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Lesson 5 Revelation 3:1-6

Lesson 5 Revelation 3:1-6
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A Spiritual Interpretation of Revelation

As taught by:
Unity School for Religious Studies
Unity Village, MO 64065

Lesson Outline

  1. Metaphysical meaning of the church of Sardis.
  2. Praise for the church.
  3. Criticism for the church.
  4. Promise of reward for overcoming that which is criticized.
  1. Rev. 3:1-3:6
  2. Metaphysical Bible Dictionary: "Sardis"
  3. Be Ye Transformed 213-215
  1. Metaphysically, what does the church of Sardis stand for in human nature?
  2. Give a general summary of praise given to the church.
  3. Give a general summary of criticism given to the church.
  4. Give a general summary of the reward for overcoming to be given.

Lesson Text


The word Sardis means "precious gem; prince of joy." Metaphysically, it stands for our inner center of joyous power and dominion; our true awareness of our spiritual individuality.

Rev. 3:1,2 "'... I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God.'"

These are very strange words, mixing praise and criticism within one statement. They indicate and the Christ Mind judges that we have been using our individual power and dominion in an only slightly satisfactory way. It is a church in us that is alive and, yet, is also "dead." This is a paradox but, nevertheless, it is true.

We have been taught since we came into Truth that, as children of God, we have spiritual power, dominion, and authority as individuals. Jesus told us that the same power that was in Him is also in us and that we should follow Him in using that power as we see the need for it. We are free to follow Divine Guidance in expressing our individuality. And we have done so. But to what degree? This letter indicates that it has been to very little degree. It indicates that our individual power and dominion is remaining dormant for the most part. This inference is contained in the words, "and you are dead."

What can be causing this? What factors may be holding back our full expression of the power and dominion that is ours? There appear to be at least two possible reasons:

(1) Many of us have the tendency to wait to use our spiritual power until some very big issue comes up in our lives. There is the tendency to think that spiritual power should only be called forth to handle great, important problems or events. But if we wait for the big, big challenges to come up before we exercise our spiritual power and dominion, we may have too long to wait. Stagnation and inertia may set in, and we will become weak.

The solution? We can use our spiritual power and dominion in the so-called little things of life. Everyday problems, common troubles, any healing need we become aware of, ordinary misunderstandings, in fact, all the little details of life are valid opportunities for us to call forth and use our individual power and dominion.

(2) The second reason why our inner spiritual power may seem to become depleted (go dead) is that we tend to externalize too much of it when we do use it. That is, we sometimes become more concerned with outer accomplishments than we are in inner soul growth. The wisest and most productive use of our power and dominion is on our inner self, our own thinking, emotions, attitudes, reactions. Power used here causes an INCREASE OF POWER, not a depletion.

Rev. 3:5 "'He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.'"

The first part of this promise mentions the reward of being "clad thus in white garments." "White garments" is a symbol of two things: .clean feeling about one's self, and a pure, non-negative attitude connected with self-control. This type of self-control is not the grim and determined type of negative self-control. Rather it is a matter of thinking, feeling, and doing only what your Real Self knows to be best. The motive is desire for the highest good of all. This type of self-control gives us a truly "clean" feeling (white garments).

The second part of the promise is, "'I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels, To be "blotted out of the book of life" means to have a feeling of being useless in God's world. It is also a feeling of suffering a loss of individuality.

When we overcome these negative feelings by affirming the Truth of our oneness with the Father, our sense of individuality is restored, and the false belief in our uselessness is eliminated. Instead of thinking of ourselves as "blots" in the book of life, we know that our "names" are fully written out in the book of life.

Earlier, in the Gospels, Jesus states this same idea when He says to the returning seventy, "... rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20) Your name written in heaven refers to knowing your true identity and your right place within life.