Breaking News
Home > New Testament > Lesson #10

Lesson #10

RETURN TO SYLLABUS

REVELATION 3:1-6
LESSON #10
THE DEAD CHURCH – SARDIS

  • MEMORY VERSE: PSA 69:28
  • READ REV 3:1-6 SARDIS
    • BACKGROUND:
      • THE NAME SARDIS MEANS = ESCAPING ONES, OR THOSE LEFT OVER, THE OTHER ONES.
        • THIS MEANING REFERS TO THE FEW IN THE CHURCH WHO WERE DOING THINGS RIGHT AND WOULD THEREFORE ESCAPE JUDGMENT (4)
      • HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
        • SARDIS WAS THE CAPITAL OF THE ANCIENT KINGDOM OF LYDIA BEFORE THE GREEKS COLONIZED THE AREA. IT WAS BUILT ON A STEEP HILL AND SURROUNDED BY LOOSE ROCK. IT, THEREFORE WAS EASILY DEFENDED AND CONSIDERED BY ITS ENEMIES TO BE IMPREGNABLE. THE LYDIAN KINGDOM BEGAN 1200 BC AND WAS THE CENTER OF OPPOSITION TO EUROPEAN FORCES IN DEFENSE OF ASIAN CITIES.
        • IN 549 BC CYRUS OF PERSIA BESIEGED THE CITY AND TOOK IT BY SCALING THE CLIFFS IN DARKNESS. IT WAS SAID OF HIM THAT “HE CONQUERED IT LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT.” (SEE VS. 3) ANTIOCHUS THE GREAT DID THE SAME THING IN 214 BC, THEN THE ROMANS CONQUERED IT.
        • THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY THOUGHT THEY WERE SAFE BASED ON THEIR REPUTATION OF IMPREGNABILITY BUT WERE OVERTAKEN BY SURPRISE ATTACKS WHEN THEY WERE MILITARILY ASLEEP.
      • THE ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE:
        • THE CITY OF SARDIS WAS ON AN IMPORTANT TRADE ROUTE. THE CHIEF INDUSTRY WAS THE MAKING AND DYEING OF WOOLEN GARMENTS OF BEAUTIFUL COLORS AS WELL AS THE MAKING OF JEWELRY. IT WAS A VERY WEALTHY CITY OF POWERFUL INFLUENCE. THE CITY HAD A GLORIOUS PAST BUT BY THE TIME JOHN WROTE REVELATION, IT HAD LOST ITS FORMER GLORY AND HAD A MEANINGLESS PRESENT.
      • THE RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE:
        • IN 17 AD THE CITY WAS DEVASTATED BY AN EARTHQUAKE. EMPEROR TIBERIUS HELPED THEM RECOVER SO THEY MINTED A COIN IN HIS HONOR AND BUILT A TEMPLE TO HIM. THEREFORE, EMPEROR WORSHIP EXISTED THERE AS WELL AS PAGAN TEMPLES AND IDOLS, AND OCCULT PRACTICES. THERE WAS A HOT SPRINGS NEARBY AND HEALING POWERS WERE ASSOCIATED WITH PAGAN GODS INCLUDING RESTORING THE DEAD. (SEE VS. 1)
      • THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN SARDIS:
        • NOTHING IS KNOWN ABOUT THE CHURCH, WHEN AND WHO FOUNDED IT. THERE WAS EVIDENTLY NOT THE SEVERE PROBLEM WITH PERSECUTION THAT OTHER CITIES HAD.
        • HERODOTUS SAID THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY HAD A REPUTATION FOR LAX MORALITY (SEE VS. 4)
      • THE CITY OF SARDIS TODAY:
        • AFTER A PERIOD OF DECLINE, THE CITY WAS FINALLY COMPLETELY DESTROYED IN 640 AD AND NEVER REBUILT.
        • THE CITY DOES NOT EXIST TODAY. THERE ARE ONLY RUINS AND A SMALL VILLAGE NEAR THE SITE OF THE OLD CITY. THEY, THEREFORE, DID NOT REPENT, SO GOD REMOVED THEIR LAMPSTAND. IT BECAME A CENTER OF MOSLEM INFLUENCE AND IS SO TODAY.
    • THE PROPHETIC HISTORICAL PERIOD:
      • THE DEAD CHURCH 1500-1750 AD — THE REFORMATION ERA
        • IN THE TIME OF MARTIN LUTHER, THE CHURCH OF ROME RESISTED THE ATTACK UPON THEIR DEAD TRADITION. AS A RESULT WE HAVE THE MODERN-DAY PLURALISM OF DENOMINATIONS THAT ALLOWED MODERN NATIONS TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES FROM RELIGION, AND TO TREAT CHURCHES AS VOLUNTARY SOCIETIES SEPARATED FROM POLITICS, THE STATE, AND EVENTUALLY DAILY LIFE.
          • DURING THE REFORMATION ERA THE DOCTRINE OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST WAS NEGLECTED. ACCORDING TO VERSE 3, THIS CHURCH TYPE WILL STILL BE PRESENT WHEN CHRIST COMES AGAIN.
    • CHRIST REVEALED:
      • WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE TELL US ABOUT CHRIST?
        • HE HAS THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD AND THE SEVEN STARS.
          • “SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD” = THIS REFERS TO THE SEVEN-FOLD MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM REV 1:4 (SEE LESSON #04)
        • HE “HAS THE SEVEN STARS” = JESUS IS IN CONTROL AND PRESENTLY WORKING IN THE SEVEN CHURCHES.
          • JESUS IS THEREFORE THE ANOINTED ONE.
            • WE FIND THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN 1COR 12:4-11. VERSE 5 TELLS US THAT JESUS ADMINISTRATES THE GIFTS.
    • THE COMMENDATION FOR THE CHURCH:
      • THIS CHURCH HAS SOME WHO HAVE NOT DEFILED THEIR GARMENTS (4)
        • REFERENCE TO THE GARMENT INDUSTRY
          • WHAT DOES THIS MEAN SPIRITUALLY?
            • DEFILED GARMENTS REFERS SPIRITUALLY TO MORAL LAXITY. MORAL SIN WAS PREVALENT IN THE CHURCH, BUT SOME IN THE CHURCH WERE MORALLY PURE.
      • THEIR WORKS AND REPUTATION (1)
        • LIKE THE CITY, THE CHURCH WAS LIVING ON THEIR PAST REPUTATION OF BEING ALIVE BUT THEY WERE REALLY DEAD. THEIR WORKS WERE DEAD WORKS. (HEB 6:1)
    • THE CORRECTION FOR THE CHURCH:
      • A DEAD CHURCH
        • THE CHURCH SEEMS TO BE DYING THROUGH APATHY AND INDIFFERENCE. THEY HAVE LOST THEIR ZEAL AND COMPROMISED WITH THE WORLD.
          • THEY WERE UNCONCERNED ABOUT THEIR SPIRITUAL CONDITION.
          • THEY WERE UNAWARE OF HOW SERIOUS THEIR CONDITION WAS,
          • THEY WERE UNRESPONSIVE TO WHAT GOD WANTED TO DO.
        • DEAD WORKS
          • WHAT ARE DEAD WORKS?
            • THESE ARE WORKS NOT INITIATED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
            • THESE ARE WORKS NOT DONE THROUGH THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. THEY ARE NOT SPIRIT EMPOWERED.
            • THESE ARE WORKS THAT DO NOT PRODUCE SPIRITUAL LIFE.
              • “I HAVE NOT FOUND THY WORKS PERFECT” (2)
                • “PERFECT” MEANS = COMPLETION, FULFILLMENT. THEIR WORKS WERE NOT FULFILLING THE PURPOSE OF GOD BUT INSTEAD WERE MOTIVATED BY A DESIRE TO BUILD THEIR OWN REPUTATION.
          • THIS CHURCH HAD A LOT OF ACTIVITY, A LOT OF WORKS RELATED PROGRAMS, BUT NONE INITIATED AND SUPPORTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
      • WHAT ARE SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A LIVE CHURCH?
        • READ ACT 2:37-47

CHARACTERISTICS OF A LIVE CHURCH

1. THEY CALL FOR REPENTANCE AND SALVATION ACT 2:28
2. THEY BAPTIZED IN WATER ACT 2:38
3 PEOPLE WERE BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT ACT 2:38
4. PEOPLE WERE GROWING IN SOUND DOCTRINE ACT 2:42
5. PEOPLE WERE GATHERING TOGETHER IN FELLOWSHIP ACT 2:42
6. PEOPLE WERE SHARING COMMUNION ACT 2:42
7. PEOPLE WERE PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER ACT 2:42
8. THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS PERFORMING WONDERS AND SIGNS ACT 2:43
9. PEOPLE WERE SHARING WITH EACH OTHER TO MEET PERSONAL NEEDS ACT 2:44-45
10. BELIEVERS SAW EACH OTHER OFTEN FOR FORMAL WORSHIP ACT 2:46
11. BELIEVERS WERE GATHERING FOR INFORMAL MEETINGS IN HOMES AND EATING TOGETHER ACT 2:46
12 BELIEVERS WERE PRAISING GOD ACT 2:47
13 CHURCH MEMBERS HAD GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH BELIEVERS AND NON-BELIEVERS ACT 2:47
    • THE COUNSEL CHRIST GAVE TO THIS CHURCH:
      • “WATCH” (2)
        • A REFERENCE TO THE REPUTATION OF THE CITY AS BEING IMPREGNABLE. THEY WEREN’T WATCHFUL SO THE ENEMY OVERTHREW THEM. THEY SHOULD WAKE UP (EPH 5:14)
          • “STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS” (2)
            • THINGS THAT ARE READY TO DIE, THEY ARE TO STRENGTHEN. THIS REFERS TO THEIR WORKS
          • “REMEMBER” (3)
            • THEY MUST REMEMBER WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS
          • “HOLD FAST” (3)
            • THEY MUST ESTABLISH LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD
              • “HOLD FAST” IS MENTIONED IN 4 OF THE 7 LETTERS, BUT THE GREEK WORD USED HERE IS DIFFERENT. IT MEANS = “KEEP”
                • IN OTHER WORDS, KEEP HIS WORD AND HIS COMMANDMENTS.
          • “REPENT” (3)
            • THEY MUST REPENT OF WRONG ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES OR CHRIST’S COMING JUDGMENT WILL TAKE THEM BY SURPRISE JUST AS THEIR ENEMIES TOOK THE CITY BY SURPRISE (1THE 5:2-6)
    • THE CHALLENGE FOR THIS CHURCH:
      • PERFECTION (4)
        • “THEY SHALL WALK WITH ME IN WHITE”.(4)
          • CLOTHED IN WHITE RAIMENT = PERFECTION
            • THIS ILLUSTRATION IS FREQUENTLY USED IN REVELATION
              • REV 4:4 TWENTY FOUR ELDERS IN HEAVEN
              • REV 6:11 MARTYRED TRIBULATION PERIOD SAINTS
              • REV 7:9,14 GREAT MULTITUDE OF BELIEVERS
              • REV 19:8,14 THOSE AT THE MARRIAGE SUPPER
          • SOILED GARMENTS IN THE BIBLE FREQUENTLY RELATES TO A MINGLING OF PAGAN RELIGIOUS PRACTICES WITH ONE’S CHRISTIAN FAITH TO THE POINT OF DEFILING ONE’S CHRISTIAN RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. (1COR 8:7 2COR 7:1; 11:2 JUDE 2:3)
    • THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIS CHURCH AND A KINGDOM PARABLE:
      • MAT 22:11-14 THE PARABLE OF THE MARRIAGE FEAST AND THE GARMENT
        • THE PARABLE TEACHES THAT ANYONE IS ACCEPTABLE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD IF HE PUTS ON THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST.
    • SECURITY (5)
      • “I WILL NOT BLOT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK” (5)
        • BOOK OF LIFE
          • THIS PHRASE IS MENTIONED 5 OTHER TIMES IN REVELATION (13:8 17:8 20:12,15 21:27)
          • THIS IS A BOOK UNIQUELY BELONGING TO THE LAMB OF GOD AND RELATED TO HIS DEATH (13:8; 21:27)
          • YOUR NAME MUST BE WRITTEN IN IT TO ENTER HEAVEN (21:27)
          • THOSE WHO LIVE ON EARTH DURING THE TRIBULATION PERIOD, AND MARVEL AT THE ANTI-CHRIST, WON’T HAVE THEIR NAMES IN THIS BOOK (17:8)
          • IF YOUR NAME IS NOT IN THIS BOOK, YOU SPEND ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE (20:15)
        • WHAT DOES IT MEAN, “I WILL NOT BLOT HIS NAME OUT”?
          • SOME PROBLEMATICAL QUESTIONS:
            • DOES THIS INFER THAT IF YOU DON’T “OVERCOME” YOUR NAME IS BLOTTED OUT?
            • IS IT AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE SAVED THAT THEY ARE ETERNALLY SECURE?
            • WHEN IS ONE’S NAME WRITTEN IN THE BOOK: AT PHYSICAL BIRTH, AT NEW BIRTH, AT THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD?
          • POSSIBLE INTERPRETATIONS:
            • #1= EVERYONE WHO IS EVER BORN PHYSICALLY WILL HAVE HIS NAME WRITTEN IN THE BOOK FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. THOSE WHO DON’T ACCEPT CHRIST WILL HAVE THEIR NAMES BLOTTED OUT OF THE BOOK.
            • #2= EVERYONE WHO ACCEPTS CHRIST AS SAVIOR HAS HIS NAME WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK AT THE TIME OF HIS ACCEPTANCE. HE HAS ETERNAL SECURITY, AND SO HIS NAME WILL NEVER BE REMOVED FROM THE BOOK.
            • #3= EVERYONE WHO WILL ACCEPT CHRIST AS SAVIOR HAS HIS NAME WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK AT THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
              • HE HAS ETERNAL SECURITY. THEREFORE, HIS NAME WILL NEVER BE REMOVED FROM THE BOOK.
                • HIS NAME WILL NEVER BE REMOVED FROM THE BOOK BY GOD, BUT CAN A PERSON REMOVE HIS OWN NAME?
        • A SCRIPTURAL IDENTIFICATION OF THE BOOK OF LIFE:
          • THE BIBLE SPECIFIES 2 DIFFERENT BOOKS WITH THIS TITLE:
            • THERE IS A GENERAL BOOK OF LIFE.(REV 17:8 PSA 9:5 PSA 69:25-28)
              • THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE NAMES OF EVERY HUMAN BEING EVER TO BE BORN PHYSICALLY.
            • THERE IS A LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE (REV 13:8)
              • THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE NAMES OF ALL WHO ARE SPIRITUALLY BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST.
          • FURTHER SCRIPTURAL STUDY:
            • EXO 32;33;
            • DEU 9:14; DEU 25:19;
            • DEU 29:20; HEB 6:4-8;
            • 1JOH 5:16; REV 22:19
            • AND THE BOOK THE REIGN OF THE SERVANT KINGS BY JOSEPH C. DILLOW.
    • THE ACCEPTANCE (5)
      • “I WILL CONFESS HIS NAME BEFORE MY FATHER”
    • THE CHARACTER OF THIS CHURCH:
      • DEAD
    • ANOTHER KINGDOM PARABLE THAT CORRESPONDS TO THIS CHURCH:
      • WE HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED THE PARABLE OF THE WEDDING GARMENT IN MAT 22:11-14 AND HOW IT CORRESPONDS TO THIS CHURCH.
      • HOW DOES THE PARABLE OF THE TREASURE AND THE FIELD IN MAT 13:44 CORRESPOND TO THIS CHURCH?
        • THIS PARABLE TEACHES THAT JESUS CHRIST SEEKS FAITH IN THE HEARTS OF PEOPLE. FAITH IN THE HEART (THE SOUL) IS A VALUABLE TREASURE. CHRIST PAID THE REDEMPTION PRICE WITH HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS FOR THE SINS OF ALL THE WORLD IN ORDER TO PURCHASE THE FAITH OF A FEW.
          • THIS CHURCH FORGOT THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH WAS TO BRING THESE VALUABLE SOULS TO CHRIST.
  • APPLICATION:
    • DO NOT BE QUICK TO JUDGE OUTWARD APPEARANCE FOR REPUTATION IS NO GUARANTEE OF INWARD CHARACTER
    • HOW TO BE AN OVERCOMER #5:
      • HOW DO YOU REMAIN ALIVE AND MOVING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A MINORITY AMONG DEAD CHRISTIANS?
        • AN OVERCOMER IS ALERT TO THE TACTICS OF THE ENEMY. HE KEEPS HIS PURPOSE FOR LIFE ALIVE BY SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS.

HOMEWORK
REVELATION 3:7-13

  • APPLICATION FOR REV 3:1-6
    • WHAT ARE THE FAILURES IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE THAT TEND TO CAUSE YOUR CHURCH TO BE A DEAD ONE? TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION YOU MUST JUDGE YOUR OWN LIFE BY THE LIST GIVEN IN ACT 2:37-47.
    • AFTER HAVING PRAYED AND EVALUATED YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD THE LORD HAVE YOU DO?
  • PREPARATION FOR REV 3:7-13
    • READ REV 3:7-13
      • WHAT DOES THE PHRASE MEAN, “HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID” (7)?
      • WHAT DO YOU THINK VERSE 10 MEANS?
      • ACCORDING TO THE COUNSEL TO THIS CHURCH, HOW SHOULD THE BELIEVER BE AN OVERCOMER?
  • MEMORY VERSE: REV 3:8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly

About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

Check Also

Lesson #03

RETURN TO SYLLABUS REVELATION AND THE SECOND COMINGLESSON #03PROPHECY, DOCTRINE, AND DEFINITIONS: PREPARATION THE SECOND …