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A The verb nikao (nikavw) has the following cognates:

1. Nike (nivkh) (noun), “victory.”
2. Nikos (ni~ko$) (noun), “victory, conquest.”
B Classical
1. The verb nikao appears from Homer onward and was used frequently in secular Greek literature.
2. The word was used intransitively meaning, “to win” and transitively meaning, “to defeat.”
3. In classical Greek, nikao meant, “to be victorious, both in military and legal combat.
4. The verb nikao and its cognate noun nike denoted a victory over an opposing force that was manifested
5. It also expresses “superiority in the natural rivalry, which takes place among men.”
6. The word was also used of the gods.
7. Nikao could mean, “to surpass, overcome, be stronger.”
8. It presupposes achievement in physical and spiritual combat.
9. The verb nikao is related to the noun nike, “victory, the power that provides victory.”
10. Liddel and Scott (Greek-English Lexicon, New Edition, page 1176):
a. Absolute, conquer, prevail in battle, in the games, or in any contest; prevail, be superior
b. Conquer, vanquish; overpower; passively, to be vanquished; with genitive of comparison, to be
inferior, yield to, give way to
1. The verb nikao does not appear very often in the LXX where it is found 25 times.
2. It is used primarily in the LXX to denote “victory over hostile foreign nations.”
3. Of course, the Lord God is the reason for the believer’s victory over these hostile foreign powers.
4. The Old Testament like the New Testament teaches that life on earth is one of conflict.
5. A rebellion has taken place among God’s creatures against God’s sovereign authority and will.
6. An angel who the Bible calls, “the devil, Satan”, led this rebellion.
7. This rebellion is recorded in Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-19.
8. Adam and the woman joined in this rebellion by disobeying the Lord’s command to not eat from the tree of
the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1-19).
9. The Lord Jesus Christ defeated Satan at the Cross with His voluntary substitutionary spiritual death on the
Cross (Phlp. 2:5-11).
10. The Father raised Christ and seated Him at His right hand indicating Christ’s victory over Satan.
11. This victory will be complete at Christ’s 2nd Advent when He establishes His millennial reign and Satan is
imprisoned for a thousand years (Rev. 19:7-20:3).
12. Satan will be released for a brief period after the millennium but then his sentence will be executed and he
will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:7-10).
13. The victories of Israel and individual believers were victories, which the Lord won for His people.
14. David recognized this fact when he stated before facing Goliath, that the “battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam.
15. Moses addressed Israel before she crossed over the Jordan an entered the land of Canaan that the Lord
would go ahead of them and give them victory over the nations resided in the land of promise (Dt. 31:1-3).
1. The verb nikao appears 28 times in the Greek New Testament.
2. In the Greek New Testament, the word could mean, “to overcome, conquer, to be superior.”
3. The verb nikao was used of overcoming an enemy in the temporal realm and Satan and the kingdom of
darkness in the spiritual realm.
4. The word was used by our Lord in Luke 11:22 and means, “to overcome.”
5. It appears in John 16:33 where the Lord states to His disciples that He has “overcome” the cosmic system
of Satan.
6. The word is found in Romans 3:4 where Paul states that God will be justified and “prevail” in the end when
His faithfulness is called into question.
7. It appears in Romans 12:21 where Paul commands his readers to “overcome” evil with divine good, or
manifesting the character of Christ.

2005 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Ministries 1

8. The word is in the intensive perfect in 1 John 2:12-14 where it is used of young spiritual adults who are
“victorious” over Satan in spiritual combat with the Word of God.
9. He uses it again in 1 John 4:4 to assure his readers that they have “overcome” the Satanically inspired false
prophets because of the indwelling Spirit.
10. John employs the verb nikao in 1 John 5:3 where he states that the new Christ nature “overcomes” the
cosmic system of Satan and this new nature was received the moment they exercised faith alone in Christ
alone for eternal salvation.
11. Therefore, in 1 John 5:4, he states that the one who believes in Christ has “overcome” the cosmic system of
12. The articular participle form of the verb nikao appears in Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21, 21:7 and
means, “the overcomer” and is one who is faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ to physical death or the rapture,
whichever comes first.
13. The Lord Jesus Christ states that the “overcomer” will be rewarded for his faithfulness.
14. The word is used of the Lord Jesus Christ who has “overcome” Satan and is able to open the book and the
seven seals, which contains the judgments of God.
15. The verb nikao appears in Revelation 6:2 of antichrist who during the Tribulation period will conquer the
entire world.
16. It is used again of antichrist in Revelation 11:7 where he will “overcome” the two Jewish witnesses during
the Tribulation period and will kill them.
17. Nikao appears in Revelation 12:11 where believers are said to “overcome” Satan with the blood of the
Lamb, which is a designation for the voluntary substitutionary spiritual death of the impeccable humanity
of Christ in hypostatic union on the Cross.
18. The word is used again of antichrist in Revelation 13:7 where the passage states that he will “overcome”
believers during the Tribulation by killing them for their faith in Christ.
19. It is used in Revelation 15:2 where it is used of Tribulational martyrs who were “victorious” over the
antichrist by refusing to worship his image and wear his mark.
20. Revelation 17:14 teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ will “overcome” the antichrist and the 10-nation
European confederacy that will appear during the Tribulation.
21. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, “to win a victory over – ‘to be
victorious over, to be a victor, to conquer, victory’ (volume 2, page 501).
22. The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised (page 277):
a. To conquer, overcome, vanquish, subdue
b. To overcome, prevail
c. To come off superior in a judicial sense
23. The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon (page 426):
a. To carry off the victory, come off victorious, of Christ
b. To win the case
24. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (page 539):
a. Intransitively, be victor, prevail, conquer, in a battle or contest, in a legal action
b. Transitively, conquer, overcome, vanquish; passively, to be conquered, beaten

2005 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Ministries 2