SARDIS CHURCH

Revelation 3:1 tells us a number of things:

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.

The seven stars are clearly identified in Revelation 1:20:

Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

The seven spirits are mentioned in Revelation 1:4 and are before His (Christ’s) throne:

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

In Revelation 4:5, the seven spirits are called “seven lamps.”

Revelation 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 5:6 apparently gives us some of their job description:

Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Are the seven spirits in Revelation 3:1 the same seven mentioned in Zechariah 3:9 and 4:10? Yes. For more on this subject, read my articles on Zechariah 3 and 4 and Haggai 1 and 2.

As I have said many, many times, the Bible is written to us, the end-time Christians, and contains many prototypes:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“Ensamples” is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type“), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

Joshua is one of the hats that the end-time Elijah wears.

Zechariah 3:9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

“Stone” is Strong’s #68 meaning, “a method to build…”

Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:10 is another hat worn by the end-time Elijah.

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

“Plummet” is made up of two Strong’s numbers: #68, “a method to build…” and #913 which means, “alloy…” An alloy is a blend of two or more components.

Elijah is the only one who can make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Are the seven spirits in Revelation 3:1 the same seven eyes in Zechariah 3:9 and 4:10? They are involved in the end-time building of God’s family.

Zechariah 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

“House” is Strong’s #1004 meaning, “a house (in the greatest variety of applications, especially family, etc…)”

Zerubbabel is the governor of the Jews. God calls the Philadelphians and other true Christians “Jews” in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9. Isn’t Elijah the only one who can make ready a people prepared for the Lord?

Rev 2:9  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Rev 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.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

If Luke 1:17 is true, Zerubbabel is a hat that the end-time Elijah wears. Remember that Joshua has a “stone,” Strong’s #68 meaning, “a method to build…,” put before him.  Review Zechariah 3:9 above.

The family (“house” in Zechariah 4:9) will be the 144,000 Israelites plus the multitude no man can number:

Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands………14….And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Remember that the definition of the word “plummet” was made up of two Hebrew words which meant “through the means to build” and “alloy.” Revelation 7:9 shows that the end-time family will be an alloy, a blend “of all nations.”

The Sardis church will be one of the seven churches (attitudes) that God builds His blended (alloy) family from.

Continuing in Revelation 3:1, Christ says, “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” What church is the perfect example of a church that had a name of being alive, although history has proven that it was dead? The Worldwide Church of God that I was a member of from 1967 to 1995 fits the description.

We had most of the world fooled, or so we thought. Didn’t we publish 7-8 million Plain Truth magazines each month? Hundreds of radio and TV broadcasts monthly, millions of copies of books and booklets were printed and distributed worldwide with hundreds of local congregations in many countries of the world, hundreds of ministers. We had “works” in Thailand, a dig in Jerusalem…on and on went our great “works.” We kept (or kept at) the Sabbath, the Holy Days, Passover and we obeyed the laws of clean and unclean meats, etc. All this was supposed to prove that we were God’s TRUE church, thence the “name of being alive.”

But where is this church now, June 1999, 13 years after HWA died and the Tkaches took over? Has this church not proven it was dead in God’s sight? Was it not washed away by Satan’s attacks? It was a church built on sand, not on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ.  We had that name of being alive, but in God’s sight we were mostly dead. We will see in verse 4 that there are a few in Sardis who qualify for God’s Kingdom.

History has proven this to be a dead church. It has disintegrated into countless splinter groups and living room churches and this splintering process continues. This false appearance of being alive will characterize the end-time Sardis Church (attitude) as it wakes up along with the other 6 churches (attitudes) from their long sleep:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

The cry at midnight comes to us (verse 6) and in verse 7 we start to get our spiritual houses in order as the end-time scenario gets under way.

Until we receive the cry at midnight, we are ALL asleep—there are NO exceptions.

In Revelation 3:2, God tells us why this Sardis church (attitude) drifts off into playing church:

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.

This Sardis church has a name, a look, of being alive, but in reality it is dead. The word “watchful” in verse 2 is Strong’s #1127 meaning, “to keep awake...” Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament adds, “to watch, refrain from sleep…”

So this Sardis attitude has a habit of going to sleep spiritually. The same thing will happen after they are awakened by the cry at midnight. This spiritual sleepiness, drowsiness, this lack of zeal turns most of these virgins into foolish (moron) virgins.

Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

“Foolish” is Strong’s #3474, the Greek word moros: “dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (mor.) blockhead, (appar.) absurd...” Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament adds of moros: “silly, stupid, foolish, from which the English word ‘moron’ is derived…”

Matthew 25:7-9 (above) describes this Sardis attitude. In verse 7 they are ALL virgins—they have the Holy Spirit and wake up. But their eye lids are spiritually heavy. To some degree, they must realize this because in verse 8 they ask the wise virgins for more of the Holy Spirit.

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.

Notice Christ tells this Sardis attitude to “remember how you’ve been awakened by the cry at midnight.” Do not forget 1 Corinthians 10:11—the Bible is written for us.

They receive the spiritual truth that awakens them from the spiritual sleep we are all in:

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Continuing with Revelation 3:3, Christ tells them (through Elijah and his end-time deputies) that if they do not “watch” (same word,”watchful,” as above, #1127) He will return while they are asleep and they will miss eternity. Matthew 25:10-13 shows us this:

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

In verse 11, the foolish virgins who are resurrected physical find their way to the marriage supper banquet hall. They realize then that they have lost eternity and start pounding on the door. In Matthew 25:13, “watch” is the same word used in Revelation 3:3, Strong’s #1127 meaning, “to keep awake.”

Over in Revelation 16:15, Christ gives all the end-time Christians a warning about staying awake. Here again, “watcheth” is Strong’s #1127:

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Notice this message to the end-time Christians:

Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

“Watch” is Strong’s #1127. In verse 43, their eyelids are heavy. What happens after the third time Christ finds them sleeping? Does this correspond to the point when Christ gives up on us and tells us to “sleep on” (verse 45)? “Sleep” is Strong’s #2518 meaning “to lie down to rest…to fall asleep…sleep…” This is the same word used in Matthew 25:5 and describes us ALL, with NO exceptions, before the cry at midnight comes to us.

Revelation 3:4 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.

“Few” is Strong’s #3641 meaning, “puny (in extent, degree, number, duration or value)…” Webster’s II New Collegiate Dictionary defines “puny” as, “inferior in strength, size or importance.”

How frightening! A whole church only produces a FEW to salvation—a number that is puny, a number that is inferior in size or importance!  Read my paper The Many and Few.

After the cry at midnight, this Sardis church, with its sleepy attitudes, is more than 50% foolish virgins. The original church is a prototype for the end-time Sardis church. The end-time Sardis, with its spiritually sleepy attitude, will follow the exact pattern in only producing a few to salvation. How sad that large numbers of people will spiritually sleep away their salvation!

It is hard, in one sense, to understand this. We are all asleep until the cry at midnight comes to us. We all wake up. The Philadelphian attitude grabs the spiritual ball and runs with it. The Sardis attitude grabs the ball and yawns. How sad, with eternal life on the line.

God spells out the solution to this problem in verse 5:

Revelation 3:5 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.

Overcoming this attitude is the only way these people can make it. Each of us has his or her own cross to bear, so to speak.

The last part of verse 5 indicates that more than one angel is assigned to look after us—”angels” is plural. In verse 6, we are warned again to hear what the Spirit says to the churches:

Revelation 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Published July, 1999

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org