Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Sardeis (3.1–6)


‘And write to the angel of the assembly in Sardeis:

The one who has God’s seven spirits and the seven stars says this:

I know your works, that you have the reputation that you are alive, but you are dead. Awaken and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in my God’s sight. So remember what you received and heard, and keep it and repent. But if you will not awaken, I will come like a thief and you will not know what hour I will come to you. But you have some names in Sardeis who have not stained their clothes and who walk with me in white, because they are worthy.

Whoever conquers will be dressed that way in white clothes, and I will not wipe out his name from the scroll of life, and I will confess his name in front of my Father and in front of his angels. Whoever has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the assemblies.’


Jesus is identified to each assembly by attributes taken from chapter 1, generally in reverse order. Each selected attribute seems intended to tie into the message given to that particular assembly, though the meaning is not always clear. Jesus has the seven spirits and seven stars; the latter explicitly represent angels, and the former may be this book’s iteration of the seven archangels tradition. Jesus promises to praise the faithful to God and his angels.



69.28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

87.6 Yhwh records, as he registers the peoples, ‘This one was born there.’


32.32 ‘But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, blot me out of the book that you have written.’

Joseph & Asenath

15.4 In the beginning of the book, as the very first of all, your name was written by my finger, and it will not be erased for ever.


12.1 ‘There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.’

Dead Sea Scrolls

1QM 12 And you have established in a community for yourself the elect of your holy people. The list of the names of all their host is with you in the abode of your holiness; the reckoning of the holy ones is in your glorious dwelling-place.

Ascension of Isaiah

1.5 and concerning the robes of the holy ones and their going out, and concerning their transformation

4.16 But the holy ones will come with the Lord with their robes which are stored up in the seventh heaven above


30.22 But if they transgress and act in all the ways of defilement, they will be recorded in the heavenly tablets as enemies. And they will be blotted out of the book of life and written in the book of those who will be destroyed and with those who will be rooted out from the land.

1 Thessalonians

5.2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.


4.9 And he said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’


10.32–33 ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.’

13.16 ‘But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.’

24.43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.


10.20 ‘rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

12.8–9 ‘And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.’

2 Peter

3.10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief

5 Ezra

2.40 Take again your full number, O Zion, and conclude the list of your people who are clothed in white, who have fulfilled the law of the Lord.

3 Enoch

18.24 Because he is in charge of the scrolls of the living, for he records in the scrolls of the living everyone whom the Holy One, blessed be he, is please to bring into life, by authority of the Omnipresent One.

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