Revelation 3:14-18

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links



What The Spirit Says to The Church of Laodicea – Part 1

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen,
the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [ that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Introduction
Laodicea is the seventh of the seven churches within those who have been “given ears to hear.” It is the capstone of our spiritual condition as we look behind ourselves to see the voice that is speaking to us giving us this revelation of Jesus Christ. What we see in “what the spirit says to the church” of Laodicea within us is a “lukewarm” spirit which is totally unaware of its lackadaisical attitude and is completely self- satisfied. Until we face this angel of the church of Laodicea within us and give an accounting of the fact that its self- satisfied attitude is in us, we will never be given the “open heavens” of chapters 4 and 5 and all the revelations that follow. But we do “look behind us to see the voice that speaks with us” and in so doing we are given the sum of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Here now is what the spirit has to say to “he that hath an ear, to hear what the spirit says to the angel of the church of Laodicea within us all.

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Here Christ calls Himself three things. He is the Amen, the faithful and true witness and the beginning of the creation of God. As the ‘Amen’ we know Christ as the Truth. The Greek word is pronounced the same as is the English ‘amen’ except that the ‘e’ is pronounced as a long ‘a,’ and it is defined by Dr. Strong as “Properly firm, figuratively trustworthy.” It is by far most often translated in the King James as ‘verily,’ meaning ‘truly,’ and is often seen repeated as “Verily, verily,” especially in the gospel of John. For example:

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

G281
αμην
ame n
am- ane’
Of Hebrew origin [ H543]; properly firm, that is, (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially surely (often as interjection so be it): – amen, verily.

So Christ and His Words are definitely firm, true and trustworthy. But he also wants to be known as ” the faithful and true witness,” and it is instructive always to note that the Greek word for ‘witness’ is ‘martus,’ from which we derive our English word martyr. While it is generally used simply in the sense of being a faithful witness, the example of Antipas and Christ’s own example demonstrate that the willingness to remain a faithful witness unto death is the deepest application of this Greek word:

Rev 2:13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, [ even] where Satan’s seat [ is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr [ same Greek word, ‘martus’], who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Christ is God’s ultimate “faithful martyr,” and so He introduces Himself to us, as the angel of the church in Laodicea.
But Christ’s final revelation of Himself to the angel of the church of Laodicea within us is as the beginning of the creation of God.” There is really nothing new in Christ’s claim to being “the beginning.” We have already covered this in chapter one where we were told that Christ is “the beginning and the end.”

Rev 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty

The Greek word translated ‘beginning’ here and in Rev 3:14 is ‘arche,’ and it literally means “a commencement.” Here is Strong’s definition:

G746
αρχη
arche
ar- khay’
>From G756; (properly abstract) a commencement, or (concrete) chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank): – beginning, corner, (at the, the) first (estate), magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule.

So it is also properly translated as ‘chief,’ and ‘principalities.’

Eph 1:20  Which he [ the Father] wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [ him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [ places],
Eph 1:21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Col 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In telling us that he is the beginning of the creation of God, Christ is telling us that He is the head of  all principality and power. As such there is nothing the Adversary can do that he is not commissioned by Christ to accomplish. In other words, there is no uncertain struggle going on between Christ and Satan. The outcome of the “war in heaven” is but a necessary struggle, which struggle and its outcome were “predestined… and written in his book… before the world began.” Christ is “the head of all principality and power” means that Christ is Satan’s overseer and His boss, and Satan cannot so much as raise his little finger without being told to do so.
But the most controversial part of this verse is the fact that Christ tells us that he is “the beginning of the creation of God.” So whether you apply this Greek word ‘arche’ in either “an abstract sense as a commencement or concretely as chief in order, time, place or rank,” this verse of God’s Word, these words of the revelation of Jesus Christ from His own mouth, have the Father as Christ’s predecessor and as His Superior, and that is exactly as Christ would have us to understand it:

Joh 14:28  Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [ again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

The trinitarian answer to that verse is that this was only true of Christ so long as He was in the flesh, but here in Rev 3:14, Christ tells us that He is the beginning of the creation of God. This true doctrine of Christ fits perfectly with all the rest of scripture which declares of those who are given eyes to see and ears to hear:

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and [ besides the “one God of whom are all things” there is also] one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Col 1:15  Who [ Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16  For by him [ Christ] 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:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

It is clear that He of whom are all things is much greater than He by whom are all things. For more on this subject see our paper entitled Is God a Trinity on iswasandwillbe. com.

Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

This is an incredible statement. Christ prefers that we be completely cold over being lukewarm. Why would that be? The answer to that question is very clear. A person who is “lukewarm” is a fence sitter who is “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine” because he is not really excited or hot about his relationship with the man who is supposed to be his Head. He is not dedicated, and lack of dedication within any of us leads to infidelity. We are not just unreliable, but we can actually be relied on to bring a reproach upon the name of God. God demands “whole hearted” service, or we will not be His servants:

Psa 119:2  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

Jer 3:10  And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.

It will always be easier to just go along to get along than it will be to remain faithful to our Lord and master who is supposed to be our head. For example, how does a verse like this affect a person who is “neither hot nor cold.”

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Here is how such a person is affected by this verse:

Mat 13:20  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

The truths of God sovereignty, His love for all men and His definition of love and equating that love with obedience to His commandments, has “offended” us all at some time in our lives. So then being “neither hot nor cold… being lukewarm” is very closely akin to “receiving the seed into stony places, having no root in himself, but during for a while and when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, becoming offended,” and denying our Lord and His Word.
It is at this point that Christ spews us out of His mouth, because Christ’s mouth is a clean mouth which speaks nothing but the words of His Father:

Joh 14:10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

That is a white- hot desire to please the Father, and that is what Christ must see in us. But it is not in the flesh to be that dedicated, and so it is first spewed out of God’s mouth and made to experience the bitterness of repentance before we are brought to being “on fire” in Christ’s service. The story of the apostle Peter demonstrates the spirit of the angel of the church in Laodicea within us all at its appointed time. Peter, just like this “angel of the church in Laodicea,” thought that he was in very good spiritual condition, when in reality he was neither hot nor cold but was lukewarm. Just like Peter we, too, must come to see this in ourselves. Here is how Peter conceived himself:

Mat 26:33  Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
Mat 26:34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Mat 26:35  Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

“All the disciples” means you and me. And “because you are neither hot nor cold” also means you and me. We simply must “keep the things which are written therein.” We cannot do as Peter and try to side- step the admonitions of Christ and think that we can somehow avoid denying our Lord. Yet that is exactly what we do when we think that we can somehow avoid all the admonitions of our Lord to all the churches except Smyrna and Philadelphia. It simply cannot be avoided. “All the disciples” is each of us, and we all are lukewarm to the extent that we all deny Him at our appointed time. When any of us think that there is any part of “the things written therein” which have no personal application, we will soon enough find ourselves looking our Lord in the eye and being reminded that we must “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Anything less is to deny our Lord and His words, where we find ourselves with Peter and “all the disciples, … weeping bitterly ” as we realize that we do indeed “keep [ all] the things written therein.”

Mat 26:69  Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
Mat 26:70  But he denied before [ them] all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
Mat 26:71  And when he was gone out into the porch, another [ maid] saw him, and said unto them that were there, This [ fellow] was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
Mat 26:72  And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
Mat 26:73  And after a while came unto [ him] they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art [ one] of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
Mat 26:74  Then began he to curse and to swear, [ saying], I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
Luk 22:61  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Luk 22:62  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

This self confidence is really nothing more than being lukewarm, and it reflects an attitude that places the strength of the flesh above the power of God’s Word and His spirit. Here is the result of this spiritually “lukewarm”  attitude of a Laodicean spirit within us:
 Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;
and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
This is exactly how Peter and all the disciples felt just before they all forsook and denied Him. All of Christ’s disciples felt that they were prepared to “drink the cup that Jesus drank and be baptized with His baptism,” but the Truth was that nothing could have been farther from the Truth, and the fact that they forsook Him at His time of trial demonstrated that “all of His disciples thought that they “were rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;” when in reality they were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” One of the disciples was literally naked, which was but a type of the spiritual condition of us all at that time in our own walk.

Mar 14:50  And they all [ the disciples] forsook him, and fled.
Mar 14:51  And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
Mar 14:52  And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

Another scriptural example of this phase of our walk with our Lord, is the example given us in the church at Corinth. Notice what the apostle reveals to us of this church and of its spiritual standing at the time of the writing of this epistle:

1Co 1:1  Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1Co 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

This congregation was well aware that they were being  called, and they realized that they were being sanctified in Christ Jesus. Verses 6 and 7 reveal that “the testimony of Christ was confirmed in these Corinthian disciples and they were even blessed with every gift of the spirit:

1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Now comes a revelation that few have ever even heard and which even fewer are given to receive. It is a revelation of what happens to you and to me when we say “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing”; and we don’t even know that we are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked: Here is our true spiritual standing while we are yet in the Babylonian phase of our walk.

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Whoever heard of a “carnal babe in Christ???” How does such a verse of scripture fit into the false doctrine of a 10 second sinner’s prayer? These Corinthians are just like “the Jews that believed on Christ” and were also “of their father the devil in Joh 8:

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [ then] are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Now look at how these same believing Jews, who are “Abraham’s children,” are also “of their father the devil,” and want Christ killed.

Joh 8:37  I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Joh 8:38  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Joh 8:39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Joh 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Joh 8:41  Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, [ even] God.
Joh 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? [ even] because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Joh 8:45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 

The angel of the church in Laodicea, cannot receive the Truth, because at this point we are “Yet carnal,” even thought we are “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, [ and] come behind in no gift.” These are the very words of scripture, and yet they are completely foreign to the angel of the church in Laodicea.

Conclusion
This is the first part of what the spirit has to say to the angel of the church in Laodicea. We have come to see that these seven angels are actually one spirit within one church.

1Co 6:17  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

In our study today we have seen that Christ identifies Himself to the angel of the church in Laodecia as the firm and trustworthy Word of God. But we also saw that He considers Himself to be the actual beginning of, and the commencement of, God’s creation. It was through Christ that God then went on to create all the rest of His creation.

Col 1:15  Who [ Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16  For by him [ Christ] 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:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

We have seen Christ’s disdain for all halfheartedness and being “lukewarm” in His service. Christ wants us all to be “either hot or cold, either on fire in His service, or not in His service. But Christ would actually prefer us to be cold rather than “lukewarm.”
We also saw that we will not be found to be “in His mouth,” meaning we will not be His mouth piece, speaking His words, if we are just ‘lukewarm.’ We saw that being lukewarm was akin to receiving the word in stony places and that the apostles all forsaking Christ demonstrated that they were nowhere near as “on fire” for Him as they thought they were. Of course “all the disciples” means what it says and includes all of us who must “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and keep the things written therein.”
We have seen that God’s Word, His “gold,” is not really a part of us until it is “tried in the fire” with the many trials which we all fail for many years before we are granted the strength to endure and rejoice in the fiery trials that mature us and grant us that gold bought of God, gold tried in the fire of His words. The very words of which we are told we “must live by every word…”
Finally, we also saw that when the all the disciples forsook Christ, they demonstrated how they thought of themselves as “rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, when in reality, nothing could have been farther from the truth, and Peter ends up denying Christ three times that very night, and doing so with an oath, and while swearing, that he did not know Christ.
We also saw this same phenomenon demonstrated by “the Jews that believed on Christ,” but wanted to kill Him, in Joh 8, and in 1Co chapters one and three, by the church at Corinth, which was called, sanctified, and came behind in no gift, and were yet “carnal babes in Christ.”
So these are all types of us, as the angel of the church in Laodicea.
Next week, Lord willing we will see more of what the spirit says to the angel of the church in Laodicea.

Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [ that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Other related posts