Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"He that overcometh" Part 2

I was going to comment on each of the "overcometh" statements in Revelation 2-3, but I realized that Pastor David O'Steen already did an excellent study on these verses in his post "Rightly Dividing Revelation 2-3":
Here are his comments...  
"1. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of paradise of God.” (2:7)

The tree of life was on earth in the beginning and will be once again in the end (Gen. 3:22-24; Rev. 22:2). When Adam fell paradise was lost and the tree of life could not be accessed. When the kingdom of heaven is set up on earth paradise will be restored and once again this tree will be available. The tree of life literally gives life to those that eat of it.  How will they gain right to this tree? By keeping the commandments of God (Rev. 22:14)! The body of Christ does NOT need this tree because we will have a body fashioned like the glorious body of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20-21). Do you think that Christ will need the tree of life? Than neither will we! 

2. “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” and “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (2:10b; 11b)
Faithful tribulation saints will face execution (beheading) for not worshipping the beast. There will be a multitude of martyrs that God promises to avenge and reward (Rev. 6:9-11; 20:4). That the devil will personally persecute these people (Rev. 2:10) proves they are in the great tribulation (Rev. 12:9-13). Commentators spiritualize the ten days to mean anything but ten days (e.g. ten persecutions by Roman emperors). I take it to be ten literal days. They will be tried in prison (tortured) for ten days in an effort to make them decide to take the mark of the beast. If they take the mark they will be damned (Rev. 14:9-12). If they "love not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11) they will be resurrected and given a crown of life (Matt. 10:16-39; Jam. 1:12; Rev. 20:4; 21:7). The body of Christ will not be “hurt of the second death” but is this is NOT because we overcame the antichrist! In the tribulation, those that do not “endure to the end” will not be saved (Matt. 24:13).

3. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (2:17)
God supernaturally fed His people with manna in the wilderness. In the tribulation they can not buy, sell, or trade without the mark of the Beast. The faithful remnant will not take the mark. They will flee to the wilderness where God will once again supernaturally feed His people for 3 ½ years (Rev. 12:6, 14; Mic. 7:14-15). The “white stone” is also associated with Israel’s wilderness experience. In Exodus we read of stones on the breastplate of the high priest. God will make the whole nation “a kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6). In Exodus we also read of stones called “Urim and Thummim” of which little is known. We do know they were associated with God hearing and answering His people. Surely the “white stone” is associated with Israel as was the manna.

4. “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.” (2:27-28)
In Numbers 24:17-19 we read about the “Star” and “Sceptre” that shall rise out of Israel, that will have “dominion”, and that will cause Israel to do “valiantly”. The Star and Sceptre is Christ. When He sets up His kingdom Israel will reign with Him over the world with a “rod of iron” (Ps. 2; Rev. 12:5). Christ said to His disciples, “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Lk. 22:28-30)

5. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (3:5)
Later in the book we are clearly told that the white raiment is the “righteousness of the saints” (19:7-8). The body of Christ stands in the righteousness of Christ (Phil. 3:4-9). Those who overcome will not only be clothed in white but will have their name confessed before the Father. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 10:32-33 and a casual reading of the context will show you it is a tribulation promise. Those blotted out of the book for unfaithfulness and denial of the Son will not enter the kingdom but will be cast into outer darkness.
6. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (3:10; 12)

God promises to protect His faithful remnant through the great tribulation. Some will be raptured (144,000 in Rev. 12:5) and others will be protected on the earth (12:13-17). The promise of v.10 is similar to the one found in Zeph. 2:3 and Isa. 26:20. The overcomers are promised a special position in the temple (pillar = display). They had “little strength” but will be a strong and secure pillar in God’s temple. We are not going to be a pillar in the temple, we are the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16). Those that worship the beast receive his name. The overcomers will be totally identified with the true and living God by having His name (22:4), the name of His city, and a new name written upon them (2:17; Isa. 62:2). The new Jerusalem which comes down from heaven following the millennial kingdom is totally identified with ISRAEL (check the names on the 12 gates!). Of course the temple in v.12 refers to the millennial temple of the kingdom. The Jews will be able to serve the Lord continually in it as the nations flow into Jerusalem to worship the King (Zech. 14:16).

7. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (3:21)

It is when Christ returns to establish His kingdom on earth that He will sit on the throne of His father David (Lk. 1:32) and the throne of His glory (Matt. 25:31). Between His ascension and second coming He is seated with His Father in His Father’s throne (Ps. 110:1). This proves that the covenants are not being fulfilled "spiritually" today through the church. The overcomers will reign with Christ in the kingdom (Rev. 2:26-27; 5:10; 20:4). Christ overcame Satan by the word of God and by being obedient unto death (Phil. 2:8). The tribulation saints must overcome Satan the same way (12:11)." 

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