There is a complete thread through Revelation telling us the gospel day story, including the reward of the righteous. This complete story exposes the false accuser and their false accusations. In Revelation, the true righteous people of God are honored as Jesus Christ is honored. And our ultimate reward is to eternally be with the one who truly loves us!
I’m sorry for the many scriptural inserts in this post, but they help provide the whole story of our great reward shown to us in Revelation.
Early in Revelation, Jesus honors the righteous in Pergamos while they are suffering in the midst of severe persecution. In type, this message to Pergamos also addresses the spiritual conditions that fought against the true saints during the dark middle ages. The true people of God were wrongly persecuted by the leadership hierarchy of the church.
“I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is : and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth… … He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” ~ Revelation 2:13, 17
In ancient times, it was traditional for a judge to give a white stone to those proven innocent before a court of law. In Pergamos Jesus is showing that he recognizes his true people, and honors them as innocent before his heavenly Father.
But false judgements against the saints would continue for many years, even beyond the middle ages. Therefore when the fifth seal was opened, we see those who had suffered, and God comforting them and asking them to rest and wait for the righteous judgement which will come later.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were , should be fulfilled.” ~ Revelation 6:9-11
So finally in the sixth seal we have a vision of the reward of the righteous. The reward for those who have suffered false accusations and persecutions for Christ’s sake.
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” ~ Revelation 7:13-17
Even though the righteous judgements started in the sixth seal, these judgements of God against false religion were not fully completed yet. There is much more to be done! So his plan is for a completely broken ministry, one who has completely given their lives to God’s purpose and kingdom, to complete the judgement and also recieved their own reward. That is why in the sounding of the seventh trumpet we see the saints declaring the end of all kingdoms, except God’s! This declaration can only be made by those who are fully broken of their own ideas and agendas, and are completely submitted to the will of God.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever… …And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” ~ Revelation 11:15 & 18
When a kingdom that still exists, is told that it will be completely destroyed, they will fight furiously for their life! So is the case regarding the religious kingdoms of men. So as the pouring out of judgement upon spiritual Babylon begins, there again arises persecution against the saints. Therefore in chapter 14 we are reminded again of our great reward.
“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” ~ Revelation 14:11-13
This judgement is coming ever closer to a finality as the seven vials of God’s wrath are poured out. And so during this time we hear the expression of the righteous regarding God’s judgements: even as the hypocrites are judged and the righteous are honored.
“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”~ Revelation 16:4-7
One of the key purposes of Revelation is to set the record straight concerning the true judgements of who is right and wrong. And Jesus Christ does this when he declares final judgement on Babylon.
“Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” ~ Revelation 18:20-21
And the fulfillment of that reward is the marriage of the true bride to the faithful and true Lamb of God!
“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 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. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” ~
And in Revelation 20, after Babylon, and the beast, and the false prophet had been destroyed, the battle lines are clear: it is just a battle between God’s true people and Satan. So the true gospel day story is told pointing out the victory of the true saints who were willing to die for Christ.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” ~ Revelation 20:4-6
And of course, the ultimate reward is our final reward as God himself is our reward, for God is love, and is our first love! So eternally the righteous are with the one who faithfully loved them, helped them, and took them home to be with him forever.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:2-4
God himself is our reward! His presence, his love, and to be eternally with him. True eternal rest and peace! The Apostle Paul reminded us:
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”~ Romans 8:18