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In the book of Numbers chapter 13, we read about spies being sent out to view the land of Canaan. In verse 30 Caleb declared before the people and Moses "Lets go and take possession of the land, for we are well able to overcome it." This was not the popular opinion of all the spies that had been sent to view the land of Canaan. So why was Caleb sure that they could overcome the land? Deuteronomy 1:21-33: We read that sending out spies was the idea of the people. Moses was instructed to go along with their plan. In Numbers 12:16 the people were perfectly positioned to sweep the land and overcome the inhabitants. Deuteronomy 1:6: Moses declares God has confirmed that the land of Canaan belongs to His covenant people. Go in and take it. God is with you. An overcomer is a person who exercises his faith in God. 1 John 5:4,5: "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." An overcomer obeys God, not the expectations of the world.
The word “overcome,” and “overcomer” is some form of the Greek word “nikao” and “nike.” It means victory, to overpower as in a fight or battle as in Luke 11:21-22. It is applied to Christ who has overcome the world, John 16:33 and is eligible to open the scroll, Revelation 5:5. Also, the Antichrist on the white horse goes out to conquer or overcome, Revelation 6:2. He targets the saints, Revelation 13:7, and overcomes the two witnesses, Revelation 11:7. On the other hand, the saints overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, Revelation 12:11. Believers are admonished to not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21. John speaks of those overcoming the evil one and the world, I John 2:13, 14; 4:4, 5:4, 5:5. Romans 8:37 has a special word “more than conquerors” which in the Greek is “hyper-nikao” which means to “vanquish beyond” or perhaps “win big.” There are two ways a believer can be an overcomer. One is by being born again, I John 5:4. The other way is to be a victor in the Christian life. I John 5:3, 5 suggest an ongoing process where continued faith that Jesus is the Son of God is necessary to overcome the world. Being saved is not all there is, but the believer is to overcome in the battles and struggles for rewards. Revelation 21:7 may well be a certain class of believers who subdue evil. In Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21, are mentioned those in the seven churches who are promised rewards for overcoming. Note it says “to him who overcomes” which means not everyone will. It suggests some may lose and suffer defeat. The reward to the overcomer in each church is specifically designed to fit the difficulties and problems that church faces and to give them hope and encouragement. The overcomer at the church at Ephesus is not promised the hidden manna or white stone as Pergamos, Revelation 2:17, but to eat from the tree of life, Revelation 2:7. In his book “Awake My Heart,” J. Sidlow Baxter wrote: “Are all believers ‘overcomers’? Let him think twice who would answer a dogmatic ‘Yes’ to this question. The letters to the seven churches, at least, suggested otherwise to an unprejudiced reader. Our standing in Christ is no artificial position of immunity... Let our eager prayer ever be that we may be among the “overcomers.” In an article, “I Will Not Erase His Name from the Book of Life (Rev 3:5)” J. William Fuller pointed out, “A command that everyone keeps is superfluous, and a reward that everyone receives for a virtue that everyone has is nonsense.” Every believer is an overcomer or victorious because of salvation. However, in the Christian life, not every believer is an overcomer. Only believers who are victorious will receive the rewards according to the battle they fight for the Lord, and the particular race they run, I Corinthians 9:24-27, II Timothy 4:7, Hebrews 12:1-2.
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