In each of the seven letters to the churches, Jesus speaks to “him that overcometh”. Praise the Lord that the way to overcome is through faith and belief in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:4-5).
As with the promises to the church in Pergamos, we see again white symbolises purity and righteousness; for, as Jesus says in verse 4, there are a few in Sardis who will walk with him in white because they have not defiled their garments. Throughout the Book of Revelation the saints are clothed in white. Those standing before the throne are wearing white robes (Revelation 7:9; 7:14) and the armies of saints and angels who accompany Jesus to the battle of Armageddon are clothed in white linen while riding on white horses (Revelation 19:14).
Prior to the battle of Armageddon, we see the bride of Christ clothed in white:
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. (Revelation 19:8)
The second and third promises to those who overcome show two opposing possibilities for those of us whose names are written in the book of life: if we don’t overcome, Jesus will blot our names out of the book; but if we do, he will confess our names before the Father and his angels.
Our names are blotted out of the book of life if we sin against the Lord (Exodus 32:33). Following the sin of worshipping the golden calf, the Lord told Moses that he would destroy the children of Israel and blot out their name from under heaven (Deuteronomy 9:14).
In one of David’s prophetic psalms of Jesus, the seven imprecatory verses conclude with the plea to blot out his — Jesus’ — enemies from the book of life:
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. (Psalms 69:28)
It’s of utmost importance that our names are written in heaven, in the book of life, because it’s only those whose names are found within its pages who are granted entry to the kingdom of God. As Jesus said to the seventy upon their return from evangelising and casting out devils:
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
Jesus will only confess our names before the Father if our names are written in the book of life. When talking with the twelve he tells them:
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)
Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: (Luke 12:8)
This brings us back to what it means to overcome:
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)
We must always hold onto our faith, no matter the level of tribulation we experience in this world. If the devil, who walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), attacks our faith and we succumb to fear and doubt, we are in grave danger of losing that faith.
As Paul wrote in his epistle to the Ephesians:
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)
Of all seven components of the armour of God, the shield of faith is above all. We need that shield to quench the fiery darts of the wicked, to repel the seeds of doubt that the devil tries to sow in our heart and mind. We must hold up that shield at all times, never letting our arm drop lest our heart is exposed and Satan infects us with his poison-tipped fiery darts.
Praise the Lord that Jesus is the author and finisher, or perfecter, of our faith:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
This is the ninth verse image in our ongoing series from the Book of Revelation. See here for all images in the series.
Revelation 3 Audio
Revelation 3:1-6 (Letter to the church in Sardis)
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 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.
5 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.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
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Tribulation and Wrath Are Sequential, Not the Same