“The Seven Churches - Continued”


We begin the study of Chapter 3 “The Seven Churches” part 2; with what Christ had to say to the remaining seven (7) churches. Once again we will also talk about this period of time, but we will also shed light again into the place, and the societal changes that took place in history in these particular church periods. You’ll be amazed again at what took place in these great churches and cities and how the Lords rebuke unveiled these last remaining churches.

Chapter 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.
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.

(Verse 1-6: The Church of Sardis - The period of Reformations:

This city was suppose to be impregnable, but had failed to watch and was defeated by the Persians in 564 B.C. John instructed the church not to neglect the Lord but to watch, lest Christ will come and overtake them like a thief (Rev. 2:3). The church of Sardis receives one of the most serious rebukes along with Laodicea. Sardis is dead! But, the situation is even more dangerous because the Christian’s at Sardis are deluded and unconcerned. Christ reminds the people that he has the “Seven Spirits of God.”

The Lord Jesus is He that hath the Holy Spirit with all his powers, graces, and operations. Hypocrisy, and lamentable decay in religion, are sins charged upon Sardis, by One who knew that church well, and all her works. Outward things appear well to men, but there was only the form of godliness, not the power; a name to live, not a principle of life. There was great deadness in their souls, and in their services; numbers were wholly hypocrites, others were in a disordered and lifeless state. Our Lord called upon them to be watchful against their enemies, and to be active and earnest in their duties; and to endeavor, in dependence on the grace of the Holy Spirit, to revive and strengthen the faith and spiritual affections of those yet alive to God, though in a declining state.


The essence of the church is not its programs, buildings, past achievements, reputations, or institutional greatness, but its spiritual life (AMEN)! This comes through fellowship with Christ, and through the seriousness of repentance and obedience.

In verse 4, Christ does say that a few names have not fallen and defiled their garments and shall walk with Christ in white robes and their names shall not be removed from the “BOOK OF LIFE.”

In verses 5-6, Christ states that those that overcome will be given white robes and will not be removed from the book of life, and He will confess their names before the Father and his Angels.)

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.

(Verse 7-13: The Church of Philadelphia - The true church and the professing church:

Philadelphia was the doorway into Phrygia through which Grecian culture was to advance eastward. John used the saying “open door,” (Rev. 3:8), for the Philadelphia saints to advance the gospel to those in the “synagogue of Satan” (Zeus temple - Rev. 3:9).

Philadelphia like Smyrna receives commendations from the Lord. They have only little strength, but they have kept his word (Rev. 3:8), and have not defiled his name. As in Smyrna, the church is being opposed by non-Christian Jews (Rev. 3:9), but Christ says he will give them promise of victory and strength to encourage them to persevere.

Christ holds the “key of David” (Rev. 3:7), representing his power to open an shut, analogous to the keys of death and Hades in Revelation 1:18. This was also prophesized in Isaiah 22:21,22. The key that Christ also holds sets before Philadelphia an open door - which could be saying for them to evangelize the gospel of Christ (Rev. 3:8), into the interior of Asia Minor. Also the open door symbolizes through Christ that we now have a pathway and freedom to approach God himself (Rev. 4:1), and as a result of this new privilege, the church has freedom to grow and develop spiritually, in spite of the opposition of Jews and the threat of trials (Rev. 3:10).


Revelation 3:10 is also a confirmation to the church that we that are obedient will be kept from tribulation that is to come upon the world, and judgment against the sons and daughter’s of disobedience that dwell upon the earth. These trials and tribulation are mentioned in Revelation 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8; 13:12,14; and 17:2. Hebrews 12:22-24 signifies that we are citizens of Heaven. God knows Christian’s as his own and does have his way of sealing us, and protecting us (Rev. 9:4).

Christ promises to make the church in Philadelphia a pillar in the temple. Christ also promises in verse 12 to write the name of God on the faithful as not only a sign of intimacy, but ownership and protection as in Revelation 14:1, compared to the Antichrist forced sign upon mankind in Revelation 13:16 that is to come during the tribulation period.

Christ also promises protection of Gods redeemed in various other biblical chapters (Haggai 2:23; Malachi 3:17-18; Ezekiel 9:4-11; and Exodus 19:5,6 and 28:36). Revelation 3:12 also confirms our new name, and the new city of Jerusalem that is to come down from Heaven at the end of Revelation 21:10.)

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

(Verse 14-22: The Church of Laodicea - The final state of apostasy:

This city was one of the richest cities of its day. Financial aid was rejected when Rome sought to help after a devastating earthquake. The Laodicea’s were noted for their glossy black cloth, a salve to cure weak eyes, and a great medical center. The Christian’s of that day were guilty of material compromise. In a lukewarm state they were considered “naked.” They knew they were in spiritual poverty, and their money could not buy what their hearts needed (Rev. 3:18).

Their state was wretched in itself. They were poor; really poor, when they said and thought they were rich. They could not see their state, nor their way, nor their danger, yet they thought they saw it. They had not the garment of justification, nor sanctification. They were exposed to sin and shame; their rags that would defile them. They were naked, without house or harbor, for they were without God, in whom alone the souls of man can find rest and safety. Good counsel was given by Christ to this sinful people.

Christ begins by saying they are neither “hot nor cold.” Christ urges the church to be refreshing or spiritually healing to the people rather than being neither “hot nor cold!” Christ’s message was so opposite to what the Laodecians expected, it would have been hard for them to swallow, due to their proud and self-sufficient attitudes. Christ reminds them that love motivates his rebuke (Rev. 3:19). He does not want to alienate them, but to bring them into repentance, so that he may have fellowship with them (Rev. 3:20). He is extremely eager also in these verses to extend that fellowship, and all the glorious riches and healing that come with it; if they will only hear his voice an admit their need for him and Gods word. He also promises to “sup” with them - as alluding to the fellowship of the Lords Supper (Luke 22:19 AND 1ST Corinthians 11:17-34).


In the Lords Supper - Christ comes and feeds us with himself, as he does through fellowship that we have throughout our life (John 6:25-59). Revelation 3:20 is sometimes used in an evangelic text, but its original context is a promise directed at complacent Christian’s who need to confess their dependency and restore fellowship with God.