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Revelation 3 - An Understandable Version (2005 edition)

To the Church in Sardis

1. “And write [this] to the angel of the church at Sardis: These are the words of Him who has the seven Spirits of God [i.e., Jesus, who has the Holy Spirit] and the seven stars [i.e., the seven angels of the seven churches. See 1:20]: I know about your deeds, that you have a reputation for being [spiritually] alive, but you are [really] dead.

2. Wake up, and strengthen what remains [i.e., those few in the church who were trying to stay faithful], who are about to die. For I have not found [any] of your deeds to be complete before my God.

3. So, remember how you have received and heard the message [i.e., they had eagerly accepted the Gospel]; [now] obey it and repent. For if you do not become [spiritually] alert, I will come as a thief [i.e. unexpectedly] and you will not know the [exact] time that I will come upon you [in judgment. See 2:16, 25].

4. “But you have a few people [there] in Sardis who have not [spiritually] polluted their clothing, and they will walk with me in [robes of] white [i.e., probably now on earth as well as in heaven], for they are worthy.

5. The person who has victory [in the Christian life] will be dressed like that, in white clothing, and I will not blot out his name from the book of life. And I will confess his name in front of my Father and His angels.

6. The person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.

To the Church in Philadelphia

7. “And write [this] to the angel of the church at Philadelphia: These are the words of Him who is holy and true, [and] who possesses the key [i.e., the power and authority] of King David, [and] who opens [a door] which no one will close, and who closes one that no one will open:

8. I know about your deeds. (See, I have placed before you an open door, which no one can close). [Note: This probably refers to their being assured of some unspecified opportunity]. [I know] that you have [only] a little bit of strength, but [in spite of that] you have obeyed my word and did not deny my name.

9. Look at those who belong to the synagogue of Satan [See 2:9]; they claim to be Jews, yet they are not, but are lying. Watch, I will make them come and bow down at your feet [in respect] and [they will] know that I have loved you.

10. Because you have obeyed my command to remain steadfast [in the face of difficult times], I will also keep you from [giving up when] the time of trial comes, which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those living on the earth.

11. I am coming soon [or, suddenly. See 2:16, 25; 3:3]. Hold on firmly to what you have [i.e., opportunity, obedience, steadfastness, etc.] so that no one takes away your crown [See 2:10].

12. I will make the person who has victory [in the Christian life] a pillar in the Temple of my God [i.e., probably a reference to heaven], and he will never leave it. And I will write on him the name of my God, the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which is coming down from heaven from my God [See 21:2, 10] and my own new name.

13. The person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.

To the Church in Laodicea

14. “Write [this] to the angel of the church at Laodicia: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the source [or, ruler] of God’s creation [See John 1:3; Heb. 1:1-2]:

15. I know about your deeds, that you are neither [spiritually] cold nor hot. I wish you were [either] cold or hot.

16. But since you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you out of my mouth.

17. For you are saying, ‘I am wealthy; I have made plenty of money and do not need anything.’ But you do not know that you are [spiritually] wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

18. [Because of that], I advise you to buy from me gold, refined by fire, so that you will become rich; and white clothing to wear, so that you can cover yourself and not be seen as shamefully naked; and eye drops for your eyes, so that you can see. [Note: The foregoing all refer to taking measures for becoming more spiritual].

19. “I rebuke and discipline those I love, so be earnest and repent.

20. Look, I am standing at [your] door and knocking; if anyone hears my voice [i.e., the sound of my knocking], and opens the door, I will [surely] come in to him and eat with him and he [will eat] with me.

21. The person who has victory [in the Christian life], I will grant him [the privilege of] sitting down with me on my throne, as I also had victory and sat down with my Father on His throne.

22. The person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.”





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