Overcome Satan with Your Testimony of Who You are in Christ!
In the Revelation of John it is written that Christians have overcome Satan also “by the word of their testimony” (Rev 12:11). What is meant by this and how can it help us?
To better understand the term „testimony“, we read in the Gospel of John about the testimonies of Jesus and of John the Baptist. Our testimony is about our identity. Therefore we also answer the question: “Who am I in Christ?”
We conclude that it is good to confess this testimony with your mouth.
The prophecy in the Revelation
10 And 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. 11 And 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. (Rev 12:10+11 KJV)
John wrote this about “brethren”, i.e. Christians, who overcame their “accuser”, i.e. Satan or the devil. They overcame also “by the word of their testimony”.
Generally, a testimony of a person is his statement about something. So, are testimonies of Christians meant here in terms of what they have personally experienced with God? Since different Christians experience different things, their testimonies in this regard are also varying. However, John did not write “by … their testimonies” but “their testimony.” The Greek word for testimony “marturia” is in the singular and not in the plural (as in Mk 14:56).
I would like to emphasize that it is positive when Christians speak about their experiences with God and, for example, testify how God healed them. This honors God and strengthens the faith of others. But that is not what this scripture is about, because it is about a single testimony of Christians and not about several individual testimonies.
What single testimony are we talking about here? What testimony do all Christians have in common or what do all Christians confess? Undoubtedly there are universal statements that Jesus is God’s son and that Jesus sacrificed himself and that his blood was shed for us.
Such a testimony could be meant here. Furthermore, there is another aspect. In the Gospel of John we often read about the testimony of a person; what is meant by this? Let us look at these scriptures.
Testimonies in the Gospel of John
First regarding the testimony of Jesus:
John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’” (Jn 1:15 ESV)
The Greek verb “martureó” is related to the Greek noun “marturia” (“testimony” in English) and is translated with “bore witness” in this and also the scriptures following below. What is told here about the testimony of Jesus? It is about his existence and his origin, i.e. it is essentially about who Jesus is.
The following scripture is also about the testimony of Jesus:
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. (Jn 2:23–25 ESV)
The people had seen the signs that Jesus had done. Jesus did not need anyone to bear witness about the “man”, that is, about him. That is why Jesus did not entrust himself to them; he did not reveal his identity to them. The people did not need to know who he is.
31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (Jn 5:31–39 ESV)
Jesus’ works testify to the fact that the Father sent him. Jesus is an ambassador of the Father.
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. (Jn 8:12–14 ESV)
Jesus testified that he is the light of the world.
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,… 29 My Father… is greater than all… 30 I and the Father are one.” (Jn 10:22–30 ESV)
This is specifically about the question of whether Jesus is the Christ. Jesus’ works bear witness to this. Jesus also testified that his Father is greater than all and that he and the Father are one. This testimony of Jesus is again about who he is.
Let us consider the testimony of another person, that of John the Baptist:
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (Jn 1:19–23 ESV)
This testimony of John is again about the question “Who are you?”
Thus, when it was written about the testimony of a person, it was often about their identity, that is, about the question of who he is. So the testimony of Christians can be considered as answers to the questions “Who am I?” or “Who am I in Christ?”
Who am I in Christ?
If I am a Christian, then I can testify:
- I am God’s child and belong to God’s family. (Jn 1:12; Eph 2:19; 1 Jn 3:1+2)
- I am God’s son. (Rom 8:14+15; Gal 3:26; Gal 4:6)
- I am God’s friend. (Jn 15:15)
- I am righteous. (2 Cor 5:21; Eph 4:24; Col 1:14)
- I am a servant of righteousness. (Rom 6:18)
- I am a saint. (Eph 1:1; Phil 1:1; Col 1:2)
- I am a priest. (Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10. But we are not kings. Sometimes these verses are translated in such a way that Jesus would have made us kings and priests. But this is not true, because in the Greek it literally says that he has made one kingdom for all of us. But every kingdom has only one king. Also in 1 Peter 2:9 it says that we are “a royal priesthood.” So we are royal, but not kings ourselves.)
- I am an heir of God and a fellow heir with Jesus Christ. (Rom 8:17)
- I am a part of the body of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 12:27)
- I am a new creation of God and created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand. (Ps 100:3; Ps 139:13; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:10; 1 Jn 5:18)
- I am more than a conqueror through God. (Rom 8:37; 1 Jn 5:4)
- I am chosen by God. (Jn 15:16; 1 Thess 1:4)
- I am a citizen of heaven and I am seated with Jesus in heavenly places. (Phil 3:20; Eph 2:6)
- I am God’s ambassador. (2 Cor 5:20)
- I am the salt of the earth. (Mt 5:13)
- I am the light of the world. I am a son of the light and a son of day; I do not belong to the night nor to darkness. (Mt 5:14; Phil 2:15; 1 Thess 5:5)
- I was bought with a price and I am God’s. (1 Cor 6:19+20; 1 Cor 7:23)
- My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in me. (1 Cor 6:19)
- I am to God the pleasing aroma of Christ. (2 Cor 2:15)
- Through me God makes the aroma of the knowledge of God manifest in every place. (2 Cor 2:14)
So all these facts belong to the testimony of every Christian. In addition, as already mentioned, other universal statements can also be regarded as the testimony of Christians, for example that Jesus is God’s son.
John did not prophesy that Christians overcame by their understanding or by their knowledge of their testimony. John wrote that they overcame “by the word of their testimony,” that is, because of the utterance of their testimony.
So, to overcome Satan, it is good to be aware of your testimony and to speak it out or to confess with your mouth who you are in Christ