Summary: The Revelation to Sardis.
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
First Baptist Church Tawas City Michigan
Revelation Chapter 3
Vs. 1-6: to the church in Sardis
Key Verse; Revelation 1:19
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”
Revelation Chapter 1: Things you have seen,
Revelation Chapter 2 & 3: The things which are,
Revelation Chapters 4 – 22: The things which shall be hereafter.
Chapter 2 & 3 – The Things that Are.
Chapter 1 – We see the Lord Jesus as the Glorified One.
Chapter 2&3 – We see the Lord Jesus as the Head over the Church.
Chapter 4-22 – We see the Lord Jesus as the Triumphant One.
We will see the Lords striking message to the seven churches of Asia.
They are applicable to the churches of today.
Before the vision of the Father in Heaven in Revelation Chapter 4, we have the vision and words of the Son, Jesus Christ in Chapters 1 – 3.
We must know the Son before we can know the Father. He is the only way to God.
THE REVELATION TO SARDIS
1a – The Sardis church is referred to as the “Reformation Church,” which began about 1500AD, and continues today.
1b – Seven Spirits of God – The "seven spirits of God" are mentioned in Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; and 5:6. The seven spirits of God are not specifically identified. It is therefore impossible to be dogmatic. Revelation 1:4 mentions that the seven spirits are before God’s throne. Revelation 3:1 indicates that Jesus Christ "holds" the seven spirits of God. Revelation 4:5 links the seven spirits of God with seven burning lamps that are before God’s throne. Revelation 5:6 identifies the seven spirits with the "seven eyes" of the Lamb and states that they are "sent out into all the earth."
There are at least three possible interpretations of the seven spirits of God. The first is that the seven spirits of God are symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The Bible, and especially the Book of Revelation, uses the number seven to refer to perfection and completion. If that is the meaning of the seven in the "seven spirits" then it is not referring to seven different spirits of God, but rather the perfect and complete Holy Spirit. The second view is that the seven spirits of God refer to seven angelic beings, possibly the seraphim, the cherubim. This would fit with the numerous others angelic beings that are described in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 4:6-9; 5:6-14; 19:4-5).
A third possibility is based on Isaiah 11:2 which says, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” This could possibly explain the seven spirits of God… (1) Spirit of the LORD, (2) Spirit of wisdom, (3) Spirit of understand, (4) Spirit of counsel, (5) Spirit of power, (6) Spirit of knowledge, (7) Spirit of the fear of the Lord.
With all that said, I "lean" towards the first view, that the "seven spirits of God" refer to the Holy Spirit.
1c – Seven Stars – Refers to the Pastors of these seven churches.
1d – I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead. – The Lord begins with words of condemnation, “dead spiritually”.
2a – Be watchful – this church is told to take a look at its very real and serious situation.
2b – and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. – They need to come back to Christ, before they lose their way completely.
2c – For I have not found your works perfect before God. – Their works were based on a dead faith, which always produces bad works.
3a – Remember, received, heard, hold fast, repent – Jesus is telling them to remember how they first heard the truth that converted them, they received it, hold to that and turn from the direction they are headed and return to Christ.
3b – If you do not watch, I will come upon you like a thief – Judgment will come, but Sardis will not see or hear due to spiritual deafness and spiritual blindness.
4a – A few faithful – In most Christ believing churches there are a few who do not fall, yet keep their focus on Jesus Christ.
4b – they shall walk with me, for they are worthy – We are made worthy ONLY by our faith in Christ.
5a – He who overcomes – If any in Sardis were to hear and obey this letter from Christ they too shall be clothed in righteousness of Christ, gained only by faith in Christ and the Cross.