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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Revelation 2:7

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 tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

For further study - Revelation 2:1-7

As we come in our daily reading to Revelation 2, we begin to look at what Jesus has for the "church", before the Rapture and after His Second Coming. Revelation 2 and 3 are messages to "seven churches" that were alive and active during the first century in the area of Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey.

John, the writer of the book of Revelation, had been the pastor of the church in Ephesus and had a close relationship with the other six churches, most likely as a visiting minister on a regular basis. While on the Isle of Patmos, as a prisoner, John received these messages from Jesus to give to the churches. It will be a great benefit to you, as it has been to me, to spend time reading and studying these seven messages to these seven churches.

In our devotional today, I will only have time and space to look at the one church, the church in Ephesus. However, before I do that, let me remind you that there are similarities between the messages to the seven churches.

Each letter is written to the "angel of the church". This is the Greek word "angelos" - meaning angel. I Corinthians 11:10 reveals that there are "angels" in attendance at each church meeting. Also at the beginning of each message there is a characteristic of Jesus.

Each of the letters reminds the church that the Lord knows of their works. John records the messages from the Lord to "those that are overcomers." I John 5:4-5 tells us that "overcomers" are those who know Christ as Lord and Savior.

There is also the phrase in each letter, "he that hath an ear let him hear." This means to pay attention to what is being said. The other similarity is that the Lord promised something to the “overcomers” of each church. These rewards are for us and will be given to us during the "kingdom to come", after the Lord's return to earth.

That is what I want to look at for those in the "church at Ephesus". But I must hasten to write that all seven messages are applicable for each of us, including the promise for each of us. In this letter to Ephesus, to those "overcomers", they shall eat of the "tree of life", verse 7.

There are several thoughts that we must consider. First, we will all eat of the "tree of life" during that 1,000-year period as Jesus sits upon His throne in Jerusalem. This helps to understand how those with physical bodies who go through the Tribulation Period, having become believers, will live for 1,000 years in that physical body. They will be eating daily of the "tree of life", Genesis 3:22.

This "tree of life" is different than the one in the "New Jerusalem" in Revelation 22:2. The "tree of life" in Revelation 2:7 is located in the "earthly Jerusalem", in the "paradise of God" which is the Garden of Eden, as it was 6,000 years ago. The Garden of Eden was, and is today, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (see my audio series, "Return to Eden").

Please consider reading the other seven messages to find out what is in store for each of us who are "overcomers", in the future. God is so good.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to learn from the messages You sent to the seven churches, through John.