Somebody at the end of this age will sit down with the Savior on His throne. They will be rulers with Him during the 1,000 year reign right here on earth. This is promised by Him.
This promise of kingly rulership for some of His followers is conditional. During the last age of the church just before His return, His followers will be lukewarm in their service to Him. They will think that because they are affluent in material things, that they are rich in spiritual things. They will take pride in “knowing God,” and they will say that they spiritually “have need of nothing.” But they do not know that they are in His eyes “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked” (Rev. 3: 14-17).
They do not know that their faith in Him is a poor approximation, a poor substitute for His vibrant faith. They do not have the higher richer knowledge of His plan and purpose. Consequently they are spiritually blind and naked.
And so, He counsels them to buy from Him three things that will correct their spiritual deficiencies: “gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (v. 18).
And then He makes an astounding promise to them. If anyone in this end time age hears His voice concerning these matters, and hears His knock on their door, He will come in and have a feast with them, sharing intimate details of His soon coming kingdom. And then the promise: “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (v. 22). Now you’ve got to have an ear that is attuned for these things. He says if you do, then hear what the Spirit is saying to you about these things (v. 22).
So, the first thing we need is the “gold tried in the fire” (1). We know that this gold is our faith and belief in God. We believe in Him, having never seen Him nor the outcome of His kingdom plan, for faith is the “evidence of things not seen” (2). It is like the Holy Spirit, which is invisible but is “leading us into all truth” and thereby comforts us as the Comforter” (3).
The “gold tried in the fire” that we are to “buy” from the Savior is the purification of our faith/belief through trials and temptations, “if need be.” Most of us will need the times of “chastening” that He will give unto His elect–the ones who He has chosen to sit with Him in His throne (4). This chastening is in the form of correction.
This fire that purifies our faith is much like the pruning of the vine that Christ speaks about (5). And what He lops off of us is the old erroneous concepts about Him that we have learned from those who taught us in the past.
“Purge out the old leaven that the lump may be holy” is a similar concept (6). Spiritual leaven is what puffs us up. He calls leaven hypocrisy, insincerity, falsehoods, and misconceptions.
Those that submit themselves to the Spirit/Teacher and endures this fire, pruning, chastening, and purging–they will be the ones that will overcome in this the Laodicea Church Age. They will be the ones who “humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (8). Yes, exalt you. And there is no greater exaltation than to share in the glory of sitting with Him on His throne!
This glory, this exaltation that some will receive–this honor will only come to those who pass the fire test. To illustrate this, two scenarios are presented to us. Which is the more difficult to accept? A rant that denies that Christ is the Savior or a doctrinal fine point that you’ve never heard before? It is new to you, but there it is in black and white in the Bible. Yet, you have never heard it or seen it before. In fact, to receive this new teaching, you must admit that you did not have the whole truth. And this takes humility, which is the ability to be taught of Him and His Spirit.
For He did say, “The Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth.” So, the Spirit, to fulfill this verse, must take us to truth that we do not already have (9).
The elect who will sit with Him on His throne will be the teachable ones, the humble ones, the hungry ones. For having to humble ourselves is a fire that will purify our faith, our gold, our belief. It will purge out pride in our prior knowledge about God. And these overcomers will come out on the other side unto “praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Yahshua the Anointed One” (10). And this “appearing” is the same word translated “the manifestation of the sons of God,” which is the appearing of Christ in us! The unveiling of the sons of God. The whole creation is groaning and travailing for them to come onto the scene, for God will save this planet through them! If you have an ear that can hear, then hear it and walk in it (Rom. 8: 18-19).
The humility of a child
But it is going to take the humbleness of a little child for us to overcome in the last days. “Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” said the Master (Matt. 18: 4). The greatest in any kingdom is the King and His sons and daughters, the princes and princesses. But in God’s kingdom it takes humbleness to be the greatest–like a little child.
And why are we to be like a little child? Because they don’t think that they already know it all. The wonder of discovery of the earth and its natural beauty fills their eyes and ears. They know that they don’t know it all, for they are too busy learning. That is why adults are so drawn to them; we are hoping that a bit of that wonderdust that a child collects like bees do pollen might fall on us, that we could experience just one more time that spontaneous burst of uninhibited joy brought by the “splendor in the grass and the glory of the flower.”
So now God is calling us to be “as newborn babes” and little children, to have a newfound wonder of the spiritual realm of our heavenly calling. He is asking His future overcomers to be open to Him as He shows them new wonders that far eclipse those earthly wonders.
Listen. Quit thinking our own thoughts for a moment and let us just listen to that “still small voice” that is talking to us. Can we hear His voice whispering to us? Can we hear Him faintly knocking? We won’t be able to hear Him is our thoughts are all we hear. Listen. He is calling us.
And if we humble ourselves, He will show us the unglimpsed and unheard wonders that “God has prepared for those who love Him” (11). He’ll show us His government that will transform this earth, purging it from all evil and hatred and suffering, and creating on it a holy habitation for the Righteous King of kings, our Savior Yahshua. But He will only show these wonders to the humble ones, to those who listen to Him, to the overcomers.
Kenneth Wayne Hancock
1. Rev. 3: 18
2. Heb. 11: 1
3. John 16: 13; 14: 16-17
4. I Peter 1: 6-8; Heb. 12: 5-11
5. John 15: 1-2
6. I Cor. 5: 6-7
7. Verse 8
8. I Peter 5: 6
9. John 16: 13; 14: 26
10. I Peter 1: 7
11. I Cor. 2: 9; Isa. 64: 4