This chapter covers the last three of the seven letters to the churches in Asia Minor. Chapter 2 covers the first four of the seven letters. It is about 60 years since Jesus left, and He came to evaluate the Church.
The name “sardius” or sardonyx refers to a brilliant red agate, like our carnelian.
It represents a bloody time in church history, the Reformation and the following Inquisition. The Reformation was the way out of the Medieval Church. But, they left some wrong teachings stand, and did not correct it. They denied prophecy and Israel’s place in prophecy, claiming that the Church had replaced Israel.
VERSE BY VERSE
APPEARS ALIVE, BUT DEAD
Revelation 3:1 “He that hath the seven Sprits of God.” The equipment we need to be able to walk in God’s truth are the seven spirits, described in Isaiah 11:2 as:
- The Spirit of the Lord
- The Spirit of Wisdom
- The Spirit of Understanding
- The Spirit of Counsel
- The Spirit of Might
- The Spirit of Knowledge
- The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
“That thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” This Church appears alive, but it is dead. They are not useful vessels for God’s prophetic plans and purposes.
A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
Revelation 3:2 “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” There is a little of the truth left, but it is about to die out. “I have not found thy works perfect before God.” They were a lamp stand to give light to the world. To witness to the world about God’s prophetic truth. But, their light will go out, and they will be defeated in the last days.
Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how thou hast received and hear, and hold fast, and repent.” Remember what you were told by the prophets, and return to the prophetic truth. Repent, that is change your mind. “I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” This Church is unaware of prophecy, and not watching for His coming.
Note! To this Church who is not watching for his coming, it will be an unpleasant surprise when he comes. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 “But of the times and the seasons, ye have no need that I write unto you.” Your prophets has already told you about the signs. Ye are are not in darkness, that that day whould overtake you as a thief… let us watch and be sober.”
Revelation 3:4 “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.” A remnant of believers are faithful, who does not let go of God’s prophecy. His purpose, and His plans.
These believers do not pay attention to God’s prophetic purpose and plans. They are not prepared for what is coming, and will be unpleasantly surprise when it comes.
Philadelphia means “city of brotherly love.” It is the Church that spoke out the truth. In Church history the Missionary Church, and a time of spreading the Gospel to every tongue, tribe, and nation. This is the Church that Jesus loves, and He had no admonishing for them.
VERSE BY VERSE
THE KEY OF DAVID
Revelation 3:7 “He that is holy, he that is true.” There is a correlation between holiness and truth. When we walk in God’s truth, we manifest His holiness. “He that hath the key of David.” When we hear David we understand kingdom on earth. The fulfilment of the covenant that God made with king David. “He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” God himself will fulfil the covenant He made with David, regardless when men denies it. God is a God of integrity.
Revelation 3:8 “I have set before thee an open door.” In this Church was brotherly love, they were obedient to God’s commandment. Obedience opens doors. “Thou has a little strength, and has kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” Some of them held on to the truth.
SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN
Revelation 3:9 “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan.” They walked faithful in the truth of God, not giving in to Satan’s influence.
Note! It is important to understand that the word Church is another word for congregation. In ancient times often referred to as synagogue. It has nothing to do with Jewish worship.
“Which say they are Jews and are not, but do lie.” The word Jew means “those who praise God.” They claim to praise God, but they were not. “I will make them to come and worship before thy feet.” These liars will come under your authority.
KEEP FROM WRATH OF GOD
Revelation 3:10 “Thou hast kept the word of my patience.” They had manifested the patience that God’s prophetic truth requires. “I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation.” God will keep them from the Tribulation, the time when the wrath of God will be poured out. Because, Jesus himself will Rapture believers. See more The Rapture
“Which shall come upon all the world.” The Tribulation happens not in some countries, but upon all the world, at one time. “To try them that dwell upon the earth.” This refers to the earth dwellers.
Note! The book of Revelation talks about two types of people:
- Earth dwellers – those who live according to world standards.
- Heaven dwellers – those who live according to kingdom principles
THOSE THAT OVERCOME
Revelation 3:11 “Behold I come quickly: hold fast which thou hast.” Refers to the imminence of His second coming, and the Rapture. “That no man take thy crown.” This is not speaking about salvation, but rewards for those who live according to His truth.
Revelation 3:12 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” In the new earth and heaven, at the end of Revelation, there is much talk about pillars in his sanctuary.
Those who experienced the love of God, and allowed it to transform them. They respond to it becoming loving, and evangelising believers to the world.
Laodicea means “rule of the people.” It was a rich city of commercial success. It had no water supply of its own. The water was supplied from nearby cities. Therefore, it seek to never offend anyone, and to keep the peace at all cost.
VERSE BY VERSE
Revelation 3:14 “The Amen.” The One that is true and faithful, and our response to Him. “The faithful and true witness.” Jesus Christ is the one who is God incarnated. God manifested. “The beginning of the creation of God.” The word “beginning” is the Greek word “arche.” It means “the ruling one”, the one that is Supreme over everyone and everything. There was never a time that Jesus Christ did not exist. He is eternal, in the future and in the past.
Revelation 3:15 “Thou art neither cold nor hot.” They had no commitment to God’s truth. They were seeking peace to the point of compromising their faith.
Revelation 3:16 “Because thou art lukewarm… I will spue thee out of my mouth.” This attitude of this Church made Jesus sick. It makes Him vomit.
RICH, BUT POOR
Revelation 3:17 “Thou sayest, I am rich.” They thought God is please with them. “And increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” This Church was wealthy in material things, and was serving their own plans.
“Knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” They were poor in the things of God. The concept of naked here is being shameful. They were proud in themselves, but in God’s eyes they were shameful.
Revelation 3:18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” To buy, or rather to acquire from me that which won’t burn up in fire. (I Corinthians 3:12-15). “White rainment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” Spiritual clothes, the blood of Jesus Christ, covers our shame.
“Anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.” He wants us to see clearly the things of God, otherwise our lives will not reflect it.
OPEN THE DOOR
Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” A loving father chasten his children. If you’re rebellious, then comes discipline to force repentance.
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” This is an invitation. Intimacy with God is necessary for you to grow in the things of God. He doesn’t just knock and leave. No. He stands there. “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.” Sup is dining with Him, even deeper fellowship and intimacy.
THOSE WHO OVERCOME
Revelation 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” Walking intimate with Him, and experience His love will help us to overcome. It will equip us to rule one day with Him.
Revelation 3:22 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Every letter speaks to every believer today.
They had a name that they were believers, but they were far removed from the purpose and perspective of the living God. They got lost in the things of the world.
THIS IS PART OF A SERIES:
SOURCES FOR REVELATION, CHAPTER 3:
- The Seven Letters to the Seven Churches by Dr Chuck Missler
- Revelation by Dr Baruch Korman
- The Unveiled Christ of Revelation by Dr John Barnett
- A Light in the Darkness by Rick Renner
- 101 Answers to Questions About the Book of Revelation by dr Mark Hitchcock
OTHER SOURCES FOR REVELATION, CHAPTER 3: