June 28, 2019
Overcoming Leads To These Promises
But for that to happen we must say "Yes" to Him, and "No" to sin. We must hate sin as much as our Father hates it, and resist its temptation. We must be Overcomers. Just as God counseled Cain [in Genesis 4:7], if we do well [believing God and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Him], we will be accepted and our works found worthy of reward. And if we do not do well [and ignore His instruction], sin crouches at our door; its desire is [to overpower us], but we must master it. That's called overcoming; conquering sin, prevailing against it; and gaining victory over it.
Each person who conquers sin in his life is guaranteed rich rewards in Heaven. And there are promises which apply to all who overcome. Jesus, Himself, makes these promises in the Book of Revelation to all the ekklesias [His ruling body in the Kingdom of God on earth] who overcome. Let's consider these 7 promises:
1. We have access to the Tree of Life. 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.” (Revelation 2:7).
We all know the story of the Garden of Eden. God placed many trees in the Garden, but there were two of special importance to Him -- the Tree of [Eternal] Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil -- telling Adam and Eve they could eat of any of the trees except the Tree of Knowledge. They disobeyed that one simple rule. This resulted in them having knowledge of both good and evil, which allowed evil [sin] to enter the Garden and ultimately, the world.
Have you ever thought about the fact that if God had allowed them to then eat from the Tree of Life, that sin would have entered into Eternity? But God, in His Wisdom, cut off access to that eternal life and drove Adam and Eve from the Garden, placing His Heavenly guards at the eastern entrance to the Garden to safeguard the way to the tree. They lost their opportunity to eternal life.
But we have been given a new opportunity to "eat of the tree of life", just as Scripture says. Every time you resist sin, and overcome its temptation, you can take a bite of the fruit of the Tree of Life. You are storing up for eternal life in the Kingdom that Jesus will restore to the earth upon His return.
2. We will not be hurt by the Second Death. 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.” (Revelation 2:11).
We all face the first death of our physical body with certainty. We will all die in the flesh and to this world one day. But there will come a chance to be condemned to a second death when we stand before God upon His throne. He promises to make everything "new and fresh" (Revelation 21:5) and promises that those who conquer will receive gifts from Him -- He will continue to be their God, and they will continue to be His children. We will not be hurt by His Righteous Judgment. But then He makes another promise to those who have not overcome sin ... the faithless, the despicable, the murderers, the perverts, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all deceivers -- they will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, which is understandably, a second death.
The Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom is that for those of us who used our opportunities here on earth to resist sin, and won, we will not be harmed by this judgment.
3. We will be given hidden manna, a white stone, and a new name. 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.” (Revelation 2:17).
The hidden manna refers to the Bread of Life and the Living Water that you receive from the Lord in those hidden places where only you and He reside. It is the nourishment, sustenance and power we receive when we pray for help to overcome the temptation of sin in our lives. It is given to everyone who asks for it as they fight to overcome sin.
In the context of the time the Book of Revelation was written, a stone was given to one on trial. A white stone meant you were acquitted or innocent; a black stone meant you were declared guilty. To receive a white stone means that you are free from condemnation. You have been tried and have been found worthy. This white stone symbolizes your faithfulness and purity before the Lord. We know that here on earth our faith is tested. In eternity, it will have been proved; we have withstood [and overcome] the testing.
The new name is harder to identify. My own personal opinion is that it will be the name that is bestowed upon us by the Lord; a name that reflects the battles we have encountered and the sufferings we have endured. It will be a name that illustrates your new identity due to your faithfulness and the Father's grace. It will be a name that demonstrates your victory and transformation, and it will be a name unique to you and more precious than gold because it was given to you by your Savior.
4. We will receive Power over the Nations, a Rod of Iron, and the Morning Star. And he who overcomes and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ – as I also have received from my Father; and I will give him the morning star.” (Revelation 2:26-28).
Those who overcome the tremendous sin that is threatening to envelop this world, and who embrace the works that Jesus did -- confronting injustice, standing up to the religious institutions, healing the sick, casting out demons, etc. -- will be given a special place alongside Him in the Millennial Kingdom [upon His return]. These will be people who will be given the authority to "rule and reign" with the King because they ruled and reigned over sin in their lives and in the world. They will have to "break some vessels" and then "rule with a rod of iron" to re-establish the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth during the Millennial Kingdom. In other words, the King of kings will need people to begin setting things straight according to the Father's will. Those who have learned to rule their own lives with a rod of iron [against sin] will be qualified to do the same in the new Kingdom.
The morning star is the prophetic revelatory word you hear from the Holy Spirit that shines into the dark areas of your life, exposing the sin. If you are humble and willing to recognize the sin, then the morning star begins rising in your heart, and the light replaces the darkness. As that morning star rises and begins exposing more areas of your life to its light, you shine brighter and brighter until you are the full reflection of the bright morning star of Revelation 22 (Jesus).
5. We will receive White Garments and the Book of Life. 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 3:5).
As the Bride of Christ, we are told in Ephesians 5:27 that we will be presented to our Bridegroom without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but … holy and without blemish. But there is another aspect to the garments we will wear. Revelation 19:8 tells us She has been permitted to dress in fine linen, dazzling white and clean—for the fine linen signifies the righteous acts of the saints. So we can see that our garments will be spotless and wrinkle-free; free from the sin we have overcome, and they will represent our faithfulness to do good works which have been produced as the fruit of our salvation. We will appear in clothing that matches the purity and righteousness of Jesus.
I want to state that everyone's name is written in the Book of Life. But as established by the Lord in the Book of Exodus, if we become rebellious and do not overcome sin in our life, that sin can cause our name to be blotted out. Exodus 32:32-33 recounts a conversation between Moses and God. Moses says, Yet now, if You will, [please] forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out of Your book which You have written (kill me)!” But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book [not you].
It's pretty simple. If you want to remain in the Book of Life, you must overcome sin. Jesus said in John 10:27-28, My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me. I give to them the gift of eternal life and they will never be lost and no one has the power to snatch them out of my hands. That verse doesn't say that they can't reject His gift and remove themselves from His hand [by continuing in their rebellion and sin]. The Book of Life is not a guaranteed promise except to those who are willing to follow their Good Shepherd.
6. We will become a Pillar in the Temple of God. 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.” (Revelation 3:12).
Pillars are a support system to the Temple; they bear weight and are immovable, designed to never give way to pressure. If we are overcomers, we will be made into pillars, standing strong against the trials and temptations of this life. We will be able to bear anything that the Enemy throws at us.
But becoming a pillar is a process. One victory over sin doesn't qualify. You must be a consistent overcomer that becomes shaped into a pillar worthy of being a support system to the Kingdom of God. A pillar is useful to the Lord to sustain His Kingdom.
The New Jerusalem becomes the Bride of Christ. By writing the name of this holy city, the name of God, and Jesus's own new Name on us, He is laying claim to us. We will belong to Him! When we have overcome this sinful world and our own sinful nature, then we are worthy to belong to our Father and His Son!
7. We will sit with our Lord on His Throne. 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.” (Revelation 3:21).
To reign with Christ will take supernatural wisdom. Who among us can claim that our human nature gives us enough experience to rule with our King? It is only through living an overcoming life that we can hope to have that kind of experiential knowledge.
And believe it or not, our wisdom is measurable according to how well you have overcome. Each opportunity to overcome sin is a chance to grow in your faith and become more valuable as a Laborer in the Lord's harvest of souls. I don't know about you, but I want to know that the Lord is counting on me to rule and reign with Him; that He already has a place in His ruling government for me. What a way to enter into the final stage of my sanctification -- to be greeted by King Yeshua and taking my place next to Him on His throne -- to know that He is pleased with what I've done for His Kingdom and with my calling.
These are the extraordinary promises of reward for living a faithful life! God loves us. He has loved us before He created us. But we are born with a sinful nature, and He loves to see us overcome it, and to resemble His Son. There will be more to overcome in this life for some than others. But each of us can receive these glorious promises when we dedicate our lives to Jesus and surrender the sinful desires that the Enemy sends against us. To be an Overcomer is a tremendous privilege that leads to the assurance of eternal rewards. May we all be declared worthy of this title!
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.