To overcome, ‘nikao,’
means to conquer, prevail, to accomplish a long hard fought victory. This is a sequential or chronological
accomplishment and not a momentary single event, but a series. This is the believer who is successful in
attaining spiritual maturity, and staying there.
The phrase, ‘He who has an ear, let him hear,’
usually appeared first, before the ‘he who overcomes’ phrase. But now the ‘overcome’ phrase appears first,
and the ‘ear’ phrase appears second, in verse 29.
In the former letters to the churches, the believer
had to learn by listening and learning, thus the ‘ear’ phrase. And by learning the believer had the
resources (doctrine) to be able to overcome all hazards in life, especially
And now, the person who is presumably more advanced
in their spiritual life, needs to not only overcome, but to continue their
listening and learning, because they will never ‘know it all’ in this life, and
thus maintain their spiritual advance, lest they slide back into the
compromises mentioned in the letter against this church.
There are two vantage points in the Christian
life.The first is as an immature
believer who needs to learn and grow, and recognize his lack of knowledge, and his
need for learning.And the second view
is of the mature believer, or the growing believer, who needs to understand
that he should not think he has ‘arrived,’ and therefore needs no further
spiritual education, because he will always need spiritual education.
And how long do you need to study doctrine? ‘Until the end.’ And when is that? The end of your life.
To overcome means to maintain, as well. And once you have left this world, then
maintaining is no longer an issue.It is
only an issue during your life here on this earth, when evil is always sneaking
up on you.
So, no time off, no
vacations away from doctrine, no putting it all aside for a while because you
are tired or busy, or need a break from studying. No excuses for starting your studies when
life is better, or when you have more time.
Because those convenient situations will never occur. The world will do its best to keep the
excuses coming so you will ultimately fail in your spiritual life.
You have to have either the inner
desire and the inner passion to want to grow up in your spiritual life,
or you don’t.Excuses are simply a
convenient explanation for covering up your indifference or disinterest.
Doctrine should be viewed as your first love, your
first passion, your first intimate experience which consumed your entire
attention.The book, ‘Song of Solomon,’
is a picture of intense love and yearning, which should apply to your spiritual
And in exchange, as a reward for faithfulness, God will
give, grant, bestow on you, power over the nations.
Power, ‘exousia,’ which means authority, rank, jurisdiction. And the nations is a
reference to the nations which will make up the Kingdom of God, or the Millennium,
when Christ will rule the world.
This promise comes from Psa. 2:7-9, where Christ is
given the promise to have authority over the nations. A
reference to His millennial rule.
And so this power, this authority, will be shared
with mature believers, when the time comes.
And this does not mean that you will rule now, nor that you will live until the Millennium and then receive
that promotion.For that we still need
the study from the next three verses.
The believer (male or female) must advance to
maturity, must still maintain until the end of his or her life, must be
glorified as Christ is glorified (which does not occur in this life), and so
forth, before the believer will be given this reward.
At the same time, this implies that the believer
who does not overcome (does not advance to spiritual maturity and maintain it,
as God has defined it), will not participate in this honored position of ruling
And this lack of a reward is not because you simply
are not interested in having a position of authority, it
is because of your irresponsible and indifferent attitude, and failure in your
obligations in life and to God.