The Crown of the Overcomer
By Pieter Kirstein
DON'T ALLOW SATAN TO STEAL YOUR CROWN.
To be saved by grace does not automatically qualify
you to receive the Crown of the overcomer.
YOU MUST FIRST COMPLETE YOUR RACE.
New King James Version
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Striving for a Crown.
Do you not know that those who run in
a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not
with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
This is why, at the end of his race, the Apostle Paul could declare the following - 2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am already being poured out
as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which
the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Can any athlete lay claim to the medal unless they first
complete and win the race?
2 Timothy 2:3-5 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs
of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
What are the rules and the regulations laid down for us by the Father?
The flesh must be crucified by the Spirit of God as we willingly follow Christ in the way of the cross through a laid down life.
called to grow up in Him and to follow His pattern until we are raised up to walk as He walked. We are called to have the same mind which was displayed through His example. We are called to become His servants and to learn to be led by Him according to His
standard. He called us to follow Him through the cross into a place with Him in His throne as a glorified son and daughter by which we reflect His image, His likeness and His glory and by which He makes us fruit bearing disciples.
It's revealed in the upward call of God in Christ through the pattern that we see revealed in His life in Philippians 2:1-12 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if
any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
CONSIDER THE PATTERN !
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 Who, being in the form
of God, thought it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under
the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Those who live
to serve themselves, exclude themselves to become servants of God.
Again we see the pattern revealed in the life of Christ and how He opened
the way unto greatness in His kingdom in John 12. He is glorified through His cross and we are glorified through our cross
12: 23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour has come that the Son of man should be glorified.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.
25 He who loves his life shall lose it. And he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.
26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there also My servant shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
NO CROSS, NO GLORY.
This is confirmed
in Romans 8:5 For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace
7 because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can [it be].
8 So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in [the] Spirit, if [the] Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not [the] Spirit of Christ, he is none
10 And if Christ [is] in you, indeed the body [is] dead because of sin, but the Spirit
[is] life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of the [One] who raised up Jesus from
[the] dead dwells in you, the [One] who raised up Christ from [the] dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you.
12 Therefore, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if you through [the] Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.
14 For as many as are led by [the] Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with [Him], we may also be glorified together.
To follow Christ in the way of the cross in obedience until the Spirit has slain the "SELF" in us, is the suffering spoken of because it is wrought into us through the principle
of self-denial - Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
THERE'S A CONDITION TO REIGN WITH CHRIST AS AN OVERCOMER.
2 Timothy 2:11 For faithful is the Word, for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.12
If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
Revelation 3: 21 To him who
overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His throne.
Consider the following word given to the
body of Christ through J Leland Earls.
The final letter in the
revelation that was given to John was to the church of the Laodiceans. To this church did I write: ‘These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot:
I would thou were cold or hot.
So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my
mouth.' (Rev. 3:14-15). The church of the Laodiceans portrays the final era of the Christian dispensation.
It represents the prevailing conditions extant in the
organized church world as this age draws to a close. Insipid lukewarmness is the chief characteristic.
of this I have spewed the entire organized church out of my mouth, both Catholic and Protestant. This does not mean I have repudiated those individuals who truly believe in me and are yet in the organized systems.
But before the end comes, they must hear my call: ‘come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.' (Rev. 18:4).
I am presented in this letter as the ‘faithful and true witness’ in contrast to the unfaithfulness and distorted witness
of the Laodicean church. I am also presented as ‘the beginning of the creation of God’ because of the inception of the new thing that I will do as the Laodicean era comes to a close.
I will raise up a mighty witness in the remnant that is being called out of the Babylonish church systems, and they shall manifest the power and glory of that new creation
which is coming forth through my resurrection life. Since I am the firstborn among many brethren, there shall be many who will come to that measure of maturity which will enable me to unveil them as the sons of God, giving them immortality for their physical
bodies. (Rom. 8:19, 29).
Some will put on the glory of the celestial as their bodies are changed into the likeness
of my glorious body (Phil .3:21); and others will manifest sonship on the terrestrial plane, having their bodies changed from corruptible to incorruptible. (I Cor. 15:40-41, 53-54).
Now notice a further characteristic of the Laodicean period. ‘Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you
to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye-salve, that you may see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev. 3:-1-7-19). A contributing factor to the spiritual lukewarmness of the present day church
world is the prosperity which abounds in most western nations.
A feeling of smug complacency has blinded the churches
to their spiritual poverty and their desperate need. Clothed with their own self-righteousness, they know not their nakedness in my sight. Therefore I have raised up messengers to expose and rebuke the carnality, apostasy and ineptness of the spiritually
I call for repentance! I am moving in my providence to bring chastening through adverse conditions in civil life and international affairs. Conditions
will become so severe that the people of the predominantly Christian nations will either repent or perish.
is because of my great love for those who know not their folly and the consequences thereof that I rebuke and chasten. I must awaken those who are asleep and destined for destruction. Otherwise there would be no hope.
There is a great need now for the three things which I offer. The first is gold tried in the fire. Gold is a symbol of true spiritual character, brought about by the working of my Spirit and forged in
the crucible of testing experiences. I must have a people who are completely receptive to my workings in their inner being and thoroughly purged from the dross of their own ways.
The second is white raiment. This is symbolic of that righteousness and purity which only I can impart. Only those who are fully clothed with this raiment can enter into the end-time ministry of that
spiritual Body which I am raising up.
The third is eye-salve to anoint thine eyes. Only the revelation of my Spirit
can cause you to see the mighty truths which I would have you know in this hour. Since I counsel you to ‘buy' of me, there is a price which must be paid. The price is simply the willingness to let me have your life to do with it as I please.
Only as there is complete yielding and obedience, can I be the means of bringing forth in your life pure gold, impart to you white
raiment, and anoint your eyes to see my truth. 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.' (Rev. 3:20). My people, I long to have that intimate communion
with you which is described in these words.
But so few want to invite me in to take complete control of their lives.
This is the day that I am offering to make myself real to a people as never before in history. Will you not open your heart and let me have my way in you? I am ready to show myself strong on your behalf.
No other generation has had as great an opportunity as I am offering to you in this hour. I stand at the door and knock; the choice is yours.
And now for the final promise to the over-comers
in these seven letters. ‘To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.' (Rev. 3:21).
Even though I was the very Son of the Highest, functioning on the plane of Deity, I emptied myself and took on the form of man, that I might overcome as a man.
Then was I highly exalted and given a place of rulership on the throne of my Father. This is the pattern for those who love me and let me bring them into an overcoming experience,
rising above the spiritual level of most Christians.
To ‘overcome’ means to rise above, to come up over
to a higher spiritual plane. It comes only through greater yielding and submission to my will.
The time is coming soon
when I will sit on the throne of my glory in the heavenly Kingdom which will be set up in the realms surrounding the earth. Then shall the overcomers of all the church eras be exalted to sit on that throne with me.
They shall then be kings and priests to rule with me over the earth. (Rev. 1:6, 5:10, 20:4). Truly this is the PRIZE of the high calling; it is both joint heirship on the plane
of glorified life, and joint rulership with me in my Kingdom. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.