At the mention of overcomers, we will think of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation, “And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1), “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Here, the 144,000 prophesied in the verse are the overcomers whom God wishes to make. They are the ones who stand testimony during the great tribulation, and who are approved by God and qualified to. As believers in the Lord, becoming an overcomer is our longing and the goal we seek. Many brothers and sisters believe this: We’ve followed the Lord for many years, during which we’ve toiled, forsook, expended, preached the and shepherded the church. Even though we have suffered mockery and slander from the general public, misunderstanding of relatives, and persecution and arrest by the government, we never retreat. As long as we follow the Lord in this way to the end, we will be the overcomers.
Actually, our faith and will to suffer hardships are admirable, but is the viewpoint “As long as we keep the Lord’s name, cast things aside, expend ourselves, and work hard for the Lord, we will become overcomers in the end,” really right? To answer this question, we should look at what God’s words say. It is prophesied in the Book of Revelation, “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4-5), “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). God’s words say, “Those who God refers to as overcomers are those who are still able to stand witness, maintain their confidence, and their devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and under siege by Satan, that is, when within the forces of darkness. If you are still able to maintain a heart of purity and your genuine love for God no matter what, you stand witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an overcomer.” “Those who are made complete before the disaster are obedient to God. They live reliant on, witness Christ, and exalt Him. They are the victorious male children and the good soldiers of Christ.” From these prophecies and God’s words, we can know that the true overcomers are those who speak no lies and harbor no treachery in their hearts, who have their corrupt dispositions cleansed, and who closely follow the footsteps of the Lamb, understand the truth, and know God. No matter what Christ says or in what ways He works, they will follow and obey Him, exalt God and bear witness to God in all things, and their loyalty to God will be absolute and unparalleled. Faced with the terrible circumstances of Satan’s ruthless persecution, they can continue to put the truth into practice, perform their duty as a creature of God, and obey God unto death, bearing a beautiful and resounding testimony to God. The overcomers in the true sense are those who are able to do these things, not only those who toil, forsake, spend for the Lord and do not retreat during persecution and tribulations.
At this point, let’s take a look at ourselves: Though we’ve followed the Lord for many years, during which we’ve cast aside many things and expended ourselves, suffered and paid a price for the Lord, it’s undeniable that we still haven’t escaped our corrupt dispositions and have yet to be cleansed. Controlled by our sinful nature, we often commit sins, disobey and resist God. For example, when we are working, we do not pay attention to practicing the Lord’s words but do things in accordance with our own whims and desires; sometimes we exalt and testify about ourselves in pursuit of position and reputation, make the brothers and sisters look up to us, and bring them before ourselves; when interacting with others, we are able to often tell lies and deceive them in order to protect our personal interests, and when our own fame, fortune and status are involved, we can even go so far as to envy and scheme against our brothers and sisters; our working and suffering are not for loving God and satisfying God, but for obtaining the crown and rewards, so after having done some work and endured some suffering, we lean on our seniority, self-righteously asking God for a place in the heavenly kingdom; when God’s trials come upon us, we can misunderstand, complain against and even betray Him; when someone bears witness to God’s work of the last days for us, we can generate notions and carelessly judge and condemn His work. … We are still capable of committing frequent sins, being controlled and dominated by our sinful natures, and we are capable of resisting God and betraying Him. How can someone like this who has not been changed or purified be called an overcomer?
Then some people may ask, “According to our behaviors, it’s true that we do not measure up to the standard of being an overcomer. So, how can we become real overcomers?” As to this question, let’s look at what God’s words say. It is said in the, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:9). In 1 Peter 4:17 it says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” God’s words say, “I have previously said that a group of overcomers are gained from the East, overcomers who come from amid the great tribulation. What is the meaning of such words? They mean that these people who have been gained only truly obeyed after undergoing judgment and chastisement, and dealing and pruning, and all kinds of refinement. The belief of such people is not vague and abstract, but real. They have not seen any signs and wonders, or any miracles; they do not speak of abstruse letters and doctrines, or profound insights; instead they have reality, and the words of God, and a true knowledge of the reality of God.”
From God’s words we can know that, the true overcomers are those who have gone through God’s judgment and chastisement, as well as all manner of trials and refinement, and have some knowledge of God. They are those who, after accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, have their satanic corrupt dispositions cleansed and changed and no longer live by them, and who are able to conduct themselves on the basis of God’s words and live out the reality of them. No matter what tribulations or trials befall them, they are able to obey God. When Satan’s temptations come to them, they can stand witness for God, overcome the siege of Satan and break free of its influence. Only such people are the true overcomers made by God. They, when experiencing God’s work, gradually gain some knowledge of their corrupt satanic dispositions, such as arrogance and conceitedness, selfishness and baseness, and lying and cheating, see the truth of how they have been corrupted to the core by Satan and may resist and betray God at any moment, and admit that they are completely the embodiment of Satan and don’t deserve to live before God. Meanwhile, they also appreciate that God’s disposition does not tolerate any offense, and thus develop a heart that reveres God and are able to obey God and live by His words. What’s more, because they understand the truth and know God, they have discernment about negative things, and are able to see through Satan’s schemes and stand witness for God when encountering temptations from Satan. They are the ones who truly love, obey and revere God, who are completely gained by God. Just like Job recorded in the Bible: No matter what cruel method Satan adopted to torture him, be it making him lose a mountain of sheep and cattle as well as his great fortune, having his body covered with sores, using his friends to harass him, or attacking his integrity through his wife, Job didn’t submit to Satan or complain against God, but still said, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21), and “shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Faced with the trials, Job could stand witness for God, and follow God’s way—fearing God and shunning evil, so he was an overcomer who emerged from tribulation and trials. Peter is another example: He followed theall his life, took Him as his example, and pursued the supreme love of God and obedience to the point of death; in the end, he was nailed upside down on the cross for God, bearing a resounding and beautiful witness. He was also an overcomer who walked out from tribulation, a firstfruit made by God, one who entered the kingdom of heaven and gained eternal life.
The Book of Revelation also prophesies, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God: and I will write on him My new name” (Revelation 3:11-12).
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it” (Revelation 2:17).
“For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).
From these verses, we can know that the Lord will come again to speak more words to do the work of cleansing and saving man and making a group of overcomers. So, if we want to become one of those overcomers, we need to accept the Lord’s return, follow the footsteps of God and experience His work of judgment and chastisement by the word. If we can be the wise virgins who listen to God’s voice, we’ll be able to attend the wedding feast of the Lamb and obtain the truth and life from Him. In the end, after experiencing God’s work of the last days, we will not only have true knowledge of God, but our corrupt dispositions will also be cleansed to different degrees. Only then can we be considered, in the true sense, as a group of overcomers who have passed through great tribulation.