In Revelation 12 we meet those who have overcome Satan. We are told in v.12 that they have conquered using two weapons: the Blood of the Lamb, and the Word of their testimony.

Interestingly, in this chapter which describes the conflict between God’s people and the “Dragon”, Satan is given two descriptions: the Accuser of the brothers (v.10) and the Deceiver of the whole world (v.9). It seems that he is fighting on two fronts – attacking the brothers (the church) and the world. Our call to war requires us to conquer on both fronts, each of which will require different strategies: the Blood and the Word.

As Christians we are under attack, not from a hail of bullets, but from a barrage of accusations. Satan constantly reminds us of our sin. To which the answer is two-fold: firstly, “You’re right! I am a terrible sinner”. And secondly, “You’re wrong! Take it up with Jesus, for he has already dealt with the problem”. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb.

But with the world of unbelievers he has a different strategy: Deception. The key to victory on this front is to confront deception with the truth to which we bear testimony in the world. The solution here is not the Blood, but the Word.

As we think about Satan’s two-pronged attack we should notice his craftiness. He plays it both ways. When he is dealing with Christians, he maximizes sin – he makes it seem overwhelming large in the consciousness of believers who should know that it has already been dealt with. But the Blood has washed us clean – radically reduced the power of sin and totally eradicated the guilt of sin in our lives.

However, when he is dealing with non-Christians, he minimizes sin. No accusations here. Instead, he deceives people into thinking they are not really sinners at all, but simply good people who occasionally do a few bad things. And he deceives people into thinking sin is no big deal – not something to worry about like neurotic religious folk seem to do, for God is so benevolent that not even he gets bent out of shape by sin. It takes the Word to expose the deception that has deluded the world.

And so we are called to conquer – on the home front, applying the Blood to our consciences; and behind the enemy’s lines, bearing testimony to the truth of the Word in its description of the real nature of God and the human condition, so that others might be set free from the dragon’s deception. Our confidence is that the chapter tells us that on both fronts he has already been thrown down.