Sardis a rich and wealthy city.
At this time, we find ourselves at the time of Protestant reformation prophetically fitting in with that period of church history. Seven Spirits – Christ is the fullness. Christ hath the Seven Spirits of God. These are works of the the one Spirit, the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 11:2) Rev 4:5 (cross reference)
Attribute of God: Empowering, enabling the work
Though the church was alive, they were spiritually dead. The perfect picture of this was the Protestant Reformation, though empowered by God, to a work, the freedom of the bible, it bound people latter to what looked right, but what was dead. Though we may have the name of Martin Luther and such, the systems that followed from that were dead works. The great reformers died and what was left were men who took the helm to create systems instead of servants with heart for God. It became about the system of tradition as opposed to the heart. It became about one man’s formulae instead of one God as a desire. Good intentions are worthless. Sardis was a like a star, shining from when it was created, but by the time the light was received on earth it was dead. Is our lights our zeal from Christ, still old ambers of our once fiery hearts for God, or are they dead, and we’re calling ourselves Christ followers cause of what we once did, and who we think we are, from what we once did, where is our hearts for Christ now?
Second thing, is that they had stopped watching, watching for what? Watching for the precious return of the Lord Jesus. And when that is never before us, and when we have lost sight of it, we have lost the urgency of our present actions or the consequence, of meeting the Lord when our present state is corrupt. (vs. 2) Its like the kid who loves choc cookies. And his mum has just baked him some, and they are on the kitchen counter. And her last instruction to him before Dad and her leave to go to the shop, is not to eat the cookies, as that would be wrong. And she reminds him they will be back soon. If he ignores the fact they will be back soon, he will get caught out, yet if he remembers continually that they may return any moment, he keeps himself pure.
Problem with Sardis: they were alive but dead
About the Reward:
Overcome – to get the better off
Understanding it’s use: refers to those already in Jesus Christ, who believe Him (1John 5:4)
Difference between the Lambs book of life and the Book of Life. The book of life, is where you want your name to be. If its blotted out that means you have not overcome and believed on Jesus Rev 20:12-15.So this book is the book of the saved, and if blotted out will be cast into the lake of fire on the day of Judgement.
The Lambs book of life, is the book were you want your name written, Rev 21:27. The difference between the two might not be clear, but might be a reference, to a book containing those redeemed and the lambs book, of the works of the redeemed and their rewards.
Church at Philadelphia (brotherly love)
This is the church, the picture of the true church.
Attribute of God: sovereignty of God
(no matter the hand of Satan, the situation you are in, it’s controlled by God). No matter the strength of the enemy, God is greater still. No matter if the door appear closed, God can open it. If the Lord opens it, Satan cannot shut it. Ain’t that good to know.
The Key of David is mentioned in Isaiah 22:22 and Jesus has this key. Jesus is also the one who has the keys of hell and death (Rev 1:18) Jesus gave to Peter the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, but the Jews rejected.. He again used the key to unlock the keys to the Kingdom of God.
Also the Key of Knowledge – the understanding of the keys. Luke 11:52, Matthew 23:13, Mark 4:11-12, Matthew 13:11. When Jesus was to die, He handed the keys to Peter (apostles) matthew 16:19. Jesus had the keys while John the Baptist was proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven. Despite the best efforts of the apostles, the Jews still rejected, and thus in Acts 2 we see the KoH closed until millennium and the opening of the KoG.
The difference between the two: (KoH vs KoG)
(1) one physical and one spiritual
(2) one existed through time, to the inclusion of men. The other always existed, and whose domain contains, all saved, cherubim, angels, seraphim etc.
(3) only instituted at the millennium. Instituted when someone believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.
(4) it’s a physical domain, with a king and a geographical region and size. Its heavenly and is intangible
Problem: They had a little strength, they were growing weary from their walk as Christians. But despite their weakness, God had granted them an open door, which Satan cannot close. We have an open door here at city of refuge, and it cannot be closed. We have the opportunity to minister to this community,not evangelize, and God has opened it, but be advised only God can close. That’s far worse than Satan closing the door.
Here we see again the Judaizer, bringing in the doctrine, or lie that is, the those now saved, are now converted Jews, and that Jews and the Church are one in the same.
Why is Gods word, a word of patience? Because it tries, James 1:3, the trying of your faith, worketh patience.
Men with their false doctrine, can cause us to lose rewards, to lose crowns. How can the crown be ours, accept we own it, how can we lose it,my following the doctrine of men as opposed to the doctrine of God.
Reward: if there was ever day to be faithful to Jesus, this was the hour. All things are fulfilled, the earth is groaning and traveling for the coming King.
He that believes Jesus, God will make a pillar. Think about a pillar in a building, it cannot leave, it stands there to uphold and establish the structure. So to, those that hold fast, that believe on Christ, will be these invaluable pillars, never to wander (Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love)
names, think about you walking along a road, and you find a wallet. You open it up and it’s got R5000 in it. If that were possible by way of the size of a wallet and money. But if that were true, and there was no identity, you would take it. Ok, how bout you find this R5000 and well there is an identity on it, of a man named Claude. Perhaps in the world today, more often than not, that person will take the R5000. However, consider if the identity of the person, was the Son of a King, or better yet, on the wallet was the Name of the mighty and most powerful King of all, ages, and of all time, that wallet would have a certain respect to it. And you would return in it, in fear of the King. We will be these pillars on that temple, with Gods name Etched in us, and that will be our worth. Amen!!!!
The Church of Laodicea:
Attribute of God: Faithful and True
Problem with Church: the problem with the church at this point, is an inability to be faithful and to be true. A faithful witness!
Problem with the church is simple, they were luke warm. Yes they had moments of being hot, but then they had moments of being cold. But that’s not what it’s talking bout here. It was not the up down, but far worse, they though they were ok, when they were not. They thought they were serving and giving their best, but they were deceived, the were blinded by their own sin, their own inability to be faithful witnesses.
If you sitting there and think oh are a faithful witness of Christ, I ask you are you sure? Note the words in verse 17.
Note what the Lord tells them to do, to buy of me gold tried in the fire. Christ is the only one that can offer true gold, not some fake which will fade away, but gold that has been the purification process. Note these people had comforts of life, comforts of living, but they were making purchases in everything else, except in what the Lord was offering. They were not willing to pay the cost for the Lords gold, cause it required them to be faithful witness, it required them to see themselves for who they really were and it admonished them to focus on true comfort, on Jesus Christ. In this modern day and age, our comfort in the midst of the trying by fire, is everything else but Christ. Yes we may turn to him now and gain, but as a majority, we find comfort in food, in entertainment, in restaurants and comforts of this life. Do we recognize the with all we have, we are truly naked? Is there some layer that blocking our eyes from truly seeing ourselves as we should? Is our measurement others, our measurement the preacher, the world; should it not be Christ?
Reward: Overcomes is easy to misunderstand. But if we are ever confused, let us go back to the definition. Overcome, simplistically means get the better off. How as people do we get the better of this world, by believing Jesus Christ. (1 John 5:4). What’s confusing is does overcome then mean Christ believed in the crucifixion and himself. Nonsense, it means the faith which He had, the belief in He kept, His obedience into death by the instruction of the father was how he overcame.
We overcome by faith, when we believe on Christ, we too are made heirs.