Revelation Lectures(23)

Revelation Lectures

Revelation 3:1-6

[1] “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
[2] ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
[3] ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
[4] ‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
[5] ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
[6] ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

In the last two lectures I have explained the seven Spirits.

I explained that the seven Spirits are the heart of God who searches the heart of everyone on this earth, and that God sends the seven Spirits to measure an individual’s faith.

The seven Spirits measure every deed and every heart without the slightest error. Based on this measure He decides whether to give an answer to prayer or not.

Since these seven Spirits are the heart of the Lord, who is the same with Father God, the Lord also searches through these seven Spirits.

The Lord knows everything. That’s why He gives a very severe word of rebuke to the church in Sardis, the churchthat ‘appears alive’ but actually is dead.

In the verse 1, it says the Lord has the seven stars.

The seven stars refer to all the God’s servants who were chosen by God throughout the Old and New Testament times.

They are the servants that God holds in His almighty hands and uses.

The Lord deliveries the heart and will of Father God through their lips, and manifests the works of living God so that God’s children can walk in the way of the Truth.

But the church in Sardis was walking the opposite direction and against the will of the Lord who searches everything and guides the children of God through the seven Spirits.

The city of Sardis was a wealthy city that earned its prosperity from the fabric dyeing industry, but it was full of extravagance and immorality, and it was a center of idol-worshiping.

In such a condition, the church in Sardis didn’t have perfect faith, and came to hear the words of rebuke from the Lord saying, “You have a name that you are alive but you are dead.”

Flowers that are cut and arranged appear alive, but they are actually dead because they are separated from their root. Likewise, the faith of the members of the church in Sardis might appear alive, but when measured by the precise standard of the Lord, they were the same as dead.

Now, what does it mean exactly by the expression “You have a name that you are alive but you are dead?”

To make it short, the faith of the church in Sardis is “dead faith without deeds.”

After Adam committed sin, his spirit as well as all his descendant’s spirits were dead, but those who accepted the Lord as their savior and received the Holy Spirit came to have their spirit revived.

Those who have the revived spirit are not called “dead” when their spirit leave their body; they are called “asleep.”

But the church in Sardis was told that they were ‘dead’; it means that they would not be saved.

Even though they said they have faith, their faith is dead, and with ‘dead faith’ salvation cannot be given to them.

James 2:14 says, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?”

And in 2:17, it says, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”

Likewise, if you have true faith, you will surely live by the word of God. But if there is no such works, but only lip service, the faith is mere knowledge; it is dead faith.

Dear brothers and sisters.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 says, “For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

And 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

Since those who believe in God and the Lord also believe that there will be judgment of good and evil, they live by the word of God.

But those who don’t believe, they don’t live by it.

You must clearly understand that knowing and believing are completely different.

James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”

It says, “the demons also believe, and shudder.’ It means even the demons know what God is and what the Lord is, and that they shudder before such authority.

Also, we can find in many parts of the bible that demons recognized Jesus and cried out.

In Luke 8:27-28, when Jesus was met by a man who was possessed with demons, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God.””

Now, can we say that demons also believe in Jesus only because they recognize the son of God and acknowledge Him as the savior?

Not at all!

Even though demons recognize Jesus, they will neither live by His word nor live in goodness.

They don’t believe Him but they just know Him, and ‘knowing’ doesn’t bring salvation.

Likewise, no matter how much people know about the bible, as long as they don’t live by what they know from the bible, we cannot say that they ‘truly believe.’

True faith is surely accompanied by deeds of living by the word.

If they don’t have the deeds of living by the word of God even though they ‘know’ a lot of them, it means that they knowingly don’t live by the word, and thus their sin is greater than that of those who don’t know the word of God.

That’s why Luke 12:47-48 says, “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

And James 3:1 also says, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

However, those who don’t put the word of God into practice are ever increasing in these days.

They say such things as, “How can it be possible to live by the word of God in these days?” and then they compromise with the world.

They appear to manage a believing life outwardly, but their life is no better that that of worldly people.

For example, they go to church and worship God on Sunday.

They give tithe and thanksgiving offerings. They say they sing praises to God and they pray.

But once they are out of church, they act just like other world people do; they call others bad names, they become angry with others, and they enjoy worldly pleasures.

They don’t live by the word; they don’t even try to live by the word.

They are entrapped by the world, and they take the world as they please.

How can we say that they have faith even if they do go to church?

Just as James 2:20 says, “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” their faith becomes useless.

They say they know Jesus Christ and that they believe in Him, but it’s all in vain.

Even though I’m putting stress on the deeds of faith, I’m not saying that only the deeds are the standard of measuring faith.

In ‘the deeds of faith,’ the deed means the deed from the depth of heart.

It is the deed that comes out from the heart that has been cultivated into the truth by the word of God.

If someone has true faith, he will surely cultivate his heart in spirit according to the word of God. The deed should come out of such a spirit-cultivated heart.

Only the deed from the depth of heart that is cultivated into spirit through the circumcision can become the true deed of faith.

Therefore, it is not the deed itself that is important; what is important is the heart that is contained in the deed. Once the heart is cultivated into spirit, the deed naturally follows.

Those who have dead faith without deeds wouldn’t even try to cultivate their hearts into spirit. Therefore, they don’tput the word into practice. Even if they do so, their deed becomes only the outward deed; it becomes the hypocrisy.

They can show the deeds to be noticed by others. They can pretend to do outwardly what they know as knowledge.

Just as the Lord says in Matthew 6:1, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven,” there are works that people do to be noticed by others.

Also, Isaiah 29:13 says, “Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.”

They can say that they love God with their lips. They can sing praises with their lips. But their worship is made up only of rules taught by men without hearts of love and respect.

Such deeds are all useless.

You must understand that the deeds only from knowledge or the deeds to be noticed by others without cultivating the heart into spirit will be revealed soon, and bear no fruit.

I’ll give an example of the deed without heart so that you will know it better.

If you truly love your parents, any sort of deeds out of your heart will come out.

You can serve your parents well not only when you are rich. Even if you’re not wealthy, you will be able to serve your parents with all your heart.

But sometimes, outward deeds appear great, but chances are that there is no sincerity of the heart in them.

If you serve your parents forcibly or if you serve them formally with some kind of intention or ulterior motive in mind, then your service cannot be true no matter how great your service appears outwardly.

If your parents can read your inner heart, then they will be surprised because your outward deed and inner heart are so different.

Then, what about God who can search the deep heart of every person?

God always searches the heart of a man along with the deed.

Therefore, when we say that we love God and that we have faith, we must show our love and faith along with deeds that contains our heart.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

We cannot hide anything from God who searches with fiery eyes and measures through the seven Spirits.

Just as He says, ‘I know your deeds,” He knows not only our deeds but also the deep things in our hearts.

So please, bring yourself to God as it is, and lay it down before God.

If there is anything you haven’t put into practice even though you said you believe, please seek for the strength to put it into practice through tonight’s Divine Healing Meeting.

Also, if there is any deed that is not from the depth of your heart, then please seek for true heart before God.

Those of you who came here to be healed and to have your problems solved, please look back on yourself and check whether your faith was true, and whether you have shown your faith and love with sincere deeds before God.

May you confess every bit of your heart and deeds and repent before God, so that you can receive a chance to get an answer and blessing from Father God, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!

Now, the Lord says in the verse 2, “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.”

He says, “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die.” It means that they have realized dead faith cannot save them so that they have to live in the truth from now on.

In other words, they have to get out of dead faith that was mere knowledge, and have true faith that is alive.

And, He says, “for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.” It means that they fell into the world and live a life that is identical to the worldly people’s lives.

In other words, they have to recover perfect and complete deeds.

And the answer to what to do in order for the deeds to be found completed can be found in the following verse 3.

He says, “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent.”

Dear brothers and sisters.

Please take this moment to remember what you have learned and how you have learned in this church.

What you have heard and learned in this church is to cast off every form of evil and to resemble Father God.

This church has been teaching you to become holy by resembling Father God again and again, just as Leviticus 11:45 says, “For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy,” and 1 Peter 1:16 says, “because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.””

In order for you to understand the heart of God, this church has interpreted all the spiritual meanings in the 66 books of the bible through countless meetings and seminars.

And this church has taught you only the goodness and the truth.

But when you look back on yourself, how well are you putting into practice what you have heard and learned so far?

Don’t you do what you’re told not to do? Do you do what you’re told to do? Do you get rid of what you have to cast off? Do you keep what you have to keep?

Philippians 4:9 says, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Like this verse, if you put into practice what you learn, hear, and see, God of peace will always be with you.

But if you haven’t done so, just as the Lord says, “Keep it and repent,” you must repent, turn back, and live by the word even from now on.

‘Repenting’ doesn’t mean just saying, “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again” with your lips.

You must stop doing wrongdoings, completely turn back from it, and walk the right way.

And if you have truly repented, your heart must be steadfast without changing.

Dear brothers and sisters.

Here’s what you must remember when you repent. That is; how you met God first, how you came to believe in Jesus Christ, and how fervent you were when you received the Holy Spirit and when you were in the stage of first love.

You received such great grace, and you were full of the first love, but have you valued your first love and kept it?

Haven’t we seen many people who didn’t keep their first heart and deeds, but went back to the world? Haven’t we seen people who live a life that cannot be differentiated from that of the worldly people even though they say they believe?

It’s time that you should repent of all those things, recover the old fullness and fervor, live by the word of God, and prepare yourself to welcome the Lord, our bridegroom.

Now in the verse 3, the Lord is talking about what will happen to those who don’t repent and turn back, and about the second advent of the Lord.

He says, “Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

You must be thankful for the fact that your shortcomings can be pointed out and to be able to realize your true self through the message.

What will happen to you if the Lord comes back when you are not completely turned back from sin, and when you are not ready to meet with Him?

If the Lord comes back like a thief when you’re not ready to meet with the bridegroom, it’s already late.

What kind of a place does a thief break in to?

A thief breaks in a house which is loosely guarded where people are asleep.

If a house is perfectly guarded and people are awake, a thief cannot break into the house.

Likewise, the Lord comes like a thief to those who are not ready to meet with Him. But to those who are well prepared and ready to meet with Him, the Lord comes like a long waited bridegroom.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 says, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness.”

It clearly says that the Lord will not come like a thief to those who are not in darkness but in light.

Of course, just as the Lord says in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone,” only Father God knows of the day and hour when the Lord will be coming back.

But the bible records rough idea of when the Lord will come again.

He says nobody knows the ‘exact date and hour,’ but He does not say we won’t know ‘roughly when’ He’ll return

It’s like nobody knows exactly what date and hour a pregnant woman will give a birth to a baby, but we can guess roughly when it will be in a month.

When a woman is in the onset of labor pains, are we able to guess that the woman is about to give birth?

Likewise, we can guess when the Lord will come through the signs of the end times recorded in the bible.

Therefore, just as 1 Peter 4:7 says, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer,” you must be clear minded and self-controlled to pray, and be ready to welcome the bridegroom, our Lord.

Dear brothers and sisters.

The word that the Lord gives to the church in Sardis is very important for the churches and their members in these last days to look back on themselves.

There are many churches that are built in the name of the Lord on this earth. But the important fact is not that they are built in the name of the Lord, but that the Lord must call them ‘alive.’

There are many Christians, and there are even many who call themselves saints. But how many among them live by the word of God and show their faith to God?

There are many who say, “I live by the word of God. I go to church on Sunday, I give tithe, and I’m given a duty in my church.’ But what Father God wants is not formal-outward-only deeds.

What Father God truly wants is that you keep and live by the word of God with the heart that resembles the heart of the Lord by showing complete and perfect deeds by which you can be differentiated from the worldly people.

May you truly live by the word of God with sincere deeds in every moment in your everyday life, and try beast to become a wise bride who is worthy to welcome the Lord, our bridegroom, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!

Amen

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