- There will be many different types of heavenly rewards that believers will receive at the time of the Second Coming. These rewards are not of secondary importance but rather are an important part of our destiny. Therefore, all believers should be familiar with them. The heir of a great financial fortune or one investing in venture knows the main details of what they hope to gain.
- In Rev. 2-3, Jesus gave His most in-depth teaching on rewards (mentioning 22 rewards). He knew what we would need to be properly motivated and stabilized during the release of the glory and crisis in the End-Time move of God as seen in the Book of Revelation.
- There will be a vast difference in the measure of glory of each one’s reward. Some in the Kingdom will be called the least and some the greatest (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:11; Rev. 11:18; 19:5).19 Whoever breaks (consistently) one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches (encourages) them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:19)
- There are various levels of fulfillment of these rewards in this age as well as in the age-to-come.
- Rewards are not given automatically but only to those who fulfill specific conditions. This is the time in our life when the “exchange rate” for obedience is the highest. To believe means to “respond to Jesus in confidence and consistency”. One aspect of being blessed is in receiving eternal rewards that are far beyond a “100-fold return” for all that we offer Jesus in love and obedience (Mt. 19:29; Mk. 10:30; Lk 8:8; Mt. 13:8; 23).29 Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. (Jn. 20:29)
- God pays so well in our few things. To have confidence in this is to greatly impact our heart.29 Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. (Mt. 19:29)
- There will be varying degrees of fruitfulness and reward: 100-fold, 60-fold and 30-fold.23 He who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Mt. 13:23)
- Jesus reveals the great exchange of “few things” to “many things”. God esteems, remembers and rewards our small expressions of obedience in our mind, emotions, and will. Those who were faithful in “very little” will have “government over ten cities” in the Millennial Kingdom.21 You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. (Mt. 25:21) 17 Well done…you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities. (Lk. 19:17)
REWARD #1: THE GLORY OF GOD IN OUR RESURRECTED BODY
- There will be a vast difference in the measure of glory manifest in our resurrected bodies. This will greatly differ according to the measure of one’s obedience. The largest star known is the Pistol Star, which has a mass about 100 times that of the Sun and is 10 million times brighter.41 There is one glory of the sun…and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor. 15:41-42)2 Those who sleep in the dust (physical death)…shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever… (Dan. 12:2-3)43 The righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Mt. 13:43)
- We will have a resurrected body that is conformed to Jesus’ resurrected body. The Father “custom designed” His resurrected body, giving Him the best design He could create using His infinite wisdom and power. He has eyes of fire (Rev. 1:14; 19:12) and a face like the sun (Rev. 1:16; Mt. 17:2). It is a physical body far superior in glory to what the angels have.21 Will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body… (Phil. 3:21)
- Insight into Jesus’ resurrected body gives us insight into ours (Mt. 28:1-20; Mk. 16:1-8; Lk 24:1- 53; Jn. 20:1-21:25; Acts 1:1-11). Jesus had a physical body with flesh and bones (Jn. 20:27).39 Behold My hands and My feet…handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have. (Lk. 24:39)
- The disciples touched Jesus (Mt. 28:9) and ate with Him (Jn. 21:12–13; Lk. 24:30; Acts 10:40- 41). They recognized Jesus after He rose (Mt. 28:9, 17; Jn. 20:19–20, 26–28; 21:7, 12). He appeared to the disciples for forty days (Acts 1:3, 9-11). Jesus sometimes appeared in His glory (Lk. 24:37) but He did not always appear in His glory. Mary Magdalene and the disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Him (Jn. 20:14-16; Lk. 24:13-32).
- Jesus could seemingly materialize and dematerialize with His physical body. He sometimes vanished from their sight (Lk. 24:31). Jesus possibly walked through walls (Scripture does not say this explicitly) on two occasions when doors were “shut” (Jn. 20:19, 26).
- Our five senses will be touched by the power of God.
1). Sight: ability to see at a distance and at close range
2). Hearing: ability to hear with clarity and perception at great distances
3). Taste: enjoyment of food and water to the fullest degree (1 Cor. 10:31; Rev. 22:1-2) 4). Touch: glorified physical senses
5). Smell: supernatural ability to enjoy and discern heavenly fragrances
G. Supernatural abilities of our resurrected body includes:
1). Supernatural abilities to think: to understand, remember and reason
2). Supernatural abilities to feel: love, joy and peace, etc.
3). Supernatural abilities to communicate: with speech, song, music, writing, poetry
4). Supernatural abilities in strength: speed, endurance, lifting objects without fatigue or sickness
5). Supernatural abilities in travel: flight and speed
6). Supernatural abilities related to the material realm: some will pass through walls like Jesus?
7). Supernatural beauty: physical countenance, fragrance, light, color, etc.
REWARD #2: INTIMACY WITH JESUS (REVELATION OF GOD)
We will each receive a varying measure of revelation to encounter God in intimacy. Jesus will write God’s name on us. Jesus’ new name may point to His nature as the God-Man (Rev. 19:12).
- 12 I will write on him the name of My God…I will write on him My new name. (Rev. 3:12)4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. (Rev. 22:4)
- God will write His Word on our heart and mind (2 Cor 3:3; Ex. 31:18). God on us means that we are recipients of His desire, authority, and partnership and revelation of His heart and beauty.16 “This is the covenant (promise) that I will make with them… “I will put My laws (Word) into their hearts (emotions) and in their minds (understanding) I will write them… (Heb. 10:16)1). Mind: to release the spirit of revelation and living understanding to our mind
2). Heart: to empower our emotions until we feel the power of His Word with holy desiresNote: we have a partial inheritance in this promise now if we pray the Word.
- The Morning Star is a reference to Jesus (Num 24:17-19). A deep relationship with Jesus is promised. The face of Jesus as our Morning Star shines like the sun (Rev. 1:16). Each believer will experience varying capacity to receive from the Morning Star (Rev. 2:28; 22:16; Gen. 15:1).28 I will give him the morning star. (Rev 2:28)
16 I, Jesus…am the Bright and Morning Star. (Rev 22:16)
20 I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)
REWARD #3: STRATEGIC WORK ASSIGNMENTS (THRONE AND AUTHORITY)
A. We will each receive strategic work assignments that will bring us joy and fulfillment. The two functions most emphasized for the saints: priests and kings (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). Saints with resurrected bodies will be made kings or rulers over different spheres of life (Mt. 19:28; 20:21- 23; 25:23; Lk. 19:17-19; 22:29-30; 1 Cor. 6:2-3; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rom 8:17).
21 I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord. (Mt. 25:21)
10 Have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. (Rev. 5:10)
For some this will include receiving positions of authority over nations or cities (Mt. 19:28; 25:23; Lk. 19:17-19; 22:29-30; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21; Dan. 7:22, 25-27). This refers to reigning in the Millennial Kingdom in varying positions of authority. Not all believers will reign on earth.
- 26 To him I will give power over the nations. (Rev 2:26)21 I will grant to sit with Me on My Throne. (Rev 3:21)
- The saints will have a position of authority in the governmental infrastructure to make important life enhancing decisions that determine the quality of life for many. This will influence the measure of impartation of power and wisdom that we operate in. The measure of our anointing will affect our impact and what we impart to others as they train the nations in the ways of God. Some assignments will bring people into closer proximity to Jesus.
- Jesus promised to give the faithful positions of authority as pillars in His government. To be a pillar is a position of authority, responsibility and honor in the Millennium. The 12 sons of Jacob and the 12 apostles will have their names written in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:12-14).12 I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. (Rev 3:12)9 When James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be pillars… (Gal. 2:9)
- Pillars bear the weight of a building as well as being ornamental in beautifying a building. They are social in declaring the honor of those who did heroic deeds of courage, goodness and love. In the ancient world, when one served their city in a special way, a pillar was built in their honor.
V. REWARD #4: HEAVENLY PRAISE OR HONOR FROM GOD
- The saints will receive varying praise or honor from God (Jn. 12:26; 1 Pet. 1:7; Mt. 25:21, 1 Cor. 4:5). Some will be exalted with great honor (Mt. 5:19; 18:4; 20:25-26; 23:11-12; Mk. 10:42-43; Lk. 6:23, 35; 9:48; Lk. 14:11; 18:14; 22:26).7 That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold…though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus… (1 Pet. 1:7)5 The time…the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. (1 Cor. 4:5)
- Jesus will confess one’s name before His Father and His angels. This is not a reference to being saved but of Jesus speaking about our love, exploits and obedience before the Father. The story of our loving devotion to Jesus will be manifest and retold by Jesus.5 I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Rev 3:5)
21 Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things… (Mt. 25:21) 17 I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written… (Rev 2:17)
C. Jesus will not blot out our name from the Book of Life. This does not refer to losing one’s salvation but about not losing the honor associated with one’s name and testimony.
5 I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life. (Rev 3:5)
- Jesus is promising to not blot out the “record of the remembrance” of the righteous deeds if we would repent from our spiritual deadness and walk in the commitment we had in the past. Jesus will tell the story of our love and dedication to the Father many times throughout eternity. The books in heaven contain vast information about our lives including our words and deeds.16 Those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. (Mal. 3:16)
- Our good deeds are recorded in heaven but are blotted out if we turn from them. Ezekiel taught that a righteous man who turns from his righteousness would die. This gives us insight into how God “remembers and forgets”. God “remembers with blessing” the good that we continue in until the end. He “forgets” the good that we turn away from.20 Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity…his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered… (Ezek. 3:20)24 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity…all the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered… (Ezek 18:24)
- Eternal rewards can be lost.11 Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Rev. 3:11)14 If anyone’s work…endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Cor. 3:14-15)8 Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. (2 Jn. 8; NIV)
- Our position when gathering before the Lord in the New Jerusalem will be affected by our obedience in this age (Lk. 14:7-24). There will be protocol in the age-to-come.8 When you are invited…to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place…10 so that when he who invited you…may say, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table…11 He who humbles himself will be exalted. (Lk. 14:8-11)
- Jesus will manifest His zeal for the faithful by vindicating them before the unbelievers who persecuted and mistreated them (Isa. 45:14; 49:23; 60:14; Zech. 8:20-23). On the last day, unbelievers will witness Jesus’ love towards the people they persecuted. Every person will bow their knee to Jesus on the last day (Phil. 2:10-11). The Father will openly manifest His love for His children before the nations (Jn. 17:23).9 I will make those (persecutors)…come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. (Rev 3:9
- 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved (found consistent), he will receive the crown of life…promised to those who love Him. (Jas 1:12)17 They shall be Mine…on the day that I make them My jewels. (Mal. 3:17)
- Precious stones were given as awards to honor those who offered valiant service to the community or in battle. The white stones are precious stones like the gems in Rev. 21 and those on the high priest’s breastplate and those in God’s presence (Ezek. 28). The stone (Gk “pshfos’) referred to a precious stone (diamond). White (Gk “leukos”) refers to “shining or glistening” (Mt. 17:2; Rev. 3:4, 5; 6:11; 7:9, 13; 19:14).17 I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written… (Rev. 2:17)
- In the ancient world they were given to honor those who offered valiant service. This is like receiving the gold medal. The new name written on the white stone is comparable to when one’s name is engraved on a gold medal or a championship ring. The new name indicates one’s achievements in love that describe their relationship with Jesus. A white stone with one’s name on it gave them admission to special events, including the games and feasts hosted by the government of the Roman Empire. Those receiving these stones were given special privileges.
- A new name reflects one’s unique relationship with Jesus as well as their personality (Gen. 32:28; Isa. 62:2; 65:15). As parents give their child a name of endearment so Jesus will give His faithful names that reveal how He feels toward them and to indicate their faithfulness and role in the Millennium (Isa.62:2; 65:15). Simon was renamed Peter to speak of his character and position as the rock. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham to indicate that he was to be the father of a multitude (Gen.17:5-15). Jacob’s name was changed to Israel (Gen. 32).
REWARD #6: HEAVENLY GARMENTS (WHITE, BRIGHT, MANY COLORS)A. Jesus rewards righteous living with bright and white garments given to the faithful to express their dedication. Therefore, they differ with each believer (Rev. 3:4-5, 18; 16:15; 19:7-8). White garments are not the same as the free gift of righteousness. Justification is a gift by faith based on Jesus’ worthiness, not ours (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:4-7). Our garments begin with the gift of righteousness that is imputed to us by faith (2 Cor. 5:21).
8 To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Rev. 19:8)
18 I counsel you to buy from Me…white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed… (Rev. 3:18)
The word “white” speaks of the brightness of the garments. White (Gk “leukos”) refers to “shining or glistening” (Mt. 17:2; Rev. 3:4, 5; 6:11; 7:9, 13; 19:14).
- 2 He was transfigured before them…His clothes became as white as the light. (Mt. 17:2)
2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment… (Ps. 104:2)
6 Clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. (Rev. 15:6)
- All will have different degrees of brightness with each different type of clothing with its unique design, fabric, coloring and fragrance. The brightness will depend on our status and stature in the Spirit in the age to come. Each person will have a distinct history in God and will receive clothing that expresses the quality of their devotion to Jesus while they were on earth.3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Dan. 12:3)43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Mt. 13:43)
- Our garments will be as diverse as the different occasions we will participate in. For example, a king wears different clothing depending upon the occasion. They wear certain clothing at home, in official banquets or military functions with the heads of state. On one occasion they wear garments with their metals. At another occasion they dress casually or dress to attend a wedding.
REWARD #7: HEAVENLY FOOD (TREE OF LIFE AND HIDDEN MANNA)
- All believers eat from the Tree of Life. There may be a special privilege for eating from the Tree that is in the “midst” of Paradise. Adam walked with God in the midst of the garden of Eden. In the middle of the street and on both sides of the River is the Tree of Life (Rev. 22:2).7 I will give to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. (Rev 2:7) 9 The Tree of Life was also in the midst of the garden (of Eden) … (Gen. 2:9)
14 Those who do His commandments…have the right to the Tree of Life… (Rev. 22:14)
- Hidden manna speaks of having an increased capacity to be fed by revelation of the Word in this age and in the age-to-come. This manna will be given to us in fullness at the Marriage Supper. In the Tribulation, God’s people may receive natural “manna” in the wilderness (Rev. 12:6, 14).17 I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. (Rev 2:17)
- Manna was hidden only after it was put in the golden pot in the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies (Ex. 16:32-36; Heb. 9:1-5). Only the High Priest could see this hidden manna once a year, on the Day of Atonement, as he entered the Holy of Holies. God supernaturally sustained His people with manna or “angel’s food” (Ps.78:19-25). Jesus is the true manna from heaven (Jn 6:48-51). The overcomer is promised full enjoyment of something he already has a foretaste of.
REWARD #8: LIFE IN THE NEW JERUSALEM (AUTHORITY AND REVELATION)
- Jesus will give the faithful authority and revelation of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12) with the supernatural ability to comprehend this mysterious and glorious City.12 I will write on him…the name of the City of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. (Rev. 3:12)
- Some are given the “key to a city” or are called a father of that city to honor their connection to that city. This honor points to one’s unusual authority, commitment and understanding of a city.
REWARD #9: HEAVENLY GOLD, RICHES AND TREASURE
- Riches and treasures in heaven include the location and design of our heavenly dwelling place and our garments and jewelry that exhibit our dedication to God (Mt. 5:12; 6:4, 6, 18, 20; 10:41- 42; 16:27; 19:21; Mk. 9:41; 10:21; Lk. 6:23, 35; 12:21, 33; 16:11; 18:22; Rev. 2:9; 3:18; 22:12).21 So is he who…is not rich toward God…33 Provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail (Lk. 12:21, 33)Acquiring gold and “becoming rich” refers to more than what is in our heart in this age. It also speaks of eternal gold or treasure that will be seen in the heavenly mansions, crowns, garments, etc. Gold speaks of our status (royalty or trophy/medal), it expresses sentiment like a diamond ring does in a marriage and will be used in our eternal dwelling and heavenly clothing (Ps. 45). Gold is only one facet of our eternal reward but it is a real one.18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich. (Rev. 3:18)12 If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones… (1 Cor. 3:12)
The day God releases the second death is the most terrifying day of human history. It is the time when God’s wrath against human rebellion is openly administered before the eyes of all. On this most terrifying day, the overcomer can be sure that they will lose none of the treasure or reward from the devotion and obedience they showed to Jesus from this age.
11 He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death. (Rev 2:11)
- The second death is eternal separation from God (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8). The first death is the death of our physical body when the spirit of the unbeliever goes to hell. The saints in Smyrna were hurt relationally, financially and physically by staying faithful to Jesus. Jesus assured them that although the first death ‘hurt’ them briefly, the second death will not hurt them at all!
- On the most terrifying day when the second death is administered, all will see that the works done in love for Jesus are safe. This is when the persecutors of the Church will see the fullness of what they lost. The second death will show forth the “great reversal” in history when righteousness is seen as wise and sin as terrible. Jesus assures those persecuted that they were not in jeopardy of suffering any permanent loss.