Have you ever stood before a judge in a court of law? If you have you know his word is the final word. But unlike our fair and just Judge, the world’s judges have limited knowledge and understanding of any given situation.
This post follows our journey with John witnessing Jesus among the first four churches. He speaks to the way things are as we continue with the last three. Remember as we continue,
Jesus is he that –
“holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;” Revelation 2: 1
The seven stars being his messengers and the seven golden candlesticks representing the seven churches. Each church receives a commendation, a reprimand, a reward, or a judgment from the risen Christ. The Lord God gave this authority to him and Jesus is introduced to the church at Sardis as –
“he that hath the seven Spirits of God,
and the seven stars…”
Jesus embodies the seven Spirits of God – the fulness of God.
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” Colossians 1:19.
The fulness is identified in Isaiah 11:2.
- “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
- the spirit of wisdom
- and understanding,
- the spirit of counsel
- and might,
- the spirit of knowledge
- and of the fear of the LORD;”
His qualifications speak to his authority and ability to judge justly. He –
“shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD:
and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes,
neither reprove after the hearing of his ears …
And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,
and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”
Jesus’s strength as a judge dwells in his understanding and his righteousness. He is not ruled by emotions but faithfulness.
Jesus instructs the dying church of Sardis to find mercy and not judgment when He says,
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain…
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,
and hold fast, and repent…Revelation 3:2,3
And to those who “have not defiled their garments,” He shows himself faithful when He says,
“they shall walk with me in white for they are worthy…
and I will not blot out their name out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name before my Father,
and before his angels.” Revelation 3:4,5
To the church of Philadelphia living among a culture surrounded by false religion Jesus offers hope.
“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:” Revelation 3:7
Hope lies in knowing the one who is holy and true.
“And we know that the Son of God is come,
and hath given us an understanding,
that we may know him that is true,
and we are in him that is true,
even in his Son Jesus Christ.
This is the true God, and eternal life.”
1 John 5:20.
When living among a world filled with human philosophies and worldly wisdom, followers become a minority. Our strength may seem small. This is when we realize we need the one who holds the key of David and has the strength to open and shut all doors. He opens the door of truth and closes those of untruth. Ours is to follow and keep “the word of my patience.” For Jesus is the one holding all the keys – all authority. He has given those keys into our hands.
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:
and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
In an instant our little strength becomes great strength found in the Lord. Because we are keepers of his word, He promises us –
“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.”
It is fitting the last church we visit is the one Jesus reveals himself as –
the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of the creation of God.”
Jesus is the way it is as seen in his faithfulness to fulfill all God purposed. He is the true witness of God’s glory.
“Father, the hour is come:
glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh,
that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And his is life eternal,
that they might know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
I have glorified thee on the earth:
I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
The church at Laodicea had forgotten all they had came at Jesus’s hand. They needed Jesus to fulfill God’s purpose in them but had lost sight of the truth. Yet, He had not forgotten them.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent.
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.”
When the Lord rebukes and chastens remember He love you. It’s only when left without discipline we learn we are not loved. Chastening knocks at the door of repentance waiting for us to open and enjoy fellowship with our Lord.
These seven letters were sent to the churches in Asia. They are the things which are left for the church today – of which all who follow Jesus are a part.
The things that are:
- Jesus is the full revelation of God – Hear him.
- He desires mercy rather than judgment – repent.
- He holds all the keys of the kingdom – find strength in him.
- He is the Amen fulfilling all God’s purpose – Know him and know life.
- He has supplied all our need – open the door of your heart and receive his love.
Reflecting on this post and the first post, “Things that are”, which church do you resonate with most?
Next we will delve into “the things which shall be hereafter.” Until then may you walk in the strength of the Lord.