plate of glass. He is standing there in open view, and all at once somebody whales a ball at him. You jump and say, “Oh, oh, he is going to get it!” But he is behind the glass, and he stands there and smiles at you. He tells you that whatever the thing is that he is selling, it will do the same for you. And I have forgotten what it is that he is selling.

That is an illustration of what I am talking about here. No matter what dart the Devil aims at you, if you are under the blood, or in the case of our illustration, if you are behind the blood, the dart hits the blood of Christ, and it cannot get at you. But if at any moment the blood of Christ is not providing your protection, then you are fit prey for the Devil.

Victory Maintained By Fellowship

I want to talk to you for a moment about how this victory is retained for us in the blood of Christ. Certainly the blood of Christ, shed nearly two thousand years ago, is of no avail to us unless it is practically applied to our hearts and to our lives in this day in which we live.

Will you turn, please, to the First Epistle of John, the first chapter, and notice the 7th verse. Perhaps you are asking, “How can I be sure that I am behind this invisible shield? How can I be sure that the blood of Christ is going to provide the protection that is necessary for me?” Here is your answer.

I John 1:

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The way to retain the victory that was gained at Calvary for you and for me against the power of the Devil is to stay in fellowship with God.

I John 1:

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

We would remind you that the very moment you step out of the light, you are in darkness. The very moment you are in darkness, you are out of fellowship. The very moment you are out of fellowship, you have no guarantee that the Devil will not be able to get through to you and do a tremendous amount of damage in your life. That is the reason it is a dangerous thing for a child of God to be out of fellowship with God. He is an easy prey for the Devil, for the invisible shield of the blood of Christ cannot be claimed when you are out of fellowship.

If you are out of fellowship, and you wake up to that fact and say, “Well, I certainly do not want to be. How can I get back into fellowship?”, look at verse 9:

I John 1:

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This simply means what it says. If you are out of fellowship, the Holy Spirit lets you know that you are. He will tell you why you are out of fellowship. Right then and there—don't wait until you come to church, or until sometime when you have to go to confession or mass, or until you go to bed at night—right at the minute, the very minute, that the Holy Spirit lets you know that you are out of fellowship—at that very minute, acknowledge your sins, and you are back in fellowship with God.

Will you turn with me, please, to the book of Hebrews once again and notice in the 10th chapter another way in which this victory which was gained for us at Calvary may be retained and made practical in our everyday living. Will you notice verse 19:

Hebrews 10:

19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

We will stop right there, because that is all we need for our lesson at the moment. What does that 19th verse say?

Hebrews 10:

19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

What does that mean? It means that by the power and the virtue of the blood of Christ we can enter boldly into the very presence of the throne of God and claim His help against the attacks of the Devil. The very moment that, by the power of the blood of Christ, you have asked for the help of God, the victory that was won at Calvary becomes a practical thing through the claiming of the blood of Christ.

Claim the Blood

That leads me to the last thing I want to say to you. You and I as believers must learn to claim the blood of Christ, for there is no other protection against the Devil but the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ is the only thing that is recognized by God or the Devil as a sure protection against the onslaught of the enemy.

Read the 12th chapter of the book of Exodus, the story of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt, when the death angel was to pass over every home in the land. God said to the Israelites, (and to any Egyptian, for that matter, who was willing to accept by faith the promise of God), that a lamb should be killed, and the blood of the lamb should be sprinkled on the doorpost of the house. And God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Every person inside that house was saved. Why? Because the angel of death, no matter how many arrows of death he might shoot at that house, could not penetrate the blood of Christ.

Those who experiment with atoms and atomic energy tell us that it must be done (at least the minor experiments) behind a lead shield, for the radiation that brings death cannot penetrate that lead shield. That is an illustration of what we are talking about here.

The blood of Christ is a divine lead shield, so to speak, that the energy of the Devil cannot penetrate, and we are safe if we are under the blood, for when the Devil sees the blood, he just passes on. He knows he can do nothing against it.

Will you turn with me in your Bibles, please, to the 19th chapter of the book of Acts for a concrete illustration of the fact that the only thing that the demons in the universe recognize as authoritative is the blood of Christ. You may be told that there is all manner of protection against the Devil and his demons in any number of different ways. These may work in a measure, and they may work for a time, but sooner or later there are some of the Devil's demons who will not recognize anything but the blood of Christ. Notice the 13th verse:

Acts 19:

13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Let's get this little story settled in our thinking. The apostles had had victory over the Devil by casting his demons out of any number of people who were demon possessed. They had just a simple formula for it. It was, “In the name of Jesus, come out.” And the demons came out, because the demons recognized the authority of the blood of Christ. When they were reminded of their defeat, there was nothing they could do but obey.

These seven sons of Sceva were not born again. They were not under the blood. They did not know about this invisible shield of the blood. They thought that Jesus was just a magic word, and so they thought, “Well, we have been in this magic business for some time, but this is a whole lot better than anything we have seen. We may as well take it up, because we can make a fortune out of it. These fellows are silly and are not interestd in money, but we are, and we can make a fortune out of it.”

So they spoke to some people who were possessed with demons, and you will notice in the 13th verse that “they called over them which had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus.” Literally that means that they uttered the name of Jesus, just as they would utter some mumbo-jumbo to perform some of their satanic inspired tricks. They were amazed when, instead of the evil spirits coming out of these people, the evil spirits spoke. The evil spirits said to these seven sons of Sceva, “Just a minute. We know Jesus. We have had experience with Him. He defeated us on the Cross. His blood stripped us of all our power. And we know Paul, because Paul is under the blood, and Paul pleads the blood. We know that. But we don't know you.”

Before the men had a chance to think up a good argument, the man who was possessed of these demons cast upon these seven men. It is an amazing thing, but it is true because it is in the Word of God: this one man licked the whole seven and tore all their clothes off, and ran them out of the house wounded and naked. Of course, this one man was possessed of demons. But you see, these seven sons of Sceva were trying to do without the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ what Paul had done with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Blood Is Essential

This is but an illustration of the thought I want to leave with you, though you may forget everything else I have said. The blood of Christ is an absolute necessity.

I have two questions for you. One of them is, “Are you under the blood?” And you say, “I have gone under the water.” Well, I did not ask that. I said, “Are you under the blood?” “Oh,” you say, “I am wearing a church name. I am under such and such church authority.” Well, I did not ask you that. I asked, “Are you under the blood?”

It is possible for you to go under the water and go on to hell. It is possible for you to be sitting under some church name and church authority and go to hell. The question is, “Are you under the blood? Has the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ in faith been applied to your heart as it was applied to the doorpost of the houses in the land of Egypt? If it isn't, you are on your way to hell, for there is no redemption outside the blood of Christ.

My second question is for those of you who know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. In your encounter with the Devil, do you plead the blood? You try it, and see if the Devil, who has already been rendered ineffective, will not back up when you plead the blood and recognize that there is no use going on because he has already been defeated.

You see, he is wise. He knows that a lot of people do not know he has lost his power, that a lot of people do not know he hasn't the right to do what he is doing, and he goes ahead and does it. But if you who are enlightened would plead the blood, you would find the Devil ineffective.

I do not know how much experience you have had with the Devil personally. I suppose in this land where the Gospel has been preached, and the power of the Devil is curtailed to a great extent, we do not have the same kind of experiences that many people who are ministering the Word of God in foreign lands have. But I have had missionaries tell me, and I have no reason to doubt their word and their testimony, that sometimes the activity of demons would be so very, very great around the house where they were living or in the service in which they were ministering the Word of God that they would feel a mighty oppressive force as though the walls of the building were closing in on them. When they knew what it was after experience and recognized it as the tremendous power of Satan and demons to hinder the Word of God, they would bow their heads and cry, “We plead the blood.”

They have told me that they could almost sense that oppression backing out, and could almost sense the demons departing because in faith they had said, “We plead the blood.” The demons understand that kind of language.

I suggest to you, though you may never have an experience such as that, when you do feel that the Devil is more of a match for you than you can possibly handle, and you feel the effective forces of evil closing in on you, that you plead the blood literally. God has promised that when the Devil sees the blood, he will lose his power and be ineffecive.


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