Revelation: Messages to Three of the Seven Churches

How can one be dead and alive at the same time?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 3:1 To the messenger of the church at Sardis, write: He who has the seven stars and the sevenfold Spirit of God says, I know what you have done, that you have a reputation for being alive, but actually you are mostly dead.
King James
Revelation 3:1 And 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.

What is the difference between “obedience” and “complete obedience”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:2 Wake up and nurture what little life you have, which is close to death, for your deeds have not been in complete obedience to what God wants.
King James
Revelation 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Why do Christians need to remember the message they heard in the beginning?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:3 Remember the message you heard in the beginning. Embrace it, and turn from your sins. If you’re not looking for me, I will come at a time you least expect, like a thief in the night.
King James
Revelation 3:3 Remember 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.

How hard is “keeping ourselves pure”? What are the benefits?

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Revelation 3:4–6 Sardis has a few people who have kept themselves pure. Because they are worthy, the victorious will walk with me, dressed in white. I will preserve their names in the Book of Life and announce them before my Father and his messengers. If you have an ear to hear, you should listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
King James
Revelation 3:4–6 Thou 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. He 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

What is the significance of the victorious being dressed in white?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:4–6 Sardis has a few people who have kept themselves pure. Because they are worthy, the victorious will walk with me, dressed in white. I will preserve their names in the Book of Life and announce them before my Father and his messengers. If you have an ear to hear, you should listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
King James
Revelation 3:4–6 Thou 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. He 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

What is the door that nobody can open or close? Why is the door now open?

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Revelation 3:7–8 To the messenger of the church at Philadelphia, write: The one who holds David’s key to open the door that nobody can close and to close the door that nobody can open, the one who is holy and true says, I know what you have done. I set before you an open door that nobody can shut. You had little strength, yet you identified yourselves with me and followed my direction.
King James
Revelation 3:7–8 And 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; I 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.

How can Jewish worship belong to “liars in Satan’s synagogue”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:9 Look, those who claim to be Jews but really aren’t, liars who belong to Satan’s synagogue, I will cause to bow before you and acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
King James
Revelation 3:9 Behold, 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.

Why is “patient endurance” important?

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2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer for Christ’s sake, we will reign with him, but if we deny him, he will deny us.
Hebrews 5:8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he still had to show obedience through the things he suffered.
Hebrews 10:36 We can be thankful for delays that bring patience, because endurance is essential for receiving God’s promise.
Revelation 3:10 Because you have been obedient, trusting my call for patient endurance, I will protect you in the trials that are coming upon the earth.
King James
2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Revelation 3:10 Because 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.

How can those who know the Lord have their crowns stolen?

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1 Corinthians 9:26–27 I run the race with relentless determination. I don’t fight like the boxer who throws punches at the air, but I surrender my body, making myself a captive to Christ, lest I should miss the truth of my own preaching.
Hebrews 6:4–6 Those who have seen the light, accepted the gift of salvation, and received the Holy Spirit, having tasted the goodness of God’s word, experiencing the spiritual strength of the world to come, if they turn away, they have no means to gain repentance and forgiveness, since they crucify the Son of God a second time, putting him to open shame.
Revelation 3:11 I am coming soon. So no one can steal your crown, keep a firm grip on the truth and hope you have.
King James
1 Corinthians 9:26–27 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Hebrews 6:4–6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

What does it mean to be a “pillar in the house of God”?

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Revelation 3:12–13 The victorious will be pillars in the house of God, having his family name as citizens of his city—the new Jerusalem, which comes from above. And they will have my new name. If you have an ear to hear, you should listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
King James
Revelation 3:12–13 Him 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Why is being lukewarm something that God abhors?

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Revelation 3:14–16 To the messenger of the church at Laodicea, write: The Amen, true and faithful witness, and ruler of God’s creation says, I know what you have done. You are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other. Since you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth like vomit.
King James
Revelation 3:14–16 And 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; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

How can one be poor and not know it? How can one be rich and not know it?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:17 While you say, “I am rich, my business is thriving, and I have everything I could want,” you don’t realize how pitifully poor, blind, and naked you are, spiritually destitute
King James
Revelation 3:17 Because 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:

What kinds of gold and fine garments does God have to offer?

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Revelation 3:18 You should seek treasure from me because my gold is 100 percent pure, of the highest value. Then you really will be rich. Buy my finest garments, and you will be free from embarrassment and shame. Accept my prescription for your eyes, and you will see clearly.
King James
Revelation 3:18 I 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.

How does a person get God’s eye prescription to see clearly?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 7:5 “Hypocrite! First take the large object from your eye. Then you can see clearly to remove the small piece from your brother’s eye.”
Romans 11:7 A select few belong to the Lord. Most of Israel hasn’t found what they were looking for, because they didn’t really want to see.
1 Corinthians 13:12 When we look in a mirror, we see an imperfect reflection of who we are, but when we see the Lord face-to-face, we will see ourselves as he sees us. Right now, our knowledge and vision is limited, but the day will come when we will see as God does.
2 Corinthians 4:18 We pay no attention to the clearly visible troubles that surround us. Instead, we focus on the unseen eternal realities that are known by faith.
Colossians 3:1 Since God is raising you in Christ to a new life, shift your focus from the world’s perceptions to the spiritual realities of Heaven, where Christ holds supreme power and authority.
Hebrews 11:1 Faith believes when physical evidence is lacking.
Hebrews 11:3 We need faith to know that God spoke the universe into existence—that what we see was made out of nothing—because obviously we weren’t there.
2 Peter 1:8–9 The more you are used by God for his purpose, the greater your feeling of self-worth will be, and your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will always be fruitful. Those who lack these qualities are spiritually blind, unable to see past their noses, forgetting how they were cleansed from their sins.
Revelation 3:18 You should seek treasure from me because my gold is 100 percent pure, of the highest value. Then you really will be rich. Buy my finest garments, and you will be free from embarrassment and shame. Accept my prescription for your eyes, and you will see clearly.
King James
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Romans 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
2 Peter 1:8–9 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Revelation 3:18 I 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.

Why do people become complacent?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:19 I correct and discipline those whom I love, so turn away from your complacency and be passionate about me.
King James
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

If Jesus is standing at the door, knocking, why don’t more people invite him in?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:20 Pay attention, because I’m standing at your door, knocking. If you will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in. Then we can enjoy dinner together, you and me.
King James
Revelation 3:20 Behold, 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.

What does it mean to be “victorious”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Revelation 3:21 The victorious will rule with me on my throne as I was victorious and rule with my Father on his throne.
King James
Revelation 3:21 To 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.