THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
WAR IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH
Today’s reading: Revelation 12:7-12
Why are we empowered to witness? It is to be able to proclaim
the salvation won by Jesus on the cross. Jesus was victorious
on the cross. He crushed the head of the serpent with his
death and resurrection. Who are to do such proclamation? It
is us, the brothers/disciples/servants of Jesus. This is what
the work of evangelization is about. “They (God’s
people) conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus)
and by the word of their testimony” (v.11a). The sacrificial
death of Jesus resulted in the conquest of Satan, and such
conquest is made concrete in the lives of people by means
of our testimony. Thus salvation and witness go together.
what did the loud voice in heaven proclaim? “Now have
salvation and power come” (v.10b). For witnesses to
do their work effectively, they need to be empowered by the
Spirit. And so indeed we are empowered to witness. Thus salvation
and power go together.
what does doing such empowered witnessing do to us? We become
involved in spiritual warfare, making us warriors. This work
is directed against Satan, and Satan in turn directs his assault
against us. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (us), ever
since he was defeated by Michael and cast out of heaven (v.7-9).
“For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses
them before our God day and night.” (v.10d).
work is urgent. The intensity of Satan’s assaults is
increasing. “But woe to you, earth and sea, for the
Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he
has but a short time.” (v.12b). We are in the end times!
The devil is working double-time, nay, triple-time. How about
even as He supports us with His angels in heaven, depends
on us for this work. This is the greatest work there is. The
greatest and most important work is not work with the poor,
it is not work for social justice, it is not work for the
environment, it not work for peace in the world (though all
these are part of the work), but rather, it is the basic work
of winning souls. This is why Jesus gave his life on the cross.
Jesus gave his all, and so, as we continue his work, we too
need to give it our all. We are to endure suffering for the
cause, especially as we engage in spiritual warfare. We are
to be willing to give our very lives. We should be as the
martyrs of old, as “love for life did not deter them
from death.” (v.11b).
are empowered to witness. This is a work of the greatest privilege,
given to mortals. We are co-warriors with “Michael and
his angels” (v.7b). The whole plan of God depends on
the response of His people. Only this work, done effectively
as it is done in the power of the Spirit, can bring joy to
those who will be saved, but also to the angels and saints
in heaven. “Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you
who dwell in them.” (v.12a).