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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he that hath the seven Spirits of God” (2)

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“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.”

 

 

 

In this devotional, we will continue to look at the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2), which is described in this passage as the “seven Spirits of God”.  For our devotion this morning, we will be looking at “The Spirit of wisdom” and “The Spirit of understanding”.

What do we learn about the ministries of the Holy Spirit from these titles?   The Spirit of God is the One that opens the eyes of God’s people giving them a comprehension of God’s Word (understanding), as well as insight into its application to their lives (wisdom).

A.  understanding – When we possess understanding, we not only accept His Word as a series of facts, but we are also given insight into WHY these things are so. This is vital for the life of every Christian.  An understanding of His truths greatly effects the MOTIVATIONS for our service.

For example, it is one thing to know that we are to live lives pleasing to the Lord.  But when we grasp that obedience results in the following, our motivation for service is drastically effected:

  1. a display of Christ to a lost world,
  2. a display of appreciation for all He has done for us,
  3. a display of our status as members of both the spiritual nation of Israel and the family of God,
  4. and the receipt of temporal blessings and future rewards,
  5. etc etc

 

B.  wisdom – When we possess wisdom, we are aware of how to apply the principles of God’s Word to our day to day life. Wisdom shows us HOW to make Godly decisions, HOW to avoid temptations, HOW to pray… the list is endless. Wisdom effects the ACTIONS of our service.

For example, wisdom shows us the way to avoid temptations involve:

  1. keeping our minds upon Christ and His Word
  2. learn how Satan works
  3. learn the areas where we are most susceptible to temptations
  4. avoid situations where we will be tempted
  5. be ever vigilant to recognize attacks that are taking place
  6. consistently recognize our inability and seek Christ’s enablement to overcome temptation
  7. etc etc

Understanding answers the WHY…. Wisdom answers the HOW.  Understanding affects our MOTIVES for service… Wisdom affects our ACTS of service.

Both understanding and wisdom are recognized as essentials for service in the cause of Christ…

Colossians 1:8-10 KJV – “Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,…”

Both of these come to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.

 

Folks, as we open His Word on a day to day basis and we have thankful hearts pointed towards the Holy Spirit.  It is only through Him that we can come to an understanding of the truths of the Word and the wisdom needed to apply those truths to our lives!  What would we do without either of these?  Our service to the Lord would be impossible.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3OE

The Book Of Life: Can Our Name Be Removed?

SIH STSTA ICONTHE SCRIPTURES:

 

To the best of my knowledge, below is a listing of every verse in the Bible that addresses the subject of  the Book of Life and other related teachings…

 

 

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – 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.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.   Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Isa 4:3-4 KJV – And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:   When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Rev 3:5 KJV – 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.

Rev 13:8 KJV – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

 

THE STUDY:

In our study for today, we will be looking at “the Book of Life” that is written by God.  Before we look at our names being removed  from this book, we need to come to a basic understanding of this books contents…

  1. It is a book that contains the names of all the redeemed (those who will live with Christ eternally.)

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Rev 3:5 KJV – 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.

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

  1. Those who are written in this book will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

[Please note: this prophecy is speaking of the times of the Gentiles (the times we are living in now).  It clearly tells us that those whose names are found written in the book of life will be saved (delivered) from their sins.  None will be lost, none will forgotten.  Everyone written in the book will receive deliverance from their sins.  This time of deliverance will end with Christ’s second coming]

 

  1. Wicked mankind (those who do not repent of their sins nor submit to Christ as Lord) are not included in this book.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

[Please note: “the writing of the house of Israel” refers to a listing of all the redeemed of God.  It is referred to as “the writing of the house of Israel” because the redeemed make up the citizens of the “Israel of God” (God’s spiritual nation – Rom 2:28-29, Gals 6:16 etc) and will dwell in the New Jerusalem with Him.]

 

  1. Absence from this book results in being condemned to eternal judgment

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

  1. It is a book that is owned (controlled) by Christ and based upon His work on the cross.

Rev 13:8 KJV – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

  1. It is a book that was written in eternity past.

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

  1. Gives great joy to those who are included in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

 

After looking at these basic principles concerning the book of life, we can see that having our names in this book is the greatest blessing we can receive from the Lord.  If we know our names are written in this book it means that we are counted as a citizen of God’s nation, we have been delivered from our sins through Christ’s work on the cross, we are now safe in Christ as our eternal intercessor, and our eternity is secure.

 

But now to the question at hand…. can our names be removed from this book?  The answer SEEMS to be “yes” based upon three passages…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – 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.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

Can we take these verses at face value, or is there more teaching that dwells beneath the surface of all of these?  I think it is very important that we take these verses in the context of the entire Word of God and its teachings on this subject.  Before we draw conclusions about the above verses, we need to look at another verse from Revelation that addresses the subject of name removal from the Book of Life…

Rev 3:5 KJV – 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.

Please notice this book is addressed to “overcomers”.  The Apostle John, the author of Revelation, clearly defines the meaning of this term in another letter that he wrote, the book of 1 John.  He clearly explains that an overcomer is one who has overcome this sinful world through faith in Christ:

1Jn 5:4-5 KJV – “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?”

 

So in Revelation 3:5, Christ is speaking to those who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.  He promises to them that:

  1. “the same shall be clothed in white raiment” – they will be given clothed in Christ’s righteousness
  2. “and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,” – their name will not be blotted from the book of life. This insures them that they will not lose their salvation, but are safe in the hands of the Lord eternally.
  3. “but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” – They will be recognized by Christ as their Redeemer, Intercessor, Mediator and Lord. He will act as their “defense attorney” before the Father, proclaiming that His work on the cross covers their sin and paid the sin debt that was due.

 

There are many other verses in the Bible that profess the same basic truth.  Those who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ are eternally secure in Him (John 6:39-40, John 10:27-30, Romans 8:29-37 etc etc)…

1Pe 1:3-5 KJV – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

These verses are, in effect, saying that their names will not be removed from “the book of life”.

 

Based upon the context of the entire Bible, we can see that the verses that appear to speak of being blotted out of the book needs to be studied with great care and understanding.  The Bible does not contradict itself.  If the redeemed of God are secure in Him, then their names cannot be removed from the Book of Life.  Therefore, the three texts in question before us must hold another meaning for us.

 

The key to understanding two of these three texts is for us to understand a principle that is presented to us in Isaiah 4:3-4…

And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:  When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”

[Please note: In those days, a record was kept that listed all living citizens of a city. At their birth they would be added to this list, at their death they would be removed.

In this case, the Lord is telling Isaiah that He would purge out the sinfulness from Jerusalem by allowing great judgments to fall upon them (Isaiah 3:).  These judgments would result in most of the lost being killed and those who were followers of Jehovah being preserved.  At that point in time, the city’s registry of living citizens would be made up of a few lost men and Jehovah’s followers that were yet alive.]

So we can see that another type of book that the OT Jews were very familiar with was this type of registry of those who were physically alive within any given city.

 

In our Psalm 69:26-28 passage we can see that the Lord keeps a similar record of those who are physically alive on the earth.  It is called “the Book of the Living” not the “Book of Life”…

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Here, David asks the Lord to judge the wicked in two ways…

  1. “Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.”

In other words, let their sins multiply upon them and all them to face the wrath of God that is due them.  This speaks of judgment in ETERNAL PUNISHMENT FOR SINS.

  1. “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

In other words, bring physical death upon them so they can no longer harm the people of God.  As you punish the wicked of Israel, protect the righteous and allow them to continue to live.  This is the exact same principle that was spoken of in Isaiah 4:3-4.  This speaks of judgment meted out in the PHYSICAL DEATH OF THE WICKED, removing their name from the “book of the living”.

 

This book of the living is also referred to in our Exodus 32:32-33 passage…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – 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.

Here, Moses shows to us his great love for the people of Israel.  He asks the Lord to take his name out of the book of the living if Israel will not be forgiven.  In other words, Moses is saying that the pain of seeing the nation of Israel face the wrath of God will be too great for Moses to bear.  He would rather physically die than to see the judgment of God take place against his nation.

The Lord assures him that He will send wrath against the lost members of Israel bringing upon them physical death, but He will spare the righteous men in the nation (including Moses) and allow them to continue to live.

Again we see the same basis theme, the lost of the nation being sentenced to physical death due to their sins while the righteous would survive in their midst (Psa 69:26-28, Isa 4:34 above)

 

The final text that seems to teach that names will be removed from “the book of life” is…

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Please notice that “the book of life” is specifically mentioned.  This does refer to the eternal listing of the chosen, redeemed saints of God that are secure in Him.  The important point to notice is that this verse says “God shall take away his PART out of the book of life…”.  The word for “part” means “allocation” or “share”.

In other words, God removes the portion of the book that could contain his name if only he was one of God’s people.   Likewise, his portion of the eternal inheritance and blessings of God described in this book he will miss out on, they will be given to those who are in the book.

 

This verse is not saying his name is there and then taken out… it is saying the place where his name could be is removed and therefore, there is no chance of it being written in the book…

For example, let’s assume that there in one page in the “Book of Life” for each person’s name to be written.  It is as if the Lord is saying, “the page that would have contained your name has been removed. There is no place in the book for your name to appear.”  Their “share” of the book does not exist.

 

It is much like the Lord’s teachings in Luke 8:17-18.  Although these men claim to be Christians and claim to share in the blessings of God’s people, they really have taken from them their “part” in God’s book that they really never possessed (their name not written in it):

Luk 8:17-18 KJV  – For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.   Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

 

By saying this, the Lord is making it plain that those who “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” have no chance of having their names entered into the book of life nor receipt of eternal salvation… they are eternally condemned just as is spoken of in Rev 21:23-27…

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

So what we have spoken of in Rev 22:18-19 is the clear condemnation of anyone who does not hold fast to the teachings found in God’s Word.  If they add to these teachings, the plagues of this book are placed upon them…. If they take away from these teachings, they are removed from all the eternal blessings of God found in this book.   Unless Godly repentance takes place, there is absolutely no hope for these wicked men to share in deliverance from God’s wrath and receipt of the great blessings that God gives to His people.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all praise the Lord for the security that is found in Him.  If our names are in the Book of Life we can rest assured we will spend eternity with Him.  May we all be diligent to make our calling and election sure, by doing so we will be making certain that our names are in His book, and we are safe in the hands of our Lord.

 

2Pe 1:10-11 KJV – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he that hath the seven Spirits of God” (1)

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 3:1 KJV

“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.”

 

 

 

In this text, our Lord is described as having “the seven Spirits of God”.  The last time I looked in the Bible there was only one Holy Spirit.  So what in the world could “the seven Spirits of God” be talking about?

We find the answer to our question in Isaiah 11:2…

“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

Here, we find listed the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people.  It is in that sense that there are seven Spirits of God working in our midst.

Everything that the Holy Spirit does for the people of God can be categorized in one, or a combination, of these seven:

  1. The Spirit Of The Lord
  2. The Spirit of wisdom
  3. The Spirit of understanding
  4. The Spirit of counsel
  5. The Spirit of might
  6. The Spirit of knowledge
  7. The Spirit of fear of the Lord

Here, we find listed the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people.  It is in that sense that there are seven Spirits of God working in our midst.

Please note the four natural divisions of these workings of the Spirit… ““And the spirit of the LORD”, “the spirit of wisdom and understanding”, “ the spirit of counsel and might”,” the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

 


In this, and the next three devotionals, I would like us to take a quick look at these four divisions of the seven Holy Spirit ministries to help encourage our hearts by reminding us of the many daily blessings we receive through the ministry of the Spirit.

For this morning I would like us to simply look at the first division which contains only one title of the Spirit… “The Spirit of the Lord”, or “the Spirit of the One who is our Master, Ruler, and King”.

It is the Holy Spirit that brings God’s people to recognize that Jesus is their Lord.

 

This title reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the One that brings upon the people of God a spirit of repentance and submission to the will and ways of God.    It is the Holy Spirit that softens the sin-hardened heart and leads it into compliance with the will of God…

Psalms 143:10 KJV – “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”

 

 

Folks, before our salvation, how did we come to a knowledge of our sins and the need to turn from our sins to the Lord?  It was through the ministry of “The Spirit of the Lord”.

How did we recognize Christ as the Lord of our life and the One to whom we are to serve?   The Spirit of the Lord showed us these things.

After our salvation, as we read God’s word and become convicted over the sin that still dwells within us, how did this take place?  It is through the ministry of the Spirit of the Lord”.

As we live our life and recognize the proper decision that we are to make, how do we come to these decisions?  It is by the intervention of “the Spirit of the Lord” guiding us and leading us to do His will.

As we enter our day, let us all be thankful for the Spirit’s leadership in our lives, as He brings us into a greater submission to the will of God, the Lord of our life!

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3OE

Revelation 3:1-6 “Christ’s Letter To The Church At Sardis”

SIH TOTT ICONTHE TEXT:

 

The Letter To Sardis…

 

 

Rev 3:1-6 KJV

(1)  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.
(2)  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
(3)  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.
(4)  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.
(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.
(6)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

From our previous lesson, we saw a very basic summary of the contents of these letters include:

 

Church Location Name Meaning Areas of Faithfulness Areas of Unfaithfulness Possible Punishment Reward To Overcomers (proof of genuine salvation)
Ephesus Desired or Allowed Many areas of faithful outward service.  Hate doctrine of Nicolaitanes. Left first love (Christ)Service not motivated by love for Christ. Removal of candlestick (church no longer enjoying fellowship w God) Eat of Tree of Life in Paradise
Smyrna Myrrh Spiritually rich N/A N/A Not hurt by second death
Pergamos Fortified Tower Faithfulness in face of persecution Allowing doctrine of Balaam and Nicolaitans(physical and spiritual fornication) Will war against those who hold false teaching Be given hidden manna and white stone with new name
Thyatira Sacrifice, Offering, Corpse Works of love, service, faith, patience False Prophetess in midst. (sexual immorality and idol worship) Sickness, tribulation and death upon her and her followers. Be given power over the nations
Sardis Depart, Escape, Exit A few faithful areas of service remain. A few faithful members remain. Testimony that they are spiritually alive but really dead.  Their works not “perfect” before God. Will come upon them as a thief (implied removing anything of value leaving spiritually destitute) White garments.  Name not blotted out of book, confess his name before the Father
Philadelphia Love Of The Brethren Kept Word not denied name of Christ. Persevered in trials N/A N/A Permanent pillar in temple of God.  Name of God and New Jerusalem upon them. New name given to them
Laodicea Judgment Of The People N/A Lukewarm service.  Blinded to their spiritual destitution. Spew out of Lord’s mouth. Rebuking and chastening from Lord. Sit with Christ in throne.

 

Beginning in chapter 2 through chapter 3, John writes personalized messages to the 7 churches.  Each message contains four basic parts:

  1. Description of Christ
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences
  4. Promise to Overcomers

 

The first of these personalized messages is written to the church at Sardis.

  1. Description of Christ (v 1)
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (v 2,4)
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (v 2-4)
  4. Promise to Overcomers (v 5-6)

 

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 3: – 

 

(1)  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;

Christ reveals to John His message that was addressed to the pastor (angel) of the church at Sardis.  Sardis was the capital city of the Lydian empire.  Sardis was known for the gold and silver coinage they printed.  Both the gold and silver coinage was the most pure of all coinage found at that time.  Because of this Sardis became a very wealthy and influential city.

Sardis was the home of one of the largest temples dedicated to Artemis (Diana).  It was also the home of one of the largest Jewish synagogues found in a Gentile nation.  Both of these religious structures help us to understand the great wealth and power of this city.

 

These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;

The symbolism of this description of Christ shows to us His role as the Revealer of divine truth.  Notice the two parts to this description:

  1. He that hath seven Spirits of God – In 1:4, the seven Spirits, based upon Isa 11:2, symbolizes the fullness of the HS ministries, many of which involves revealing Christ and the truths of His Word to mankind. It is only through the intervention of the Holy Spirit in the life of an individual that Christ and His Word can be understood, accepted as truth, and applied to the life.
  2. He that hath seven stars – In 1:16, the seven stars, represented the pastors of each of the seven local churches which are given the solemn responsibility of declaring truths of Christ, found in His Word, to the local churches.

If we look at both of these together, keeping in mind they are held by Christ, we can see that Christ is the One who holds authority over, and uses, both the Holy Spirit and the Pastors of local assemblies to reveal His truths to mankind. This is an important feature of the work of Christ for the church at Sardis to understand.

 

I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Christ begins to list that which He knew about the assembly at Sardis:

  1. thy works – their acts of service
  2. thou hast a name that thou livest – their possessed a testimony that they were spiritually alive and actively serving their Lord. However, their real condition…
  3. thou art dead – the were spiritually dead. Although they were outwardly going through the motions of worship and service, inwardly they were spiritually separated from God due to their sins… in that sense, they were spiritually dead as an assembly although they had individual members who possessed spiritual life.

 

(2)  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: Although the church as a body was spiritually dead, their communion with the Lord hindered due to their sin, there were still some areas of faithfulness that remained among them.  The Lord encourages the church to:

  1. be watchful – they are to “wake up” and recognize their condition and the need to be on guard against sin
  2. strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. – they are to build up the remaining areas of faithfulness, because these were also ready to expire.

 

for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Why are they to do these things?

The Lord recognized their failings and their need to put things in order to renew a right relationship with the Him.

 

(3)  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.

The church was instructed to:

  1. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, – they were to recall the teachings, warnings, and encouragements they had heard and brought to themselves.
  2. hold fast – They were to hold them tightly and not allow them to slip away
  3. repent. – to reconsider what they have done, turn from their old ways and begin anew to serve the Lord.

 

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.

If they did not heed the warnings of the Lord, He would come upon them as a thief.  In other words, He would come upon them unexpectedly with the intent of harming not blessing them.  He would come upon them and judge them for their laxness and unfaithfulness. This is not speaking of His second coming, but of His “coming” (intervening) in the affairs of the church dealing with their sins.

 

(4)  Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; 

There yet remained in the church a few members who have remained faithful to the Lord and retained a pure testimony in the eyes of those around them.  By saying that they “have not defiled their garments”, the Lord is explaining that they are living holy lives that are free from the pollution of sin.  This results in them possessing a pure public testimony.

 

and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

The reward of their faithfulness and pure testimony in this world, would be possession of a white robes of righteousness in the world to come.  In other words, their temporal faithfulness would follow them into their eternal existence.  They would possess rewards in eternity for their faithfulness now.

1Co 3:12-15 KJV – “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 

“for they are worthy” – in other words, it is only fitting and proper for those who are faithful now to be rewarded and shown to be faithful in the world to come.  They are not deserving from personal merit, but they are deserving because of the Lord’s fairness, justice, and His work on the cross.  This is what makes them “worthy” of their future rewards (2 Cor 3:5).

 

(5)  He that overcometh, 

The Lord now gives promises to those who will be victors over the powers of darkness that oppose their service to Christ.

 

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.

He gives them promises of three blessings awaiting them…

  1. the same shall be clothed in white raiment; – they will be clothed in the righteousness that is given to them through the work of Christ on the cross. Truly, we have no righteousness of our own, but can only be possessed through the grace of God as He applies the work of Christ to our account…

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1Co 1:30-31 KJV)

  1. and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, – Those who overcome proves they have been genuinely saved. Anyone who is genuinely saved will never lose their salvation, they are eternally secure in Christ. He constantly is interceding on behalf of His people guaranteeing their acceptance by the Father and their entrance into eternity in His presence. (Hebs 7:25, Roms 8:34, 1 John 2:1).

Please note He does not say He blots anyone’s name out of the book of life.  He is only affirming here that He does not blot out the names of those who are victors over this world.

  1. but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. – He will guarantee our entrance into God’s presence eternally as He publicly professes we are one of His people, redeemed through His work, our sins covered by His shed blood (Jude 1:24-25).

 

 (6)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Once again, Christ emphasizes He is only speaking to those who are saved by God’s grace, those who are given the ability to receive, understand and apply the truths of God to their lives.

 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we see Christ revealed as the Perfect Revealer of the Truths of God.  It is under His authority that the Holy Spirit intervenes in the lives of men, opening their eyes to the truths of God.  He also calls and authorizes the Pastors of His local assemblies to teach His Word helping those in the assembly to come to a better understanding of God’s Word.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Do we see the need to spend time in God’s Word, receiving it in our hearts, coming to a fuller understanding of it, and applying to our lives?

Do we see the need to examine the teachings we receive, making sure that they are Bible based?  Do we then forsake those who teach error, while actively following and appreciating those who proclaim His Word bringing honor to Christ?

Folks, this is the great lesson of this text and one of the greatest needs of the Lord’s people in today’s time.  May we all never forget the need to stand for the truth, and forsake error as we seek to live our lives for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

 

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