Salvation, Rewards and Gifts for the Bride of Christ or the True Church.
The Five Crown Rewards at the Bema Seat of Christ:
The subjects are believers (those whose name are in the book of life and are saved by the blood, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ). The time is after the Rapture. The place is the Bema Seat. The basis for judgment is works that benefitted the kingdom of Christ. The result is reward — or loss of reward. Do not be confused. We can’t earn our way into heaven or earn our salvation. Only Christ provides us in our faith through him. Our faith and belief in our Lord assures us of our salvation. The “five crowns” have nothing to do with our salvation, but rather, Christ’s acknowledgement and rewards for living in a manner pleasing to him. Among all redeemed men and women, some will receive these crowns or rewards and yet others, will lose these rewards or crowns. This is not to imply that salvation is lost (or can be lost), which is impossible. Salvation is never in jeopardy because of the work Christ did for us on our behalf on the Cross.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2nd Corinthians 5:10). Those who stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ are not there to be judged worthy of entry into heaven. That question was settled at the Cross. This judgment will be for our works as servants. At the Bema Seat;
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1st Corinthians 3:13)
Think about that for a moment! Everything you ever did will be analyzed and scrutinized openly by the Lord Jesus Christ. Every good thing and every bad thing. For most believers, the Judgment Seat of Christ will be an excruciating experience. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . .” Paul wrote.
But, the result of the Bema Seat judgment isn’t to determine if you will enter heaven — that is already assured. The result is reward. That is where a believer’s works come into play. Rewards. Or loss of them. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:14-15)
There are five possible rewards, or “crowns” that believers can earn for their works at the Bema Seat.
The Crown of Life. This is the Martyr’s Crown. You get this one the hard way; “be thou faithful even unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)
The Crown of Glory. This the ‘Pastor’s Crown’ given by the Chief Shepherd when He shall appear to those who serve; “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1st Peter 5:2-3) “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1st Peter 5:4)
The Crown of Rejoicing. This is the Soul-winners crown. Those brought to Jesus by us will be our “crown of rejoicing” at His Coming. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1st Thessalonians 2:19)
The Crown of Righteousness. This is the crown earned by the Watchmen on the Wall who give the warning of His soon appearing. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:8)
The Incorruptible Crown. This is a tough one to earn. This is the “Victor’s” Crown, which is set aside for those who master temperance in this lifetime. Those who don’t yield to the lusts of the flesh, saturate themselves with alcohol and drugs, and keep themselves separate from the world can expect to be rewarded with the Incorruptible Crown.
The Rapture is the First Resurrection that predicates the Judgment Seat of Christ. As the Church is judged at the Bema Seat. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith, and that not of yourselves — crowns you have to work for.
More gifts from the giver of eternal life
Three’s (3) Denote God’s emphasis and Intensity. Three scoops of ice cream are better than one or two scoops! If you want to impress upon someone, give them three scoops. That will be about as much as most people can handle. Emphasize three scoops of someone’s favorite flavor and that will wake up their taste buds … now that is intense! God uses three’s (3) to say what he means and to mean what he says.
Three-fold Reference to Life (Book of Life / Tree of Life / Water of Life):
- Book of Life. (7X). (Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 20:15, 21:27, 22:19)
- Tree of Life. (3X). (Rev. 2:7, 22:2, 22:14)
- Water of Life. (3X). (Rev. 21:6, 22:1, 22:17)
Commentary: The book, tree and water of life. Tree of life and water of life, each have 3 (three) references, denoting God’s emphasis and intensity regarding a subject, action or event. The tree of life exists in the heavenly city, New Jerusalem. It has 12 (twelve) manner of fruit, a different fruit for each month, and the leaves of which are used for medicinal purposes by the men and nations of earth. The tree of life does not exist on earth, but is physically located in New Jerusalem. Only redeemed men or the saints, are able to have access to the tree of life to enjoy its heavenly fruit. The water of life also only exists in New Jerusalem and flows directly out of or from the throne of God. God allows anyone who freely wants to drink from the crystal pure river, to drink as much as they want. Whether the reference to water is figurative (word of God) or literal (crystal clear, pure water), either result is the same. Saints or the Bride of Christ are able to access either freely and God will supply abundantly. There is no shortage of the word of God, or the water of life. Being the case is made for physical fruit from the tree of life, it is most likely accurate to believe that the water of life is also a physically crystal clear and perfect water. The book of life receives the most references, seven (7) which denotes God’s divinely completed purpose or plan. The book of life is so important (for a man’s name to be in it), that the Holy Spirit refers to it 7 (seven) times.
The book of life is a sort of book-of-ledgers (using an accounting term). It reflects and contains the names of men who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, through his forgiveness of their sins and the shedding of his blood. They have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is Lord and believed he is who he said he was, while they were alive on earth. The book of life also contains a record of these men’s deeds, both good and bad, even though they are saved by the grace of God and Jesus Christ. In some cases, men will be rewarded for their faithful service and/or not lose any of the rewards that were set aside for them. Other saved men, however, might have some rewards withheld from them for something they did or didn’t do to benefit the kingdom of Christ. Only Christ knows what any of these rewards or withholdings are. The Bible does indicate that Christ sets aside as many a 5 (five) various crowns for Christian overcomers depending on either what they had to endure while alive, or what they did for the benefit of Christ’s kingdom. In any event, these things are accounted for in the book of life. The most eternally important thing is to have your name “listed in” Christ’s book of life and to NOT have your name “blotted out of the book of life.” If you die and have not accepted Jesus Christ’s offer of salvation through the forgiveness of your sins by the shedding of his blood, your name is erased, removed or blotted out from his book of life. Jesus Christ is the author of life, and your name has to be in the book he authored in order to receive eternal life, receive the rewards he has set aside for you and to escape the lake of fire, also known as the “second death.”
Three-fold Reference to the Tree of Life:
- … “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7). (Emphasis added).
- … “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22:2). (Emphasis added).
- … “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: An interesting description … twelve manner of fruit. Twelve (12) represents God’s divinely constitutional organization, either in heaven or earth. God has a reason why there are 12 types of fruit, instead of 2, 5, 9, 11 (odd numbers). The 12 fruits would equate to one new fruit, every solar month on earth (in terms of timing). The bible is clear that there will be a literal, physical kingdom of Christ on earth during the millennium. His kingdom includes nations of people, from the regeneration of the human race from the tribulation period. The leaves from the tree of life will be used for medicinal purposes, by the nations on the earth. Keep in mind that the tree of life is in Christ’s New Jerusalem city, whereas, the nations are on earth. These leaves that have properties of physical healing are a gift that Jesus gives to people on earth. Carefully notice, that these leaves are given to people of earth, and not to the heavenly saints. Why? In New Jerusalem (and heaven); death, sickness, disease and sin do not exist. Saints have glorified bodies that are not subject to decay and are designed to last for eternity.
It is logical that there is no need for a saint with a glorified body to have need of the medicinal purposes from the leaves of the tree of life. The medicinal benefits from these leaves are intended for the people on earth, who will still experience physical ailment and death (even though earth has been returned to an Eden like state). Manner of fruit suggests a variety. The bible is silent on the manner or type of fruit. Why would saints want to eat from the tree of life, if they already have glorified bodies and don’t need physical sustenance. In one word, enjoyment. The marriage feast or supper clearly indicates that food is enjoyed in heaven. When Christ returned from his advent in his glorified body, he ate fish. It is not that we need physical nutrients, but rather, we can eat for the pure joy of it! We won’t get bored of eating, because something new will be available each month. Just as we look forward to apples in the fall, and strawberries in the summer, we will have something heavenly to look forward to eat every monthly cycle! Another layer upon layer, truth upon truth, numbers within numbers.
Three-fold Reference to the Water of Life:
- … “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Rev. 21:6). (Emphasis added).
- … “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:1). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: The water of life flows out from the throne of God and the Lamb. This can be interpreted two ways, but each way still results in a very similar outcome. One interpretation is that the water of life refers to the word of God which gives everlasting life to the person who seeks it. The inference being that God freely provides his word and its benefits. The other interpretation is that the water of life is a literal water of the ultimate purity which has special properties or value. Just as the tree of life will provide special fruit everyone month of the year, the water of life will always be available for those in heaven to enjoy. It is not that the water is needed to sustain glorified bodies, but is provided for enjoyment. Each interpretation is valid and each outcome is basically the same. Water of life, as God’s word and as a literal water, both provide enjoyment, refreshment and life. The water of life is a fountain or river, it is clear and pure as crystal, it comes from God and it is freely and abundantly available to whoever is thirsty!
Three-fold References to White:
- White Raiment. (Rev. 4:4). Twenty-four (24) Elders.
- White Robes. (4X). (Rev. 6:11, 7:9, 7:13 and 7:14). Tribulation Saints.
- White Linen. (3X). (Rev. 15:6, 19:8 and 19:14). Church Saints and Angels.
Commentary: White raiment is used to describe what the twenty-four 24 elders are wearing in God’s throne room. White robes are used to describe what the Tribulation Saints are given. White linen is used to describe the clothing of Church Saints and Angels. White is symbolic for righteousness. White Robes is referenced four (4) times, White Linen is reference three (3) times. Within these three verses are three references to white and three references to a form of clothing. This another double of a double (3+3) of three (3). The group of four (4) entities identified; 24 elders, Tribulation Saints, Church Saints and Angels all have the righteousness of Christ and participate in his government in heaven and on earth.
Foursquareness (fourfold in symmetry) is a term not commonly used in the English language. Digging into the term’s meaning and implications, one will find unique attributes to God’s creation, order and purpose of all things. A perfect, geometrical square is equal in its length, height, and depth. It’s design is very specific and on purpose. It is not designed in a random, odd, haphazard or unequal way. Symmetry has balance, structure and is of intelligent design and purpose. The object or subject being referenced to is made with forethought and not afterthought. It exists not by accident, but by plan. A perfect square is symmetrical enough that it will stand on its own and not fall over, or fail. It is so balanced in design that it is equal and perfect, no matter from which angle or perspective you look at it. This is a somewhat long definition or description of foursquarenss, but I believe it represents an honest attempt to describe the intelligence behind God’s purpose of having something represented by ‘four’. Foursquareness is also a doubling of something (2×2). Or, two squared (for those with a mathematical point of view). A double of a double. Uniformity and reinforcement of strength is implied, another equal measure of purpose and intent, and a double representation of something for added significance or importance. I believe, this long definition, can be truthfully and accurately applied to anything referenced in the Bible as having a fourfold attribute from God’s creation.
Four (4) or foursquarness of balancy and symmetry can also reprents a doubling of a double or (2×2=4). Two (2) signifies God’s solid confirmation of a matter, doubling this suggest an added or extra measure of equal weight. Is there anyplace in Revelation that suggests this defintion of doubling of a double is true? Revelation 18:6 states, “Reward her (Babylon) even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled to her double.” Notice that this description represents three (3) doubles of two (2). (3×2=6). Six (6) is the number of evil. Since she is the great whore and extremely evil, she will be repaid six (6) times the wrath.
Four-fold Reference to Robes:
- … “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 6:11). (Emphasis added).
- … “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” (Rev. 7:9). (Emphasis added).
- … “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they.” (Rev. 7:13). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:14). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: White robes are a sign or symbol of righteousness. The people (Tribulation Saints) wearing them are clearly those redeemed by Jesus Christ (made white by the blood of the Lamb), during the Great Tribulation. The fourfold reference of white robes, strongly suggests that this group of saints (Tribulation Saints) are easily identified because they are wearing white robes, as opposed to white rainment or white linens that other heavenly beings wear. White robes are given to those who did NOT worship the beast or his image, who did NOT take his image, mark or name, who DID repent and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior through the forgiveness of their sins, and who were martryed (beheaded) for their testimony of Jesus Christ.
If I was a gamblin’ man (which I’m not), I would wonder why so many 7’s would keep rolling up on the dice. So many in fact, that I would begin to think the game was fixed (which it is!). In effect, the dice would be loaded to keep coming up 7’s. A quick flyby read through John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ will introduce the reader, who hopefully has a degree of discernment, that there are a number of sevens (7s) that become quickly evident and sort of jump-out at you. 7 churches, 7 trumpets, 7 vials, etc. These tend to be fairly well understood by most Christians who take the time to read the book of Revelation and perhaps have read a commentary (or two) that speak of these 7’s. However, most commentaries miss a number of other 7’s in Revelation, several that are somewhat hidden (by that, I mean can very easily be skipped over or missed). As a student of bible prophecy, a deeper and more detailed study of Revelation will reveal many more concepts that indicate they exist in a state of seven (7). So what?, the Bible is filled with varying numbers of events, images, concepts and verses that all contain a number of some sort. Why is seven (7) so special, specially in Revelation? My partial answer to this question is that God is being repetitive, among other things, to get mankind’s attention. It is not enough just to provide a list of 7’s, but rather, it is an absolute necessity to provide context and insight so these words of God come alive and have more meaning than just a grocery list of numbers.
Seven (7) denote’s God’s divinely determined completeness to his plan or purpose.
*Seven-fold Exhortations from Christ for Christians to be Overcomers:
- … “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God“. (Rev. 2:7). (Emphasis added).
- … “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death“. (Rev. 2:11). (Emphasis added).
- … “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 that he receiveth it“. (Rev. 2:17). (Emphasis added).
- … “And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end will I give power over the nations:“. (Rev. 2:26). (Emphasis added).
- … “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“. (Rev. 3:5). (Emphasis added).
- … “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“. (Rev. 3:12). (Emphasis added).
- … “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“. (Rev. 3:21). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: These exhortations by Christ are part of the seven (7) blessings offered by Christ to the Christians in his seven (7) Churches throughout the ages, and at the time John the Apostle received the Revelation from Jesus. The fact that Jesus purposely uses the term overcomers is unique. This term or name suggests a battle, or a fight against overwhelming odds. Someone who is an underdog but somehow overcomes the odds to be victorious. Satan is ruler of the earth and his minions do everything they can to defeat mankind from reaching knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Temptations, deceptions, lies, false teachers, false doctrines, distractions, meddling, trickery, excessive wealth, persecution…the list goes on and on. Jesus knows what we are up against, yet we can become overcomers by our acceptance of his offer of grace, through the forgiveness of our sins. He knows that we are human and what is is like to be human (since God became incarnate in flesh as Jesus). He also knows that we will stumble, falter and fail along the way. However, he urges us to keep up the fight with him, to fight the good fight and to overcome the traps and pitfalls that Satan puts before us. In the words of Christ, to become overcomers! The desire of Jesus for us to become overwhelmers is so strong that he provides a unique and special reward to each Christian, along with each one of his exhortations. Each blessing is unique and different!
*(Rev. 12:11) … “And they overcame him (beast/antichrist) by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.” (Emphasis added). Jesus didn’t forget his Tribulation Saints! They also receive the designation of overcomers because of their belief in Jesus Christ and his gospel. They witnessed of their belief at the cost of losing their lives (beheading) by the antichrist. Jesus’ designation of overcomers is universal for Christians, regardless of whether or not they came from the Church Age or the combined Tribulation Period.
Seven-fold Reference of Rewards for Overcomers:
- To Ephesus … “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7). (Emphasis added). (citizenship in heaven, eternal life).
- To Smyrna … ”Be though faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.” (Rev. 2:10-11). (Emphasis added). (crown of life, eternal life).
- To Pergamum … “To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” (Rev. 2:17). (Emphasis added). (hidden reward, personal acknowledgment by Christ).
- To Thyatria … “To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations, that one will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery, just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. “ (Rev. 2:26-28). (Emphasis added). (shared rulership over nations).
- To Sardis … “To the one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name befor my Father and his angels.” (Rev.3:5). (Emphasis added). (eternal salvation, righteousness, public acceptance by Christ).
- To Philadelphia … “To the one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them 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 them my new name.” (Rev. 3:12). (Emphasis added). (citizenship in New Jerusalem, new identification in Christ).
- To Laodicea … “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Rev. 3:21). (Emphasis added). (shared rulership).
Commentary: At the conclusion or end of each individual letter to each church, Jesus promises a unique blessing to each member of these churches who overcomes. Again, these promises were specific to the Christians at the time John wrote Revelation and are also considered blessings/promises to Christians throughout the ages who overcome. Since there were seven (7) unique letters, there are seven (7) unique blessings or promises. This is not meant to be all inclusive of His promises throughout all of scripture or Revelation. He promises eternal life (tree of life), living in paradise (heaven/New Jerusalem), a crown (life), not hurt by the lake of fire (2nd death), hidden reward, white stone with new name (personal acknowledgement), authority over nations (co-reign), dressed in white (righteousness), name written in the book of life (eternal life, escape white throne judgement), acknowledgement by Christ to the Father, becoming a pillar in the temple of God (citizenship in the New Jerusalem), new name in Christ, the right to sit with Christ on his throne (co-rule). What an amazing list of holy blessings or rewards!
Seven-fold Gifts of the Holy Spirit During the Tribulation Period:
- Wisdom (to value the things of God).
- Understanding (to grasp faith’s mysteries).
- Counsel/Right Judgement (to make wise decisions).
- Fortitude/Courage (to strengthen your will).
- Knowledge (to enlighten your mind).
- Piety/Reverence (to love and serve God).
- Fear/Wonder and Awe of the Lord (to respect God’s majesty).
Commentary: This is a little bit of a mystery. How can the Holy Spirit work on the earth during the Tribution if He has been removed (as the restrainer of evil) along with the Church (Rapture/Harpazo)? Good question! Glad you asked. The Holy Spirit has done, is doing, and will do many mysterious works of God on earth. Yes, the Holy Spirit worked as a restrainer of Satan and evil, prior to the seven (7) year Tribulation period. The Tribulation Saints (those who are martryed for denying the Beast, the Beast’s world system and who do not take his mark) undoubetdly must have received the Holy Spirit in order to be able to withstand the Beast and to be saved by their belief in Christ along with their beheading (martrydom). Many of these gifts and/or attributes of the Holy Spirit will have to be present for the unbelieving/unrepenetant sinners during this period, in order for them to come to the conclusion that they need to be saved by Christ. It is my belief that the role of the Holy Spirit, during this period, will focus on helping with the conversion of souls since He no longer has the role of restraining Satan, the Antichrist, False Prophet or demonic hordes. Only the Holy Spirit can provide the saved person with enough fortitude/courage/ strength of will to not withdraw from the beheading that is staring them in the face. Think about this if it were you. It would take great courage to stare death in the face. How many people will renounce Christ in order to literally save their necks (and losing eternal life and salvation in the process)? The Holy Spirit truly knows who repented. Seven-fold gifts of the Holy denotes God’s divine plan and purpose.
Seven-fold Promised Blessings in Revelation:
- … “Blessed in the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3). (Emphasis added).
- … “Then I heard a voice from heaven, say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Rev. 14:13). (Emphasis added).
- … “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Rev. 16:15). (Emphasis added).
- … “Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding super of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Rev. 19:9). (Emphasis added).
- … “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6). (Emphasis added).
- … “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.” (Rev. 22:7). (Emphasis added).
- … “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: These seven blessings or beatitudes, are much like the promises Christ made to the church overcomers/victors in Revelation, chapters 2-3. These summarize the challenges and rewards for being victorious overcomers. These blessings are not all-inclusive of blessings and rewards mentioned throughout the Bible, but are just those specifically reveled by Jesus Christ to John, the Apostle. These blessings can be summed up as representing the spiritual status of each believer, as found by Christ, after Rapture/Harpazo. As such, these blessings, and our status, will remain intact for the rest of eternity. Christ will consider each overcomer to be righteous, a citizen of heaven, invited to the wedding feast, to have rest from their earthly labors, struggles and pain. Jesus also notes that he will take into account, and reward, each believer’s works/deeds done on earth for the benefit of his kingdom. Last, but not least, Jesus also reinforces his promise that Christians will co-reign with him on earth, in many other passages in Revelation.
Seven-fold Reference of White Raiment/Robes/Linen to Righteousness:
- … “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. 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.” (Rev. 3:4-5). (Emphasis added).
- … “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:18). (Emphasis added).
- … “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Rev. 4:4) (Emphasis added).
- …: ”And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that sould be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 6:11). (Emphasis added).
- …” After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; … And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9, 13, 14). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.” (Rev. 15:6). (Emphasis added).
- … “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:7-8). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: In John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ, white rainment, linens or robes are used as metaphors for having, and describing the righteousness of Christ. Who are these people that are described as having white raiment, linens or robes? Rev. 3:4-5 indicates that they are overcomers (those who remain faithful to Christ until the end of their lives). Rev. 4:4 indicates that they are the 24 crowned elders around the throne of God. These crowned elders represent a select group of redeemed saints from throughout the ages (they are not angels) and are part of God’s divine council of government. The number twelve (12) denotes a divinely constituted organization either in heaven or on earth. The number twenty-four (24) denontes God’s abundant (doubled) organizational arrangement (12×2). Many eschatalogists believe that twelve (12) elders are from the Old Testament and twelve (12) are from the New Testament. However, I believe the Bible is silent on this. The verses surrounding Rev. 6:11 indicate that these people who received white robes and were told to wait a little longer are the “Tribulation Saints martryed/beheaded for their belief and witness to Christ.” (Rev. 15:6) indicates these are the “righteous seven angels who pour out God’s wrath in the seven last vial plagues.” (Rev. 19:7-8) clearly indicates this group of people is the “Bride (church) of the Lamb”, which his redeemed people from the past, present and near future (until the Tribulation). As the Bible indicates in the above verses, white rainment indicates righteousness of both saints and angels as given to them by Christ.
Seven-fold Reference to the Book of Life:
- … “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out him name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev. 3:5). (Emphasis added).
- … “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Rev. 17:8). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things were written in the books, according to their works.” (Rev. 20:12). (Emphasis added).
- … “And whosover was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15). (Emphasis added).
- … “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsover worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:27). (Emphasis added).
- … “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:19). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: Somehow, God has a way or a system, that accounts for the actions of men, their behaviors, their works and whether or not they accepted Jesus Christ’s offer of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins by the shedding of his blood and his resurrection. These things are kept or accounted for in what appears to be a book of ledgers (using an accounting term). Verse 21:27 is very explicit in stating that this book belongs to the Lamb (Jesus Christ). He is able to account for his own people, whose names are in his book. Conversely, if someone’s name is not in the book, he doesn’t know them (or, they never accepted his offer of salvation). If a person’s name is found in the book, then Jesus confirms to the Father “confess his name before my Father” that this person belongs to him. Those not found recorded in the book of life are lost and thus cast into the lake of fire. Just as a ship has a log or an accounting of every passenger who has paid, and is allowed on the ship, anyone found that is not on the log is cast away. In regards to Jesus Christ, he has already paid for us to be in his book of life and we accepted his ticket.
Salvation is a gift provided by Christ through the forgiveness of our sins through his shedding of blood, death and resurrection. It is free. We can’t earn it, work our way towards it or have someone else ‘give’ it to us. Only Jesus Christ can provide our salvation. A gift is different from a reward. Thusly, a reward is different from a gift. A reward can be earned or lost, based on a predetermined benchmark or behavior. The Bible (throughout) and the book of Revelation (specifically) included many verses and scriptures repeating declarations about salavation through Jesus Christ (the gift) and of rewards that can be earned or (lost) once a person is saved. These rewards are evidence of the ‘fruit of spirit’ in terms of how a Christian lives their life and overcomes Satan’s greatest efforts and traps to derail us.