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Revelation Bible Study #05 7 Stars 7 Lampstands part 3

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Revelation Series #5

7 Stars 7 Lampstands - part 3

Revelation 3

What are some things that make the church known positively?

What are some things that make the church known negatively or scornfully?

If you were new to a community and looking for a church what would draw you to a particular church?

What would cause you to scratch a church off the list?

5. The Church at Sardis - The Dying Church - Wake Up Call; The Wheatfield Full of Tares; The Barren Fig Tree

Mt 21:19

Remember this is seen by some as the church in the Reformation era from (1200) 1500-1750 -

Sardis was a City at the Crossroads of 5 intersecting highways

Remember money was invented here

Seemed impregnable but was twice surprised and defeated by Cyprus and by Antiocus both times taken at night by soldiers who climbed the walls while the city slept.

Was destroyed by earthquake in 17 AD and rebuilt by Tiberius Caesar


  A. Authority

    1. Him who holds the 7 Spirits of God - The Holy Spirit

    2. Him who holds the 7 Stars - Pastors

    3. The Holy Spirit is what You need and God Ordained Leadership and don't worry I have both in my hands.  And disobedient rebellious pastors are in my hands as well so do not worry

  B. Acknowledgment

    1. I know your deeds v1

    2. Reputation of being Alive - v 2 - literally -(echo onoma - zao) "have the name of life" -

    3. A Few have NOT "soiled their clothes" v 4 and are worthy of fine clothing - righteousness

  C. Accusation

    1. You are DEAD! -(nekros <nek-ros>) means - one that has breathed his last, lifeless, deceased; destitute of life; inanimate --- 

      a. No matter what you look like --- White washed Graves

      b. This was a church … with a Pastor with worship, with programs, with tithers, but FULL of Unregenerate, LOST, People, save a few souls

    2. Your deeds are incomplete in God's eyes - If this is referring to the Reformation of that era some would say they did good but didn't go far enough in separating from the dead church practices they were reforming

      a. either faith without works or

      b. works without faith

      c. BOTH are DEAD

    3. you have "dirty laundry"

    4. what is alive is on "life support"

  D. Aspiration / Expectation

    1. WAKE UP!!!

    2. Strengthen what remains - fan the flame

    3. Remember

      a. received

      b. heard

    4. Obey and Repent - a death degree is not the end with Christ because he has the giver of Life the Holy Spirit in his Hands and the Preachers who proclaim God's message of Life Remember that the Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation for all who will believe

    5. Walk with God


  E. Alternative

    1. I Will Come

    2. Like a Thief - The thief coming in the night mentioned in 1 Thessalonians is good news for God's people and bad news for the unbelievers even in the church

      a. I will take what you think you own and is safe

      b. when you least expect it

      c. when your guard is down

  F. Addendum

    1. overcomers - dressed in white - like a bride

      a. they like the few who were worthy might have been looked down on by the colorfully adorned people of a city known for its fine dyed wool were now WORTHY to wear white

      b. heb 11:38 - "the world was not worthy of them"

    2. never blot out name

    3. will confess you before Father / Angels i.e. Heaven

    4. EARS?  Hear

Why?  Because he has Stars shining in the darkest nights … Souls worthy in the midst of worthlessness

Because the Holy Spirit still lives and moves …

the Spirit of the Lord

the Spirit of Wisdom

The Spirit of Understanding

The Spirit of Counsel

The Spirit of Power

The Spirit of Knowledge

The Spirit of Fear of the Lord

God the Holy Spirit lives in his Fullness with Everything we Need for Life and Godliness so Wake Up!

6. The Church at Philadelphia

Wealthy City but small population because of earthquake fear

Some would see this as the church in the Missionary era from 1700 to present - perhaps from the great awakening in 1793 and forward.  There is room to see this as being the church up until Christ returns overlapping some with the next church

  A. Authority - first of the letters NOT to get the description from Chapter One's Picture of Jesus

    1. Him who is Holy and True -

    2. Holds "key of David" - keys to Israel / Kingdom?? - Isaiah 22:22 - I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no on e can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

      a. opens none can shut

      b. shuts none can open

This is a Decision Making Authority that NONE can supercede

  B. Acknowledgment

    1. know your deeds

    2. placed an uncloseable Open Door before you - That is the door to Salvation and Inclusion in the Kingdom of God for all People all Gentiles - the Call to Join God is opening the Door to Others

    3. You have Little Strength but remained strong true/faithful obedient

    4. you have not denied my name

    5. obedient / steadfast / patience

  C. Accusation


  D. Aspiration / Expectation

    1. "false jews" will recognize you and God's Relationship with you of love -

      a. John 8:39 "… if you were Abraham's children … then you would do the things Abraham did"

      b. Romans 2:28 "a man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merly outward and physical"

    2. keep you from the "hour of trial" … is to come … whole world to test

      a. dispensational futurists find in this statement a promise of a removal of the church or rapture before a world wide tribulation since he promises to keep them from the testing i.e. we are not appointed for wrath in Thessalonians

      b. John 17:15 where Jesus prays that we not be taken from the world but kept from the evil one would be seen by others to argue against this view

      c. preterists remember believe that the Revelation came BEFORE AD 60 so they would say that Nero's death in 68 and all the events that followed would answer this … and would be the I am coming quickly termed here

    3. Hold on to what you have - remain faithful

  E. Alternative

    1. someone will steal your crown

    2. rewards taken

    3. Souls - someone will join God in winning those whom YOU could have joined God in winning

  F. Addendum

    1. overcomers - a pillar in the temple

    2. Remain forever in the Temple

    3. God's name and City Name written on you

    4. Write down your new name

      a. salvation's name

      b. citizen of Heaven??

    ** These "writings" on the believers would be similar to what we will learn later in Rev 7:3 that none of this will take place until those who are God's in the Tribulation have been "sealed on their foreheads" as God's

    5. Ears?  HEAR

7. The Church at Laodicea

Some would see this as the liberal church of today or the church without Christ even in the Tribulation - self sufficient church - yet without power - without Christ

Known for black woolen clothing and carpets, a medical school and an eye salve/powder used to treat eye ailments

The city got it's water from a hot springs 6 miles away traveling through and aqueduct to Laodicea arriving tepid, lukewarm, not hot or cold

  A. Authority

    1. The Amen - 2 Cor 1:20 - All of God's Promises are AMEN in Jesus - Romans 15:8 - Jesus came to confirm the promises made to the Patriarchs

    2. Faithful and True Witness

    3. Ruler of God's Creation

  B. Acknowledgment

    1. well … you aren't cold …

    2. that's about it

He has NOTHING good to say about this Church

  C. Accusation

    1. You are Lukewarm - tepid - neither sluggish or active - just there

      a. not hot/cold

      b. makes me sick

    2. you say "I've got everything I need"

    3. In Reality … You Are

      a. wretched - afflicted, enduring toils  - you are afflicted and you don't know it

      b. pitiful - miserable - pitied (people are looking down on you and you don't know it

      c. poor - reduced to beggary (vocational) destitute of wealth, powerless to gain wealth - destitute of understanding or learning

      d. blind -  physically and/or mentally blind

      e. naked -  unclad, without clothing; outer cloak laid aside

  D. Aspiration / Expectation

I counsel you

Buy from me … to be in marketplace ; to do business  (do business with me, shop from me, change market places)

    1. Gold Refined in the Fire so you can become Rich


      a. valuable wealth

      b. pure assets

      c. clean money

    2. White Clothes so you can cover nakedness

Righteousness through Justification - brilliant white - i.e. the garment of angels ; the splendor of heaven

Clothes - Garment - mantle or outer clothing

      a. clothes that cover rather than flatter

      b. not clothes that you THINK make you look good

    3. Salve for your eyes so you can see

Wisdom from Heaven that is not corrupt

      a. to heal useless eyes

      b. to provide useful eyes

    4. Respond to my Loving Rebuke / Discipline - He didn't say anything "commending" to them to start but he wants them to know that he LOVES them and this is why he is rebuking them

    5. Repent

    6. Recognize Me - we hear him at the door but don't recognize him to open it or we recognize him but are pretending we are not at home

    7. Open the Door

    8. Receive Him in

    9. Dwell with him - Dine with him - Know him Intimately

      a. dine - sup - deipneo (dipe-neh-o) the Last meal of the day … before the dawning of the next -

      b. Luke 18:8 asks the question … when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth

      c. Jesus is on the outside of the church offering to have the final meal before the dawning of a new day with any who will open the door to him

      d. yet in that age, before Christ returns the Church for the most part will have put Christ out

  E. Alternative

    1. Thrown Up / OUT … "I am about to …" v 15

    2. Nakedness, Poverty, and Blindness

      a. ineffective

      b. Inappropriate

      c. Insolvent

      d. Infertile

      e. Invalid

  F. Addendum

    1. overcomes …. Right to sit with me on the throne - If we let him in the CHURCH house to dine with us he will let us in the throne room to RULE with Him … Pretty Good trade …

    2. just as Jesus overcame and was granted to sit at the Father's throne

Many see the Laodidean era beginning in the late 19th Century as the church began to conform to the world accepting the pressure of Darwinism etc changing our teaching and belief systems Needed to answer all things for ourselves leaving faith at the door

Many see the Philadelphian and Laodicean churches existing together from now until the Tribulation

But even if the Church rejects Christ … If we have Ears … We must hear and respond … it is up to you and to me … to Open the Door… We do not have to be what we are Because he is the Amen and Faithful and True… he desires to sup the final meal with us before the dawning of a new creation

    3. We are NOT the Final Word … Jesus is AMEN

    4. Sin is NOT the final word …. Jesus is Amen

    5. Our Failure is not the final word … Jesus is Amen

    6. Our Spiritual Bankruptcy doesn't have to be the final word … Jesus is Amen

    7. Our pride induced blindness doesn't have to be the final word … Jesus is Amen

    8. WHY?  Because he is Faithful and True Witness

      to what??  --- To Cleanse and Forgive - 1 John 1:9

    9. He is Lord of Creation --- so your DNA doesn't have to keep you under sin's curse

    10. He is Lord of YOUR Nature too!!!!


What is the Key … Letting Him In

The Catholic Monk turned Reformer Martin Luther once said this …

"Before my conversion, had you knocked at the door of my heart and asked 'who lives there', I would have said 'Martin Luther lives here.' Had you come in to see me, you would have found a monk with his head shaved, sleeping in a hair shirt, under his head two tables of stone, a scourge hanging down by the side of the bed.  But now if you knock at the door of my heart and ask who lives there, I will reply: 'Martin Luther no longer lives here; Jesus Lives here now.'"

Jesus offers us the trade of light to replace darkness, gladness to replace our mourning; joy to replace our sorrow; hope to replace our despair.

The one who is faithful and just can cleanse us and forgive us

Do you know the old hymn:

          If you are tired of the load of your sin

          Let Jesus come into your heart

          If you would like a new life to begin

          Let Jesus come into your hear


          Just now your doubting give o'er

          Just now reject him now more

          Just now throw open the door

          Let Jesus come into your heart

He is the Amen

He is Faithful and True

What else do you want but the Promises of God Fulfilled, Sins Forgiven, Hope restored?

Open the Door

Wednesday Night Bible study Fall 2005-Spring 2006

The following resources were used among others in preparation


Revelation Four Views: A Parallel Commentary – Steve Gregg

W.A. Criswell Expository Sermons on Revelation

Dr. J.A. Seiss Expositions on Revelations

MacArthur Bible Studies: Revelation – John MacArthur

Dr. David Jeremiah Expositions on Revelation

The Pulpit Commentary: Revelation

Wiersbe: The Bible Exposition Commentary

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