Is Lee Man Hee The “One Who Overcomes?”

Is Lee Man Hee the overcomer? Is he an overcomer? Is he taking advantage of obscure and ambiguous ancient rhetorical language to claim something that is not his? What is an overcomer? The various English translations use a variety of synonyms for overcomer. 1984 NIV says the one who is victorious and the KJV/NKJV says the one who overcomes.

  • To the one who conquers ESV RSV CSB NET.
  • To the one who overcomes NKJV NASB HNV ASV Darby WEB.
  • To the one who is victorious NIV NLT.
  • To him who is overcoming YLT.
  • Romance language Bible translations use terms that sound like vanquish. – Nikonti νικῶντι is the form found in all of the Greek manuscripts.

Nikonti has the following structure: participial verb type, dative case, singular number, masculine gender, present tense, active voice. The dative means the recipient. To the one who overcomes. The one who overcomes receives blessings from Jesus.

But, these blessings are already received by believers yet not fully consummated until the end of time. It is impossible for Lee to sit on a throne or rule with an iron rod in our timeframe. However, the overcomer in the 1st century could resist the false doctrines of Jezebel. Just as we, today, need to resist Lee’s false doctrines.

According to the BDAG lexicon, nikonti in the letters in Revelation 2-3 means to win in the face of obstacles such as those faced by first century Christians who faced temptations and challenges in their timeframe not over someone such as the seven messengers of Lee’s physical fulfillment. In Revelation 11:7 conquering over someone is the sense as the beast from the bottomless pit conquers the two witnesses albeit a short-lived victory. But that is not the case as BDAG says in Revelation 2-3.

Nikao is also found in Matthew 12:20 where Matthew quotes how Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-4 that Jesus will bring justice to victory. Jesus overcomes in Luke 11:20 and Luke 11:22. Death is swallowed up in victory in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55. He gives us victory in verse 57. In Romans 12:21, we can overcome evil. In Romans 8:37, we are more than conquerors, i.e. super conquerors. In 1 John 2:13-14, 4:4-5 and 5:4-5 the battle is already decided by faith in Jesus Christ.

The main conqueror foremost in the minds of the residents of Asia Minor was the Greek Alexander the Great who conquered them by 330 BC when they were part of Persia’s Achaemenid Empire under King Darius III. After Alexander, Asia Minor was ruled by the Seleucids. The first Seleucid was Seleusus I Nicator, who shared Alexander’s empire with three other rulers. Nicator means victor. All of these terms are based on Nike, winged victory or the goddess of victory an attendant to Zeus and Athena.

The Nicolaitans also take their name from Nike but in this case it means the overcomer of the people as in oppressor. This could be a Roman political and military power or a Gnostic religious leader like Cerinthus (see Irenaeus) who opposed Paul. See 1 Timothy 6:20 where he tells his disciple to avoid “the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.” In 1 John 2, the Apostle John mentions the antichrists that have gone out from them also like Cerinthus. Jude also talks about people like Cerinthus. Peter uses similar language in 2 Peter 2:17. All of these Bible writers served Christians in different parts of modern day Turkey.

Revelation has ample overcomers such as Jesus, Caesars or future Ceasars such as Nero, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. Conquerors were feted with parades on white horses with prisoners and treasures in tow. Today’s conquerors would get a ticker tape parade in Times Square. Is there only one overcomer as Lee claims?

NLT translates Revelation 2:7 as “to everyone who is victorious,” because NLT is a modern translation and is less literal in order to communicate to a modern audience what John was trying to convey. There was no singular overcomer intended in Revelation 2-3. Is Jesus saying, “To the church that overcomes”? To the one (church) that overcomes? One in the sense of anyone? Or is there just one overcomer? The sentences in verses 2:7, 11, 17 for the first three verses say in the ESV translation, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (verse 2:7) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.” (verse 2:11) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone.” (verse 2:17) “He who has an ear,” is third person singular but by metonymy can represent a larger group. Since the Spirit is talking to the churches plural, one may safely assume that the audience is everyone and in particular a plurality of church members who are listening to the Spirit, i.e. have an ear. For the most part, we all have two ears, so there is an example of a rhetorical device that uses singular but means plural right there. This device like singular overcomer, is used for effect. It is as if to say, “If you have at least one ear to listen with, listen to what the Spirit is saying.” And, the Spirit is in cooperation with Jesus and John and the reader. Read it, listen to the reading of it, and heed what the Spirit is reinforcing within the written word. It is not the revealed word — some secret knowledge or gnosis that only Lee Man Hee knows. “The one who conquers follows the phrase about “He who has an ear.”

Continuing on to the other letters, Revelation 2:26,29; 3:5-6, 12-13, 21-22

2:26 begins a new formula. “The one who conquers” precedes “he who has an ear, let him hear.” In Verse 2:26, the reward phrase part of the formula is so long that the “he who has an ear” phrase is not until verse 29. This gap can be manipulated in the revealed word to focus the SCJ ZMC center student on the the one who conquers or overcomes. TWO? Thyatira sits at the center of the chiasmus* because that church had good and bad aspects. On the bad side of the ledger is that they tolerated Jezebel in their midst. She called herself a prophetess meaning she was not a prophet of God. Rather, she told the Thyatirans what they wanted to hear. It was okay to practice sexual immorality like Balaam and the Midianite women did to Israel as they passed Moab and it’s king Balak. Also like Ahab’s wife Jezebel, who did not practice Yahweh/Messiah worship but worshipped Baal, Jezebel at Thyatira worshipped pagan gods. The conquerors of Thyatira would reject the deep things or knowledge of gnosis of Satan.

The verb participial that is translated the one who overcomes is called in grammatical terms casus pendens. It is a common semiticism seen throughout the Bible.

For example, Isaiah 59:21 “’As for Me, this is my covenant with them’, says the LORD.” Also, Revelation 2:7 “To him who overcomes, I will give…” The foreign sound of that may lend itself also to some confusion and manipulation.

The use of singular number to mean plural as metonymy is also not unusual. John who spent time with Jesus is expected to talk like Jesus. Also if this use of metonymy was a common semiticism, it would be expected for that reason as well. In John 5:24, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death unto life.”

Was Jesus saying only one person will have eternal life. Probably not. He was talking about whoever has faith as the NIV translates it. Just as Jesus said, “Take courage, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. But Lee Man Hee to be fair, teaches SCJ may earn eternal life. But only if he overcomes.

Another example is found in John 14:21 “The one who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me, and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.” Singular metonomy. It means plural number and refers to whoever believes just as it says in the NIV translation of that passage.


Lee is not an overcomer. Metonymy, context, chiasmus, rational man militate against a single overcomer concept. It is also inconsistent with sole Christus, sole fide theology. The Bible talks literally about Christ in OT and NT. Lee is weakly based parabolically on hidden destructive, unduly influential Babylonian style religions. It is not justified by OT to NT, NT to Revelation era so-called parallels just because “they” didn’t understand Jesus or “they” rejected Him. Or Jesus supposedly led a cult. Humanity, due to sin is judged, eternally dead and damned. But Jesus, God’s Son, was foretold. He completed what His Father, triune God, sent Him to do. Those who believe and follow Him are therefore saved.

*A chiasmus was a rhetorical device used to help the listener focus on the main point. Thyatira, the middle church in the list of seven is the most representative of the sort of problems Jesus wanted Asia Minor and us today to focus on. Those problems included syncretism, a combining of religions, and trying to fit in with the world in an overly tolerant way. The Thyatirans who persevered could be given great ability to counter false doctrines exemplified by a symbolic iron rod which would be more than adequate to smash flimsy pottery such as Lee’s false doctrine. His claim of singular overcomer does not take much to dismiss wholeheartedly, but the lengthy center classes soften the victim’s initial resistance to implant Lee’s deception into unwary minds.

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