Revelation 3 Part 1 (3:1-6): Sardis

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Revelation 3:1-6

RevelationReferences
(1a) “To the angel of the Messianic Community in Sardis, write: ‘Here is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:Joh 15:26-27 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (27) And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
1Pe 1:10-12 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, (11) inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (12) It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Zechariah 4:2,6,10 (2) And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it (6) Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. (10) “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.”
(1b) “I know what you are doing—you have a reputation for being alive, but in fact you are dead!1 Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
Pro 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.
Deu 12:8 “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes,
Jdg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
(2) Wake up, and strengthen what remains, before it dies too! For I have found what you are doing incomplete in the sight of my God.Joh 11:11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.”
Mar 14:38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jas 1:22-24 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. (24) For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
(3) So remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and turn from your sin! For if you don’t wake up, I will come like a thief; and you don’t know at what moment I will come upon you.Deu 6:3-9 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. (4) “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (6) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Mat 24:42-43 So stay alert, because you don’t know on what day your Lord will come. (43) But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
1Th 5:2 because you yourselves well know that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
Rev 16:14-16 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (15) (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) (16) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
(4) Nevertheless, you do have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; and they will walk with me, clothed in white, because they are worthy.Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Rev 19:8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Ecc 9:8 Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.
Isa_61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Mat 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
(5) He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels.
(6) Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.”
Exo 32:30-33 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” (31) So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. (32) But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.” (33) But the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.
Psa 69:27-28 Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you. (28) Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
Dan 12:1 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Rev_20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Rev_20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Luk 12:8-9 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, (9) but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. Mat_26:75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. .

Seven Letters Outline

EphesusSmyrnaPergamumThyatiraSardisPhiladelphiaLaodicea
ToDarling; desiredMyrrh; deathHeight; Mixed (strange) MarriageDaughterPrecious stone
FromHolds 7 stars/ walks among lampstandsFirst/last dead/aliveSharp two-edged swordSon of God; eyes of fire; feet of brassSevenfold Spirit & Seven Stars
PraiseDon’t tolerate evil; Persevered; Acts 17:11Suffering (pressing, tribulation) and insultsNot denied faith; holds fast to His name; know they live where Satan has his thronelove, trust, service, and perseverance; improvingNONE
JudgmentLost love they had at firstN/ATolerate those with sexual and dietary sin (Balaam)JezebelFalse reputation; they are dead! Works are incomplete. Repent or He will come like a thief
Secondary EncouragementHates deeds of people who do things their own way instead of God’sDo not fear suffering; remain faithfulN/AHold fast against teaching of deep things of SatanA few who have not soiled clothes
Location of “Ear” clauseBeforeBeforeBeforeAfterAfterAfterAfter
PromiseEat from Tree/LifeNot taste 2nd deathEat of Hidden Manna / A white stone/new nameAuthority over nations; morning starDressed in white; name in Book, be acknowledged in Heaven
ApplicationNeglected prioritiesExpect Satanic oppositionBeware spiritual compromise: (worshipping God AND something else)Beware of pagan practices mixed in and corrupting the true faith: (worshipping something else pretending it’s God)Be watchful and diligently guard the heart (not just doctrine)
AgeApostolic (70-170)Persecuted (170-312)State Religion (312-606)Catholic (606-present)Protestant (1517 - Present)
ParableFour SoilsWheat/taresMustard seedWoman/leavenTreasure/Field
PaulEphesiansPhilippians1/2 CorinthiansGalatiansRomans

Watch the Videos

Part I: Historical background and Rev 3:1-6 commentary


Part II: “Does it fit?”” conjectures; errors of Protestantism (Emo Philips 1985 joke about denominations)


Brief (3:41) Tour Guide clip of Sardis and Pergamum

Study the context

Chris Flanagan
Chris Flanagan
Bible teacher and growing disciple of ישוע/Jesus

Former healthcare compliance auditing professional with a passion for understanding the biblical texts in their original context and applying these lessons to 21st century life.