"The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne."
I believe you could spend a lifetime studying the letters to the seven churches and not plumb the depths Scripture provides in these fifty verses. The depths of the unique names given to Christ Jesus in each of the letters are worth a significant amount of study time. There is a repeated pattern in each of the seven letters. Each letter begins with a unique description of Jesus, followed by His comments for each church: His praise, His rebuke, His commands, His discipline, and His promise. You will notice some churches do not receive comments for each section.
Each letter concludes with a combination of "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" and "The one who conquers." I want to focus on "The one who conquers."
One of my favorite descriptions of the church is in Romans 8:36-37. "As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." I always smile when I read this passage. I hope it is not blasphemous to use the word oxymoron to explain Scripture, but I do not know a better word to describe this passage. The church is regarded as sheep to be slaughtered, but instead, we are more than conquerors. I love the idea of us being "Conquering Sheep." It is necessary to add the qualifier "through him who loved us."
The Greek word translated as "we are more than conquerors" is hypernikao. The Greek word in Revelation for "who conquers" is nikao. As you can see, the same word is used in Romans as is used in Revelation with the addition of the prefix "hyper." The root word means to overcome, prevail, and receive the victory. Adding the prefix gives the meaning of to vanquish beyond and to gain a decisive victory. Isn't that what Christ Jesus accomplished?
The word nikao is used twice in the Gospels. Needless to say, both are about Jesus. In Luke 11, Jesus is said to cast out demons through the power of Beelzebul. In verse 21 Jesus says, "When a strong man fully armed (referring to Satan), guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger (referring to Himself) than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil." The other usage is in John 16:33, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." So, Christ has conquered both Satan and his kingdom and in the process taken believers as His "spoil. Therefore, as His possession, we are to rejoice in the middle of tribulation because we belong to the Victor. One more verse before we return to Revelation. 1 John 5:4-5 says, "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" Just as Jesus Christ has overcome the world, so too, have those born of God, those who have the gift of faith which causes us to believe Jesus is the Son of God.
I won't list all that is promised to the "one who conquers", but you will enjoy examining these promises for yourself because it will increase your hope and expectation of Jesus' return. In Revelation 12:11, the means of conquering is "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." Jesus said it like this in Matthew 10:39, "Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." John 12:25 says, "Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
Lord Jesus, You are the Victorious One. Holy Spirit, please teach me what it means to be a conquering sheep through Jesus Christ. My Father and my God, I desire the promises You have made to Your children. Thank You for placing me in Christ so that I, too, may have all that is meant by eternal life.