The Book of Revelations: Chapter 3
The Church of Sardis:
Chapter Three begins with John writing to the angel or messenger of the church in Sardis. The word Sardis means "red." Biblically, the color "red" is connected to "Adam" and our humanistic character. This church is another piece of the whole body of Christ. It too has areas to overcome.
This is a church, or a body of believers in Jesus Christ, that know Him as their Lord and Savior. John is not writing to cult members or non-Christians. I want to emphasize this because I have heard many preachers use this church to illustrate their message that if you don't change your ways you can lose your salvation. This is not the issue.
Paul told us "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12). With this in mind, along with the fact that each of the churches John has written, including Sardis, have been approached from a middle (Holy Place) court relationship with God, let's take another look at what Jesus is saying to this church…
Jesus begins in Chapter 3:1 bringing awareness that a perfected relationship with God is by spiritual understanding. It is the Spirit of God that speaks to Sardis making them aware of what needs to be corrected to be an over-comer. He goes straight into pointing out "works" that have been given life, but that in the eyes of God have no life. This lets us know that this church is not coming from an outer court tabernacle understanding of sacrificing the flesh, but in the middle court of God's Tabernacle where there is the bread of life, the light of life, and the essence of joy with the alter of incense.
He says that this church functions and operates in a "name," but the name itself is dead. Scripture tells us that death comes when we eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Even though many doctrines may seem to be "righteous," if they do not come from the Tree of Life, the doctrine will end in death. Those that would be in the middle court, or Holy Place, of the church of Sardis are known as angels or messengers. In the Old Testament, only the Levite Tribe was allowed in this area of God's House. Today, we would acknowledge them as being the pastors, evangelists, teachers, prophets, and apostles. These are names that have been given life, but God says the name itself has no life. How often do we give reverence to someone in church leadership placing them on a pedestal as if they were holier than someone else?
These messengers of the church of Sardis have lifted names, titles, denominations, doctrines, and personal wisdom up in the place that should only be God. The "shewbread" represents Jesus as the bread of Life; the "menorah" represents that God is Light; our Tree of Life. The altar of incense represents His essence of joy and peace that surpasses ALL understanding and His intercessory role toward us. A Levite going into the Holy Place from the outer court had to wash himself of all "self" focus before going in. His purpose was to intercede with love and mercy as a representative for those in the outer court.
The church of Sardis brought religion, self identity, and separation into the Holy Place of the body of Christ. In Acts 10 we read about Peter and Cornelius. Peter had salvation and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues. He was spiritually living from a "middle court" mindset when he had an encounter with God.
Let's pick this story up in Acts 10:9 where Peter goes to the housetop to pray at the sixth hour. The "sixth hour" is the hour of man. Peter is showing us that even though he was "spirit-filled," he carried over a form of ritualism from his days of Judaism. He was praying before his meal and he sees heaven open. If you saw heaven open, wouldn't you expect to see something like doves, angels, white light, or a glory cloud? For Peter, what he saw come from heaven would be the equivalent to us as seeing demons and devils. This is a bit confusing due to the way denominations have organized our understanding of God.
In verse 12 of this chapter, Peter sees ALL manner of beast on the earth and in the air including wild ones wrapped in a great white sheet, also known as a bridle sheet, coming from heaven. He is told to kill and eat by God, not once, but three times. The "killing" is Peter's old way of thinking, and the "eating" is for him to include ALL into the family of God. These animals and beasts are not asking for "salvation." Beasts are symbolic throughout Scripture to represent Gentiles and Heathens. God told Peter what HE cleaned was not to be called common or unclean. These Heathens were already cleansed by the blood of Jesus at the cross of Calvary according to God.
When we get to verse 19, Peter is being sought by 3 men. These 3 men are a type and shadow of 3 crosses: the thief of the past, the thief of the future, and then the cross of NOW. Peter was in denial of what God was telling him, but when these 3 men came to Peter, God told him to, "Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them" (Acts 10:20). The church of Sardis still had thieves of the past and future functioning and being exalted by the leadership of the church.
Peter went with the three men to see Cornelius. Cornelius tried to give reverence to Peter by bowing to him, but Peter corrected him. Peter then told Cornelius about what was lawful for a Jew, but that he had now been shown a new thing by God. According to the vision from God, Peter was given the responsibility to see Cornelius clean before Cornelius was aware of what God had done for him. This is how those that call themselves Christian are supposed to see non-Christians, but religion says that there is and will be a separation of believers in Christ and non-believers.
Back to Revelation chapter 3: Jesus will come as the thief removing the names of the "thieves" that don't belong in the House of God. The word "names" used in these scriptures is the Greek word "onoma" which means the character or attribute described by the name. Jesus said in John 14:13-14, "whatsoever ye shall ask in my name (attribute, nature, character) that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."
Christians defile themselves by calling themselves children of God, but then living a life from the "old Adam," or the "someday" mindset. Jesus is our covering of righteousness today. We have already been given all the cleansing there is to obtain.
In Rev. 3:4, Jesus comments that there are some in Sardis who have not defiled their garments. They manifest "names" that can be brought before the Father. What would these names be? Paul talks about these "names" in Galatians chapter 5. The NAME: Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance. When these attributes are recognized in a person it is the Spirit of God in them that is being revealed, not the law of religion.
Verse 5 tells us that the over-comer will be clothed in white raiment. This is the same "great sheet" or bridle sheet in Acts 10:11. The overcoming is not a "someday when I get to heaven," but a "NOW" understanding that God has cleansed ALL. The only names that will be blotted out of the book of Life are those created from the Tree of Knowledge of man's imagination. These names are ones that the human nature has created apart from what God has declared or named. It was God who knew us before the foundation of the world, and it is the name that He gave each of us that is today, and will always be, in the book of Life. The name/nature that Jesus will acknowledge before the Father about each of us will be the character and nature of Christ in us. Jesus is not telling the Father something He doesn't already know. God is very much aware of the details of our lives.
In verse 6, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." The churches are the "called out." He is calling out each of us in the time and season of His will to bring together the unity of ALL in Christ.
In the book, God Calling, the devotion for July 28th reads as follows:
I am your Shield. No buffets of the world can harm you. Feel that between you and all scorn and indignity is a strong shield. Practice feeling this until nothing has the power to spoil the inward peace. Then indeed a marvelous victory shall be won.
You wonder sometimes why you are permitted to make mistakes in your choice when you sought so truly to do My
Will in the matter.
To that I say it was no mistake…All your lessons cannot be learned without difficulty, and this was needed to teach you a lesson. Not to him who walks on, with no obstacles in his way, but to him that overcometh is the promise given. So to attain peace quickly in your surroundings, as well as in your hearts, learn your lesson quickly. And the overcoming is never the overcoming of the one who troubled you, but the overcoming of the weaknesses and wrong in your own nature, aroused by such a one.
No lower standard than My Standard shall by yours. "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect."
The Church in Philadelphia:
This church is the sixth church that John is told to address. Six is the symbolic number of man. Philadelphia means "brotherly love." Jesus finds no fault in this church because they love one another as brothers which means they love God (I John 4:20-21).
Jesus did not say they didn't have faults. Remember, this church is still part of the same body of Christ as the other churches. The difference is they live a life of discipleship by loving on another despite a person's sins (John 13:34-35).
In Rev. 3:7, we are told about a key of David that opens and no man can shut, and when shut, no man can open. What is this key? God is the key for He is Love. It is His Love that can only be revealed by His Spirit in each of us. Once revealed, the power and authority of the Love of God can not be hindered or overcome by anything man is capable of doing.
The Amplified Bible tells us in I Corinthians 13:4-8 about the love of God found in each of us: "Love (God) endures long and is patient and kind; love (God) is never envious nor boils over with jealousy is not boastful or vain glorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong). It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love (God) bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening). Love (God) never fails (never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end)." Today, we have the ability to enter into the throne room of God (Hebrews 4:16) for as He is so are we in this world (I John 4:17). If God is LOVE, LIGHT, and LIFE, then this is our true identity which carries with it His power and authority. However, when we come to Rev. 3:9 we read the words, "Behold, I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan." This seems to be a contradiction knowing that we are also called the Tabernacle of God; His dwelling place. Unfortunately, many people that call themselves a Christian still bring religion, legalism, and carnality to the House of God. These children of God have the Synagogue of Satan as their house, but, it also says "I," meaning the Almighty has purposely kept these children of God in bondage to religion, denomination, legalism, etc. Why would this be?
The word "behold" in Rev 3:9 is a pointer for us to stop and really pay attention. What does Jesus want us to pay attention to? That He will make them of a temple of carnality? Our churches today are created by God for His purpose. He also says in this same verse that He will make these carnally minded Christians worship before Him and they will know that He loved them. How will they know of His love? The church of Philadelphia will be tempted to judge according to verse 10 those that interpret the word of God for their own glory, but this would make them no different than the "Synagogue of Satan."
Paul says in Galatians 6:1-2, when someone is overtaken with temptation, those that are mature in the spirit of God are supposed to restore them spiritually, not bringing condemnation on them. We are to bear one another's burdens in the love of God. Verse 6 in this chapter tells us that those that are taught in the word are to communicate ALL good things.
Jesus said in verse 11 that He would come quickly; not to end the world, but to bring the mindset of "brotherly love" to a higher understanding than judging.
Verse 12 says that this church has the ability to overcome; however, they are not there yet. The obstacle they must overcome is the temple of Satan that God has placed in their path. The Book of Job speaks about this in Chapter 2, and Paul tells us of his encounter in 2 Corinthians 12:7, "and lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to be a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure." Three times Paul tried to have this messenger removed, but God told Paul that
His strength was made perfect in this weakness. What strength did Paul have to use?
His god given character manifesting UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, GRACE, AND MERCY, which can only come from
It is this revelation that will come forth to those that overcome the "thorns in their tabernacle" (Hosea 9:6). This revelation is the pillar in the temple of God. They are the names of God which will be given to His sons (Rev. 3:12-13).
People that cross our path in life are placed there by God. Some people are place in our life to be friends, and others will seem very difficult to be around. Whether they are acting as a friend or enemy, it is unconditional love that must come forth in the midst of the circumstance. This can only happen when we surround all of our emotions and understandings to simply accept "His grace is sufficient."
Rev. 3:11, "that no man take thy crown." What is this crown? It is the LOVE of God being manifested from our way of thinking. This is the pillar in the temple in verse 12.
Pillars are the support that carries the load. These are the intercessors for the body. If you were to stumble, wouldn't your arms react out to intercept the fall for the rest of your body? In the body of Christ, these pillars are the "called out ones," "the church," or "ecclesia." They are not the whole body. In God's timing, He will bring the rest of mankind into His presence of LOVE. These "pillars" intercede with the love of God when judgment or condemnation tries to attack the body (Isaiah 42:6-9).
The name of God is given to the individual first, and then to the city of God to form the corporate body of believers. These people have been acknowledged by the Father as sons to do the Father's business which is to love, forgive, and give mercy unconditionally to ALL.
We read in Isaiah 62:2, "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and ALL kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name."
In this same chapter, verses 11 and 12 we read, "Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, a city not forsaken."
The prophet, Ezekiel, also talks about this city in Chapter 48. He uses the tribes of Israel as a type and shadow illustration of spiritual understanding. In verses 30-34, we are told that each side of the city's walls will be measured four-thousand and five-hundred.
Four - the number of fullness, universal, ALL.
Five - the number of unconditional grace and mercy.
Thousand - the number of wholeness. Broken down, we have one God who is eternally: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In this same chapter in Ezekiel, he ends with verse 35 telling us, "It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there." The number eighteen is equal to: 6+6+6 which equals the number of man in three parts, body, soul, and spirit. God took back mankind and brought him into wholeness over 2000 years ago when Jesus declared, "It is Finished" (John 19:30).
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
The Church of Laodicea
After the church of "brotherly love," John is told to write to the church of Laodicea. This is the seventh church, which is the number of completion of God's creation. It is the day of rest.
As we continue to verse 14: The Lord Jesus Christ is again addressing the messengers of the church, those that have been "called out." He makes himself known as the "Amen," and then clarifies the name to be the "faithful and true witness; the Origin and Beginning and Author of God's creation" (Amplified Bible, Rev. 3:4).
Now, let's not move too fast here. We are not talking about an elementary understanding of how the world was created in 6 days. This "creation" is the beginning of the God kind of man which takes us back to Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created." In the Strong's Concordance, the word "God" in this verse is #430 as "Elohim." This is different from #3068 where God is known as "Yehovah." Today, Christians are accustomed to combining these two Hebrew words into one English word "God" meaning the same thing, but in doing so we loose a key to understanding scripture. "Yehovah" is the name of the Most Holy; the Eternal; Father God. "Elohim" is the "ALL" of "Yehovah." This includes the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, and the first fruit of "all" creation. So when Jesus says he was "in the beginning of the creation of God," the witness to that is Genesis1:1. "Elohim" is "Christ." "Christ is all, and in ALL" (Colossians 3:11).
To go a step further, if we turn to Proverbs 8:22-31 we read,
"The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men."
This passage has been understood by many Theologians to refer to Christ, but they limit their understanding to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the first born, the head of the body of Christ (Colossians 1:15), but the totality of Christ has many members that include the head and the body (I Corinthians 12:12). Galatians 3:26-29, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are ALL one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
Jesus is taking the body of Christ from the church in Philadelphia and "brotherly love" into the fullness of overcoming, or rest, by reminding them of their true identity and inheritance: They are NOW, and always have been "Christ-Ones." The word "city" in Revelation 3:12 is the same word as "creation" in Revelation 3:14.
Verse 15: The word "works" in this verse refers to the spiritual works of the leadership, not the physical business they do each day. Keep in mind, their spiritual understanding is supposed to be coming from a "Holy Place," or middle court mindset. God desires for us to be drawn to a love relationship with Him in the Holy of Holies. However, a majority of Christians stop short and settle for an outer or middle court relationship. An outer court Christian life includes "killing the flesh" as well as dos and don'ts in order to be a good Christian. A middle court Christian's life includes being "spirit-filled" and seeking signs and wonders. They say they walk by faith, but their life reflects the "see it" to "believe it" attitude. These are stepping stones we each must go through to get to the inner court, but we are not supposed to make a religion of it or else we will die.
The Laodicean church is an illustration of acknowledging each of the "overcoming" portions of the other churches as TRUTH, but not doing anything with these revelations. Instead, this church sees itself as already having "all" that is obtainable while in the body.
"I know thy works." The word "works" is the Greek word "ergon" which is #2041 in Strong's. It is the same word used in John 6:28-29. Jesus is not addressing how busy or active the church of Laodicea has been. He is focusing on the issue of believing the finished work of Jesus Christ. In order to believe that Jesus did finish everything, one must believe that "as He is, so are we in this world" (I John 4:17). This can only be done by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 16: "Thou art lukewarm." If you are cold or hot you will seek to change your situation. Lukewarm is a comfortable place. It may not be the ideal place or situation, but there isn't enough discomfort to want to change even though the wisdom of how to change may be known. The leadership of this church knows the truth of the finished work of Jesus Christ and the availability to enter into His rest. However, it takes denying self and lifting up only the faith of God to declare with their heart and mouth the power and authority of their true identity as sons of God.
They see themselves as rich. They have put aside their ability to be teachable losing focus on the fact that God is eternal, and therefore His word has eternal revelation ready to be manifested out of our natural body which is His temple. We are not supposed to shorten our expectation of what we can receive. Nothing is impossible with God.
Verse 17: The rich and increased with goods can be applied naturally, but we must stay focused on the spiritual understanding. The richness that Jesus is referring to comes from a mindset of how the "word" is being manifested. There are many Christians involved in many denominations that are manifesting the power of God. Big ministries are being built called healing ministries, faith ministries, prosperity ministries, etc. There is a lot of singing, dancing, and praising God of what the Lord has done…for me. Jesus said they were:
Wretched: This is a pointer to Romans 7:24 where Paul writes, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of death?" The Laodicean church thinks they have it all and have become complacent in their Christian life. This word tells us they have not overcome death. Jesus would not have drawn attention to this fact if it wasn't available for them to overcome death in the NOW, but they first had to come out of their "comfort" way of thinking.
Miserable: Pitiful in representing God as His son.
Poor: Poor in spirit, not allowing the Holy Spirit to be their teacher.
Blind: Not seeing TRUTH. Jesus said it was finished, yet even though they know this; they are not living in accordance to it.
Naked: Spiritual nakedness is being exposed to humanity. This is the Adam and Eve Syndrome found in Genesis 3:7. If you are not recognizing you are already clothed with His righteousness, then you will settle with "religious justification" seeking works for salvation which is offensive to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When we see others as whole it is because we have also seen ourselves whole in Christ. When we limit God in healing, prosperity, safety, or anything that does not include ALL and NOW in our life, then we haven't seen wholeness.
Back in verse 16, Jesus says the reason for this church being lukewarm is a "mouth" problem. He has acknowledged that the church belongs to Him by saying "my mouth." However, they are not manifesting their true identity to BE as He is. Out of the mouth, the heart will speak (Matt. 12:34), and the Holy Spirit will bear witness to our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). As His children we have the ability to move into sonship to do the Father's business because we are His sons. God sent forth the Spirit of His son, Jesus Christ, into our hearts (Galatians 4:4-6) to tell us as He is, so are we in this world (I John 4:17).
WARNING, WARNING!!! Our mouth is His mouth! Jesus Christ is resurrected from the tomb. The tomb is empty. We are to BE the people of the resurrected Christ. My life is not about ME, but HIM, and EVERYTHING I DO IS AFFECTING someone else in some way.
Remember the overcoming church of Philadelphia? They are pillars in the Kingdom of God to support and carry the load of others. However, they got that position after going through trials and tribulations of refining so that the character and nature of their true identity as sons of God would be revealed. I Timothy 4:10 says, "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men, especially of those that believe."
We can have knowledge, but without understanding there is no transformation. Understanding comes from the belly of our inner most being as Living Water. When we come into the understanding that Jesus Christ is our personal savior, it is because the Holy Spirit has been appointed to bring that revelation into manifestation. It is not how "bad" we are that brings repentance, but the goodness of God. The seed of our identity is always within us, but it takes the Holy Spirit to give us the breath of God which is needed for the Word in us to come out changing us into His image.
When God instructs us to repent, this is not negative. Instead, he is prompting us by His goodness to change the way we have been thinking. When we change our mind, we change our heart, which changes the soul and body. We have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16), therefore "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2:5-6).
Verse 18: "I counsel thee"… (Here is wisdom), "to bring of me gold tried in the fire." The only thing you can "bring" to Christ is Jesus. Since He gave His life, you can't even "buy it," and you can't "choose" to receive it any more than you can choose your DNA or blood type. We are already redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We know that He has risen and the tomb is empty. The big picture is to understand our resurrection. In order for the sons of God to be manifested, we must be willing to be purified so that only the nature of God is left. There can be no "shame or nakedness" in our hearts. Our eyes must see only as He sees (Proverbs 29:18). God has already called us clean and righteous even before we understood what Jesus had done for each of us (Acts 10:15).
Verse 19: When God rebukes and chastens, it is not to bring judgment or condemnation, but correction. It is not a form of punishment, but His love being revealed to help us grow up into His image as He planned in the beginning (Hebrews 12:6). Jeremiah 1:5 says it this way, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
Verse 20: After all that Jesus has said, we come to the word "behold," which means to pay attention and look for what the Holy Spirit is revealing. Most Theologians quote this verse in sermons to focus on receiving Jesus Christ as their personal savior. We praise God that many souls have come to know the Lord by these sermons; however, the word "behold" says that there is more to what Jesus is saying. He is talking to the leadership of a church that is very comfortable with their spirit-filled Christianity. He has rebuked and chastened them with the fire of God. Now He says, "I stand at the door and knock," but in John 10:9 He says, "I am the Door." He is identifying us with Him: King of kings, Lord of lords, Door of doors.
Other scriptures connected to verse 20 are found in Matt. Chapter 22 and Luke Chapter 14 where Jesus told a story about a certain king referring to himself. He had prepared a great banquet, or wedding feast, inviting those within the courts to come into the throne room, not just to give honor to him as the King, but to sit down and share food and conversation with Him. Hello!! This was the King, yet people had their excuses not to go. In those days, to turn down the King's invitation could mean a death sentence. These people were challenging death in their hearts by turning Him down.
In verse 21 Jesus tells us that the over-comer, the one that no longer focuses on their own ego, are ambassadors for the Lord. They will be able to sit with Jesus on the throne of God knowing God as Father. God can only be in the presence of Himself. We have the capability to come boldly before the throne of God to obtain mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16). In this verse we are no longer coming before the throne but sitting (resting) as one with God. If there were any "self" when we came to the throne, it was refined with His mercy and grace so that only His image in us is left. This is the "seed prayer" Jesus sent out before the cross in John 17:20-26. It is to be our prayer by faith for all so that the perfection of the unity of God and man is no longer flesh warring against the Spirit of God, but the manifesting of perfect peace and harmony in our earth (flesh).
Verse 22: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." The Spirit of God that is speaking to John is the same Spirit which spoke to Paul about the Laodicean church in Colossians.
"For by him were ALL things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: ALL things were created by him, and for him: and he is before ALL things, and by him ALL things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in ALL things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should ALL fullness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile ALL things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet NOW hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holly and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight:"
Colossians 2:1-3 "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ in whom are hid ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Colossians 3:10-15 "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is ALL, and in ALL. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above ALL these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body and be ye thankful."
God's reservoir of water is mankind. We are His body. He was naked and hungry. We are clothing Him and feeding Him when we feed and cloth His body (Matt. 25:35). The over-comers of the Laodicean church are the summation of all the churches in unity knowing the power, authority, and joy of resurrection life on THIS side of death to the body. They are a company of people that go through the process of transformation into manifesting transfiguration without being separated from their natural body.
Religion will quote Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment," but they don't go to the next verse that says, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many (all)." Judgment took place over 2000 years ago at a place in time called Calvary. Jesus would not have had John write to these churches if overcoming death, hell, and the grave was not possible while in our natural body.