Overcoming Saints

In the book of Revelation, overcoming saints persevere in their testimony of Jesus whatever the cost, even a martyr’s death . Two themes that are repeated in the book are closely related - “ witness ” and “ overcoming .” Beginning with Jesus of Nazareth and his own martyrdom on Calvary, his followers are summoned to persevere in his “ testimony ,” and in this way, they “ overcome ” and they will emerge victorious in the city of “ New Jerusalem .” They must “ overcome, even as I overcame .”

The Inheritance

The land of Canaan was an early stage in the greater redemptive plan of Yahweh, one that ALWAYS envisioned something beyond the nation of Israel or the territory of Palestine. In the New Testament, the covenant promises find their fulfillment in the “ true seed of Abraham ,” Jesus Christ, including the New Creation - the “ new heavens and the new earth .”

Abraham's Seed

The Gospel of Matthew begins by declaring that Jesus is the “ son of Abraham .” This is more than a genealogical notation - it sets the stage for the theme of fulfillment in this gospel account. The lowly man from Nazareth is the Messiah and King of Israel, the promised “ seed ” of the Patriarch. In him, all the covenant promises find their fulfillment.

Expect Tribulation

The New Testament exhorts followers of Jesus to expect tribulation and persecution because of their faithful testimony to Jesus. While it may not be an everyday experience in the life of the church, neither is persecution for his sake something unexpected and shocking. And in church history, the primary cause of the church’s trials and tribulations is her faithful proclamation of the gospel and God’s kingdom.

Fulfilled in Jesus

The Word of God finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. “ IN HIM ,” all His promises are “ yea ” and “ amen .” The things that were “ hidden ” in the past are revealed in the life, words, death, resurrection, and exaltation of the Son, the one in whom all the shadows and types prefigured in the Hebrew Bible have become real. All His mysteries are laid bare in the Nazarene.

A Kingdom of Priests

Christ’s present reign is based on his past death and resurrection, and his disciples participate in his rule. And like him, their position is paradoxical since it is characterized by self-sacrificial service. The shedding of his lifeblood is what consecrated them as “ priests ” for God. And priestly service IS what it means to reign with him, and this is in fulfillment of the mission given to Israel at Sinai - “ You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation .”