Revelation 3:5

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.  Revelation 3:5

     This verse is one of the wonderful verses addressed to believers that is often overlooked and misunderstood!  Perhaps the reason that the verse is overlooked by many is because most Christians do not understand the “overcomer”.

     Who is an overcomer?  This question is clearly answered in I John 5:4,5 where we read, “for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”  Therefore, an overcomer is clearly a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We become overcomers not on the basis of what we have or will accomplish, but on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.  So, therefore, we know that Revelation 3:5 is addressed to those that are born of God, those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

     The first promise in Revelation 3:5 to an overcomer is that he or she “…shall be clothed in white raiment.”  This is a picture of the “righteousness of God” that is required for salvation.  II Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “For he hath made him (Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  In other words, Jesus Christ traded places with us on the cross of Calvary.  He took our sin upon himself in order that He might give us His righteousness.  This is pictured in the Old Testament as a “garment of salvation” or a “robe of righteousness.”  Our righteousness based on our deeds are filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6.  “But we are all as an unclean things, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).”

     Listen now to Isaiah 61:10 as we read, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”  Therefore, the promise is that every believer (overcomer) shall be clothed in white raiment speaking of the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21).

     The second promise to a believer (overcomer I John 5:4,5) is, “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.”  I believe, according to Revelation 3:5, that the Bible teaches that everyone's name is in the book of life.  This is contrary to what most people have been taught.  When a person dies in unbelief not having trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour, his name will be blotted out.  At the final judgment for unbelievers, who are cast into the lake of fire, their names will not be found in the book of life, because they will have been blotted out (Revelation 20:10-15).

     A most interesting Scripture on this point is found in Exodus 32.  The children of Israel had greatly sinned against the Lord in making gods of gold to worship.  Moses interceded on the behalf of the people.  Let's look at the passage.  “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.  Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin –; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book (Exodus 32:31-33).”  Remember, according to Revelation 3:5, if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, he will not blot your name out.  What is the sin that can cause your name to be blotted out?  It is unbelief.  It is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Saviour.  This is the unpardonable sin.  (See John 3:36, I John 5:12).

     In John 3:18 we have this unpardonable sin given.  “He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  A person living in unbelief is living in a condemned state already.  If that person puts their trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour before they die, God promises in Revelation 3:5 that “…I will not blot out his name from the book of life…”  If that person dies in unbelief, then at that point, God blots their name out of the book of life.

     What a fantastic promise!  The believer will be clothed with the righteousness of God, and his name will never be blotted out of the book of life.  In other words, you can never be lost once you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

     The third promise, if you are an overcomer/believer, is that Jesus Christ promises, “I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”  We are not told much about what is presently happening in heaven, but we are informed that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (metanoia – change of mind, Luke 15:10).”

     I believe that what happens at the moment of salvation, according to Revelation 3:5, is that an announcement is made in heaven that you have trusted Christ, (as Jesus said, “before my Father; and before his angels”).  (Compare Revelation 3:5 and Luke 15:10.)  Evidently, great joy follows the announcement in Heaven.

     What a verse!  Remember the key to understand to whom this verse is addressed if found in I John 5:4,5.  I John says, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.”  Have you trusted Christ?  If so, the three promises of Revelation 3:5 are yours.  Great news isn't it?  Tell someone else today!