Degenerate Sardis City
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Degenerate Sardis City
(Revelation 3.1)
Page 56

"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. " (Revelation 3.1)

Lydia Ruled Over

Sardis Temple"To the angel of the church in Sardis" may be translated as "To the messenger of the church in Sardis." This alternative of "messenger" also applies to "angel" in verses 7 and 14. The letter may have been addressed to a spiritual leader in the church in Sardis who would no doubt have relayed John of Patmos' words to the congregation there, hence the word "messenger." "The seven spirits of God" may also be translated as "the sevenfold Spirit" meaning the Holy Spirit. Sardis was also called Sardes and is at the site of the modern Sart in Turkey. Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939) the Scottish archaeologist and New Testament scholar wrote concerning Sardis that "there was no greater example of the contrast between past splendor and present decay as in degenerate Sardis city." Seven hundred years before Revelation was written, Sardis, had been one of the greatest cities in the world. There, the King of Lydia ruled over his empire in oriental splendor in Western Anatolia or Asian Turkey. It was abandoned around 1402 AD.

Splendor to Decay

Sardis from belowSardis stood as an impregnable fortress in the middle of the plain of the valley of the River Hermus. To the north rose the long ridge of Mount Tmolus. From that ridge a series of hills went out like spurs, each forming a narrow plateau. On one of these spurs, fifteen hundred feet up, stood the original Sardis city. Such a position made it almost unassailable.

"Degenerate Sardis City"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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