Sardis – 7 Churches of Revelation

SARDIS
Study Guide & Cross Reference!


"You are Dead!"
"Wake Up!"
"Incomplete Works"
"Come Like a Thief"
"Soiled Garments"
"White Robes"
"Book of Life"

 

7 Churches Gallery & Links:

Virtual Tour / Big Picture
Revelation  Chapters 1-3, One Collective Vision!

 

JESUS in the MIDST of 7 LAMPSTANDS - Revelation Ch. 1

EPHESUS
SMYRNA
PERGAMUM
THYATIRA

PATTERNS of the 7 CHURCHES
SUMMARY of the 7 Churches

SARDIS
Revelation Chapter 3:1-6
Hover over Cross-reference


1 “& to the angel of the church in Sardis write:


"to the Angel..."

Each Letter to ALL 7 Churches is Addressed to the Angel of that Church: Rev 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 7, 14.
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:1
➥  Smyrna - Rev 2:8
➥ Pergamum - 2:12
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:18
➥ Sardis - Rev 3:1
➥ Philadelphia - Rev 3:7
➥  Laodicea - Rev 3:14
("angle" appears 64 times in Revelation, aggelos Strongs G32.
Use of Angel in the rest of Revelation - Rev 1:1, 2, 20, 3:5, 5:2, 11, 7:1-2, 11, 8:2-13, 9:1, 11, 13-15, 10:1-10, 11:15, 12:7, 9, 14:6-10, 15-19, 15:1, 6-8)
(Angel or Angels appears 294 times in the Bible, Heb 1:6-7, 14, Heb 2:2, Rev 14:6-12, Exo 3:2, 14:19, 23:20-23, 32:34, 33:2, 2 Kin 6:17)


‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God & the seven stars.


("7 Spirits" Rev 1: 4, 3:1, 4:5-6)

Jesus is the Speaker
& His Description Refers back to Ch 1 & Foward to Future Visions

In ALL 7 Letters to the Churches, Jesus is the Speaker & Provides a Brief Reference back to the description of Himself in the 1st Vision of Chapter 1 & foward to other descriptions of Himself in visions in latter chapters.
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:1 quoting Rev 1:12-13, 16, 20
➥  Smyrna - Rev 2:8 quoting Rev 1:17, 22:13
➥ Pergamum - Rev 2:12 quoting Rev 1:16, 2:16, 19:15, 21
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:18 quoting Rev 1:14, 15, 19:12
➥ Sardis - Rev 3:1 quoting Rev 1:4, 4:5-6, Rev 1:16, 20
➥ Philadelphia - Rev 3:7 quoting Rev 1:18
➥  Laodicea - Rev 3:14 quoting Rev 1:5, 19:11, 21:6


“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.


"I know..."

In ALL 7 Letters, Jesus expresses complete Awareness of the 7 Churches condition, good and lacking when He says to each, "I Know..."
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:2
➥  Smyrna - Rev 2:9
➥ Pergamum - 2:13
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:19
➥ Sardis - Rev 3:1
➥ Philadelphia - Rev 3:8
➥  Laodicea - Rev 3:22
Revelation 2:23 - I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.
This gives deeper understand the meaning of the words,  Jesus "walks in the midst of the 7 golden lampstands" Rev 1:12-13, Rev 2:1.


WORKS & the 7 Churches

Strong's G2041 "Ergon,"  appears 176 times and is translated work (152x), deed (22x), doing (1x), labour (1x).
"Ergon" appears 19 times in Revelation!
"Ergon" appears 11 times to the 7 Churches: Rev 2:2, 5-6, 19, 22-23, 26, 3:1, 2, 8, 15 and 8 times following: Rev 9:20, 14:3, 15:3, 16:11, 18:6, 20:12-13, 22:12.

LOW "WORKS" 
Ephesus - Rev 2:4-5 "...you have abandoned the love you had at first.Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first."Love for Jesus is Equated to WORKS!
Rev 2:6 "you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate."

"NOT COMPLETE" "WORKS"
Sardis - Rev 3:1“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God."

"LUKEWARM" WORKS
Laodicea - Rev 3:15-16 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!" 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

"WORKS  EXCEED the 1st"
Thyatira  - "Works" mentioned 3 times!
Rev:2:19, "your latter works exceed the first."
Rev 2:23, "I will give to each of you according to your works."
Rev 2:26-29, Reward for Keeping Jesus' works until the end!

WORKS COMPLETE!
Philadelphia  “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.

The Corrupt Doctrines of "Once Saved always saved" & "Saved by Grace" is NOT compatible with Jesus' repeated consistent words Judging the Churches based on the level of their "Works!"
Is the Doctrine of compatible with Jesus' repeated consistent words to the Churches?
Brings new meaning to the words at James 2:17, "faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" & James 2:26, "so also faith apart from works is dead."
Jesus words to Ephesus also reinforces, "that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works" James 2:22. (For Context consider James 2:14-22)
Acts 26:20 - Repentance in connection with Deeds or Works
Just a couple of references to "Works" in the Bible: Titus 2:14, 3:8, 14, 1 Peter 2:11-12, 2 Peter 1:3-8, Eph 2:10.


The Biblical Definition & Meaning of Staying Awake!

" dead" "works" James 2:14-26, "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
What Pattern regarding "Works" do we see between Jesus' Letters to the 7 Churches of Revelation and James 2:14-26?
Milk Test & "repentance from dead works" - Hebrews 5:11-14, 6:1-3.
What are some of the "dead works" Jesus names to the 7 Churches of Revelation?

Here, works are also connected with strength and being awake. The Opposite is: Incomplete works would be equated to _______?
(sleeping)

"Wake up"
"Watchful" 1 Peter 5:8
"Wake from sleep" Romans 13:11-14.
Paul Equates "sleeping" with what "dead works." How are Paul's words and Jesus words to Sardis connecting sleep to dead works similar?
"keep awake" - Mark 13:32-37 - “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awakefor you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
According to biblical definitions, how does one "stay awake?"
This meaning and biblical definition of staying awake is further expanded in the section "Wake up," below.


3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.
If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.


Who specifically does Jesus say He is coming against if sleeping?

"Keep it" - THE Theme of Revelation

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Revelation 22:7 “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”


"Wake UP!"
"Come like a Thief"
"You will not know what hour I will come against you"
Jesus frequently used these same words in combination!

Revelation 16:15 - “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”
Here staying awake is additionally connected to_______?
(wearing garments, not naked &  not exposed)

➥  Matthew 24:33-50

Mat 24:33 - So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
Mat 24:36 - “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
Mat 24:42 - Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Mat 24:43 - But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
Mat 24:44 - Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Mat 24:50-51 - the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites.
Does the Son of Man Come at the same "day" & "hour" for everyone on earth?
What does Jesus' words, " near, at the very gates" mean?
Difficult Question: What is the Subtle difference between Jesus returning for His servants at Matt 24:45 versus the wicked servants at Matt 24:50?
(wicked servant does not know the day)
What can the Return of Jesus Christ be expanded to mean?

➥  Matthew 25:1-13  - The Parable of the 10 Virgins

Concludes with: Mat 25:13 - Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
What does the oil represent according to Luke 12:35?

➥ Luke 12:8-9, 31-46 - The most similar words to Sardis!

Luke 12:8-9
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
Luk 12:33
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
Luk 12:35 - “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, (Matt 5:14-16, Phil 2:15)
Luk 12:37-40 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
What reward in verse 37 does Jesus offer to those who remain awake?
How are Luke 12:35, Matt 5:14-16 & Phil 2:15 Consistent with Jesus' requirements of works to the 7 Churches of Revelation?

➥ 1 Thessalonians 5:4-9, 15-23

1 Thessalonians 5:2 - the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1Thess 5:4 - But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
1Thess 5:6-7 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.


Reproof, Discipline & Zealous Repentance!

 To 5 of the 7 Letters to the Churches, Jesus Provides "REPROVE" & "DISCIPLINE"
with a call to REPENTANCE.
PURPOSE = Rev 3:19 "Those whom I love, I reprove & discipline, so be ZEALOUS & REPENT."
Only 2 of the 7 Churches, Smyrna & Philadelphia received no reprove or discipline.
5 of the 7 Churches needed to Repent of Jesus' reprove & discipline or perish.

His reprove & discipline to these 5 Churches is:
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:4-5 - Abandoned the love you had at first.
➥ Pergamum - 2:14-15 - Teaching of Balaam, eat food sacrificed to idols, practice sexual immorality & teaching of Nicolatians.
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:20, 24 - Tolerate Jezebel, practice sexual immorality, eat food sacrificed to idols & learned the deep things of Satan.
➥ Sardis - Rev 3:1-3 - Reputation for being alive but dead, Wake up, strengthen what remains and is about to die, have not found your works complete in the sight of my God,
Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.
➥  Laodicea - Rev 3:15-18 - I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot, lukewarm, for you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.


Consequences for Non Repentance

 To 5 of the 7 Churches Jesus Provides DEADLY CONSEQUENCES for NOT ZEALOUSLY REPENTING of  His REPROVE & DISCIPLINE :
Jesus states His PURPOSE of Deadly Consequences at Rev elation 2:23 "ALL the CHURCHES WILL KNOW that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works."
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:5, "Remove your Lampstand."
➥ Pergamum - 2:16, "War against them with the sword of my mouth."
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:20-23, "throw her onto a sickbed," "throw into great tribulation," & I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works."
➥ Sardis - Rev 3:3, "If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you."
➥  Laodicea - Rev 3:16, " I will spit you out of my mouth."
Rev 3:19 "Those whom I love, I reprove & discipline, so be zealous & repent."


4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.


"White" &
"White Robes"

"White" & "White Robes" in Revelation:

"White" occurs 14 times in Revelation.
"White" Strong's G3022 leukos occurs 25 times in the New Covenant writings and Strong's H 3836, laban occurs 29 times in the Torah & Biblical Prophets. In the Verb use, laban occurs an additional 8 times.
➥ Rev 1:14 - The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow.
➥ Rev 2:17 - He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
➥ Rev 3:4-5, Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
➥ Rev 3:18 - I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
➥ Rev 4:4 - Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
➥ Rev 6:2 - And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
➥ Rev 6:11 - Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
➥ Rev 7:9 - After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
➥ Rev 7:13 - Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?”
➥ Rev 14:14 - Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.
➥ Revelation 19:8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
➥ Rev 19:11 - Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
➥ Rev 19:14 - And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
➥ Rev 20:11 - Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.

"White" & "White Robes" used in the Bible

Priest Garments

Matthew 17:2 - And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
Mat 28:3 - His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
Luk 9:29 - And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.
Acts 1:10 Transfiguration, 2 men dressed in white.
John 20:12 - 2 Angels in white at Jesus's tomb.

Isa 1:18 - “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Dan 11:35 - and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.
Dan 12:10 Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.
Ecc 9:8 - Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

 


Positive Qualities

 To 5 of the 7 Letters to the Churches Jesus Knows, recognizes & reinforces qualities or conditions He has judged POSITIVE and mandatory for "Overcomers" or "Conquerors!"
2 of the 7 Churches, Sardis & Laodicea, received NO Positive reinforcement.
Summary of POSITIVE Qualities:
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:2-3, 6 - Works, toil, patient endurance, cannot bear those who are evil, tested false apostles, enduring patiently, bearing up for my name's sake, not grown weary, hate the works of Nicolaitans.
➥  Smyrna - Rev 2:9 - Tribulation, poverty yet rich. (ALL POSITIVE! NO Reproof, Discipline or call to Repentance Revelation 3:19)
➥ Pergamum - 2:13 - Hold fast my name, did not deny my faith even in days of Antipas
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:19 - Works, love, faith, service, patient endurance, latter works exceed the first.
➥ Sardis - NOTHING Positive (Revelation 3:4, yet some at Sardis worthy)
➥ Philadelphia - Rev 3:8, 10 - Little power yet kept my word, not denied name, kept my word about patient endurance.  (ALL POSITIVE! NO Reproof, Discipline or call to Repentance Revelation 3:19)
➥  Laodicea - NOTHING Positive


5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.


"Book of Life"
Revelation  3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:15, 21:27
Luke 10:20, Philippians 4:3,
Daniel 12:1, Psalms 69:27-28, Exodus 32:32-33, Malachi 3:16

"Confess"
Matthew 7 21-23, Luke 12:8-9, Matthew 10:32-33 2 John 1:7, 1 John 4:1-3, 1 John 2:22-23,
"not confess" John 12:42, Matthew 7
In the future, many will exchange confessing Jesus for the Worship of the Beast, Image & Mark under the threat of death or economic deletion.


REWARD

Jesus Concludes ALL 7 Letters to the Churches with a Reward for Overcomes or Conquerors:
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:7, "I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."
➥  Smyrna - Rev 2:11, "will not be hurt by the second death."
➥ Pergamum - 2:17, "I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it."
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:26-29, "I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star."
➥ Sardis - Rev 3:5, "clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels."
➥ Philadelphia - Rev 3:12, "I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, 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 from my God out of heaven, and my own new name."
➥  Laodicea - Rev 3:21, "I will grant him to sit with me on my throne."
Overcomers - 1 John 5:4


6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’


"Let Him Hear what the Spirit Says to the Churches"

 Jesus Concludes All 7 Letters to each Church with the words, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches". Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22.
Believers are to listen to what the Spirit says to ALL 7 Churches (es) PLURAL.
➥ Ephesus - Rev 2:7
➥  Smyrna - Rev 2:11
➥ Pergamum - Rev 2:17
➥ Thyatira - Rev 2:29
➥ Sardis - Rev 3:6
➥ Philadelphia - Rev 3:13
➥  Laodicea - Rev 3:22
1 other occurrence in Rev 13:9-10

According to Jesus' Parable of the Sower, SEEING, HEARING, REMEMBERING, PERCEIVING, UNDERSTANDING God's Words is EQUATED with PRODUCING FRUIT!.
According to Jesus, True Hearing, Seeing, Perceiving & Understanding is "Small" (Matt 13:31-32) "Secret" (Matt 13:11) & "Hidden" ( Matt 13:33-35, 44).

Parable of the Sower

➥ Parable of the Sower Jesus uses word "hear" 12 times! Matt 13:9, 13-23, 43. Consider Matt 13:3-23 for context.
First occurrence at Matthew 13:9 after Jesus lists 4 scenarios :
1) Birds devoured seeds along PATH,
2) Seeds along ROCKY GROUND were scorched by sun and withered away, 3) THORNS choked seeds among them,
4) GOOD SOIL PRODUCES 100, 60 & 30.
Matthew 13:9-17, 35 Purpose of Parables is for Jesus to impart the "hidden" "secrets of the kingdom" to those He considers worthy verses those who remain blind and deaf worshiping God in vanity & name only.
Not Hearing, Not Seeing, Not Understanding, Not Perceiving -  Matt 13:14-15, 19, 22,
Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 6:8-11. As for the future fulfillment compare Isaiah 6:11 with the 7th Vial of Wrath at Revelation 16:17, 19.
Fruitful Hearing Matt 13:23
BlESSINGS & HEALING for Hearing, Seeing, Perceiving & Understanding "secrets of the Kingdom" Matt 13:16-17, 11, 15.
Jesus lists what PREVENTS see from falling on Good Soil and Producing:
1) PATH = Devil snatches away - Matt 13:19
2) ROCKY GROUND = Tribulation & Persecution on account of Word & immediately falls away, Matt 13:20-21
3) THORN = cares of the world & deceitfulness of riches choke the word, Matt 13:22
In contrast, Jesus equates GOOD SOIL & Hearing & Understanding with PRODUCING FRUIT - 100, 60 & 30, Matt 13:23.
According to Jesus, True Hearing, Seeing, Perceiving & Understanding is "Small" (Matt 13:31-32) "Secret" (Matt 13:11) & "Hidden" ( Matt 13:33-35, 44).
Jesus Privately explains the Parable of the Sower to his disciples at Matthew 13:-36-43

➥ Mark 8:17-18, 21, REMEMBERING, Hard Hearts, Perceiving & Understanding Mark 8:13-21
➥ Jesus concludes all His Parables at Luke 14 with the saying, Luke 14:35
Parable - Luke 14:7-11,  Honored Position at Wedding Feast.
Parable - Luke 14:12-14, Invite the poor, crippled, lame & blind for repayment at the Resurrection of the Just.
Parable - Luke 14:15-24, Excuses for not attending banquet.
Luke 14: 26-27, 33, Requirements for being a disciple: Hate all family & own life, bear his own cross & renounce all that he has.
Parable - Luke 14:28-30, Counting the cost of building a tower.
Parable - Luke 14:31-32, Counting cost for battle
➥ Matt 11:15, John the Baptist is Elijah, Matt 11:10-15,
Acts 7:51 - Uncircumcised in hearts, ears & resist holy spirit.
also : Acts 28:27, Rom 11:8

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