Young Men: Overcomers
1 John 2: “I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one…I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” This is the most exciting one to me. And I guess it should be as you see God’s progression here. He has not overcome evil deeds, but the evil ONE. That’s the key to this thing. Anybody can overcome bad habits. It takes a little time but with the right drugs, the right help, the right encouragement and the right Zig Ziglar techniques, you can do it. We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about overcoming the evil one.
It says the Son of God was manifest that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). To not just survive life, but to take it right to satan and wipe him out. “I will build my church and the gates of hell can’t prevail against it.” The gates of hell with a Body of People that are young men, that are overcomers. If you remember the temple, in the ark was the hidden manna. Revelation 2:17 says “To him who is an overcomer, I will give to eat of the hidden manna.”
When you go into the Holy Place and go on through the veil into the Holy of Holies, you become that young man, that overcomer that eats of the hidden manna. The hidden manna is in the ark -- that’s the only place to get it. The overcomer is the one that has gone into the Holy of Holies and is now experiencing the glory of God. He’s not just doing the priestly duties, but is now going into the Holy of Holies, into the presence of God Himself in Almighty God’s place. And that’s the one that can conquer the evil one. And there’s nothing short of that that will be able to do that.
Remember the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19)? They went to conquer the evil one, and they said, “In the name of Jesus that Paul preaches, be cast out oh demon.” And remember what happened? That demon wiped them out, all seven of them! He stripped them naked, beat them up, and they ran out bleeding. Why? Because it wasn’t coming internally. They were using the magic words. They were still children, if that, and they weren’t past the fatherhood into being young men. It wasn’t the authority of God. They didn’t know Him who was from the beginning.
They said, “Paul we’ve heard of, Jesus we know, but who are you? We don’t know you. We can’t see you, so we will wipe you out instead.” That’s what happens when we try to do the work of God out of our own flesh. Unless it rises up out of the authority of God because we have come through the Fatherheart of God and we’ve graduated into the Holy of Holies. We’ve known Him who is from the beginning. The Ancient Life is just welling up inside of us, and now the Word of God lives in us. We’re living in it. We breathe it. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” We’re living in the Word of God and we’re overcomers. We have overcome depression. We have overcome relationship struggles. We don’t let them wipe us out anymore. We’ve overcome hormonal things. We don’t let that knock us out of the ballgame.
We’ve overcome all the frustrations of life. We’ve left them behind like Jesus did in the wilderness. We’ve left behind any need for position, any need for respect, any need for possession, any need for power, any need for miraculous things to happen. To cast yourself down and let the angels catch you. You don’t have to have that anymore because you know Him who was from the beginning. And now you live in the Word, you live in Jesus, the Word. You live and move and have your being in Him. And now you can overcome not just the evil things but the evil one. “I will build my Church and the gates of hell won’t be able to withstand a people that are Overcomers.” They’re going to crash the gates of hell and destroy the works of the devil. That was why the Son of God was manifest.
Not evil deeds, but the evil one. Overcomers. Eating of the hidden manna in the Holy of Holies. Warriors. The Word of God lives in you destroying the works of the devil. John 14:30 says, “The prince of this world has come, but he has no hold on me.” That got a nice ring to it? I love that. The prince of this world has come, but he has no hold on me. He hasn’t got me.
1 John 5 talks about that as being the norm for Christians. Verse 18, “We know that anyone that is born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps him safe – the One, Jesus keeps him safe, the Covenant Keeper --and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true -- even His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
He is the Eternal Life and we are in Him. So therefore, the works of the devil have no hold on us. We don’t go on sinning. We don’t go on mickey-mousing around with all kinds of rubbish when we’re overcomers. When the overcoming life, the Ancient of Life is welling up inside of us, satan has no hold on us. We don’t have to be subject to that because we’re in Him and He is eternal life and satan had no hold on Him.
We destroy the works of the devil. We are not only defensive in surviving the works of the devil, but we’re offensive and we destroy the works of the devil. We go over the top of those things and kick down the gates of hell. That’s God’s purpose that we graduate from being fathers into kicking down the gates of hell. Seeing the representation of the evil one on this earth and then kicking it down offensively. Offensive warriors. Overcomers. No longer defensive survivors.
The full measure of the stature of Christ is what you were predestined for before the world was. Any doubt as to whether or not you can do that or be that? If God predestined that it would be your end result? If you crucified the flesh and renew your mind with those thoughts? Anybody have any doubts as to whether that can happen? I don’t. It has to be able to happen because God said so! He, in His mind, said, “This is My goal: If they will get out of My way, I will have My purposes wrought out in them, and the evil one will have no hold on them. I will build My church and guess what! In reality, not in theory, it will kick down the gates of hell. It will be an overcoming force.”
Overcome the evil one. That sounds real good to me. And I suspect there haven’t been a handful of young men in the last few centuries. That would be my guess. There aren’t many fathers. Paul said that. You have 10,000 tutors. Big deal. But not many fathers. Lots of preachers, lots of teachers, but not many fathers. And if there are not many fathers, I wonder how many young men there are? How many overcomers that have taken it to the streets, taken it to the evil one?
It’s safe behind a pulpit. It’s real safe. Any coward can be behind a pulpit. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about taking it to the evil one and ripping out hell by the roots. It can’t prevail against those of us that would join our purposes to His purposes. He’s going to do it. He said, “I will build my church. I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. I will raise them up to be a mighty force, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a mighty nation. They’ll be strangers and aliens in this world. They won’t fit in. They won’t be conformed. But rather, they will be a conquering force empowered from the heavenly kingdom. He said He’s going to have that people. He’s going to have that people. I hope you guys will be that people, you’ll be those overcomers.
Matthew 16 talks about kicking down the gates of hell.
“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
“Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you,” he asked. “Who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In the Greek it says, literally, “the Son of the God, the living.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon Son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, you are stone and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [not to the kingdom, but of the kingdom of heaven.]; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
You can see that Ancient Life living in them where Jesus said, “I don’t do anything I don’t see the Father doing. I don’t say anything I don’t hear the Father saying.” You see that life welling up to bind what has been bound in heaven and to loose what has been loosed in heaven. You see the power of having the authority of the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
Notice the rock that He’s going to build all of this on. The rock that He’s going to build His church on that the gates of hell cannot stand up against…that’s just going to go bowling down the gates of hell. The rock that that’s going to be built on is a revelation of the Son of God, the Living. It’ll be a confession of a revelation that the Father has given. Flesh and blood didn’t give that revelation, but my Father in heaven gave that revelation. And that revelation of the God, the Living -- the Son of the Mighty God, and the King of Kings. To be able to see heaven open and the angels ascending and descending from the Son of Man. To be able to see the Son of God, the Son of Man, standing at the right hand of the glory of God. To have a revelation in our beings of the Son of the God, the Living.
The confession of that is what the gates of hell cannot stand up against. It is something that man cannot reveal to you, but only God can reveal it to you. That confession of that revelation to your being is what is going to kick down the gates of hell. It’s going to make you an overcomer. It’s going to allow you to have a bone-fire that will not be subject to embarrassment. It will not be subject to cowardice. It will not be subject to materialism or pride or any of those things. That revelation will so open you up that it will be blatant disobedience to do anything less than take it to the streets. To be bold as bold can be, whether you’re on the job or wherever you happen to be. Because that revelation will just burn in you. And that revelation that comes not from man, but from God, from our Father in Heaven. The confession of that revelation of the Son of the God the Living. Wow! The Living, Risen Jesus. He is alive! He rose from the dead! He ain’t in there anymore. He’s alive! And that revelation of the fullness of that is what will make you an overcomer.
Second Corinthians 5 says that we don’t see any man after the flesh anymore, though we once saw Jesus that way. We once knew Jesus after the flesh. Once there was a time when we knew Him only by what we read about Him or what other people told us about Him or what we studied about Him. There was a time when we knew Jesus only by human sight and hearing and touch. There was a time when we knew Him only after the flesh, but then there was a revelation that flesh and blood can’t reveal to you.
There is a revelation that God is working in your heart as you crucify your flesh and open yourself up for it. To no longer know Him after the flesh by the five senses, but to know Him in a way that you can’t explain to anybody else. You know Him in a way that no one could ever duplicate by them studying what you studied. You can’t tell them. You can’t explain it to them. You cannot bring that revelation to them. Otherwise they would know it after the flesh. It would be flesh and blood revealing it to them. But there is a revelation for those who are willing to pay the price to be led by the Spirit into the wilderness and to be purged from all the material things as Jesus was. Those people will be led out of the wilderness in the Spirit of power as He was.