ON BEING AN OVERCOMER
“The Book of Revelation is not a revelation of ‘stuff;’ if is a revelation of Jesus; it’s not a revelation of information; it’s a revelation of Jesus. It’s not a revelation of prophecies; it’s a revelation of Jesus.”
.-. Jack Hayford.
Revelation is also a revealing by Angels (special heavenly messengers) to the seven Churches of Asia Minor, founded by the work of the Apostle Paul but for a period overseen by the Apostle John. It was from here the elderly Apostle was exiled to the tiny prison island of Patmos, in the Agean Sea, to keep him quiet and curtail his work . Instead, while there, he authored the influential work that closed out the New Testament canon of scripture. It meant far more in his closing years, not only to the struggling South Asia-minor Churches, but to the Church in general for the next 2000+ years.
John easily identifies the source of his work as Angelic in Rev. 1: 1 and commends the words as having angelic foundation. They specifically address the seven familiar Churches of Rev. 2 and 3 and encourage a quest to become overcomers.
Each Church is concentrated upon by their own personal Angel. Some modern commentators want to equate the word Angel (ánγêloς) with the word Pastor (πoιêµê). As is obvious, the words bear no resemblance to each other. To push this robs the Church of looking for the palpable spiritual assistance, visible or invisible. It actually welcomes angelic help in overcoming. Instead, it is often unfortunately used to bolster waning congregational authority.
The most important messages ever given to mankind were given by Angels. The expected birth of messiah (Matt. 1: 20; Lk. 1: 26). The actual birth of Jesus relayed to the shepherds (Lk. 2: 8). King Herod’s jealous infanticide desire to rid himself of competition (Matt.2: 13 & 22). Later, following the inaugural 40 day fast that initiated Jesus ministry following His baptism in the Holy Spirit (Matt.4:11). Then; dramatically, the strengthening of Jesus for the ordeal of His coming crucifixion (Matt. 22: 43). It was an angel that rolled back the stone releasing Him from the tomb (Mat. 28:2). It will be Angels that accompany His return (16:27) and they will be there when we meet Him in the air (1Thess. 4:16,17).
It was the Apostle John, about 95AD, instructed by an Angel (Rev. 1: 1), who gave a great definition of Messiah Jesus in the first chapter of Revelation the fifth verse: Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn (πρωτokτoς – the before all) from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
Seeing the King, and worshipping Him, can turn a victim mind-set to a victor’s expectancy.”
John was busy telling the seven Churches right from wrong but ultimately telling us how to be overcomers for the rest of our lives. The Revised Standard Version uses the word “conqueror” instead of “overcomer.”
In future, these overcoming conquerors will: –
Eat of the tree of life [2:7] instead of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2: 17).
Will receive the crown of life [2:10]
Will be fed by God [2:17] Won’t be hurt by the second death of Rev.21:18 [2:10]
Will receive the holy passport [the white stone – 2:17]
Will receive power over nations [2: 26]
Will have a shining relationship with Jesus [The “Morning Star” 2:29]
Will be a pillar in the Temple [3:12a]
Will have His name written on me [3:12b]
Will be able to sit on God’s/Jesus’ throne [3:21]
REVELATION ISN’T AN INVITATION TO SPECULATION
–IT’S A SUMMONS TO ADORATION!
A characterization of revelation is given in Ephesians 1: 17 – 21.
The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Jack Hayford, a man not short of intellectual ability being the General Editor of the Spiritual Filled Bible Commentaries, says: “The western world mind-set is also far too inclined to separate intellectual pursuits from spiritual passion.”
We need to learn how to really worship not just sing nice songs.
Worship begins with seeing the King
Don’t bother to study Revelation until you capture this picture of,the Revealer. This book will never be understood by analysis, but it can be grasped by worshippers.
WORSHIP TAPS HEAVENS SUPPLIER OF HEALTH FOR THE BODY’S WEAKNESS!
God heals what he wants to heal whenever He wants to in spite of us.
I remember, many years ago, being invited to preach in a formerly cessationist church in a suburb of Melbourne, at that time beginning to move in spiritual gifts. At the close of the evening meeting a woman came to the front of the meeting in response to a word of knowledge. She claimed to have two particular health problems. After prayer she was asked how she felt. She claimed healing for a number of health problems but neither of the two problems earlier mentioned were among them. Ultimately The Holy Spirit did what needed to be done at that moment without bothering to ask me. Praise The Lord!
I often refer back to the 10 years ministering in Peel High School Theatre, Tamworth. It was a time of definite revival. Not only did the Church grow in that period but many miracles also came about. One of the most impressive occurrences happened when meetings concluded while the congregation exited. Standing in the doorway and overhearing comments being made between the members to each other. Often hearing them confess to healings that had occurred in their lives while the service was proceeding and that without specific prayers. Just sitting or standing in the presence of God had many times brought unintentional healing. The spirit of God did unexpected things just because He was present in power often thru’ the worship of the saints.
WORSHIP ALIGNS US WITH THE THRONE OF GOD.
Rev 4:1-5:2 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”
If we catch this 3 things will happen: –
1. We will know His glory (see this also in the Psalms)
2. We will begin to understand the presence of these unusual Angelic beings (Isa. 6; Ez 1; Rev 4).
3. People will be drawn to Jesus.
Jesus love can find anyone anywhere!
The Apostle John was interred on the penal colony of Patmos when he wrote the Book of Revelation. Just four square miles of barren rock in the Agean sea. He was there to keep him quiet and suppress the growing Christian menace. What he wrote went around the world forming the concluding book of the Christian New Testament – so much for silencing him. In less than three centuries Jesus became the centre of the Roman Empire (∞315ad).
The 18th century Moravian Movement not only influenced John Wesley and the foundling Methodist Church about who Jesus was and what the saviour could do but some willingly sold themselves as slaves so that their testimony could influence the most needy they could find and therefore give them hope for the future.
In our seeking of Jesus, may we too find Angels, His special messengers, in our quest to fulfil His desire for us to become real overcomers.