“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;
These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;
I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die:
for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.
If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief,
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments;
and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Sardis was important due to its military strength and situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus.
Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to Carnelian.
Carnelian was a red stone, related to sardius, the first stone in the High Priestly breastplate. Yet unlike the sardius, it was softer, uneven, splintery and conchoidal.
Carnelian correlates to the church at Sardis, which was notorious for being soft and fainthearted.
The word carnelian is derived from the Latin word “carnis” meaning flesh.
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”