2016 ITEROF Message Six


Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church

Message Six

The Church in Sardis

Opening Word of the Prophesying Meeting

Reading the verses in each day.

Reading the main points in the outlines.

Pray-reading the verses:

And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead—Rev. 3:1.

But you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they will walk with Me in white because they are worthy. He who overcomes will be clothed thus…—vv. 4-5.

Word of Appetizer

After “the church in Thyatira”, Why there is “the church in Sardis”?

When the church, in her continuous fall, came to the stage of Jezebel, God could no longer tolerate it; the church in Sardis is God’s reaction to Thyatira. Sardis emerges because the Lord has seen the condition of Thyatira; in Greek Sardis means “the remains,” “the remainder,” or “the restoration.” As a sign, the church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant church, from the time of the Reformation to the second coming of Christ.

Spiritual Burden

These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead. The seven Spirits enable the church to be intensely living, and the seven stars enable her to be intensely shining. We surely do not want to be in the condition of the church in Sardis; we want to be living and active in gospel preaching, in nourishing the new ones, in perfecting the saints, and in prophesying to build up the Body of Christ.

Concluding Word of the Prophesying Meeting

The Revelation of the Truth

As a sign, the church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant church, from the time of the Reformation to the second coming of Christ.

These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead.

“I have found none of your works completed before My God”.

“You have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they will walk with Me in white because they are worthy”.

“He who overcomes will be clothed thus, in white garments”.

The Experience of Life

If we are spiritually dead, we are dirty; we need the living garment to cover us; this living garment is Christ Himself wrought into us by the life-giving Spirit; the only way to have this garment is to turn to the spirit and live in the mingled spirit.

Practice and Application

We need to be unspotted by death on the walk and living; “He who overcomes will be clothed thus, in white garments”. We all should overcome the dead situation in religion, conquer all kinds of death, and wear the white garments.

We must be thoroughly prepared for the time of the Lord’s secret coming; therefore, we must be ready and watchful.

Using Key Verses to Have a Bird’s-Eye View over the Whole Outline

Key Verses (1)

And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead—Rev. 3:1.

The church in Sardis—the Protestant church, from the time of the Reformation to the second coming of Christ;
That you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead”;
The seven Spirits of God and the seven stars

I. As a sign, the church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant church, from the time of the Reformation to the second coming of Christ.

II. “I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead” ; many have considered the reformed Protestant church to be living, but the Lord says that she is dead; she has lost the vitality of life and is living in name only.

III. “These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars” ; the seven Spirits enable the church to be intensely living, and the seven stars enable her to be intensely shining; the dead, reformed church needs the sevenfold intensified Spirit of God and the shining leaders.

Key Verses (2)

Become watchful and establish the things which remain, which were about to die; for I have found none of your works completed before My God—Rev. 3:2.

If therefore you will not watch, I will come as a thief, and you shall by no means know at what hour I will come upon you—v. 3.

I have found none of your works completed before My God;
If therefore you will not watch, I will come as a thief

IV. “I have found none of your works completed before My God”:

•In the eyes of God there is nothing completed in the so-called reformed churches; The Reformation did not bring the church back to the beginning; it only caused the world church to become the state churches.

V. “If therefore you will not watch, I will come as a thief, and you shall by no means know at what hour I will come upon you”.

•This verse indicates that Christ is the One who will come as a thief to steal away His treasures; we must be thoroughly prepared for the time of the Lord’s secret coming; therefore, we must be ready and watchful.

Key Verses (3)

But you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they will walk with Me in white because they are worthy. He who overcomes will be clothed thus…—Rev. 3:4-5

Those who have not defiled their garments will walk with the Lord in white
He who overcomes will be clothed thus, in white garments

VI. “You have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they will walk with Me in white because they are worthy”:

Garments in the Bible signify what we are in our walk and living.

•To defile one’s garments means particularly to stain them with deadness; the defiled garments indicate the presence of death.

•Those who have not defiled their garments will walk with the Lord in white.

VII. “He who overcomes will be clothed thus, in white garments”

To overcome here is to overcome the deadness of the Protestant churches, that is, to overcome dead Protestantism.

Christ is the white garments to clothe the overcomers; we need the living garment to cover us; this living garment is Christ Himself.

•Every Christian needs two garments.

 

Prophesying Topics—Twelve Topics per Week

D1

T1 In Greek Sardis means “the remains,” “the remainder,” or “the restoration” (Rev. 3:1)

(Please explain that the church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant church.)

T2 God’s reaction is man’s recovery (Rev. 3:1)

(Please explain that the church in Sardis is God’s reaction to Thyatira.)

D2

T1 “I know your works, that you have a name that you are living, and yet you are dead” (Rev. 3:1)

(Please explain that everything we do in the church life should be living.)

T2 A star is a messenger of a church, a leading one in a local church (Rev. 1:20)

(Please explain that the present church age is the time of night; hence, we need the shining of the stars, the believers who shine.)

D3

T1 “I have found none of your works completed before My God” (Rev. 3:2)

(Please explain that the Reformation did not bring the church back to the beginning; it only caused the world church to become the state churches.)

T2 Luther was a man especially chosen by God, his purpose was solely for recovery (Rom 5:1)

(Please explain what the two precious points that God recovered through Luther are.)

D4

T1 The revelation of the Lord’s second coming (Rev. 3:2)

(According to the pure Word of God, please explain that the Lord’s coming back is a process.)

T2 Christ will come back secretly as a thief (Rev. 3:3b)

(Please explain that only those who are matured in life and transformed in their soul will be precious enough for the Lord to steal.)

D5

T1 Death is more defiling before God than sin (Lev. 11:24-25;
Num. 6:6-7, 9)

(Please explain that we would rather see the people in the churches wrong than to see them dead.)

T2 “They will walk with Me in white because they are worthy” (Rev. 3:4)

(Please explain the significance of walking with the Lord in white.)

D6

T1 He who overcomes will be clothed thus, in white garments (Rev. 3:5)

(Please explain that the Christ is the white garments to clothe the overcomers.)

T2 Every Christian needs two garments (Luke 15:22; Rev. 3:5)

(Please explain that the first garment is the garment of salvation, and that another garment makes us approved to the Lord.)

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