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 Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 17) (The Overcomers Part 3)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 17) (The Overcomers Part 3)   Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:56 am

Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 17) (The Overcomers Part 3)

Let’s dissect the second promise for the overcomers to the church of Pergamum, where Jesus says, “I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” There are a couple of possible interpretations to this white stone. Ancient Israelites used a white stone as an invitation pass to banquets. This could refer to a Christian’s invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will occur on this Earth during the Millennium and not all Christians will be invited to as we will later see. Our invitations are based on how we live our lives right now. The Millennium is a thousand year wedding party, celebrating the Bride (the Church) being united with the Bridegroom (Jesus). This occurs after the Tribulation, and before what we call eternity.

The Israelites also used color stones in court of law. A white stone stood for innocence, and a black stone meant guilty. The jury would pull out which ever stone they saw fit for the verdict.

This white stone has a new personal name written on it. God often renames people. God renamed Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, and Jacob to Israel. And in the New Testament, Jesus renamed Simon to Cephas (or Peter), and Saul to Paul. In the bible, to name something or someone is to express one’s ownership and authority over that person or thing. Adam was commanded by God to name all of the beasts of the field and birds of the air. And he was told to rule over them. Names in the bible usually meant something, and particularly, when God renames you, the new name he gives you indicates his special will for you. God wants to rename each of us and make us new. The name Jacob means “trickster” and God gave him a new identity, Israel, which means “he struggles with God.” God wanted to break Jacob’s will and so he gave him a new name to indicate the new direction God wanted for him. But Jacob still continued to be a trickster after he was renamed by God. And he was therefore, often called Jacob instead of his new name. I just want to point out that it is possible for God to rename you, but you still not live up to the name, or new identity he gave you. Jesus is going to give a new special identity to the overcomer by the name written on the stone.

Jesus will even have a new name, which means that there is some special quality about Jesus not yet revealed to us. Revelation 19:12 says, “His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.” For those with access to the Kingdom, Revelation 22:4 says, “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (And confer with Revelation 14:1.) Jesus has lots of names in the bible. Just a few are: Jesus, Emmanuel, Son of God, Son of Man, the Christ or Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Good Shepherd, the Lamb, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Father of Time, the Most High Priest, the Word, the Truth, the Alpha and the Omega, the Bridegroom, the Angel of the LORD, the Root and Offspring of David, “I Am”, Light of the World, the Morning Star, and many other names—you get the point. Revelation 19:12 says that there is a new name, or some new quality about Jesus Christ, not yet revealed to us that will be written on him when he returns. We will actually learn something extra about Christ in that day. And there is a new name, on that stone, if you are an overcomer, that Jesus will reward you with for your faithfulness and diligent work for the Kingdom and glorifying His name. This stone will reveal a new quality about you.

I want to close this by taking a close look at the stone Zechariah saw in Zechariah chapter 3. By “close,” I mean, let’s look at the whole chapter together. Verse 1 says, “Then he [the angel from chapter 2] showed me [Zechariah] Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.” The name “Satan” means accuser. He lives up to his God-given name. God changed his name from Lucifer to Satan. In doing so, God showed ownership of Satan. This “Joshua” is not the Joshua whose name is one of the books of the Old Testament. In Aramaic, his name is Jeshua. He is a high priest. This is the Joshua found in Ezra 2:2, Nehemiah 7:7, and Haggai 1:1. Haggai says, “…Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest.” Joshua’s father in the book of Joshua was named Nun. Joshua’s father in Zechariah was a high priest, and Joshua is now one too. Joshua represents all of saved mankind. A side note: the name “Jesus” is a transliteration in English of “Joshua” in Greek. The name means, “The LORD saves.” Joshua will later, as we will see, symbolize Jesus. In this passage he represents sinful man as their high priest.

You may have noticed that I included “the angel of the LORD” as one of Jesus’ names. In the Old Testament Jesus is “the” angel of the LORD. Without that word “the” in our translations, it is usually not referring to Jesus. Just about every time “the” is placed in front of “LORD” in “angel of the LORD” it is referring to Jesus. Yet we know from the book of Hebrews that Jesus is not an angel. The word “angel” means “messenger.” He is “The” Messenger of the LORD in the Old Testament.

So the human high priest is standing before Jesus, who is the Great High Priest and mediator, and Satan is standing at his best side to accuse him. This is not the first time Satan shows up in God’s presence, ready to accuse. You recall Satan showed up in Heaven to accuse Job in the book of Job. Verse 2 reads, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?’” This is an oddly worded verse. The LORD is speaking and he does not say, “I rebuke you, Satan!”; but rather, he says, “The LORD rebuke you Satan!” The reason for this is because The Angel of the LORD always speaks in the first person of Yahweh. This is either Yahweh speaking and saying “The Angel of the LORD rebukes you”. Or it is The Angel of the LORD speaking and saying “Yahweh rebukes you.” Either way, “The Angel of the LORD” is a comparative synonym to “Yahweh.”

He expresses God’s sovereignty by saying God chose Jerusalem. Satan is rebuked for questioning God’s sovereignty. God not only chose Jerusalem by volition, but also offered a plan of salvation to take away sin. God saved this human high priest from the fire of God’s judgment and wrath. God snatched him from the fire to save him.

Verse 3: “Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.” His filthy clothes, of course represent his sinful state of humanity. Verse 4: “The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he [the Angel] said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.” So if it wasn't clear before, this verse clearly shows that “the Angel” is Jesus Christ, pre-incarnate. Don’t confuse Joshua’s companions in this verse with those in verse 8. Those in this verse are “standing” before him. Those in verse 8 are “seated before him.” Remember, this whole scene is a court setting for Joshua’s trial, and the charge is his sin. Those standing before Joshua are angels. Those seated before him in verse 8 represent believers that this high priest, Joshua, is representing. Jesus tells the angels to take off his clothes and replace them with sinless garments. Jesus completely changes his humanity from a sinful person to a purified being on the inside and outside. As Christians today, we believers have been purified on the inside only (our spirits). Our outer selves, our clothes, that is, our bodies (and souls) are still filled with sin until we receive our new clothing, both new bodies and new garments. Did I mention that this entire chapter is placed in the future? Sometime just after the Rapture, God will give us believers new clothes. Since Satan is there this definitely occurs before Satan gets thrown into the lake of fire in Revelation 20. Satan cannot accuse Jesus, so he pathetically tries to accuse Joshua.

Zechariah, the prophet is an onlooker, and he gives his 2 cents in verse 5, saying, “Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.” It is interesting they obeyed the command of this onlooker who is really just supposed to watch and take notes. But Zechariah observes that Joshua either had on a dirty turban, or no turban at all. If you quickly turn over to chapter 6:11, you’ll see that this turban will be replaced with a crown. That verse reads, “Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak.” Joshua will literally be a mini-co-high priest with the true Great High Priest, Jesus, forever.

Verses 6-7: “The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.” Remember, those standing there are angels. How Joshua, who represents us, lives his life on Earth in history, will determine if he gets a special place that the angels occupy. Since he represents us, it may be, by deferment that this promise is also to us. Not necessarily though. This one could be just for Joshua. The important thing to note here is that this is a conditional statement. It says, “If”. If he obeys he gets this promise. Joshua is a contemporary of Zechariah. Zechariah knows Joshua the high priest personally. It is Zechy's job to inform Josh of this prophesy. Also note here that governing, or ruling with Christ is a reward for obedience. Governing is always a reward for obedience and does not just come with salvation whose requirement is only to believe in the finished work of what Jesus did for you. The charge is for Joshua to keep his requirements. What requirements? You can refer to Ezekiel 44 for some of the requirements that Joshua would have to keep. The later chapters of Ezekiel are special chapters that we will look at later in our study of the book of Revelation. Last point on this verse is that it seems that this promise only applies to Joshua because of the clause, “I will give you a place among these standing here.” Those standing are angels. Those seated are us believers. So it seems that we are not a part of this promise to Joshua. So I take back my deferment statement.

Verse 8: “’Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.” While we are not high priests, 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are “a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” We are priests of Jesus Christ. As said earlier, those seated are Christian believers. The “Branch”, of course, is Jesus (cf. with Isaiah 11:1).
Now we come to the verse that somewhat relates to what we were looking at in Revelation—ha ha ha. Verse 9: “‘See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.’” Seven eyes are symbolic of the fact that God sees everything we do. You can think of the number 7 as a synonym for completeness or perfection. The day that the sin will be removed from the land is the final day of the Armageddon battle. In that day Jesus wipes all “sinners” from the face of the Earth.

These verses are chronologically in order. Verse 10 reads, “‘In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” This is the Millennium time which we will look at closely later in our study. This will be a time of safety and all will be given property and a livelihood. No one will be homeless or starving during this time. (See Micah 4:4, Zephaniah 3:13, and Ezekiel 34:25-31.) Not everyone during the Millennium will be in a post-death-resurrected state during this time. Many will have come from the Tribulation period, not having died yet. Death does not get thrown into the lake of fire until after the Millennium period.

Please read Zechariah 6:9-15 to see that Joshua is crowned with a king’s crown. Joshua therefore becomes both a king and high priest, just like Melchizedek and just like Jesus who he now fully symbolizes. Zechariah 6:12-13 is Jesus. Verse 15 will take place during the Millennium.
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Revelation Chapter 2 (Part 17) (The Overcomers Part 3)
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