Roots of Overcomer Teaching
Excerpt from The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, Section III: Who are God's overcomers? Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21
The Failure of the Church
The reason that the church is on the earth is to maintain the victory of Christ on the cross and bind Satan in each locality as the Lord bound him on Calvary. On the cross the Lord has condemned Satan according to the law. Now God desires that the church execute this judgment on the earth.
Satan knows that the church will be involved in his defeat. This is why he persecutes and tries to deceive the church with his falsehood. He is a murderer and a liar. The church is not afraid of his angry countenance but of his smiling face. The Acts of the Apostles is the record of how the church passed through death into life. God used Satan's attack to display Christ's victory. However, the church gradually became degraded. For example, there were the falsehood of Ananias and Sapphira, the greediness of Simon, the admission of false brothers, the care of many for their own affairs, and the forsaking by many of Paul when he was in prison.
God's Search for Overcomers
After the failure of the church, God searched for a small number of people in the church to become His overcomers, those who would bear the responsibility which the church should have picked up but did not. God wanted a small number of faithful ones to represent the church and maintain the victory of Christ. In all of the seven ages of the church, there are God's overcomers. This line of overcomers has never been broken. The overcomers are not special people. The overcomers of God are a group of people who are one with God's original purpose.