1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
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.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
3 The fifth kind, selection, or conduct of the saints, shows negligent men, doing other than they should in the world, foolish works, Christian in name only. And therefore he exhorts them, if they can turn back from dangerous negligence, to be saved. He says: Be strong for those who are dying; for I have not found your works full before my God. For it is not enough for a tree to live, and flourish, but not have fruit, as it is not enough to be called a Christian, and to confess Him, but not have Christian works. h
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;
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 hast not denied my name.
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.
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.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
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.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
2 The sixth kind, the best conduct of the selection, the behavior of saints is described, namely those who are humble in the world and simple in the Scriptures, and bearing an unshakable faith, not being frightened by anything and drawing back from the Faith. Therefore he says to them: I have placed before you an open door and he says for you have kept the word of my patience, with such little strength, and I will keep you from the hour of temptation: so that they will know of what kind is His glory, indeed He does not allow them to be handed over to temptation. He says, He whoconquers will be made a column in the temple of God: for a column is beautiful for a building, that is, he who perseveres will be considered more noble in the Church.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 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:
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. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 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.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
3 And this selection, the seventh kind, describes wealthy men, believers who are in dignified positions, but believers that are rich men: they indeed discuss the Scriptures at home in their rooms, but outside no one would know they are believers. Namely, they are boasters who also say that they know everything, possessed of confidence in letters, but their works are empty. And therefore he says to them neither cold nor hot are they, that is, neither unbelievers nor believers, for they are all things to all people. And what is neither cold nor hot must be lukewarm, so that it causes nausea: he says, And I will vomit you out of my mouth. Nausea, though it is hateful, harms no one: so with this kind of men, whowill be ejected. But that this is a time of penitence, he says: I counsel you, buy refined gold from me, that is, if you are able, to suffer anything for the name of the Lord. He says, And anoint your eyes with salve, that is, that what you gladly know from the Scriptures, you might also try to do the deed. And because, if this kind of men turns back from great destruction to penitence, not only will they be useful to themselves, but are able to benefit many, not a mediocre reward is promised to them, that is: to sit upon a throne as judges.