What The Spirit Says To The Angel Of The Church in Sardis
Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he 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.
The angel of the church of Sardis is the fifth of the seven angels whose admonition the spirit gives to “He who has an ear.”
Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Once again we need to “Hear what the Spirit says to the churches” with an earlier admonition in mind:
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Is this not telling us that “He who has an ear to hear what the spirit says to the churches [ is also] he that reads and hears the words of this prophecy… to the angel of the church in Sardis… and keeps those things which are written therein, [ knowing] the time is at hand,” in every generation since Christ? Yes, that is exactly what we are being told.
But there are two things which we must keep in mind and which you will be hearing repeated throughout this series of studies. First is the fact that in order to “see the voice which speaks to us we must look behind us,” because we will not realize what God has done within us until after it is accomplished within us. Second, is the repetition of the phrase “to the angel” because while these words are addressed to the church as a whole, they are specified as being addressed to the angel of the church…” in this case “the angel of the church in Sardis.”
God gave the first Adam both eyes and ears, but he did not give him eyes that could see or ears that could hear spiritual matters. So we are told over and over again:
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
The angel of the church in Sardis within us, thinks that he sees and thinks that he hears and is totally unaware that he is spiritually deaf and spiritually blind and is spiritually dead. He has “forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. He forgets that this whole vision is seen “behind me,” and so he is told:
“You hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”
Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he 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.
This state of the church within us is contrasted with “He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars.” We have covered the seven spirits of God in our study on verse 4 of chapter one, and we covered the seven stars in our study on verses 18-20:
Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [ be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
So we will quote but one verse as commentary on “the seven spirits before the throne” here in verse one of chapter 3:
1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
This verse should serve to remind us that the word ‘seven’ is Bible- speak for the concept of being complete. See the earlier study on the Spiritual Significance of The Number Seven on iswasandwillbe. com. The number seven always signifies completion; the completion of the creation, the complete church, the complete angel within us, and the seven spirits are the complete spirit of God.
God’s creation and the work of the complete spirit are not complete until we have “entered into His rest” on the seventh day (Heb 4:10).
Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
God finished His work in the flesh on the sixth day, but he ended His creation on the seventh day:
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Mankind is actually not complete until he enters into God’s rest and ceases from his own works and rests in Christ’s work in him.
Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole [ duty] of man. [ The word ‘duty’ is not in the Hebrew]
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
When “God judges every work” it will be discovered that mankind’s most righteous efforts are nothing more than “filthy rags.”
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [ thing], and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
The very reason for which “flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom” is the fact that it is not spiritual, and thereby alone it misses the mark of the spiritual body to which we are even now being conformed:
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
It is our “being conformed to the image of His Son,” by entering into His rest, and conceding that only His works can complete us, that we become the “whole man.” That is why this angel is told, “I have not found thy works perfect before God,” as we will see in the next verse below.
So then, neither the “angel to the church” nor the spirit itself is complete without “the seven angels” and “the seven spirits.” That is why it is seven times repeated.
Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
“He” and “the” in this verse are both singular. Nevertheless, “the Spirit” is the complete “seven spirits” speaking to the complete “seven angels” of the complete “seven churches” all of which angels and churches are addressed as the singular “He that has an ear.”
So it is within that complete church that the complete spirit has a message to the angel of the church in Sardis, which is but part of the complete message to “He that hath an ear.” The very first part of that message is that the angel of the church in Sardis within us has a name that He lives, and [ in reality] he is [ spiritually] dead within “he that hath an ear.” Look at the similarities in these two verses. This is to the angel of the church of Sardis:
Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that t hou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
… and this is to the angel of the church at Laodicea:
Rev 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:
“You have a name that you live…” and “You say, I am rich,” are not really all that different.” In either case, “He that has an ear to hear” will “look behind him” and understand these words:
Rev 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.
Why should we “be watchful?” Being ‘watchful’ is being vigilant. The Greek for ‘watchful’ is gregoreuo. The same Greek word is translated as ‘vigilant’ in this verse in 1 Peter:
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant [ gregoreuo]; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Satan devours no one he is not sent to devour, but he is sent to devour all flesh, and he certainly has devoured us all:
Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [ and] two months.
Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
“If any man have an ear, let him hear,” tells us that very few indeed will accept the fact that all of these verses have a personal application. That phrase tells us that very few indeed can understand how the beast within us can “open his mouth in blasphemy against God, overcome the saints; be given power over all kindreds, tongues, and nations, and cause all that dwell on the earth to worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” How is it possible for the saints to be overcome by the beast and still have their names written in the book of life of the Lamb?
Here is how that is accomplished, and yet it is still true that all that dwell on the earth worship him:
Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
Rev 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [ are] thy ways, thou King of saints.
Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [ thou] only [ art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
Rev 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
Rev 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
If, as we have demonstrated, “white linen” typifies Christ and all who are in Him (see the notes on Rev 1:13 – Part 4), and as Rev 19:10 and 22:8 tell us, these seven angels with these seven golden vials are “our fellow servants and those who keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book, then these seven angels themselves “could not have entered into the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” in their own lives and they had indeed, as they tell us they have done, “kept the sayings of this book.” Here are those verses:
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him [ the angel who had just shown John the judgment of the great harlot]. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
“The time is at hand… to keep [ all] the sayings of this book.” “After you have suffered a while,” tells us that “keeping the things written therein” are all necessary to bring us to the point of being admonished to “Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain which are ready to die.” It is ‘being watchful’ which causes us to see the need to strengthen the things that remain, because the doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel, and the deeds of the Nicolaitans will cause “what remains to die.” When that happens God’s precious truths will have been used to cover the idols of our hearts and replace “the faith of Jesus” with “oppositions of science falsely so called.” [ For more information on using truth to cover the idols of ones heart see the precious metals study on gold which starts here.
1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [ and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
“Keeping the sayings” of this 15th chapter concerning the pouring out of God’s wrath on all of our unrighteousness and ungodliness, is what is called in the previous chapter “the faith of Jesus:”
Rev 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [ his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever [ Greek, eons of the eons, meaning every generation of mankind from the beginning to the end]: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Remember that when Christ said “This generation will not pass till all these things be fulfilled,” He was answering the question of when the eon will end. Each life of every man ‘in Adam’ is an eon which must “keep the sayings of this book.” “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they the keep the commandments of God [ the sayings of this book], and the faith of Jesus [ who himself kept these sayings].
Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Mat 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Luk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
If we exclude ourselves from these seven plagues, which “fill up the wrath of God” against our unrighteousness and ungodliness” then we are excluding ourselves from entering into the temple of God, “which temple ye are.” If the blood of all the saints from Abel to Zecharias is not required of us, then we do not know what is the meaning of “this generation… which reads and understands.” Here again, are the verses which demonstrate this is, was and will be principle of God’s Words.
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [ shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [ Greek, aion, age]?
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end [ of the aion] come.
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, ( whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [ even] at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
“Whoso reads let him understand… this generation [ reading these words] shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.” There are 200,000,000 false doctrines which “darken the air and the sun” (Rev 9:2, 16).
Rev 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.
Next week, Lord willing, we will discover more of the things written in this book to the angel of the church in Sardis, and in so doing we will discover what is involved in “the patience of the saints and the faith of Jesus.” Here is what is left of the spirits admonition to the angel of the church in Sardis, which “he that hath and ear” will both hear and keep.
Rev 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.
Rev 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.
Rev 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.
Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
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- Where Does Our Spirit Go When We Die? (November 4, 2010)
- Where Do Suicide Victims Go? (June 10, 2012)
- To Be Absent From The Body... (June 10, 2007)
- The Wrath of God (April 25, 2007)
- The Struggle to See The Need For Prayer (February 18, 2010)
- The Spirits Of The Dead 2005 (June 12, 2005)
- The Spirit is Willing but the Flesh is Weak (September 15, 2011)
- The Dead Know Not Anything (December 3, 2011)
- Spirits in Prison (July 6, 2006)
- Spirits In Prison 2012 (February 24, 2012)
- Revelation 3:1-2 (January 30, 2009)
- Hell And J. Preston Eby (June 12, 2005)
- Gathered Unto His People (March 27, 2010)
- Eutychus (March 18, 2009)
- Could You Not Watch With Me (July 6, 2006)
- Are The Sleep And Resurrection Yet Future? (September 1, 2010)
- Abraham Rejoice to See Christs Day? (December 5, 2011)