We Saints will literally rule with Christ



Dear Saints, our redemption is very soon. 

We go up, the Tribulation Begins, We then come back with our Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation and we reign with him.  

Praise God! Hallelujah!


Maranatha!







Revelation 12 Signs in The Heavens The Body of Christ and the Rapture, Reigning with Christ


https://www.thethirdheaventraveler.com/2017/03/rapture-watch-signs-in-heavens.html?showComment=1588797974498#c7254470452394315196


Reigning with Christ


https://www.thethirdheaventraveler.com/2014/11/co-reigning-with-christ.html


To be a Good Soldier for Jesus We have to Know our Authority and Responsibility in order to Strive Lawfully (thethirdheaventraveler.com)

  Contrary to age old conventional wisdom conveyed through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world (Colossians 2:8 KJV) that have deceived many Christians into believing we saints have our entire work done here in this realm and then we go to heaven and rest, hanging out in clouds and playing harps. 

 In reality we Saints will  be quite active in reigning actively with Jesus Christ during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ on earth after we come back with Jesus in the 2nd Advent from heaven after the Rapture and 7 year tribulation has finished. The thought of us with wings playing harps in the clouds or just hanging out in green fields of bliss with Jesus is not even close to biblical.


Here’s what the Bible tells us:


When we come back with Jesus in the 2nd Advent (after we spend time in heaven following the Rapture)….Revelation 19:14 KJV we will reign with him for 1,000 years and then enter the eternal state. During this reign with Jesus here’s what our authority will be:



Reign with Christ during 1,000 years. Revelation 20:4-6 KJV

and Revelation 21 KJV

We will rule with Jesus with His absolute authority.   See NOTES below as to why the Crown known as the Crown for the Overcomer - The Incorruptible Crown is so important in this role. Read: 2 Timothy 2:12. Suffering is Enduring and Overcoming. 

For the Church Overcoming is NOT required to receive our Salvation but our reward and in reign with Christ.  This is quite different for the Tribulation Saints. See Notes below on the Crowns. 

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

 Although Revelation chapter 12 is clearly referring to the midpoint of the Tribulation, there is a very clear paraenthetical set aside or flash back to Revelation Chapter 4 where John clearly sees the Bride of Christ being rapture'd "Before" The woman has to flee into the Petra. 



Throughout my early Christian life, I had always been taught that Revelation 12:5 referred to Jesus, but this is impossible if we carefully read and take scripture with scripture.  Jesus was taken up but the body of Christ is caught up. Acts 1 . 1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV

 If you still think Revelation 12:5KJV refers to Jesus then how in the world could a woman give birth before birth pangs?  Carefully read:

Isaiah 66:7-9KJV

Micah 5:2-3

Take Revelation 12:5 KJV and harmonize it with 

Psalms 2:7-9 KJV 


Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.


 Psalms 2 Gives us a terrifying account of how fierce the reign of Jesus Christ and we with him in administering justice during the Millennial reign. We Saints who are with him and complete within him and He in us. This is perfectly harmonized with Ephesians 1:17 - 21 &   Ephesians 2:5,6 KJV.   
 which clearly tells us this:  When we are saved we are are raised up together with Jesus Christ and reside with him, in him far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come.  

The following excerpt from dust to kingship details this reality:

"From the speaker's perspective, however, there is more at stake,2 as is evident from the additional prepositional phrase in this synonymous parallel poetic line, "against the Lord and his anointed." The confederacy of nations is not just making war preparations against a Judean king. First and foremost, they are rebelling against the Lord, who administers his kingdom through his royal priesthood representative on earth.  Revelation 12:5 - Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10. The 24 Elders represent the Church. See my study on "Time to Study Casting Crowns."

Time to take a serious look at Casting Crowns #Bible Study (thethirdheaventraveler.com)

The opening series of incredulous questions of the first strophe of Psalm 2 reaches its climax in a direct quotation of the resolution of the rebellious rulers:
"Let us break their bonds
and throw off their cords!"


The second part of the decree (vs. 8) promises the nations as an inheritance to the Davidic king.38 As the "son" of the great king, the Davidic king is entitled to an inheritance. According to verse 8, this inheritance is there for the asking39 and consists of all the nations of the earth. As the son of the great king, therefore, the Davidic king is the rightful owner of all the earth.

Consequently, as the Lord reigns over the whole earth as its creator, so also potentially his king reigns over all the earth. If this fact alone does not inspire fear in the hearts and minds of the rebellious rulers, the second promise in verse 9 certainly should. It reads as follows:
"You may41 break42 them with a rod of iron,
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

This verse appears to refer to the practice referred to in Egyptian execration texts. According to Kraus, "[i]n the Egyptian coronation and jubilee rituals the king demonstrated his world wide power by symbolically smashing earthen vessels that bore the names of foreign nations."43 Similarly, "Mesopotamian texts frequently mention the fact that a ruler smashes nations 'like pottery.' "44 Based on these parallel texts, therefore, verse 9 promises judiciary powers to the Davidic king to enforce his rightful claim to universal reign over the nations. Consequently, the implied meaning of this promise is: If the nations do not willingly subject themselves to you, then you may crush them with your royal scepter45 like pottery (cf. Jer 19:11).46

 Excerpt from From Dust To Kingship



https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/from-dust-to-kingship-psalm-2/

Now read and study Daniel 7:27 KJV to understand the Saints will rule with Christ and harmonize this with 1 Corinthians 6:2 KJV 

More on the power and honor we have to rule with Christ


Psalms 149:6-9

 
To understand the overwhelming unimaginable gift of God's Grace that brought Jesus Christ for our Redemption please read and reflect for a moment upon 


Isaiah 53  KJV

Now read Isaiah 53 with Exodus 13:13 KJV



 Additional scriptures to ponder

Acts 4:26 KJV Psalms 110 KJV  , Acts 7:55 KJV , Hebrews 1 KJV

Additional notes:

The following study is provided by:

http://watchfortheday.org/manchild.html

Signs of the End

A Discovery of Biblical Timelines


Signs of the End

A Discovery of Biblical Timelines

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that this day should overtake you like a thief in the night 1Thessalonians 5:4

This web site looks for the best scenario of the coming time in light of the Bible

Revelation 12 – Birth Before Labor?

January 22, 2017

“I think I may say without exaggeration that I have read or carefully examined several hundred books purporting to expound the Revelation. I have learned to view this twelfth chapter as the crucial test in regard to the correct prophetic outline. If the interpreters are wrong as to the woman and the man-child, it necessarily follows that they will be wrong as to many things connected with them. Therefore I ask your particular attention as we endeavor to see what light Scripture itself throws on this remarkable vision.”

–H.A.Ironside

Archives

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Signs of the End - Orders

Revelation 12 contains the Sign of the Woman and the Male-Child. The Sign of the Woman physically appears in the heavens on September 23, 2017 and it won’t appear again for at least a thousand years. Attempts have been made to dismiss the significant elements of this sign, but to do so reduces this sign to the ordinary. But the Sign cannot be ordinary, if it is to be great as the Apostle John described it. Since it hasn’t happened in nearly 6,000 years and it will not occur again for another 1,000 in the least–that would seem to be pretty great. Here on this site, focus has been placed on the timing of this sign and the deduction that the 70th Week of Daniel or the Day of the Lord must soon begin. But let us get to the core of this sign that has even eluded this author for some time. The core being what these signs represent, especially the Man-Child. Let us look closer at this crucial chapter that H.A. Ironside knew it was decades ago.

Revelation 12:1-5

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

It is first of all crucial that we understand where Revelation 12 fits into the order of events. Revelation 12 comes after Revelation 11, which concludes the Tribulation or time of judgment. Therefore, the Book of Revelation is not totally linear. Revelation 12 is part of a parenthesis that lays out the unfolding players and plan of God and goes back to the beginning. This has confused many people who think Revelation 12 occurs chronologically after Revelation 11. Understanding this correctly will of course help alleviate some of the confusion.

The Woman with the sun, moon, and twelve stars is a reference back to Joseph and his dream that equated it to his family. This sign is therefore representative of the Nation of Israel. The Sign of the Dragon is Satan and his world system that will persecute the Woman after she gives birth to the Man-Child. The Dragon waits to devour the Man-Child, but the Man-Child is taken or seized to the throne of God. So instead the Dragon goes after the Woman in an attempt to persecute her or more accurately to purge her from the earth.

The crux of the passage is the identity of the Male-Child. Naturally, it is obvious to most readers that this speaks of Christ. Christ was the promised seed of the woman. Here the Woman is Israel and the Messiah came from Israel and more specifically He came through the line of David through Nathan to Mary. The Messiah, Jesus the Christ, was born but did not rule the nations since he instead suffered on our behalf the death of the cross. He then ascended to heaven. However, one day He will rule from Jerusalem as was anticipated by Psalm 2:6-9.

Yet I have set My King

On My holy hill of Zion.

I will declare the decree:

The Lord has said to Me,

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me, and I will give You

The nations for Your inheritance,

And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’

One day Jesus the Son of God will reign from Jerusalem and the Book of Revelation describes that final step. John is referring back to the Psalm to make his point that Jesus will rule the nations. In Revelation 12:5, the Greek uses the word huios for child in “Man-Child”. Huios is the word used for the Son through the whole New Testament. Only once was Jesus not referred to with huios (Son) and the word teknon was used. In 91 verses teknon is used 99 times and only once for Christ. Teknon is the word used for natural offspring where huios speaks of a mature son and heir. Teknon was used by Mary in her quote of erroneously rebuking Jesus for being about His Father’s business when he was thirteen at the Temple. Her use of teknon shows her diminutive treatment of Jesus and forgetting who He really was. So when John penned Revelation 12:5 he rightly used huios to refer to the Son of God, but in the second half he used teknon. That would appear almost scandalous, but that only means we are missing the idea of what John has communicated. Who then does this Male-Child represent in The Revelation?

When John uses huios with male (arsen) in verse 5, he is “guilty” of bad grammar. Huios is masculine and arsen is in the neuter, but this is not a mistake in the least. John is basically copying the Greek from the LXX in Isaiah 66:7. He is using an Old Testament reference that he wants the reader to understand and see the parallel. This will then unlock why he used huios first with teknon at the end of Revelation 12:5.

Isaiah 66:7-8

Before she was in labor, she gave birth;

Before her pain came,

She delivered a male child.

Who has heard such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?

Or shall a nation be born at once?

For as soon as Zion was in labor,

She gave birth to her children.

Isaiah 66 coupled with Revelation 12 is amazing. First we see that the Woman delivers the Male-Child before the pain of childbirth. Isaiah makes it clear that this is not natural that the Child comes before the labor. This fits the scenario of Revelation 12:5 where the Child is born and taken to God before the Woman (Israel) goes into the Tribulation (labor). Isaiah then makes clear that this birth happens in one day and that the earth gives this birth (Isaiah 26:19-21). Furthermore, this is the birth of a nation. This male child is thus a corporate body. Therefore, the Male-Child of Revelation is a corporate body and this agrees with the similar corporate imagery of the Woman and Dragon. The Woman is the Nation of Israel and the Dragon is Satan heading up his whole world system. The Male-Child is then the corporate Body of Christ with Christ as its head and the Church as its body. The consistent New Testament picture of Christ and the Church is of one body (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:4-6, Ephesians 5:23). The Church is also called His bride, but this is the same concept since a man and woman are to be unified in one unit–the two shall be one flesh. This unity is strengthened by the Book of Revelation 2:26-28.

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.

Christ’s coming rule over the nations will include the Church as part of His administration. One great theologian who believed this way was John Nelson Darby. The following words from him best summarize Christ and the Church’s rule as one body:

“If the mighty man, the mystic man, the man-child of Revelation xii. is to act, He must first be complete. . . . For not until then—until the Church, the body, is united to the Head, Christ, in heaven—is the mystic man in that sense complete; and therefore, the Church must be taken up before Christ can come in judgment.”

—John Nelson Darby, Seven Lectures on the Prophetical Addresses to the Seven Churches, 3d rev. ed. (London: G. Morrish, c. 1855), 153–154.

To John Darby, Revelation 12:5 was a cornerstone passage for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. It is most interesting that teknon is the word used when used with the Church. Here in Revelation the teknon child is taken or seized to the throne of God. The word used here for taking the child is harpazo. Harpazo is the word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught (harpazo) up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Here then we see the same scenario. The Body of Christ, the Church, is caught up to Heaven to join the Lord. The corporate body is unified before it can conduct its judgement and rule. As Isaiah 66 says, this nation will be born in one day. In one day, in the twinkling of an eye, the Church will be born again through its promised resurrection and rapture to the Lord. Before Jesus Christ breaks the seals of Revelation, the Church will be there at God’s throne as the corporate body. This fits the scene of Revelation 4-5.

It must also be noted that harpazo is the word reserved for the Rapture and it refers to the snatching away by a thief. This word was not used in the Ascension of Christ. The thief imagery is also consistent with the fact that the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5). But be careful, Paul explains further that those in the light should not be caught by surprise. Those caught in the world system will be.

It is also important in understanding the Man-Child concept to consider Micah 5:2-3.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,

Yet out of you shall come forth to Me

The One to be Ruler in Israel,

Whose goings forth are from of old,

From everlasting.”

Therefore He shall give them up,

Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;

Then the remnant of His brethren

Shall return to the children of Israel.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem and He was to be ruler, but instead was rejected, died, and ascended to heaven. Jesus then gave up Israel and called out a people for His name (Acts 15:4). Jesus gives Israel up until the time the Woman gives birth. That birth then is the birth of the Man-Child–the Church, the Body of Christ when it is transformed and taken to heaven. After that birth, the remnant of the Nation of Israel will return. The remaining entire Nation of Israel will be saved after the seven years.

Clearly then, Revelation 12:5 is the description of the Rapture of the Body of Christ to the throne of God. With the Sign of the Woman this September 23, 2017, it is time to be Rapture ready. The Church will soon put on what is incorruptible via the Rapture and then the rest of the world will face the Tribulation of seven years. These final seven years are for Israel (Daniel 9:24, 27) who will become the primary source for evangelism in a world under judgement. Christ will be preparing the way to rule the planet and will rid the earth of the wicked, then the Messianic Kingdom will exist with the ruling of the Man-Child. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!

Maranatha!

Resources:

Man-Child vs. Child: A Word Study of Rev. 12:5

Revelation 12: Escape to a Place Prepared


The Revelation Sign Compendium

THE BEMA SEAT AND OUR CROWNS

When each of us stand before the Judgment SEAT of Jesus Christ called the BEMA SEAT 2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV .  This Judgment is not regarding our salvation but rather our works we've done for our Lord as Christians.  Here are the crowns we may get depending on what we've accomplished. Exception: All true Christians will receive the crown of REJOICING. 

The Crown of Righteousness 2 Timothy 4:8 KJV.  

The Incorruptible Crown 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 KJV.

The Crown of Life   James 1:12 KJV

The Crown of Glory   1 Peter 5:2-4 KJV

The Crown of Rejoicing   1 Thessalonians 2:19 KJV  

A shining light of brilliance.  Just as stars have different intensity some of us will shine brighter than others depending on our works and accomplishments that have been recorded in heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:41-42 KJV

Each of us as true Christians must ensure we are striving lawfully to gain our rewards.       2 Timothy 2:5 KJV         1 Corinthians 3:12-15 KJV

See study on striving lawfully which is rightly dividing the word of truth in working and teaching in the proper dispensation of GRACE. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

To be a Good Soldier for Jesus We have to Know our Authority and Responsibility in order to Strive Lawfully (thethirdheaventraveler.com)

THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN IS THE CROWN OF THE OVERCOMERS 

Why this is so critical. Read 2 Timothy 2:12. See Suffering - Overcoming.

G5278 preserve under misfortunes and trials; used in Romans 12:12; 1 Corinthians 13:7 for the church.  Now compare with Matthew 10:22, 13:13, 24:13 KJV which applies to the JEWS and the Tribulation saints which is salvation. For the church this is NOT a salvation issue but a REWARD and REIGNING issue in position of authority. 


 Are The Overcomers – Grace thru faith

Why is the Incorruptible Crown called the Crown for the Overcomer?

The Five Crowns in Scripture (generationword.com)


Incorruptible Crown (1 Cor. 9:25) - this crown would be the first level a believer would attain to. This crown indicates mastery over the sin nature. The Corinthians are being urged to run the Christian life in such a way as to receive the reward in the end. Here the emphasis is in self-control.

“They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. . . I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

a) Paul is focusing the believers on running the race or living the life God has given them to compete in.

b) Just as each life has a race, each life has a reward available.

c) Only those who run the race and run it according to the rules will get a prize.

d) The crown or stephanos would wither and sometimes was withered (either of pine or celery see “1 Cor., NICNT, Fee”) at the time of the victory but it meant fame, prestige and fortune. The symbol of victory would fade but the fame was more enduring.

e) Paul does not run aimlessly (9:26), meaning he does not life his Christian life with out purpose or direction. Nor should we if we want to achieve what has been made available to us. Consider someone who enters a race not knowing the distance or direction.

f) The boxer failing to land a blow is ridiculous and pointless. It is an analogy of the undisciplined believer missing his purpose.

Overcomers In Ephesus

NOTE:  Compare Paul's Letter to the Ephesians and in Acts 20 to Revelation 2:4.  They had fallen from the heights spoken of by Paul.


Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Rev. 2:4-5,7)

By the end of the first century, the Church had already become busy doing religious works. They had forgotten that the work was already done and our primary purpose is to worship the Lord and give Him thanks. The relationship He gave His life to have with us was already becoming another religion. Those who changed their attitude and overcame the human tendency to earn our position with God, and rested in the fact that Jesus did it all would meet Him at the Tree of life in paradise. The overcomer was the one who rested in faith and worshiped God.


Overcomers In Smyrna

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Rev. 2:10)

History tells us the ten days referred to here are the reign of 10 Caesars, which lasted for 250 years, through the third Century. During this time Christians were persecuted relentlessly. Many were called upon to give their lives for their faith. The Lord offered no escape from this except that which comes from death. But those who remained faithful in believing His promise of everlasting life received it. The overcomer died in faith and received life.

Overcomers In Pergamum


Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 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. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Rev. 2:14-17)

In the 4th Century, the church was married to the pagan Babylonian religion, and practices that were not only un-Biblical but detestable to the Lord became common. The Lord threatened to fight these practices with the sword of His Mouth, which is his Word. The overcomers were those who stayed true to the unadulterated Gospel and lived by faith in its promises. They received the Bread of Life, and a token that would commend them to the Father in the name of the Son.


Overcomers In Thyatira

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. (Rev. 2:20-26)

The illicit marriage of the Church to Babylon produced four children, all alive on Earth today. Thyatira represents the Catholic Church, the first child. It became wealthy by confiscating property through false accusations, like Jezebel had, and also instituted the sale of indulgences that authorized licentious practices for a fee. But to those who hold Jesus in their hearts and reject the traditions that would add to what He accomplished on the cross, Jesus promises salvation. They haven’t learned Satan’s secrets of Jesus plus Mary, Grace plus works, Scripture plus sacraments, and have overcome, living by faith alone


Overcomers In Sardis


Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (Rev. 3:2-5)

The Protestant Church, represented by Sardis, carried out the Lord’s threat to judge the Church’s practices by the Sword of His Mouth. The call of the Reformation was Sola fides (only through faith), sola gratia (Only by grace), solus Christus (only with Christ), and sola Scriptura (Only His Word).” For the first time, the Bible was available to all who could read it. Great seminaries were founded to teach pastors the Word of God. But into these seminaries, the devil crept, and the authority of God’s word was challenged. It was all in the name of intellectualism so it was thought to be good, but soon the Gospel had been robbed of its power, the light of faith had gone out, the Spirit was quenched, and the people had been lulled to sleep.

Many still are asleep, but there are a few who remember the Gospel and cling to it. They’ve repented of the Documentary Hypothesis, Modern Rationalism, and all the rest. They’ve overcome what Walter Martin called the Cult of Liberalism and have retained the power of the Gospel. They’ve been washed in the Blood of the Lamb and been given clean clothes. Their names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and He will never blot them out.

Overcomers In Philadelphia

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. (Rev. 3:8,10-12)

“Hold on to what you have,” the Lord commands the Evangelical Church, “because I’m coming soon. And because you’ve waited patiently for me, I’ll keep you from the hour of trial that’s going to test the whole world.”

And what do we have to hold on to? We have His Word, His name, and His promise. He’s coming soon. There are 5 crowns mentioned in the New Testament, to which believers should aspire. But here the Lord mentioned only one. Which one? I think it’s the one described in 2 Tim. 4:8, the Crown of Righteousness, for those who’ve longed for His appearance. Who but the Bible-believing, prophecy studying Evangelical Church can even qualify for this crown, and which one is more descriptive of the yearning in our hearts?


(Note: I take great exception to the author of this article claiming the Evangelical church is the Church of Philadelphia. It is so obvious today that most of the Evangelical Movement are completely apostate and are of the Laodicean church. The true Church of Philadelphia are those who are NOT in the apostate Evangelical Church movement but who are in individual home churches and the underground church)


Overcomers In Laodicea

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne. (Rev. 3:15-16-20-21).

Here’s the fourth child, the End Times Apostate Church. Prosperous and in need of nothing. They like to call themselves followers of Christ, not just believers, and the focus is definitely on doing. Hardly anyone hears His knock on the door, which means He’s standing outside trying to get in. Some will overcome this mad rush to conquer a world beyond saving, in the name of a Jesus many of them don’t know, in the hope of accomplishing something He doesn’t want. To those who hear the knock and invite Him into their heart to kindle the fires of faith, He will give the right to sit with Him on his throne.

These seven letters give us seven examples to show that we overcome by faith alone. From the church in Ephesus, we see that we overcome by worshiping the Lord and thanking Him for doing all the work of our salvation. From Smyrna, we see that it’s by remaining faithful to the point of death that we overcome and receive life. The overcomers in Pergamum rejected the pagan rituals of Babylon that obscure and pervert the Gospel Story. Those in Thyatira refused to add to the simplicity of the gospel, while in Sardis they refused to let its power be taken away. Overcomers in Philadelphia hold on to His Name, His Word and His Promise, and Laodicean overcomers listen for His knock at the door and open their hearts to him when they hear it.



Revelation - Appendix 3: Who Are the Overcomers? | Bible.org

The Incorruptible crown for overcoming for the Church

4) The rewards view: According to this view, the overcomer passages are promises of rewards given to believers to encourage them to overcome the trials of life through faithfulness.

This view is held by some very outstanding expositors of the Word. For instance, J. Sidlow Baxter writes:

But the promise is to “the overcomer.” Are all believers “overcomers”? Let him think twice about who would answer a dogmatic “Yes” to this question. The letters to the seven churches, at least, suggested otherwise to an unprejudiced reader. Our standing in Christ is no artificial position of immunity. As there are degrees of punishment [in hell] so there are degrees of reward [in heaven]. One is made ruler over ten cities, another over five. “One star differeth from another star in glory.

”14

Barnhouse has a similar view which sees the promises to the overcomer as promises of rewards for faithfulness and writes:

Some have said that eating from the tree of life was the equivalent of receiving eternal life, but this is most evidently a false interpretation. Eternal life is the prerequisite for membership in the true Church. Eating of the tree of life is a reward that shall be given to the overcomer in addition to his salvation. His work, built upon the foundation that is Christ Jesus, abides the test of the Lord’s appearing, and he receives over and above his entrance into eternal life, a place in the Heavens in the midst of the paradise of God.15

These men, along with others, would heartily agree that all believers are overcomers in one sense, in the sense they have become children of God, have been translated out of darkness into the glorious light of Christ, have been taken out of Adam and placed into Christ. In this glorious position, they have become identified with Him as to His person and work, etc., and enjoy many other marvelous blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:10). Every believer is an overcomer in that sense (1 John 5:4-5). But these expositors would also insist that all believers do not overcome absolutely. Christians can fail to live for the Lord and overcome the desires of the flesh (1 Cor. 11:28f; 1 John 5:16-17). Furthermore, while the failure to overcome may be an indication of false profession, the fact a believer does not overcome the struggles of life, does not automatically prove they are not true Christians. If they have truly believed in Christ, they cannot lose their salvation, but they will lose rewards as the Lord warns in Revelation 3:11 and the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. Those holding to the rewards view would say the overcomer passages are promises given to believers to encourage and kindle love and obedience in view of who they are in Christ and what they posses in Him. These are not warnings against the loss of salvation, nor necessarily warnings against false profession, though that could be one application of these promises. Furthermore, they are not statements affirming the preservation of the saints. Instead, they are guarantees of special blessings or rewards for faithful service and lives of faith.
The Problem Discussed

Does 1 John 5:4-5 define who the overcomers are in Revelation 2 and 3? In other words, do the overcomer promises apply to all believers regardless of the kind of lives they live? At this stage in my study of the issues here, I have become convinced that 1 John 5:4-5 is not synonymous with the statements of Revelation 2 and 3.

They occur in different books, with different contexts that contain a number of differences and the differences are such that they suggest that the references to overcoming in Revelation 2 and 3 are not defined by 1 John 5.

In 1 John the apostle affirms that through believing in Jesus Christ there is a permanent victory over the world in one sense. When a believer exercises faith in Christ, he does overcome the world in the sense that the world system is intrinsically hostile to God’s commands, to faith in Christ, and is satanically blinded to the truth and under his dominion of control and death (2 Cor. 4:3, 4; Eph. 2:1-3; Heb. 2:14), but through faith in Christ, the believer has overcome that condition in that he is made a child of God, has been rescued from the domain of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:12-13).

In Revelation, however, the overcomer concept is restrictive within the realm of the daily conflicts and battles of the Christian life according to the context of each of the seven letters. Here are illustrations of the battles that believers must overcome and for which rewards are promised for overcoming. “But this is a long way from saying that all Christians live ultimately victorious lives. In fact, that is something the New Testament does NOT say.”16 Regardless, as demonstrated above, many use 1 John 5:4-5 to interpret the overcomer promises of Revelation 2 and 3 because of the similarity of terms.

Overcoming and the promises of these passages find their root in the Lord’s statement in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” The Christian life is full of conflict, tribulation, but victory awaits all believers through the victory accomplished by the Savior, but it is a victory that must be appropriated by an active faith that is fed though fellowship with the Lord.

While all believers have overcome the world in the sense of 1 John 5, conflicts and trials come to the believer in a variety of different shapes and degrees. When we turn to Revelation 2 and 3, we find each church with its own particular conflict and problems with specific rewards that are in keeping with or somehow related to the problem faced. No two Christian’s lives are the same in terms of their struggles and triumphs. The basis of victory is the same, faith in the person and work of Christ and our blessings in Him, but the struggles are different and it seems that God tailors the rewards accordingly.

These letters do not present victory as a certainty, but rather as an aspiration which each individual should pursue. The Savior’s words are never to them who overcome, but to him who overcomes. Victory is not a collective right, but an individual attainment … Clearly, the promises to the overcomers are rewards for obedience to the commands of the Lord of the Church.17

The problems that most have with this view come in the nature of the rewards mentioned in these promises and admittedly, these are difficult. The rewards in Revelation 2 and 3 are usually viewed as blessings all believers will automatically receive as, for instance, the right to the tree of life. This is associated with possessing eternal life, but as we will see, this is probably not the case.

An investigation of the promises in Revelation 2 and 3 will seek to show that these are not promises all believers experience because every believer is an overcomer, but that these promises are special rewards to believers who overcome specific conflicts in the Christian life through faith and obedience in their daily walk.
The Proof or Evidence


THE EXEGETICAL EVIDENCE


There is exegetical evidence within the letters themselves which restrict the meaning of the overcomer.

(1) In Revelation 2:26 the Greek text contains the conjunction “and” (kai) at the beginning of this verse. It reads, “And he who overcomes, …” This links the promise to the overcomer back to verse 25 and the statement, “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast (kratew, a strong word meaning ‘to hold firmly to something so that it is not lost’) until I come.” This both connects overcoming to the preceding admonition and makes it dependent on holding fast.

(2) In Revelation 2:26 overcoming is also connected to what follows or to keeping Christ’s works until the end. The Lord says, “And he who overcomes and (italics mine) he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him i will give authority over the nations.” This clearly shows that the overcomer here is not only a believer, but one who keeps the Lord’s deeds in contrast to the evil deeds promoted by the Jezebel like false prophetess being tolerated in the church at Thyatira.

(3) In Revelation 3:5, the promise to the overcomer is tied into verse 4 by the word “thus,” the Greek adverb, %outws. It may look at what follows, or it may draw an inference to what precedes as here. This shows us that the overcomer is restricted to those who have not defiled their garments in their earthly walk and are thus worthy of reward—the reward of being clothed in white garments. This is not the garment of salvation or the imputed righteousness that comes through faith in Christ.

In support of this, let’s compare Revelation 19:8. This verse shows that the wedding garment mentioned in this verse consists of the “righteous acts of the saints.” The Greek word here is dikaiwma. Instead of imputed righteousness, this Greek word refers to the state or virtue of righteous character. In this context, it refers to the acts or deeds or works of righteousness for which rewards are given, i.e., the wedding garments. Two different Greek words, dikaiwsis and dikaiosunh respectively are used in the New Testament to refer to imputed righteousness. It should be evident, then, that the white garment in 3:5 is a reward for works of righteousness that occur after salvation.

(4) In Revelation 3:12 the promise to the overcomer is again connected to a crown of reward for holding fast (kratew) at least by implication or location. And this fits with the thrust of 2:25-26 where the overcomer reward is specifically linked to holding fast by the word “and” in the Greek text.

(5) In Revelation 21:6-7 we find an important contrast. The waters of life are free. All believers partake of this, but eating of the tree is for overcomers in the broader sense. Compare 22:14 with 15. In the light of Revelation 3:4-5 and 19:8, access to the tree of life through the New Jerusalem is restricted for those who cleanse their lives through fellowship with Christ.

In 22:14 John pronounces a blessing on those who wash their robes, who lead the clean and pure Christ life, for they thereby have the right and privilege of entering into the gates of the city and partaking of the tree of life. This means not only immortal existence, but such relations with Jesus Christ and the Church that each has unrestricted access to all that is good in the universe of God.18
THE CONTEXTUAL EVIDENCE

The context of the letters restricts the meaning of the overcomer from all believers to rewards to faithful believers who overcome in the specific conflicts of their lives. Each letter without exception moves from an address to the church as a whole, of the church corporate and individual groups in each church, to the individual aspect with a personal appeal to the one who has an ear and to the one who overcomes.
THE APPLICATIONAL EVIDENCE

To apply these promises to all believers seems to rob them of their force as promises. As Hodges points out, “a command that everyone keeps is superfluous, and a reward that everyone receives is nonsense.”19
THE ANALOGICAL EVIDENCE

Evidence from the analogy of Scripture is consistent with the teaching of the New Testament in other places; a Christian may lose or gain rewards according to what he does with the stewardship God has given him (1 Cor. 3:11f; 9:27; 2 Cor. 5:10; Luke 19:11-26). In fact, if the promises of Revelation 2 and 3 are not restrictive, then we have what appears to be a contradiction between Luke 19:11f and Revelation 2:26 and 3:21. Many believe there is a difference in the New Testament between entrance into heaven and being an heir of the kingdom (cf. Rom. 8:16-17).

True, some of the promises are hard to explain and understand as rewards and not as general gifts that go with eternal life, but because of the above evidence we should give strong consideration to the view that these are promises that pertain to rewards. In the exposition of the messages to the seven churches of Revelation I will cover each of the overcomer promises in their contexts.



































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