Chapter 3 covers last three churches. For most of the churches Jesus addresses following main points:
Corrective Steps and
Church of Sardis
1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
Angel is messenger/Pastor/Leaders of the church
Read Angel section notes in Rev 1:20
The message is to all churches - Rev 2:7.
Sardis means escaping, renovation, remnant or reformation.
See the map in introduction
It is 50 miles east of Ephesus and it is located at inaccessible plateau.
It is a center for trade and military center.
It was a wealthy city, being situated at the junction of several important roads and trade routes.
The connection between Sardis and money - easy money - was well known in the ancient world.
This city was also a city well known for its softness and luxury.
It had a well-deserved reputation for apathy (means lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.) and immorality.
In Sardis there was a large, stately temple to the mother goddess, Cybele. From the ruins of that temple we can see that its main columns were 60 feet high and more than 6 feet in diameter. This mother goddess was honored - “worshipped” - will all kinds of sexual immorality and impurity.
The combination of easy money and a loose moral environment made the people of Sardis notoriously soft and pleasure loving. “The great characteristic of Sardis was that, even on pagan lips, Sardis was a name of contempt (means the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace). Its people were notoriously loose-living, notoriously pleasure-and luxury loving. Sardis was a city of the decadence.” (Barclay)
This softness, this lack of discipline and dedication, was the doom of Sardis on a few different occasions. “Although the situation of the city was ideal for defense, as it stood high above the valley of Hermus and was surrounded by deep cliffs almost impossible to scale, Sardis had twice before fallen because of overconfidence and failure to watch.
In 549 BC the Persian King Cyrus had ended the rule of Croesus by scaling the cliffs under the cover of darkness.
The Greek historian Herodotus tells the story of the fall of Sardis in days of Cyrus. King Cyrus had come to Sardis, and found the position of the city ideally suited for defense. There seemed to be no way to scale the steep cliff walls that surrounded the city. He offered a rich reward to any soldier in his army who could figure out a way to get up to the city. One solider studied the problem carefully, and as he looked he saw a soldier defending Sardis drop his helmet down the cliff walls. He watched as the soldier climbed down a hidden trail to recover his helmet. He marked the location of the trail and led a detachment of troops up it that night. When they easily scaled the cliffs, and came to the actual city walls, they found them unguarded. The soldiers of Sardis were so confident in the natural defenses of their city they felt no need to keep a diligent watch. So the city was easily conquered.
Curiously, the same thing happened during 214 BC the armies of Antiochus the Great (III) attacked and captured the overconfident city by the same method that didn’t set a watch.
These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars:
Read seven Spirits notes in Rev 1:4 and seven Starts notes in Rev 1:16.
Administrative power and uncontestable control.
Post reformation period when church became formal, ritualistic, worldly and political.
The Protestant state churches of Europe and American colonies were leaders in this drift.
Jesus's -ve Comments:
"I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive,
It was a busy church with meetings every night, committees, promotion and publicity, something going on all the time.
It had a reputation of being a live, wide-awake, going concern.
Like the city at that time was but a shadow of its former splendor; and the church, unfortunately became like the city.
This message to this church is warning for all great churches.
Read notes in next verse (Rev 3:2) about the work that Jesus is talking about.
For more details about work read notes in Rev 2:2
but you are dead
But you are dead shows that a good reputation is no guarantee of true spiritual character.
Despite their reputation of life, Jesus saw them for what they really were.
This indicates no struggle, no fight, no persecution.
It wasn’t that the church at Sardis was losing the battle. A dead body has lost the battle, and the fight seems over.
In this letter, Jesus doesn’t encourage the Christians in Sardis to stand strong against persecution or false doctrine, probably because there simply wasn’t a significant danger of these things in Sardis.
Being dead, the church in Sardis presented no significant threat to Satan’s domain, so it wasn’t worth attacking.
The church in Sardis was “A perfect model of inoffensive Christianity” (Caird). Another commentator says, “It was not scandalous wickedness, but decent death; the form retained, the heart gone.”
“The church of Sardis was at peace - but it was the peace of the dead.” (Barclay)
Spiritual ministries often go through four stages:
and the monument. - Sardis was at this stage. But there was still hope because Jesus was Head of the Church and He was able to bring new life. He described Himself as the one possessing the seven Spirits and the seven stars.
All of the church's man-made programs can never bring life.
The church was born when the Spirit of God descended on the Day of Pentecost and its life comes from the Spirit.
Acts 2:1-4 - 1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:37-41 - 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Who draws/markets people to the Church? - Jesus Draws people to His Church
Ac 2:47 - praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
When the Spirit is grieved, the church begins to lose life and power.
Isa 63:10 - But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them.
Eph 4:30 - And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
1 Thes 5:19 - Do not quench the Spirit.
When sin is confessed and church members get right with God and with each other, then the Spirit infuses new life-revival!
1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2 Cor 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Eph 5:18-21 - 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Christ closely monitors/watches/controls the seven stars, the messengers of the churches (Rev 1:16, 20), referring most likely to the pastors/elders. Sometimes it is a pastor/elder's fault that a church is dying, and the Lord of the church must remove the star and put another in his place.
Christ also closely monitors/watches/controls the lampstands (Rev 1:12, 13, 20), referring to churches. Sometimes it is a pastor/elder's and congregation's fault and they are not repenting so that a church is dying, and the Lord of the church must remove the church from that place.
Rev 2:5 - Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
Corrective Steps: Warning/Alert:
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die,
There are no words of commendation to the believers at Sardis. Nor did the Lord point out any doctrinal problems that required correction. Neither is there any mention of opposition or persecution.
The church would have been better of had there been some suffering, for it had grown comfortable and content and was living on its past reputation. There was reputation without reality from without force. Like the city itself, the church at Sardis gloried in past splendor, but ignored present decay.
In fact even what they did have was about to die! Why? Because the believers had gone to sleep.
Twice in its long history, the citadel at Sardis had been captured, each time because sentries had failed to do their jobs faithfully.
It is when the church's leaders and members get accustomed to their blessings and complacent about their ministry that the enemy finds his way in.
The impression is that the assembly in Sardis was not aggressive in its witness to the city.
There is no persecution because there was no invasion of the enemy's territory.
No friction usually means no motion!
The unsaved in Sardis saw the church as a respectable group of people who were neither dangerous nor desirable. They were decent people with a dying witness and a decaying ministry.
Our Lord's counsel to the church began with "Be Watchful! Wake up!
Rom 13:11 - And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The "sentries" were asleep! The first step toward renewal in a dying church is honest awareness that something is wrong. When an organism is alive, there is growth, repair, reproduction, and power; if these elements are lacking in a church then that church is either dying or already dead.
Read the notes in following portion of verse and verse Rev 3:3a.
for I have not found your works perfect before God.
NIV: Revelation 3:2 - Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God
Perfect (Gk: pleroo) has been translated as completed in NASB and in Rev 6:11 the same same word is used and it is translated as completed - NASB/NKJV, fulfilled - KJV and fulfilled in most of the places.
Rev 6:11 - Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Application: God given life is Purpose Driven Life
God has unique plan/task for each one of us. He has created and saved for this purpose.
Jer 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen
Eph 2:10 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
NLT: Eph 2:10 - For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
2Tim 1:9 - who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
God expects us to complete task that He has given to us or fulfill the purpose that he prepared for:
Col 4:12 - Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete (Gk: pleroo) in all the will of God.
We need to accomplish/fulfill/complete this God given task/work with His help.
2 Thes 1:11 - Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill (Gk: pleroo) all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,
Heb 13:20-21 - 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Phil 1:6 - being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
Rom 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Read the notes in following verse (Rev 3:3a).
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent
Wake up! Be watchful! Repent! Remember the Word you have received and obey it!. This is the formula for revival.
It is good to guard the our spiritual heritage, but we must not embalm it.
It is not enough to be true to the faith and have a great history. The faith must produce life and works.
1 Thes 2:13 - For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
James 2:26 - For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Eph 1:13-14 - 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Rom 5:5 - Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
2 Cor 5:14 - 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
NLT: 2 Cor 15:14 - 14 Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
Gal 5:25 - 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
NLT: Gal 5:25 - 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.
Also read notes in Rev 2:4 & 5 for more details.
Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
How will Jesus come upon them?
He could come upon them in the sense bringing immediate judgment.
Or, He could come upon them in these sense of His coming for the church at the rapture of the church.
1 Thes 4:16-5:2 - 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5:1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
Mat 24:36-44 - 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Used in either sense, it shows that His coming can be sudden and unannounced, so they need to be watchful.
Jesus's +ve Comments:
4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
You have a few names even in Sardis
Even among the dead Christians in Sardis, there is a faithful remnant. But there were only a few names. In Pergamos (Revelation 2:14) and in Thyatira (Revelation 2:20) there were a few bad among the good. But in Sardis there are a few good among the bad.
even in Sardis: Even shows that in some ways it was remarkable that there were a few names still faithful to the Lord. It may have been remarkable because of city’s notoriously immoral reputation. Even in a city that wicked, some among the Christians had not defiled themselves by joining in sin.
who have not defiled their garments:
Why does Jesus refer to defiled garments? In the heathen worship of the day, the pagan gods could not be approached with dirty clothes. The analogy can work for the worship of Jesus, because He gives His pure ones white garments.
“As sin is expressed under the notion of nakedness, so holiness is expressed under the notion of a garment.” (Poole)
Is 64:6 - But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
God is giving God's Righteousness as a garment (Robe of Righteousness) to us when we are born again or saved:
2 Cor 5:21 - 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Rom 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
Is 61:10-11 - 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful 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 with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Zec 3:1-5 - 1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. 4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." 5 And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by. 6 Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, 7 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here.
Few in Sardis have not defiled the God given robe. So it is still looks white.
He expects us to keep the God given garment as white as snow and not defiled. We need to realize and keep our body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 6:12-20 - 12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
Our efforts to keep ourselves holy/pure never take us to heaven or earn God's righteousness but to maintain our ongoing love relationship with God we need to put all our efforts to keep ourselves holy/pure. To access God's thrown boldly God by His Grace and Mercy imputed His righteousness as given in 2 Cor 5:21 and Rom 1:17.
In addition to this God has made us perfect (to His standards) through His agape Love as specified in John 17:23.
Mat 5:48 - Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Mat 19:21 - Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
John 17:23 - I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
God promises white garments/robe as a reward in heaven also Jesus is repeating the about this white garments again in following verse Rev 3:5.
We can see this in heaven in Rev 6:11:
In addition to this it also symbolize the purity. We are pure and worthy to walk with Him in heaven because he saved and cleansed all our sins by His blood and robed with His robe of righteousness and given a new white garment as a reward in heaven.
Jesus Addresses to All:
5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
He who overcomes
Read Rev 2:7 comments.
shall be clothed in white garments,
Read notes in Rev 3:4b.
and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;
Let us see similar scriptures in the Bible:
Ex 32:32 - Yet now, if You will forgive their sin--but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."
Ex 32:33 - And the Lord said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
Rom 9:3 - (similar to Ex 32:32) - 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
Ps 69:28 - Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous.
Rev 22:18 - 18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Interpretation I: Does He remove when we do wrong and add when we do good? In other words by our deeds do we earn or lose salvation?
Assume if He follows this pattern. In this scenario assume one person accepted Christ and followed Him on and off so Jesus adds him and removes him from the book based on his deeds.
Just before he dies if he is faithfully following Him then Jesus will add his name in the book and he goes to heaven after his death.
At the time before he dies if he is not faithfully followed due to pain and suffering that he gone through or for any reason then Jesus will remove his name in the book and he will not goes to heaven after his death.
Is this fair? or Is this what Bible teaches?
Interpretation II: God has all human beings names in the Book of Life and removes one person's name after his death based on acceptance of Christ and the behavior thereafter of that person.
Interpretation III: God has only names that are going to be with Him forever are in that Book of Life.
He does this as per His foreknowledge.
In this case then He do not need to remove the names even though He is sovereign enough to do that.
The Book of Life article goes through the Bible and explains in detail what the Bible teach us about the Book of Life...
What is Book of Life?
In what basis God adds the names? What is the basic qualification/requirement needed to be added in that Book of Life?
When our names are written in this Book of Life?
How God add names in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world?
Now you tell: Does our God play a game by adding and removing name from the Book of Life?
Sure He is the Sovereign God so He can do whatever He wants at the same time He is also All Knowing God and He knows everything beforehand!
This is more of assurance than warning. At the same time Rev 22:18 is definitely a warning to all of us.
Finally: Is your name in that Book?
Rom 10:9-11 - 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
Rom 8:9 - But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
NLT: Rom 8:9 - But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)
Rom 8:15-16 - 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
1 Cor 12:3 - Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
1 John 5:12-13 - 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
This is an amazing promise.
It simply makes sense that we need to confess the name of Jesus first.
Matt 10:32 - "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
But it is amazing that He would not be ashamed to confess us!
6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '
Read Rev 2:7 comments.
Church of Philadelphia
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
Angel is messenger/Pastor/Leaders of the church
Read Angel section notes in Rev 1:20
The message is to all churches - Rev 2:7.
It is located south of Sardis.
Philadelphia means brotherly love.
It was the youngest of the seven cities, and was originally founded as a missionary outpost for Hellenism, the culture of ancient Greece.
“The original purpose behind this key city was to make it a center for spreading Greek language, culture and manners throughout the Asian provinces.” (Hocking)
“Philadelphia had been built with the deliberate intention that it might become a missionary city. Beyond Philadelphia lay the wilds of Phrygia and the barbarous tribes; and it was intended that the function of Philadelphia should be to spread the Greek language, the Greek way of life, the Greek civilization, throughout the regions beyond.” (Barclay)
The city gained its name after its founder, Attalus the Second, who was nicknamed Philadelphos.
Philadelphia was a prosperous city. “Philadelphia commanded one of the greatest highways in the world, the highway which led from Europe to the East. Philadelphia was the gateway from one continent to another.” (Barclay)
Philadelphia was also known for her beautiful buildings (it was called the “little Athens”) and frequent earthquakes, which required frequent evacuations.
“Philadelphia had so many gods and so many temples that sometimes men called it “Little Athens.” To walk through its temple-scattered streets was to be reminded of Athens, the center of worship of the Olympian gods.” (Barclay)
'These things says He who is holy,
Lev 11:44-45 - 44 For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 45 For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Lev 19:2 - "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
Rev 4:8 - The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"
Rev 6:10 - And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Rev 15:4 - 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
1 Peter 1:15 - 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
Acts 3:14 - 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
He who is true,
There are two ancient Greek words which we might translate true. One means “true and not false.” The other means “true and not fake.” The ancient Greek word used here for true (alethinos) it second, with the idea of “real” or “genuine.”
Jesus is true in all of who He is, He is the real God and the real man.
John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me
John 17:17-19 - 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
John 18:37 - Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
"He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":
Jesus shows He is also the keeper of the keys and doors.
In this quotation from Isaiah 22:20-23, Jesus expresses His power and authority, especially to admit and exclude.
Read notes in Rev 1:18 about this key and various other keys.
Is 22:20-23 - 20 'Then it shall be in that day, That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe And strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem And to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut.
In Is 22:20-23 passage Eliakim has power to open the door to meet with the King. This is similar to Peter has the key for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 16:18-19 - 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Philadelphia church represent a group of churches or group of denominations during 1793AD - Till Now.
This represent those churches allow our God Almighty Jesus Christ to lead them.
This includes most present day active Evangelical churches lead by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus's +ve Comments:
8 I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
I know your works.
For more details about work read notes in Rev 2:2
See, I have set before you an open door,
What is open door? In Biblical usage it means God given Opportunity for the believers. Following verses helps us to understand better.
First See, Look Around for this Open Door set before you by our Almighty God.
The church in Philadelphia has an open door set before them.
Often, an open door speaks of evangelistic opportunity.
Acts 14:27 Now when they (Paul...) had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles
1 Cor 16:9 - 5 Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). 6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
2 Cor 2:12 - Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,
Col 4:3 - 3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
NIV: Col 4:3 - 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
Jesus tells them that He has opened the door of evangelistic opportunity to them, and they must go through that door in faith.
In its history, Philadelphia had a great “evangelistic” calling. The city had the mission of spreading Greek culture and language through the whole region. Now Jesus opens the door for them to spread the culture of His kingdom through the whole region.
Jesus tells them to see that they have this open door. Sometimes God sets an open door of evangelistic opportunity in front of us, but we don’t see it. A man who had been touched for Jesus came to Spurgeon and asked how he could win others to Jesus. Spurgeon asked him, “What are you? What do you do?” The man said, “I’m an engine driver on a train.” “Then,” said Spurgeon, “Is the man who shovels coal on your train a Christian?” “I don’t know,” said the man. “Go back,” said Spurgeon, and find out and start on him.”
It also speak of their open door kept or opportunity given by God to enter into the God’s kingdom.
There may be another sense to this open door. These Christians in Philadelphia seem to have been excluded from the synagogue (Revelation 3:9). The open door may also speak of their opportunity to enter God’s kingdom in contrast with their exclusion from the synagogue.
John 10:9 - I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Also we need open our heart to allow Jesus to come into our heart and we enter into His Kingdom:
Rev 3:20 - Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
It also mean any ministry opportunities with in the body/Church.
Once the believers trained/matured to be disciple others then God will open the door by bringing new believers to be decipled.
Once the believers trained/matured to teach/lead a small group then God will open the door for them to lead a Bible Study.
Once the believers trained/matured to pastor-teach then God will open the door for them to Pastor-Teacher a Church, Youth group, etc.
Acts 6:1-6 - 1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
1 Cor 4:17 - For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
1 Cor 16:10 - Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.
Php 2:19 - But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
1 Thes 3:2 - and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,
1 Thes 3:6 - But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you--
1 Tim 1:18-20 - 18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme
It may also mean any personal opportunity/open door in His choice (will) for the Individual.
God opens the door if we completely surrender our need and continually ask God through our prayer for our Job, Education, Business, etc.,
Ask God to shut the unwanted door (to avoid our temptation) but ask Him to open only one door. So that it is easy to walk in that door.
We need to have same mind like Christ to do the will of our Father.
John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Once we see the open door, we then have to walk through it. God wants us to take every opportunity that He opens up before us.
Wait for this God's Open Door.
If you are praying for any opportunity please wait for God to open the door.
If God prophesized about an open door please wait on His timing to be fulfilled.
Gal 4:22-23 - 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
Heb 11:11 - By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
Do not create your own opportunity ie by your efforts and manipulation. Or Like kid do not stubborn in asking of particular opportunity that you want in your choice instead of God's will (choice).
2 Cor 10:18 - 17 But "he who glories, let him glory in the Lord." 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
NLT: 2 Cor 10:18 - 12 Oh, don't worry; I wouldn't dare say that I am as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, and measuring themselves by themselves. What foolishness! 13 But we will not boast of authority we do not have. Our goal is to stay within the boundaries of God's plan for us, and this plan includes our working there with you. 14 We are not going too far when we claim authority over you, for we were the first to travel all the way to you with the Good News of Christ. 15 Nor do we claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow and that our work among you will be greatly enlarged. 16 Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places that are far beyond you, where no one else is working. Then there will be no question about being in someone else's territory. 17 As the Scriptures say, "The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done." 18 When people boast about themselves, it doesn't count for much. But when the Lord commends someone, that's different!
2 Cor 11:13-15 - 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
Like Absalom trying to become King while David is ruling and reigning. God anointed David as a King at the same time God didn't anoint (provide opportunity/open door for) Absalom as king.
2 Sam 14:25 - Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
2 Sam 15:4 - Moreover Absalom would say, "Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice." .. 6 In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 7 Now it came to pass after forty years that Absalom said to the king, "Please, let me go to Hebron and pay the vow which I made to the Lord. .... 10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, 'Absalom reigns in Hebron!' " 11 And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything. 12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city--from Giloh--while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number. 13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom." 14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise, and let us flee; or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword." .... 31 Then someone told David, saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!"
Psalms 3:1-3 - 1 A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son. Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. 2 Many are they who say of me, "There is no help for him in God." Selah 13 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
King Hezekiah 15 Years extension & consequences:
2 Kings 20 - ..... 3 "Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 5 "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. 6 And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David." ' " ........ 14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, "What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?" So Hezekiah said, "They came from a far country, from Babylon." 15 And he said, "What have they seen in your house?" So Hezekiah answered, "They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them." 16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord: 17 'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the Lord. 18 'And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.' " 19 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!" For he said, "Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?" (See how selfish he is) .....
2 Kings 21 - 1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. ........ 6 Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. ........ 9 But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel. ..... "Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), ....... 16 Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
God has plan to serve Him. He knows where and when His people shall serve.
Acts 16:6-10 - 6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them
and no one can shut it;
The emphasis is on unhindered openness. There is nothing that can keep them from their access to this door. Since Jesus is He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens, He has the authority to keep this door open for the Christians in Philadelphia.
God opens doors for ministry and ministers today. “I would like to bear witness that I have proved this Philadelphian promise of the open door through years of ministry and it has never failed. Promotion does not come from the south, east, or west, but from God; and if we commit our way unto Him and trust Him, He will bring it to pass . . . God’s man is not dependent on religious talent scouts nor is his ministry in the hand of ecclesiastical officials. His headquarters is heaven and his itinerary is made up by the Lord of the Open Door.” (Havner)
Because Jesus has opened the door, He gets the glory for it. “Neither wealth or influence, neither promotional schemes nor the eloquence of its pulpit, nor the harmonies of its musicians can give it an effective ministry. The Lord alone has opened the door; the Lord alone has ‘given the increase.’” (Morris)
for you have a little strength,
It is not a matter of great strength, not great ability but great dependability.
Samson had great ability but poor dependability.
The church in Philadelphia had the poverty of spirit to know they really needed God’s strength.
John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
They were weak enough to be strong in the Lord. The Apostle Paul was a great example of this dynamic of weakness and strength. God’s strength was made evident in his weaknesses.
2 Cor 12:9 - 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
NLT: 2 Cor 12:9 - Each time he said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.
2 Cor 13:4 - For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
NLT: 2 Cor 13:4 - Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God's power – the power we use in dealing with you.
Application: Start with your little strength faithfully and keep depend upon God.
have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
The church in Philadelphia also was faithful to Jesus and His word. The idea behind have not denied My name is not only that they expressed their allegiance to Jesus, but that they lived in a way that was faithful to the name and character of Jesus.
Some churches that claim great faithfulness to the word of Jesus deny His name - His character. They represent the manner and style of Jesus as something very different from what the Bible shows.
Read notes in Rev 2:13 for more details about hold fast to My name and did not deny My Faith.
9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
Apparently, the Christians in Philadelphia were persecuted by Jewish people (the synagogue). However, these persecuting Jews were Jews in name only (who say they are Jews and are not, but lie). In fact, they have no spiritual connection to Abraham or to the people of faith.
In this, Jesus does not speak against all Jewish people. It would be entirely wrong to speak of the Jewish people as a whole as the synagogue of Satan or those who say they are Jews and are not. Jesus spoke of this specific group of Jewish people in Philadelphia who persecuted the Christians during that period.
Paul is sincere Jew before accepting Christ at the same time he persecuted the Church because of his zeal towards His God. But those Jews were not sincere to God.
Following steps helps you understand this passage well and shows you how to handle these sort of challenges:
It is natural that persecuted people often long for justice against their persecutors.
Do not take this personally. Because it is the work or opposition of Satan through them.
Eph 6:12 - 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--
Go to God and leave this mater to God.
Matt 5:44 - But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
Rom 12:19 - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
And to know that I have loved you: As those who were once their enemies worship along side them, they are destroyed as enemies. They now know that Jesus has loved these people they once persecuted. The best way to destroy the enemies of the gospel is to pray that God would change them into friends.
Acts 7-9 - Like Paul Jesus convert those who persecute us.
Look for the opportunity to do good in response to their evil doing.
Rom 12:19-21 - 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
God will judge or change the persecutors in His own timings.
Jesus promises that He will vindicate His people and make sure that their persecutors recognize they are wrong, and that Jesus and His followers are right.
The thought is of vindication before self-righteous “spiritual” persecutors. God promises that the church in Philadelphia will be vindicated before their persecutors.
God promised Israel that Gentiles would honor them and acknowledge their God (Isaiah 45:14). Now the tables are somewhat turned, and these Jewish people “will play the role of the heathen and acknowledge that the church is the Israel of God.” (Mounce)
Is 45:14 -Thus says the Lord: "The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush And of the Sabeans, men of stature, Shall come over to you, and they shall be yours; They shall walk behind you, They shall come over in chains; And they shall bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, 'Surely God is in you, And there is no other; There is no other God.' "
Is 60:14 - 14 Also the sons of those who afflicted you Shall come bowing to you, And all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet; And they shall call you The City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Psalms 23:5 - You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Paul was taught by other disciples.
If we wait upon the Lord you will see upside down change in their heart.
Matt 28:19-20 - 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Never accept anybodies worship.
It isn’t Christians who are being worshipped, but God is being worshipped in the presence of Christians.
Are we allowed to accept worship? NO
Acts 10:25-26 - 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself am also a man."
Acts 14:8-18 - 8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked. 11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." 18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.
1 Cor 14:24-25 - 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
Is Angels are allowed to accepted the worship? NO
Rev 19:10 - And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Is Jesus is allowed to worship? Yes because He is God. Only God accept our worship. So we are allowed to worship only Our Almighty GOD.
Matt 4:10 - Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "
Phil 2:10-11 - 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
The test is directed against those who dwell on the earth. This phrase is used nine times in the Book of Revelation, and it speaks of those who are not saved in Jesus.
Isa 51:6 - Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.
Lu 21:35 - For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Rev 3:10 - Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Rev 11:10 - And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Rev 12:12 - Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
Rev 13:8 - All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:12 - And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Rev 13:14 - And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
Rev 14:6 - Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people--
Rev 17:2 - with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."
Rev 17:8 - The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 makes the term synonymous with the lost: And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. This test is for unbelievers, not Christians.
Those who dwell on the earth “refers not to believers but to unbelievers who are objects of God’s wrath” throughout Revelation. (Johnson)
Christians are different. Though we walk on this earth, our dwelling place is in heaven. We have been seated in heavenly places in Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). We do not dwell on the earth, our life is hidden in Jesus (Colossians 3:3).
Does this promise to keep you from the hour of trial imply an escape before the Great Tribulation? Or does it promise protection in it? Each side believes this passage easily supports their position.
Those who believe the church will be here on earth during this time of Great Tribulation focus on Jesus’ command to persevere, and say the context demands seeing this as protection that enables the faithful to persevere in the period.
Those who believe that Jesus will come for His church before this time of Great Tribulation note that protection is promised from the very hour of trial, not just the trial itself. They also point to the worldwide, inescapable cataclysm predicted in the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21 and Revelation chapters 6, 8-9, 16).
However, persevere is in the past tense, showing it is something that the Christians had already done before the hour of trial, which has not yet come upon the world. The promise is a reward for past perseverance, not the equipping to persevere in the future. “As far as the Philadelphian church was concerned, the rapture of the church was presented to them as an imminent hope.” (Walvoord)
In addition, the ones tested by this hour of trial are not primarily believers, but those who dwell on the earth - whose home is this earth, who are not citizens of heaven
Phil 3:20 - For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Read Rev 2:22 Great Tribulation section for details.
11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
Behold, I am coming quickly: First, the church at Philadelphia must remember that Jesus is coming quickly, and they must prepare for His coming.
“The expression ‘quickly’ is to be understood as something which is sudden and unexpected, not necessarily immediate.” (Walvoord)
Hold fast what you have: The church at Philadelphia must not depart from its solid foundation, as described in Revelation 3:8:
Evangelistic opportunity (I have set before you an open door)
Reliance on God (You have a little strength)
Faithfulness to Jesus (have kept My word, and have not denied My name) These things can and must continue among the church in Philadelphia, but it will only happen as they hold fast what they have.
That no one may take your crown: If they fail to hold fast, their crown might be given to another. The idea is not that it might be stolen by another, but given.
This is not a crown of royalty, given because of royal birth. This is a crown of victory. Jesus encourages His saints to finish their course with victory, to “play the second half” just as strongly as they “played the first half.”
“Never forget that the man most likely to steal your crown is yourself. ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life’ (Proverbs 4:23). You are in no greater danger from anyone or anything than from yourself.” (Havner)
Prov 4:23 - Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life
NLT Prov 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
Jesus's -ve Comments: Nothing
Jesus Addresses to All:
12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
He who overcomes
Read Rev 2:7 comments.
I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God,
Overcomers are told that they will be as a pillar in the temple of My God. Pillars were pictures of strength, stability, and dignified beauty.
The ancient city of Philadelphia suffered from frequent earthquakes. When a building collapsed in an earthquake often all that remained were the huge pillars.
The pillar holds up the building. The only thing supporting the pillar is the foundation.
Since there is no temple in Heaven as in Rev 21:23 it represent that that they walk with Him closely.
Rev 21:22 - No temple could be seen in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
Gal 2:9 - In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they continued their work with the Jews.
This shows the close intimacy with God always.
and he shall go out no more
The overcomer will have a place of permanence and stability with God, in contrast to an uncertain place in this world.
“The citizens of Philadelphia lived an unsettled and tremulous life. Whenever the earthquake tremors came, and they came often, the people of Philadelphia fled from the city out into the open country, to escape the falling masonry and the flying stones which accompanied a severe earthquake shock. Then, when the earth was quiet again, they returned. In their fear the people of Philadelphia were always going out and coming in; they were always fleeing from the city and then returning to it.” (Barclay)
No more Moves/Transfers we stay in one place especially stay closer to God always.
And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
The overcomer also receives many names - of God, the New Jerusalem, and the new name of Jesus. These names are marks of identification because they show who we belong to.. They are marks of intimacy, because it shows we are privileged to know Him in ways others are not.
This works together well with the image of a pillar. In the ancient world, having a special inscribed pillar added to one of the temples sometimes honored a faithful city servant or distinguished priest. “Philadelphia honored its illustrious sons by putting their names on the pillars of its temples, so that all who came to worship might see and remember.” (Barclay)
Jesus offers us this same strength, to remain standing in Him when everything around us crumbles.
True pillars in the church support the church, and they look to Jesus as their support foundation
God would honor them.
They also bear His name.
13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '
Read Rev 2:7 comments.
Look at the features of the church in Philadelphia:
God provided Opportunity (I have set before you an open door)
Their faith produces work (I know your works)
Reliance on God (You have a little strength)
Faithfulness to Jesus (have kept My word, and have not denied My name)
In some ways, these features seem “unspectacular.” They should be commonplace among churches. Yet Jesus was completely pleased with this church. He has nothing negative to say to the church at Philadelphia.
“The church of Philadelphia is commended for keeping the Word of the Lord and not denying His Name. Success in Christian work is not to be measured by any other standard of achievement. It is not rise in ecclesiastical position. It is not the number of new buildings which have been built through a man’s ministry. It is not the crowds that flock to listen to any human voice. All of these things are frequently used as yardsticks of success, but they are earthly and not heavenly measures.” (Barnhouse)
They had two obstacle:
They are week in strength
They face opposition of the Jews in the city.
He provides/creates opportunity for them - 3:8
He would take care of the enemies - 3:9. If we take care of God's work He will take care of our battles.
He would keep them from the Great Tribulation - 3:10, 11
God would honor them.
His people are pillars. Since there is no temple in Heaven as in Rev 21:23 it represent that that they walk with Him closely.
They also bear His name.
Church of Laodiceans
14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write
Angel is messenger/Pastor/Leaders of the church
Read Angel section notes in Rev 1:20
The message is to all churches - Rev 2:7.
Church in Laodiceans:
Laodicea is south of Philadelphia. See the map.
Compare this church title with other six church titles that Jesus addresses in KJV and NKJV.
Jesus address to the church of the Laodiceans not Laodicea (Revelation 3:14). For the other churches, it was the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1) or the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8) or the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1). But here, it is the church of the Laodiceans.
As He addressed Laodicea means either "People ruling" or "the judgment of the people".
Read Nicolaitans section notes in Rev 2:6
Laos - means People
Dicea - means Democratic
Laodicea was an important, wealthy city, with a significant Jewish population.
Like other cities in the region, it was a center for Caesar worship and the worship of the healing god Asklepios. There was a famous temple of Asklepios in Laodicea, with a more famous medical school connected with the temple.
After an earthquake devastated the region in 60 a.d. Laodicea refused Imperial help in rebuilding the city, successfully relying on their own resources. They didn’t need outside help, they didn’t ask for it, and they didn’t want it. “Laodicea was too rich to accept help from anyone. Tacitus, the Roman historian, tells us: ‘Laodicea arose from the ruins by the strength of her own resources, and with no help from us.’” (Barclay)
Laodicea was also a noted commercial center, and some of its goods were exported all over the world. “It is frequently noted that Laodicea prided itself on three things: financial wealth, an extensive textile industry, and a popular eye-salve which was exported around the world.” (Mounce)
Eye Salve: (Taken from Wikipedia.) A salve is a medical ointment used to soothe the head or other body surface. A popular eye medicine known as "Phrygian powder" was one of Laodicea's sources of wealth. The medical school at Laodicea was famous for the preparation and use of this eye salve.
Their main water supply came on a six-mile aqueduct (artificial channel/cannel for conducting water from a distance, usually by means of gravity.) from the hot springs of Hierapolis. Because the water came from hot springs, it arrived unappetizingly lukewarm.
One of their problems was a poor water supply that made Laodicea vulnerable to attack through siege. If an enemy army surrounded the city, they had insufficient water supplies in the city, and the supplies coming into the city could be easily cut off. Therefore, the leaders of Laodicea were always accommodating to any potential enemy, and always wanted to negotiate and compromise instead of fight.
The church at Laodicea is mentioned by Paul - in a somewhat unfavorable light - in Colossians 2:1 and 4:16.
Col 2:1 - 1 I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other friends who have never known me personally. 2 My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God's secret plan, which is Christ himself.
Col 4:16 - After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them.
'These things says the Amen,
Jesus is the Amen, the “so be it,” the “it is done.” As 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, For all the promises of God in Him are “Yes,” and in Him “Amen.” Jesus is “the personification and the affirmation of the truth of God.” (Barclay)
2 Cor 1:20 - For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
Amen is one of the title in Old Testament for God
Is 65:16 - So that he who blesses himself in the earth Shall bless himself in the God of truth (amen 27, truth 2, so be it 1); And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My eyes.
In our prayer when we ask according to His will He will say Amen and prove that He is Amen.
1 John 5:14-15 - 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
the Faithful and True Witness,
Read "The faithful witness" section in the Rev 1:5 notes.
Witness is also the word for a Martyr
He came as a witness to reveal the nature of the father.
Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness, and this is a contrast to the Laodiceans, who will be shown to be neither faithful nor true.
the Beginning of the creation of God:
The idea behind the word for beginning [the ancient Greek word arche] is that of a “ruler, source, or origin,” not of first in a sequential order. This verse does not teach that Jesus was the first being created, but that He is the ruler, source, and origin of all creation. It has the idea of first in prominence more than first in sequence.
NIV: Rev 3:14 - "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.
NLT: Rev 3:14 - "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen – the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation:
John 1:3- All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Col 1:15-18 - 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
In no way does the title firstborn indicate that Jesus is less than God. In fact, the ancient Rabbis called Yawhew Himself “Firstborn of the World” (Rabbi Bechai, cited in Lightfoot). Ancient rabbis used firstborn as a Messianic title: “God said, As I made Jacob a first-born (Exodus 4:22), so also will I make king Messiah a first-born (Psalm 89:28).” (R. Nathan in Shemoth Rabba, cited in Lightfoot)
Exodus 4:22 - Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord: "Israel is My son, My firstborn
Psalm 89:27 - 26 He shall cry to Me, 'You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.' 27 Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. 29 His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.
He began all creation
"He is the beginning" but "not He had beginning"
He is pre-eminent overall creation.
Jesus's -ve Comments:
15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth
I know your works,
For more details about work read notes in Rev 2:2
that you are neither cold nor hot:
Rev 2:16a - So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot
What is cold really means?
This Greek word psychros (5593) is used in 4 place in the Bible. Three time in Rev 3:15 & 16 and one in Matt 10:42
This means 1) cold, cool a) of cool water
Cold water quenches the thirst.
Matt 10:42 - 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. 40 "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."
Using as a metaphor 2) a) cold i.e. sluggish (not acting or working with full vigor), inert (inactive or sluggish by habit or nature) b) in mind: of one destitute (lacking) of warm Christian faith and the desire for holiness
Cold body represent deadness in other words dead body become frozen because of the lack of blood circulation.
Spiritually cold represent spiritual death. Equivalent to a non-believer or completely not believing in Jesus at all.
Matt 24:12 - And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
What is hot really means?
This Greek word zestos (2200) is used in three times in the Bible. All these three times are in Rev 3:15 & 16.
This means 1) boiling hot, hot
Hot water heals
Using as metaphor 2) . of fervour of mind an zeal
Derived from root Greek word zeō (2204) which means to boil with heat, be hot or metaphor fervent in spirit, said of zeal for what is good
Acts 18:25 - This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.
Romans 12:11 - not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Matthew 3:11 - I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Luke 3:16 - John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Our physical body when we are alive it maintains our body temperature. The commonly accepted average core body temperature is 37.0 °C (98.6 °F).
Spiritually hot represent the spiritual life. Equivalent to believing and following Jesus with fire/zeal for the Lord.
Luke 24:32 - And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"
This picture of lukewarmness would immediately strike the Christians of Laodicea because the water they drank every day was lukewarm.
Jesus says “Just as the water you drink is disgustingly lukewarm, you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot.”.
I could wish that you were cold or hot also points to another aspect of lukewarmness, as a picture of uselessness. “Hot water heals, cold water refreshes, but lukewarm water is useless for either purpose.” (Morris)
Be a useful tool either like cold water that quenches the thirst or hot water that heals the body but do not be a useless like lukewarm water.
Interpreting as a Metaphor:
Luke 14:25-35 - 25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-- 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. 34 "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Is Jesus literally asking us to hate everyone surrounding us to follow/love him? Absolutely No. If our answer is yes then what He says below is contradiction. So He wants us to love Him FIRST if anyone comes between this then we need to forsake them and follow Him.
Matt 6:43-44 - 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you
God can convict us or reach out us and if we are spiritually dead/cold. God can use us if we are in hot/fire for the Lord. He do not want us to be in between ie lukewarm state.
Does Jesus mean to say that these Christians are intrinsically cold, but warmed up by their religious trappings?
Or, that they are essentially hot, but cooled down by their apathy and self-reliance?
Both are possible, but since He is talking to His church, there is an emphasis on the later.
Satan will have us any way he can get us, but he prizes(rewards) a lukewarm religionist far above a cold-hearted sinner.
What is Lukewarm means here?
In this spiritual sense, lukewarmness is a picture of indifference and compromise.
It tries to play the middle, too hot to be cold and too cold to be hot. But in trying to be both things, it ends up being nothing.
Lukewarm Heart. It creates the form of Godliness but are Spiritually dead and ritually active.
If we are lukewarm then God cannot communicate with us because we think and live as if we are spiritually good, we are self righteous, compromising His teaching, we have enough so we do not need Him,.....
Matt 6:24 - "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Lukewarmness leads to our Fallen Natures:
We might even say that lukewarmness is the natural tendency of our fallen natures. “Alas, this state of lukewarmness is so congenial with human nature that it is hard to fetch men from it. Cold makes us shiver, and great heat causes us pain, but a tepid[tep-id]/lukewarm hath is comfort itself. Such a temperature suits human nature. The world is always at peace with a lukewarm church, and such a church is always pleased with itself.” (Spurgeon)
Lukewarmness leads to Pretending Lifestyle:
Acts 5:1-11 - 1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. 7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?" She said, "Yes, for so much." 9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
Rom 12:8-9 - 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Lukewarm prayers mock God:
“O my brethren and sisters, have you ever really thought what an insult it is to God when we come before him with lukewarm prayers? There stands the heavenly mercy-seat; the road to it is sprinkled with the precious blood of Jesus, yet we come to it with hearts that are cold, or we approach it leaving our hearts behind us. We kneel in the attitude of prayer, yet we do not pray. We prattle (babble) out certain words, we express thoughts, which are not our real desires, we feign ([feyn] pretend) wants that we do not feel. Do we not thus degrade the mercy-seat? We make it, as it were, a common lounging-place, rather than an awful wrestling-place, once besprinkled with blood, and often to be besprinkled with the sweat of our fervent supplication.” (Spurgeon)
Lukewarmness leads to Empty Religion:
Has there been a greater curse upon the earth than empty religion?
Is there any soul harder to reach than the one who has just enough of Jesus to think they have enough?
The church of Laodicea exemplifies empty religion, and tax collectors and harlots were more open to Jesus than the scribes and Pharisees.
Lukewarmness run by Majority rule instead of lead by God:
The name Laodicea means “rule of the people.” This church well represents a church run by majority rule instead of God. “Its name designates it as the Church of mob rule, the democratic Church, in which everything is swayed and decided by popular opinion, clamor (a loud uproar, as from a crowd of people, a vehement expression of desire or dissatisfaction) and voting.” (Seiss)
1 Sam 15:24 - 22 So Samuel said: "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king." 24 Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
Acts 27:9-25 - 9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, "Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives." 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there. 13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. 15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven. 18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship's tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. 21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.' 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
Read What is Church? section notes in Rev 1:20. Following are some portion taken from that.
Who is the head of the Church? - Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church:
Eph 1:22,23 - 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Col 1:18 - And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Who leads/direct the Church? Jesus Leads His Church according His Ways.
Acts 13:1-5 - 1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.
Who Oversees/administer the Church? - Jesus oversees the Church by appointing the leaders and commanded them to teach and disciple the new believer’s in Christ.
Eph 4:11 – And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Ac 20:28 – Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Qualifications to choose leaders are....
1 Cor 12:10 - to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
God Hates the deeds of Nicolaitans (conquering/ruling believers/people) . Read Nicolaitans section in Rev 2:6.
Lukewarm lives turn people away from Jesus:
“Now, lukewarm professor, what do worldliness see in you? They see a man, who says he is going to heaven, but who is only travelling at a snail’s pace. He professes to believe that there is a hell, yet he has tearless eyes, and never seeks to snatch souls from going down into the pit. They see before them one who has to deal with eternal realities, yet he is but half awake; one who professes to have passed through a transformation so mysterious and wonderful that there must be, if it is true, a vast change in the outward life as the result of it; yet they see him as much like themselves as can be. He may be morally consistent in his general behavior, but they see no energy in his religious character.” (Spurgeon)
Spurgeon described the lukewarm church. It is An Earnest Warning against Lukewarmness:
They have prayer-meetings, but there are few present, for they like quiet evenings home.
When more attend the meetings they are still very dull, for they do their praying very deliberately and are afraid of being too excited.
They are content to have all things done decently and in order, but vigor(energy, active strength or force) and zeal(enthusiastic diligence) are considered to be vulgar(indecent).
They may have schools, Bible-classes, preaching rooms, and all sorts of agencies; but they might as well be without them, for no energy is displayed and no good comes of them.
They have deacons and elders who are excellent pillars of the church, if the chief quality of pillars be to stand still, and exhibit no motion or emotion.
The pastor does not fly very far in preaching the everlasting gospel, and he certainly has no flame of fire in his preaching.
The pastor may be a shining light of eloquence, but he certainly is not a burning light of grace, setting men’s hearts on fire.
Everything is done in a half-hearted, listless, dead-and-alive way, as if it did not matter much whether it was done or not.
Things are respectably done, the rich families are not offended, the skeptical party is conciliated (to become agreeable or reconciled: Efforts to conciliate in the dispute proved fruitless. ), and the good people are not quite alienated: things are made pleasant all around.
The right things are done, but as to doing them with all your might, and soul, and strength, a Laodicean church has no notion of what that means.
They are not so cold as to abandon their work, or to give up their meetings for prayer, or to reject the gospel. “If they did so, then they could be convinced of their error and brought to repentance; but on the other hand they are neither hot for the truth, nor hot for conversions, nor hot for holiness, they are not fiery enough to burn the stubble of sin, nor zealous enough to make Satan angry, nor fervent enough to make a living sacrifice of themselves upon the altar of their God. They are ‘neither cold nor hot.’” (Spurgeon)
I could wish that you were cold or hot:
Literal interpretation of cold:
It’s as if Jesus says, “If you were hot or cold I could do something with you. But because you are neither, I will do nothing.” The lukewarm Christian has enough of Jesus to satisfy a craving for religion, but not enough for eternal life.
Metaphor interpretaion of cold:
The thief on the cross was cold towards Jesus and clearly saw his need.
The Apostle John was hot towards Jesus and enjoyed an intimate relationship of love.
But Judas was lukewarm, following Jesus enough to be considered a disciple, but not giving his heart over to Jesus in fullness.
But how could Jesus say, I could wish that you were cold?
We know His deepest desire is that they be hot, with an on-fire love for Him (Revelation 3:19, where the word zealous (diligent-NLT) is associated with this same word hot). Yet if they would not be hot, Jesus prefers cold rather than lukewarm. “So the Lord is saying, ‘If instead of being lukewarm, you were so cold that should feel that coldness, then the very feeling of your need might drive you to the true warmth, but now in your lukewarmness, you have just enough to protect yourselves against a feeling of need.’” (Barnhouse)
Rev 3:19 - As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous (Gk: zēloō 2206 derived from 2205 derived from 2204) and repent.
“The careless worldliness is lulled (to put to sleep or rest by soothing means: to lull a child by singing) to sleep by the lukewarm professor, who, in this respect, acts the part of the syren to the sinner, playing sweet music in his ears, and even helping to lure him to the rocks where he will be destroyed. This is a solemn matter, beloved. In this way, great damage is done to the cause of truth; and God’s name and God’s honor are compromised by inconsistent professors. I pray you either to give up your profession, or to be true to it. If you really are God’s people, then serve him with all your might; but if Baal be your god, then serve him. If the flesh be worth pleasing, then serve the flesh; but if God be Lord paramount, then cleave to him.” (Spurgeon)
I will vomit you out of My mouth:
Do not be lukewarm! Take it serious.
Ephesus Church: Rev 2:5 - Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
Pergamos Church: Rev 2:16 - Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth
Sardis Church: Rev 3:3 - Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you
How are churches in the mouth of Jesus?
He is head and we are His body.
Eph 4:15-16 - 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
They are still in the mouth because they didn't form His body.
What a terrible thing to be expelled from the mouth of Jesus!
Warning: Lukewarm Heart. It creates the form of Godliness but are Spiritually dead and ritually active.
Rev 3:16 - So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Warning: A Cold Heart:
Matt 24:12 - And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Warning: Jesus is outside their Church
What Jesus wants to change in them as well as in us?
Deep down, there is no one more miserable than the lukewarm Christian is. They have too much of the world to be happy in Jesus, but too much of Jesus to be happy in the world.
As much as anything is the deceptive playing of the middle, trying to please both the world and Jesus.
We need Jesus:
John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing
Be Filled with the Holy Spirit:
Eph 5:18 - 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Heart with Fire for the Lord:
Fervent in Spirit & Prayer and establish relationship with God:
Rom 12:11 - 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Col 4:12 - Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
God wants us 100% not 30%, 40% or 99.99%:
Mark 12:41-44 - 41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."
Matt 19:16-26 - 16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" 17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18 He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 19 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " 20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
2 Cor 8:5 - And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.
1 Cor 7:18-24 - 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord's freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ's slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.
Eph 6: 5-9 - 5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Matt 6:33-34 - 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--
Because you say, “I am rich and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing.”
The Laodiceans put their trust in material prosperity, in outward luxury, and in physical health. They felt like they didn’t need anything. “The loss of a sense of need, as the drowsiness that besets a freezing man, is fatal.” (Newell)
The church at Laodicea are the opposite of blessed are the poor in spirit as Jesus said in Matthew 5:3.
Matt 5:3 - "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“The cause of Christ has been hurt more by Sunday-morning bench-warmers who pretend to love Christ, who call Him Lord but do not keep His commands, than by all the publicans and sinners.” (Havner)
And do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked:
This isn’t just the opinion of Jesus. Spiritually speaking, they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. What Jesus sees in them is more important than how they see themselves. The church in Smyrna thought they were poor when they were really rich (Revelation 2:9), but the church of the Laodiceans believe they are rich when they are really poor.
Symarna is Rich but says poor: Rev 2:9 - I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
The city of Laodicea was famous for its wealth, but the Christians of the city were spiritually wretched, miserable, and poor. Laodicea was famous for its healing eye salve, but the Christians of the city wasn’t spiritually poor - but they were spiritually blind. Laodicea was famous for its fine clothing, but the Christians of the city were spiritually naked.
We might say that it all began with their spiritual blindness. If you are blind, you can’t look at yourself and see that you are wretched, miserable, poor . . . and naked. Mental darkness is worse than a loss of sight; but a loss of spiritual vision is even worse.
“The Laodiceans are typical of the modern world, which revels in that which the natural eye can see but is untouched by the gospel and does not see beyond the veil of the material to the unseen and real eternal spiritual riches.” (Walvoord)
To be naked means to be defeated and humiliated
2 Sam 10:4 - 1 It happened after this that the king of the people of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. 2 Then David said, "I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. And David's servants came into the land of the people of Ammon. 3 And the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?" 4 Therefore Hanun took David's servants, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away.
Is 20:1-4 - 1 In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it, 2 at the same time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet." And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. 3 Then the Lord said, "Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia,
Is it wrong to be Rich and Wealthy?
Eg: Job, Abram - Gen 13:2, Joseph in Egypt, David, rich man Josep from Arimathea gave his tomb to bury Jesuss body - Matt 27:57, Zacchaeus - Luke 19:2, Cornelius in Acts 10
Proverbs 10:15 - The rich man's wealth is his strong city; The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
Proverbs 11:25 - The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.
Proverbs 13:4 - The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
Proverbs 13:7 - There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.
Proverbs 14:20 - The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends.
Proverbs 18:11 - The rich man's wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own esteem.
But it leads us to
put our trust in material prosperity and make us to say I need Nothing
Stay not depend on anyone (independent)
Lukewarmness or Comfort zone
Eg: Sodom & Gomorrah, Salomon in later days, Rich man in Matt 19:24
Proverbs 22:7 - The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:16 - He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.
Proverbs 28:6 - Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Richness blinds their eyes:
Proverbs 28:11 - The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding searches him out.
Ecclesiastes 5:12 - The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.
Matthew 19:24 - And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Luke 12:16-21 - 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' 18 So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." ' 20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' 21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
(NIV: "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
NLT: "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.")
Who is common for both rich and poor?
Proverbs 22:2 - The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.
Who gives the richness?
Proverbs 10:22 - The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
How to handle richness?
Jeremiah 9:23 - Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
James 1:9-10 - 9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away
Proverbs 23:4 - Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!
1 Tim 6:6-12 - 6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Tim 6:17-19 - 17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life
What to ask God?
Prov 30:7-9 - 7 Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): 8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches-- Feed me with the food allotted to me; 9 Lest I be full and deny You, And say, "Who is the Lord?" Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.
Matt 6:19-34 - 19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. 25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The contrasts are shocking:
Between what they think they are and what they really are.
Between what they see and what Jesus sees.
Between the wealth and affluence of their city and their own spiritual bankruptcy.
Ponder for a moment: What do you think about you? and What Jesus Christ will say about you?
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
I counsel you to buy from Me
How can we buy these things from Jesus?
We don’t earn them through our good works. Instead, Jesus would say, “All this self-sufficiency must be expended in the our of getting from Me (Jesus) these absolute necessaries.” (Alford)
The change in the Laodiceans had to begin with understanding their spiritual poverty. As long as we believe we can meet the need for wealth, clothing, or sight ourselves, we can never receive them from Jesus. We must seek these things from Jesus instead of relying on ourselves.
Following are the items they need to buy freely form Jesus Christ.
Is 55:1-3 - 1 "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you-- The sure mercies of David.
gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich;
If they will receive from Jesus His riches, His gold - beautifully refined in the fire - then they may be rich.
God gives us Faith to believe in Him when we open our heart/door which is precious than Gold we buy in the world.
1 Peter 1:7 - that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Read Rev 2:13 notes about My Faith.
Rev 2:13 - I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;
If they will receive from Jesus the pure, righteous covering He give, then they will be clothed, and no longer will the shame of your nakedness . . . be revealed. The merchants of Laodicea were famous for a glossy black wool they used to make beautiful garments. Jesus says, “I know the beautiful black that the world can clothe you in. But I have white garments, that you may be clothed.”
Righteous acts of God
Salvation: Christ Righteousness imputed - put to our account.
Sanctification - Christ Righteousness imparted - made a part of our character and conduct
Read Rev 3:4b section notes.
Rev 3:4-5 - 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
If they will receive from Jesus the healing of their spiritual sight, they will then be able to see.
Who blinds your Spiritual eye and who opens your eye?
2 Cor 4:4-6 - 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
John 9:6,11,17,25,30,31,22,35-38 - 6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.... 11 He answered and said, "A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed, and I received sight."... 17 They said to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet.".... 25 He answered and said, "Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see."... 30 The man answered and said to them, "Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.... 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing."... 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" 36 He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" 37 And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you." 38 Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.
2 Samuel 22:29 - "For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.
Ezra 9:8 - And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage.
Psalms 13:3 - Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Psalms 18:28 - For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
Faith, Righteousness, Enlightening of our Spiritual eye:
These are non believers most probably born for Christian family and slowly inherited the church not from God but from their parents.
These are the things new believers has to buy/receive from Jesus Christ instead of earning it.
In other words born again believers receive these things when they born again.
There is no reference pointing that these people were once believer and have backslidden except verse 20. The Love in that verse in Greek is Phileo means intense personal affection, blood relationship not the Greek word Agapao used for love in Heb 12:6 for His Children.
Or may be once born again believers but completely backslidden and now doesn't have any relationship with Jesus Christ.
In this case they need to renew their faith by going through the trials with the help of God and grown in Faith refined in fire.
God is always there to give His robe of righteousness by reconciling with them.
God is always there to give His eye ointment to open our Spiritual eye.
2 Peter 1:2-10 - 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.
With such a sharp rebuke, has Jesus lost His love for this errant church?
Not at all. Jesus’ great love is expressed in His rebuke. “It is, in fact, God’s final punishment to leave a man alone.” (Barclay)
The word for love in as many as I love is not agape, but phileo. Jesus’ heart to this church is, “Even though I rebuke you and chasten you, I am still your friend. I love you deeply as My friend.” “Yet upon a church that has sunk so low as Laodicea, the risen Lord still showers His love.” (Barnhouse)
“The word here used for ‘love’ is a very choice one; it is one which signifies an intense personal affection.” (Spurgeon)
“We must look through the anger of his correction to the sweetness of his loving countenance; as by a rainbow we see the beautiful image of the sun’s light in the midst of a dark and waterish cloud.” (Trapp)
“God had one Son without corruption, but none without correction.” (Trapp)
The Love in this verse in Greek is Phileo means intense personal affection, blood relationship not the Greek word Agapao used for love in Heb 12:6 for His Children. Like how God rebuked Nineveh by sending Jonah similarly He rebukes these inherited ritualistic so called Christians. Or He is rebuking them as friend, that some/most of these may be backslidden lukewarm/useless Christians.
Prov 3:11-12 - 11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Heb 12:5-11 - 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves (Agapao) He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Rebuke can also demonstrate a pastor’s love. “How many preachers love their saints enough to risk their resentment by obeying 2 Timothy 4:2: reprove, rebuke?” (Newell)
2 Tim 4:2 - Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching
Therefore be zealous and repent.
He commands them to make a decision to repent, and to continue in zeal. “Turn your way,” Jesus says. “Don’t look to your own riches and resources, because they are really bankrupt. Turn around and look to Me.”
The ancient Greek word zealous comes from the same word as hot in Revelation 3:16. Though Jesus detests their lukewarmness, He would really have them be hot with zeal rather than cold.
“When you and I shall be stretched upon our dying beds, I think we shall have to regret, above everything else, our coldness of heart. Among the many sins . . . perhaps this will lie the heaviest upon our heart and conscience, ‘I did not live as I ought to have done; I was not as earnest in my Lord’s cause as I should have been.’ Then will our cold sermons, like sheeted ghosts, march before our eyes in dread array. Then will our neglected days start up, each one seeming to wave its hair as though it were one of the seven furies, and to look right into our hearts, and make our very blood curdle in our veins.” (Spurgeon)
We need to make our life following Jesus, not just a hobby or an occasional activity. This goes against the spirit of our age, which was long ago expressed by a famous Englishman when he read a sermon by G.W.E. Russell: “Things have come to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade the sphere of private life.” (English statesman William Lamb [1779-1848])
Trapp, on the believer’s repentance: “This is the rainbow, which if God seeth shining in our hearts, he will never drown our souls.”
Are you child of God or not (illegitimate child)?
Are you a Pastor/Leader/Parent? Do you love your saints or children enough to risk their resentment (the feeling of displeasure) by reproving/convincing, and rebuking them?
Is your heart zealous or fire for the Lord?
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
Jesus gives to this lukewarm church The Great Invitation. He knocks at the door, asking entry to come and dine with us, in the sense of sharing warm, intimate time. It only happens as we respond to His knock, but the promise is made to all: If anyone hears my voice.
The idea of Jesus at the door applies to the sinner and to the saint just the same. Jesus wants to come in to us, and dine with us, in the sense of having a deep, intimate relationship.
I stand at the door: Sadly, Jesus stands on the outside, knocking to get in. If the church at Philadelphia was “The Church of the Open Door,” then the church at Laodicea is “The Church of the Shut Out Jesus.”
This statement of Jesus expresses a profound mystery. Why does Jesus stand outside the door? Why does He knock? Why does He wait until someone opens the door? Doesn’t He have every right to break down the door, or enter some other way on His own accord? But He doesn’t. The sovereign, omnipotent Jesus has condescended to work out His eternal plan by wooing the cooperation of the human heart.
“The occupant must open the door. That is, he must repent of his pride and self-sufficiency, his human wisdom, and his cowardly neutrality.” (Morris)
“Christ stands - waits long, at the door of the sinner’s heart; he knocks - uses judgments, mercies, reproofs, exhortations, to induce sinners to repent and turn to him; he lifts up his voice - calls loudly by his word, ministers, and Spirit.” (Clarke)
Jesus comes to the door as the lover in the Song of Solomon. This is similar to - or perhaps a quotation of -
Song of Solomon 5:2The Shulamite I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, "Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night."
The key to opening the door is to first hear His voice. When we give attention to what Jesus says, then we can be rescued from our own lukewarmness and enter into a “zealous” relationship with Him.
Notice that Jesus gives the call to individuals. He didn’t say, “If any church,” but if anyone. “We must not talk about setting the church right, we must pray for grace each one for himself, for the text does not say, ‘If the church will open the door,’ but ‘If any man hear my voice and open the door.’ It must be done by individuals: the church will only get right by each man getting right.” (Spurgeon)
I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me
What a glorious promise! If we open the door, He will come in. He won’t ring the bell and run away. He promises to come in, and then to dine with the believer.
When Jesus says dine with him, He speaks of a specific meal known as the deipnon. “The deipnon was the main meal of the day and was a leisurely affair, not a hurried snack.” (Morris) This speaks of fellowship. This speaks of a depth to the relationship.
“Supper (deipnon) was the main meal of the day. This was the meal at which a man sat and talked for long, for now there was time, for work was ended . . . it is not a mere courtesy visit, paid in the passing, which Jesus Christ offers to us. He desires to come in and to sit long with us, and to wait as long as we wish him to wait.” (Barclay)
This is where Jesus wants us, in the place of fellowship with Him. Everything He said to the Laodicean church up to this point must be seen in light of this loving desire for fellowship. “Rebuke and chastisement are no signs of rejection from Christ, but of His abiding and pleading love, even to the lukewarm and careless.” (Alford)
2 Cor 13:5 - Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.
KJV: 2 Cor 13:5 - Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves . Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?
NIV: 2 Cor 13:5 - 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?
Open your heart for Jesus and spend time with Him.
Jesus Addresses to All:
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." ' "
To him who overcomes
Read Rev 2:7 comments.
Jesus’ promise to the overcomer, even at Laodicea, shows that we don’t have to be Christians who are compromising and lukewarm. If we are, we can change and become one of Jesus’ overcomers.
I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Those who overcome the battle against indifference, compromise, and self-reliance, receive a special reward. They enjoy a place with the enthroned Jesus (as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne).
“This is the worst of the seven Churches, and yet the most eminent of all the promises are made to it, showing that the worst may repent, finally conquer, and attain even to the highest state of glory.” (Clarke)
The overcomer is promised that he will share the glory of Christ's throne and reign with Him over the millennial earth. Those who follow Him in humility, rejection and suffering will also follow Him in glory.
“Jesus has conquered, and is set down with the Father on the Father’s throne; he who conquers through Christ sits down with Christ upon his throne: but Christ’s throne and the throne of the Father is the same; and it is on this same throne that those who are faithful unto death are finally to sit! How astonishing is this state of exaltation! The dignity and grandeur of it who can conceive?” (Clarke)
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." ' "
Read Rev 2:7 comments.
Taken From New Believer's Commentary: Whatever interpretation we take of the book of Revelation, it is undeniable that the church of Laodicea presents a vivid picture of the age in which we live.
Luxury-Living abounds on every hand while souls are dying for want of the gospel.
Christians are wearing crowns instead of bearing a cross.
We become more emotionally stirred over sports , politics, or television than we do over Christ.
There is little sense of Spiritual need. little longing for true revival.
We give the best of our lives to the business world, then turn over the remnants of a wasted career to the Savior.
We cater to our bodies which in short years will return to dust.
We accumulate instead to forsake, lay up treasures on earth instead of in heaven.
The general attitude is "Nothing too good for the people of God. If I don't pamper myself who will? let's get ahead in the world and give our spare evenings to the Lord"
This is our condition on the eve of Christ's Return.
Same thing Jesus said:
Matt 24:35-39 - 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
So be zealous for the Lord and be ready watching for His coming.
Prophetically these Churches represent the Church Age/Period (From the Church start to it's rapture/end)... (Note: Following dates are approximate.)
Ephesus church represent churches during 32 - 150AD. Churches during and little after Apostolic period.
Smyrna church represent churches during 151 - 311AD. Their 10 days prison represent persecution during 155AD.
Pergamos church represent churches during 312 - 600AD. This is Constantine period and later.
Thyatira church represent a particular group of churches or group denominations during 601AD - Till Now. As per the meaning of the name and the strong hold of a leader it represent present day Catholic Church (Read notes 2:18,22, 25)
Sardis church represent a group of churches or group of denominations during 1500AD - Till Now. This represent all fundamental or traditional Protestant churches or denominations.
Philadelphia church represent a group of churches or group of denominations during 1793AD - Till Now. This represent those churches allow our God Almighty Jesus Christ to lead them. This includes most present day active Evangelical churches lead by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Laodicea church represent a group of churches or group of denominations during 1900AD - Till Now. This represent those churches doesn't allow our God Almighty Jesus Christ to lead them. This includes most present day churches run as a organization or business or user friendly churches that focuses on people and their money by ignoring the dependency on God.
In which church Jesus said that your deeds/works are not complete? - Rev 3:2
In which church few believers not defiled their garments? - Rev 3:4
What are the precious assurance/promise Jesus gave to believers who were not defiled their garments? - Rev 3:5
To whom Jesus kept the open door? Why? - Rev 3:8
To which church Jesus promised rapture before Great Tribulation? - Rev 3:10
Which church does not get any bad or -ve comments from Jesus? - Rev 3:7-13
What is the meaning of Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea?
Sardis means escaping, renovation, remnant or reformation.
Philadelphia means brotherly Love.
Laodicea means "People ruling" or "the judgment of the people".
Laos - means People
Dicea - means Democratic
To which church Jesus warned that He will vomit them if they didn't repent? - Rev 3:16
Which church is neither cold nor hot? - Rev 3:15-16
Which church is called lukewarm church? - Rev 3:15-16
To which church Jesus offered to buy from Him Gold (Faith), white garment (God's Righteousness) and eye ointment (His Revelation)?
In which church Jesus was outside? - Rev 3:20
Prophetically which Churches still exist till now and until rapture? - Rev 3:3 & 10,11
As we review the last three messages to the churches, we can see the dangers that still exist for the people of God.
Like Sardis, we may have name that we are alive, but at the same time we are dead in the sight of Jesus Christ doing some work which Jesus didn't even ask us to do or we started the given work with the zeal and later on not working towards completion. Do not loose heart Jesus is there to help us
Phil 1:6 - being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Like Laodicea, we may have the form of godliness going regularly to church doing some work for God, say prayer ritually as a routine and have no relationship with the living God. But Jesus is there knocking at our heart and ready to establish intimate relationship with us.
Like Philadelphia, we may be tired of persecution/trial/offence by our enemies or friends due to envy/jealousy or through any means, but do not worry give these concerns to God. He is there to bring our enemies to us to reconcile with us - Rev 3:9.
(Would we have selected Philadelphia as the most Spiritual church of the three? Probably not because they were not rich or have spectacular name, yet the Lord did!)
God's exhortation to these churches [except Philadelphia] is Repent! change your minds and turn to him! It is not only lost sinners who need to repent, but also disobedient backslidden Christians.
If we do not repent and deal with sin in our lives and in our assemblies, the Lord may vomit us (Rev 3:5, 16) How tragic it is when a local church gradually abandons the faith and loses its witness for Christ!
So do not loose heart Jesus is there knocking at our heart and ready to establish intimate relationship with us. Turn to him and open your heart to Him and develop the intimate relationship with Him.