In this chapter of Revelation contains the last three messages of Jesus Christ to the seven churches, the church in Sardis, the church in Philadelphia, and the church in Laodicea. Then one I believe must further addresses this question: How does these messages pertain to the modern-day church that is living in the last days. In this study of the seven churches we have study the church that had left its first love, and the persecuted church, and the compromising church, and the church of the false prophetess.
Revelation Sardis 3:1-6
A dead church
Overall the church was dead
Some Christians were walking as the should
But it seems
Overall the Christians – they were asleep on the job – doing very little
Just riding it out – no life to them
And the church is full of unbelievers here
The next church is Sardis. Sardis was a wicked and wealthy city. It was the capital of ancient Lydia, the home of Aesop (of Aesop’s fables) and King Croesus (from where we get the phrase “rich as Croesus”). It was located about thirty miles south-east of Thyatira. The meaning of the word “Sardis” is “escaping one” or “come out”.
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING REVELATION 3
LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS
THE LORD’S SELF-DESIGNATION
“He who has the seven Spirits of God”
“…and the seven stars”
CONDEMNATION AND WARNING
They have a name that they are alive, but they are dead
Their works have not been found perfect before God
Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain and are ready to die
Remember how they had received and heard
Hold fast and repent
If they don’t watch, the Lord will come upon them as a thief
There are few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments
They shall walk with Him in white, for they are worthy
PROMISE AND EXHORTATION
He who overcomes…
Shall be clothed in white garments
The Lord will not blot his name from the Book of Life
The Lord will confess his name before My Father and His angels
Hear what the Spirit says to the churches
LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA
THE LORD’S SELF-DESIGNATION
“He who is holy, He who is True”
“He who has key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”
The Lord has set an open door before them and none can shut it
For they have a little strength, have kept His word, and not denied His name
PROMISE AND EXHORTATION
Concerning the “synagogue of Satan” who claim to be Jews, but are not
He will make them come and worship before their feet
He will make them know that He has loved those in Philadelphia
Because the church has kept His command to persevere
He will keep them from the hour of trial
Which is coming to test those who dwell on the earth
Behold, He is coming quickly!
Hold fast what they have
That no one may take their crown
He who overcomes, the Lord will…
Make him a pillar in the temple of His God, and he shall go out no more
Write on him:
The name of His God
The name of the city of His God, the New Jerusalem which comes down out of
heaven from His God
His new name
Hear what the Spirit says to the churches
LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
THE LORD’S SELF-DESIGNATION
“The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness”
“The Beginning of the creation of God”
CONDEMNATION AND WARNING
They are neither cold or hot
He wished they were cold or hot
But because they are lukewarm, He will spew them out of His mouth
They are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked
Though they say they are rich, wealthy, and in need of nothing
Therefore He counsels them…
To buy from Him:
Gold refined in the fire, that they may be rich
White garments, that their nakedness be not revealed
To anoint their eyes with eye salve, that they might see
As many as He loves, He rebukes and chastens; therefore be zealous and repent
He stands at the door and knocks; if any will hear Him and open the door, He will
come in and dine with him
PROMISE AND EXHORTATION (21-22)
1. To him who overcomes…
a. The Lord will grant to sit with Him on His throne
b. Just as He overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne
2. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches
As we continue our study on the seven churches
My personal introduction about the church at Sardis
I believe it is well to note that Jesus addresses this church with only rebuke. Therefore, in this personal introduction regarding the church of Sardis that we need to consider these thoughts. First we can believe that this church did not have a problem with living the Word of God; however, the reputation was that the church thought they were alive; however, they were dead according to Jesus. As we continue to study, we will see the seriousness of this kind of reputation with the Lord’s assessment or judgment of this church by being a dead church. Let me be so bold as to make this statement. People who state or judge a dead Christian Church as a live one may be an individual without any spiritual discernment; whatsoever, in other words, if I may be so bold as to state a non-Christian. In this modern age of the modern-day church, again, if I may be so bold as to say, let in be known that the most rapidly growing churches are those that have turn to the means of entertainment as the means of attracting people. My personal logic behind this thought is that the church proclaiming the gospel and God’s Word is more on emotion and believing that they are right with the Lord. Moreover, when churches cease to proclaim the spiritual issues of the Holy Scripture and the things written therein, the effects of the church is dead. If the church at Sardis was, dead or being a lifeless church, it truly needed the seven Spirits of God. Yes, this individual knows and understands that today there needs to be changes in proclaiming the message of the gospel of Christ.
I have stated my personal introduction in this manner because of what Jesus position is on who is writing the message unto the angel at Sardis, and why He is writing it to Sardis. Yet in the Old Testament you will find where that the prophet Isaiah prophesied about the seven Spirits that would fall upon the Lord Jesus Isaiah 11:2.
These Spirits of the Lord that rest upon Him and they are
the Spirit of wisdom,
the Spirit of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel,
the Spirit of might,
the Spirit of knowledge,
and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord.
Our Lord Jesus Christ possesses the fullness of the Spirit of God. Therefore, Jesus reminds us, that we can do nothing apart from Him. When we consider this factor about “the one who holds the seven stars,” we see one who holds the seven stars holds the resources for provision for His Church. In addition, a reminder of the one who holds the authority in daily life.
To be honest in my own understanding I cannot give you a logical understanding of why the church of Sardis had a good reputation with the people. One might say that people looking from the outside of the church, that the reputation that looked good as far as being alive. However, Jesus states that they are dead this is a serious charge or diagnosis from the Lord.
What are some of the signs that a church is dying or dead?
First, take into consideration that a dying church rests on its past accomplishments and is satisfied with its presence condition.
Secondly, one could also consider that a dying church is more concerned about their order of worship and their formal order rather than about their spirituality.
Thirdly, a dying church is more concerned about membership, and what is material growth rather than about their spiritual growth.
Fourthly, a dying church is more concerned about social issues and social change within the church more than they are about seeing people changed by the power of God.
The fifth, a dying church is more concerned with pleasing others around them, more than pleasing God.
The sixth, a dying church clings more tightly to its creeds, doctrines, and confessions than it does to the Word of God.
Finally, a dying church is one, which has lost its conviction of the Holy Scriptures is the Divine Word of God.
To the church in Sardis
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Revelation 3:1
General References to Revelation 3:1
Unto the angel of the seven churches: Rev_1:11, Rev_1:20
he that has the seven Spirits of God: Rev_1:4, Rev_4:5, Rev_5:6; Joh_1:16, Joh_1:33, Joh_3:34, Joh_7:37-39, Joh_15:26-27, Joh_20:22; Act_2:33; 1Pe_1:11
and the seven stars: Rev_1:16, Rev_1:20, Rev_2:1
I know thy works: Rev_2:2, Rev_2:9, Rev_2:13, Rev_2:19
and art dead: Luk_15:24, Luk_15:32; Eph_2:1, Eph_2:5; Col_2:13; 1Ti_5:6; Jas_2:26; Jud_1:12
Here is an outline for study
Jesus Introduction for this church: First consider the following in these thoughts: A dead church Overall the church was dead – Some Christians were walking as the should – But it seems Overall the Christians – they were asleep on the job – doing very little Just riding it out – no life to them or spiritual life in them – And the church is full of unbelievers here – How do you interpret this a church?
The message Jesus sent to the church at Sardis: Revelation 3:1-6 Jesus addresses the angel of the church 3:1 Jesus gives a self-description of Himself 3:1 I know thy works: Revelation 3:1 Recognize their Spiritual condition Remember what God has done for them Repent and get things right The church that’s ready to die He that overcometh He that hath an ear
Church in Sardis Means “Remnant” And they were a Dying Church
This is the fifth church of the seven churches in Asia Minor, and Ephesus fought hard to protect its doctrine and yet Jesus states that lost its first love, and secondly, because of why it has left its first love. Therefore, I believe this may be one of the reasons of why that they stood in the need of repentance to return to its first works. Now we have studied the church of Smyrna and that it suffered persecution and remained faithful, however, she needed encouragement in, spite of her persecution to remain faithful even unto death. The church in Pergamos one might say that she married the world by tolerating or compromising with the evil doctrinal standards of Balaam, therefore, placing herself in danger of Christ and God’s judgment. Then the church in Thyatira, place herself in grave danger to be cast into tribulation by allowing the heresy of the false prophetess that woman Jezebel and her seducing spirit to corrupt the leaders and therefore compromising with evil and its evil doctrine. NOTE: Because of this kind of heresy that Jesus made it clear that those who committed adultery with her He would cast them into a sickbed with her and into great tribulation.
The message of Jesus to this fifth church at Sardis, where Jesus has John to write about what her spiritual reputation was, and losing that spiritual reputation that she was in danger of Christ Coming in an unexpected judgment.
If one was to teach this lesson in the traditional teaching, they would teach in these five terms
“first would be the historical background of the church” in Sardis.
The second term “they would address the church of Sardis”,
The third would be “the condemnation of the church in Sardis”,
The fourth would be “the commendation that Christ gives unto the church in Sardis”,
and the fifth would be “the promise to them who overcomes”.
Jesus Self-description of Himself
Sardis: Seven Spirits of God, Seven stars
The Dead Church of Sardis
Out of all the churches mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3, I believe for me personally that Sardis is perhaps the saddest church story, and that it reminds me of so many of the churches today. Yes, Ephesus had left its first love, Laodicea was lukewarm, Thyatira and Pergamos struggled with false teachers, false prophets, and false doctrine, however, Sardis is called a dead church. Perhaps we have all at one time or another, made reference to a particular organization or denomination and have made the remarks something to the effect “that is a dead church”.
Therefore, consider this line of thought, what we are saying or interpreting or what we are implying in this thought that there is no spiritual enthusiasm within the congregation, little passion, or love for the work of that church in its evangelism, or worship of God that meagers into a praise offering where that it offers up to the Lord its best. It’s one thing to have another human being deem a church as “dead”, however, it’s completely another story to hear the words from the Head of the Church…the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! Let us consider today at the church at Sardis and hopefully learn from her example to become a church that Jesus can find its complete work before God.
Therefore, as we continue to study for a deeper understanding of the message of revelation that Jesus sent unto these seven churches, I believe we as the modern-day church needs to consider even more closely the Words of our Lord. For example, this church of Sardis I strongly believe that it was about the fact that this is a dying church that needed to strengthen the things that remained. For there are truly words of warning and rebuke in this message to Sardis regarding the church then as well as the modern-day church today that is living in the last days.
Again, remember the description of Christ that came from the first chapter of Revelation in verse twenty “He that hath the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars”. However, it is well to note that you will find in the Old Testament where that the prophet Zechariah uses this description regarding the prophetic word of the two olive trees, Zechariah 4:2-3. In Ephesus the apostle John writes it as the one holding the seven stars in the midst of the seven candlesticks. Next we find that the description of Smyrna was a persecuted church. Here in this church the description is “He that hath the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars”. Therefore, remember that these seven Spirits were first addressed in Revelation 1:4, and again, in Revelation 4:5, and Revelation 5:6. Now some interpreters of the Bible state that the Holy Spirit as the (seven Spirits) and that it is apparently missing from this church, of why that Jesus states that they are dead and that He has not found their perfect work before God. One might in addition, state that this is just one way of stating of why that this term or description of Christ is used for the description of this church, because Christ made it clear that they had a name or a reputation of being alive but yet were dead. Therefore, Sardis must have been doing works, but they were works of men, not the perfect works of God as doing for the Lord God.
Consider this example that one might interpret: That in the eyes of the world, they appeared to be a living church, because of their history of having been a living church and their ongoing works, but there was nothing of God in them or their works. Then the question is: Are there many churches like this today? Then one might consider this thought are these the people who go through the motions of religion? Again, by considering this thought are they the individuals who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, 2 Timothy 3:5. Yet it is sad to state that I personally know of a number of these kind of churches, and sadly have friends who attend them. Yes, I will in addition say that they do a lot of good in the world, however, for the most part that this kind, of individual people have absolutely no relationship with Christ or the Father on a personal level or else, it is where that they have let that personal relationship dwindle away. Some do not even understand salvation by being born again.
Let us consider further in using this example: That there are these kind of individuals who have a head belief, or a mind-set which is further worsened by believing the Bible as a book of literature, or mythology, or only to be taken in the most spiritualized manner, not literally. Therefore, I believe that they do not have a full understanding about this fact that having a heart of God is more than just a belief it is to have a personal relationship with God, or a God-centered relationship with God, which is necessary. I do not even understand some of these people’s desire to be in church every Sunday (which they are), when they do not have a relationship with the Lord on a personal level. It defies understanding. One might ask themselves this question: Is this a type of church today?
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Revelation 3:2
General References to Revelation 3:2
Be watchful: Rev_16:15; Isa_56:10, Isa_62:6-7; Eze_34:8-10, Eze_34:16; Zec_11:16; Mat_24:42-51; Mat_25:13; Mar_13:33-37; Act_20:28-31; 2Ti_4:1-4; 1Pe_4:7, 1Pe_5:8
strengthen the things which remain: Rev_2:4; Deu_3:28; Job_4:4-5, Job_16:5; Isa_35:3; Luk_22:31-32; Act_18:23
thy works: 1Ki_11:4, 1Ki_15:3; 2Ch_25:2; Isa_57:12; Dan_5:27; Mat_6:2-4, Mat_23:5, Mat_23:28-38
In this verse of scripture, we need to further consider in this thought of what Jesus, tell them: My personal thought of what is needed and that is to have an extreme makeover or a spiritual overhaul. Jesus states to Sardis, to “be watchful” this is an aspect of faith and doctrine has been recorded throughout the whole Bible. Again, our Lord states His words again about “works” which I strongly believe that Christ is talking about a two-fold meaning, first their spiritual reputation, and secondly, about their former work or service by which they gained, this current reputation regarding the perfect works they have not completed before God. One might be safe in saying or interpreting that this was a large congregation for its day, and that it was growing and the activity had an outward appearance that distinguished the congregation and yet it was a spiritual graveyard. Yes, it seems to be alive, however, it was actually dead spiritually dead. Moreover, it had the name of being a spiritual church and full of vitality, however, one might interpret that it had no right to be called a spiritual church because it had a reputation of being alive and yet according to Jesus, they were dead. It had a beautiful outward appearance and yet it was wearing its grave clothes.
Again, by repeating it that in this verse of scripture, we need to consider further at I stated above about what Jesus, unto them what is needed for them to have extreme makeover or a spiritual overhaul. Jesus first stated unto Sardis to “be watchful” and again, truly this is an aspect of faith recorded throughout the Bible and even more strongly in the New Testament by the Lord’s apostles. Then Jesus goes on to says, unto Sardis that they were to “Strengthen the things which remain” a step forward to stay in good relationship with God. Any church then as well as today, to have a good relationship with God must do the work of God and back it up with their works of faith and with the Word of God. One of my personal fears for many of the modern-day churches today bearing the name of Christ, which are very active, however, have no spiritual life within. For example: A dead or dying church lives in the past, in addition, they are satisfied with the way things are and feel there is no need for change. If I may be so bold to say they are more concerned about what is comfortable than conviction, with money than with wining the souls of mankind.
This text of scripture also brings out the reality that there still was something still in the church of Sardis that there still was life and spiritual life that remain for the Lord told them to strengthen that which remained. For me personally can only strengthen what remains by moving out of the darkness into the light which is the light of Christ. In addition, the Lord informs almost all, of the churches about their works; however, Jesus informs the church of Sardis of a crucial fact about their works was not complete before God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Revelation 3:3 KJV
General Reference to Revelation 3:3
Remember therefore how thou hast received: Rev_2:5; Eze_16:61-63, Eze_20:43, Eze_36:31; Heb_2:1; 2Pe_1:13, 2Pe_3:1
and hold fast: Rev_3:11, Rev_2:25; 1Ti_6:20; 2Ti_1:13
and repent: Rev_3:19, Rev_2:5, Rev_2:21-22
I will come on thee as a thief: Rev_16:15; Mat_24:42-43; Luk_12:39-40; 1Th_5:2, 1Th_5:4-5, 1Th_5:6; 2Pe_3:10
Know thy works: Mat_25:13; Mar_13:33, Mar_13:36
In this text of scripture, we have found that the Lord warned them at Sardis that they are to be watchful and strengthen and reinforce the good works they have already done in the past. Note: That there is one truth; however, unfortunately there are many interpretations of the scriptures as well as many interpretations regarding the seven messages unto the seven churches. In addition, it is well to note that with each passing day, we have new churches with new doctrines that seem to spring up out of nowhere. Let me give you this example, in the spring of the year and the spring rains bring forth mushrooms, however, not all of them are edible, and some are even poisonous, so it is with new doctrines. It is within these doctrines that are floating around in the spiritual realm of the church that cripples the spiritual walk of faith and the works of ministry within the church today.
If any individual is uncertain as to what they should believe, go back to the Holy Scriptures for the source of truth that was foreordained before the foundation of this earth which is Divine Wisdom; and you can find the instruction for your soul. If I may be so bold as to state that the truth of God’s Word is not hidden, furthermore, it is not shrouded in mysteries, in addition, it is not reserved for a select few to make as a snack, the truth is that any individual who is desiring to receive the truth Christ and God’s Word is truth.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. Revelation 3:4 KJV
General Reference to Revelation 3:4
A few names: Rev_11:13 *Gr: Act_1:15
Even in Sardis: 1Ki_19:18; Isa_1:9; Rom_11:4-6
Which have not defiled their garments: Rev_7:14, Rev_19:8; Isa_52:1, Isa_59:6, Isa_61:3, Isa_61:10, Isa_64:6; Zec_3:3-6; Jud_1:23
Walk with me in white: Rev_3:5, Rev_3:18, Rev_4:4, Rev_6:11, Rev_7:9, Rev_7:13, Rev_19:14; Est_8:15; Psa_68:14; Ecc_9:8; Zec_3:4; Mar_16:5
For they are worthy: Mat_10:11; Luk_20:35, Luk_21:36; 2Th_1:5
In this text of scripture Jesus lets it be known that are just a few within the church of Sardis attending that He finds walking in faith and are worthy. To these few Jesus tells that they He will walk with them and they shall be clothed in white. Moreover, the color of the garment will be the color in heaven for this color is stated many times in the New Testament. (Revelation 7:9, 14
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 KJV
General Reference to Revelation 3:5
That overcometh: Rev_2:7; 1Sa_17:25
the same be clothed in white: Rev_3:4, Rev_19:8
blot out his name: Exo_32:32-33; Deu_9:14; Psa_69:28, Psa_109:13
the book of life: Rev_13:8, Rev_17:8, Rev_20:12, Rev_20:15, Rev_21:27, Rev_22:19; Php_4:3
I will confess his name before My Father: Mal_3:17; Mat_10:32; Luk_12:8; Jud_1:24
Again Jesus mentions being clothed in white, garment of heaven. (Revelation 19:8) The real value of this text of scripture is this fact that these who are clothed in white Jesus makes it clear that these He shall never blot out their name from the book of life what a promise. Furthermore, one might interpret from these two verses of scriptures that these names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world. Moreover one might also state that God foreknows who will accept Him and who will not. (Romans 8:29)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:6
To the Church in Philadelphia
The message to the sixth church I feel and believe has a tremendous message that states what will transpire to them that remain faithful to God and His Son and do not bow to some other false god or doctrine but stay only true to God and Christ Jesus. This message to this church holds many key elements to them that remain faithful unto the Lord and the blessing they will enjoy by being faithful. In addition, I further believe that these key elements are in the one who has open a door that no one can shut. No matter which way you interpret this message it is upon the power and authority on the one that can open the door or who can close the door to the kingdom of heaven.
Moreover, this message is also about the spiritual power that can only be found in our Lord and Savior. As we study this message I believe that you will find these important things or important issues that Jesus states to the church in Philadelphia first Jesus acknowledges two important things one them that “are of the synagogue of Satan, which proclaims to be Jews and are not but do lie”. Jesus makes it clear unto them at Philadelphia that because they have kept the faith and have not worship with them of the synagogue of Satan that He will persevere them from the hour of temptation. One might interpret this statement as non-Christians, however, I do not know if this would be an accurate interpretation or a complete understanding of the Lord’s message to this church. My logic for stating it in this manner is to point out that each of us needs to make a self-identification to see if we have the key knowledge about those who claim to be Jews and are not but are of the synagogue of Satan. Moreover, how does this key phrase here in Revelation pertain to the church today?
In these seven messages to the seven churches, I believe that it is rather well to note again that only two of the seven churches that Jesus has nothing bad to say about them whatsoever. Furthermore, they receive no commendation as the other five churches here in Revelation 2 and 3.
The message Jesus sent to the church at Philadelphia: Revelation 3:7-13 Jesus address the angel of the church 3:7 Jesus gives a self-description of Himself 3:7 I know thy works: Revelation 3:8 The church with little strength He that overcometh He that hath an ear
A Church That Kept the Faith!
This church along with Smyrna is just two among the seven churches Christ has no condemnation or nothing bad to say about them. However, let me make this example unto you while people try to call themselves Philadelphians and showing a very distinct lack of brotherly love. This church Jesus addresses them as the one who holds the key of David. Note: this key could be what is known as the Davidic covenant, for in this covenant God says that He would out of the seed of David and after him, in him would God established a kingdom forever.
When Jesus introduces Himself as “he that is holy, he that is true,” I cannot personally find words humanly to describe the true and holy one of God. Yes, every Christian knows that He is faithful, true, just, and trustworthy and that we can count on that. The message that Jesus sent this church I find inspiring to me that makes me want to walk more faithful and not to listen to every wind of doctrine. This is a message that states that Christ and Christ alone holds the key to the kingdom of heaven.
As we continue to address each of these churches and the message sent to, each of the angels of each church from the Lord that He will fulfill all of prophesies regarding the covenant with David. I must remind you that these seven churches were selected by Jesus because they had faced particular, issues then that would address the church today. This church was a loyal church to Christ and with His word and name and therefore, Christ say that He has opened a door that no man can close.
Jesus self-description of Himself
Philadelphia: He that is holy, He that the key of David, He that openeth and no man can shutteth
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; Revelation 3:7
to the angel of the church: Rev_1:11, Rev_2:1
saith he that is holy: Rev_4:8, Rev_6:10; Psa_16:10, Psa_89:18, Psa_145:17; Isa_6:3, Isa_30:11, Isa_41:14, Isa_41:16, Isa_41:20, Isa_47:4; Isa_48:17, Isa_49:7, Isa_54:5, Isa_55:5; Mar_1:24; Luk_4:34; Act_3:14
he that is true: Rev_3:14, Rev_1:5, Rev_6:10, Rev_15:3, Rev_16:7, Rev_19:2, Rev_19:11, Rev_21:5; Mat_24:35; Joh_14:6; 1Jn_5:20
the key of David: Rev_1:18; Isa_22:22; Luk_1:32
he that openeth: Rev_5:3-5, Rev_5:9; Job_11:10, Job_12:14; Mat_16:19
Where does this prophetic word of the key of David begin and why is it so important for the church of toady? You will find that the prophet Isaiah gave this prophetic word to give to Israel and now the Lord gives us His prophetic word to the church. In the words of the prophet Isaiah states “I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut:” Isaiah 22:21-22. This is the prophetic word of Jesus in the covenant with David. One might interpret the key of David as the key to death and the key to Hades (Revelation 1:18).
However, one might interpret it as that Christ has the key to eternal life and all, of these I believe to be right. Jesus now states by identifying Himself as the “true and holy One”. This phrase is common in the Old Testament which we find in the book of Isaiah 40:25; 43:15. The key here does more much more than open the way to just mankind it is the key that opens the way into eternal life and the kingdom of heaven.
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Revelation 3:8
I know works: Rev_3:1, Rev_3:15, Rev_2:2
I have set before thee an open door: Rev_3:7; 1Co_16:9; 2Co_2:12; Col_4:3
for thou hast a little strength: Dan_11:34; 2Co_12:8-10; Php_4:13
and hast kept my word: Rev_3:10, Rev_22:7; Joh_14:21-24, Joh_15:20, Joh_17:6; 2Ti_4:7
and hast not denied my name: Rev_2:13; Pro_30:9; Mat_26:70-72; Luk_12:9; Act_3:13-14; 1Ti_5:8; 1Jn_2:22-23; Jud_1:4
Again it is well to NOTE: that Jesus makes it clear that He knows are works. In addition, Jesus also makes it clear that He is in control of events that take place within the church and that He is the One who opens the door for He knows we have little strength.
Consider this example for understanding this text of scripture to some it is a word of encouragement while to others it is a word of rebuke. I state it in this manner because to some when you say you know what they are doing is encouragement while others it will bring this line of thought “no you do not know what I am doing or why I am doing it.” However, the words of the Lord is clear “I know thy works”: Logically the Lord God Almighty knows the very acts we do from the time we are born and our endeavors, even the intents by which we perform any certain task in life, whether it be for His glory or for our own vain glory here upon this earth. Therefore, Jesus Christ knows our works, our thoughts, and the desire of our heart today as well as He did when He had His message sent to the church in Philadelphia, the recipients of this message. In addition, there is absolutely nothing that can be hid from an all knowing and seeing God.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Revelation 3:9
the synagogue of Satan: Rev_2:9
I will make them to come and worship before thy feet: Exo_11:8, Exo_12:30-32; 1Sa_2:36; Est_8:17; Job_42:8-10; Isa_49:23, Isa_60:14; Zec_8:20-23; Act_16:37-39
One of the ways we could interpret this text of scripture that this will happen at the Great White Throne Judgment if not earlier according to what the prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 60:14. This text of scripture here in Isaiah is very clear that those who have afflicted you shall come, bowing to you.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10
Thou hast kept the word of my patience: Rev_1:9, Rev_13:10, Rev_14:12
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation: Mat_6:13, Mat_26:41; 1Co_10:13; Eph_6:13; 2Pe_2:9
Which shall come upon all the world: Mat_24:14; Mar_14:9; Luk_2:1; Rom_1:8
to try them that dwell upon the earth: Isa_24:17; Dan_12:10; Zec_13:9; Jas_3:12; 1Pe_4:12
Here I believe that Christ states a promise that He will keep them from the hour of temptation as well as the trails that the whole world will face.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Revelation 3:11
I come quickly: Rev_1:3, Rev_22:7, Rev_22:12, Rev_22:20; Zep_1:14; Php_4:5; Jas_5:9
Hold that fast which thou hast: Rev_3:3, Rev_2:13, Rev_2:25
That no man take thy crown: Rev_2:10, Rev_4:4, Rev_4:10; 1Co_9:25; 2Ti_2:5, 2Ti_4:8; Jas_1:12; 1Pe_5:3-4
Again this text of scripture is clear that Jesus is coming soon and that they are to hold fast in order that no man takes their crown. Yes, there will be those individuals who will say or state that the church has been say that Jesus is coming soon and that the church has been saying that for generations or for centuries. Nevertheless, despite this type of indifference the truth is that the Lord Jesus Christ will return and it will be sooner than you think because time is running out.
Jesus states here to this church that he is coming soon and what I believe about how to interpret this text of scripture is this way. That the time of deliverance is at hand or the time of Christ return for the church.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. Revelation 3:12
Him that overcometh: Rev_2:7, Rev_17:14; 1Jn_2:13-14, 1Jn_4:4
I will make a pillar: 1Ki_7:21; Jer_1:18; Gal_2:9
I will writ upon: Rev_2:17, Rev_14:1, Rev_22:4
the name of the city of My God: Rev_21:2, Rev_21:10-27; Psa_48:8, Psa_87:3; Gal_4:26-27; Heb_12:22
my new name: Rev_22:4; Isa_65:15; Eph_3:15
Let us notice the important factor in the promise that Jesus states here regarding them who overcome not only of this present day but also of the future blessing to come. The glory of the kingdom of heaven comes by overcoming the trails and suffering we do in this present age of time we call the last days. Therefore, the rule of this promise is without exception that we must overcome the suffering in, order to gain the reward of Christ to glorify Him that He may write His name upon us. Jesus also makes mention of a three-fold name to them that overcome that they shall bear. I would feel safe in stating that this express who they are and what they are before the Lord God Almighty.
Therefore, our Lord and Savior promises to the faithful Christian that they shall receive His Name, the Name of God, and the name of the New Jerusalem. To my personal understanding this promise is stating the highest degree that we can gain by walking in the commands of Christ and the commandments of His Father. No, we will never, be God or Christ; nor will we ever be; however, we will hold the highest possible manifestation or degree which is conceivable in the human creature as we exist between God and His people.
My point of logic is that for us as Christians we must hold the highest degree possible in the likeness of Christ and to reach the highest development in our relationship with God and Christ Jesus. In this relationship Jesus, has promised that we shall see Him, eat with Him, an talk with us, and sit with Him on His throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:13
To the Church in Laodicea
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; Revelation 3:14
the angel of the church: Rev_1:11, Rev_2:1
of the Laodiceans: or, in Laodicea: Col_2:1, Col_4:16
These things saith the Amen: Isa_65:16; 2Co_1:20
the faithful and true witness: Rev_3:7, Rev_1:5, Rev_19:11, Rev_22:6; Isa_55:4; Jer_42:5
the beginning of the creation of God: Col_1:15
It has taken a lot of time and searching the Bible and now it is time to write about the seventh message to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Yes, two of the churches had a good report from the Lord and He had nothing to say bad about these two churches. However, four of the others churches had words of commendation from the Lord, nevertheless, when we get to this seventh church the Lord has no commendation at all for this church, furthermore the Lord had nothing good to say to them at all. There is so much to write about this church in regards to why the Lord says that it makes Him sick.
As I begin to write this last message of Christ to the seventh church let me say that I will deal more with this message than I did the other six for this reason: For I believe that this seventh church has a message for today’s modern church because of these key elements first our human indifference and our spiritual indifference, secondly our half-heartedness and self-deception which is a spiritual sickness for our Lord prescribes in this message what it will take for us to have spiritual health. For from the beginning of creation God Himself has been giving His creation the Holy Word of what it would take to live and walk righteously before Him.
It is well to note that in the opening of Christ message to this church by stating to write the things that saith the Amen. I believe that Christ here first introduces Himself to rightly established His authority with them at Laodicea that what He promises will be certain. Let me addresses it in this manner that Jesus stating that He is the “Amen” He is characterizing His sincerity of a truth as He looks upon their lukewarmness, their indifference, half-heartedness, and their self-deception. My strong point of logic is that “the Amen” will not approve of their lukewarmness or have pleasure in their lukewarmness.
This message to the church at Laodicea is best known as a lukewarm church which is neither hot or cold that it is lukewarm and because it is lukewarm it makes Jesus sick. However, all, seven of the messages unto the seven churches one might say are right of point, about their condition and how does these messages fit the churches today. Perhaps just maybe that it fits all the churches all, over the world or all the nations in the world regarding the overall church which is in regards to our self-sufficiency. Then it can only be addressed in these questions: What then is the problem? Is it freedom? Is it prosperity? These are just three questions that can spell out why Jesus sent His messages unto seven churches then for the church today.
The message Jesus sent to the church at Laodicea: Revelation 3:14-22 Jesus addresses the angel of the church 3:14 Jesus gives a self-description of Himself 3:14 I know thy works: Revelation 3:15 The lukewarm church, Church was rich financially, however, poor spiritually The church had no spiritual discernment He that overcometh He that hath an ear.
The Lukewarm church or the Self-satisfied Church
We have come to the last of the seven churches and it has taken us a while to arrive at this point in the seven messages that Christ sent, to which the apostle John writes Jesus message to the church in Laodicea. Before, we continue let me give you three issues or terms we should deal with in this church the first is “practically” these are the real message of Jesus dealing with the real problems. The second is “Prophetic” the words of this message portrays, the church of the last days beginning then through the various stages of the church history. Finally, “personally” this message should speak to every Christian within the church who reads the words of this message for it contains words for every congregation and every individual Christian. It is in these three issues where our Lord looks at the Laodicean church and sends them what He see personally about their lukewarmness and gives them the prophetic message or word how to change their life. For the practical side the Lord calls their attention to the three issues of lukewarmness, to buy counsel, and the call for life.
This church receives the most severe condemnation as is made known as the sick church. A church that makes Christ sick enough to state, that He will spue them out of His mouth. Therefore, I believe that it is a church that must be made known because of its spiritual condition that would make Christ sick.
When Jesus introduces Himself as, “He that is Holy, he that is true” I personally cannot find words humanly to describe the True and Holy One. Yes, every Christian knows that Jesus is faithful, just, and trustworthy and that we can count on that. However, this, message Jesus sent to my understanding may well be the prophecy concerning the church in the end times. There are many within the churches that see it this way. Notice how Jesus addresses this church and states something to this effect that they are a prideful thinking church and because they are rich and feel, they have need for nothing. However, with this church as well as others there are a few faithful that still believes God is still in control and His Son is their salvation. Nevertheless, there is much to be learned from this last message of Jesus.
In this introduction of Jesus is especially important in regards to believers and unbelievers, which represents the contrast of people today. Jesus also presents Himself as being the true and faithful witness from the beginning of creation. We could say that He presents Himself as ruler king of kings, and Lord of Lords. If the Christians in Laodicea were hot, then their zeal would show Jesus and the Father by their zealous works. If Laodicea were cold, then the Holy Spirit would help convict them of their sin and bring them back to salvation. However, lukewarm now that is another thing. Let us consider this concept: They think they are Christians, and they talk the talk in Christian words. In addition, they do works that looks like Christian works; they even show signs and wonders.
Therefore, because they consider themselves to be Christians they may even look like they are spiritually rich, however, they no longer respond to the power of conviction and teaching of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, they have nothing left for Jesus to judge; therefore, Jesus’ message is a last warning for the lukewarm church.
Jesus Self-description of Himself
Laodicea: Saith the amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. Revelation 3:15
I know thy works: Rev_3:1, Rev_2:2
That thou art not neither cold or hot: Rev_2:4; Mat_24:12; Php_1:9; 2Th_1:3; 1Pe_1:22
I would: Deu_5:29; Psa_81:11-13; 2Co_12:20
Thou wert cold or hot: Jos_24:15-24; 1Ki_18:21; Pro_23:26; Hos_7:8, Hos_10:2; Zep_1:5-6; Mat_6:24; Mat_10:37; Luk_14:27-28; 1Co_16:22; Jas_1:8
We are dealing with two important issues with the church then and the church today that we could say that is extreme, “cold nor Hot.” How do we compare these two issues with the other six churches? With the other six churches, are they worse than the church of Laodiceans? Is the church at Ephesus worse because of it lost its first love? With the other, five churches one with false doctrine, one a weak church with little strength, one with a false prophetess, and finally one that would suffer for a short time. Whatever, the concept that might rise in these seven churches they all know about the doctrine of Christ; therefore, I can make no excuse for not trying to give you each church commendation, warning, and promise that Christ revealed in each of His messages.
Let us consider this text of scripture in this light that these were not backslidden in the sense of doing or going into gross sin. These individuals still attended church and had not given up on their religion. Moreover, they were not bitter or opposing the work of the Lord, and probably assumed things were going fine! Yet these individual members were in truth only a hollow shell, not cold or hot! (Revelation 3:15) One might interpret that they had an attitude problem toward the Lord. What I am about to say may sound harsh and hard, however, the way that the Lord address this church also to many may sound harsh. They went through the motions out of habit not love. They only loved those who loved them! They had no witness or testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ or for His Father or His mission. Furthermore, they were not interested in making disciples, they were not interested in church growth. Personally, I believe that they would like to see church growth, but they were not willing to put forth the time or effort to try to win souls. Moreover, they did nothing!
Four areas to study on lukewarm church
Christ tells at Laodicea to buy counsel
Christ perception of a lukewarm church for counsel
Study references to promises
Revelation 3:14-17; Hosea 10:2; 7:8,9; Numbers 32:11; Luke 9:57-62; Proverbs 14:14; Hebrews 5:11; John 15:2,6; Exodus 32:33; Luke 16:15; Titus 1:16; Isaiah 44:20.
Each of these scriptural references, hold many key elements for giving you an understanding from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament of God’s and Christ’ perception of the church as well as individuals who are lukewarm.
Christ gives these prescriptions for counsel of a lukewarm church
Study references to promises
Revelation 3:18; Proverbs 23:23,26; Isaiah 55:1-7; Matthew 13:44-46; Psalm 19:7-10; 1 Peter 1:7; James 2:5; Psalm 132:9,16; Revelation 19:8; Ephesians 1:18; 3:8,9; Matthew 13:16.
Let me begin by saying I am not a doctor that knows or understands human sickness of the human body, however, I do know that this from my own life that before I was saved I personally needed a prescription for me to buy counsel from the Lord to change my way of life to fulfill my calling from the Lord God Almighty.
Christ Divine promise to a lukewarm church
Study references to promises
Revelation 3:19-22; Acts 3:19-21; 17:30,31; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Acts 2:37-42; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:28-30.
When it comes to the truth about the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ we are called to be obedient unto Him, His commands, His rebuke, in, order for us to gain eternal life in the kingdom to come. Therefore, from what I read and study from the Holy Bible that there is no higher proof from God and His Son of Their love then for Them to correct or rebuke us back to the path of Their Righteousness.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16
I will spue thee out of my mouth: Rev_2:5; Jer_14:19, Jer_15:1-4; Zec_11:8-9
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
In the message that Jesus sent to this church one thing that stands out is the church experience that Christ tells John to write. Again, I must state that all who study the Bible knows that the church at Laodicea is the seventh church mentioned in Revelation 3. Here in Revelation 3:16: What are some of the reason other than being lukewarm? I believe that this message parallels to other prophecy regarding the last stage of the church before Christ comes again. Many people think that biblical prophecy about the end of the world and the battle of Armageddon are a Christian thing. For example, some of the best-known prophecies about the end of time are recorded in the books of the Old Testament. Now the apostle John writes about the spirit of antichrist as well as the antichrist in the epistles of John.
You would think that after Jesus says that He will spew them out of His mouth that they would change. However, then the question is did they? Yet another question: What is the handwriting of the wall to describe a lukewarm church? Yes, I will say this that the church will either become on fire for Him or either they will turn very cold with great apostasy for they cannot remain lukewarm. This apostasy is recorded in the scriptures is call the great apostasy or the falling away of people within the church before the son of perdition appears. The first prophecy of this apostasy is spoken of by Daniel 9:27. It also is spoken of or written by the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3 where it states “except there come a falling away first.”
I am rich: Rev_2:9; Pro_13:7; Hos_12:8; Zec_11:5; Luk_1:53, Luk_6:24, Luk_18:11-12; Rom_11:20, Rom_11:25; Rom_12:3; 1Co_4:8-10
I have need of nothing: Deu_8:12-14; Pro_30:9; Jer_2:31; Mat_9:12
Knowest not that thou art: Rom_2:17-23
wretched: Mat_5:3; Rom_7:24
blind: Isa_42:19; Joh_9:40-41; 2Pe_1:9
naked: Rev_16:15; Gen_3:7, Gen_3:10-11; Exo_32:35
This is the verse of scripture to my understanding that tell of the attitude this church has taken and Jesus makes it clear what will happen to them because of this attitude. One attitude one might say is that they are self-centered and self-satisfied. In addition, they are content with themselves. What I believe is that this church represents the church of today which is the most deceived of all seven churches. I state this because it is filled with all sorts of half-truths and distorted and false doctrines. The point of logic is that they see themselves more totally different than what it really, is. Jesus makes it clear that they are so blind and deceived it clearly does not even understand what Jesus means. Maybe be a better way of saying it is Jesus is showing them that they believe what they are saying, yet there are things they do not know.
When we look at all the illness and terminal illness all around us one might interpret this church as being terminally ill and yet unaware of their illness. Furthermore, they do not understand that they are not only going to die spiritually they are going to die the second death. Jesus continues to reveal what their true spiritual condition is in their church.
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Revelation 3:18
I counsel: Psa_16:7, Psa_32:8, Psa_73:24, Psa_107:11; Pro_1:25, Pro_1:30, Pro_19:20; Ecc_8:2
To buy of Me: Pro_23:23; Isa_55:1; Mat_13:44, Mat_25:9
Gold tried in the fire: Mal_3:3; 1Co_3:12-13; 1Pe_1:7
that thou mayest be clothed: Rev_2:9; Luk_12:21; 2Co_8:9; 1Ti_6:18; Jas_2:5
white raiment: Rev_3:4-5, Rev_7:13, Rev_16:15, Rev_19:8; 2Co_5:3
that the shame of thy nakedness: Rev_16:15; Isa_47:3; Jer_13:26; Dan_12:2; Mic_1:11; Nah_3:5
anoint thine eyes with eyesalve: Joh_9:6-11; 1Jn_2:20-27
This text of scripture I believe is the verse that states Jesus advice to them on what to do. Another way of saying it is that they do not have the correct spiritual discernment. Therefore, their understanding of their condition is just the opposite of the truth. To my understanding this could truly indicate that the spiritual warfare at the hand of Satan deceptions have enter, into the congregation of the church and that is why Jesus places such a great warning to this church that they may see. Furthermore, this is a good reason to follow the advice that Jesus gives this church.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelation 3:19
Many as I love: Deu_8:5; 2Sa_7:14; Job_5:17; Psa_6:1, Psa_39:11, Psa_94:10; Pro_3:11-12, Pro_15:10; Pro_15:32, Pro_22:15; Isa_26:16; Jer_2:30, Jer_7:28, Jer_10:24, Jer_30:11, Jer_31:18; Zep_3:2;
And chasten: 1Co_11:32; 2Co_6:9; Heb_12:5-11; Jas_1:12
Be zealous: Num_25:11-13; Psa_69:9; Joh_2:17; Rom_12:11; 2Co_7:11; Gal_4:18; Tit_2:14
And repent: Rev_2:5, Rev_2:21-22
This text of scripture it, is clear that Jesus rebukes them because of their lack of discipline.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
I stand at the door and knock: Son_5:2-4; Luk_12:36
I will: Joh_14:21-23
will sup with him: Rev_19:9; Luk_12:37, Luk_17:8
This text of scripture to my personal understanding is the greatest invitation ever given because the Lord Jesus Christ makes a personal invitation.
To him that overcometh 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. Revelation 3:21
Him that overcometh: Rev_2:7, Rev_12:11; 1Jn_5:4-5
grant to sit with me: Rev_1:6, Rev_2:26-27; Mat_19:28; Luk_22:30; 1Co_6:2-3; 2Ti_2:12
even as I also overcame: Joh_16:33
and am set down with My Father: Rev_5:6-8, Rev_7:17; Dan_7:13-14; Mat_28:18; Joh_5:22-23; Eph_1:20-23; Php_2:9-21
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:22
Yes, Jesus tells each church in His message unto the that they should let their spiritual ear hear what the Spirit say unto the churches.
Where is the Church after Revelation 3:22
Before we go any further into the study of Revelation there is an issue we need to address with this question? Where is the church after Revelation 3:22? I state this question because there has been much discourse about this subject. However, there is another question and it is why does Jesus have; John to write about the saints and the blood of the saints after Revelation 3. I assume it is because the word church is not mention or absence after Revelation 3:22 and therefore it is concluded that the church has been resurrected. In addition, it is important to examine the discourse or assumptions to clearly understand the book of Revelation and where the church is in the book of Revelation. Furthermore, I also believe we need to consider of whom the recipients are of the book of Revelation. From my personal study, I have found two words that I believe refer to the church one is “saints” and two “servants.” Jesus has John to write in Revelation 1:1 to whom are the recipients to receive the prophetic word or revelation about the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Yet there are some who teach that the church will be raptured before the event of prophecy that begins in Revelation 4. I could say that this discourse is based on the argument that the church is not mention from Revelation 4-21. However, to me personally it is an assumption on their part rather than what the scriptures in Revelation states about the saints and the servants. Moreover, there is much evidence to prove that the saints will be living and functioning during the mark of the beast and the great tribulation. For example, “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from? 14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. So he said to me, these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:13-14 NKJV)
Furthermore, the saints are by serving God in His Temple, Revelation 7:15. Then there are the blessing that God and His Son promises unto them that are faithful and endure unto the end.
He that hath an ear, let him hear: This phrase is stated seven times to seven churches with the promise to them that overcome. Therefore, this statement stated by Jesus unto each church must truly hold some very vital instruction for the church then and to the modern-day church today. Again, and repeating myself Jesus makes it clear that the promises that he gives one must overcome the things that Satan brings to mind to cause us to sin or fall into temptation.
Where is the Church after Revelation 3:22
Before we go any further into the study of Revelation there is an issue we need to address with this question. Where is the church after Revelation 3:22? I state this question because there has been much discourse about this subject. However, there is another question and it is why does Jesus have John to write about the saints and the blood of the saints after Revelation 3. I assume it is because the word church is not mention or absence after Revelation 3:22 and therefore it is concluded that the church has been resurrected. In addition, it is important to examine the discourse or assumptions to clearly understand the book of Revelation and where the church is in the book of Revelation. Furthermore, I also believe we need to consider of whom the recipients are of the book of Revelation. From my personal study, I have found two words that I believe refer to the church one is “saints” and two “servants.” Jesus has John to write in Revelation 1:1 to whom are the recipients to receive the prophetic word or revelation about the Revelation of Jesus Christ.