Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Revelation 3

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verses 1-22

Chapter 3

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis (Protestant Reformation) write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God ( Revelation 3:1 ),

And so the fullness of the Spirit as it dwelt in Jesus, Isaiah the eleventh chapter.

and the seven stars; I know thy works, that you have a name that you are alive, but really you are dead ( Revelation 3:1 ).

Dead Protestantism. And I'll tell you if you don't believe it is dead, go to Europe. You go into a post-Christian era when you get to Europe. It is dark. The church is dead. The Protestant Reformation in Europe is dead. You say you are alive, but really you are dead.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works (complete) before God ( Revelation 3:2 ).

The problem with the Protestant Reformation is that it wasn't complete. In the Protestant Reformation they drew with it many of the pagan practices that originated in Babylonian religion systems. They came out, but not far enough. Their works weren't complete. So, we find within the church today a lot of relics from the Babylonian system, the Babylonian religion. We just went through one, the celebration of Christmas on December 25th. It is a tremendous pagan celebration originating in Babylon adopted by Rome called Saturnalia. It was a time of drunkenness and feasting and the giving of gifts and celebration as the sun past through the winter solstice. It was adapted by the church. It was picked up by the Protestants. We are soon going to be entering into the Lent season which was borrowed from the Babylonian system. So, it wasn't a complete reformation.

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, hold fast, repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and you'll not know what hour I'm coming upon thee ( Revelation 3:3 ).

So now He is warning concerning His coming for the church. Paul said, "You are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are children of the light, therefore walk as children of the light." Now there are many today who are not watching for the return of Jesus Christ. There are many who in the church mock the idea of the Lord returning and interrupting history.

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 ( Revelation 3:4 ).

So within the Protestant Reformation, those great persons didn't defile their garments, walking with Him in purity, 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 will confess his name before my Father, and before his holy angels ( Revelation 3:5 ).

"He that denies me before men," Jesus said, "I will deny before my Father, but if you confess Me before men, I will confess you before my Father which is in heaven." I am looking forward to the Lord confessing my name before His Father. That is my only hope. If that doesn't happen, I have had it. I will confess his name before the Father.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches ( Revelation 3:6 ).

Now we have the church of Philadelphia, the faithful remnant. Those who are holding to the Word of God. Those who gather on Sunday evening to study the Word of God.

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 shuts; and shuts, and no man opens ( Revelation 3:7 );

Now he is borrowing a description not out of chapter one in this. The rest of the description is out of chapter one. He is going back to Isaiah 22:0 for this description. And in the twenty-second chapter of Isaiah in verse twenty-two, well, go back to twenty-one, we read this prophecy concerning the Messiah, "I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder, so he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut and none shall open." So, Jesus is here laying claim to that prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 22:22 . I have the key of David. I open and no man can shut. I shut and no man can open.

I know thy works: behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it ( Revelation 3:8 ):

That to me is exciting. The Lord sets before us an open door of opportunity and no man can shut it. I believe that that open door will be open to us until the Lord comes. No man can shut it.

for thou hast a little strength ( Revelation 3:8 ),

I don't see a super church, or super saints. There is a doctrine known as the manifested sons of God that advocates the super sainthood. One of these days we are going to go into the phone booth and change our clothes and we are going to come out with super power and we are going to just point at the Russians and they will just shrivel and die. And all of the enemies of God we are just going to subdue when we are manifested finally as the sons of God before the world. Balderdash. You have a little strength.

We are not very strong. You know it is true that God is doing a wonderful work here and it is exciting to see what God is doing, but we have hardly touched the county. There are so many out there who need Jesus Christ. We can't really sit back and say, "Look, how many we have got coming here." There are so many more to be reached. We have a little strength. Thank God we have a little strength. Thank God that He has set before us the open door.

Behold, I will make of them the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee ( Revelation 3:9 ).

There will be that day that will come that the Jews will recognize that Jesus is the Messiah. That is a work that God is going to do in bringing the knowledge to these people. I do not feel called of God as an evangelist to the Jewish people or to the Jewish nation. I believe that is something that God is going to do. He may call others. And that isn't to say that God doesn't call people as He did to the Jews, but He has not called me. And I don't feel that I have this great obligation to share the Gospel to the Jews. I believe that God has blinded their eyes until the fullness of the gentiles has come in. And so the day will come when they will acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah and I pray and long for that day. I hope for that day. But in the meantime I share the truth of God with those that accept, with those that believe.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, [and here it is, because you've kept His Word], I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the eaRuth ( Revelation 3:10 ).

So, the promise of being kept from the Great Tribulation, because we have kept the word of His patience.

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. 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 the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name ( Revelation 3:11-12 ).

Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord is our righteousness.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the church ( Revelation 3:13 ).

No call to repentance, just a commendation for keeping the Word, the promise that He would also keep them.

Now the final apostate condition of the church, the church of Laodicea represented by those ministers that sued President Reagan for announcing the year of the Bible. Those ministers that are pro-abortion and pro-pornography and pro every other evil that comes down the pike, who dress in clerical robes and claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ but are really of the synagogue of Satan.

to the angel of the church of Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness ( Revelation 3:14 ),

In chapter one, He was known as the faithful and the true witness.

the beginning of the creation of God ( Revelation 3:14 );

Or who was in the beginning of God's creation. In the beginning was the Word, that the word was with God, all things were made by Him.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth ( Revelation 3:15-16 ).

The nauseating state of the church.

Because you say, I am rich, [endowed with great foundations and funds, we're rich.] we're increased with goods, we have need of nothing; you know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked ( Revelation 3:17 ):

Interesting how the church observes itself and how Jesus observes the church.

I counsel thee buy from me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness does not appear; anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see ( Revelation 3:18 ).

That is of the Holy Spirit.

As many as I love ( Revelation 3:19 ),

And here He is loving the church in this sad condition.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent ( Revelation 3:19 ).

Oh, how patient the Lord is. He still loves the church in this apostate condition. "As many as I love, I rebuke." If the Lord has rebuked you, then be thankful He loves you. If the Lord chastens you, be thankful you are His child and He loves you.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock ( Revelation 3:20 ):

Actually the church has put Christ on the outside. You read the Gallup Polls and all and it is rather frightening to find out how many ministers do not really believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, do not believe in the virgin birth, do not believe that there is an actual heaven or hell. The percentages are down around fifty to sixty percent that don't believe in these things. It is sad. You wonder why they are ministers. You might as well establish another religion on Mother Goose rhymes or something, or Aesops Fables. Why espouse a book that you can't trust or is not true?

I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in, and will sup with him ( Revelation 3:20 ),

Eating supper is a very significant act from a Biblical standpoint, from a cultural standpoint at the time of Christ. It signified becoming one with the other person. And Jesus is always wanting to eat supper with people. What does it mean? It means that He wants to become one with you. Just open the door and He will come in and become one with you. He will eat supper with you.

Now, the Jew would not eat with the Gentile. He didn't want to become one with the Gentile. You remember when Peter came to the house of Cornelius, he said, "Now look, I am really not supposed to be here. We Jews are not supposed to go into the house of a Gentile, but the Lord told me to come so that is why I am here." And he was apologizing, but he went into the house of Cornelius. God was breaking down some of these barriers. Jesus doesn't care. He says, "Just open the door and I will come in and eat with you. You can become one with Me. I will be glad to share with you and become one with you just open the door."

To him that overcomes 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches ( Revelation 3:21-22 ).

So we come to the end of the second section of the book of Revelation, the things which are. And next week as we get into chapters four and five. We will enter into the third section, the things which will be after these things of the church. We will take you to heaven next Sunday night.

Oh God, give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. May we tonight, O God, listen to what you would say to us. Search us, O Lord, know our hearts, try us, O God, know our thoughts, if there is a way of unrighteousness, if there is a way of deceitfulness, God help us that we would not deceive ourselves, and be blind to the truth. Lord, if there is something wrong in what we are doing, how we are doing it, let your Spirit reveal to our hearts. God we don't want to go on living in a lie or a fallacy. We long to know Your truth. Thy Word is truth. Teach us thy Word that we might in its precepts and live in its light. In Jesus' name, Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Revelation 3". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/revelation-3.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile