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“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers (conquers[1]) (overcomes[2]) him, he takes away the armour in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.”[3]

The whole focus of the overcomer is centred on the degree of power that he has, so that all the other features of the overcomer as one who overshadows, overflows, overruns, overtakes and overturns his enemies is vented out in one key ingredient—power and the degree of that power. The Amplified Bible uses the word “conquers” for the overpowering, which points to the position of one who attacks as to take and subjugate. As such, the overcomer whom Jesus is looking for from His churches who He would reward whenever He said, “To him who overcomes…”[4] means to him who overpowers and conquers, not to him who defends or survives.

As such, an overcomer is a conqueror, yet Paul wrote for the church in Rome, No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us,[5] so that we are more than overcomers in the things that Paul listed – trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword.[6] Yet as long as you see overcoming as a matter of surviving and defending, then the fullness of what an overcomer really is remains hidden. We are more than conquerors in trouble, hardship, persecutions, famine, nakedness, dangers and swords, and what is a person who is more than a conqueror? He or she is a controller. When we need to conquer, that is to overcome something, we are not in control yet, but once we are in control, then we have conquered. So, the overcomer who has the ability to overpower is really on the way to be the controller, the controller of trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword. God isn’t just the Overcomer; He never was just the Overcomer with surpassing power, but He is and has always been the One who is in control, for He is and has always been more than a Conqueror.

The Psalmist said, “You set a boundary they cannot cross…”[7] and this He displayed when He permitted Satan to touch Job thus far and no further in Job 1 and 2. Jesus showed that He was in control of His own destiny when He said, “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.”[8] “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it.”[9] “I form the light and create darkness. I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”[10]

It is not as if God forms the light and brings prosperity whilst Satan created the darkness and disasters—no, all things are from God. It is just that through the gift of free choice, we choose what we receive from God, and God knows exactly the consequence we have given ourselves through our choice. As such, He dispenses His grace and mercy to help us—and even in that He is in complete control, for He said, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy…”[11] Thus, even things that we fear and seek to avoid as the frail human beings that we are, the seven dreaded things that many of us fear more than we fear God—trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword—God is in control, and He wants us to be in control of them as He is. However, before we can be controllers, we must be overcomers, and before we can reign and rule, we must be conquerors.

The seven dreaded things—trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword—are all life threatening and life taking matters, and it is those who have not feared the loss of their life who, as Jesus said, will keep it for eternal life.[12] That is why the saints who were beheaded for the sake of their testimony of Jesus and the word of God are all coming back to reign with Him so that, having lost their lives, they are keeping it as part of their eternal lives to get to know Him as He who reigns by reigning with Him. In the Millennium, they will be able to experience being in control, which is to reign, as God is in control. However, for us in this age, we are to be raised up and to raise up witnesses of the stature of the two in Revelation 11, witnesses who will be masters of control displaying the power of the Lord entrusted to them to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the Earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.[13] These men cannot be killed unless they permit it, which is why it is not until they have finished their testimony that they permit the beast to kill them, thus giving the rest of us the final signal that Jesus will arrive three and a half days after they are killed. So, these two witnesses are more than conquerors, more than overcomers, for they have learned control to lay down their lives as Jesus did when and how they need to.

The journey from believer to overcomer to being more than a conqueror begins with the believer who becomes a disciple and a disciple who receives the Holy Spirit, not a disciple who leaves Jesus because of hard teachings.[14] Power comes from the Holy Spirit, for Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”[15] However, how much power you will receive and are allowed to manifest will depend on your growth and progression in stature before God (and before men). Now, we are no longer speaking about having some degree of power, but an excessive degree of power, an abundance over the top degree of power so that you are stronger than your enemies. This is no longer just the power to endure, the power to survive, or the power to defend, or to hold onto what we have been given, but the power to attack, becoming that someone stronger who attacks any strongman who is fully armed and guarding his possessions.

When Jesus first sent the twelve out, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.[16] That first deposit of power was given to them to preach the Kingdom of God, yet that power was not present in the nine at the bottom of the Mount of Transfiguration a few days or weeks later. So lacking was the power for the demon was not driven out, that Jesus called them, “O unbelieving and perverse, perverted[17] generation, faithless and corrupt people[18]…”[19] a statement that did not exclude the nine disciples. For when Jesus arrived when they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the Law arguing with them. So Jesus asked them, “What are you arguing with them about?”[20] See the difference between the nine who were arguing and the two of Revelation 11 who were testifying. When we argue, which we love to do, we become as unbelieving and perverse as the teachers of the Law. Why? Because Jesus said, “Do not resist an evil person.”[21] Any form of argument is in fact a form of resistance. Testimony is not resistance, for when Jesus was asked, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus answered and prophesied, saying, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.”[22] In a way, Jesus was already blessing the high priest to remain alive till He arrived. (For at that point in time, the apostles had yet to be persecuted and scatter as arrayed in Acts 8 to fulfil Jesus’ words: “I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”[23])

Failure to exercise sufficient power to heal and drive out demons does not call for arguments but for repentance. That is why you are commanded to be in continuous repentance, continuous until you have the ability to attack and overpower. Repentance can cease when obedience is complete, for complete obedience negates the need for repentance, as Paul wrote: And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.[24] Ultimately for the church, that obedience is complete with the death of the two witnesses at Jerusalem in Revelation 11 when those who could keep themselves alive choose to lay down their lives as Christ did to be witnesses that Jesus loves the Father and did exactly what the Father commanded Him when He said, “This command I received from My Father.”[25]

The nine had power to drive out demons, but their power was not perfect, which was why they could not drive it out when they needed to at the foot of the Mount of Transfiguration. We have a measure of power, but it is far from perfect, and when we, like the nine, start arguing with the teachers of the Law and the crowd, we forfeit the opportunity to perfect our power. For the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”[26] Why did the Lord leave the nine at the foot of the mountain and took only three up? It was their opportunity to experience the power they had been given made perfect in weakness. Repentance for their lack of faith and perhaps practice of the words of the Lord, instead of arguing with the teachers of the Law, thus making themselves weak or appear weak in the eyes of those who were looking for an opportunity to accuse them, was the Lord’s way for the nine to experience a perfecting of the power.

He left nine at the bottom of the mountain and took three up to the top with Him to show us that whether we are at the top with Him or at the bottom without Him, His power is always with us for His grace is sufficient for us. John wrote: From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.[27] It is the grace of God that always blesses us, not the truth, for the truth of God can judge us and condemn us. The three up at the top saw a display of power from Jesus and through Jesus, and were given a command. The nine at the bottom were given an opportunity to display the power rather than watch it, and to fulfil a command rather than to receive a new one. Those up at the top saw something new and were given something new to follow. Those at the bottom did something different; they experienced what it was to encounter a situation of difficulty and how to overcome it. Had the nine at the bottom stayed true to the words of Jesus, and instead of arguing, repented and testified to what they had done, and in humility continued to practise driving out that demon whilst they waited on the Lord, they would have succeeded, succeeded in overcoming failure and overcoming the temptation to argue, that is to defend themselves against their accusers. So, in truth, who was given the greater opportunity to come to know the power of God and become an overcomer? …The three at the top of the mountain who watched and listened, or the nine at the bottom who were given the opportunity to do something even if they failed?

Now, it is time to come to that place, not that we are slandering our forefathers, no, but to come to that place of truth. There is no mention in the NIV and OKJV concordances of repentance by the disciples, not when they disobeyed and went to Capernaum instead of Bethsaida after the feeding of the 5000, not when they failed to drive out the demon, not when they fell asleep as the Lord prayed, and not even when Peter denied the Lord. For it is written: He went outside and wept bitterly,[28] and He began to call down curses on himself,[29] but the word “repent” is not there.

Yet, “The time has come, the Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”[30] is what the Lord preached. That is why the words “unbelieving and perverse” were used by Jesus to the arguing disciples; unbelieving because they could not manifest the Kingdom of God and perverse because they did not repent. By the way, Paul is the only one who ever wrote: Forgive me this wrong![31] There is no mention of repentance that they did not wait for the Holy Spirit before they appointed Matthias. There is no mention by Peter in his letters of repenting of his hypocrisy that Paul charged him with at Galatia.

Yet, to all churches Jesus asked, demanded, and commanded repentance to the point that He used these words: “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place”[32] to the church at Ephesus, as well as to the churches of Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea.[33] The majority of churches had things to repent of. The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, said to Israel, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”[34] Grace comes and flows in abundance because of repentance; even Ahab was shown grace and given a stay of his execution when he repented.[35]

Unless you try to do something, you will never know what you can or cannot do. You can believe all you want about the words of Jesus, but unless you put them to practice, you will not know whether you can do what you believe and are commanded to do. Thus, the overcomer is not a theorist, but rather he is one who has put his faith to the test, and even tested that which he believes that he or she may know whether there is any truth to that which he or she believes in. Testimonies are not fine sounding theories born of observation only, but are born of the testing of faith, which in essence is the theories that one believes in until they are proven true.

When Jesus came and began to preach, one thing that many who heard Him noted immediately was the authority with which He preached. The crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as One who had authority, and not as their teachers of Law.[36] Part of Jesus’ authority lay in His testimony. He knew that which He was saying was and is the truth and not a theory or a doctrine that had yet to be tested. And because He always did exactly what He was commanded, and He succeeded, Jesus never had to repent. But we not only do not do what we are commanded, but when we do it, we do not succeed. As such, from us should come continuous repentance until the perfection that we have received through loving our enemies is proved by the hallmark of our success. However, there is a reluctance in us, almost an apostolic tradition in us to argue rather than to repent when we fail to do that which the Lord had told us we are able to do. You see, success comes from the Lord and when we fail, the Lord already knows the vessels He has chosen. Failure does not make you look small or bad in the eyes of the Lord when you are practising His commands, neither does success make you look anymore important, but failure does make you look small in the eyes of the crowd and that is what we argue against. Repentance before the Lord and silence in the face of our accusers when we fail to produce the result promised by the word we placed our faith in because our practice is imperfect, is the weakness that makes the power of God perfect in us. That is when the overcomer emerges out of you. When you have something to overcome, then the overcomer emerges. Before you come to the place that you are eligible for the sevenfold trial of trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword, you must first overcome yourself and your reluctance to repent. Remember, this is not a teaching for the immature, but a harder teaching for those who have been permitted to mature.[37] So, do not twist this teaching as Paul’s has been twisted.

Even though we repented when we first came into the Kingdom, indeed, repentance is the first step to entry into the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God, now even more, repentance is needed, for whenever we practise the word of the Lord and we do not produce the result, we have in truth put the word of God to shame and even His choice of us as disciples to question. Without argument, without defence, without resistance, we must learn to repent continuously even as we practise continuously the word of the Lord. Repentance ceases only for those who have died and faced judgement, or for those who should have died for the sake of their testimony and the word of God. But, until you stand before the Lord and hear these words from Him personally, “good and faithful servant,” I personally recommend continuous unceasing repentance. “Good and faithful servant” is the exact opposite of “unbelieving and perverse generation.” The latter He spoke in fact to a group of disciples; the former He spoke in a figure of speech whilst teaching from a parable. If only it were the reverse.

Thus, it is not whether you have sufficient power to overpower your enemy, for even the beast that comes out of the Abyss will be able to overpower the two witnesses of Revelation 11, but it is the manner in which you arrived to that position of exceedingly sufficient power by repentance or by lack of repentance. And after that, your degree of power is truly judged by the enemy you face. For the beast’s ability to overcome the witnesses that set the world rejoicing is merely the last act of God’s powerful delusion that will been sent so that those who are perishing will believe the lie.[38] The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.[39] The delusion set up by the death of the two witnesses is such that the world will celebrate and worship the beast and his mark in such a way that they will be “eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, buying and selling, planting and building,”[40] carrying on business as usual right up to the day when Jesus arrives and suddenly they hear these words, “Come up here.”[41] Between Revelation 11:12 and 19:19, an unknown period of time will pass allowing the beast to gather his armies to fight a battle in which will have the result that he will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendour of His coming.[42]

In order to save us from any such delusion, the Lord has blessed us with enemies like Satan who will neither give up nor surrender, but will continually resist our every step so that at all times, we will face trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword that will take the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome. These seven “things” as Paul calls them, in which we are made more than conquerors, are overcome by the seven rewards of the overcomer, that is, the seven prizes of the conqueror: To eat from the tree of life; invulnerability even by the second death; to be given some of the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name written on it known only to him who receives it; power and authority over the nations; to be dressed in white and not have our name blotted out of the book of life; to be made a pillar in the temple of God and have written on him the Name of God and the name of the city of God, the New Jerusalem, and Jesus’ new Name; and will be given the right to sit with Jesus on His throne.[43] Through the sevenfold rewards of the overcomer, we will have overpowered, that is overcome, the seven things Paul spelt out for us and become more than conquerors, that is, controllers. We will in fact control the degree of trouble, hardship, persecutions, famine, nakedness, danger and sword that can even come against us so as to reinforce the delusion for those who love wickedness and draw them out to face the Lord on His arrival that it may be clearly seen that their deeds were evil. Jesus said, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”[44]

If we who are already righteous by faith, remain in continuous repentance for our practice of His words, then we will have cut the ground from beneath those who stand in their own righteousness. Once we understand what a true overcomer is when it comes to repentance and righteousness, then we are able to punish. Once our power is made perfect by the sufficiency of His grace in our weakness, then we can attack. And attack we shall, for when our weaknesses have made us stronger then Satan, and Satan, that is those who do not have in mind the things of God but of men, as well as the devil himself, then we are as the Lord said, “someone stronger who attacks and overpowers,[45] conquers,[46] overcomes,[47] takes away the armour… and divides up the spoils.” Thus, we are and will eventually overpower and strip from man the four powers of politics, intellectualism, financial, and military might.

For now, we will continue to practise the words of Jesus and give thanks for whatever success we have so that more shall be given until we have more than enough. But to our practice and thanksgiving add continuous repentance, repentance for every practice that does not succeed so that in our weaknesses, His power is made perfect in us. He whose power is perfect will always overwhelm.


 

[1] AMP

[2] KJV

[3] Luke 11:21-22

[4] Revelation 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21

[5] Romans 8:37

[6] Romans 8:35

[7] Psalm 104:9

[8] John 10:17-18

[9] John 5:21

[10] Isaiah 45:7

[11] Exodus 33:19

[12] Matthew 16:24-25; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:24

[13] Revelation 11:5-7

[14] John 6:66, (60)

[15] Acts 1:8

[16] Luke 9:1-2

[17] NASB

[18] NLT

[19] Luke 9:41

[20] Mark 9:14, 16

[21] Matthew 5:39

[22] Mark 14:61-62

[23] Matthew 10:23

[24] 2 Corinthians 10:6

[25] John 14:31; 10:18

[26] 2 Corinthians 12:9

[27] John 1:16

[28] Luke 22:62

[29] Mark 14:71

[30] Mark 1:15

[31] 2 Corinthians 12:13

[32] Revelation 2:5

[33] Revelation 2:16,22; 3:3,19

[34] Isaiah 30:15

[35] 1 Kings 21:29

[36] Matthew 7:28-29

[37] Hebrews 6:1-4

[38] 2 Thessalonians 2:11

[39] Revelation 11:9-12

[40] Luke 17:27, 28

[41] Revelation 11:12

[42] 2 Thessalonians 2:8

[43] Revelation 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21

[44] John 3:19-21

[45] NIV

[46] AMP

[47] KJV

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