“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 3:1-6
The angel now gives John the message Jesus gave him and it is directed toward the yet future congregation of Sardis.
The Apostle John is assured that these words are from the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
The Words of Him Who Holds the Seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars
Recall that the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. (Revelation 1:20). However, who or what are the seven spirits of God and what does it mean that Christ holds them?
To understand what are the seven spirits of God we must first review something Jesus said when he walked the earth teaching. This is found at John 4:23-24. Then we will need to move forward within The Book of Revelation to Revelation 4:5 and Revelation 5:6 and then one will have an understanding as to what the seven spirits of God are.
At John 4:23-24, Jesus taught that God is spirit and that those worshiping Him must worship Him as such (and in truth). This is on a spiritual level folks! Not on a level that is visible and earthly. A level in which 99.9% of the world is at. This is by design because this is Satan’s world! (2 Cor 4:4) Without worshiping God as spirit means that the truth about Him and His purpose and the deep things of Him cannot be known or accessed. Without proper worship of him as “spirit” mean everything else one might say or teach about Him will be a lie. That is, lies masquerading as truth. Remember, Satan has transformed himself as an angel of light. (2 Cor 11:15) That is how he is able to mislead and deceive the entire inhabited earth. Doing so by creating teachings that resemble truth but are not. And, even establishing impressive and elaborate systems of religion – one of them that even carries the title “Christian” – for the purpose of misleading and deceiving. That system of religion has been responsible for some of the most terrible offenses against the human family ever. Including The African Slave Trade (Pope Nicolas V sanctioned the enslavement of other human beings as slaves and property), The Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, The Salem Witch Hunts, The Holocaust (Hitler was a practicing Catholic. Read Mien Kampf), the dropping of two atomic bombs on another people by a nation claiming “In God We Trust, and their is much more on this list.
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. – John 4:23-24
At Revelation 4:5, Jesus’ angel relates to John that …
From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.
That lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder came FROM the throne but in FRONT of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. Recall what those seven lamps are: They are the seven congregations. Where are these seven congregations? On earth! So this shows us that God’s throne is not a physical place but a spiritual place that will extend onto the earth that He created. In other words, one does not have to physically “go to” someplace or some “pie-in-the-sky” to enter into some place called God’s Throne. His throne is a spiritual realm because He is spirit. The seven congregations (seven lamps) are seen IN FRONT of God’s throne. That these seven congregations will be seven literal entities on the earth in future days, they are members under the jurisdiction of God’s Spiritual and Invisible Throne.
The seven congregations are the seven spirits of God.
At Revelation 5:6, Jesus angel gives us more insight into the identity of the seven spirits of God. The angel says …
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. – Revelation 5:6
The lamb (Jesus) had the seven horns and the seven eyes, which ARE the seven spirits of God sent out into all of the earth. This is very deep and many will not readily grasp what is meant here. I will try to be as clear and I can.
Horns (or trumpets) are symbolic instruments that are a prelude to an announcement. In other words, a horn or trumpet blast is made to alert those who hear it that a message will soon follow. Well, Jesus has seven horns. Not only that, he has the seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God which I explained to you are THE SEVEN CONGREGATIONS.
That Jesus has these mean that they are under his control and authority. The Seven Congregations on earth in those future days is his household. All of the earth will be restored and united (one house) by the end of his one-thousand-year kingdom that is yet to arrive. Satan, at his release from the Abyss, will disrupt and cause turmoil and dissent with Christ’s household. (Revelation 20:7-8)
While I have not reached the section of this discussion about the particulars of how Satan will enter into Christ household (seven congregations) in those future days, permit me to say here, that it will be necessary that a series of warning announcements must be made upon that future world that Satan will have deceived in a very large way to the point of outright human rebellion against God! Jesus holds those seven horns that will signal the seven announcements that must follow. I will cover those seven horns/trumpets and their announcements as I progress through this discussion of The Revelation.
I Know Your Deeds
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. – Revelation 3:1
Jesus, through his angel to John, tells the angel (messenger) of the Thyatiran congregation that he is aware of the things that they are doing and believing that they have a reputation of being alive. Alive in what way? Going his will and doing as he has instructed them as their Master (of the household).
He tells them that they are dead. That is, whatever they are doing, if not corrected, will lead to a snuffing out of their lamp and entering into The Lake of Fire which is The Second Death. In other words, they will not enter into God’s Everlasting Kingdom and have everlasting life when it comes down to the earth!
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. – Revelation 1:2
Apparently, this congregation (Sardis) will have let down its guard and become lax in its assignments and tasks within the Master’s household. Over the passage of time, perhaps many hundreds of years, they will have forgotten what he had taught them during his one-thousand-year reign over them.
Jesus’ message to them is to snap out of the slumber they have gone into and to strengthen up those things that are ABOUT to die and remember and return to what he taught them. Jesus goes on to say that he finds their deeds unfinished in the sight of his God.
Jesus’ message to this congregation is that if they do not wake up, he will come to them and they will not know when. Something else is here. What? That what Jesus says here has not happened yet. How do I know this? Because Jesus does not say that because you did not wake up I will come like a thief … rather he says if you do not wake up …
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. – Revelation 1:3
In what way does Jesus come to this congregation as a thief? Recall Jesus said that they are dead, but that there as some things that are about to die. This means that the blaze on their lampstand is about to fizzle out. If this congregation does not return to the things it has received from Christ and were taught (heard), and hold fast to those things and repent, the blaze on their lampstand will be extinguished and the lampstand removed from in front of God’s throne never to be lit again! This is a very serious and potentially dire matter.
A Few Who Have Not Soiled Their Clothes
Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. – Revelation 1:4
The loving Examiner and Master of his household recognize that there are a relative few within his household who have remained faithful and did not forget the things he taught them. That is, they have not soiled their proverbial clothes hobnobbing with Satan’s world in those future days. (Remember, that the events of The Revelation occur AFTER Christ’s kingdom of one-thousand-years will have run its course and ended AND THEN Satan is released upon a world society that Christ taught and perfected.
Therefore, Satan’s outpouring of deception will be so thick and convincing, it will impact each of the seven congregations.
You will see later in the discussion, Satan’s deception will be so influential, his supplanted kingdom so “peaceful and safe and beautiful” that most of those in the seven congregations will not want to see it go away. In fact, they will come to believe that nothing can war against Satan’s kingdom (Beast), not even God and Christ. They will believe it so deeply and thoroughly that they will resist the coming down of God’s Kingdom the earth. (This is what Armageddon is).
It will take shock therapy – so-to-speak – through a serious of announcements to that future deceived world to slap those who remember – even faintly – what Christ taught them when they were under his reign during his one-thousand-year kingdom.
Satan’s deception and the establishment of this throne over the earth will not occur overnight. It will take many years; perhaps hundreds of years. He will take all of the time he needs to work on mankind in those future days to subtly and INVISIBLY deceive them and water them down to forgetfulness, complacency, and slumber.
They Will Walk With Me, Dressed In White
They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. – Revelation 3:4-5
To the few faithful ones within the Sardis congregation, Jesus will be dressed in White. Not in a literal sense but in a figurative sense. Being dressed in a figurative white robe means that they will be “like them” dressed in white.
You will learn later that those who will have already been given white robes are immortal. That means that they will never be subject to The Lake of Fire which means The Second Death.
Please understand that the figurative Lake of Fire which means The Second Death will always exist. Even persons granted entry into God’s Kingdom – who will be perfect – can still willfully disobey God. Adam was perfect and he willfully and knowingly disobeyed God by eating from the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad that his wife – Eve – gave him. Adam was fully aware that the “fruit of lips” that his wife was speaking and that he ate of (listened to) was from that tree. He ate (listened to her) anyway. I did not correct his wife and reminded her of what God commanded about eating from the fruit (knowledge) from that tree.
So being perfect and being granted entry does not make one immune from disobeying God and subject to the Second Death.
However, there will be those who will never be subject to The Lake of Fire which is The Second Death. They will be immortal. Thus, indicated by the white robes. Christ sees through them and knows that they are pure and worthy.
The reference to The Book of Life is simply being in God’s memory. Even if a person is dead and in the grave, God remembers them. They are in The Book of Life.
However, if one is NOT in The Book of Life (God’s memory), they do not exist. They are in The Lake of Fire which means The Second Death. Or put simply, they are nonexistent. It will be as if they never were.
That there will be faithful ones within the Sardis congregation who are given a white robe means that they will ALWAYS exist in God’s memory and thus their names cannot be blotted out from The Book of Life.
Whoever Has Ears, Let Them Hear What The Spirit Says to the Churches
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 3:6
Here we learn the importance of one hearing what the “Spirit” says to ALL of the seven congregations.
Who is that Spirit? Well, who have Jesus the Revelation? God Himself. (Revelation 1:1)
God is spirit. (John 4:23-24)
Next, I will break down what John was told to write to the sixth congregation, the one at Philadelphia.