What awaits us….
Use Revelation 2-3 as an outline for today’s message and look at what it is that we will receive if we continue to overcome.
Tree of Life
Here are Christ’s concluding words to the church at Ephesus
Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘
says to the churches… In speaking to the first church we have an admonition to hear all that He is saying to the churches throughout each phase or era of the church until His return. There is only one church since there is one spirit, so this applies to everyone. As you will see they are not mutually exclusive, some of them you cannot have without the other.
eat from the tree of life … Let’s look at the precursor to this in Genesis
Genesis 2:8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden [in the midst of Eden; in the midst of the Paradise of God], and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 3:22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever“—
Now we go from the very beginning to the very end:
Paradise of God
in the midst of the Paradise of God…
Revelation 22:11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
To become spirit as God is, imparts immortal life going forward and this is part of our reward. Once we have taken of it fully and have been born again of Spirit we will live forever and that will never be taken from us as we see in:
Second Death Will Not Have Power Over Us
Revelation 2:11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ‘
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
The wages of sin is death and we have been on this path since then
What is the first death? This is the one that most of the world fears and agonizes over because they believe it all there is to life. When we understand the plan of God it gives us perspective and comfort knowing that there is life after the first death. When everyone will have the chance to know and understand the way of God, accept it and live forever.
But that being said there is a consequence for those that reject God and His ways once they have had this unimpeded access to Him. This is called the second death:
Judgment to Salvation or Judgment to the Second Death
Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
But it is the second one that they should fear. There is no hope after this one.
But we who overcome, do not have to fear:
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
So, not only can we live forever, there is no possibility of that ever being taken away and we die.
Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ‘
hidden manna to eat… secret; it’s a mystery
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
Deuteronomy 8:3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4)
Sustained Israelites, the church in the wilderness, on the way to the promised land
It may be called “hidden” because it was in a golden pot and put in the most holy place, where only the high priest could see it once a year OR because it represented Christ who remains a mystery to most of the world at large.
John 6:65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
John 6:67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
John 6:68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
John 6:48 I am the bread of life.
John 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
John 6:50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
I will give him a white stone…
Thayer Definition: 1) a small worn smooth stone, a pebble 1a) in the ancient courts of justice the accused were condemned by black pebbles and the acquitted by white 2) a vote (on account of the use of pebbles in voting)
They only other place in the Bible where this word is found is in:
Acts 26:9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Acts 26:10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
Acts 26:11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
Interlinear: I-DOWN-CARRY I-[deposit] PEBBLE [ballot]
Paul cast his vote and assented to the sentence of death for Christians by putting in a black rock
The best explanation that we have when Christ says: will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it, it is a confirmation of the fact that we have made our election sure, in spite of the fact that Satan has been accusing us and has been metaphorically casting votes against us with his black pebbles, Christ has trumped him and given us a white pebble acquitting us and welcoming us into the Kingdom of God.
Rule Over Nations
Revelation 2:26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
Revelation 2:27 [parenthetic] ‘HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON; THEY SHALL BE DASHED TO PIECES LIKE THE POTTER’S VESSELS’—[parenthetic] as I also have received from My Father;
Revelation 2:28 and I will give him the morning star.
We are given that same power!
We will return with Him in might and power:
Revelation 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
Revelation 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Revelation 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 17:14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Psalm 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds.
Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand,
Psalm 149:7 To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples;
Psalm 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron;
Psalm 149:9 To execute on them the written judgment— This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!
It will be an honor for us to begin bringing order and peace to this earth and ruling over them justly and rightly
Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Revelation 3:4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
Because of the way that they were acting
Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright [KJV:white; means radiant], for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
We will be made perfect and fully righteous – we will be clothed in righteousness
We will no longer have this small measure of the holy spirit, which is the power and nature of God in us that we reflect on a day to day basis, but now we will be righteous like the Father ans Son are now, and we will be this way for eternity.
Book of Life
Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
It has been written there already, let’s look at when it was written
Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world….
We were predestined to this calling from the beginning and it has been up to us what we will make of it. He is saying here that we have made it and we no longer have to fear it being taken out or blotted out
Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
Philippians 4:2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
Philippians 4:3 And I urge you also, true companion, help [present tense] these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. [present tense]
…but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
It will no longer be Satan accusing us before God, but it will be our Advocate and the greatest lawyer of all time making our case for us. Do we see how all of these rewards continue to tie together with one another making them inseparable?
Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
We are presented clean by the blood of Christ. So even though Satan has been constantly making a case against us, our name has been left in the Book of Life, because Christ’s vote overrides all else.
Become a Pillar in Temple
Revelation 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more….
pillar in the temple of My God…
Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Ephesians 2:20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Ephesians 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
Ephesians 2:22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, [the city of God]
Revelation 21:11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
Revelation 21:12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Revelation 21:13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
Revelation 21:14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Revelation 21:22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”
This city is then a representation of all those that made it into the Kingdom of God and have become a pillar
Revelation 21:23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
Revelation 21:24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
Revelation 21:25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
Revelation 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
Revelation 21:27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
WE are the ones, those written in the book of life that will be this city and the pillars in it — the great city, the holy Jerusalem, the new Jerusalem
Revelation 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 3:15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Do we now see why Proverbs 22:1says this is the good name that we should want and choose over great riches
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Note this Prophecy for the end-time:
Isaiah 56:4 For thus says the LORD: “To the eunuchs (Salvation even for the Gentiles) who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,
Isaiah 56:5 Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.
It will be our new name and it is an eternal name that will not and cannot be taken from you.
Place on the Throne
Revelation 3:21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
I will grant to sit with Me on My throne…
We will be reigning and ruling with Christ and not just for the 1000 years we mentioned before.
Revelation 22:5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
Luke 19:12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.
Luke 19:13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’
Luke 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’
Luke 19:15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Luke 19:16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’
Luke 19:17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’
Luke 19:18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’
Luke 19:19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
We will be given the authority to judge and rule all nations.
Inherit All Things
There is one last place in the book of Revelation where it mentions the rewards for overcoming:
Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
We cant imagine what this is or what it means
ALL of this will be the reward of those that overcome
Christ Overcame and Qualified
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus did it and set us an example that we should do the same
We Must Overcome the World Too!
1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world [and receives], but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is your key to the Kingdom of God!
There is much to overcome but there is much to be gained. There are two choices that have been put in front of you: life and death.
Let’s stay focused on being a part of the better resurrection and:
Revelation 3:13 let [us] hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘