"THE BOOK OF REVELATION" Chapter Three OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To examine the last three of seven letters to the churches in Asia 2) To glean what we can about the condition of each church: their strengths and weaknesses, the warnings and promises given SUMMARY The Lord continues His letters to the churches in Asia, with this chapter containing those written to Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The church in Sardis is rebuked for having a name that they are alive, when in reality they are dead. With their works not perfected before God, they are exhorted to be watchful and to strengthen the things which remain. They are also told to remember how they had received and heard in the past, to hold fast and repent. Otherwise, the Lord will come upon them as a thief in the night. Notice is taken, however, of a few in Sardis who had not defiled their garments and are still worthy, who are promised to walk with the Lord in white (1-6). The church in Philadelphia is promised an open door that none can shut because they had kept the Lord's word and not denied His name. Their enemies, those who claim to be Jews but are not, will be made to worship before them, and the church will be kept from the trial that was about to test those on the earth. With an announcement of His quick coming, they are exhorted to hold fast what they have that none take their crown (7-13). The church of the Laodiceans is then described as lukewarm, for which the Lord threatens to spew them out of His mouth. While claiming to be rich, they are blind to their true condition. Therefore the Lord counsels them to buy from Him those things they truly need. His strong words are indicative of His love for them, and the fact that He stands ready to re-enter their hearts if they will open to Him (14-22). As before, each letter ends with wonderful promises to those who overcome. In most cases, the manner in which the promises are to be fulfilled is illustrated in the visions to come. OUTLINE I. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS (1-6) A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (1a) 1. "He who has the seven Spirits of God" - cf. Isa 11:1-2; Zech 4:1-10; Re 1:4; 4:5 2. "...and the seven stars" B. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (1b-3) 1. Condemnation a. They have a name that they are alive, but they are dead b. Their works have not been found perfect before God 2. Warning a. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain and are ready to die b. Remember how they had received and heard c. Hold fast and repent d. If they don't watch, the Lord will come upon them as a thief C. COMMENDATION (4) 1. There are few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments 2. They shall walk with Him in white, for they are worthy D. PROMISE AND EXHORTATION (5-6) 1. He who overcomes... a. Shall be clothed in white garments b. The Lord will not blot his name from the Book of Life c. The Lord will confess his name before My Father and His angels 2. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches II. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA (7-13) A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (7) 1. "He who is holy, He who is True" 2. "He who has key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens" - cf. Isa 22:22 B. COMMENDATION (8) 1. The Lord has set an open door before them and none can shut it 2. For they have a little strength, have kept His word, and not denied His name C. PROMISE AND EXHORTATION (9b-11) 1. Concerning the "synagogue of Satan" (who claim to be Jews, but are not)... a. He will make them come and worship before their feet b. He will make them know that He has loved those in Philadelphia 2. Because the church has kept His command to persevere... a. He will keep them from the hour of trial b. Which is coming to test those who dwell on the earth 3. Behold, He is coming quickly! a. Hold fast what they have b. That no one may take their crown 4. He who overcomes, the Lord will... a. Make him a pillar in the temple of His God, and he shall go out no more b. Write on him: 1) The name of His God 2) The name of the city of His God, the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from His God 3) His new name 5. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches III. LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA (14-22) A. THE LORD'S SELF-DESIGNATION (14) 1. "The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness" 2. "The Beginning of the creation of God" B. CONDEMNATION AND WARNING (15-20) 1. Condemnation a. They are neither cold or hot 1) He wished they were cold or hot 2) But because they are lukewarm, He will spew them out of His mouth b. They are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked 1) Though they say they are rich, wealthy, and in need of nothing 2) Therefore He counsels them... a) To buy from Him: 1/ Gold refined in the fire, that they may be rich 2/ White garments, that their nakedness be not revealed b) To anoint their eyes with eye salve, that they might see 2. Warning a. As many as He loves, He rebukes and chastens; therefore be zealous and repent b. He stands at the door and knocks; if any will hear Him and open the door, He will come in and dine with him C. PROMISE AND EXHORTATION (21-22) 1. To him who overcomes... a. The Lord will grant to sit with Him on His throne b. Just as He overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne 2. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - Letter to the church in Sardis (1-6) - Letter to the church in Philadelphia (7-13) - Letter to the church in Laodicea (14-22) 2) For what does the Lord condemn the church in Sardis? (1-2) - They have a name that is alive, but they are dead - Their works have not been found not perfect before God 3) What does the Lord exhort those at Sardis to do? (2-3) - Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain and are ready to die - Remember how they had received and heard - Hold fast and repent 4) What warning is given to them? (3) - If they do not watch, He will come upon them as a thief 5) What did the Lord find commendable at Sardis? What did the Lord promise them? (4) - They had a few people who had not defiled their garments - They shall walk with Him in white, for they are worthy 6) What did the Lord promise to those who overcome? (5) - They shall be clothed in white garments - He will not blot their names from the Book of Life - He will confess their names before His Father and the His angels 7) What had the Lord done for those in Philadelphia? Why? (8) - Set before them an open door which none could shut - They had a little strength, had kept His word, and not denied His name 8) What was the Lord going to do to those who claimed to be Jews but were actually the synagogue of Satan? (9) - Make them come and worship at the feet of those in Philadelphia - Make them know that Jesus had loved them 9) What did the Lord say He would do for those in Philadelphia? Why? (10) - He would keep them from the hour of trial that was coming upon the earth - Because they kept His command to persevere 10) What warning and exhortation does He then give? (11) - Behold, I come quickly! - Hold fast what you have, that none may take your crown 11) What promise does the Lord give to him who overcomes? (12) - To make him a pillar in the temple of His God - To write on him the name of His God - To write on him the name of the city of His God, the New Jerusalem - To write on him His new name 12) For what does the Lord condemn those at Laodicea? (15-16) - They are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot 13) What does the Lord say He would do because of their lukewarmness? (16) - Spew them out of His mouth 14) What had they claimed? What was their true condition? (17) - To be rich, wealthy and in need of nothing - Wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked 15) What does the Lord counsel them to do? (18) - To buy from Him gold refined in the fire, that they might be rich - To buy from Him white garments to cover their nakedness - To anoint their eyes with eye salve, that they might see 16) What justification does the Lord give for such a strong rebuke? (19) - As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten 17) What does He say to such Christians? (19,20) - Be zealous and repent - He stands at the door and knock; those who hear and open the door, He will dine with them 18) What will be granted to him who overcomes? (21) - To sit with the Lord on His throne - Even as the Lord overcame and sat with His Father on His throne 19) What exhortation is given at the end of each letter in this chapter? (6,13,22) - "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches"