Synagogue
A Jewish house of assembly, prayer, and study.
Second Advent
The Second Coming of Christ. He will return with His angels to take His people home to heaven.
Revelation 3 Commentary
Summary: Read Revelation 3 KJV along with a helpful commentary.
 
 

Revelation 3 KJV

Commentary

1And 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.

2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

3Remember 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.

3:1-3 Sardis: Church of the Reformation Period, Early 1500s-Mid 1700s. Sardis means “that which remains.” The city was situated 1000 feet up on the side of a mountain and was thought to be impregnable. However, the city did fall to enemies twice during its history both times the enemy sneaked in and opened the gates while the people of Sardis slept.

Prophetically, Sardis is the time of the Protestant Reformation from the early 1500s to the late 1700s. During the initial brilliance of the Reformation, many errors of the Dark Ages were exposed. Many old truths were rediscovered, such as: salvation by faith in Jesus, the Bible as the only rule of faith and doctrine and Christ as the only Mediator between God and man. However, in spite of the heroic contributions of the individual Protestant leaders like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Roger Williams, the impetus for reform did not last. As the fervent pioneers of each reform movement passed from the scene, the movement would lose its fervor and become spiritually cold and weak. Protestant Europe in the mid-1700s has become comfortable with formal religion, devoid of spirituality.

Reproof: “Name that thou livest, and art dead.” The Church claimed to be spiritually alive and reformed but was dead. The Lord intended that the Reformation would continue until the pure Gospel was restored, but the followers of the reformers refused to advance beyond the truths which their leaders had discovered. John 12:35-36; Hebrews 5:12-6:2.

 

4Thou 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.

3:4 Commendations: There were many in the Sardis period who were eager for Biblical truth and were eager for a vibrant experience with Christ.

5He 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.

6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

3:5-6 Promise: The overcomers are promised “white raiment,” which is Christ’s righteousness. Being clothed with “white raiment” is a symbol of exchanging sin for righteousness. Zechariah 3:4-5. The way to become an overcomer is to remain faithful and continue to grow in Christ.

7And 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;

3:7 Philadelphia: The Church of the Great Second Advent Awakening, Mid 1700s-Mid 1800s. Philadelphia means “brotherly love.” Due north of Antioch, this inland city was built by a Greek king in memory of his brother. The city was prone to earthquakes, and had to be periodically restored and rebuilt.

Prophetically, the time period covered by Philadelphia is the mid-1700s to mid-1800s. During this time there was an extensive spiritual revival in many places around the world. The evangelical awakening in England and the great awakening in America revived the established churches and led to the formation of both the Baptist and Methodist church movements. These revivals stirred the Christian world to great missionary efforts. Many mission societies were formed and sent out missionaries, such as David Livingstone, all over the world. They also formed Bible societies, worked for the abolition of slavery, and began orphanages and colleges. Important Bible truths such as the seventh-day Sabbath and the work of Jesus as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary were rediscovered. During this period Jesus began the last phase of His heavenly ministry; he opened the door to the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844, and the antitypical Day of Atonement began. This is the “open door” referred to in Revelation 4:1-5. A great spiritual awakening transpired as the soon return of Jesus and the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation were carefully studied and preached.

8I 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.

9Behold, 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.

3:8-9 Commendation: They have “a little strength,” have kept Christ’s “word,” have “not denied my name” and have “kept the word of my “patience” (endured). Thousands were put out of their churches and ridiculed for believing the prophecies of the Bible regarding the Second Advent of Jesus. Despite this, they kept patiently waiting for Christ’s return. The coldness and persecution of the churches which had rejected the message of the Second Coming of Christ brought the believers into a close “brotherly love” with one another.

Reproof: None.

 

10Because 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.

11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

12Him 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.

13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

3:10-13 Promise: They will be kept from “the hour of temptation,” and those who overcome will be made “a pillar in the temple of my God” and have the “name of my God” and “the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem” and “my (Jesus’) new name” written on them.

As pillars they are honored for their support of Christ’s church and their salvation is guaranteed. Names indicated character and ownership, thus they are given the character of God and proclaimed as His special people, citizens of His glorious city.

14And 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;

15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17Because 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:

3:14-17 Laodicea: The “Lukewarm” Church, Mid 1800s-Second Advent. Laodicea is comprised of two words that mean “people” and “judgement.” It was a place of commerce. The people were very rich and proud of it. They had a medical school which was famous for its warm mineral baths and its eye ointment. The merchants sold fine clothing made from soft, glossy, black wool.

Prophetically, this is the seventh and final period of Church history and stretches from the mid-1800s, when the Church began to lose its fervor, to the time of the Lord’s return. This is the period we live in today.

Commendation: None.

Reproof: Jesus wishes that the Laodiceans were either cold or hot instead of lukewarm. The cold people can be made to feel their need, the hot ones are on fire for the Lord, but the lukewarm ones congratulate themselves that they aren’t cold and don’t realize how far from the hot they have become. They don’t realize how truly destitute of spiritual riches they are; they are blind to their true spiritual condition and don’t know that they are naked, devoid of Christ’s robe of righteousness. This is the condition of God’s church today. Jesus compares them to revolting mouthful of lukewarm water.

18I 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.

3:18 Jesus, the source of true riches, wants His people to come to Him and exchange their unbelief and selfishness for the purified gold of faith and love. 1 Peter 1:7; Galatians 5:6. He wants us to trade our sin and our useless works for His own robe of righteousness. Revelation 19:8; Isaiah 61:10. He bids us give up our mistaken view that we are spiritually healthy graciously bestowed by the Holy Spirit, which will open our eyes to our true condition. 2 Peter 1:5-9.

19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20Behold, 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.

21To 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.

22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

3:19-22 Promise: Despite the fact that there is no commendation but only the sternest rebukes, this church is given the greatest promises. Christ pictures Himself knocking on our heart’s door. Whoever invites Him to come in will enjoy the closest relationship with Him, receive the power to become an overcomer and have the great honor to sit with Him on his throne. Luke 12:37; John 14:23.

In this last message to the last church Christ pleads with his people for repentance and faithfulness.

Have you given your life to Him? If not, you can do it right now by praying this simple prayer: "Dear Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. (Confess to Him the ones that you can remember.) Thank you for your life, your death and your resurrection for me. I accept you as my personal Lord and Saviour, and claim your free gift of eternal life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen."

 

Ahead to Revelation 4

This commentary is adapted from Amazing Prophecies, © 2010 Family Heritage Books.

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