God loves His creation. Sin corrupted it, but now He has a plan to return it to its original state of perfection, and He will reward those who help Him carry out this plan.
Sin was born because of Satan’s desire to set himself above God, and it destroyed the harmony of heaven. Now God needs sin to be completely eradicated from all of His creation, in such a way that there is no possibility of it happening again.
So He created mankind with the express intention that they should rule over sin. (Genesis 4:7) His entire plan is that mankind should live a life where they hate and resist sin, and say yes to Him – to overcome. One who overcomes sin in their life is proving that God’s way is perfect, and is part of the work of abolishing sin for all eternity. Each one who does this will taste the rich rewards of living such a life. These promises apply to all who overcome.
The 1st extraordinary promise: 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.
The tree of life is symbolic of eternal life.
Amongst the trees in the garden of Eden, God placed the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He told Adam and Eve that they may eat freely of every tree, except for the tree of knowledge. One simple rule.
But Adam and Eve disobeyed, choosing their own will over God’s good and perfect will, and through that simple act, sin also entered the world. If they ate of the tree of life now, they would have got eternal life. Then sin would have come into eternity. So, God cut off access to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24) They lost their opportunity for eternal life.
But because of what Jesus did for you, now you live in a time where you again have the opportunity to “eat” of the tree of life. What does that mean? Every time you choose to do God’s will instead of your own you lay hold of something eternal; something is gained in your heart that has eternal value. Every time you resist temptation and overcome sin, you take a bite of the fruit of tree of life. You are storing up for eternal life on the new earth that God creates. (Revelation 21:1)
The 2nd extraordinary promise: You 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.
The second death is the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). This is the judgment over everything that is tainted by sin. When someone has not used the opportunities in their life to overcome sin, they will be hurt by this second death, because nothing that cannot stand the fire of judgment will be allowed into eternity.
For you who have used your opportunities while still here on this earth to overcome sin, you will not be hurt by that second death. You have recognized the sin that you are tempted to, judged it as unacceptable for one who wants to practice righteousness, and resisted it.
The 3rd extraordinary promise: 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
The hidden manna gives vitality and life and is something that you already receive in this life. It corresponds to your hidden life: that place inside where no one knows what is going on except for you and God. When you pray for help in your hidden life, when you are tempted to impure thoughts, to pride, to lying, etc..you receive nourishment and power from on high. This is the hidden manna and is given to everyone who asks for it, everyone with a longing to be free from sin.
The white stone and a new name
At the time the book of Revelation was written, a white stone was equivalent with innocence. If you were to be tried for a crime, a white stone signified acquittal, and a black stone signified guilt. To receive a white stone means that you are free from condemnation. You have been tried and have been found worthy.
The white stone is a symbol of whom you have become through your faithfulness and your determination to rule over sin. It is rock-hard faith and purity. Here on earth your faith is being tested – there in eternity it will have been proven; it’s withstood the testing. Written on this stone of flint-hard faith will be your new name.
This name will reflect the battles that you have stood in, and sufferings that you have endured. It will illustrate who you’ve become because of your faithfulness and God’s grace. (2 Peter 1:4) You know the battles you had to endure to get there, and you will immediately identify with that name. It will be the ultimate symbol of victory and transformation.
The 4th extraordinary promise: 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.
Power over the nations – the rod of iron
The world is full of unrighteousness. Injustice is rampant, on every level of society. But, all those who overcome will reign on earth with Jesus during the millennium. (Revelation 20:6) You can be along in putting all of this in order, to liberate innocent people who are suffering under oppression and abuse. In order to do this you will have to “break some vessels!” Then you will need a “rod of iron.” To walk into situations and start setting them straight.
Training is required in order to get a hold of this rod of iron. When you start to rule over sin in your own life that is the training ground; that is where you get power. How can you help restore the world, unless you have learned to overcome the powers of sin and darkness? The rod of iron symbolizes the tremendous power contained in an overcoming life!
The morning star
Peter describes the morning star as “the prophetic word…that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart.” 2 Peter 1:19.
The prophetic word is the Word of God, and when you allow that word to shine into the dark areas of your life and bring to light the sin that dwells there, and you are humble to take that grace and use it to overcome the sin that you find, then the morning star rises in your heart. Light replaces darkness, and your entire being becomes light. As more and more areas of your life are cleansed from sin, you will shine brighter and brighter until that morning star is yours. The fullness of light is in your being. (Proverbs 4:18)
The 5th extraordinary promise: 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.
For you who have overcome sin, the bride of Christ, it is only fitting that you wear garments that are without “spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but … holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27. Because you have kept yourself pure from sin, the white garments will testify of your purity for all eternity. As a result of your obedience, your faithfulness and patience in being an overcomer, you have the right to walk together with Jesus in white. (Revelation 19:8)
The Book of Life
To begin with, everyone’s name is written in the Book of Life. It’s sin that causes one’s name to be blotted out. (Exodus 32:32-33) If you want to remain written in the Book of Life, then you have to overcome sin. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish,” Jesus said. (John 10:27-28) The pathway to overcoming sin has been clearly laid by our Forerunner and Shepherd. You just need to be willing to follow Him on that way.
The 6th extraordinary promise: A pillar in the temple of My 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.
How to become a pillar
Pillars can bear; they are immovable. It is the same for you who overcome. You will be made into a pillar. No matter what life sends you, what trials and temptations you have to face, you will never lose your faith. You will be able to bear anything.
But there is more to it than winning one victory, and then you become a pillar. No, it is “He who overcomes I will make a pillar.” This is a process. It is he who overcomes, and overcomes again, then again. It is a victorious life. Your faithfulness in your trials and temptations shapes you into a pillar that becomes stronger and stronger. Then you will be a part of the temple of God as described in Revelation 21. A pillar that can also strengthen, bear, and be a support for others. You will be a useful tool for God.
Claimed by Jesus
The New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ. (Revelation 21:2,9-11) By writing on you the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and His own new name, Jesus is claiming you as His own! It is a sign of belonging. When you have fought against sin, endured, and overcome it, just as He did when He was flesh and blood like us here in this world, then you belong together with Jesus and His Father. The glory of such a promise is incomparable.
The 7th extraordinary promise: Sit with Me on My 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.
Reigning with Jesus
God’s grace has given you the opportunity to be part of the bride of Christ! As part of that bride you will sit together with Him on His throne, judging and reigning over the earth! The wisdom that you need to be able to do so can only be found through what living an overcoming life has taught you. (Wisdom of Solomon 1:3-4)
When it comes to how much wisdom you gain, it is entirely in your hands. You will have countless opportunities in your life to overcome sin. Each of these opportunities, these temptations, is a chance to grow more in the virtues of Christ and increase your eternal value.
I personally don’t want to be the last one, just scraping in with the glory of a fizzling star. I want to shine with the glory of the sun! This is the only appropriate way to thank God, and honor Him for the unbelievable, inexpressible life and eternity that He has called me to, and for His unfailing goodness and love.
Click on the related articles below for a fuller description of each promise.