Rewards for Overcomers are described in Rev 2‑3 in the Present, Active, Participle of NIKAO – νικάω (nik-ah’-o), specifically in Rev 2:7, 10-11, 17, 26-28; 3:4-5, 12, 21; and 21:7. In each case, the participle is translated like a noun meaning, “the victor,” “winner” or “overcomer.”
The fact is, all believers will stand before the Judgement Seat of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 5:10.
2 Cor 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
This seat of judgment is called the BEMA. This judgment will be regarding our deeds or works performed here on earth and not our sins, because they were already judged at the Cross. Deeds done through the filling of the Spirit and the Word resident in your soul will be rewarded. Deeds performed from the flesh or Old Sin Nature will be discarded, 1 Cor 3:10-16.
1 Cor 3:12, “Now if any man builds upon this foundation.”
Between laying the foundation and rewardable deeds, there must be knowledge of Bible Doctrine for the believer to be a category 2 Overcomer. “If”- εἰ (i) is a first-class condition that recognizes the reality of some kind of production in the life of the believer, good or bad.
The word “builds” – ἐποικοδομέω (ep-oy-kod-om-eh’-o) is in the Iterative Present Tense that means, “we keep on building as long as we live.” We either express works of the flesh, which is human good from the Old Sin Nature, or we express Divine good production through the filling of the Spirit and the Word.
There are 2 general categories noted here.
Category #1 – “Gold, Silver, Precious Stones.” These are permanent type things out of which to build something and indicate everlasting rewards. These are classified as Divine Good Production Rewards.
- Gold generally in Scripture is used to represent Deity. So, gold would represent anything that glorifies God, and God is glorified by the Spirit-filled life, John 16:12-14.
- Silver speaks of Redemption wherever found in Scripture. Therefore, it is connected with witnessing in the power of the Spirit.
- Precious stones are identification with the Family of God via the High Priest, and therefore represent production through the Word and Spirit, (i.e. the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, etc.).
Category # 2 – “Wood, Hay, Stubble.” These are temporary things and indicate loss as each is burned up and nothing remains. These are classified as Human Good Production Loss of Rewards.
- Wood speaks of man and of good deeds performed from the flesh, (i.e. motivation lust).
- Hay is a great energy source for horses, mules, etc. There are a lot of believers who are only full of human energy, (i.e. deeds they constantly do to glorify self from the area of strength of the Sin Nature).
- Stubble refers to the leftovers, and therefore to good things that people do out of spite, out of envy, or out of hostility.
- These all add up to production from the Old Sin Nature.
So, the first category generally describes eternal rewards for the Overcomer, and as we noted, Revelation 2 and 3 tells us more specifically about the rewards for both categories of Overcomers.
As much as rewards are associated with brightness and shining in many passages of Scripture, Dan 12:3; Mat 13:43; 1 Cor 15:40-41, 49, it also appears that the reward given to the believer is a capacity to manifest the glory of Christ throughout eternity.
Dan 12:3, “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
1 Cor 15:41, 49, “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory…. 49Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”
Rev 2:7 – The Overcomer is a member of the Paradise club forever. This includes:
- Access to the Paradise of God, (the heavenly eternal “Garden of Eden” in the New Jerusalem).
- Eating from the Tree of Life (eternal spiritual sustenance from the Word of God, Rev 22:1-2).
- Access to the gazebo in the Garden (the fantastic gathering place).
Rev 2:10 – The Crown of Life. This is one of two major awards. The other being the Order of the Morning Star, Rev 2:28. The Crown of Life is given for living the spiritual life inside God’s Power System (GPS) bringing maximum glorification to God. It is awarded to invisible heroes for maximum production of Divine good through the execution of the Plan of God with emphasis on invisible impact while persevering under trial. Also in James 1:12.
James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.“
This is one of four Crowns the believer can be awarded at the BEMA of Jesus Christ. Each is an indestructible crown that will last forever, is fire tested, as we have noted, and linked with living for the gospel of Christ, 1 Cor 9:23-26.
1 Cor 9:24-26, “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim…”
The other crowns include:
- The Crown of Rejoicing for the soul winners, 1 Thes 2:19.
- The Crown of Righteousness is given to the one who has loved His appearing, which means it is a decoration for the attainment, perpetuation, and activity of spiritual maturity. This crown is presented to those believers who advance through the three stages of spiritual adulthood, 2 Tim 4:8.
2 Tim 4:8, “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
- The Crown of Glory for being willing to feed the flock of God, 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Rev 2:11 – A general reward for all believers, being spared the second death. The second death is the Eternal Lake of Fire reserved for Satan and all unbelievers, Rev 20:6, 14; 21:8.
Rev 2:17 – Three components:
- Hidden manna, eternal spiritual sustenance.
- The white stone, an eternal credit card providing special accesses in heaven, and
- The new title on the stone is a new order of knighthood with rank and privilege.
Rev 2:26-28 – The Order of the Morning Star is the highest decoration for living the Christian life. This is awarded for the ultimate in impact through the application of Bible doctrine. The name is derived from the title of our Lord. In His strategic and tactical victory, He is called, “The Morning Star.”
Num 24:17, “A star shall come from Jacob (First Advent).”
2 Peter 1:19,“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns (Second Advent) and the morning star arises in your hearts.“
Those who are granted this reward will be given authority to rule in the Millennium, Rev 2:26-27, 20:4.
Rev 3:4-5 – The Overcomer will also receive:
- The uniform of glory, Rev 3:4.
- Have his name appear in the honors list in the Book of Life, Rev 20:15, which is the list of all believers from all time.
- He will be presented in the court of heaven in a resurrection body.
The uniform of glory was worn by Jesus Christ as the Morning Star and exhibited at the Mount of Transfiguration. This uniform of glory is the translucent robe of light that Christ wears over His resurrection body. The uniform of glory was modeled by Christ for Peter, James and John, Mat 16:28‑17:2, “His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white, like light.” This uniform is now constantly worn by the humanity of Christ and will be worn by the Overcomer too.
Rev 3:12 – A special pillar in the temple, written in gold, which tells the Overcomer’s story. This is the historical record section of heaven. This is a record of the great Divine good deeds of the Overcomer. His name remains in the temple of God as a permanent history record of those who truly had an impact in human history. He will also receive a coat of arms, (name of My God, the new city, and My new name) which allows him to enter the New Jerusalem.
Rev 3:21 – He will be seated with Christ on His Throne sharing in eternal authority.
Rev 21:7 – He will inherit the New Heavens and New Earth.
None of this would be possible without the Victory of the Lamb of God. Jesus said in Rev 3:21b, “…as I also overcame (Aorist, Active, Indicative) and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
The strategic victory was at the Cross. The tactical victory will come in the Tribulation.
Rev 17:14, “These (Antichrist and his empire) will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome (Future, Active, Indicative) them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”