Dellas Linaman - Pillars - Harare, Zimbabwe - Wednesday Evening Combined Meeting, January 14, 2004

This week’s study was Psalm 75 and 76 and the subject was "Pillars."

Revelations 3:12, "He who overcometh will I make him a pillar." I don’t suppose there is anything that confronts us daily so much as just to be an overcomer. There is so much in life that we meet. Why does it come? To overcome. I never forget standing in an airport waiting for someone and watching a sort of a TV sort of a thing there, and I saw something there and I thought, "Who is controlling this? If I had a rock I’d throw it through it." The thought came to me, "That’s for you to overcome." There are things that pollute your mind in just a moment and you hate it. A fly falls into your glass of milk; you take it out, but do you drink the milk? NO! Polluted! There is so much in the world that pollutes our thoughts, pollutes our hearts, pollutes our minds and we wonder why. Well, it’s to overcome. It says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God and he will go out no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, and new Jerusalem which comes down from Heaven." Put “my God,” write a new name.

Sometimes we find our young people 18, 19, 20, 21 years of age and they are doing things that we wonder why; and we say they are trying to find themselves. Trying to find themselves! The only way we’re ever going to find ourselves, in the temple, in the place where God wants us, with His name identifying us, is to be an overcomer. If we’re not an overcomer, we have no place in this thing that God has planned for all eternity. We can’t bear His name. We have to be an overcomer to bear any responsibility at all.

An overcomer. It tells us here in this chapter, it says, Revelations 3:21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame." We’ve already heard that sometimes people think that Jesus did it all, but we have to overcome. "To Him that overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne as I also overcame." It tells us in the second chapter of this, it says, Revelations 2:7, "Let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches; to him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life." Where is the tree of life? It’s in the midst of the paradise of God. What does paradise mean to you or to me? Paradise just means a greater peace and joy and satisfaction, contentment ... it’s paradise. There is joy there, and how do we find that place in a place like this? In the world or Zimbabwe or somewhere? Be and overcomer! It’s there, the paradise is there, to those that overcome. There’s a lot of things that might perplex you in this country or in the world. But why? It’s for you to overcome! If you overcome, there IS the tree of life.

It tells us in the 22nd chapter of Revelation about the tree of life; it has twelve manner of fruit on it. Something that lasts all year long is in paradise and it’s there for the overcomer. Be an overcomer! We are more like Christ when we are overcomers; we’re more like Jesus when we’re overcomers. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. That’s where you are, in the wilderness. What is the wilderness? The place where there’s nothing for your soul. Nothing! It’s only there for the wild animals. Not for God’s people. That’s why John the Baptist said, "I’m just a voice in the wilderness." It’s there, he was baptising in the wilderness. Jesus fed the multitude in the wilderness. He was in a wilderness. Don’t forget it! But we can be an overcomer.

It tells us here, it says in the 11th verse, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” There’s a peace in that, there’s a hope in that, there’s the fear of God in that. Who is it that won’t be hurt? He that overcomes! It’s good for us to bear in mind: my purpose is to be an overcomer. We’ve already heard about Faith in works ... faith in Him that overcomes the world ... overcomes ... that’s the works. Be an overcomer. It tells us here, it says, "To him that overcometh, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat." The hidden manna. Jesus said, "I have food to eat that you don’t know anything about." He told his disciples. What was it? Only those who are overcomers know anything about it. There is a manna that would not keep over to the next day; they had to gather day by day. But there was also the manna within the veil that was never destroyed – inside - in the Presence. It’s a case of overcoming to find that place. Then He speaks about, “I will give him a white stone and on the stone a NEW name is written.” Then what did it say? It said, "A new name was written, no man knows except him who receives it." There is something that an overcomer has that no one else has, or no one else can understand or enter into ... it’s his and his alone. There are things that we can experience in overcoming that we cannot share with others. You can tell the story, but can they get the essence of it? No, they don’t! Because they have never had the same spirit, they’ve never had the same suffering, they never had the same loneliness. Never. They can’t have it. But he that overcomes - there’s something that enriches their soul, their lives, that they wouldn’t trade anything for. As they look upon those experiences, they find a thankfulness. But at the time, oh, it was so hard, so difficult and in times like that there’s something. There’s a verse that says, "Underneath are the everlasting arms," something still holding, and you’re thankful for that. It’s something, that in the struggle your soul has been enriched; something you can’t share with others. But it’s yours.

Then He says, "He that overcomes and keeps My works unto the end, to him I will give power over the nations." (Revelations 2:26) He shall rule them with a rod of iron and they shall be broken in pieces like the potter's vessel. It’s really a marvellous thing, that, how the power that a person has in overcoming, and how weak they become when they can’t overcome. So wishy washy - no back bone, or as the Chinese say, "No bones." They have no bones, but he that overcomes, He will give them power over the nations. There’s lots of power out there that grips people’s lives ... they’re gripped, they’re in it but they have no power like those, who in Christ are overcomers.

Then there’s a place that speaks about, "He’ll give them white raiment." The 5th verse of the 3rd chapter says, "He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in a white garment; and I will not blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels" - all for those who overcome. These things all have a spiritual meaning and it is things that have to do with overcoming. That’s the thing we need - to be an overcomer, and not to forget that that’s what it is all about. Paul says, "I write, I write, so that you may know how you aught to conduct yourself in the house of God which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the church." I write! Why did Paul write to Timothy, why are these writings there? Oh, that’s to Timothy. No, it’s to us, because we represent the church of the living God. You’re a little church here or there. These things have been written to you. Paul felt the need of writing to Timothy; there wasn’t enough written before. He felt that he needed to write to Timothy, that he might know how to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God; the pillar and the ground of the church. If your church isn’t standing it’s ground, the pillar and foundation of the pillar, and the foundation of the Truth - Truth, the thing that pleases God, and if we’re not pleased with that, we cannot please God.

I try there in Taiwan, to get our people focused on the Church - focused on the church, which is the body of Christ - that which makes up Colossians, Philippians, and so forth - that church, those people. The thing that produced them was the gospel, was the words of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus. What feeds them is Jesus. Jesus said, "Eat My flesh and drink My blood.” That’s humanly impossible, to eat His flesh and take His blood. The soul feeds on His flesh, the soul takes His blood. The soul - it’s the spiritual things, it’s a spiritual growth.

It’s so good to realize that this is what God is interested in, the bride of Christ - the bride making herself ready. Where’s the betrayal for this? It’s right here in Jesus, it’s right here in what Paul said. That was his purpose in writing these things; that we might have something for others to be brought into. It’s very difficult to try to have some wishy-washy thing and try to bring others into that thing. It’s almost impossible. But if you can have just one person that’s like a pillar. We had one lady in a village, up high in the mountains. She said, "What am I going to do? I’m all alone. I’m all alone here!" But I said, "This is your responsibility, you’re the life of this village. You’ve got to stick with it, you’ve got to be true, you’ve got to be solid. You’ve got to!" She had meeting with her three little children. The oldest was nine. After some time, her husband professed; after some time, another couple professed. After some time, two or three more professed, and now the church is in her home. It was a good thing to find that one person, that one.

When we go out with the gospel, I told my new companion, I said, "We’re looking for that one person, that one, that one lost sheep; that one, just that one." If in a village you can find just that one that will stand alone that will be true, that will be solid, then you have something that you can bring others into. But if you have something that is neither this nor that, how can you bring anything ... how can you have anything? You don’t! How are they going to be an overcomer? How are they going to be a pillar in the church, how can they be alive? They can’t; they can’t be a pillar ……to let all these things that come across their way overcome them.

The pollution that’s in the world that comes in - you can’t overcome it. I like to think that a person that is overcoming is obeying, and he is serving. A person that is an overcomer is content. He’s not murmuring and finding fault and grumbling - that’s not an overcomer. An overcomer is one that is content. An overcomer is one that has peace, has peace in his heart. He’s got it. He’s paid the price for it - it’s God given. Jesus said, "The peace I give you, you don’t get it in the world." You don’t get it there. A person who is an overcomer, you’ve got bread. Even if there is only two or three of you and you’ve got bread to share, ... you’ve been an overcomer, and that’s a thing to strive for, for it to edify the church. What does it say there? Even so you who are zealous of spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. (I Corinthians 14:12) If you’re zealous, the result of edifying the church, is spiritual gifts. Sometimes people think - give a testimony, that’s all; just give a testimony. Here’s a good verse ... read it. I was in a meeting one time where a man got up and read a whole chapter in Joshua. He said, "I don’t understand it but maybe someone does," and sits down. It’s a responsibility, it’s something that costs, it’s something that takes time. An old brother worker said, "The older I get, the more difficult it is to find bread, and maybe it’s because I am beginning to know what bread is."

Well, anyway, it says, "Even for you since you are zealous with spiritual gifts," and that’s nice - to be zealous of spiritual gifts. All right, where do they come from? Seek to edify the church. There’s where your responsibility is. There’s where the whole centre of you life should be - in the church, the Sunday morning meeting with those who break bread together, the communion, blood bought people, the body of Christ. That’s what it is - the thing that God is interested in. We had better be interested in it, too. But it takes this overcoming. I think a person that is clean, is clean from overcoming ... and at any time, you never get very far from water. Continue washing your hands ... you don’t get very far from it. Well we had better not get far from the cleansing that comes from Christ. Like Peter spoke of the sprinkling of His blood - continual sprinkling that we need all the time. It’s there, and to be conscious of it helps us to keep clean.

Paul writing, spoke about being renewed daily (II Corinthians 4:16) - renewing the inner man. That’s victory, that’s overcoming - to be renewed. Keeping ourselves alive takes renewing. The thing is to be able to forgive others, freeing them and making it possible for them and yourselves. That’s victory, that’s overcoming. I enjoyed thinking about these things that had to do with overcoming. Yet sometimes we get burdened down with some of these things that come across our lives, and we get cross and we get grumpy, and we get mad and we scold and so on - we have to overcome it, and have the right spirit. A right spirit comes with overcoming. We’re all human and we don’t want to excuse ourselves too many times just because we’re human. That’s awful easy to do …… I’m human. We need to realise, "I want to be an overcomer." He that overcomes is a pillar. They find their place, they’re bearing the name, and they will not be removed, and they have a part in the new Jerusalem. (Hymn given out by someone which was very appropriate.)


Hymn 294, A Life of Overcoming

1. A life of overcoming,

A life of ceaseless praise.

Be this thy blessed portion

Throughout the coming days;

The victory was purchased

On Calvary's cross for thee,

Sin shall not have dominion,

The Son has made thee free.


2. And wouldst thou know the secret

Of constant victory?

Let in the Overcomer,

And He will conquer thee!

Thy broken spirit, taken

In sweet captivity,

Shall glory in His triumph

And share His victory.


3. Though all the path before thee

The hosts of darkness fill,

Look to thy Father's promise

And claim the victory still;

Faith sees the heavenly legions,

Where doubt sees naught but foes,

And through the very conflict

Her life the stronger grows.


4 More stern will grow the conflict

As nears our King's return,

And they alone can face it

Who this great lesson learn:

That from them God asks nothing,

But to unlatch the door,

Admitting Him, who through them,

Will conquer evermore.