The Victories of the Lord Jesus


1. "Until He bring forth judgment unto VICTORY" (Matthew 12:20).

2. "But when the stronger than he, coming upon him, gains the VICTORY over him" (Luke 11:22).

3. "I have gained the VICTORY over the world" (John 16:33).

4. "Death is swallowed up in VICTORY" (1 Corinthians 15:34).

5. "Even as I also gained the VICTORY" (Revelation 3:21).

6. "Behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has gained the VICTORY, to open the book and its seven seals" (Revelation 5:5).

7. "The Lamb shall gain the VICTORY over them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings" (Revelation 17:14).

Slight changes from the authorized version have been made in the quotations given above in order to indicate that the same word, under the different forms of noun νȋκος, and verb νȋκάω, is used in each case for victory. These seven scriptures are the only ones in which this word is used in connection with the Lord Jesus, and seven is the well-known numerical symbol of "completeness." As we consider our Saviour in this sevenfold victory, I trust each reader will receive a fresh stimulus to follow Him more closely.

1. "Until He bring forth judgment unto VICTORY" (Matthew 12:20).

This is part of a quotation from the early verses of Isaiah 42, not quite exact to either the Hebrew or Septuagint, but giving the sense of the original perfectly. Isaiah had written, "He shall bring forth judgment unto truth." Matthew's paraphrase is, "He shall bring forth judgment unto victory." The whole passage evidently foretells the two comings of the Lord: first in humiliation and then in power. What we know as the "church period" is not noticed at all. Matthew cites it, in connection with the first coming, in which the Lord sought only the recognition of faith (12:16), but does not omit to include the prophetic testimony to His victory at the second coming. In that day the mystery of God will be finished (Revelation 10:7) and iniquity removed by judgment from the sphere of His rule. He will reign as the Victor over all the forces of evil that have been arrayed against Him, and share the kingdom and glory with His bride. Till then let our hearts accept the pathway of suffering with Him (2 Timothy 2:12).

2. "But when a stronger than he, coming upon him, gains the VICTORY over him" (Luke 11:22).

The victory we have already briefly considered is the climax and consequence of all that had gone before. The present and two following have reference to our special enemies. Here it is the arch-enemy himself, who is shown as "a strong man armed" holding his palace; therefore his goods are in peace. To gain the victory over him is the necessary prelude to our Lord's life of service, for into this conflict He was led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1). Victory was achieved by maintaining the place of dependence and obedience He had taken as Man. This place Satan sought to ensnare Him to leave, by acting for Himself. But Jesus overcame, and as a result, when He meets the foe again, no longer in the wilderness, but in the synagogue, as a murderer (Luke 4:28), and then as an oppressor (v. 33), it is manifested that his power has been broken.

The practical lesson for us to learn is that if we are to be deliverers of others, it is necessary to have first met the foe in secret, and taken from him his armour; then the spoil may be divided. The omission to follow this plan of campaign is the explanation of many a sad display of weakness.

3. "Be of good cheer, I have gained the VICTORY over the world" (John 16:33).

In this connection the Lord and His servants are viewed with the world in opposition to them. It is not the world in its alluring form-that had no attraction for Him. He tells them, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." Here the victory is not by the dependence and obedience which sufficed to vanquish Satan in the wilderness, though surely not without them. The divine nature itself-love strong as death-seems needed to encounter man's hatred and hostility, and alone is adequate to rise above the opposition by virtue of its quenchless power. In our case, in this same conflict, we are exhorted to put on "the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation" (1 Thessalonians 5:8).

4. "Death is swallowed up in VICTORY" (1 Corinthians 15:54).

The conflict here is with the last enemy, death; and the victory is obtained by power. The words are taken from Isaiah 25:8, where they are used in connection with the deliverance of Israel, and the blessing, through them, of the nations. Paul speaks of this very thing as "life from the dead" (Romans 11:15), indicating that resurrection power is needed to effect this result. The same writer applies this to the resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15), the glorious witness of the triumph of that power over Satan and the sin which introduced the ruin.

In connection with this victory the Spirit teaches us to say, "Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ;" and hence to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

5. "Even as I also gained the VICTORY" (Revelation 3.21).

Christ is here speaking to the angel of the church in Laodicea as "the faithful and true Witness." He speaks from His place on the Father's throne; at the same time, in a spiritual way, He walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. He is encouraging the victorious saint with the promise of association with Himself on His throne. His victory, spoken of here, evidently refers to His earthly pathway, in which He proved Himself-God's Witness, faithful and true. The church is shown in this respect to be an appalling failure, and is rejected with disgust. But there are conquerors, and Jesus, in a better way than Gideon of old, would link them with Himself, and bid them "look on Me and do likewise" (Judges 7:17).

6. "Behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has obtained the VICTORY, so as to open the book and its seven seals" (Revelation 5:5).

We must refer to verse 9 to appreciate how the victory here referred to is obtained. "Thou art worthy to take the book and to open its seven seals, for Thou wast slain"-and His death is here regarded as the purchase-price paid, not only for the saints, but for the earth, now defiled by sin, over which they will reign with Him. Hence He has the right-and He only-to deal with the horrible tangle made by sin and Satan here on earth. This He begins to do as each seal is opened; and from the details we may learn how exactly and precisely affairs on earth are controlled from heaven. The very price of wheat and barley in the markets of this world is announced by a voice in the midst of the Cherubim, where He is. What an encouragement to keep the word of His patience!

7. "The Lamb shall gain the VICTORY over them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings" (Revelation 17:14).

The previous scripture shows us the Lamb in the commencement of His actings in connection with the hostile world below. Here we see Him in one of His final dealings against the evil confederacy, gathered by devilish influences (16:13-14) to oppose Him. This confederacy has taken various forms at various times (Psalms 2:1-3; John 11:47; etc.; Acts 4:25; etc.; Revelation 2:9; 3:9). In this scripture it is seen in its last desperate effort to break the bands of God and His anointed and cast their cords off. Jesus, the Lamb, gains the victory because He is in His own right and according to divine counsels Lord of lords and King of kings. If He is to shepherd the nations with the firmness of the iron rod, He also breaks them in pieces like a potter's vessel. He who testifies these things says, "Surely, I am coming quickly." May each reader respond from his heart, "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."

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