Chapter 7, Part 2
Overcomers have to be Called
To be an overcomer; there are certainly more than one or two conditions to fulfill. But among all conditions, the most outstanding one is no other than "faithfulness". As the gracious Lord said, "Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev.2:10) The Scriptures also say, ''They will wage war against the Lamb and the Lamb will overcome them because He is the lord of lords and King of kings and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." (Rev. 17:14) To be faithful or in other words to be chosen, one must first be "called", that is, be saved.
Regarding salvation, even though anyone "who wishes can take the water of life without cost', this is only the subjective side of claiming it. If the objective reality does not exist, it would be self delusion! The objective reality is God's calling (see Matt. 20:1-7, 22:1-10). This is just as the gracious Lord states, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." (John 6:44, 65) Thank God, we are those ''whom He predestined and called" (Rom. 8:30). Otherwise, we do not know how to approach the Lord!
To be called or, to be born again or saved is basically the means and not the end. The Scriptures clearly teach that after one is called, one has to walk in a manner worthy of the calling and that, after one is called, one is to have hope (Eph. 4:1, 4). Unfortunately, the churches today regard salvation as the end. As a result, most believers have no hope after their salvation! Without hope, there is no motivation. Without motivation, there is no progress. As a result, most churches today are paralyzed-believers have no desire to grow and are unwilling to serve! Such a view in treating the means as the end is widespread among the churches in the last days. As a result, the church cannot growl When everyone thinks that the means is the end, who would bother to move towards the end? As a result, the quota of Kingdom personnel is still not filled today and God's desire for man in the creation of mankind cannot be realized! Such deception is from Satan and it deceives both oneself and others. This deception is likened to a fog and it is hanging low everywhere. The believers living in this deep fog cannot see daylight and consequently, they either have low self esteem or are as proud as peacocks.God's desire cannot be fulfilled in their lives!
When the gracious Lord saves us and then grants us all kinds of grace, they are not intended for our own enjoyment. Through them, we can be trained to be useful vessels. He wiped away our sins through His precious shed blood so that we can have peace with God. This is the objective aspect of His salvation. The subjective aspect of His salvation is to "save us from our sins". As He saved the Israelites from the oppression of the Egyptians and the whips of the Egyptian taskmasters, He also in like manner released us from the power, bondage and influence of sin. This is foretold by the second male goat, Azazel, on the Day of Atonement of the Jews.
"Azazel" has never been given a satisfactory explanation (see Lev. 16:6-10, 20-22). Some say it refers to the male goat itself. It is called the "sent goat" or "scape goat" as in the King James Version and some other English translations. Some say it refers to the place where the male goat was sent--wilderness or a mountain near Sinai. Some even say it is the devil's name for the wilderness or it is the devil itself. They reasoned that after people have sinned, it is the same as owing a debt to the devil and this male goat is used to pay the debt to the devil! This last explanation is just too ridiculous! When man sinned, he shortchanged God. How could he have shortchanged the devil? This is like mixing apples with oranges! In reality, this noun is formed from a modification of a verb עזל (azel means move). In order to emphasize the meaning, the second alphabet was repeated to form עזאזל (azazel). The original meaning is no other than the modification of "move" to "move completely and thoroughly''. This is just as the Scriptures described: "he shall lay the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regards to all their sins on the head of the goat and sent it away into the wilderness...to a solitary land (completely and thoroughly removed)". Thank God, for as long as we are willing to confess our sins to Him, not only all our sins are wiped away, but all the power and authority of sin are completely and thoroughly removed. This is just as the Scriptures record, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom.8:1) These two aspects of forgiveness should be the basic qualification of every overcomer. If not, there is no way to overcome!
In addition, our Heavenly Father has also bestowed upon us gifts of calling:
- The function of our spiritual understanding is restored (1 John 5:20).
- Our conscience is cleansed by the precious blood of our Lord (Heb.9:14).
- We are justified as a gift by His grace through His redemption (Rom.3:24).
- We are sanctified by the Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13).
- We receive eternal life (John 3:16).
- We have "the authority to be God's children" (John 1:12).
- We have the indwelling Spirit to teach us all things (John 14:26).
- We have angels as ministering spirits (Heb.1:14).
All these blessings are none other than capital that the Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. They are not intended for our own enjoyment but they are for us to do business. By doing business, we can be trained to be useful vessels. We can become good and faithful Kingdom personnel just as the gracious Lord has said (Matt.25:21).