Who is an overcomer? John wrote in his 1st Epistle almost 2,000 years ago that “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. ” (1 John 5:4)
That which was born of God is spirit because God is spirit and whatever is born of spirit is spirit. Our spirit is what was begotten of God upon our initial salvation. It’s usually interpreted “born-again” but, in Greek literally means: “Born from above”. Because the Spirit realm where God abides, Heaven is “above”. So know that the “born-again” spirit DOES overcome the world, which is why the salvation of our spirit is a finished work!
However; we are a “triune” being as is God. Upon being born-again we begin a spiritual battle for our souls every day. One thing that Jesus is recorded saying in every account of His life is ~ “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”
This word translated “life” is a little misleading because it is literally “soul.” Actually Matthew, Mark and Luke all have it recorded exactly the same way in most versions until you get to the last part. ~ “36“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (http://biblehub.com/greek/psuche_n_5590.htm)
If these verses are represented to mean that we have to die to our soulish life (die to self, take up the cross for Jesus sake is ALWAYS the context) to be “born-again” then we are completely neglecting salvation/being “born-again” completely by grace through faith…Faith in the blood of Jesus and His finished work is what initially saves us (our spirit), thank you God and Martin Luther!
However; the salvation of our souls is written about extensively in the New Testament because we have to endure to the end to save our souls.
I believe this is the definition of an “overcomer” in Revelation.
REVELATION’S PROMISE ~
Jesus gave letters to John for the 7 churches in Asia and in each one He addressed “over-comers”. These are very relevant chapters in Rev. 2 & 3 to the church for the past 2,000 years or so. The entire book of Revelation describes the spiritual journey of these over-comers in spiritual terms that are meant to be discerned by the spirit and not by man’s wisdom. (Consider what Paul wrote in 1 Cor.1, Eph.1:17 and Col.1:9…ALL at the beginning of the “letters” and James also addressed in Chapter 3)
The Gospel is not understood carnally but, spiritually. That’s why Jesus said to the Disciples ~ “Blessed are you because you have eyes to see and ears to hear.” In the 7 “Letters” He finishes each one with “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.”
I believe one of the biggest problems with the religion of Christianity is not even considering needing “eyes to see and ears to hear.” But, Paul stressed to the faithful churches in Ephesus and Colosse the importance of “being filled with spiritual wisdom and insight”. Instead of depending on our ways, our understanding; we need to acknowledge God, His Spirit to guide us in all our paths (Prov.3:5,6)
At the very end of the book of Revelation 21:7,8 ~ “He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son. 8But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Not every born-again believer is guaranteed to overcome and be a “huios/son” of God. Not all children grow up into maturity. A Son is specifically more mature than a child in the N.T. It’s a very interesting study but Romans 8 makes a brief distinction that is confirmed in many other passages.~
Romans 8:16,17 ~ “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” and 8:14 ~ “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are (huios) sons of God.”
The difference is that the huios/son follows the spirit and the child simply has the spirit. The spirit leads us in the way of the cross; enduring in the “Word of patient endurance” unto the salvation of our souls. We lay down our soulish life in this world to gain it. The huios son is the one who inherits everything described in Rev.21:1-5 and not the child.
REVELATION’S INSTRUCTION ~
Rev.12:10,11 describes how the power, salvation, Kingdom of God and authority of Christ is revealed because “they did overcome him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life/(SOUL, again) — unto death;”
I don’t believe this is an event that we are waiting to happen to us or someone in the future. Jesus is waiting for us to overcome 1)the lusts of the flesh, 2)lust of the eyes and 3)pride of life NOW! 1 John 2:15-15 declares that these 3 are the things of the world that we overcome and that is the will of God and the one who does God’s will loves forever.
I can’t help but go back to 1 John 5 again; the very next verses ~ “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three who testify: 8the SPIRIT the WATER, and the BLOOD; and the three agree as one.
Do you see that? BLOOD of the Lamb, WATER of the Word and following the SPIRIT of God to die to soulish life!
“For there are three who testify: 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three agree as one.”
We are justified by the BLOOD (Rom.5:1), sanctified by the WATER of the WORD (John 17:17) and I believe glorified by the SPIRIT (John 17:22-24)!
1 Cor.1:29-31 speaks of our new life IN Jesus ~ “ that no flesh should glory in his presence.30But of him ye are reborn in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,31that, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (we glory or boast in the Spirit!)
Rev.12 again ~ “they did overcome him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life/(SOUL, again) — unto death;”