|Revelation 2:7 |
7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.3
3 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches:
Notice! Jesus says church(es) — plural. He tells us to hear what he says to the churches seven times in Rev 2-3. The blind guides of Babylon's Christianity teach that the seven churches in Revelation are the churches in seven different ages, but the fact that Jesus tells us to listen to what he is saying to all the churches indicates He is addressing the common problems of all churches in all ages. Every problem, including the churches being synagogues of Satan, are problems with all the churches and are warnings to anyone that can hear, (who has an ear), for in most every church there are a few of His people. He calls His few out of the churches, saying: Come out of her, my people, that you do not share in her sins, and that you do not receive her plagues. Rev 18:4. Think about it: John is writing a few years after Jesus' death, and already great apostasy has set in, churches in His name being taken over by false doctrines and becoming synagogues of Satan. Now fast forward 2000 years. Giving Satan 2000 more years to further deception with false doctrines, is it not logical that Satan's hold on the churches today would be pervasive, even universal?
Jesus said the false prophets in sheep's clothing would come. John said the antichrists and false apostles had come and had gone out from among them. Peter saw the false teachers had come. Paul saw the false apostles had come, and warned the brothers night and day for three years of more coming. And in Revelation, John saw where the whole world was to go after the false prophets and the false church, which occurred shortly afterwards. Jesus now addresses the apostatized churches in these two chapters of Revelations.
He who overcomes.
Overcomes what? The world: the lusts of the world, the pride of life in the world, the customs and traditions of the world, the greed of the world, the pleasures of the world, the profanity of the world, the sexual immorality of the world, the hate and anger of the world. Your heart is a mirror of the world; your heart has been programmed by the world. The draws, the lures, the attractions, the habits, the addictions — all have to be conquered — overcome. This is done by the Spirit, mortifying the deeds of the flesh. When you are obedient to the Spirit's leading, this is true faith — and the faith purifies your heart, and your obedience to the truth purifies your soul. This is to fight the good fight of faith to lay hold of life eternal. 1 Tim 6:12.
What kind of faith purifies? Believing? No, not belief in the facts of the Bible. Faith that results in obedience to what you hear the Lord speak to you is evidence of your belief. Christendom would have you believe that hearing someone read the words of the Bible is hearing the word of God, and if you believe them, you are a "believer." But this only results in belief in a book and faith in the words in a book. Yet Paul has told us that faith comes from hearing the word, which word is in our heart; so to have real faith, you must hear from within and believe whom you hear, to be the Son of God; and believe enough to completely obey him; and then keep on waiting on God, hearing, believing what you hear, and then obeying what you are commanded to do. For Jesus became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him. Heb 5:9. This is the beginning of real faith, the foundation of faith:
For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and does [obeys] them,
I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house,
who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock;
and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it,
because it had been securely built or founded on a rock. Luke 6:47-48.
He who overcomes, will eat of the tree of life.
Adam exchanged the life of God for the life of the serpent, and thus became dead to the life of God; and all his children are dead to the life of God and unable to eat from the tree of life, which is guarded by a flaming sword from men. When man has crucified his sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, and received the baptism of fire, he can eat from the tree of life again, having been restored to the image of God in righteousness and holiness. As an early Quaker, William Dewsbury, wrote in 1655:
“Thus through the righteous law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, I was and am made free from the body of sin and death; and through these great tribulations, my garments are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, who has led me into the new Jerusalem, where no one enters that works abomination or speaks a lie, but those whose name is written in the Lamb's book of life. Here my soul now feeds upon the tree of life, which I had so long hungered and thirsted after, that stands in the paradise of God. Here there is no more curse nor night; but the Lord God and the Lamb are my light and life forever and ever! And I witness that I am regenerated and born again of the immortal seed, and having partaken of the first resurrection, over such the second death has no power."
Notice, he who overcomes, I will give power over the nations; he will rule them with a rod of iron, like the vessels of a potter they will be broken to pieces; just as I also received authority from my Father.
The Lord rules the nations through his saints. He is not coming back to the world, except as his spirit appears in his saints, to rule the world through them. The rod is the words from his mouth, Isa 11:4, spoken by the saints as they hear from the Spirit.