7 Types of Overcoming in Revelation

Do you know that there are 7 types of overcoming, about which we read in the book of Revelation?

At the beginning of the book of Revelation, we meet 7 churches which reflect 7 areas of overcoming and victory.

Jesus ends His message to each of these churches with a special promise of reward to the one who overcomes. The word “overcomes” is translated also in the different Bible versions as “conquers, victorious, or a victor”.

The biblical meaning of overcoming is to keep the faith in Jesus Christ, to remain a faithful follower and doer of God’s word, and to overcome the world, the devil, and the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit.

There are seven specific areas and types of overcoming, represented by each of the seven churches.

The biblical meaning of overcoming is to keep the faith in Jesus Christ and to remain a faithful follower and doer of God’s word. #overcoming #Biblestudy #victory #faith Click To Tweet

#1 Ephesus –Overcoming Through Patient Endurance

“I know your deeds and your toil, and your patient endurance…”  “and “[I know that] you  are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and that you have not grown weary [of being faithful to the truth].”  (Rev. 2:2-3)

The church of Ephesus faced the specific challenge of facing false teachings and apostles. Despite dealing with liars and imposters, this church remained faithful to the truth in all circumstances

For this patient endurance in the face of false teachings, Jesus promises the reward of partaking in the Tree of Life:

“To him who overcomes, I will grant [the privilege] to eat [the fruit] from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7)

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7 Types of Overcoming

#2 Smyrna – Overcoming in Suffering

 “I know your suffering and your poverty…” and “Fear nothing that you are about to suffer.” (Rev. 2:9-10)

The church in Smyrna was a church that remained faithful, even to the point of death, for her faith. This church underwent great suffering, poverty, and slandering. But despite this, the believers held onto their faith in Jesus.

For this faithfulness in suffering, even to the point of death, Jesus promises the crown of life:

“He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death (]the lake of fire).” (Rev. 2:11)

For faithfulness in suffering, even to the point of death, Jesus promises the crown of life. #encourgement #suffering #reward #Biblestudy Click To Tweet

#3 Pergamum – Overcoming in Evil and Corrupted Culture

“I know where you dwell, [a place] where Satan sits enthroned. Yet you are holding fast to My name, and you did not deny My faith.” (Rev. 2:13)

Pergamum was a church living in the very place where Satan dwelt. This means that the church faced extreme evil, corruption, immorality, and persecution. Living a righteous life in a Babylonian culture was surely a great act of faithfulness and overcoming.

To the believers who keep themselves pure and overcome the world and Satan, Jesus promises the hidden manna and a new name:

To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone with a new name engraved on the stone which no one knows except the one who receives it.” (Rev. 2:17)

#4 Thyatira – Overcoming Through Love, Faith and Service

“I know your deeds, your love and faith and service, and patient endurance, and that your last deeds are more numerous and greater than the first.” (Rev. 2:19)

Thyatira was an active, doing church. The believers were active in practicing love, faith, and in serving. They had many great deeds, even though the majority of them tolerated a false prophetess.

To such believers who show their love and faith in deeds and faithful service, but also remain faithful to the truth in God’s truth until the end, Jesus promises authority and power over the nations and the Morning Star:

“And he who overcomes and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority and power over the nations; and he shall shepherd and rule them with a rod of iron, as the earthen pots are broken in pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the Morning Star.” (Rev. 2:26-28)

#5 Sardis – Overcoming through Purity and Integrity

“But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes [that is, contaminated their character and personal integrity with sin]; and they will walk with Me [dressed] in white, because they are worthy (righteous). “ (Rev. 3:4)

The true believers in Sardis represent the ones who overcome the sin in their lives through a lifestyle of repentance and obedience. They walk in the purity of minds, hearts, and bodies. They don’t just have an outward appearance of godliness, but they have pure and soft hearts.

To them, Jesus promises a place in the Book of Life and acknowledging openly their names before the Father:

“He who overcomes will accordingly be dressed in white clothing; and I will never blot out his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess and openly acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Rev. 3:5)

#6 Philadelphia  – Overcoming by Keeping God’s Word and Persevering

“Because you have kept the word of My endurance [My command to persevere], I will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial, that hour which is about to come on the whole world, to test those who live on the earth.” (Rev. 3:10)

The church in Philadelphia represents the believers who are not just listeners, but also doers of God’s Word. These are the ones who, although have little power, keep obeying the Word and keep persevering in their faith.

Jesus promises them to make them pillars in God’s temple, which means an elevated position of great authority and eternal glory.

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God; he will most certainly never be put out of it, and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from My God, and My [own] new name.” (Rev. 3:12)

#7 Laodicea – Overcoming by Responding to Discipline and Repentance

“Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will].” (Rev. 3:19)

The church in Laodicea was in such a condition that they were spiritually useless to the Lord. The church was marked by spiritual blindness and self-righteousness. However, it also represents the believers who overcome by responding to God’s rebuke and discipline and who wholeheartedly repent.

To those, who seek the Lord and open their hearts to Him, ready to embrace a transformation, Jesus promises a position of shared authority and the power to rule.

“He who overcomes I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne.” (Rev. 3:21)

7 Types of Overcoming – Printable

I have prepared a PRINTABLE of the 7 types of overcoming and victory represented by the churches in Revelation. Click on the image to download it.

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More Encouragement for You

If you need more resources and encouragement to help you overcome and stay faithful to the Lord in your Christian walk, I can recommend these books. Check them out.

Trusting God in All the Things: 90 Devotions for Finding Peace in Your Every Day by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

Make Up Your Mind: Unlock Your Thoughts, Transform Your Life by Denise Dubois Pass and Michelle Nietert

Lean Into Grace by Stacey Pardoe

Hope for the Hard Days: 100 Encouraging Devotions by Sarah Geringer

Transforming Your Thought Life by Sarah Geringer

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

The Deepest Place: Suffering and the Formation of Hope by Curt Thompson

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Overcoming Means Remaining Faithful in Everything

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to remain faithful to Him in everything and walk in the victory He secured.

The message to the 7 churches in Revelation encourages us to stay till the end:

  • Faithful to the truth
  • Faithful in suffering
  • Faithful in evil and corrupted culture
  • Faithful in service
  • Faithful to keep oneself pure
  • Faithful to persevere
  • Faithful to repent

Your Turn

In which areas do you struggle to remain faithful to the Lord? Share in the comments and on social media if you found this article helpful. Thank you!

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to remain faithful to Him in everything and walk in the victory He secured. #encouragement #victory #Biblestudy Click To Tweet

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10 Replies to “7 Types of Overcoming in Revelation”

  1. I had no idea there is 7 Types of Overcoming in Revelation! Thank you for explaining all of this – I don’t think I’ve ever spent much time on this specific book in the Bible

    1. Thanks, Katy! I am glad you could learn something new in my post based on the first chapters of Revelation. Blessings!

  2. Wonderful explanation of the 7 types of overcoming in revelation. I appreciate the helpful printable that describes each number clearly and helpfully.

  3. We can learn a lot about overcoming from what John wrote to those 7 churches 2,000 years ago. Thank you for your post explaining the differences between the different types of overcoming.

    1. Thanks, Catherine! Yes, although written so long ago, God’s word is still alive and active and has no expiry date. Blessings!

  4. Wow, great insights! I had never connected the seven churches in Revelation with seven types of overcoming. Thanks for making the connections clear. Excellent explanations!

  5. I love the practical application of this post, friend! Thank you for taking us deep! You are a blessing!

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