In the last chapter, Revelation 2, we discussed the first four churches that Jesus told John to address, and now we will look at the final three. Jesus didn’t address these seven churches for His own health, it was for our health individually, our spiritual health. Pay attention as He spells out what He is looking for in a Christian.
(Revelation 3:1) And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He (Christ) that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Jesus is not happy with these people and does not even like their works. These people are physically alive, and call themselves Christians, but are spiritually dead. If they do not make some serious changes and overcome, before Jesus Christ returns, they will be in danger of dying the second death, the death of their soul at the end of the Millennium period, the period in which Jesus will be here on earth ruling for one thousand years before the Great White Throne Judgment. They will have this Millennium period to correct their ways, but they will be on thin ice.
(Revelation 3:2) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Jesus is telling them that their works are not good in the eyes of God. He warns them to be mindful of what is written here and the rest of the Bible and to heed the words and warnings. He is telling them to strengthen what little dedication to Him they have left or else their soul will be close to death. They will face the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennium and if they fall short, they will have never even existed. This isn’t to say that not all true Christians are saved, but if someone truly accepts Christ and their acts don’t support that they are saved Christians, and Jesus determines they have fallen short, they will have to wait until the end of the Millennium to pass the last test and receive their eternal spiritual bodies.
(Revelation 3:3) Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
These people are Christians and they need to remember that they are Christians and they need to turn back to serving our Lord and repent for all of the things they have do and not done that offend the Lord. If these people (or anyone else) do not study the Bible and know the signs of the times, Jesus will return like a thief in the night and they will not be expecting Him. If they do watch the signs they will know what to look for and when His time draws near and they will even know 3 and a half days prior, exactly when He will return. If they do not watch, not only will Jesus come on them as a thief, but the thief himself (satan) who will have already come as antichrist will have stolen their loyalty through his deception. Pray that this does not happen. One way to ensure that this does not happen is to study the Word and know the signs to look for and not only that, but study the rest of the Bible to put on your spiritual armor to protect yourself from satan’s deception.
(Revelation 3:4) Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
There are a few of these people that will in fact overcome before the 7th trump and serve Christ during the Millennium. Because they have loved Jesus enough to spend time with Him by studying His Word, they will not fall to the deception of satan during the tribulation.
(Revelation 3:5) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
These people who do overcome, will be justified and not be liable to die the second death. We will all be clothed in white garments made up of our righteous acts. However, if you have no righteous acts, then you will have no white garments and everyone will be able to see your shame. These white garments mean that all their sins have been wiped clean, as they will have already earned their eternal lives by the time Jesus returns.
(Revelation 3:6) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
If any of this makes sense to you then heed this warning.
(Revelation 3:7) And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
The Key of David is a key that gives understanding to all of the mysteries in the Bible that Paul speaks about. It is the key that links all of our history in the Bible together with the teachings and prophecy of Jesus. Without this key, one cannot truly understand what is written in the Bible at its deepest levels. With this key, one can never be deceived by the confusion that comes from satan or his angels. When this door to understanding is opened with the Key of David, it can never be shut. And when a door is shut and locked with the Key of David, it can never be opened. Only God opens and shuts these doors to understanding with the key of David. This is a great mystery to most and Romans 11 is a good place to start, if you want to know the reasoning behind this. One cannot have this key without first accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. (God came in the flesh to us as Jesus Christ)
(Revelation 3:8) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
The Church of Philadelphia is made up of God’s elect, as well as is the Church of Smyrna. We now are in the age of grace and anyone can choose salvation through Jesus Christ because of their faith in Christ, for which we are given grace by God. However, some were chosen before birth by their works they had done before that time (Romans 9) during the rebellion of satan against God in the first earth age. The door of understanding for those who are predestinated elect are automatically opened by God with the Key to David and no man can shut it meaning that these cannot be deceived about the truth. This is emphasized in Matt 24 and Mark 13. Those of the Church of Philadelphia will never deny Christ and will always teach truth about His Word. And they will always serve and do the works of God.
(Revelation 3:9) Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Jesus is very pleased with the Church of Philadelphia (as well as He is with the Church of Smyrna). These elect who always keep the truth of God, will in the Millennium Age, serve as kings, priests, teachers and judges under Christ (Ezekiel 44 and Rev 20). Those who are the deceivers that say they are Jews (that they are of the tribe of Judah) but are liars, do satan’s work and they will not be allowed access to Christ in the Millennium. They, as well as all those who have not overcome before the return of Christ, will be forced to worship Christ in front of God’s elect (the Zadok Levites) during the Millennium. They will not be allowed direct contact with Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 44) until after the Millennium if they are then granted eternal life (Revelation 20-22).
(Revelation 3:10) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Because these of Philadelphia have remained faithful always, even during satan’s rebellion, they will be protected (kept) by God from the temptation that will occur during the Tribulation (the hour of temptation). The entire world will fall to the temptation, except God’s elect. This is a trial to see what everyone will do with their free will when given this temptation. God’s predestinated elect will not be tried during this time because they have already passed the test during satan’s rebellion (per Romans 8 and 11).
(Revelation 3:11) Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Jesus is encouraging those of Philadelphia here to persist and remain steady in what they do until He returns at the 7th trumpet.
(Revelation 3:12) Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
If you overcome in this in this age, you will be made a pillar in the Millennium Temple of God described in Ezekiel 40-43. This means that these people will uphold this temple and the principles of God and will never be in danger of falling from this and suffering the second death. The name of Christ will be written in their minds for all eternity. And they will be guaranteed to be part of New Jerusalem when it descends to earth from heaven at the beginning of the eternity after the last day of the Millennium.
(Revelation 3:13) He that hat him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Anyone who understands what is written should listen to what is said here.
(Revelation 3:14) And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (Jesus);
Jesus is establishing His credentials as to Who is dictating this letter.
(Revelation 3:15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Jesus is not pleased with these people. They don’t really care one way or another about following Christ. They are not dedicated to serving God (hot), nor do they make a stand against Him (cold). They just live in the world and focus on themselves .
(Revelation 3:16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
When these people come to Jesus at His return at the 7th trump and call His name, He will tell them to get away because He never knew them, and they never really knew Him.
(Revelation 3:17) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
They are focused solely on success in the world and doing what makes them feel good. Though, on the surface, they appear to have it all together, inside, their real selves are in bad shape. They have no righteous acts, which are the linens that would clothe them in the Millennium. Instead they will be naked and bear their shame in the open. They have no eyes to see the spiritual things in the world–the things of God. They are both spiritually blind and spiritually dead.
(Revelation 3:18) I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Jesus is telling these people to forget the gold that they strive for in the world and buy His gold which is more valuable than anything in this world. It is the truth and purity and is worth much more than its weight in earthly gold. And He is telling them to perform righteous acts so that they will be clothed in white linen that is made up of that righteousness in the Millennium, rather than being naked and shamed. He wants them to clear their eyes of the things of the world and see the things of the spirit, the things that truly matter. If you overcome before the return of Christ at the 7th trump, you will receive an inheritance from Him that will put anything else to shame. You will inherit Him and he owns everything. You will inherit eternal life from that moment.
(Revelation 3:19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
God loves all of His children and only rebukes them because He loves them and it is His wish that all would come to Him in repentance.
(Revelation 3:20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Jesus is knocking on your door, and is calling your name. Will you open the door and invite Him in? Will you be part of the Supper of the Lamb?
(Revelation 3:21) To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Those who overcome this in the flesh age will sit with Christ in the Millennium Kingdom and will be with Him forever.
(Revelation 3:22) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
If you are able to understand the things said here, then heed this warning.
After these last two chapters of Revelation, to which church would you choose to belong? Take a good long look at what Jesus has said and think very sincerely about the path you are taking. I hope you will make the right choice and be with Jesus when He returns.