REVELATION CHAPTER 3


                        Introduction and The Seven Churches of Asia.

                     THE CHURCH AT SARDIS { REVELATION 3:1-6 }

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. (Rev.chapter 3 here)

The church at Sardis is known as the DEAD CHURCH. Speaking in Spiritual terms, she was dead in sin. The prophetic dispensation of this church was from 1510 A.D to 1750 A.D. This represents the period of time of the pulling away from the Roman Catholic influence which had taken over the church at Thyatira.

Many in the church at Thyatira who had not accepted the teaching and doctrine of Balaamism, Nicolaitanism, and Jesebelism, and who had not known the depths of Satan, spoken of in Revelation 2:24 “ But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden”, had finally broken away from the Thyatira Church and become independent. This was the first move of the entering into protestantism, however, formalism and false prophets were still among them.

The Lord said He had a few in Sardis that had not defiled their garments. These few were helpless in leading the church into holiness, and struggled to maintain their own strength in the Lord. Although Sardis had broken away from the Roman Catholic teachings, they were formal, and catered to the worldly ways. Therefore, they were alive in name only to the world, but they were dead in the eyes of the Lord because of the lack of holiness and power.

Revelation 3:2-3  ”Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect 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.

Although they were rebuked for their failures, they had a few good points remaining to their credit, and they were exhorted to be strengthened and to die out completely and enter into the perfect way of the Lord.

Many Christians today who are in formal churches are serving the Lord, but lack understanding of the real meaning of holiness and righteousness. Therefore, they have need of the message given unto the church at Sardis, to repent and heed the warning of His coming in an hour when unexpected. He that heedeth the warning and repents, and overcomes their shortcomings, will be clothed in white, and their names will not be blotted out of the Book of Life, for they shall be deemed worthy.

Revelation 3:5“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Here we are told that our names can be blotted out of the Book of Life if we are not overcomers. Thus, no backslider or those who are not worthy will be accepted. Although we may at one time have had our name in the Book of Life, we are not secure unless we endure unto the End. Read the following scriptures.

Revelation 13:8
“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.”

Revelation 17:8
“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.”

Revelation 22:19
“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.”

Revelation 21:27
“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.”

Revelation 20:12-15
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the
second death.
15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

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

Philippians 4:3
“And I entreat 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.”

Nicolaitanism, Balaamism, and Jezebelism were not the problems at Sardis, but SPIRITUAL DEATH had invaded their midst. The breaking away from these false teachings by leaving the church at Thyatira presented good works, but their works were not found to be perfect, for they were living in name only, and were dead in the Spiritual activities of life. Before men, they had a name that they lived, but before God their works were not complete. The name over the church door was not enough to save their soul. It takes works of righteousness, or fruits of the Spirit of God.

Protestantism features justification by faith in acceptance of the open statements of the Bible, dropping all rituals and ceremonies of both the Law and man made traditions. The church at Sardis accepted justification by faith, but failed to follow in the New Testament order of the New Birth and the paths of holiness. Conforming to the world instead of holiness to the Lord, will bring an open rebuke from He Who hath the Seven Spirits and the Seven Stars.

The few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments are the ones who worshipped the Lord in holiness, therefore. He said they would walk with Him in white. White signifies holiness and righteousness, and there were only a few whose garments were not defiled in the church at that time. The rest were told to remember therefore what they had received and had heard in the beginning and repent and return to holiness lest He would come in an hour that they knew not.

The only way that works can be made perfect, is by overcoming Spiritual deadness. Sardis means, "remnant or ESCAPED FEW". Jesus says, Many are called, and few will be chosen. There will be but a few who will hold fast in true worship in conforming to the holiness of God.

The theme to the Epistle to Sardis, is underlined in the call to purity, righteousness, and holiness unto perfection. The few names were praised because they had not defiled their garments. Garments is used in a symbolic term as also most of the Book of Revelation is written. To understand the Spiritual meaning, the language of symbols must be understood.

A filthy garment, in the natural sense, defiles the body which it covers although the body may have just been bathed and made clean. To keep the body clean, the garment must be kept clean.

The garment of white signifies purity, righteousness, holiness throughout the Biblical language. Although these few clothed in white raiment were not yet perfect, they were told that they were to press on until they were complete overcomers, then they would receive the raiment that would secure their name that it would not be blotted out from the Book of eternity.

This robe of righteousness carries a much deeper truth than is normally understood by the Christian world. It is a promise of God and greater than was given to the angels in heaven, for many of them did sin, and their names were blotted out from the Book and were cast out of their heavenly abode unto eternal destruction.

The garment of white is symbolic of the Spiritual clothing which is given to clothe the New Man who becomes free from the filth of sin. As sin decreases in the body, so does the old filthy garment fade away and is replaced with that portion of the righteous garment of white. It is a Spiritual garment and covers only the Spiritual growth in the body and never the sinful part, although some attempt to hide their sins behind a cloak of righteousness.


THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA { REVELATION 3:7-13 }

 7.   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;
8.    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.
9.    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.
10. 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.
11. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12. 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.
13. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Philadelphia means BROTHERLY LOVE. The church at Philadelphia is known as the LOYAL LOVING CHURCH. Prophetically it existed in the middle of the Dark Ages, from 1750 A.D. to 1900 A.D. This was the beginning of the great missionary age that brought the Protestant movement under way in the Spiritual teaching of justification by faith in holiness, and this continued unto Pentecost.

Great men such as Whitefield, Finney, Wesley, Etc. were called by God to evangelize Europe and America in their early days. This missionary vision carried on until it was taken up by the Pentecostal movement in approximately 1900 A.D. That which the cankerworm had eaten was to be restored. Read Joel 2:25.

Joel 2:25
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”

At the beginning of the Protestant movement, Jesus appears as "He with the Seven Spirits and the Seven Stars": He Who has all authority and power, and He that is HOLY AND TRUE. The breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church practice created a different aspect in the movement of the church unto holiness.

"He that, is Holy and True". He is calling the churches unto holiness. To be like Him in Spirit and in true worship. He who worships God must worship Him in Spirit and truth in holiness. This teaching is upheld throughout the New Order unto the End Day when Jesus shall join Himself to the Church as a part of His Body, but not until the Church has been made perfect.

The Church at Philadelphia had a little strength but not the fulness thereof. A little strength is referring to the Spiritual strength or life. She is loved by the Lord because she is dying to the world and growing in righteousness in Christ. Her understanding is being opened by the Word and she is making progress in Spirituality and the fulness of the Apostolic ministry that developed in Pentecost.

The message to the Church at Philadelphia, prophetically reaches until the End of the Age, as do all messages to all other churches. In this particular Church is found the promise to the Bride. Because thou hast kept my word and the word of my patience (endurance), I will keep thee from the hour of temptation. That is, He will not permit them to be tempted above that which they cannot stand. There is yet to come a great tribulation that will try every Christian on earth before the second coming of Jesus. Matthew 24:21. This is not the reign of the Beast.

Matthew 24:21 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

The victorious Church, the Bride of Christ, will be delivered in the Last Days and will not pass through the Beastly Tribulation, but will be delivered by the power of eagle's wings. Revelation 12:14 "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time from the face of the serpent."

The remnant will lay their lives down for the Lord. Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”……The professors of Christianity who fight against holiness and the manifested power in the Church, will be brought to their knees and be made to know that Jesus loves the Church.

Revelation 3:12
“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.”.........The temple is a Spiritual temple and a pillar is the most important part of the temple. Without the pillar, the temple could not be supported. Without Jesus the foundation Stone, the pillars could not be held firm. "And he shall go no more out:".....When one is being made a pillar in the temple, they shall be eternally secure.

They 
can never fall or be cut off. "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·"

New Jerusalem is the Wife of Jesus and She has inherited Her place in connection with the Temple of God. She has received the New Name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST through marriage.

Revelation 21:2, 9-11"And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
Verses 9-11 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying. Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.... And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

In the church at Philadelphia is portrayed the fulfillment of Ephesians 2:2 2 "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." The human temple has grown into a Holy City for an habitation or a dwelling place for the Lord.

Revelation 22:3-4  “ And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:..... And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

Revelation 21:22-23   And I saw no temple therein:for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it...... 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.

The throne spoken of in the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation, is the throne of David or Jesus which will be set up in the kingdom on earth for a thousand years Reign. This setting will come to an end at the entering into the New Heaven and Earth.


 THE CHURCH AT LAODICEA { REVELATION 3:14-19 }


14. 
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;
15. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
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:
18. 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.
19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

The church at Laodicea is known as the lukewarm, self-satisfied church. Prophetically to be as the End Time condition, dispensationally coming into view in 1900 A.D., through the Pentecostal enlightenment, and developing into full reality prior to the coming of the Lord.

Protestantism, being taught in the previous three hundred years, grew into the Pentecostal movement of holiness, and swept the whole earth in a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This movement ushered in the restoration of the early Pentecostal experiences which created the mighty revival of holiness in the beginning of the New Testament history. The Laodicean history reveals the characteristics and condition of the lukewarm church of the Last Day. Laodicea means, "the people's rights".

The city of Laodicea was a very proud and independent city. She supported a medical center, and manufactured woolen goods, and was a money center. She was a city of much commerce and trade, and boasted of her independence and self-support. She was rich, proud, and lifted up as a people in her own rights. In other words, she supported herself and wanted no help or advice from others.

The Laodicean spirit of the "people's rights" has grown in momentum for over one half a century. It began in a spirit of pressure for independency by the I.W.W. movement and has developed in this day into transgression, in an attempt to gain their point. Unions of all nature, the Ku Klux Klan, Terrorists, Women's Liberation Movements, etc. are putting extreme effort into winning their cause or independence, or recognition. This spirit is worldwide.

Christians and church-goers are involved with many not realizing what it is all about. The Laodicean spirit is the Spirit of the Enemy operating as an angel of light.

The introduction to the church at Laodicea was positive. These things saith the AMEN (He Who has the last word): the FAITHFUL and TRUE WITNESS, (He Only Who has held truth as a Witness), and was in the Beginning of the creation of God.

In this Title is declared His authority as He stands in the midst of the Seven Churches taking inventory and pronouncing judgment upon the church. "I know thy works" is the heading of each Epistle to the churches. All stress is put upon works. The Lord is not concerned about good deeds in the flesh, but the works of righteousness according to His Word.

The works of this church are shown to be miserable and deplorable. Nothing good could be said about this church. She has separated herself from holiness through her independency. She is neither cold nor hot. Priding herself with her ways of worship, yet holding on to the name of Christianity, she is reproved as neither hot or cold.

She is cold or dead to the Spiritual life, and living her own desires of the flesh, believing in Christ's salvation, but neither is she hot because she has not the Spirit of Christ flowing in her soul that brings the fire and warmth of a Spirit filled Christian into the true worship in holiness.

This is a terrible condition, and because of such the Lord said He would spue her out of His mouth. Jesus says that we cannot serve two masters and be pleasing in His sight. It is His desire that we would serve One or the Other. Either we get in or get out. Be either cold or hot; either serve Him or the Devil. If we continue in this attitude, we will be spued out of His mouth.

Revelation 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:"

This is a terrible condition that grips the spirit of man. Believing that all is well with their souls by their formal, self-satisfied attitude, and independent worship, and by not accepting the Spirit of holiness, they are overcome by deception and believe themselves to be rich, and increasing in the blessings of God and have need of nothing, yet they do not know that they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked in the sight of God.

Even though one may be blessed in worldly goods, and expensive buildings, etc., and have a good education, this does not signify that God has blessed them. Jesus says that they are blind to the true salvation and that they are naked of the clothing of righteousness, therefore if they do not repent they will be spued out of His mouth. The only way to be rich in God is by buying "of Me" (Jesus) gold tried in the fire, and not by possessing worldly treasures or gold. The works of the Laodicean church were false, worldly, and sickening before God.


1 Peter 1:7 says "That the trial of YOUR FAITH BEING MUCH MORE PRECIOUS than of GOLD THAT PERISHETH: though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."...The TRUE GOLD is purchased through God by faith in holiness, a gold that cannot perish by fire of the world.

James 2:5 "Hearken ,my beloved brethren,Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?".

The church at Laodicea was naked, not of worldly apparel, but of the white raiment which only could be purchased through the Lord. They were counseled not only to buy gold, but white raiment that their nakedness of sin might be covered. The raiment of God is fine linen in RIGHTEOUSNESS of the saints, clean and white, read Revelation 19:8 ''And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.''

Revelation 16:15 "Behold, I come as a thief, Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.".. They were blind because they did not have the Spiritual insight of the Word of righteousness and thought they could gain eternal bliss by their fleshly, worldly method of worship.

The eye-salve is the anointing of the Spirit of God which the church at Laodicea did not have. They were altogether destitute of the Spirit of God, therefore would have no inheritance in heaven except they repented and bought the true salvation through faith in righteousness to cover up their nakedness of sin.


THE CHURCH COMMENDATION AND DENOUNCIATION




THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS { REVELATION 2:1-7 }

The church at Ephesus was denounced, not because she was backsliden, but because she became slothful in the love for sinners unto salvation. Taken up in her church affairs, involving the teaching of the Word and in righteousness, and in keeping the church free of imposters, she let down in the evangelistic Spirit. After being commended for her good works she was warned of the Lord, that He was displeased with her for not upholding her first conviction of the love for the lost.

Ephesus, being the first organized church, has portrayed the danger to the Last Day Church. Denominationalism has separated the Christian faith and has a tendency to create a lack of love for the other, as well as the lack of unity of our first love.



THE CHURCH OF SMYRNA { REVELATION 2:8-11 }

The Smyrna church was not denounced. This does not mean that they were perfect in the sight of God, but rather that their works were pleasing before God due to the great suffering and persecution, and being faithful unto death. Smyrna is known as the martyr church. That is, they surrendered their body fully unto the Lord. This trait portrays their works as pleasing to God. There will be no rebuke in the church of the Last Day when they go all out in the sacrifice of their bodies.

This does not necessarily signify that one must lay down their lives and be buried, but as Paul declared, he dies daily from imperfection in the flesh so must we. In the perfect Church spoken of in Ephesians 4:13 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” The Last Day Church must measure up in the fulness of the stature of Christ. As long as we strive to follow our convictions as is recorded in the Word, we will grow into that Church. It is when we let down the standard that the denunciation is declared.



THE PERGAMOS CHURCH { REVELATION 2:12-17 }

The Pergamos church was commended for holding fast His name. Biblical names carry a characteristical meaning. Names were not only given just to distinguish one person from another, but to declare the characteristic of the person as well.

To hold fast His name is to hold the characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although they walked in the footsteps of Jesus they were denounced because they let false doctrine come into the church. Permitting impure doctrines to mingle with the people in the church is sure to have an ill effect upon the church and lead some astray. This rebuke declares a warning to all churches throughout the Ages, especially the Last Day Church.


THE THYATIRA CHURCH
{ REVELATION 2:18-29 }

The church at Thyatira was commended for their patience, love, service, and faith; and the last to be more than the first. They were growing in the characteristics of the Lord, but they were denounced for letting the false prophet Jezebel teach and seduce His servants. The Jezebel spirit is fast developing in the ecclesiastical movement in this day, as it was at the time of the warning in the Thyatira Age.


THE SARDIS CHURCH { REVELATION 3:1-6 }

Those who had not defiled their garments with the Jezebel spirit and corruption of sin, were commended. But they were denounced for being dead to the Spirit of God.
This formal spirit is manifested throughout most churches today. More and more the manifestation of the Spirit of Life in the churches is replaced with quietness and formalism. Pentecostals have even become ashamed of the moving of the Spirit of God in their midst and placed all manifestation behind closed doors.


 
 THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA  
{ REVELATION 3:7-13 }

The Philadelphia church portrays the Bride of Christ and is commended for keeping His Word and not denying His name. They kept the Word and all that His name stood for. They did not have the fulness of the Apostolic strength, but what they did have, was perfect in God's sight. Therefore, there was no denunciation. This declares the purpose of the letters to the Seven Churches In presenting the Last Day Church as is pleasing in His eyes.