The Victorious God in Revelation
If you were to do a word search in English, of the frequencies with which the word “overcome” occurs in your New Testaments you will discover that 50% of its use occurs in the book of Revelation and 80% is found in John’s books (Revelation being one of them). But the NT was written in Greek and so doing an English word search doesn’t always show the full picture. A similar search in Greek, shows that the word for “overcome” or victory occurs 18/28 times in the New Testament in the book of Revelation. That’s roughly 65%. And of that amount, the word “overcome” is most often used to speak of God’s victories over the His enemies and sin. That is to say: God always wins! This overarching theme is illustrated with the use of different stories and pictures in Revelation. The following are some illustrations:
1. The Rider on the White Horse is Victorious: Rev. 19:11-21
The scriptures do not shy away from painting a glorious picture of this rider. It does this because of the scene that is to follow. The Rider Himself is worthy of praise and honor. He is worthy to receive power and victory! He is faithful and true! The Romans were known for their powerful armies and their loyal soldiers; soldiers that would not hesitate to die for their commander. But this Rider embodies what it means to be truly faithful and loyal. No Roman solider can compare to this rider and that is seen is His description: His eyes are like a flame of fire. On His head are many diadems. His robe is dipped in blood and His name is the Word of God. Armies in heaven follow Him and out of His mouth comes a sword. On His robe and thigh, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is pictured as being victorious before the enemy can gather its tactics together for battle. There is no battle! No war! How powerful do you have to be to win a victory before a battle can even be fought?
2. Victory over Babylon the Great: Rev. 17-18
In Revelation, this city is pictured as standing in opposition to God. It not only hates the principles and ideas of God it persecutes the people of God (drunk with the blood of saints 16:6; 17:6, 24). You may remember the desperate plea of the saints in 6:9-11. If there was one thing this city made sure of, it was that it hated God and it went to great lengths to demonstrate it. But notice in these passages how it’s judgment and destruction is described. The city is exalted in the eyes of man and they wonder what great city is like it? But in God’s eyes this city is nothing. God effortlessly brings judgment upon Babylon the great and its sinners. The phrase “for in one hour your judgment has come or she has been laid waste” is repeated 3 times not to emphasize that it was in fact a single hour. Rather it shows how quickly she has come to ruin, the likes no one expected much less could imagine. She is desolate, ruined and will not be found any longer. God is victorious over this great city that no man thought could be defeated or destroyed. They are laid waste by the Almighty. What does that say about Him?
Now these descriptions above are brief and ultimately do no justice to the reality that God is so powerful and so effortless in battle both physically and spiritually. He is the fundamental foundation of what it means to overcome and to win against everything and everyone. This is the theme of Revelation because of what the Christians are going through. God wants all His people, everywhere to know that He will fight for them and He will win!