Becoming an Overcomer
An overcomer is a disciple in deed who continues in the Word to overcome the sin nature in the soul and flesh to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
John 8:31-32 KJV: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 15:1-2, 6 NIV: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
Not all Israel is Israel , but those that bring forth the fruit of the Spirit are counted for the seed: those who allow the lusts of the flesh to choke the fruit the spirit are not counted for the seed even though they were originally born-again.
Romans 9:6-8 NKJV: For they are not all Israel who are of Israel , 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.
Galatians 5:16-18, 24 NIV: So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
So overcomers are Christians who use the nature of God in their born-again human spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the sinful nature in the soul (i.e. mind, will and emotions) and flesh.
Now, as we become greater and greater overcomers our calling and election becomes sure.
Our calling and election are not the same thing; what is the difference?
Our calling refers to our invitation to go to heaven; while our election speaks our selection or choice to the fulfillment of our destiny.
So by increasingly becoming an overcomer we make firstly our going to heaven certain and secondly we make the fulfilling our destiny certain.
These truths are revealed in the rewards of the overcomer stated by the Lord Jesus to the churches through John in Revelation 2 and 3.
There are 7 increasingly glorious rewards given to the overcomer:
1. Revelation 2:7 NKJV: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
2. Revelation 2:11 NKJV: He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.“ ‘
3. Revelation 16:17 NKJV:
17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ‘
4. Revelation 2:26-28 NKJV: And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— 27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’– as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
5. Revelation 3:5 NKJV: He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments,
6. Revelation 3:12-13 NKJV: He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘
7. Revelation 3:21-22 NKJV: To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Observe that these rewards are revealed using primarily symbolic language and they are a foretaste of the powers of the age to come (Heb. 6.5) that overcoming Christians can experience now in this dispensation.
Reward no. 1 speaks of partaking of the divine nature using the promises in the written Word (Pr. 3.18, 2 Pet. 1.4).
Reward no. 2 speaks of not being hurt of the second death: not going to hell (Rev. 20.14) which speaks of the certainty of going to heaven and so speaks of making your calling sure.
It is instructive to note that an overcomer cannot afford to retrogress in the things of the spirit: he must to continue to increase in his commitment and diligence in the things of the spirit. He may fall and stumble but he must rise again (Pr. 24.16) and continue to move forward in the things of the spirit. Otherwise, if after receiving reward no. 2 which makes his calling to heaven sure, he retrogresses, God will cut him off physically so that he will certainly go to heaven though he will lose some of the other rewards and some of his destiny (2 Jn. 8, Is. 57.1, 1 Cor. 5.5).
Reward no. 3 speaks of receiving revelation from the Word of God that leads to personal inner purity (i.e. ‘white stone’ (Mt. 16.17-18)) that will give a ‘new name’: a new character, like Jacob whose name and character was changed to Israel (Gen. 32.28).
Reward no. 4 speaks of having power over the nations: wielding spiritual authority over nations through prayer and intercession like Daniel (Dan. 4.17).
Reward no. 5 speaks of ‘being clothed with white raiment’ which is symbolic of the spiritual purity of the physical body (2 Cor. 5.4). A condition in which of all the sin nature in the physical body has been cleansed out by the divine nature (2 Cor. 7.1, Heb. 10.22).
Reward no. 6 speaks of becoming a ‘pillar in the temple of God’, ‘no more going out’ and ‘having God’s name written on him’. This speaks of a permanent operation in the mature love of God (1 Jn. 4.8, 12, 16; Jn. 15.7, 16) and so speaks of making your election sure. Like the Apostles John, Peter and James who were called ‘pillars’ (Gal. 2.9).
Reward no. 7 speaks of ‘sitting on God’s throne with Christ’ this means experiencing the same spiritual Kingly power Jesus operated when He was on the earth (Jn. 14.12).
It is instructive to further observe that Christ Himself progressively inherited these rewards: the last one manifesting after He returned in the power of the Spirit from the temptation in the wilderness. His election was sure when He was baptized by John at the Jordan (Lu. 3.21-22) however His operation as a King with power (Eccl. 8.4) , signifying as it were His spiritual coronation, began when He returned from the 40 day fast in the wilderness in the power of the Spirit (Lu. 4.13, 14).
We become overcomers and so inherit these rewards (not gifts!) by faith and patience (Heb. 6.12) in walking in the love of God by the power of the Holy Spirit using the Word of God with increasing diligence and efficiency until we attain the perfection and fullness of Christ.