Today’s Episode is on the last three of the seven churches of Revelation
Wether you are able to listen now or later, my prayer is that you digging deeper into God’s Word to find the treasures hidden within. Mine God’s Word as if you are mining for gold. For His Word is lamp to show us where and how to step and a Light that exposes darkness and all of it’s pitfalls
Last week we looked at the first four churches of Revelation. The sister Churches in Asia Minor who were sent a letter. That letter came from Jesus to the Angel to John to those in the seven churches to us today. God’s word transcends time and is a message to our hearts today.
If you missed the previous episodes you can find the links below.
The next church on the list is Sardis in Revelation 3:1-6
Last time I mentioned how important it is to be aware of the Historical and Geographical context of the scripture. It helps us see the writings of the Churches History, here in Revelation in the true light. If we just do the reading of the story and make a quick judgement based on our own thoughts, we miss the whole picture. Stories online or stories we read can be fairy tales in our minds eye, and dismissed as such. However, if you look at the Historical and Geographical aspects of these seven churches, we get a “3D” picture of Reality.
Think of reading one of your grandparents birth certificates. You get the story told to you from a piece of paper that was written by a person with the facts of the story. When you actually meet your grandparents, you get the Real 3D Picture. In a world of two demensional online research, we can be quick to make snap judgements with out knowing the historical and geographical background. So let’s take a look at a bit of the Historical and Geographical information of Sardis before we delve into the scripture to see what God has left us in His letters to us.
Sardis, once a part of an Ancient Persian Kingdom, Lydia, with a very polytheistic environment liberated in 340 B.C. Sardis means “escaping” and was one of the seven churches in the Roman Provence of Asia, or Modern Turkey, filled with worship of false gods. Sardis was known for it’s gold and wealth. The city was destroyed in the 16th century by the Persian Army.
John writes what Jesus told him to say to the church of Sardis.
Jesus revealed Himself to the Sardis church as ”One with the seven Spirits of God and seven stars in His hands” and quickly tells them, “ I know your works, that you have a name, a reputation of character and reveals it as one who is alive, but dead. Giving us a picture of a corpse who walks around.
The Commendation: Jesus says to those in Sardis, I know your works.Wake up, be watchful and remain strong in Me. Repent of your wicked works and watch of I will come as a thief in the night.
To the Overcomers of Sardis Jesus says you will be clothed in white raiment, and I will not erase your name out of the Book of Life. If you do these things, I will confess you before my Father. I will claim you as my own before my Father and before His Angels.
The Church of Philadelphia which means “brotherly love”
Thirty miles East of Sardis, and about 50 miles from Laodecia, was the church of Philadelphia, representing a faithful church. Founded in AD 17. It was the newest of the cities and almost destroyed by earthquakes in that same year. Philadelphia resisted Moslem take over, and became an island of Christianity.
Jesus revealed Himself to Philadelphia as He who has the Keys of David and He that opens the door that no one can shut, and what He shuts, no one can open. If you studied through the Covenant Series here on Moments with Moni, you might remember the Covenant with David that proclaimed a descendant of his would forever more sit on the throne for eternity. Yes, here is the fulfillment of the New Covenant. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, He now holds the Keys to death and Hell, and is sitting at the right Hand of God, waiting until the time that God puts all of His enemies under his feet. His work is done, and He is waiting in Heaven
To the Church in Philadelphia Jesus says, I know your works and that you have just a little strength left. I also know that you have obeyed my Word and have not denied my name.
Jesus continues, and tells the church that I will take care of the satanists, and those who claim to be Jews, but are lying, and will make them bow at your feet, so that you know that I have loved you. “A sort of vindication before the self righteous “Spiritual persecutors.” Because you have kept my word patiently, I will keep you from the hour of temptation.
Most Bible Scholars see the hour of trial as prophetic reference to the Great Tribulation, on the timeline we are following here as just before the Earthly Kingdom. Jesus has promised to keep the faithful from that hour of trial.
For it will be a time when those who dwell on Earth will be tested. Mentioned nine times in Revelation, it refers to those who are not believers in Jesus.
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.
Christians are promised a different outcome through the Covenants. Even though we walk in the world, we are not of it. Our home is in the Heavenly places with Jesus.
There are some who believe a different time line, and you can study the options if you like such as Pre Trib, Mid Trib, Post Trib or Pan Trib (However it pans out)
It is best not to take the lazy way out and “Play it so called safe with the Pan Tribe view, because what we believe today will affect how we live our life right now.
To Philadelphia Jesus promises that He will come quickly. Translated into English a bit better would be sudden and unexpected, not nesscesarily immediately.
So until He returns, Hold Fast, so no one may take your crown of victory. Stay in the race. As was mentioned by our Pastor this past Sunday, that we may be running this race, or walking in this race, or maybe even just crawling, just keep going!
Let’s keep our eyes on the finish line.
To the Overcomers of Philadelphia Jesus promises that He will make them a pillar in the temple of our God and we will NEVER more go in or out. And He will write on them the name of our God and the name of the city of God, the New Jerusalem, which will come down out of Heaven and He says, I will write on him, My new name. One day, true believers will be Co-Heirs with Christ. Hallelujah!
And the Last of the Seven Churches of Revelation: Laodecia 3: 14-22
Laodecia means “People ruling” and represents the unbelieving, materialistic church. It was famous for wealth, banks, and medical school with popular eye salve and textile industry with the most luxurious black goats hair suits.
To this church, Jesus revealed Himself as the Amen, the Faithful True Witness and the One who was at the beginning with God at Creation. One of the problems that Laodecia had to contend with was an inadequate water supply. So a series of aqueducts brought water from the Hierapolis hot springs. By the time it arrived, the water was lukewarm and unfavorable.
Jesus described the Church in Laodecia in a way that they would understand, by telling them He wishes they were at least hot or cold, but because you are lukewarm about Me, like your water, it makes Me want to gag, and spit you out! You think you are rich, makers of healing eye salve, and luxurious black suits, but really, you are Poor, Blind and Naked!
Jesus then gives this church some advice,
Buy from Me, gold refined in the fire that you may be rich
That you may have white garments, to cover the shame of your nakedness, that it may not be revealed.
Annoint your eyes with spiritual healing so that you will really be able to see clearly.
Be serious and repent!
He continues with His advice and counsel
LOOK! WATCH! I AM standing at the door and knocking. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me.
It is sad news when a church goes through the motions of being a church, but leave Jesus outside the doors.
Be serious and repent.
To the one who conquers, to the Overcomers, Jesus will give a place to sit with Him on His throne, just as He has overcome and is now sitting with His Father at the Throne of God.
As we come the the end of the letters to the seven churches, I saved one last thing that was mentioned to each of the Churches for last as they pertain to them all.
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit has to say to the Churches"
As the Sleigh Bells ring this Christmas Season, are you listening to what the Spirit has to say?
More on the Podcast…….
Introduction to Revelation
On next week's episode we will be starting chapter 4 which will bring up the topic of the RAPTURE. If you get a chance, read ahead in your Bible. You are invited to contact me with any comments or questions.
Thanks again for listening.