Participants: Jack McIntosh
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000017
00:29 Hello, I'm Jack McIntosh from Weimar Institute.
00:32 And today we're going to talk about a very important topic.
00:37 That topic is "The subject of Overcoming."
00:42 In the Book of Revelation
00:44 "The subject of Overcoming" is mentioned
00:46 not once, but seven times.
00:50 And so if we want to have a good understanding
00:53 of that we need to go to that Book of Revelation
00:55 to look at what the Lord was driving
00:58 at when he encouraged us seven times to overcome.
01:02 We're going to be looking
01:03 at Chapter 3 verses 14 to the end of the Chapter.
01:10 And we will begin, however,
01:13 with just a brief prayer to ask for His special blessing
01:16 as we study that is
01:17 very important topic of Overcoming.
01:19 Let's pray.
01:22 Dear Father in Heaven,
01:24 we know that Your sweet spirit
01:27 is the only true interpreter of the scriptures.
01:31 And so today as we open Your word
01:34 to study the important topic of Overcoming,
01:37 we pray that You would bless us.
01:38 We pray that You would speak to us, instruct us,
01:43 and teach us in the way we should go.
01:44 Guide us with Your eye.
01:46 And remember Lord that You promised us
01:49 through the words of Christ
01:50 that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things
01:53 and bring all things to our remembrance
01:56 in His name we pray. Amen.
01:59 All right. So let's look then at the topic of Overcoming.
02:05 You know, in most in many sermons
02:09 I should say that I hear today,
02:11 it's almost as if when you accept the Lord Jesus Christ
02:15 there is really nothing else for us to do.
02:18 In fact, I've heard many people say,
02:20 "We really have to just let go and let God."
02:24 And, in a very real sense what they're saying is,
02:27 there's really nothing for us to do.
02:28 God does everything and we do nothing.
02:31 But the plan of redemption seems to require us
02:33 to cooperate with God.
02:35 It seems to require us
02:36 to put on the full armor of God for instance.
02:40 It requires us to do something about the condition
02:43 of the poor and the suffering around us.
02:46 And it requires us to do battle with our sinful nature
02:51 so that we might overcome.
02:54 But in a very, very specific way
02:55 as we will see in a minute.
02:57 We're looking now at Revelation Chapter 3,
03:00 and we will pick it up at verse 14,
03:03 the angel addresses or rather
03:05 Jesus addresse the Laodicean church.
03:09 By the way, the term Laodicean means
03:13 the judging of the people.
03:15 And so this is clearly being addressed to the last church
03:21 that will be in existence
03:22 before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth.
03:26 Notice what it says,
03:28 "These are the words of the Amen,
03:31 the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation,"
03:34 clearly an identification of Christ Himself.
03:37 "I know Your deeds,
03:40 "That You are neither cold nor hot.
03:42 "I wish You were either one or the other!
03:44 "So, because You are lukewarm-- neither hot nor cold--
03:48 I am about to reject You or spit You out of my mouth."
03:54 "You say, 'I am rich,
03:56 I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.'
03:59 "But You, meaning the church,
04:02 "Do not realize that You are wretched,
04:05 pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
04:11 That's a--that's a pretty revealing indictment there
04:15 of what the church in the end of time is really like.
04:18 And then He says, "I counsel you to buy from Me
04:23 "gold refined in the fire,
04:25 "so that you can become rich,
04:28 "and white clothes or white Raymond,
04:30 as the King James says, to wear,
04:32 "so you can cover your shameful nakedness."
04:36 This is a pretty discouraging picture,
04:39 isn't it, of the last church.
04:41 Then it goes on, "And salve to put on your eyes,
04:44 so that you can see."
04:45 So we've a church that is blind,
04:47 that is wretched, poor, and miserable and naked,
04:53 a very interesting description of the last church.
04:57 Now He says in verse 19.
05:00 That was the bad news. Here is the good news.
05:03 The good news is this,
05:05 "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline."
05:12 In other words I understand your condition,
05:15 but I don't want you to lose side of the fact
05:18 that I'm in love with you.
05:20 I want you to be with me in my kingdom.
05:24 And so when I counsel you to buy new gold,
05:26 fight in the fire, and fight Raymond's
05:28 and I saw to put on your eyes,
05:31 I'm giving you a prescription to an affect, remedy,
05:37 this blindness and nakedness and all of the other things
05:42 that are happened part of this indictment.
05:45 "Those whom I love I rebuke
05:47 and chosen so be earnest and repent."
05:52 Here it is, God expects us to repent.
05:56 Now of course, we all know that we cannot repent without God.
06:00 But we've to be at least willing to repent.
06:03 We're not willing to repent.
06:04 There's no amount of giving of repentance
06:06 that God can do that would actually
06:08 move us toward repentance.
06:09 We've to be, we've to have a willing heart
06:12 to receive His repentance.
06:14 Verse 20, "Here I am, I stand at the door and knock.
06:19 If anyone hears my voice
06:23 and opens the door, I will come in.
06:25 Now this is of course a general invitation
06:27 to every person on the face of the earth.
06:30 He stands at the door of every heart and He knocks.
06:33 I heard someone say once that Christ is a gentleman.
06:36 He doesn't push the door in
06:38 someone else said the door knob is on the inside
06:41 and you have to open it.
06:43 But, the Lord says, "If you open the door notice,
06:46 if anyone hears my voice and opens the door you see,
06:50 the Lord doesn't say that He opens the door,
06:52 he says you open the door.
06:54 If you hear my voice and open the door
06:57 I will come in that's a promise.
07:00 If you invite me to come in that I'll come in,
07:05 and dying with you or eat with you and he with me."
07:08 Now we come to the last part of this little discourse,
07:14 this little warning that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself
07:18 gives to the last church the seventh church,
07:21 the church of the judgment, the Laodicean church
07:24 He says to them, "To him who overcomes,
07:28 I will give the right to sit with me on my throne."
07:32 Now if you read carefully the other declarations
07:36 to the other six churches,
07:38 now one of those churches has the privilege
07:42 the enormous and wonderful blessing
07:45 and privilege that the last church has.
07:47 The last church actually sits with Christ on His throne,
07:51 which is of course a symbol of rulership.
07:54 Somehow those who overcome in the end of time
07:58 will be given the opportunity of rulership with Christ,
08:02 that's a mind boggling thing to realize.
08:05 That through the overcomer in the end of time.
08:09 God has made a very, pardon me, special promise
08:13 that He is going to give them cold rulership with Himself.
08:17 Notice, "To him who overcomes,
08:19 I will give the right to sit with me on my throne,
08:25 and then He says something that is very, very insightful
08:28 and which is really what stimulated
08:30 this presentation today.
08:31 Here's what He says,
08:34 "Just as I overcame and sat down
08:38 with my father on his throne,
08:42 he who has an ear, let him hear
08:44 what the Spirit says to the churches."
08:48 So we have then a very interesting declaration
08:52 there concerning Overcoming the last one
08:54 that he says to the church.
08:56 But he tells us to overcome just as he overcame
09:00 and we're going to deal with that in a minute,
09:02 but come with me first to Revelation 21
09:05 and let us look at the New Jerusalem.
09:11 The city of God coming down out of heaven,
09:14 verse 1 of Chapter 21,
09:17 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
09:19 the first heaven and the first earth were passed away,
09:21 and there was no longer any sea."
09:23 I saw the holy city, listen to this beautiful description,
09:27 the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
09:30 from God, prepared as a bride,
09:34 can you picture it, a beautiful bride,
09:37 a beautiful city descending slowly,
09:41 slowly down to the earth.
09:42 Shimmer, beautiful, and it's apparent.
09:46 Prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
09:51 What a picture?
09:53 The earth made new and I heard a loud voice
09:56 from the throne saying now
09:57 the dwelling of God is with men.
10:00 You know, what that means,
10:02 God Himself is going to change His address.
10:07 He is going to change His address
10:08 from heaven to earth that's what it says,
10:11 doesn't it, doesn't it, notice,
10:12 now the dwelling of God is with men."
10:16 You see we're going to dwell on the earth
10:18 and the earth made new and God has made a promise
10:21 that he's going to change his address
10:23 and come to dwell with us.
10:24 What an enormous privilege that we have,
10:26 that we see this beautiful city
10:29 descending and God Himself coming to be with us.
10:32 And he will live with them,
10:33 they will be his people.
10:36 We're talking about enormous privileges notice,
10:39 "And God himself will be with them and be their God."
10:43 I mean that says this in so many different ways,
10:45 God doesn't want us to misinterpret
10:47 what He is saying here.
10:48 He is going to change His address.
10:50 He is going to come and live with human beings.
10:53 That is mind boggling to think
10:56 that the God of the universe will actually come
10:58 and live with us, but it goes on,
11:01 "He who was seated on the throne said,
11:02 I'm making everything new.
11:04 Then he said, write this down,
11:06 for these words are trustworthy and true."
11:09 And he said it is done, I'm the Alpha and the Omega,
11:12 the Beginning and the End.
11:13 To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost.
11:16 Then He says in verse 7,
11:19 "He who overcomes will inherit all this,
11:25 in other words he will not only sit
11:27 on the throne with God,
11:29 he will be a part of the new Jerusalem
11:31 and have the privilege to go into the new Jerusalem
11:34 and it says, he will inherit all of this,
11:40 and I will be his God and he will be my son."
11:47 Now what does it take
11:49 then to overcome as Christ overcame.
11:52 Well, we've a little clue over in Revelation 22:14,
11:57 we see the following.
12:00 "Blessed are those who keep His commandments,
12:05 who do His commandments
12:06 that they may have the right to the tree of life."
12:10 So, apparently gaining entrance to that city
12:15 has something to do with Overcoming our own will
12:19 and following the will of God,
12:20 which is of course expressed in his law.
12:24 Those who enter the city
12:26 or those who keep the commandments of God.
12:29 Now of course, what do we have to overcome?
12:31 Well, we've to overcome ourselves, don't we?
12:33 Our own self willed nature.
12:35 The Apostle John says it this way
12:37 in First John 2 in verse 17,
12:42 "The world is passing away,
12:44 but he who does the will of God abides forever."
12:48 So obviously what we have to overcome is selfishness
12:54 and our own will in order to do the will of God.
12:59 It's also important to realize that the Apostle Peter
13:04 in Second Peter 4 presents to us--
13:11 I'm sorry Second Peter 1 and verse 4
13:14 presents to us the antidote for this whole business
13:17 of following our own nature.
13:19 He says, "Through these being his glory and goodness
13:24 he has given us his very great and precious promises,
13:28 that through them, that is through these promises,
13:31 you may participate in James says,
13:35 partake of the divine nature
13:37 and escape the corruption in the world notice
13:41 caused by evil desires."
13:43 So, the corruption in the world
13:45 is caused by the evil desires with men
13:48 and we've to overcome our evil desires.
13:51 Now it's very obvious that Christians have evil desires.
13:53 We have two natures.
13:55 We've a divine nature given to us by God,
13:57 but we've a second nature
14:00 that we were born with that we inherited
14:03 from Adam and Galatians Chapter 5 says
14:06 these two are in conflict
14:08 and the question is which nature is going to win.
14:11 That's the question at the end of time.
14:13 Which of our two natures is going to win in this contest
14:19 and which nature will overcome the selfish nature
14:23 or the new nature of love that is the question.
14:26 Now let's go back to Revelation 3:4 a moment
14:29 because Jesus in his last declaration to the last church
14:34 the seventh church the church of the judgment
14:38 gives us that little clue that tells us how to overcome.
14:43 Remember, He says in verse 21,
14:45 "To him who overcomes I will give the right to sit
14:48 with me on my throne, just as I overcame."
14:55 I remember in my devotional time
14:57 one morning reading that and the spirit said to me
15:02 how did Jesus overcome.
15:05 And so I started to search to find out
15:08 how he overcame and immediately
15:10 my mind went to of course a very fresh conflict
15:14 that Jesus had, hand to hand conflict
15:17 I should say that is with the devil
15:20 and we find that in Matthew Chapter 4.
15:24 Jesus is telling us about Overcoming,
15:26 but He is telling us that we're to overcome
15:29 just the way he overcame.
15:30 So, if we're going to be successful
15:33 at this business of Overcoming
15:35 we've to follow what Jesus did.
15:37 And if you notice in Matthew Chapter 4,
15:41 we pick it up at the very first verse,
15:44 Jesus is led by the spirit into the desert
15:46 to be tempted by the devil.
15:49 After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry.
15:53 The tempter came to Him and said,
15:55 if You're the son of God tell these stones to become bread.
15:59 Now of course the tempter
16:02 knows a little bit about history
16:04 and He knew that the way
16:07 that He got access to the human race was how?
16:10 Through man's appetite
16:12 and here is Jesus the creator of heaven and earth
16:16 He knows who He is the son of God
16:19 and He presents with little challenge.
16:22 So, so you're little hungry, are you Jesus?
16:26 Well, why don't you make some of these stones into bread?
16:30 The devil was being very, very sure you see.
16:34 Jesus was now a man,
16:36 remember that Jesus referred to himself
16:38 many times as the son of man,
16:41 which means of course that he had a human nature.
16:43 And he was very hungry.
16:46 You would be very hungry yourself after 40 days.
16:48 I get hungry after five or six hours as much of 40 days.
16:52 But, here he was hungry and the devil says listen,
16:55 "I know you're hungry, why don't you--
16:58 why don't you make some bread out of these stones.
17:00 You're the son of God, you've that kind of power,
17:01 go ahead and make some bread here
17:05 and let's see if you're really the son of God.
17:08 You see, the devil had him on his ground, didn't he?
17:12 He is human, he is hungry.
17:15 Now, Jesus could have resorted to his divinity,
17:18 but remember what He says in Revelation 3, verse 21.
17:21 He says we're to overcome as I overcame.
17:25 Now, we've Jesus at the weakest point
17:29 probably in his earthly existence up to that time.
17:33 Here is the devil himself in front of him,
17:36 now He has a decision to make
17:39 and I'm going to satisfy my human appetite,
17:42 which is the way the world fell
17:43 and to send in the first place.
17:45 Or am I going to follow
17:47 the will of God that was the question.
17:50 And whole human race,
17:52 the whole human race our destiny depended on
17:55 how Jesus responded to this one question.
17:59 This one challenge from the devil.
18:00 And here's how Jesus overcame,
18:03 "Jesus answered, it is written,
18:09 man shall not live on bread alone,
18:11 but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
18:14 By the way, there was no new testament
18:16 there for him to draw from,
18:20 he only had the old testament.
18:22 And so, all he could do is quote
18:25 from the Book of Deuteronomy there
18:26 Chapter 8 and verse 3, is what he was quoting from,
18:30 he was quoting from the word of God,
18:33 the very word that he had given to Moses.
18:35 It is written and he overcame the enemy using it is written.
18:40 And of course if you're a student of the scripture
18:43 as you know, that the devil came three times
18:47 and three times the Lord said it is written.
18:55 Over in Romans, Chapter 13 or rather Romans Chapter 8,
19:00 verse 13 rather, the Apostle Paul gives us
19:04 some very interesting advice about Overcoming.
19:08 And that's Romans time,
19:14 I'm in trouble finding Romans today.
19:17 Romans 8 and verse 13,
19:21 the Apostle Paul is talking
19:22 about the whole business of Overcoming
19:24 and he says in verse 13,
19:28 "If you live according to the sinful nature,
19:31 you will die."
19:34 Now just before we said that there are two natures
19:37 we've a loving nature given to us by God.
19:40 God is love and He imparts this divine nature to us.
19:45 But we've a sinful nature
19:48 the very essence of which is selfishness.
19:52 You realize that, don't you?
19:54 The very essence of the sinful nature is selfishness.
19:57 And the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:13 says to us,
20:03 "If you live according to the sinful nature,
20:06 you will die."
20:09 That's a very plain declaration.
20:11 You cannot allow the sinful nature
20:13 to have control of you or you will die.
20:17 Now he says, but if by the spirit
20:22 you put to death the deeds of the body,
20:25 the misdeeds of body you will let in other words
20:30 there's something for you to do in this conflict.
20:34 And Paul uses military terms
20:37 to describe this something
20:41 that you must do in order to overcome.
20:44 What is that, that you've to do,
20:46 he says by the spirit
20:50 you're to put to death the deeds of the body.
20:54 Now, what is he talking about by the spirit
20:56 put to death the deeds of the body?
20:58 Well, in order to put to death something remember
21:02 these are military terms in order to put to death
21:05 something you've to have a weapon.
21:07 And the definition of the weapon
21:10 and notice that the spirit it says by the spirit
21:13 so obviously this weapon
21:15 has to have something to do with the spirit.
21:18 What could it be?
21:19 Well, over in Ephesians 6 and verse 17,
21:23 we find the definition of this weapon
21:28 that is given to us by the Holy Spirit.
21:30 Remember what Paul says,
21:32 if by the spirit you put to death
21:34 the misdeeds of the body you would live.
21:37 So this is a spirit generated weapon
21:41 if you will and notice
21:43 what the Apostle Paul over in Ephesians 6 says,
21:49 "Take the helmet of salvation
21:52 and the sword of the spirit,
21:55 which is the word of God."
21:57 You see there is such beautiful harmony here.
22:01 Here we've the Apostle Paul telling us
22:03 that we can stab the sinful nature with that sword,
22:08 the sword of the spirit.
22:10 We can stab our evil desires with it.
22:12 We can stop the suggestions of the enemy
22:16 simply by using the word of God
22:18 and that agrees perfectly
22:21 with what Jesus did when he stop the enemies.
22:24 Three times the enemy came,
22:26 three times he used,
22:27 he hold out the sword of the spirit
22:31 and stabbed his selfish inclinations to death.
22:36 And thereby put to death the deeds of the body.
22:41 Well of course, those desires were Christ desired himself,
22:45 but rather suggestions from the enemy.
22:47 We've simple desires
22:50 and difference was that his human nature
22:56 by depending on God was able to overcome
22:59 any suggestion of evil from the enemy.
23:03 In any event we see then,
23:07 that through this partaking of the divine nature,
23:10 Jesus was able to put to flight the enemy
23:13 simply by using the sword of the spirit,
23:16 which is the word of God.
23:17 So if we're going to overcome in conclusion
23:20 we've to follow the example of Christ.
23:24 You know, there are two things
23:26 that I pray for on the daily basis
23:30 that has really helped me to overcome the sinful nature
23:35 and to stay on the track that God wants me to.
23:39 I've evil desires and if you noticed you've been a Christian
23:45 more than ten minutes you probably notice
23:47 that you've evil desires too.
23:50 And the question is, how can you overcome that?
23:53 Well one of the things that I pray for everyday
23:55 of my life is that God will give me the gift of repentance.
23:59 Now we said earlier that if you don't have
24:01 a willing heart to receive his repentance
24:04 you'll never have truly have repentance.
24:07 So there must be a willing
24:09 heart to receive this repentance.
24:11 So the other thing that I ask God
24:13 for is to give me a willing heart.
24:16 If you've a willing heart
24:18 and you open your heart to receive that repentance
24:20 than you really truly do have this repentance.
24:23 God made a promise over
24:25 in Philippians Chapter 2 I believe it is there,
24:32 and in Philippians Chapter 2,
24:34 he made a promise to us, notice what he says there,"
24:40 therefore, my friends,
24:43 as you have always obeyed not only in my presence,
24:47 but now much more in my absence continue to work out
24:52 your salvation with fear and trembling.
24:55 You see there is something for us to do,
24:58 but the something that we do is not on our own
25:01 it is in fact cooperation, co-operation with God.
25:06 We open our hearts to receive his repentance.
25:09 We pray for a willing heart to receive his repentance.
25:13 Sometimes, you know, we bolt the heart,
25:15 the door of the heart shut,
25:17 and we don't want to listen to what God has to say.
25:20 But, by praying that God will give us willing hearts
25:24 we truly can work out our own salvation notice,
25:27 continue to work out your salvation
25:30 with fear and trembling, why for it is God
25:37 who works in you to will
25:41 and to act according to his good purpose.
25:43 There it is, that is in fact
25:46 the secret of having a willing heart.
25:49 It is in fact to ask God to make a change
25:52 in your will because as I said,
25:55 if you've been a Christian for more than ten minutes
25:58 you must have noticed that you've a perverse nature
26:03 and that perverse nature needs to be brought
26:06 under the control of Christ.
26:09 There is a wonderful text that says
26:11 that we can bring every thought into captivity
26:15 to the obedience of Christ. That's over there in--
26:21 let's see I forgot the book that's in now,
26:23 but we know that it is possible that even our thoughts,
26:28 I believe Second Corinthians,
26:29 even our thoughts can be brought
26:32 into obedience to the will of Christ.
26:35 You know the term Christian means like Christ.
26:40 And we can either adhere to our own selfishness,
26:43 our own ideals that we created
26:46 or we can follow the will of God.
26:48 My favorite author says it this way, in terms of idolatry,
26:52 they're joined to their idols let them alone
26:55 and they pass on to their work leaving deeds
26:58 with their sinful traits
26:59 unsubdued to the control of evil angels.
27:04 Those who come up to every point and stand every test
27:08 and overcome be with Christ what it made
27:11 as he did the counsel of the true witness
27:14 we got the reference through Revelation 3
27:16 and they will receive the later reign
27:19 and thus be fitted or translation.
27:22 These are the overcomers,
27:24 if we're wedded to our idols
27:26 God will have to leave us alone,
27:30 but if we come up to every point
27:32 and stand every test,
27:34 if we overcome God will truly be our aid
27:38 in this process of Overcoming
27:41 and we will truly have what he wants us to have.
27:44 In conclusion remember what the Apostle John said,
27:50 "He that does the will of God abides forever."
27:56 We want to abide with Him
27:57 forever in the earth made new.