The Letter From Jesus to The Local Church at Laodicea
Today we look at the last of the 7 letters. The letter to the church at Laodicea.
In many ways this letter is the exact opposite to the letter before it. This would not have been a good church to be a part of and this would not have been a joyful letter to receive.
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;
As in all the other 6 letters a truth is presented about Jesus that have something to do with the situation in that particular church.
3 things are brought up here.
1 These things saith the Amen.
The word Amen can be used as a verb or as a noun. And the meaning is different depending on the usage. As you know a verb is action and a noun is not.
As a verb Amen means to confirm, to verify, to give trust and confidence in.
In Psa 104 the Bible says And let all the people say amen. When the speaker gives a truth the people were to say amen. They were taking action (verb) to confirm that truth. They were actively expressing their faith in that truth verbally.
When used as a noun Amen means truth, firmness, trust, confidence.
So in verse 14 when it says these things saith the Amen. It is saying Jesus is truth, Jesus is firmness. Jesus is trust and confidence. These are His character traits. It is not that Jesus chooses to do these things. This things are not things that Jesus decides to do from time to time. No. This is who Jesus is. He is these things. He cannot be anything else. He cannot deny Himself.
He must be true and firm and trust and confidence. You can have trust and confidence in Jesus because He is these things. Jesus is The Amen.
These things saith the Amen. It is used as a noun. You know a person is a noun. So what He is about to tell you church at Laodicea will be the truth and you can have every confidence in them being the true state of affairs.
2nd the fact is brought up that Jesus is the faithful and true witness.
Jesus is the true witness. He sees all and knows all. He does not get His info second hand. He witnesses it all. And His witness is true. When He says what He sees, it is not like a man who tells it as he sees it.
This happens a lot with men. There can be an accident or crime and there can be many witnesses and when they are put on the stand in a trial. Their testimonies do not always agree. Their experiences, emotions, and assumptions can have a huge impact on their witness.
This is not the case with Jesus. He is the true witness. His witness of any situation is never off. It is always perfect to the truth. So in the case of the Laodiceans Jesus is going to bear witness against them and rest assured His witness is perfectly accurate.
3 the beginning of the creation of God
The beginning of the creation is an important distinction. Jesus was not created. Jesus existed before creation.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Jesus was not created. Jesus was the creator. Muslims will scoff and say how can God have a son and then reject Jesus and march off into a Christless eternity. They do not understand. Jesus is the Son of God is not talking about procreation as in reproducing. It is talking about the relationship.
The one true God is one God. But He is manifested to us in 3 distinct personalities. It was determined that Jesus would take the position as the son. And show forth the faithfulness of a son and do the will of the Father.
Jesus is beginning of the creation of God. Jesus is the creator. Creation started with Him. Without Jesus there would be no creation. Jesus is the alpha and omega the beginning and the end. This gives Him a right to be over all His creation, and that would include the church of Laodicea.
Now that those truths have been laid down it is time to get into what was Jesus’ witness of this church and their condition.
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Jesus knows their works and He is not at all pleased with them. They are not cold like the church of Sardis. And they are not hot like the church at Philadelphia. They are what we call lukewarm. They are kind of indifferent to the whole affair.
Jesus says that He would rather that they were cold. That is quite a statement. Jesus would rather they be cold like Sardis than the state they are in.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
I think it is safe to say that Jesus hates the state of being lukewarm. He does not hate the person in that state, but He is in no way pleased with that state. Jesus uses an illustration here to express just how displeased He is with it. They are not literally in His mouth. It is a vivid illustration that is being used here.
Because they are lukewarm Jesus says I will spue thee out of my mouth. This is a picture of when you put some food in your mouth and it is so distasteful. So nasty and repulsive that you cannot just swallow it and then push the plate away.
It is so bad that you must get it out of your mouth. And not just take the time to get a trash can and calmly and quietly spit it out. Jesus uses the word spue. To expel, to eject, to gush or pour out.
Jesus is going to spit them out with force.
Remember how Jesus said He is the true witness. In the next verse we are told what their witness about themselves was and it does not line up with the witness of Jesus who said they are lukewarm.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;
This was their witness of themselves. This is what they actually believed about themselves and their standing with God. They said I am blessed. Look I am rich, and our goods have increased and so much so that I have need of nothing.
I used to work with not one but two what I call health and wealther’s. They believed that how well you do in life financially can be tied to your relationship with God. God loves you and wants you to have a Mercedes don’t you know.
So if you have all this money and possessions then God must be pleased with you, because every good gift comes from above. There might be a whole lot of that kind of twisted reasoning around today, but it is nothing new. It was alive and well way back in 96 A.D.
Because the people in this church had prosperity they said we have need of nothing. We are good. We have this down. Life is good, God is good and blessing. We are meeting and having good services. I mean we all leave feeling good about what we are doing and about ourselves.
This is kind of the way they must have thought. Maybe not exactly, but something like that because they said we have need of nothing. Nothing. No reason to change a thing.
That was their witness about themselves. But now we are given the true witness from The Amen. Jesus Christ.
Rev 3:17 …and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Man looks upon the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. They looked on their outward possessions and appearance and pronounced all is well. God looks at their heart and calls them wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.
Wow. It is a total 180. Totally opposite. They thought they were good, but the reality is they were in terrible shape.
They were wretched. So they were doing some things that were ungodly. We see the same thing in Laodicean type churches today. Members drinking booze, getting drunk, watching porn, involved in unethical business practices and on the list goes.
Jesus says they were miserable and poor. They might have looked good and even smiled. But there was something missing in their soul. A hole that only walking with God can fill.
And Jesus says they are blind. They have blinders on. They cannot even see the horrible condition that they are in. Pride is one of the most powerful blinders there is.
Man has the ability to deceive himself. This is very common and can be very powerful. The Holy Spirit calls in that still small voice. Man can refuse to listen. Conviction comes and man can refuse to listen to it. Keep doing that and you can sear your conscience so that you do not hear anything anymore.
This explains how most churches today are either entertainment centers or club houses and are fine with that and think that they are in great shape with the Lord. When in reality very few are actually really concerned about pleasing the Lord. They are seeker sensitive and not Savior sensitive and cannot even see it.
There has been overall prosperity in America and many consider that since they are doing ok, that God is pleased. They then deceive themselves and have the blinders on and cannot even see how far off the path they are.
And lastly Jesus says they are naked. This is a reference to being clothed in righteousness. The Bible will talk about how we will be clothed in white garments when we are with Jesus.
Jesus just used this topic in the letter to Sardis.
Rev 3:4 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.
There are none like that in Laodicea. They are all naked.
These lukewarm people leave a bad taste in the mouth. We would most likely give up on these people and not give them another chance.
But not our gracious loving merciful Lord.
After telling them the truth, after Jesus gives them a true witness of their state. And that is the only witness Jesus can give. He must tell it like it actually is. He is truth. So He had to give it to them straight and not sugar coat it.
Now comes the call to repent and make it right.
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.
We learn a lot here. True riches is not gold that you can hold. True riches is the truth and wisdom of God’s word. True riches is a proper relationship with the Lord. True riches is being clothed in His righteousness.
He is telling them that they can have all of that. He says that they can come to Him and get eye salve so they can see. Right now they are blind and cannot see the truth. But Jesus says it does not have to stay that way.
Jesus can remove the scales from their eyes if they would but ask.
Even in their horrible state, Jesus still loves them and still wants what is best for them.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Just repent. Agree with the true witness about your poor spiritual condition and turn from it. Repent and come to me and I will fix you. I will open your eyes and clothe you in righteousness.
This is the love of God. This offer is not just for the Laodiceans but for everyone.
This is an important truth for each of us. When we have those times in our lives where we get off in some area. Jesus is always wanting us to come back. Jesus always has His arms open calling and waiting for us to respond.
Look at what Jesus says next in verse 20.
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.
The other churches that were off in these 7 letters Jesus was walking among them. He was in the midst of them. This lukewarm church is different. Jesus is outside knocking at the door trying to get in.
Jesus has been totally kicked out. He is trying to get back in but no one will open the door. This is sad. No one will let Jesus into what is supposed to be His church.
This is true today on a large scale. Many churches and individuals that call themselves Christians will not open the door to their heart and let Jesus in.
He wants to come in. He is even knocking. He is standing right there. He is close to everyone. He is calling and knocking. All they have to do is open the door.
And Jesus promises that He will come in and they will have sweet fellowship.
All their wickedness they done before will be forgiven. The mistakes they made are forgotten. Just repent and open the door.
The love, mercy, and grace of God is amazing. It is far above anyone’s ability to adequately describe. Jesus loves people. He loves sinners. He wants to have and offers to have sweet fellowship with anyone who will open the door.
And as in all the other letters this one ends with a turning of focus from the individual church at Laodicea to all churches. And there is a reminder that it will be worth it all when we see Jesus.
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.