(From radio broadcast of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
Revelation chapter 3
We are going through the book of revelation series and now in chapter 3. We are talking about the letter of the Lord Jesus Christ to the churches, the seven churches in Asia.
Chapter 3:1 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; these things sayeth he that hath the seven Spirits of God and the seven Stars: I know thy works that thou hast a name that thou liveth and art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God”.
The Lord introduced Himself to this church that He has the seven Spirits of God. The seven Spirits of God denote the anointing that sees all things in the dark or in the secret. The all-seeing eye of God! He is telling us that He has seen it all. He searches the hearts and the reins and you have no place to hide. God is saying He has seen exactly what is going on. Nothing is hidden from Him and they better repent because things are not right in their spiritual life. He holds all the churches in His hand and He is searching to see which one needs some help and which one has gone down too far. “I know thy works that thou hast a name that thou liveth and art dead”; He said, “you have a name that you live and you are dead”. Talking of a church that is dead, what can you think of? You may say the congregation is completely organized, polluted, sinful and they have a form of worship and have denied the power of God, and God is no more in their midst, because they just replaced the worship of God with procedures and programs that look good to man but all they are doing is social works of mercy.
You can look around and see how many churches are like that today. All they do is build hospitals for mankind, build schools, and all social things like that. They do not preach any gospel, no power to heal the sick. No power to cast out devils. No confrontation with the satanic kingdom. They, as churches, are completely dead, just having a name that they are churches, and that’s exactly the state of this particular church. I said this is actually a dispensation, a generation, this is called the dark ages. In the history of the church, this is the dark ages when the Roman Catholicism has already taken over everything and there is nothing left other than some few underground churches that are still trying to hold to the truth. Some others may be in the Roman Catholicism because it was the only church left. They were trying to hold to the truth without doing what was dictated by their papacy. God said the church itself is dead.
He said, “be watchful and strengthen the things which remain and that are ready to die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God”.
God is not saying the church of Jezebel has something good, but that there are still some individual people that are trying to be right. But the influence or the power of the Holy Ghost has been completely forgotten in that generation. In the generation where Martin Luther came and started reviving the believers, you would notice that he was starting from the dead church. The presence of the Holy Ghost was completely lost. They only read about it in the Bible. They did not know how to get it. So the Reformation was like coming from the dead, like resurrecting the church from the dead. That is why He says, in this particular dispensation, that this people have a name that they are a church but they are dead and they have got to be resurrected. He said, “they still have some things that are still lively”, “but try to watch over them, otherwise those things would die too”.
v.4: “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which has not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy”.
This dispensation will span the time of the reformation. After a while they also began to do many of the things the Roman Catholicism was doing.
v.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. He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
When you look at this promise, it seems the lowest of the promises. It says anyone that does not overcome will be blotted out of the book of life. That goes for all the churches. This particular church age reveals the lowest state of any church member: Are you going to stand for Christ or are you going to deny him and go to hell? That is the minimum a believer is to manifest: Will you stand for Christ though you are killed for his name? To be higher than that, means you perform more miracles through his name, and wonders happen through you. But all believers must stand for Christ. He that overcomes will have his name in the book of life. Anything lower than that will be blotted out of the book of life. The least in the kingdom is to be greater than John the Baptist who stood for what he preached and was beheaded for it.
This dispensation and the next two dispensations have their characteristics running concurrently till the end of the world. That is, there will be believers all through to the end of time that will fall into these categories. The Sardis dispensation represents the border-line believers. There will be some believers at the border-line who will slip back to the other side and not make it in. Those will have their names blotted out of the book of life. Choose this day whom you will serve.
The Philadelphia Church
v.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.”
He was going to open a door for them in a moment. A door of evangelism.
v.8: I know thy works: 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 has not denied my name.”
v.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”.
God would give recognition to this church so that those who persecute them will begin to see that God was with them indeed. From the time of the Philadelphia age, holiness was preached that we can be born again, and live a holy life. Justification has been preached by the reformation movement of the Lutherans. Now in this Philadelphia church age, Sanctification was preached that we can be holy, sanctified for the Lord’s use. This was the beginning of the born-again movement, world-wide, and holiness was preached. Christ said he has given to them an open door. He also said, he will make the adversary come and worship before their feet as God honors the believers. People will see that these believers are really true. Something changed in their life to make them different from the world.
v.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.”
What hour of temptation is the Lord talking about here? It is the tribulation that is coming at the end of the world. This shows that this church age, and the Sardis church age will run concurrently till the end of the world. That is, there will be some people that only believe in justification up through till the end of time. There are some that believe both justification and sanctification of the Philadelphia church age till the end of the world. The last church age when the gifts of the Holy Ghost was poured out will run concurrently also till the end of the world.
When the time of tribulation comes, some will be protected from the hour of temptation, while some will have been caught up to the throne of God.
v.11: “Behold I come quickly”.
From the time the “born-again” experience is preached, the Lord is saying “behold I come quickly”. It shows that the coming of the Lord is becoming imminent, because the tree is blossoming now, and harvesting is near. Remember the church went into the dark ages at the end of Rev.2 during the Thyatira age. At the beginning of Rev.3 the church is beginning to shoot forth leaves - Justification, and by the time of the Philadelphia age – Sanctification, the church is beginning to blossom, holiness is being seen in the church.
“Behold I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
That is, hold firm unto that holiness, and sanctification.
v.12: “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Christ manifested as the Son of God here. This is why he said, “I will write upon him the name of my God.”
v.14: “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodecians write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou wert cold or hot.”
The Laodecian church age is the last church age at the end of the world. It started during the downpour of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Justification by the church age of Sardis; Sanctification by the Philadelphia church age; Now baptism of the Holy Ghost from the time of the Laodecian church age till the end. The three church ages will run concurrently till the end.
From the time of the Azousa street revival the Holy Ghost was down-poured. To whom much is given, much is required. Think about it. Those who have the justification, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, much is given to them, and much is required of them. To this church age, the Lord challenged them to be not lukewarm.
v.16: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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:
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.”
The Lord was showing the state of this last church age. They are wretched, and miserable: they have the power of God, and are not using it correctly, which can make the enemy ridicule the church. Think of a child given a sword, but a bully was afflicting him in the street, yet the child is not able to use the sword against the bully. That is a miserable situation. Christ sees the church as miserable. What is he doing with the sword in his hand? He doesn’t know how to use it. They are wretched, but they thought they are rich. Christ sees them as dressed in rags: all our righteousness is as filthy rags. We must be clothed in the blood of Jesus. They are poor. Poor of what? Poor of his power. Some of the believers don’t have any power at all. They are naked: They say they are holy and righteous, but he says they are naked. When you say you are holy and righteous and you go to the shopping center, you are the one getting angry easily, temperamental and without self control, you are naked of the holiness of Christ. The fruit of the Holy Ghost is expected to manifest in you. Or you and your family are constantly in a rage and in conflicts. What has God changed in your life? Solomon said, “A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger” (Prov.15:1). What has God changed that is not showing in your speech, in your business conduct? You are naked of his holiness.
v.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.
What is white raiment? It is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is saying buy of him white raiment so that you can really be clothed in the righteousness of God.
They are blind they couldn’t see what God is doing at this end-time; perhaps it was preached and they couldn’t see it.
He said, “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve”, that you may see revelations so that you can really know more.
v.19: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.”
The problem with this generation is that many have lost the zeal for more of God. What do we mean by zeal for more of God? Seek the Lord, seek to be like him. Seek to have the miracle power like him. As you seek him, you pray and fast for it, and he will meet you there.
That is how you buy from him, by prayer, by fasting. When you can deny yourself of food, to seek the Lord, then it shows you humble your soul with fasting like king David wrote. Seek the Lord with all of your heart.
v.20: “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that hath an ear let him what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
This generation is the church of Laodecian age, where the church buildings are huge and big, and some pastors thought the size of their congregation determines success. No sir! The success God is looking for is whether you are reaching the hearts of people. Are the people in your congregation overcoming the world? Are they seeking after God? Individually you should seek God in your houses, and then when you come together it will be like lightening.
Individually seek after God, like the psalmist said “as the hart panted after the water brook, so panted my soul after thee, O God”. (Psa.42:1).
Be zealous therefore and repent. I challenge you today, to want to have the power like Jesus, to want the holiness like Jesus. Sanctify yourself. Set yourself apart for the Lord’s use. Make yourself available for the Lord to put his mighty power in you for the deliverance of the people, by sanctifying yourself, by prayer and fasting. Seek more of God.
I pray that the Lord will kindle in your heart the desire to seek him more.
God bless you.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix
AZ 85046, USA.
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I want to thank those that have been sending offering to this ministry. Your investment and mine send the literature to believers and send the word on radio. That is one sure way we can send our money ahead of us to heaven. The Lord said: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Mat. 6: 19-21). "For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out." (1Tim. 6: 7).