A Gift to the Overcomer
He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna,
and will give him a white stone,
and in the stone a new name written,
which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
~ Revelation 2:17
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines overcome as:
1. To conquer; to vanquish; to subdue; as, to overcome enemies in battle.
2. To surmount; to get the better of; as, to overcome difficulties or obstacles.
3. To overflow; to surcharge.
4. To come upon; to invade.
TO OVERCOME, v.i. To gain the superiority; to be victorious.
Romans 3 depicts Jesus’ obedience unto death: Through His overcoming (victory) He has been given the authority and power to judge the world of sin. The very nature of sin commends Jesus’ righteousness.
Overcoming according to this principle is not always an easy or simple task. It requires full obedience.
True saving faith necessitates obedience even if it means picking up our cross to the losing of our life.
The Judge, The Overcomer
Christ as judge does not overlook the sinful ways of those who follow after those that, “seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols” (Revelation 2:20).
We cannot entertain any sexual immorality in thought, word, or deed. The principle of obedience of faith in Christ extends this one prohibition to every type of sin. We are to abhor all evil and cling to that which is good.
Those that do allow these seductive inducements will suffer wrath and judgment if not repented of and abandoned.
Nor should we tolerate sitting under those who teach or make profane that which is God calls holy, namely ourselves (temples of the Holy Spirit), our lives (sacrifices of faith), and His precepts (forsaking the assembling of ourselves together).
We are not forsake any New Testament teaching. A foundational one is: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together weekly. Christ started this tradition with the apostles by meeting with them the first two Sundays after His resurrection.
Can you imagine meeting and worshiping the Lord like that and then just deciding to go to church (or not) when you wanted to or felt like? We are called to remember our first love when we got saved. Everything in New Testament is a picture of this.
The seductions mentioned in Revelation 2:20 are understood as broad in meaning by the underlying principle of overcoming:
Taking our eyes off the Lord as our sole source of inspiration and needs and replacing our earthly needs with anything outside the parameters of scripture.
Does God Tolerate Sin, Compromise, or Corruption?
The is what we are to overcome and it is done through obedience to faith in Christ.
The only reasonable act that can bring success as an overcomer is to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable according to God’s excellent standards.
There is no other way to show we have overcome, than to approve within ourselves through the Spirit, the will of God.
This is why it is so very important that we take seriously all of Jesus’ instructions including, “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). There are critically important doctrinal implications to be discovered when we seek complete obedience of faith in the whole counsel of scripture.
We cannot ignore parts of the new covenant such as (1 Corinthians 11, 1 Timothy 2, Titus 2). Read the whole chapters. Apply them to your life. I guarantee, many Christians will protest your obedience and defend their disobedience without you ever even saying a word.
For in your obedience to the Word of God, conviction of sin is wrought. Salt and light is revealed and has its effect of righteousness and judgment. Not of your own but of the will of God.
This type of obedience also reveals how much darkness the world unknowingly lives in and is by its very nature is opposed to holy and righteous biblical principles.
God is faithful. When Christians are truly submitted by faith, He will lead them to increased obedience.
Complete obedience being the goal, obtainable only through fervent prayer and total consecration to the will of the Holy Spirit.
One of the great failings of our churches today its salt has lost its savior:
The decline of church discipline is perhaps the most visible failure of the contemporary church. No longer concerned with maintaining purity of confession or lifestyle, the contemporary church sees itself as a voluntary association of autonomous members, with minimal moral accountability to God, much less to each other . . . the present generation of ministers and church members is virtually without experience of biblical discipline . . . By the 1960s, only a minority of churches even pretended to practice regulative church discipline.”
Church Discipline: The Missing Mark, R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
If we break this chain of failure in our lives, Jesus will give us precious and eternal promises.
In (Revelation 2:17), the church in Smyrna tolerated the doctrine of Balaam, which taught that carnality and idolatry, was tolerable in church.
This teaching, similar to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is alive and well in the church today.
Through corrupted biblical leadership (pastors compromised in sin or not truly called to preach), the church is fed the same compromise found in the pulpit, which leads to doctrines of the flesh and continued sin in the pews.
The following is a list of Christ’s promises to the overcomer in Revelation:
- He that overcometh will eat the tree of life (Rev. 2:7)
- will not be hurt by the second death (2:11),
- will eat the hidden manna and have a white stone upon which a new name is written (2:17),
- will have power over the nations (2:26),
- will have the morning star (2:28),
- will be arrayed in white garments and his name will not be blotted out of the book of life (which implies they can be and many will be. Otherwise, this promise would have no meaning).
- Christ will confess his name before the Father and the angels (3:5),
- will be a pillar in the temple of God (3:12)
- will bear the name of God and of the city of God
- will have a new name (3:12),
- and will sit down with Christ in His throne (3:21).
These are all gifts to the overcomer: those victorious over sin through unfeigned love and obedience to our Holy Father.
“The deep, secret dealings of God with each of us during those times by which our sonship is assured and our spiritual strife carried on to victory, can, when revealed to us in the other blessed state, be known thoroughly to ourselves only.” ~ Dean Alford.
Some biblical examples of new names:
God gave a new name to Sarah (Gen. 17:15)
Jacob changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28)
Christ gave a new name to Peter (Mat. 16:18).
In closing, we are called to remember, overcome, and persevere unto the end (1 John 2:24).
In this, we may share in His glory forever.
His ways are higher than ours. He can pour down His love on our heart and completely change our thinking, dispositions, and nature.
If we fall humbly at His feet and cry out with a contrite heart, “God be merciful to me, a sinner, I give you my life to you. Do with it as you will.,” He will be faithful unto the end.
My prayer is that you are given a rich and precious white stone.