The Faithful Rewarded

The Christian Mark of the Beast Survival Manual Copyright © 2014 by Erik K. Olinger All rights reserved.

READERS: This is a rough-draft of the manuscript.  It is unedited and contains errors that will be corrected at the final release.


The Faithful Rewarded


Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End (NIV Rev. 22:12-13).

Everything a person does while in the body, good or bad, will be judged (Ro. 14:10-12; 1Co. 3:10-15; 2Co. 5:10; etc.). The fire will test the quality of a person’s work, and if what a person builds survives, he or she will receive a reward (1Co. 3:13-14). Faithful servants of God who have waited a lifetime for the promise will not go unnoticed for their faith and deeds. Jesus will give each person what they are due; the Lord has the rewards, and is happy to bless. Any saint who has been persecuted or has been touched by Christ probably has formed long-term goals that extend into the afterlife, thanks be to the hope of the Gospel. These long-term goals will be fully realized at the resurrection. A person’s trial will have long ended, and the sting of death will have been swallowed up in victory,

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (NIV 1Co. 15:55).

Uniting with Christ in a redeemed body after years of affliction (Isa. 48:10) and distance is surely the foremost desire of any saint. However, even before Christ’s return and resurrection of the dead and the afterlife reward, the faithful will find that there is a reward on earth in this mortal lifetime.


The O.T. is home to one account of personal trial and affliction, a story of a wealthy patriarch named Job, a man tested for his faith. His story will put the affliction/reward scenario in perspective, and should illustrate the blessings of enduring through difficult trial. Job was the Lord’s best servant and blameless and upright (Job 1:1, 8). Satan came to God from roaming the earth and God knowing the faith of Job, queried Satan if he had considered His servant Job (Job 1:7-8). The Lord did not want Job to be destroyed, but He planned to test Job’s faith under pressure. Satan replied, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” (Job 1:9). So began Job’s lengthy refinement. God removed His hedge of protection from Job and his household (Job 1:10-11). When Satan challenged God, Satan told the Lord that if everything Job had were struck that Job would surely curse God to His face (Job 1:10). God did not allow Satan to lay a finger on Job himself at the beginning of this challenge, however Satan was granted increasing power. Satan sought to fervently conquer Job, and Job quickly became lamentable, but would not turn from God. Eventually, Satan emphatically said to God, “Skin for skin!” (NIV Job 2:4). Job’s flesh was placed in Satan’s hands, only god did decree that Job’s life was to be spared (Job 2:6). Satan struck Job’s flesh and health, finances, home, family, and Job lost everything and suffered enormously, and yet he would not curse God. When Job’s test had exhausted, he truly did emerge forth as gold (Job 23:10). The Lord rewarded him accordingly. God restored Job’s fortunes by giving him twice as much (Job 42:10). Job’s friends and family came to see him (Job 42:11), his livestock was greatly increased in number (Job 42:12), he produced many beautiful children (Job 42:13-15), and Job died more blessed and rewarded than before his trial by fire had begun.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (NIV Jas. 4:7).

The Seven Churches Message

The prophecy of Revelation introduced earlier addressed seven churches of the Asia Minor with words directly from Christ. This prophecy revealed to those seven churches, and eventually to the world, the rewards offered to those who overcome. Jesus shared with each church what he was pleased with and which improvements could be made. A total of eight times Jesus said to the churches either, “To him who overcomes,” or “He who overcomes,” in connection with a reward (NIV Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21, 21:7). Thankfully, these rewards are standing for those alive today who are victorious over sin and the devil.

To the church in Ephesus:

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God (NIV Rev. 2:7).

The the church in Smyrna:

Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown…To the one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death (NIV Rev. 2:10-11).

To the church in Pergamum:

To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it (NIV Rev. 2:17).

To the church in Thyatira:

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—that one will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star (NIV Rev. 2:26-28).

To the church in Sardis:

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels (NIV Rev. 3:4-5).

To the church in Philadelphia:

I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name (NIV Rev. 3:9-12).

To the church in Laodicea:

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne (NIV Rev. 3:21).

These rewards sound unbelievable, yet God does not lie. One can still hardly believe that these rewards are for those who overcome.

Given Harps by God

Those who have been chosen to stand firm against the mark of the beast will be immeasurably rewarded in heaven, and on earth before and after death. During the tribulation period preceding the Second Coming of Christ, and before the seven last plagues (the seven bowls or vials of God’s wrath) are unleashed, those who had steadfastly refused the mark will be given harps by God and will sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb. This scene must take place in heaven because the tribulation will not yet be over, and this group cannot possibly be singing and playing harps on earth during the tribulation. They will either have been martyred, or long dead before the tribulation. This reward and scene takes place before the first resurrection is complete. Like the sea of glass that is before the throne in heaven (Rev. 4:6), those victorious over the beast will stand on or beside a similar sea of glass. The difference is that the sea of glass by the saints in heaven is glowing with fire from their refinement (Rev. 15:2).

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb… (NIV Rev. 15:1-3).

The Resurrection

An overlooked tenet of Christianity by the initiate Christian is the resurrection of the dead. Christ died and three days later rose again. He has promised to raise us up in the last days as He was raised (discussed in-depth in The Resurrection and the 1000 Year Reign of Christ). Both the righteous and the wicked will be raised, however only the righteous will truly receive life. When the righteous live again, they will reign with Christ in a future thousand year period, an age to come. Everyone raised in the first resurrection is holy (Rev. 20:6), and the wicked will not be able to partake in the first resurrection. In the resurrection of the dead, the Lord has promised that our bodies will be redeemed and transformed like His glorious body (please see the in-depth discussion). This thousand year reign of Christ and the saints will be compensation for years of persecution and martyrdom. The saints will finally be with their savior. How does that sound? A weary saint should be at ease today knowing the future is hopeful,

And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years (NIV Rev. 20:4-6).

Rest from Labor

Years of persecution and deed-doing will tire a saint, however the good Lord has promised rest (Mt. 11:25-30; Heb. 4:9). Anyone who dies in Christ will rest from his or her labor. The heavenly works they have done will not become forgotten, but thankfully a person’s deeds will follow them into the afterlife,

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (NIV Rev. 14:13).

Without Cost

The thirsty are invited to inherit all of these promises. This is without cost. God will be our God and us His children. He offers the crown of life to the faithful,

To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children (NIV Rev. 21:6-7).


Christian prophecy will not fail to come true, like many of the prophecies in the O.T. did not fail to find fulfillment. We have concrete proof that through our trial, we as Christian converts and survivors, will be rewarded and innumerably blessed. When we take a bite out of the Tree of Life, with a new name Christ has given us, wearing white robes, with some hidden manna in our hands, after having sung the victory song of Moses and of the Lamb, and standing in the presence of our Savior, then we will surely feel content and blessed beyond our earthly sufferings.

Chapter Summary

  1. Everything a person does while in the body, good or bad, will be judged.

  2. Fire will test the quality of a person’s work (what constitutes a believer’s work was identified in The Faithful Tested).

  3. Our rewards will be fully realized in the resurrection.

  4. There is a reward in the afterlife and on earth in this mortal lifetime.

  5. The prophecy of Revelation addressed seven churches with words directly from Christ and came with bountiful promises for those who overcome.

  6. Those standing firm against the mark of the beast will be immeasurably rewarded in heaven before the resurrection.

  7. Christ will raise both the righteous and the wicked in a resurrection of the dead.

  8. Anyone who dies in Christ will rest from his or her labor.

  9. All of Christ’s promises are offered without cost.