|The message to Laodicea,
Verses 14-22 (NASB)
LaodiceaThis is the last of the seven churches - the NEUTRAL CHURCH.
Laodicea was located about 45 miles southeast of Philadelphia and approximately 100 mile east of Ephesus (the first church). It was a neighboring city to Colosse and one of the three cities in the fertile Lycus valley.
Laodicea was a great trade center in its day. It was famous for a glossy black wool, huge banks (Cicero cashed very large bank drafts there), and a school of medicine (developed an ointment to cure eye defects).
It was a very self sufficient city. It refused outside help to rebuild it when it was leveled by the AD 17 earthquake.
The description of Laodicea being a lukewarm church may have come from its water system. An aqueduct some six miles long brought water from its source south of the city. Either the water came from hot springs and it cooled on the way or it came from a cold source and warmed up. In either case, for all its wealth, Laodicea had poor water.The church at Laodicea (and Hierapolis) may have been founded by Epaphras - Colossians 4:12-15. The name, Laodicea, means 'the rights of the people'.
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
* The AMEN,
- the Hebrew behind the Greek amen means 'the acknowledgment of that which is sure and valid'.
- it is the human response to divine truth or action.
- therefore, Jesus is the perfect AMEN of obedience and suffering for God, His Father.
* the Faithful and True WITNESS,
- Paul parallels this in 2 Corinthians 1:20-22.
* the BEGINNING of the creation of God, says this:
- the speaker to the angel to the church at Laodicea goes back before the creation of the universe even to the beginning of God - John 1:1-5. Jesus has been forever ... not in the physical human form but as one part of the three-part God.- so listen up, Laodicea (and all other Christian churches)!!!
I KNOW your DEEDS,Again those all-seeing eyes penetrate to the heart of things.
that you are neither COLD nor HOTThis may be an indirect reference to the water coming to Laodicea from 6 miles away; but most likely this refers to their lack of zeal - Romans 12:9-13. (See also Revelation 3:19).
I would that you were COLD or HOT.This is your spiritual temperature not your SAVED or UNSAVED condition.
COLD ——> Saved but not at all living the Spirit-filled life.HOT ——> Truly on fire for the Lord through the Holy Spirit!
So —> because you are lukewarm and neither HOT nor COLD,A lukewarm church is the worst kind. If it is cold, it won't harm anyone. If it is HOT, souls are onfire and spiritual rebirth is happening.
But a TEPID church
- looks religious
I will spit you OUT OF MY MOUTH!Praise the Lord, the tense on the verb is 'will', future. There still is time to repent and to be renewed. According to 1 Peter 4:17-19, the church first is judged, then fakes ('godless men') within the church, and lastly sinners.
Because YOU saySelf assessment usually leads to self-engrandizement. While nobody wants to hear bad truth, our approval and evaluation really comes from the Lord - 2 Corinthians 10:12-18.
1) I am RICH, and have become WEALTHY, and have need of nothing andIf materially RICH ——> faith in God usually is lacking. If spiritually RICH ——> they were blinded or oblivious to the intrusion of "worldly things".
Christ gave us the characteristics of a spiritual Christian in the Beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12.
2) you do not know that you areThe Laodiceans could not see their poor state of health in the body (of Christ?) and soul (inward condition). The Smyrnans were recognized (Revelation 2:9) as having poverty (but they were rich). What a contrast between two churches! Lastly, nakedness talks about a shameless way of "showing off" a spiritual way of life (Revelation 16:15) when, in fact, the flesh is doing something totally different. The walk does not match the talk; we need to wear the spiritual garments of purity, righteousness, and the glory of God.
I advise you to BUY FROM MEFor a church so involved in materialism (apparently from all the wealth of the city), to ask them to "BUY" points an accusing finger at them and says they don't have everything SPIRITUALLY. In fact, they have just enough spiritualism to make them "lukewarm".
a) GOLD refined by fire, that you may become rich, andThe spiritual process of buying starts with repentance, the turning over of one's self. Then one acquires GOD (Jesus = GOLD) and eternal riches (LIFE). The Word of God is solid GOLD - John 7:16-18. Then a transformation takes place - 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, a strengthening inside us - Ephesians 3:14-19, and a preparation for the trials sure to come - 1 Peter 1:3-9.
b) WHITE GARMENTSOur SIN, unconfessed and unforgiven by the Lord, is our nakedness. Only the white cloth of righteousness can hide our nakedness when we receive it and put it on.
c) eyesalve to anoint your eyes that you may SEE.Eyesalve impedes the "dazzling splendor" of the world's light. The devil can make material things look so good. But eyesalve has another function: that of healing. It opens understanding to the hope of our calling - Ephesians 1:18; it removes the world's blinders - 2 Corinthians 4:4-6.
This verse indicates that the lukewarmness of Laodicea is not the laxity of Christians but rather the condition of not really knowing Christ. They may have accepted Him as their Savior BUT they have kept control of their life, i.e. haven't made Him their Lord.What is your position today? Lukewarm because He isn't the complete Lord and Boss over your life.
Those whom I LOVE, I REPROVE and DISCIPLINE:The unwanted and unloved seldom have anyone around to discipline them. Thus we should be thankful that God is around to discipline us. John 14:19-21 says we are loved by God and He will disclose Himself to us. So if we are sons of God, then as a Father He disciplines us - Hebrews 12:4-13 and Proverbs 3:12. The "trying us" is for our growth to bring us to a place of abundance according to Psalm 66:8-15. We are to judge ourselves, and if we judge rightly then the Lord disciplines us - 1 Corinthians 11:28-32.
* be ZEALOUS therefore, andA zealous person is NOT lukewarm, they are on FIRE! 1 Corinthians 15:58.
* REPENTThe very last thing an unbeliever wants to do is REPENT. The very last thing a believer wants to do is REPENT. Why? It leads to exposure ("nakedness" in the previous verse 18) as to who you really are. BUT repentance has its good points!
Behold, I stand at the door and KNOCK;This is the door of the church at Laodicea (or your church) and not necessarily the heart's door as so many evangelists use this verse. This would indicate that there either were lots of deaf Christians or lazy Christians ignoring the knocking.
Note, too, that Christ is outside the church (Hebrews 13:12-13). We can go outside the church to be with him individually OR the members of the church can invite Him in to be with them. He would prefer to come inside because He says
if anyone (in the church) hears my voice (knock) and opens the door,There had to be some life in the church in order to hear the knock and open the door - John 5:24-29 and John 10:24-30. Opening the door is the act of repentance and discarding all fleshly things - Galatians 5:19-21.
I will COME IN to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.As we sit down to eat with Him (His word), His Spirit is there as He shares His food (bounteousness of the Father) with us. Then we grow and become strong believers. Thus begins the beautiful relationship between the believer and the Holy Spirit - Colossians 3:15-17. One note of warning: James 5:9 indicates those who don't open the door will face the Judge!
I will grant him to SIT DOWN with Me on My Throne;We have seen earlier in Revelation 1:6, Revelation 1:9, and Revelation 2:27, that we, along with John, anticipate to reign with Christ. Here it is outright promised to the Laodicean church (and we, too, if we overcome).
Later, during one of the praise sessions in Revelation 5:10 and in the thousand year period in Revelation 20:4, the 24 elders, the four living creatures, and the martyrs also indicate this joint reign.
Just as a side note: there is a clear distinction between the Father's Throne and Christ's Throne. It appears that Christ's Throne is preeminent from his resurrection until all things (including death) are "put under His feet" - 1 Corinthians 15:20-28. At that time, then even Christ and His Throne (and us) will be subject completely to God (as we are now, too).
Lastly, all 'overcomer' promises (see formats of church letters) show up again in the heavenly throne era. This proves that John's visions were organized and complete. Here are the seven overcomer promises again.
Ephesus - a tree of life (Revelation 22:2)So each type of church will be represented in the final age! The question then becomes: WILL YOU BE THERE????
'He who has an EAR, let him HEAR what the SPIRIT saysThis phrase must be important to have been repeated SEVEN times.
WE MUST HEAR!!!!The word "churches" is not used again until Revelation 22:16 where John is reminded that this 'book', Revelation as we call it, is to be to the "churches". Everything from now on during the Judgments is pronounced upon an earth without "churches". This leads many scholars to believe the active, alive, Spirit-filled church is not present on the earth during this time of Judgment. On the other hand, nowhere does the Revelation specifically say it will not be present.
from the NEW
AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The
Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975,
1977, 1995 Used by permission."
References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only.