This picture represents a Christian who remains faithful and wins the victory over painful tests and temptations. While he is tempted on all sides, he remains firm and holds out to the end, being victorious through Jesus Christ. He has not only entered the Christian race, but he is continuing in it, running with determina tion, “keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end” (Heb. 12:1, 2).
Satan with all his demons.surrounds the believing heart, trying without success to lead the child of God the wrong way. Pride, the love of money, immorality, and others, are also represented. In the place of the leopard we now see a donkey, for often sin comes to us in another way, and hides itself in a different form or name. But the watchful Christian knows it is sin even when it comes in the form of religion, or as an angel of light, for the Word of God and the Holy Spirit lead him to the truth. A man, holding a glass of wine in the one hand, dances around the Christian and tries to tempt him with the false pleasures of the world. It has, however, no effect on the dedicated Christian, as he has been put to death with Christ as far as sin and worldly desires are concerned. The second man in the picture, is stabbing the Christian with a dagger. Insults, gossiping, mocking and threats through unbelievers – and very often through so-called believers – are constantly stabbing the heart of the true believer. But he does not listen to what people say and cares only about what God says. He remembers the words of Jesus. “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven” (Matt. 5:11,12).
THE STAR of his conscience is clear and bright. His heart is full of faith and filled with the Holy Spirit. The angel, as the Word of God, reminds him of the rich blessings given to them that win the victory and hold out to the end. “To those who win the victory I will give the right to eat the fruit of the tree of life that grows in the Garden of God.” “Those who win the victory will not be hurt by the second death.” “To those who win the victory I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give each of them a white stone on which is written a new name.” “To those who win the victory, who contin ue to the end to do what I want, I will give the same authority that I received from my Father.” “Those who win the victory will be clothed like this in white, and I will not remove their names from the book of the living. In the presence of my Father and of His angels I will declare openly that they belong to me.” “I will make him who is victorious a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never leave it.” “To those who win the victory I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on His throne” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5,12, 21).
THE OPEN BAG OF MONEY shows that not only his heart, but also his money is dedicated to God. Instead of wasting his money, he is helping the poor, giving his tithes (the tenth part of his income) and offerings or even all he possesses, to God, using everything for the glory of God.
THE LOAF OF BREAD AND THE FISH indicate that he lives a clean and self-controlled life. He does not spoil his life with strong drink or by eating unclean food (Acts 15:20). He does not waste his money, neither does he destroy his body (which is the temple of God), by chewing or smoking tobacco in any form, neither does he use drugs or harmful medicines, but eats whole some, clean, nourishing food. His own heart has become a house of prayer. He also attends church services regularly and respectfully, in all kinds of weather and under all circumstances. He loves prayer, whether it be in the church or with his family, or in his own room, for he knows that a Christian cannot grow without communi cating with God in prayer.
THE OPEN BOOK indicates that the Bible is an open book to him, and he reads and studies it daily, finding wisdom and strength, life and light, and countless riches in it. It has become a lamp to guide him and a sword with which he defeats the devil. It is the daily spiritual food for his soul, water to put an end to his thirst, a bath in which to clean himself, and a mirror in which he sees himself.
He loves to carry his cross, for he knows that there will be no reward without the cross. As he knows that he has risen with Christ so that he might live a new life, he sets his heart on the things that are in heaven, keeping his mind fixed on things there, not on things here on earth (Col. 3:1-2). He is ready to meet God, and is like a tree that grows beside a stream; that bears fruit at the right time (Ps. 1:3); like a branch of the real vine, bearing much fruit. He does not know the fear of death, for the perfect love of God, which he has received through the Holy Spirit, has filled his heart.