The Church of Sardis
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;” (Rev 3:1a KJV)
Sardis is 30 miles southeast of Thyatira. It was at one time one of the greatest cities in the world. Sardis was destroyed by an earthquake in 17 AD and rebuilt by Tiberius Caesar with the help of Emperor Augustus. The people of Sardis worshiped Artemis. The Church of Sardis was the powerless Church. They were spiritually dead.
The Seven Spirits of God
“These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God,” (Rev 3:1b KJV)
The Seven Spirits of God is the same reference we saw in 1:4.
“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;” (Rev 1:4 KJV)
The Seven Spirits are not literally seven individual Spirits. God is one Spirit.
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;” (Eph 4:4 KJV)
Seven is God’s number for perfection. The Seven Spirits could be refereeing to the fullness and perfection of God.
The Seven Stars
“and the seven stars;” (Rev 3:1c KJV)
The seven stars are the angels of the seven Churches as we saw in 1:20-21.
“The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” (Rev 1:20-21 KJV)
“I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” (Rev 3:1d KJV)
The church of Sardis acted like they were spiritual, but they were spiritually dead. God doesn’t want actors (‘hypocrite’ in Greek). He wants people who are spiritually alive. Not dead stones, but lively stones.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1Pe 2:5 KJV)