Revelation Chapter 3

.

Revelation Chapter 3

3:1 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.

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

3:3 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.

3:4 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.

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.

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN REVELATION ~ 89

3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

3:7 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;

3:8 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.

3:9 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.

3:10 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.

3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

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.

3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

3:14 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;

3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

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:

3:18 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.

 

90 ~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL & REVELATION

3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

3:20 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.

3:21 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.

3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

5. Sardis

A ccording to the Christian Travel Study Programs (www.ctsp.co.il) the meaning of the name Sardis is that of the stone, sardius. The semi-precious stone is orange-brown but reflects deep red when light is passed through it. Having the Holy Spirit and holding the pastors in His hands is how Jesus identifies Himself to this church. He then tells them that their name and reputation is that of being alive—but in reality they are dead! Numbers of baptisms, numbers in church growth, is not evidence of spiritual life in God’s eyes! Jesus calls for repentance of our feelings, thoughts, and deeds.

Jesus calls for repentance from the perception of success and self-fortification which is false (true fortification is the meaning of the 3rd church phase—Pergamos. This fortification—true and false—may be the connection between the 3rd and 5th churches.) There are a few in this post-ecumenical church that have not defiled their character-garments and that will walk in the character of Jesus.

The overcomer is promised the character-likeness of Jesus, the retention of their name in the Book of Life, and the confession of their name before the Father and the angels in the judgment!

In history the church with the Stone-character (name) lasted from 1798 AD until the beginning of the judgment in 1844. In 1844 there was a religious awakening all over the world.

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN REVELATION ~ 91

6. Philadelphia

Philadelphia means brotherly love. The church emerges from the previous three phases of growth intact having survived the ecumenical attack and with more love among its members. Jesus identified Himself as having the key of David that can open and shut doors of opportunity. In the time-line, this church lived during the 1800s when Jesus passed from the Holy to the Most Holy phases of His ministry in the sanctuary in heaven. The open door referred to in this letter is that into the Most Holy Place that is opened on the Day of Atonement only. In the antitypical Day of Atonement, the way into the Most Holy is kept open until the close of probation. This means that salvation from sin continues as long as Jesus is in the role as our Great High Priest. Salvation from sin consists of forgiveness for past sins and power to keep from loving and doing sin in the present and future. This "double cure" for sin is yet available from Jesus who ministers this salvation from the Most Holy Place in the sanctuary in heaven. This ministration of Jesus continues as long as any sinner is requesting salvation from Jesus and is willing to comply with the terms of salvation offered by Jesus (i.e. receive the "double cure"). When the whole world is fully mature in terms of character development then probation closes, because Jesus is receiving no more requests for salvation. Jesus then leaves the Most Holy Place in the sanctuary in heaven. Full character development means that the living saints are living a life of total dependence on Jesus and do not sin any more, even as Jesus did not sin while on earth with our same sinful body and marred human equipment. Full character development means that the living rebellious (the tares) are living a life in total deception and cannot be undeceived because of their willing ignorance of the grace of God. All characters have been fixed because of the nature of full maturity. Then it is that probation closes. Then it is that Jesus leaves His post of current ministration in the sanctuary in heaven. Then the prophecy in this letter will be fulfilled—"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

 

92 ~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL & REVELATION

thee." This corresponds to the public honor given to Daniel on the eve of the destruction of Babylon. So again on the eve of the destruction of the world-wide modern Babylon, the hated, proscribed, persecuted minority that love God unto death will be honored for their integrity publicly. The connection with the second church is that during the Philadelphia church, persecution will again begin during the hour of temptation that will come upon all the world. Jesus promises His church that His second coming will come quickly and advises church members to hold fast to their hope and faith in Him so that they do not lose their crown of victory over self and their character-likeness to Jesus. The overcomer is promised to be made a pillar in the temple of God and have permanence. Jesus promises to write His new name upon them, and the name of the city of God, as well as the name of God. The names of God, Jesus, and the corporate name of the church—the city of God—upon the overcomer, gives evidence of great character maturity in reflecting the character-likeness of Jesus.come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved

The brotherly love church in history lasted from 1844 up until the "first love" and "first works" experience began to wane after some years. Today, we need to go back to our spiritual roots and read the works of our modern apostles of the church of brotherly love, and regain our first love and first works!

7. Laodicea

L aodicea is a word made up of two words meaning people and right, self-evident, justice, vengeance, punishment. This is the church of "the judgment of the people." Every generation has brought judgment to that generation. In this church development and period, the people are going to be judged while they are living! God created this earth to show the truth about Himself—His self-evident right, justice and love. This is our destiny. This is our work—to demonstrate the character of the true God. Every person demonstrates in himself the character of his God. This is why our concept of God is so central—so foundational—to everything we

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN REVELATION ~ 93

think and do in life. The maturity of the church is seen in the exhibit of the character of God. When the world comes to maturity, everybody will have the mature character-likeness of the God that they serve. The first church was fickle in its love. The first church leaves its first love. The last church is mature—it cannot leave its last love. What we have loved for a life-time is part of us that cannot be changed after maturity is reached—not even for eternity! This maturity in blindness is the sin of Laodicea. Once you know it all you can relax and become complacent or lukewarm! The face our church wears today is that we are rich and increased in goods and in need of nothing; we do not know that we are wretched, miserable, poor, and blind, and naked of the righteousness of Christ. This church thinks it has everything when it has nothing! The grace of God is again being turned into lasciviousness even as in the first church! But God’s love is unconditional and eternal.

Jesus stands outside of the proud, self-sufficient heart and knocks for entrance. What our church needs—and what we individually need—what I need, is Jesus inside my heart. Jesus brings with Him His gold of faith and love to heal our hearts of stone. He offers us His white robe of righteousness in place of our filthy garments. He wants us to put the eyesalve of the Holy Spirit on our eyes to discern spiritual things and heal our blindness. The opportunity, the length of time that Jesus stands without and knocks is limited. It goes on during the judgment and lasts until the judgment ends. The judgment does not end until every heart has become mature and fixed beyond change. The state of being fully ripe and unchangeable is a function of maturity. The close of probation is not a matter of time or schedule. There is no clock on the wall in heaven. There is a ticking clock inside us that is our mind and affections. The ripening and maturity of our hearts is what determines the end of probation for us and for the world. Let us pray that God will give us His wisdom to know how to order our days to His glory and become changed into His character-likeness. Overcoming self, the world, and the Devil is recognized in heaven by being granted to sit with Jesus in His throne! This is profound! "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith

 

94 ~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL & REVELATION

unto the churches." Revelation 3:22 Thus ends the story section of Revelation that corresponds to the first stories in the book of Daniel. The meaning of the stories in Daniel are made more plain in these stories in Revelation. It is all about character maturity. The great goal of life and of the everlasting gospel is for you and for me to experience the character-maturity of Jesus.