Thursday, 4 March 2021
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. Revelation 12:10
The translation should connect “loud voice” with “heaven.” Thus, it should read, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying…” Also, it omits definite articles that should be included: “the salvation, the power, and the kingdom of our God.” In this, it signifies that these things are firmly manifested. Also, the word “accused” is a present participle. It should read “accuses.”
Of the contents of this verse, Charles Ellicott is right when he says, “…it is not the full establishment of the kingdom which is here described; it is rather the manifestation of it.” In other words, the victory is won, even if it is not yet fully realized. This is speaking of the state of things as fulfilled even while the actual occurring of the event is future.
With these things understood, John begins with, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying” (NASB). It is a divine proclamation with the intent of conveying an absolute truth that can be held to for those who hear it. With that in mind, John continues with, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come” (NASB).
The verb is in the aorist tense, signifying that these things have come at a specific point in time. And yet, as just noted, these things are made manifest even though they have not been established. The only way to make this understood in English is to state them in the perfect tense.
To understand, if a new president is elected, the people can say, “Now is the time for our tax breaks, and now reason will be brought back to the White House.” It is something that is assured, even though there are still several months before the new president is seated. This is the same idea here.
In saying, “Now is the salvation,” it means that complete deliverance from Satan’s power is realized through what has occurred, even if Satan is still affecting those who are saved. In saying, “Now is…the power,” it conveys the idea that all that is necessary to ensure the final consummation of things has been put in place. And in saying, “Now is…the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ,” it means that these things are assured for His people because of what has occurred.
To then explain why this is so, John next says, “for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night” (NASB 1977). Because Satan was cast out of heaven, he has no ability to accomplish anything within the heavenly realm to thwart the redemptive plan. Instead, he can only work within the limits of time to stand and accuse the people of the world. That is why the present tense “accuses” is used. It speaks of his ongoing accusations against humanity.
However, the words “our brethren” indicate that the accusations are against God’s people, the redeemed. As such, they carry no weight. This will be seen in the coming verse. For now, the verse speaks of the reality of what God has done being made manifest. It cannot be thwarted, and the redemptive narrative that is prophesied in Scripture will certainly come about, exactly as the word reveals.
Life application: Since the beginning, Satan has continued to bring accusation and destruction to humanity. He did it in the Garden of Eden. He did it during Job’s time – attempting to malign and destroy that godly man. He did it after the exiles of the Babylonian captivity when he stood accusing Joshua the High Priest in Zechariah 3:1. And, he stood to oppose Jesus during His time of fasting in the wilderness.
Satan has been active throughout the ages and he continues to accuse the church, even to this day – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
The devil has been active, but the book is written, and the writings are sealed. His time is limited, and he will be cast down. Great is the Lord who has defeated the devil! Great is the One who has prevailed. He is our Savior. He is JESUS!
Heavenly Father, please give us strength to resist the devil. Be with us, O God, in our times of weakness and temptation. We know the victory is won, but in our flesh, we are still weak and at risk of falling. Help us to never do that which would bring dishonor to You and Your glorious name. Amen.