This Bible study shows that big promises are made to those who qualify to be called Overcomers. Eternal life is certainly among them. But the promises tell more about the quality of life that Overcomers will share beginning now and in the next age.
In the previous parts of this Bible study series, I tried to set the stage for the world system that will dominate the earth after the current age (the Seventh) ends and the Age of Right Rule (the Eighth) becomes established. It is during the Eighth age that rewards will be given to all who overcame during the first seven ages of Enoch’s vision.
Being an overcomer or conqueror has little to do with what one does in a religion. Being a deacon or elder in a church, or even a pastor, is not synonymous with being an overcomer. The deeper one gets into a religion, the more overcome a person becomes. The influence of politics, club memberships, education, media, friends, family, among other things do not dominate the day to day life of the overcomer.
Overcoming means transcending all forces of this world that can take control of our thoughts and motivations. As I wrote in the part 2, among the greatest threat is being overcome by world-sponsored deception.
In chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation is a description of problems faced, not by “churches,” but by groups of people. These people are described as living in different cities that have unique environments. Each environment is a threat to individual spiritual life that could keep those who are part of each group from being part of the “better resurrection” at the start of next age. Each person in each group has been “tapped” or “called out” to be aware of the problems facing the group and is encouraged to conquer or overcome that which can conquer them.
Let’s examine in this Bible study both the problems of each group and the promises made to those who successfully overcome them.
I am the First and the Last and the living One. And I become dead, and see, I am living forever and ever. And I possess the keys of the grave and of death.
The Secret of the seven stars, which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the messengers of the seven assemblies [groups], and the seven lampstands, which you saw, are the seven assemblies. Rev. 1:20 (The Scriptures)
The called-out people at “Ephesus”
A message is given to the Messenger of the group.
Are they (the messengers) not all serving spirits sent out to attend those who are about to inherit deliverance? Hebrews 1:14
First, the speaker identifies himself. This also tells something that this group needs to know.
He who is holding the seven stars in His right hand, who is walking in the midst of the seven golden lampstands, says this:
(To His disciples and called-out ones He promised to be with them always, even to the end of the age. That includes our age!)
I know your works, and your labor, and your endurance, and that you are not able to bear evil ones, and have tried those who say they are emissaries and are not, and have found them false [a reference to Paul and his followers], and you have been bearing up and have endurance, and have labored for My Name’s sake and have not become weary.
They have good works and have resisted those who tried to lead them astray. However,
But I hold this against you: you have left your first love! So remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works, or else I shall come to you speedily and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent!
Yet this you have, that you hate the works of the Nikolaites, which I also hate.
“Nikolaites” is considered by some to refer to the “followers of Nikolaus.” However, it is more than that as it refers in verse 14 to those who hold “the teachings of Balaam.” The word is a combination of two Greek sounds: nikos and laites and is a poetic metaphor for the Greek words: nikos and laites, which means “those who conquer or are victorious (nikos) and take people captive (laites).” Its Hebrew counterpart signifies the “destruction of the the people.” The word is a coded word subject to a kind of metanalysis. It was written in the Bible to encapsulate a message to be deciphered later. Given what we know now, the coded-word is a clear reference to the “false apostles,” including Paul, the Pharisee, and his cohorts, who did lead the people to destruction by teaching them to follow in Balaam’s deceitful way (2 Peter refers to this.)
In Bible study meetings, I have taught the Book of Revelation many times. But never has this word made more sense. Even in theology classes, this word remained a mystery. To unravel this I used the Greek – English Lexicon by James Donnegan, published in 1840, which covers more words than will be found in any theologically limited Greek lexicon.
Most theological Greek lexicons have no meaning for the word and hence it has only been transliterated in the English translations, including The Scriptures translation, which doesn’t even have a footnote on the word. Or it is attributed to Nikolaus for which there is little information that we can use. This word is a real Bible code.
The promise to this group:
He who has an ear, let him [or her] hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him [or her] who overcomes I shall give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of Elahim.
Note that this promise is not limited to this one group. It is given to all the groups of called-out ones, the “assemblies” plural.
What does it mean to eat “from the tree of life?” We know the consequences of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is our life now! This tree of life is described to be in the midst of the paradise or “garden of pleasure, beauty, and life” of Elahim. Paradise is not some ethereal place where you go after you die to await some future judgment. In the next age this will be a real place on earth where only those who are in the Family of Elahim can enter. In other worlds, only those who overcome now — during this time of the seven ages revealed to our father Enoch — will have the right to enter. They will eat of this tree and live forever. That is the promise to those who overcome.
To the called-out people at “Smyrna”
Keep in mind that the city in this list is of lesser importance than what is happening there. Each is a worldly place where those who have been called out need to overcome and survive. Each place is “evergreen” and applies to all who have been called out of the world regardless of the place of abode and time.
And to the messenger of the assembly [or group of called-out ones] in Smyrna, write: ‘This says the First and the Last, who became dead, and came to life.’
Very similar to what was said to the first group above. The repetition emphasizes the importance of the statement. Why? Because of what is yet to come.
I know your works, and pressure [tribulation,], and poverty (yet you are rich,) and the blasphemy of those who say they are Yehudim (Jews) and are not, but are a congregation of Satan [the adversary].
Who are these? Again it falls on the head of Paul and his followers. The result of his teachings produced “Christian” organizations — powerful religions who used death and torture to coerce people into submission. They claimed that they came from Peter, a man of Yehuda, but in reality they followed Paul, a Pharisee and descendant of Benjamin to whom Israel said little concerning spiritual leadership:
Benjamin is a wolf that tears; in the morning he eats prey and at night he divides the spoil. Genesis 49:27
Without question this is what Paul built from his teachings!
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. See, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, in order to try you, and you shall have pressure ten days. Be trustworthy [faithful] until death, and I shall give you the crown of life.
This is the future of any and all who guard the words of Eyahushuah and prove trustworthy; who are rich in Spirit, not from this world. Again, in the face of death, life is promised. Not just any life, but eternal life:
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He [again, or she] who overcomes shall by no means be harmed by the second death!
The called-out people at “Pergamos”
Here is a group of people right in the thick of it:
And to the messenger of the assembly in Pergamos write, ‘He who has the sharp two-edged sword.”
Because of Paul’s teachings we think of the sword of the as the “Word of God.” This waters-down the meaning used in the Scriptures:
And the word of Eyahuwah came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains [nations] of Israel, and prophecy against them.”
And you shall say, “O mountains [nations] of Israel, hear the word of the Master Eyahuwah.” Thus said the Master Eyahuwah to the mountains [great nations], to the hills [small nations], to the ravines and to the valleys [anything in between], “Look, I Myself am bringing a sword against you, and I shall destroy your high places [places of worship], and your altars shall be ruined, your sun-pillars (crosses, steeples) shall be broken in pieces. And I shall make your slain fall in front of your idols, and lay the corpses of the children of Israel in front of their idols, and scatter your bones all around your altars.” (from Ezekiel 6, the entire chapter carries this message.)
Continuing with the message to the group at Pergamos:
I know your works, and where you dwell, where the throne of Satan is. And you hold fast to My Name, did not deny the belief [trust] in me, even in the days in which Antipas was my trustworthy witness, who was killed near you, where Satan dwells.
“Antipas” is another Bible code word. It means “against the whole thing” referring, of course, to the ways of the world and all its teachings and, in particular, to all the world’s religious systems. This could also prophesy about the two witnesses, whose message and works the whole world will hate! “Killed near you” today means somewhere in the civilized world where communication can take the event to the rest of the world in an instant.
Religion, again, is a big part of the message to this group:
But I hold a few matters against you, because you have there those who adhere to the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balaq to put a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat food [spiritual nourishment] offered to idols, and to commit whoring [adultery or worshiping other "gods"]. So you also have those adhere to the teaching of the Nikolaites, which I also hate.
The theme comes back only this time much stronger than before. Here the people are in the middle of it all. We are back again to even greater spiritual problems because of Paul and his followers. In this situation, the called-out ones are not only living in a place where they are surrounded by spiritual degradation but also those who follow these things are among the called-out ones!
Repent or else I shall come to speedily and fight against them with the sword of My mouth. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.
To him [or her] who overcomes I shall give a white stone and on the stone a renewed Name written which no other one knows except him [or her] who receives it.”
What name is on the stone? You will need to overcome to be qualified to receive it.
So far each of the groups or assemblies of called-out people has to overcome, not bad habits, but the corrupting and destructive influence of the world’s religions, including the Christian religion that grew from Paul’s teachings.
“He [or she] who has an ear, let him hear.”
To be continued …