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"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. 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 [see Perfection]. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast [see Bulwarks Of The Truth], 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 [see Could Christ Return Tonight?].
Like the rest, the people of the church at Philadelphia had their triumphs and challenges. Some of the church will be protected from tribulation, while others will serve amidst The Great Tribulation to come.
"3:7 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 [see The Keys To The Kingdom]; 3:8 I know thy works [see Works Means Obedience]: 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. 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. 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 [see Never Before, Never Again].
Laodicea has been used as an example of "lukewarm" Christianity, a condition that does not please God: "3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:15-17 KJV). Christ spoke of the same principle earlier in His parable of the Talents in which Christians are expected to grow from that which they are given (Matthew 25:14-30).
"3:14 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 [see Christ The Creator]; 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 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.
Revelation Chapter 4
John was then given A Vision of God's Throne in heaven. The vision was similar to that seen by the prophet Daniel centuries before, but the terminology is timely different. Why? See The Ancient of Days.
"4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a Jasper and a Sardine Stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings [see also Thunder] and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 4:6 And before the throne there was a Sea of Glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Revelation Chapter 5
The victorious Lamb of God, upon His appearing before God after His Sacrifice, was given the power and authority to rule, something that He did not have when He came the first time (see Why Two Comings Of The Christ?). Christ will always be obedient to The Father; God then gave Christ His next set of instructions, written on a scroll ("book") sealed with seven seals.
"5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 5:3 And no man in heaven [see How High Is Heaven?], nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David [see The Root and The Offspring and Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah; also Israelite Dynasties], hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Fact Finder: Why is there a "new" Covenant?