Christmas Makes the Devil Furious

December 24, 2023

Father in heaven, as we come to Your Word, we pray now that You would give us good hearts to receive just what you have to say to us. Guard us from distraction, from defensiveness. Help us to listen, to receive, to worship, and obey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Our text for this morning is Revelation chapter 12, the last book in the Bible, the second half of the book and the second half of this chapter. Revelation 12:7-17.

Let me remind you where we are in this book, and perhaps those who are visiting, to let you know what we’ve seen in this strange book. In the first six verses of Revelation 12, we were introduced to three new characters. The basic storyline is the same story we’ve seen throughout the whole book. In fact, little parentheses here, one of the best interpretive grids you can use in reading Revelation is to ask yourself, “Is this interpretation one that shows something that is basic, straightforward, and simple, or does it lead to something that is very intricate and complex?” Because what we see over and over again is behind the strange symbols, actually is a recurring message which is rather simple, basic, and straightforward. There aren’t secret codes that are used to divine what you read in the newspaper or online, but rather they give the same basic story which has been true throughout the world.

So in chapter 12 we’re introduced to these three characters – a pregnant woman, the son whom she gives birth to, and then a dragon. The dragon is Satan or the devil; the son is Christ; and the woman is not exactly Mary, it’s actually a symbol collectively for God’s people, God’s people. Now, yes, there was one woman who gave birth to the Son, but Mother Israel, you might say, or Mother Church, God’s people, from which the Messiah came forth.

We saw last week in those first six verses this ongoing conflict, that the dragon is at war against the woman and the Son, but the Son has defeated the dragon and yet he continues to pursue the woman. So the dragon has been defeated by Christ, Satan defeated by Christ, and yet he pursues the woman.

So we ended last week, the woman, verse 6, fled into the wilderness where she has a place prepared by God in which she is to be nourished for 1260 days. That’s the same as saying 3-1/2 years, or 42 months, or time, times, half a time, all of which are prophetic symbols in the book of Revelation. One of the reasons for that symbol is that is the amount of time that Elijah in the wilderness was sustained by God when he was fleeing from Ahab and Jezebel. So it becomes a numerical symbol for God’s people who are both threatened and at the same time protected.

That’s what we saw in broad strokes in verses 1 through 6 with these three characters.

Now in verses 7 through 17 we have the exact same story taking place but this time in more detail. In one sense, there’s a basic progression: Christ triumphed, the devil attacked, God’s people protected. But in another sense this story is not just one story that happened, but is the story that continues to happen. That is, the devil and his angels warring against Christ and His angels and His people. So it’s the story of what took place through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, but it’s also the story of what takes place in the world between Genesis 3 and Revelation 21. It’s the story of a powerful Son, Christ; a protected woman, the Church; and a furious dragon, the devil.

Follow along as I read, beginning at verse 7.

“Now war arose in heaven.”

So what we’re seeing here is now the heavenly counterpart to the scenes that were depicted in verses 1 through 6.

“Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!””

“And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.”

That’s the 1260 days, 42 months, 3-1/2 years.

“The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.”

Many of us will be around family at some point this week. You’ve already maybe been around family, you’re with family this morning, and I know you all love all of the family togetherness. Wonderful to be around family. But I bet that, not your family but other people’s families, I bet some of the people in the family know how to push your buttons. Whether it is by leaving their shoes out all over the house; yes, that’s one of my big buttons. By children bringing grape juice into the nice living room floor. By perhaps forks scraping on plates. Maybe airing their opinions on politics. The way they chew their food or you say it would be nice if they actually chewed their food. Maybe you don’t appreciate their helpful critiques on your parenting, whatever it may be.

Some of us have lots of buttons to be pushed. Let’s be honest, some of us know how to push other people’s buttons. In our worst moments, we enjoy making people angry; if you do it online it’s called trolling, just to sit back and watch as they get really upset. Or we’re vindictive, or mocking. That’s almost always wrong.

People may get angry but our goal is not to make them angry.

However. One exception to that rule is the devil. It is good to make the devil angry. It is important for Christians to know what makes him angry.

Now this is a wonderful time of year. The most wonderful time of the year, as the song says. I mean, this is a beautiful place and it’s all decorated and here you are and hope you’ll come back tonight for the candlelight Christmas. It really is absolutely one of my favorite days of the year, right up there with Easter.

You know who hates this? Honestly, the devil hates Christmas. We see in this passage with the birth and the triumph of the Son, what makes the devil angry. Two things in this passage, two things that make Satan furious. I want you to note them well, because we ought to do everything in our power to make him angry. Not to placate him, let alone to make him pleased.

Why is the devil angry?

Number one. He is angry that Christ has defeated him.

Number two. He is angry that he cannot defeat the Church.

Those are our two points.

Number one. The devil is angry because Christ has defeated him. That’s the first paragraph, verses 7 through 12. In particular, look again at verse 12: “Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them!” So good news for the heaven dwellers, that is God’s people. “Woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath.” He’s angry. Why is he angry? Because he knows that his time is short. He knows that he has already, in an ultimate sense, been defeated.

Now in this first paragraph we have the heavenly scene of Christ’s triumph, which mirrors the earthly scene of triumph back in verse 5. Look at verse 5: “She gave birth to a male child… To rule the nations… Her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”

So verse 5 from an earthly perspective, Jesus was born, lived, died, rose again, ascended, exalted, given authority at the Father’s right hand. That’s what happened on earth. From the heavenly view, that’s what we have in verses 7 through 12, there was, now it’s hard for us to know exactly what this was like, but there was a heavenly war, angels fighting; the dragon and his angels, and then Michael and his angels.

It’s interesting that the earthly view climaxes with Jesus going up to heaven, you see that in verse 5, He’s caught up to God going up to heaven, where from the heavenly perspective the climax is what? Satan being thrown down to earth.

One who seemed to have triumphed in the death of Christ is actually cast down, where the One who seemed to be defeated is risen and ascended and exalted into heaven. Christ has taken His power where the devil has lost his power.

Now look at verse 7 because this is unusual. We don’t think of an angelic war in heaven in the ministry of Jesus, but here we see the angel Michael. Two named angels, Michael and Gabriel. Michael is the representative of God’s people. He’s the champion of the saints. You might say when God’s people need an angel, Gabriel often is the messenger, Michael, when you need an angel to go and represent you in the heavenly sphere, it seems to be Michael. In Daniel 10:21 Michael is called the prince of God’s people who fights against the prince of Persia. Daniel 12:1 prophesies about the end times, which were ushered in with the coming of Christ and Daniel 12:1 says, “At that time, Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise.”

So Michael, the archangel, fights for us and is in some mysterious way the representative of God’s people in heaven.

But notice the emphasis is not on Michael. The victory is made possible by Jesus Christ. Look at verse 10: “I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come.” The defeat of the dragon in verses 8 and 9 is due to the victory of Jesus Christ through His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation.

Now note carefully when it says here that the devil and his angels were cast down, this is not a reference to some time pre-history when there was an angelic rebellion. There are hints of that in other places in Scripture, that Satan, or Lucifer, had some kind of rebellion and they were cast down, but rather this is thinking figuratively in history at that moment in the work of Christ and His death and resurrection and ascension, that Satan is cast down. It refers to the defeat of Satan not before creation but here at the beginning of re-creation, that is, in the ministry of Jesus.

So it is, I don’t know if this is the best analogy, but here’s the picture that popped into my head, you know that famous photo Muhammad Ali doing this, looking down at Sonny Liston. The devil’s been cast down. Now, actually, Sonny Liston got up and tried to fight a little bit and then quickly the match was called off.

Well, Christ has defeated the devil. He’s like a boxer, he has fallen down to the mat. It’s as if they’re counting the 10 count and we know that the end is coming. It’s not quite yet that the kingdom of Christ has come to be the kingdom of our world, so there’s an already, there’s a not yet, but truly Christ is standing over having been victorious over the devil so that he has already been cast down.

This is a key interpretive point in the book of Revelation which will go a long way toward determining, sometime in the spring, Lord willing, when we get there, how we are to understand the millennium passage in Revelation chapter 20.

Here in chapter 12 Satan being cast down happened in the ministry and the work of Christ on the cross and the empty tomb. Here are some verses.

Luke 10:18. Jesus sends out the disciples on their short-term mission trip and they come back and they say, “We preached and we healed and we cast out demons.” What does Jesus say? “I saw Satan fall like lightning.”

In your work, in your work, empowered by Me, He says to the disciples, it was as if I saw Satan fall.

What does Jesus say? You probably know this verse in the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” He can say that because of what we see in Revelation 12 that He has ascended, He’s been seated, and truly all authority. It does not belong to the devil any longer, but to Christ.

Or here most decisively, here’s what Jesus says in John 12:31: “Now is the judgment of this world, now will the ruler of this world be cast out.”

That’s what Jesus said in the middle of John’s Gospel leading up to the cross, that the work of Christ on the cross is that moment where the devil has been defeated.

Now you say the devil’s at work in our world. Well, yes, certainly, big time. That’s one of the themes throughout this passage. In fact, we see in this very chapter he’s pursuing the woman, he’s chasing down the woman, he’s trying to swallow up the Church. But he’s been judged, he’s been cast down, the dragon has been defeated. The Son of the woman, Genesis 3:15, has crushed the head of the serpent, which is why verse 12, the saints, here depicted as heaven dwellers, rejoice and the wicked, here described as earth dwellers, are cursed. The devil in verse 12 is full of wrath because he knows his time is short. He is a bad dog on a leash who knows that he is heading to the pound.

You say how can it say at the end of verse 12 he knows that his time is short? It doesn’t seem very short. It doesn’t seem like, it seems like the devil’s getting his way all over the world. How can you say, how does the Bible say, his time is short when this was written 2000 years ago?

Well, think of how long the final triumph of Christ will be compared to this current period of the devil’s wrath. It you want to make 2000 years a fraction of infinity years, you can’t do it. It’s so infinitesimally small.

It’s like when you’re 5 years old, some of you are 5 years old, you’ve been waiting a long time for Christmas, doesn’t it feel like? It is tomorrow. Tomorrow. But I know, kids, as soon as Thanksgiving, turn the page, well, all the stores had their Christmas decorations up after the 4th of July, but the Christmas music starts and all the decorations and maybe you’ve been reading or you have a little Advent calendar, when you’re 5 years old, a month feels like forever, and your parents, who have lived quite a bit longer, have a little different perspective. They keep telling you, oh, it is coming so fast. They say we want Christmas tomorrow and you say you do not want Christmas tomorrow. That months just goes by like this and the older you get the faster it goes, so every year adults, one of the things we’re doing is oh, I just want to enjoy this month, it’s so harried and hurried. But when you’re 5, it’s a long ways away. When you’re an adult, the time is very short.

Well, if that’s the case with children and adults, consider God, how He looks at things. On the other side of eternity, this time of the devil’s fury is short. Christ’s power and His reign are forever.

So one of the reasons the devil is so mad at Christmas is because he knows that Christmas began the process by which he was defeated. He hates all the songs we’ve been singing this morning. If you can go into a store and they don’t just have the secular playlist of Christmas songs, and I like some of those, too, but they play the Christmas hymns and they don’t even understand what propaganda they’re playing, from a new realm and from heaven come down to earth. Though it may just be background music during the month of December, you can be sure that the devil hates it because it reminds him again and again that he is a defeated devil and his time is short.

Number two. The devil is angry not only because he has been defeated by Christ, but because he cannot defeat the Church. That’s the second paragraph. In particular look at verse 17, the end of the paragraph: Then the dragon became furious with the woman, that is God’s people, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring.

I hope you love the Church, because Jesus loves the Church, and the Church cannot be defeated. It’s true. The Church on earth has lots of flaws and hardly a week goes by you don’t hear or see some story of great failure on the part of the Church or the Christians within the Church or the pastors leading the Church. The Church is full of hypocrites, sometimes heretics. Almost any bad thing you can think of is true about the Church somewhere in someplace at some time. So any bad thing you’re thinking about the Church, and you’ve come here this morning, well, you don’t know what’s happened and here’s how I view the Church, it’s true. The worst things you can think of about the Church in 2000 years across the whole globe, you’re going to find examples, lamentably so.

The church you’re sitting in this morning has flaws, too. This pastor has flaws, sins. We must all stand before the Lord with humble hearts, open to receiving His correction.

But listen, Christians, even with all her flaws, don’t you dare hate the Church. The devil wants you to hate the Church. The Church here is the metaphorical mother of Christ, elsewhere in Scripture the spiritual bride of Christ. You want to know who hates the Church? The devil. You want to be aligned with the devil? Then hate the Church. He wants to destroy the Church. He’s furious with the Church. Here in chapter 12 and in the chapters to follow, we will see him making war against the Church.

Look at the imagery here in this paragraph. Don’t be confused by the overlapping imagery. It says he makes war on the woman and her offspring. The woman is the Church, her offspring her people, also a symbol for the Church. Just like in Revelation 21 where His bride, the new Jerusalem, in Galatians 4, we’re called the children of Jerusalem, so we’re the city of Jerusalem, we’re the children of Jerusalem, we’re the woman, we’re the children of the woman. They’re saying the same thing. Yes, Christ has triumphed, the devil has been cast down, but he also pursues the woman and makes war against the Church.

Look at verse 15. You say how does the devil make war against the Church? His weapons are words. Not haunted houses, not spinning heads, but words. You notice what comes out of his mouth – water like a river out of his mouth. That is to say that the devil tries to sweep over the Church with a flood of lies. That’s how the devil wars against the Church. You hear his snaky voice in false religions, in false spirituality. You can hear his slithering tongue in books, in movies, on radio talk shows, podcasts, nightly news. You can hear it sometimes from your friends. You certainly can hear it in your own fleshly desires. Wherever there are falsehoods, which blaspheme the name of God, or simply lead us to ignore the person of Christ, to trivialize His glory, to distract from His excellencies, wherever those things are present, there the devil is at work, spewing out his watery lies, hoping to swallow us up in a flood of his deception. That’s what verse 15 is about.

We’ve seen several pictures of the Church in trial and the Church under God’s protection. So Revelation has already made this point several times with several different images. The 144,000 are God’s people, a kind of holy army, numbered and counted. God’s people have been described as the temple, as the two witnesses, kept safe for 1260 days, and now the same basic message but this time with imagery from the book of Exodus. The picture of the woman fleeing on eagle’s wings, and you do just wonder of Tolkien was picking up on this with the Lord of the Rings. I know the perennial question, “If they could just be rescued by the eagle at the end, why didn’t they just take them into Mount Doom from the very beginning? Make a very short book.” Just don’t think about that.

But the eagle’s wings is a reference to Exodus. So is the picture of the serpent being swallowed up. Exodus 19:4: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself.”

So there’s the image at Mount Sinai, the Lord says to save you out of slavery in Egypt it was if I put you onto wings of an eagle. That’s how God rescued His people.

Exodus 15:12: “You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them up.” Because what happened? As Pharaoh and his army chased God’s people and had them pinned with their backs to the sea, it was as if they were going to be swallowed up, overcome by the flood waters, but God made the waters stand up on the right and on the left and God’s people went through and the earth swallowed up Pharaoh and his army and the enemies of God.

This is Exodus imagery to say God will keep His Church safe. Just like the Israelites, all hope seemed to be lost when they had fled Egypt and looked as if they had made a great mistake. Their army in front of them, the Red Sea behind them, they had nowhere to go. Surely they would be swallowed up in the flood. Yet God preserved them.

So, Christians, I know there are many fearful things in our world. Many scary, discouraging trends, and yet don’t let that be the final word in your heart. This is the final word, that God knows how to protect His Church and lift them on eagle’s wings and ultimately to swallow up all those who would do harm to God’s people. We will be overcomers, is the message. Don’t believe the reports from the media. Don’t believe what you hear from some quote/unquote prophetic voices out there who want to make their living only discouraging and disparaging the Church.

The Church will not and ultimately cannot be swept away. “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” and soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. The Church shall never perish, her dear Lord to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish is with her to the end. Though there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail.”

What does it mean then that the devil has been cast down? Defeated by Christ, unable to defeat the Church. It means that sin has been paid for, that there is no basis to make a charge against God’s elect. The devil loses and the Church wins because the false words of the devil are no match for the true words of God.

Again, let’s think about how the devil fights against the Church. We’ve already seen out of his mouth. So his weapons are words. What do we see the devil is? Chiefly two things, and these are his schemes. He’s a deceiver and he’s an accuser. That’s his identity and those are his strategies.

Notice in verse 9 three titles, or names: The great dragon, or ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan.

So obviously the ancient serpent is a reference back to Genesis, the serpent in the garden. So he’s cunning, he’s crafty. That’s what it means that he’s a serpent.

Then he’s the devil and Satan. The Greek word diabolos means accuser or slanderer. Satan comes from the Hebrew. It means adversary or opponent. You see verse 9, Satan is the deceiver of the whole world. Just like Genesis 3, he says to the woman, “Did God really say….?” He’s a deceiver.

Or from Genesis 3 to Zechariah 3, where Joshua the high priest stands there and Satan comes to accuse him because he’s wearing filthy garments and God gives him a change of clothes, “Take off those filthy clothes and put on that which is sparkling white because I have made you clean.” Genesis 3, he’s a deceiver; Zechariah 3, he’s an accuser. That’s what the devil does – lies, condemnation, left jab, right hook. That’s the end of what I know about boxing.

That’s what he does. He has two punches. He lies to you and he accuses you. Which is why verse 11 says, look at it. Verse 11 you could argue is the very heart of the book. So there’s 22 chapters, so 11 and 11. Here in chapter 12 and I’m not sure if you counted up specific verses or words where the exact middle would be, but this is pretty close. Chapter 12, verse 11, is pretty close to the literal and the thematic heart of the book.

This is the message behind all of the strange imagery and all of the confusing numbers and what a difficult book Revelation can be. Verse 11 tells us this is what the book is about – they have conquered him. Overcomers. Nikao, nike, victory, that’s the Greek word. By the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Notice in verse 11 two weapons to combat Satan’s two devices. He’s an accuser, so you overcome him by the blood of the Lamb. You have no accusation that can stand against me covered by the blood of the Lamb. And he’s a deceiver so you overcome him by the truth of the Word of God. Accusations, Christ paid for my sins; deceptions, I have the truth of the Word of God.

Don’t miss the very end of verse 11 – the work of the devil may bring about your death, that is, he may so deceive the governments of the world or the businesses of the world or the families of the world such that Christians pay the ultimate price for their witness to Christ. It is true Christians die for their faith, but Hebrews tells us that Christ defeated the one who has the fear and the power of death. He cannot destroy you; kill you, perhaps, destroy you, not a chance. Not if you hold fast to Christ and bear witness to Christ.

You see, the devil desperately wants to be the prosecuting attorney in your life. He wants to remind you of your past, remind you of your present, maybe remind of you of this very week. All the big ways, little ways, medium ways, that you’ve messed up. The devil wants you to disbelieve in the power of God to forgive your sins and to forgive the sins of those who hate you. He wants you to make light of the cross. He wants you to be afraid of what others can do to you. Sometimes he makes false accusations. He tells the abuse victim that she’s the dirty one; it’s a lie. He tells the good father that he’s the reason his son has rebelled. He tells the young mom she’s no good at any of the things she’s trying, homemaker, friend, parent, mother. Just look at the Insta-perfect lives out there.

To be sure, the devil makes false accusations, so we need to know the truth of God’s Word and the truth about ourselves. But listen, friends, sometimes his accusations are true, which make them all the more deadly. It may be that there are people in this room who have had sex before marriage. People in this room who had sex in marriage with people you shouldn’t have. Maybe people in this room who have fantasies about members of the opposite sex or members of the same sex. Men and women with pornography in their past or perhaps in their present. Women who have had abortions, men who forced them to do so. Children who have disobeyed parents, parents who have exasperated their children. Friends who have lied through their teeth to other friends. Business men and women who have cheated. People who have been harsh, cruel, vindictive towards others and that’s to say nothing of the self-love we have, our self-absorption, our vanity, the bitterness, the pride, the sense of entitlement, the sins of commission, envy, gossip, rage, drunkenness, abuse, and the sins of omission, lack of attention to your spouse, neglect of spiritual disciplines, failure to share generously, passive/aggressive behavior… The list goes on and on.

And you wonder in those quiet moments, and the devil hates for you to have quiet moments, he’d rather you be distracted all the way to hell, you wonder is there any hope for you. And if you have a moment to think, you feel terrible, almost every day. You think to yourself, “I’m a failure. I’m a wretch. I’m dirty. I’m ugly. I’m vile.” You may feel, “I deserve to be punished. Pastor, maybe you just have nice pastor sins. I’ve got real sins.” Well, we’ve all got real sins. You may feel in that moment if only I could be slapped, if only I could be spit upon, if only I could be crushed, maybe you even feel that you deserve to be killed.

But Christian, don’t you see? All of those things have already taken place. Jesus Christ was slapped, He was mocked, He was spat upon, He was crushed, He was crucified. All of it for our iniquities, pierced for our transgressions. If you are a true believer in Jesus this morning, I can tell you on the authority of God’s Word that your sins were killed in the killing of Christ, and it’s not who you are any longer.

If that does not describe you this morning, it can. If you would but come to Christ. If you come to Christ, the devil has no place before the judgment seat of God. He has no standing to plead a case against you. Romans 8, “Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is it that condemns? Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God, and is interceding for us.”

The accusations of the devil can only be silenced by the blood of the Lamb. It’s the only way. Then world may try to tell you, “I’m a good person, I’m a good person.” They may tell you to grade on a curve. They may so distract you that you never think about your own sins, but there is only way for the voice of the accuser to finally and fully be silenced, and it’s by the blood of the Lamb. Satan is hellbent on destroying the Church. He breathes fiery accusations like a dragon. He hisses deception like a serpent. He is constantly in pursuit of you and me, of the woman and her children. But the salvation and the power and the kingdom belong to God and to Christ our King.

So verse 11 can be your story. To overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.

So here’s God’s Word for you on December 24: Make the devil mad this Christmas. Do not believe his lies. Do not give in to his tricks. Do not walk into his traps. If you have, repent. Believe. Run to Christ. Cling to Christ. Do not do the work for the devil. He is not your friend. He only wants to destroy. His time is very short. His labors against the elect will always be in vain. The devil may be furious for he knows he has been defeated by Christ and that he cannot defeat the Church, but his wrath is but for a moment. And for all those who cling to the Christ child, there will be such joy in the morning.

Let’s pray. No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found. Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. In Jesus’ name. Amen.