(06-11-26) Philadelphia & Laodicaea - Revelation 3.7-22
Similarities amongst the letters:
· The sender of the message – ‘him who is holy and true’ & ‘the Amen, the faithful and true witness’
· ‘I know your deeds’
· ‘He who has an ear to hear…’
· ‘To him who overcomes…’
The ultimate in contextual studies! A text without its context is a con!
Does Christ know our deeds? What then would his letter to the church in Lisvane say? Not making a point of similarity between St. Denys’ and Philadelphia & Laodicaea!
· Gateway to the East / Jewish synagogue doors closed – Open Door: Jesus.
· Neocaesaraea (earthquakes) – ‘I will also write on him my new name.’
· Regular flight – Ship in a storm: keep facing it! ‘Never again will he leave it.’
· Names on temple pillars – ‘Make him a pillar…’ Supporting the structures of the Church of Christ. This morning’s sermon (not about Gift Day!).
· Persecution – Future of persecutors and persecuted.
· Gateway to Phrygia – centre of banking arrangements in Asia Minor.
· Also devastated by earthquakes. Refused aid and rebuilt itself – ‘I do not need a thing.’
· Famous for black-wooled sheep – In need of clothing: white and pure.
· Famous for eye ointment: tephra Phrygia – ‘salve to put on your eyes’.
· zestos – at boiling point. ‘No real faith without enthusiasm.’
· chliaros – tepid. Medicinal springs – lukewarm & vomit inducing!
What then would his letter to the church in Lisvane say?
· What are our deeds?
· What are we known for?
· What characterises the faith of God’s people in this place?
· What is our heart like? What are our hearts like?
· zestos or chliaros?
Allowed to use our imagination – 2 minutes silence.
v.9 ‘… acknowledge that I have loved you.’ – Philadelphia
v. 19 ‘Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.’ – Laodicaea