“And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the morning star” (Revelation 2: 26-27).
Contrary to the claims of many modern prophecy teachers, the epistles to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation contain conditional promises and warnings, addressed to the professing church during the closing days of the present dispensation. Each church is given a promise, and all but one are threatened with judgment. The epistles are to be read as a unified message to the visible church.
If one would take the time to arrange the promises and the warnings in parallel columns, he would see that the resultant list forms a didactic version of Christ’s parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13). The wise virgins are promised deliverance from a coming time of trial, whereas the foolish virgins will be cast into “great tribulation.” The deliverance and the punishments are to be levied at the same time.
These facts are exemplified in the above passage, where Christ says that he that endures unto the end will be given power to rule over the nations. The Greek word here translated “end” is “telos.” The same word is found in Matthew 24: 15, where Christ mentions the abomination of desolation as the sign of the telos. The AOD is the image of the beast that will be set up in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9: 27; 11: 31; 12: 11; Rev. 13: 5).
Consider again what Christ saith unto the churches. Disciples that endure unto the telos will be saved (see Matt. 24: 13). And they will be given power to rule over the nations.
In Revelation 12: 5, John records a vision of a manchild caught up to heaven immediately prior to the 1,260 days that comprise the Great Tribulation, or last half of Daniel’s 70th week. It is said of this manchild that he is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The identity between Revelation 2: 26 and 12: 5 can hardly be ignored. Compare with Isaiah 66: 7, and you will see that John is depicting a deliverance which takes place prior to the time of travail (Great Tribulation). John is describing the fulfillment of Christ’s promise in Revelation 2: 26!
Our Lord also declares that to them who overcome will be given the morning star. The morning star precedes the rising of the sun. Christ is called the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4: 2), and He will arise in a twofold manner: to bring healing to the nation of Israel when He comes the second time (cf. Zech. 12: 10); and to burn up the wicked. He will inaugurate a new day of righteousness (Zech. 14: 6-7), even the Day of the Lord. Christ’s coming as the Sun of Righteousness occurs after the tribulation (Matt. 24: 29).
But before the tribulation, Christ will descend into the lower heavens and become the “morning star” to those who endure unto the telos. They who keep the word of His patience will be kept out of the hour of temptation which will try the entire habitable world (Rev. 3: 10). Those who fail will be cast into the tribulation, to be purified and made white and tried (see Daniel 12: 10; 11: 35). Many of them will fall.
To be delivered out of the hour of temptation it is needful to remain in prayer (Luke 21: 36). For none who have not prayed unto the Son of Man for deliverance will be accounted worthy to attain unto the blessed promise of being caught up to the throne of God before the tribulation. When the telos comes, some will be taken and others left (Matt. 24: 39-41).
The same message is taught in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. At the midnight cry, those who are prepared go into the wedding chamber, while the unprepared are shut out (Matt. 25: 10). There is a time during which they knock fervently at the door for entrance, but they are refused. This is their hour of trial. Those who withstand Antichrist will be beheaded for their faith (Rev. 20: 4).
As Christ’s coming as ‘morning star’ precedes the full-orbed Millennial day, so Antichrist must also make his appearance around the same time. Antichrist is called the ‘morning star’ in Isaiah 14: 12, for he is Christ’s counterfeit. He will be manifested to the world in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week. His parousia marks the telos, at which the true Morning Star, Jesus Christ the Son of God, will snatch away the faithful ones into heaven.
“I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22: 16).