Turn you eyes away from me,
For they have overcome me.
Song of Solomon 6:5
The NKJV uses the word "overcome" 32 times - 6 in the Old Testament and 26 in the New. In the Old Testament, the word is never mentioned more than once in any book. In the New Testament, Mark uses the term once, Luke twice (once in Luke and once in Acts), Paul 3 times all in Romans, and Peter twice in his second epistle. The rest - the majority - were penned by John - in his Gospel (once), first epistle (6 times), and in Revelation (11 times) for a total of 18 occurrences. These specifically refer to Jesus overcoming the devil and the world either by Himself or by His followers. A short study in overcoming is provided for you here. I hope you're not overcome with boredom!
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it." Numbers 13:30
Caleb is one of the real heroes in the Bible. There's not a negative word about the guy in all of Scripture and he's one of only two people over 20 years old who saw God's glory at Mt. Sinai and was allowed to enter the Promised Land, the other being Joshua. After the spies went to Canaan and returned, ten of them gave a bad report to the congregation, turning their hearts from God and back to Egypt. However, going against the crowd, Caleb bravely stated the facts and said, "Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them. Numbers 14:9" He understood that to overcome, all you need is the LORD. It's not by our strength, but by that of God that we will prevail.
Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. 1 Samuel 7:10
In the time of battle, we can trust in our military superiority, our high tech weaponry, our years of training, and the huge supply line feeding the soldiers, but if the LORD isn't on our side, none of it will matter. Leviticus 26:17 says, "I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you." All the strength of our modern military doesn't matter one iota if God frustrates our aims. Fortunately for Israel at the time the passage above was written, they were protected from the Philistines and God worked for them to confuse those who warred against them. It's the same way today with the same people fighting against them. Although greatly outnumbered, God has protected little Israel from the enemies they face on all sides. He's made certain promises in Scripture and they will come to pass just as written. Is Israel more righteous than her neighbors? No. So why has God chosen to defend them as He has? Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy names sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went." Ezekiel 36.22 Despite Israel's rejection of Jesus Christ, after the rapture God will again use them. They will be used as God's instrument of judgment on an unrepentant world and they will be used to demonstrate God's infinite love and mercy on the objects of His affection. Despite many false teachings to the contrary, it's Israel who will again be the center of attention in the unfolding plan for the ages. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Romans 11:2. To understand the time in which we live and how it fits into God's prophetic timetable, all we need to do is look to Israel.
Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to make war; and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him. 2 Kings 16:5 It says in this same chapter of 2 Kings that King Ahaz didn't do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God. However, God protected the Jewish people even hundreds of years later because of his promises to King David. I think it's often the same with us. Here in America, we've turned our hearts so far from God that I expect disaster to hit us everyday. But God, who is ever merciful, still blesses us despite our wickedness. The bad are spared because there are still faithful Christians around. After the rapture, I imagine this will change suddenly and completely. The military that we've so heavily trusted in won't be able to save this country from the great disaster we deserve. Our lips proclaim Jesus but our hearts are far from Him. There's a church steeple in every town and often one on every corner, but there is very little life inside any of them. It saddens me, but it 's also the truth. At the present time, our enemies can't overcome us, but just as it changed in Israel, so I believe it will change here in America!
Turn your eyes away from me,
For they have overcome me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
Going down from Gilead. Song of Solomon 6:5
There's nothing more beautiful than another's eyes when you're first falling in love! What is it that so captivates us, even to turning away overcome by the sight? It's said that eyes are the windows to the soul and surly that's an apt description. Looking in gives us the slightest hint of the person, but not enough to be satisfied. It's as if we're able to see in......in......in just a little way and wonder what's in that head, in that heart, in that soul! But all the looking won't give us the insights we want. That's why relationships continue. I think if we could glean everything we wanted from gazing in to our love's eyes, we come away disheartened and repulsed. And maybe that's why we don't gaze into each others eyes in the same way once we've grown to know each other. Even people with the most perfect relationships hide away the things they've come to dislike about their partner. There's nothing wrong with that either. Every person is unique and what one likes is not always what another does. What one approves of may be completely wacky to the other. Time reveals those things to us and we either overlook them or tuck them out of our minds. How much more awe inspiring it is then when God looks at each one of us with our innumerable faults - totally exposed and open to Him - and still accepts us? What's wrong with us can't be forgotten by Him, nor can it be overlooked. That is, until were clothed with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Then, instead of a vile soul, He sees the beauty and goodness of His son and not our own rags and stains. Paul reminds the believer that a great Day is coming when we will see and understand our God as He now sees us: For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 Whoo hoo! Knowing as were known - I long for that Day. Until then, I'm overcome and humbled that Jesus Christ made it all right again for us despite our faults.
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Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,
Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the verdant valleys,
To those who are overcome with wine! Isaiah 28:1
Everything in moderation, and some things not at all! The Old Testament tells us not to tattoo our bodies - probably because we're desecrating the beauty that He gave each of us. Unlike many of the Old Testament rules that we can now overlook, I see this as something we should try to remember even in this dispensation of grace. We're also not to have sex outside of marriage and adultery is unacceptable because it distorts and ruins what God has ordained. Having money is something we all need - even Jesus' ministry relied on it, but greed is condemned as unnatural and vile. So it is with drinking. In the first chapter of Titus, bishops and elders are told to not be given to wine. This literally means they shouldn't be captivated by it. Just like sex and money, drinking can be perverted from something acceptable to something unacceptable. If you have a problem with sex, greed, over-indulgence in alcohol, or any vice - the only thing you can do is lay it at the Lord's feet. Confess your weakness and sin and ask Him to strengthen you when you're tempted. If you get counseling, make sure the counselor is a Christian. In all things, remember the Biblical way of handling these problems and you will overcome what has in the past overcome you.
My heart within me is broken Because of the prophets;
All my bones shake. I am like a drunken man,
And like a man whom wine has overcome,
Because of the LORD,
And because of His holy words. Jeremiah 23:9
Just as it was in Jeremiah's day, so it is today - waaaay too many "prophets" which are no prophets at all. If someone's had a vision of Jesus, he or she probably hasn't. If they say they've been visited by an angel, they're probably lying. If they say they're a prophet of God Most High, they're not. In fact, if you see someone on TV, read their book, or browse their website and they claim the title of "prophet," the best thing to do is ignore them. God has spoken and we have His Word neatly detailed in the 66 books of the Holy Bible. We need nothing else added to it. Yes analysis is super, sermons are fine, discovering and sharing patterns is great, but make sure it's done from this great Book without nutty additions by bazerko people. Jesus revealed His glory to Paul on the road to Damascus and it blinded him. He came to John on Patmos and John was overcome. If someone says they've seen Him and had a fun talk with Him, they didn't. Don't be overcome by false prophets!
Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. Mark 5:42
One thing about Jesus, the things He did simply overwhelmed those around Him. When Peter saw the great catch of fish, he was overcome. When He silenced the waves, the apostles marveled. When He was transfigured, Peter couldn't speak intelligibly. When we come to Jesus, we stand in the presence of all greatness, wonder, and glory. In today's church, there's a trend to move away from His awe and focus only on our friendship with Him. Yes, we're moved to an especially close and personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, but we must never trivialize the splendor and majesty of our Great Lord and Savior.
But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. Luke 11:22
Thank God that He sent Jesus Christ to overcome the devil and destroy his evil works. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8 In addition to that, He's made His faithful to be joint heirs with Him! Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:7 What a great and awesome God! To those who overcome through the precious blood of Christ, we can look forward to eternity with our heavenly Father!
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
I get prayer requests and requests for advice occasionally, and many times I use this verse as a reminder to people who are just plain hurting. We lived in a sin-stained world and there's death and sadness everywhere. However, Jesus Christ prevailed! He did what we couldn't do and has promised His followers that He'll return and make it all right for us. The world beats us up and then kicks us when were down, but Jesus Christ - the promise of His return - can give us peace and calmness in the worst of times. Despite teachings that life will be easy, the Bible never tells us this. Jesus Himself said that we can expect tribulation . However, it's what were looking forward to that can give us peace during this life of woe and trouble. Jesus the One who overcame for us!
And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. Acts 20:9
Was Paul this boring of a speaker (see 2 Corinthians 10:10), or did Eutychus just eat too much turkey? No, actually it says he was sitting at the window. Remember, these folks didn't have electric lights back then. In verse 8 the Greek word "lampades" is used for "lights." These were oil burning lamps and they produced a certain amount of smoke. It all had to go somewhere and Eutychus was right in the exit. Therefore, he was probably inhaling a good deal of smoke. This would be enough to make anyone drowsy even without a boring speaker and too much turkey. The poor guy probably thought he had the best seat in the house you know, looking out on the streets below, catching the night life, watching dogs bite each other, or whatever. Instead, he falls and dies! As is so often in the Bible though, good comes from the bad! Eutychus got a free taste of the after-life and was most certainly the center of attention for weeks to come. Additionally, he was immortalized in Scripture as one of the few people who were returned to life by the power of a great and awesome God! As you remember loved ones who've died in Christ, remember that they too, and you if you are His, will also be raised again by the power of His resurrection. However, this will be a permanent resurrection. All things will be new as we look forward to eternity in the presence of the Lamb who prevailed over the cross!
Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged." Romans 3:4
Suffice it to say that God is true. His Word is sure and every promise will be fulfilled.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
Paul exhorts us, as he does elsewhere, to not let evil guide out lives. As Christians, we need to pray for strength when temptations come. When we fall short, we need to confess and move on. Don't be overcome by evil - fix your eyes on Jesus!
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 2 Peter 2:19, 20
This set of verses is often used to deny eternal salvation. In other words, people use this to say that a saved person can turn away from or lose their salvation. This however, is not the case. A head knowledge and a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ are completely different. A truly converted person will, by the nature of the conversion, never be lost again. On the other hand, there are many who have come to the realization that they need a Savior and even devote their mental faculties to learning of and even teaching about Jesus Christ. However, the head knowledge never moves the 14 inches down to reside in their heart. It' these people whom Peter is writing about. If you have accepted Jesus Christ, you have overcome!
I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
I have written to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:13, 14
Having arrived at 1 John, we read the wonderful assurances of this, the first of his epistles. John tells us that because we know Jesus Christ we have overcome the wicked one - the devil. At the beginning of man's time on earth, we became entrapped by this doofus. Adam believed him and fell because of his temptation. At that moment, the devil assumed the right over him. All men, being sons of Adam, fall under the same leadership and thus, the same condemnation. However, at the dawning of the 4000th year of man on earth, Jesus Christ came, born of a virgin and of the Holy Spirit. He prevailed over the power of the evil one, destroying his wicked works. Now, by faith in His accomplishments, we too can be overcomers of the wicked one! Yes, it's that simple - His deeds, being complete and perfect allowed Him to prevail. Then, by His sacrifice of atonement, we're covered by the precious blood He shed if we only place our sins on Him through confession. What a great and awesome God we serve. What a wonderful love He has shown in the Person and work of Jesus Christ!
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Here John is referring to those who deny Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh - the spirits which enslave man and deny this fundamental truth. When you confess Jesus Christ as having been born of the Holy Spirit and yet as a man, you're saying that He is the intermediary for us to God. He is fully man and yet fully divine. To deny His human side is as much of an error as to deny His divinity. If you swing in either direction, you're not born of God but your condemnation remains. Accept Jesus Christ for who He is and overcome the world! Jesus Christ - fully God and fully Man. Our Lord, our Savior, our Mediator, our Love.
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? 1 John 5:4, 5
Again John tells us, if we are born of God we have overcome the world; we're now sons through our faith. It is faith in Jesus Christ that brings the new birth born of the Holy Spirit, marked and eternally secure through this faith. Just as you have no doubt that you were born of the flesh (you're reading this, aren't you?) you should have no doubt that you're born from above. Jesus Christ has released His faithful from fear. As it says elsewhere - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 Whoo hoo! No fear and no worries. Just rejoicing in the Lamb who prevailed over death and our own personal insecurities. Thank you Lord Jesus!
Thus far, we've learned that it's the followers of Jesus Christ who have overcome; from here we're going to see what we can expect because of our faith.
"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." Revelation 2:7
Do you remember these verses - Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. Genesis 3:22-23 There's a symmetry to the Bible that can't be mistaken - something's lost, something's regained; something goes, something returns. It all fits so incredibly well that I can't imagine people not saying "I'd better check this out a little more." Yes, Adam blew it and we lost the chance to eat from the tree of life. However, Jesus Christ regained that right for us. Through faith in Him we're given the right to this everlasting banquet! Whoo hoo!
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death." Revelation 2:11
How about that old saying, "Born once die twice, born twice die once." Here's the promise, restated in Revelation 2. To those who overcome, there will be no pain of such a death - the Lake of Fire. From the moment you receive Jesus Christ you will never die. Yes, your physical body will get old and wear out, but that's not a real death - its just a transformation of what you currently are. And if you're still around when the Lord returns, there won't even be that. Instead you'll be transformed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye! Despite what some say, even in Christian circles, the rapture is right there in black and white. The proper interpretation of Biblical passages is that if they can be taken literally, they must be. Only when something can't be taken literally (such as mountains skipping like rams) is it to be taken allegorically. Yes, the Bible says there will be a rapture. Yes, it can be taken literally. Yes, it must be taken literally. While we're waiting for it, we need to be about His business. However, I do take a moment to stop and listen for trumpet blasts from time to time...
"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." Revelation 2:17 Hidden manna and a white stone! If you've accepted Jesus Christ, these are yours. Be an overcomer today!
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations Revelation 2:26 I'd be happy to just see His face and yet He promises me so much more. "Hey Iraq, I want you to ship 400,000 tons of sand to Egypt. Japan, you need to put seaweed production into high gear -next month's sushi bash in Hawaii will be HUGE. France, I'm sending your delegates to English school." Power over the nations will certainly have its benefits. (I'm just having fun here...)
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5
An overcomer is eternally secure - it's right here in this verse. When we overcome, our name will never be blotted from the Book of Life. If you've been taught that Once Saved Always Saved is a lie, then you've been taught wrong. Jesus Christ didn't hang on a cross to provide eternal insecurity. To state otherwise is to diminish the power of His atoning death and His ability to keep His promises. He's promised us white garments. These come from His atoning sacrifice. Just as the LORD clothed Adam and Eve with skins, thus "covering" them, Jesus Christ's precious blood "covers" our sin and allows God to again look on us. Additionally, Jesus Christ Himself will confess His followers before the Father and before the angels. Our own insecurities and failings after acceptance are infinitesimally small in comparison to His greatness and ability to save.
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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. Revelation 3:12
We shall be made pillars in the temple. A pillar is an immovable fixture. In other words, we shall never have the fear of our time in eternity with God ending. One thing about this temple - as you live your Christian life be careful how you treat other Christians. Bad doctrine needs to be addressed, but just because someone has bad doctrine doesn't mean they're not saved. I was reading a short auto-biography on a Presbyterian Minister and he talked about the day he accepted Jesus Christ, later he talked about his growth in the Lord. He realized many of his earlier mistakes in doctrine as he grew. So the question is, "Was he saved when He accepted Christ?" The answer is, without a doubt, "yes." However, he was young and mixed up. Through proper training and growth, he refined his doctrine. Pointing fingers at blood-bought believers is a bad thing - particularly when the vast majority of us aren't fully mature in Christ. We have just as much error in doctrine as those we're accusing. Rather than belittling our fellow Christians, we need to correct their thoughts on bad doctrine, not on their suitability as Christians.
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. Revelation 3:21 We're sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, but as overcomers, this gives us the rights as heirs. We'll sit with the Lord. To Him belongs the glory and honor, but He turns and gives us of this right. I'm overwhelmed. Truly, I'm overcome!
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. Revelation 11:7 The beast - that doofus - will fight against the two witnesses and he'll overcome them. However, just as we're overcomers, these two will prevail and rise again because of the power of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. Don't sweat the race - the finish line has already been drawn and we already know the outcome!
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Revelation 13:7 The saints will be overcome by the forces of evil. They won't see any hope left, but if they'd just remember their Bible, they'd have no need to worry.......
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." Revelation 17:14 Hoo yeah! One of my favorite passages of Scripture! Our Lord will come back with the raptured saints. He'll be leading the armies of God, riding on a white horse. Have you ever seen a lamb fight? It's not in their nature. But our Lord is above the created order. This Lamb will fight and prevail - overcoming the forces of evil. Our Lord is a great and awesome God! Go Jesus!
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. Revelation 21:7 All things to those who overcome, we shall inherit all things. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:21
If you'd like to be an overcomer and accept Jesus Christ, please click here and follow the prayer to this wonderful Lord and Savior.
If you'd like email me, I'm at OvercomebyChrist@wonderful1.com.
Super special thanks to Michael and Tonya for their patient endurance in the Lord Jesus Christ and their enlightening me to the need to put His great love ahead of the world's troubles!
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