3.5. Sardis: [“Saved always Saved” | the 5 Foolish Virgins] (Rev.3:1-6)
The letter for this kehila describes congregations that have the Name of the Almighty but do not act according to what He commands. Sardis represents those who claim to believe but do not strive to obey the commandments, since they have only come to know the Name of the Most High but not the one to whom it belongs, because they seek to be saved but do not want to serve and honor He who grants the Salvation. Therefore, these congregations are described as those that have the Name for life, but by not respecting it and not doing what He commands, they are dead, because with their mouths they praise Him, but their actions reveal otherwise. In other words, they are those who claim to believe in the Almighty and his son, thinking that is all they need to obtain everlasting life, but by not seeking to know Him or not putting His ordinances to work, they show that their supposed faith is dead, as Scripture teaches (Jam.2:14-26).
Revelation 3:1-6 [Mars] (7th Day of Sukkot)
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis [“Red Ones”] write,
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of Yahweh and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before Yahweh. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Key points about Sardis:
- They have the Name but do not use it and do not follow the commandments.
- They do not renounce their bad deeds, despite having known the Almighty.
- They have received the correct doctrine but do not act according to it.
- They will see the Messiah on his 2nd coming, but will not even recognize him.
- Some will be Martyrs, even after confessing their Name.
- He who overcomes will be given eternal life when resurrected.
3.5.1. Meaning of Sardis: “Red Ones”
The name "Sardis" means "Red Ones", definition that refers to the Blood, the life of the flesh (Dt.12:23), which is another reason why Mashiach says that this church has a name that lives but is dead, since its name "Sardis", when relating to the Blood, reveals that this congregation should be alive in Spirit, but it is dead because of its works and its doctrine. This, of course, coupled with the fact that they have the Name of the one who gives life, but follow a spirit of death by continuing to use titles and names of false elohim to invoke Him, since Yahweh is “He who causes Existence” and Yahushua the Everlasting Life.
The meaning of the name "Sardis" and its relation with the blood also refers to the blood that will be shed by those who belong to this kehila, even by those who overcome, who despite knowing the name, will have to die as Martyrs and then be resurrected with white clothes, which refers to their new bodies.
Another even clearer connection regarding the meaning of the name of this congregation has to do with the planet that is represented by this kehila, which is commonly called the “Red Planet”.
3.5.2. Luminary: Mars
When initiating the message to this kehila, the Messiah mentions having in his possession the 7 stars, which are the seven lights already mentioned and shown on the Menorah in the previous chapter. This is because, of all the congregations, only the kehila of Sardis (Red) is connected, through its name, with the luminaire it represents, since its meaning is the main attribute that stands out when referring to the Planet Mars.
3.5.3. Assembly: Sukkot (7th day)
In previous sections it has been explained how the reflection of the Assembly of Sukkot, which lasts 7 days, is separated between three different kehilot, specifically Pergamos (1st), Thyatira (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th) and finally Sardis (7th). The Messiah mentions the number 7 on 2 occasions when speaking to this congregation, when he reveals to have the 7 spirits and the 7 stars in his possession, which confirms that this kehila represents the 7th day of Sukkot, which is the 2nd convocation of the year that lasts 7 days and is celebrated on the 7th month, while Matzot (“Unleavened Bread”) is the other assembly that lasts 7 days and is celebrated on the 1st month.
The fulfillment of the 7th day of Sukkot will be very particular, since by this time, those who have escaped the Beast and its image, the Abomination of Desolation, will have some days of being hidden, so that anxiety, doubt and fear will be affecting all those who are not persevering in Yahushua HaMashiach. For example, for those who obeyed the Messiah and fled to the mountains, this will definitely be the day of most expectation, which will cause all kinds of feelings and emotions among those who have fled.
Now, since not all who flee will be chosen, as exemplified by Lot's wife, who left Sodom but still died on the way to salvation, there will be some of those who have escaped, who will begin murmuring as prophesied through the many examples in Scripture, when Yisrael left Egypt in the Exodus. Some will begin to doubt the teaching of the Witnesses, others will decide to return to their homes and will look back, like Lot's wife, so they will suffer the same fate as her. This is one of the reasons why the Messiah tells this congregation that he will come upon her as a Thief and she will not know at what hour he will come, since for this day of Sukkot, many will think that they should have already been taken away, so they will stop persevering until the last moment.
In classical mythology, Mars is connected to war, which will start shortly after the beginning of the last 7 years, during the 2nd Seal, in which a Red horse will emerge, whose rider will receive a sword to take peace from the earth, at the beginning of what they now call the 3rd World War. On the other hand, by the time the Sukkot assembly is finally completed, after the death of the Witnesses, sudden destruction will come upon them, since as we saw in the previous letter, the Great Tribulation will have begun only a few days before, which at that moment, on the 7th day of Sukkot, will have already reached every corner of the earth, so millions will be dying by the sword, their blood being shed, which will reach “up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs” (Rev.14:20), and as mentioned in the previous section, Sardis (“Red Ones”) is connected to the blood through the meaning of its name.
3.5.4. Doctrine: “Saved always Saved”
There are two key points that identify the people who are represented by the Sardis congregation and who are negatively connected to each other; the first is that they have the Father's Name and the second is that they have no works. This is clearly a bad combination, since on the one hand, there are those who think they are already saved by having the Name and therefore think that they do not have to strive to improve their works, change their lives, help others and fulfill the commandments, to show their supposed faith through their actions, instead of only through their words, so it follows that their faith is actually dead. On the other hand, there are those who use the favor that the Almighty has given us, through faith in his Son Yahushua, as an excuse to continue in error, since they argue that sin no longer exists, without understanding the way in which Yahushua defeated the enemy and sin itself, by being sacrificed without committing any fault.
Therefore, it can be deduced that the two points mentioned above identify two types of believers:
First, there are some congregations of "Messianic Jews" that fall into this category, because although they try to perform works, they actually return to the rudiments of the world (Cl.2:20-24, Gl.4:3-5), since they follow the letter instead of the spirit (Rm.7:6, 2Co.3:5-6), so they remain under the ministry of Death and Condemnation, instead of the Ministry of the Spirit and Justification (2Co.3:7-9). An example of this are the 5 Foolish Virgins (Mt.25:1-13), who have the Name but are asleep and without the Spirit (Oil) for not seeking him correctly through his Son, besides the fact that many of these believers, despite knowing the Name of Yahweh, maintain rules created by men that prohibit them from invoking it by misinterpretations, so they decide to replace it with different titles so as not to mention it, making a big mistake, which is why the message to this congregation says that they have a name that they are alive but they are dead. This is why Yahushua says exactly the same thing to the Foolish Virgins and to the kehila of Sardis, by declaring that they will not know “the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Mt.25:13, Rev.3:3)
Second, it refers to those Christians who belong to the doctrine of “Saved Always Saved” and therefore never change their works, instead they remain in sin, since they mistakenly think that there is no longer the possibility of sinning and that they will not be punished for anything they do after they have believed, since they have misunderstood the teachings of Paulus, without comprehending what it means to now be under the Favor, rather than under the Law (Rm.6:14-16).
It is then concluded, according to this letter, that the members of the congregations with doctrines like that of Sardis will see the Messiah at his second coming, but will not accept him, since they will confuse him with a thief (False-Messiah), due to their false doctrines, so he will manifest without being recognized, when he enters the house (Earth) to congregate his own. This indicates that although the Messiah is in the world again preaching the truth, even in their own churches, they will not recognize him, mainly because their doctrines teach that he will no longer touch earth at his second coming or that he will do so until the last 7 years. So for not recognizing the Witness like Moshe before his death, those who overcome from this congregation will be Martyrs, even after confessing the Name of Yahweh and that of Yahushua, which is evidenced through the words of the Messiah, when telling them that He will confess their name before his Father and his Angels, which Yahushua mentioned in his first manifestation when referring to all those who confess his Name before men (Mt.10: 32, Lc.12:8).
3.5.5. Mirror in the Scripture
The book of Acts is full of prophetic mirrors that reveal much of what will happen in the second manifestation of Mashiach, who is represented in this case by Paulus. The reader may notice in the majority of stories mentioned in that book, that every time Paulus appears, he meets a collaborator or ends up helping, through his preaching, someone to turn to the truth, who becomes a person of great importance in the congregation. The newly converted or collaborator of Paulus, as the case may be, usually symbolizes the Witness like EliYahu, who will accompany the Witness like Moshe, who is represented by Paulus. In addition, it is common to find in these stories a woman with a particular name, to represent the Congregation; while in some cases two women appear, to symbolize each sheepfold, that of the Few and that of the Many.
Then Paulus [“Small”] stood in the midst of the Areopagus [“Mars’ Hill”] and said, “Men of Athens [“uncertainty”], I perceive that in all things you are very religious [“Fearful of Demons”]; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD [“to the Forgotten Mighty One”] . Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: Yahweh, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Sovereign of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek Yahweh, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of Yahweh, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance Elohim overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” So Paulus departed from among them. However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius [“Son of Zeus”] the Areopagite [“from Mars’ Hill”] , a woman named Damaris [“a Heifer”] , and others with them.
This is the only portion of Scripture where we find reference to the planet Mars, but in a different way than the other Luminaries have been mentioned on other occasions, since while in the example of Smyrna the Gentiles confused Paulus and Timothy with the false elohim Mercury and Jupiter, in this case they take Paulus to preach in a place dedicated to Ares (Mars); where the Gentiles used to gather to listen to all kinds of new teachings, which was what mainly attracted the attention of the Athenians. This is why the Areopagus represents the kehila of Sardis (Mars), to whom Mashiach said he will arrive as a Thief in the Night, therefore we can take this episode in Scripture as the manifestation of the Messiah at the end of time, to preach to those people who belong to the doctrine exemplified by Sardis.
Areopagus means “Mars’ Hill”, so in this context it can be interpreted as “Kingdom of Sardis”, in regard to the congregation of believers, or as the “Kingdom of the Red Ones” when referring to those Gentiles who follow the Dragon as elohim. As mentioned in an earlier section, Athens means “Uncertainty”, so in this case in which Paulus refers to those who were in the Areopagus as “Athenians”, it can be taken as the Last preaching in a kehila like Sardis to address a group of people who are in uncertainty about the truth. This uncertainty caused the majority to reject Paulus's teaching, which focused mainly on repentance and resurrection of the dead, in the same way that the Messiah in his letter to Sardis commands them to repent and promises to give resurrection to those who overcome.
It is interesting that Paulus notices, in addition to their uncertainty, the fact that these Gentiles had all kinds of idols around the city, which is why the Apostle deduces that these people were strong believers, but clearly not of the truth; fearful, but didn't know who they should truly fear. As we have seen, idolatry produces doubt, which is confirmed in this account, since the Athenians had all kinds of idols, which reveals that they were very “religious” as Paulus calls them. The word “Religious” in other versions is translated as “Superstitious” and comes from the Greek word “DaisiDaimon” (G1174) which literally means “Fearful of Demons” or “Fearful of Deities”, since the gods of the nations are demons (Ps.96:5, 106:36-37, 1Co.10:20). In fact, although the Greek word “Daimon” (G1142) has come to be used to simply describe evil beings, given the nature of such entities, in itself that is not its definition, instead refers to creatures that distribute fortune and possess hidden knowledge by inhabiting another dimension with respect to men, which is why there are people who invoke and worship demons in order to receive knowledge or some supernatural power, while most do so without realizing it, through idols and false doctrines.
The biggest problem Paulus encountered in this place was the lack of faith (Emunah) in the resurrection of the dead, which is the Testimony of Yahushua, so it is interesting that the Messiah promises, in the letter to Sardis, to clothe those who overcome in white garments; that is to say, those who come to believe and act according to their faith in the truth (Emet) will receive eternal life during the resurrection of the dead. Notice how only “some” of the Athenians believed, while in the message to Sardis we see that Mashiach mentions that only a “few” of Sardis have not stained their clothes, so they will receive the resurrection, just like the few Athenians who believed in the preaching of Paulus.
In classical mythology, Dionysius translates as “son of God” (“son of Zeus”) and is revered as the god of the grape harvest and wine, which has a reddish color, so it represents blood and therefore it’s related to the name Sardis (“Red Ones”). The fact that a man with this name appears in the previous text, who is also called an Areopagite, symbolizes the fact that the Witness like EliYahu, upon hearing the true doctrine, leaves the Christian church, where he was a “son of God” (Zeus / Satan), to turn to Yahushua HaMashiach in order to leave falsehood behind and become a “Son of Yahweh”. This was also represented by what Yahushua replied to his two disciples, when asked if they should bring down fire from heaven as EliYahu did in his time (1Ki.18:31-38, 2Ki.1:10-15, Lk.9:54), to which Yahushua replied that EliYahu belonged to another spirit, referring to a different dispensation in which, to put it some way, the prophets were under another celestial administration, until Yahushua appeared to take away the veil, removing what separated humanity from the Almighty and breaking down the wall between the Gentiles and the Yahudim (Ep.2:14).
Yahuchanan the Immersor ("John the Baptist") came to close the previous dispensation, while Yahushua appeared to begin the new one, which is why Yahuchanan had to die before the Messiah. Now, in the end times, the Witness like EliYahu will have been raised in Christianity and eventually, before the beginning of his ministry, he will be converted to the truth, in the same way that all the elect will have to leave the false doctrines and confess Yahushua as Sovereign and Messiah. Understanding this connection and the fact that Mars is called the “god” of war, the temperament of both EliYahu and EliShua, his successor (2Re.2:22-24), should not come as a surprise, instead it shows the difference between the judgment revealed through EliYahu and the mercy manifested in Yahushua.
In the case of Damaris, the woman who believed, she represents the sheepfold of the Many, of which the majority are Gentiles who have come to believe in the death and resurrection of the Messiah for justification, and thus receive eternal life in the resurrection of the dead, along with some Yisraelim who nowadays are considered Gentiles because of the dispersion and the confusion (Babel) in which they were born and raised. These, as the same text reveals, are those who only believe in their hearts, since there is no mention of confession, which confirms that Damaris represents those who believe in the Messiah and fulfill the commandments, but have not invoked his true name for salvation and therefore will have to die during the Great Tribulation. Another obvious sign of this is the meaning of the name Damaris, which is define as “a Heifer” and makes reference to the sacrifice of the Red Heifer, whose ashes were used for the physical purification of the people (Nm.19:2-9, He.9:13-14). Among other representations, the color red is connected to Esau, due to its nickname Edom (Red), which is directly related to Rome, the empire that is spiritually symbolized by Esau, Yaakov's brother; while on the other hand, being the Heifer a farm animal, it represents servitude. This means that the sacrifice of the Red Heifer can be seen as the Gentile People who will be sacrificed during the Great Tribulation, in order to be purified of their rebellion and be able to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh, to serve in His Temple for Eternity.
When Paulus mentions the Religiosity of the Athenians, he does so to call their attention to one of their altars dedicated “to the Forgotten Mighty One”, which is very important, for it perfectly represents the days in which we live, the end times in which the apostasy (rebellion) is at its peak. However, it is sad to notice how these pagans were so worried about honoring the Mighty One they had forgotten, while today society has rather reached the point of forgetting that there is a Mighty One and most of those who claim to believe in Him, are not really interested in knowing Who they worship, but they blindly trust the leaders they follow, while the Scripture says “cursed is the man who trusts in man” (Jr.17:5), because they are simply interested in receiving what they think they need and continually request, without really knowing Him or seeking His will. For this reason, Yahweh commands us to examine everything (1Ts.5:21) and expose evil (Ep.5:11), which clearly reveals that all those who will have to die at the end of time will do so because of their lack of knowledge (Os.4:6).
In the same way that Paulus appears before the Athenians to preach to them of Yahweh, referring to Him as the Forgotten Elohim, so will the Witness like Moshe manifest before the Christians, who have forgotten Yahweh and his son Yahushua, since they have only heard of “the God Jehovah” and “the Lord Jesus”. Christians consider that they worship the same Mighty One and Messiah that is mentioned in Scripture, for the simple fact that the names they use have been wrongly written in most modern translations, so when one mentions the truth of the matter to them, they commonly consider that it is of no importance and that they are simply using other names and titles that are equivalent, without clearly understanding the main function that names and titles fulfill. Therefore, when the Two Witnesses appear, they will be seen as if they were preaching a new religion and a new Elohim, without understanding that they actually preach of the only Elohim and Messiah from the Scripture in which they also claim to believe (Ac.26:6-8).
In Paulus' powerful speech, he makes a statement that confirms the connection between this episode and the congregation of Sardis (“Red Ones”). The Apostle mentions to the Athenians the fact that Yahweh made from one Blood (Red) every nation of men, to conclude by saying that the Almighty commands all men to repent; Just as Yahushua also commands Sardis to repent of their works (Rev.3:3). Therefore, we can see how the color Red, which of course is directly linked to the kehila of Sardis, connects this congregation with the Red Heifer, the fold of the Many, Wine (Dionysius), the Blood that will be shed during the Great Tribulation, the 2nd Seal, War, Mars, Samael, Edom (Esau) and Rome.