THE REVELATION #8-3:7-3:22
|REVELATION #1||BEGIN HERE-SUMMARY||REVELATION #7||2:1-3:6||REVELATION #13||15:1-17:7|
|REVELATION #2||TEACH IN CHURCHES||REVELATION #8||3:7-3:22||REVELATION #14||17:5-19:5|
|REVELATION #3||INTRODUCTION||REVELATION #9||4:1-6:8||REVELATION #15||COMMENTARY|
|REVELATION #4||WORSHIP||REVELATION #10||6:9-8:13||REVELATION #16||19:6-21:8|
|REVELATION #5||TABLE OF CONTENTS||REVELATION #11||9:1-12:16||REVELATION # 17||21:9-22:21|
|REVELATION #6||ABBREVIATIONS & REV 1:1-1:20||REVELATION #12||12:17-14:20||______|
THE SIXTH CHURCH:
THE SIXTH CHURCH: PHILADELPHIA
Philadelphia means "love of a brother" or "brotherly love." It was named after the person that founded it, Attalus Philadelphus and was a town of Lydia, in Asia Minor. The town was approximately 28 miles south-southeast of Sardis and was located in a rich agricultural area. Philadelphia was subject to frequent earthquakes. The town was destroyed and rebuilt several times. It long remained a Christian city and was the Christian outpost in Asia Minor, when it fell about 1390. It still stands, a modern Turkish town of about 25,000, called Alashehir (or Allah Shehr, meaning "city of God").
The church in Philadelphia was the best of the seven churches. It was one of only two churches that had no rebukes; Smyrna was the other. Both had a problem with those that said they were Jews but were not. The word "repent" does not appear in this church. The hour of temptation (or Tribulation) is mentioned, as well as Jesus saying, "I come quickly." New Jerusalem is also mentioned.
Apparently, the Philadelphia church heeded the advice given to the previous church, Sardis. They strengthened those things from Sardis; as it was written, BE WATCHFUL, AND STRENGTHEN THE THINGS WHICH REMAIN, THAT ARE READY TO DIE-Rev 3:2.
Perhaps, as Sardis protested against Thyatira, Philadelphia protested and came out of the dead Protestant and state church, called Sardis. Here was a church that had returned to sound doctrine. There was a renewed focus on evangelism, a revival of holiness and truth. It had "a little strength." It kept God's Word and did not deny the name of Jesus. It was a persevering church of brotherly love.
Many great evangelistic revivals and missionary efforts came forth from this revived church.
3:7. AND TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA WRITE; THESE THINGS SAITH HE THAT IS HOLY, HE THAT IS TRUE, HE THAT HATH (or holds) THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH (or what He opens, no one can shut; and what He shuts, no one can open-NIV).
3:7. It begins, saying, AND TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA WRITE. THESE THINGS SAITH (or are the words of). Next the subject turns to Jesus. The verse addresses Him as:
DESCRIPTIONS OF JESUS
1. HE THAT IS
Jesus is holy and true.
The key of David may be referring to Isa 22:22-AND THE KEY OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID WILL I LAY UPON HIS (Eliakim) SHOULDER; SO HE SHALL OPEN, AND NONE SHALL SHUT; AND HE SHALL SHUT, AND NONE SHALL OPEN.
Jesus is the One that opens opportunities, doors, even all things. When all seems impossible, Jesus makes a way where there is no way. He opens doors of ministry, and no man can shut them. Yet when Jesus closes the door, no man can open it. NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS-Zech 4:6.
3:8. I KNOW THY WORKS (or deeds): BEHOLD, I HAVE SET BEFORE THEE AN OPEN DOOR, AND NO MAN CAN SHUT IT: FOR THOU HAST A LITTLE STRENGTH (or power), AND HAST KEPT MY WORD, AND HAST NOT DENIED MY NAME. Ref Mt 17:20; 2 Cor 12:9.
3:8. Begins with a series of words that are repeated in each of the churches-
I KNOW THY WORKS. This is addressed to the church, in general, as well as the individual. God knows the works of His people, things done both in the open and in secret.
WHAT GOD HAS DONE OR
1. I HAVE SET BEFORE THEE AN OPEN DOOR-v.8.
2. AND NO MAN CAN SHUT IT-v.8. Because this church had a little strength, God set before them an open door, which no man could shut. Indeed, this proved to be a great age of evangelism with sound doctrine, as God opened doors of opportunity for them. God opened doors, and the Philadelphia church was ready to walk through them.
3. I WILL MAKE THEM TO COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THY FEET (or fall down at your feet-NIV)-v.9.
4. I WILL MAKE THEM...TO KNOW THAT I HAVE LOVED THEE-v.9. Jesus loved this church. The exact timing of when these last two promises would come to pass is unclear.
1. FOR THOU HAST A LITTLE STRENGTH-v.8. We are reminded, IF YE HAVE FAITH AS A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED, YE SHALL SAY UNTO THIS MOUNTAIN, REMOVE HENCE...AND IT SHALL REMOVE-Mt 17:20. We are further reminded of the words of Jesus, MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS-2 Cor 12:9.
2. THOU...HAST KEPT MY WORD-v.8.
3. THOU...HAST NOT DENIED MY NAME-v.8.
4. THOU HAST KEPT THE WORD OF MY PATIENCE (or My command to endure patiently-NIV)-v.10.
There is an intellectual belief of God's Word, and then there is the kind of belief (or faith) that obeys and keeps God's Word. This church heard God's Word and were also doers of God's Word.
3:9. BEHOLD, I WILL MAKE THEM (who are) OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, WHICH SAY (or claim) THEY ARE JEWS, AND ARE NOT, BUT DO LIE; BEHOLD, I WILL MAKE THEM TO COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THY FEET (or fall down at your feet-NIV), AND TO KNOW (or acknowledge) THAT I HAVE LOVED THEE. Ref Rev 1:5; 2:9; 3:19.
1. I WILL MAKE THEM (who are)
OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, WHICH SAY (or claim)
THEY ARE JEWS, AND ARE NOT, BUT DO LIE-v.9. (Please see the commentary on Rev 2:9.) There was opposition to this church. At this time, many Jews opposed the message of BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH-Eph 2:8, and that faith must be in Jesus the Messiah.
2. THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION...SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD-v.10 It may be said, the Tribulation shall come upon all those that have made the earth their home. The home of the saints is with Jesus.
3. THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION...SHALL COME...TO TRY (or test)
THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH-v.10. The hour of temptation is another name for the Tribulation, which is yet to come upon all the world. One reason for this will be to test people.
3:11. BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY (or I am coming soon): HOLD THAT FAST WHICH THOU HAST (or hold on to what you have-NIV), (so) THAT NO MAN (will) TAKE THY CROWN. Rap, A, Rew.
4. I COME QUICKLY (or I am coming soon)-v.11
5. THE NAME OF THE CITY OF MY GOD...IS NEW JERUSALEM-v.12. Note the words of Jesus in reference to God the Father: Jesus said, "MY GOD."
6. NEW JERUSALEM...COMETH DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN FROM MY GOD-v.12. Jesus chose to give some additional information about New Jerusalem. It is the city of God the Father. It comes down out of heaven from the Father.
ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO
1. HOLD THAT FAST WHICH THOU HAST (or hold on to what you have-NIV)-v.11. Philadelphia was subject to earthquakes, which may lend insight to some of the problems they had to go through. Through this we may note the advice to "HOLD FAST" or "stand fast, even in the midst of the earthquakes (or difficulties) that may come upon you." Beware of temptations that will try to cause you to deviate from correct doctrine, discernment, and works.
Note the words:
HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD-1 Thes 5:21.
HOLD FAST THE FORM OF SOUND WORDS-2 Tim 1:13.
HOLD FAST THE CONFIDENCE AND THE REJOICING OF THE HOPE FIRM UNTO THE END-Heb 3:6.
HOLD FAST OUR PROFESSION-Heb 4:14.
HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF OUR FAITH WITHOUT WAVERING-Heb 10:23.
HOLD FAST TILL I COME-Rev 2:25.
HOLD FAST, AND REPENT-Rev 3:3.
WATCH YE, STAND FAST IN THE FAITH-1 Cor 16:13.
STAND FAST. IN THE LIBERTY...BE NOT ENTANGLED AGAIN WITH THE YOKE OF BONDAGE-Gal 5:1.
STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT-Phili 1:27.
STAND FAST IN THE LORD-Phili 4:1; 1 Thes 3:8.
STAND FAST, AND HOLD THE TRADITIONS WHICH YE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT-2 Thes 2:15.
2. THAT NO MAN (will)
TAKE THY CROWN-v.11. Which crown (of the several mentioned in the Scriptures) this is referring to, is not specified here. Some believe it is talking about the "crown of life."
1. A crown is promised to this church, if they hold fast-v.11.
3:10. BECAUSE THOU HAST KEPT THE WORD OF MY PATIENCE (or My command to endure patiently-NIV), I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (or trial), WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY (or test) THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH. P, Rap, Rew, T.
2. I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (or trial)-v.10. Note God's Word,
"BECAUSE THOU HAST KEPT THE WORD" then it goes on
OF MY PATIENCE (or endure patiently), then the promise follows of being kept from the hour of temptation, which is the Tribulation. Clearly, the promise here is they will not enter any part of the Tribulation. Any Philadelphia-type Christians that might be in the Laodicean church age will be raptured.
3:12. HIM THAT OVERCOMETH WILL I MAKE A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE OF MY GOD, AND HE SHALL GO NO MORE OUT (or never again will he leave it-NIV): AND I WILL WRITE UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD, AND THE NAME OF THE CITY OF MY GOD, WHICH IS NEW JERUSALEM, WHICH COMETH DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN FROM MY GOD: AND I WILL WRITE UPON HIM MY NEW NAME. Ref Rev 19:12. P, Rew, NJ.
3:12. HIM THAT OVERCOMETH. (Note the commentary on overcoming, under Rev 2:7.) The reward is,
3. WILL I MAKE A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE OF MY GOD-v.12. This seems to be referring to standing in glory, as opposed to those that did not overcome.
4. HE SHALL GO NO MORE OUT-v.12.
5. I WILL WRITE UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD-v.12.
6. I WILL WRITE UPON HIM...THE NAME OF THE CITY OF MY GOD-v.12. The name New Jerusalem shall be written upon those that overcome.
7. I WILL WRITE UPON HIM MY NEW NAME-v.12. Note, Jesus has a "NEW NAME," which is written upon us. We also receive a new name-ref Rev 2:17. This shows we belong to Christ.
3:13. HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES.
3:13. HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES. (Note the commentary under Rev 2:7.) Even in this church there appear to be some that do not have an ear to hear. In the first three churches, the rewards followed this exhortation. "He that hath an ear" concludes the message to this church.
THE SEVENTH CHURCH:
THE SEVENTH CHURCH:
Laodicea means "human rights" or "the rights of the people." Thus, this was a church governed by the will of the people, rather than the will of God.
Laodicea was located on a trade route, about forty miles southeast of Philadelphia in the country known, today, as Turkey. Supposedly, it was named after Laodice, the wife of the Seleucid monarch, Antiochus II. It was a large, fortified city, constructed during the middle of the third century B.C. Laodicea produced a fine black wool from the local sheep. It boasted a medical school, which produced a well-known eye medicine, called "Phrygian powder." (Laodicea was the capital of Phrygia.) Water was brought in by a special, six mile long, aqueduct system from nearby cities. Sunlight heated the water to lukewarm. The city was reportedly destroyed by an earthquake, about 34 years prior to John writing this letter but was rebuilt. It had become a Christian city. Paul was very concerned over this church; as it is written, Col 2:1-FOR I WOULD THAT YE KNEW WHAT GREAT CONFLICT I HAVE.FOR THEM AT LAODICEA. It may be said that Paul was very concerned about their spiritual condition.
The city was later destroyed by the Moslems, during the Middle Ages, and abandoned; its desolate ruins remain today. These ruins, apparently, reveal a wealthy financial and commercial center with temples and theaters. Luxury and pride would seem to go hand in hand with such things.
SUMMARY OF THE LAODICEAN
There are eleven bad things and no good things mentioned of the Laodicean church in Rev 3:14-22. It seems this church has forgotten that Jesus is the ultimate Authority, He is true, and He is the true Judge. They have forgotten that He is faithful, He is God Almighty, and He created all things.
It is the most heavily rebuked and deceived church in the history of the church age; however, it sees itself as "the best." It is the only church of the seven in which the entire church will be spit out (rejected).
This church is described as lukewarm, indifferent, not concerned with right and wrong, or with good and evil. They take a neutral position: one of "live and let live; don't rock the boat; and don't cause waves." They are trying to serve two masters-God and self (or the world). They are positive they are right. At best, their understanding of God's Word, obedience, sin, repentance, and the fruits of the Spirit, is only lukewarm.
It is the worst of all the seven churches, yet the most confident. They claim they are rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing; however, God judges them to be wretched, which is the result of having no faith or faith like a wave. It comes from a lack of truth, sound doctrine, and understanding. They are miserable, tossed about with all kinds of incorrect doctrines, which come in like the wind from every direction. They are poor in wisdom, in knowledge, in faith, and in the Word of God. They are not zealous for the truth, but are blind to their true condition and to Satan's schemes. They think their condition is just the opposite of what it really is. They gather around themselves teachers that say what their selfishness, emotions, and deceived hearts want to hear. They are shamefully naked. They do not have on the white garments of righteousness, but are clothed with the black wool of deceit, which is no clothing at all. This church is shown to be naked, but they do not know these things. They are positive they are saved, but are positively wrong. THE FOOL RAGETH, AND IS CONFIDENT-Pv 14:16. One of the most appalling aspects of this church is, they are totally ignorant of all these things. They are unaware of their true spiritual condition. They are, sometimes, willingly ignorant. They are sometimes so deceived and blind that they do not even recognize that the letter to the church of the Laodiceans is actually a letter to them. As a result, they do not seek to change or repent. It may be said, these are people that go to church, sing spiritual songs, pray to God, and then Monday through Saturday live as if Jesus does not exist. They behave as if they will never have to face the judgment.
Laodiceans are told to buy of Jesus gold that is refined by the fire. They are told to anoint their eyes with ointment, so they can see their true spiritual condition as God sees it. The Lord appears to be admonishing them to be zealous for the things of God-wisdom, knowledge, and truth-and to hate every evil way. He is telling them to repent.
Jesus is shown outside the door of this church, not inside. He is depicted as knocking on the door of the church and on the individual's heart, but the Laodiceans do not want to let Him in. They do not want to be shown they are wrong and will perish. They do not want to see their true blind and wretched condition. They do not want correction or truth. Often, ministers, churches, and ministries focus more on getting money and more people, rather than on humbleness, brokenness, and good sound doctrine.
This is a description of the last church-the worst of all, in which the entire church is described as being spit out (or perishing). This is a description of the most confident church of them all, yet it is the most deceived church that has ever existed; however, they do not know or understand it. This is the description of today's church. The verses on the Laodicean church are in perfect harmony with many other verses that tell how the times would be, leading up to the Tribulation.
We would all do well to heed the words of Jesus: HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES-Rev 3:22.
This is the church age from which the Antichrist will emerge. It is the church age Paul talked about that would not endure sound doctrine, but would gather around them teachers that would say what their ITCHING EARS wanted and desired to hear-ref 2 Tim 4:3. Jesus was asked about the sign of His coming. The first thing He said was, TAKE HEED THAT NO MAN DECEIVE YOU-Mt 24:4; ref Mk 13:5; Lk 21:8. Before Jesus warned about wars and rumors of wars; before He related about famines, earthquakes, and diseases; before He told about the Gospel being published among all nations, He warned about the age of religious deception that would come. This is that church age. In the history of the seven churches, there has never been a church age so filled with deceptive doctrines and ideas, yet so totally ignorant of its true condition. In the church of Sardis (the "dead" church), there were a FEW NAMES that had not defiled their garments-ref Rev 3:4. However, in the Laodicean church age, there does not appear to be even a "few" that are not blind and naked.
This is very much in harmony with the Scriptures relating to the coming of the Lord being as in the days of Noah, wherein FEW souls were saved. Despite the overwhelming witness of God's Word, regarding this church, they are in total ignorance of the truth, often preaching just the opposite.
Today's church is full of deception; it will perish. However, there are well-known Bible teachers who think that more than fifty percent of Americans are born-again.
It is a church where people are entertained and made to feel good, instead of falling upon their knees in godly sorrow for sin. It is a church age for laughing rather than for crying. It is a church age of saying a sinner's prayer and believing a person is saved, even though afterward there is absolutely no evidence of repentance, the fruits of the Spirit, doing the will of God, or the fruits of the works of God. In some cases, the preachers know these things, but will not tell their congregations the truth. Some are afraid that people might leave their church and go elsewhere. They love the praise of men more than the praise of God. Having lots of unsaved or lukewarm people means more to them than having a few hot, spiritual people.
It is a church that finds time to do all manner of things, but does not find time to humbly dwell in and study God's Word as if their life depended on it.
It is the church age when thousands of Christian preachers may preside daily over funerals declaring that the deceased person is now in heaven-when, in reality, he is screaming, tormented in the flames of hell. When have you ever heard a preacher say at a funeral that the deceased person went to hell? The Bible clearly shows that only a few are truly saved by the grace of God; however, if one would listen to the preachers at funerals, it would seem that everyone goes to heaven.
The preaching, in many of today's churches, consists of foolishness, jokes, storytelling, and teaching what pleases people, rather than God's pure Word. They do not usually preach that THE THOUGHT OF FOOLISHNESS IS SIN-Pv 24:9. Some of America's best comedians are behind the pulpits. Should a preacher, who gets the congregation laughing with jokes, then expect people to fall on their faces before God with conviction for sin and with tears of repentance? Is this the way Jesus preached? Did Jesus try to comfort those that came to hear Him with jokes, foolishness, or other antics to cause them to laugh?
The preaching, in many of today's churches, consists of reading a few Bible verses; then the preacher talks about himself, his family, and other incidents that relate to the verses. The people learn very little about Jesus. They learn very little of the WORD OF GOD and of comparing the Word with the Word. On the other hand, they learn a great deal about the preacher, his children, his wife, his friends, things he has done, and so on. What a blind church age, when we teach what other people and other books say, but we ignore what God says in His Word! The milk of the Word is diluted with lots of water. They preach watered-down milk. A baby that receives only one part of milk, mixed with ten parts of water, will eventually die. The born-again Christian needs and desires the PURE SPIRITUAL MILK-1 Pe 2:2 NIV, that is not watered-down with other things. It is not man, but the Holy Spirit that opens a person's heart to understand. So few seem to realize this. It is a church age where God's Word is proclaiming, PREACH THE WORD-2 Tim 4:2. Jesus (the Word) is outside the church knocking, yet who has ears to hear?
What a blind church age it is! Jesus is about to return; many biblical signs testify to this fact. Nevertheless, many churches will not teach Bible prophecy. Even though much of the Bible pertains to prophecy, it is often ignored. Many churches teach on love, but exhibit no love toward other born-again people outside of their own local church. Many churches think they can see how blind other churches are, but fail to see how blind they themselves are.
Many Bible schools and churches teach this way; afterward, they wipe their mouth and say, "I have done no wrong." In their blindness, they fulfill the Laodicean prophecies.
It is very common, in America, to find church members that say they follow Christ, but are involved in every sort of sin imaginable. Many of these same people hold positions of authority. They may oversee the church's business affairs, including the hiring and dismissing of pastors, yet they, themselves, are spiritually dead and ignorant of God's Word. The church has been infected with leaven (false doctrine), which has grown like a cancer, reaching to the very core. The entire church is infected and sick, but does not know it.
In today's church, some missionaries think that many in Africa shall be raptured; it is estimated that eighty percent of the African couples that are living together are not even married, when viewed in light of God's Word. Some just move in together. Others may pay part of a dowry, or say they will pay it, and then set up housekeeping and have children. They live in fornication, yet believe they are married. (Marriage customs vary somewhat from nation to nation, or from tribe to tribe.) Many of these are professing Christian preachers. Many other "so-called" Christian preachers have several wives. In addition, many of the churches are divided against each other; bickering has led to further splits and even hatred.
In India, the woman or parents of the woman may pay for her husband, which is very contrary to the Bible. This practice instills a concept completely foreign to God's Word. It was Jesus Who gave His life for His bride. We love Him, because He first loved us. He gave His life for us. Often in India, when payment is not made, the husband may beat or kill his wife. Many Christian pastors in India and Africa are afraid to take a stand for what is right in the eyes of God's Word, as they would be going against the traditions of the people. By doing this, they might suffer further persecutions. Many American missionaries that go to these places are either ignorant of these things, or they choose to ignore them. In addition, some American missionaries bring false doctrines and deceptions of the Laodicean age with them to the mission field and further deceive the people. It is wrong for Christians to partake of traditions that oppose the Word of God. It is also wrong for Christian pastors to permit these practices among the flock of which they have the oversight. To do so is sin and only serves to perpetuate the "leaven."
Murder, stealing, drugs, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortions, greed, materialism, swearing, hatred, and every manner of sin conceivable exists in America. Nevertheless, many of the unrepentant people that do these things attend church on Sunday as if they have done no wrong. At church, however, they seldom hear preaching against sin; they seldom hear the word "repent."
In many of the churches throughout the world, people sing, and sing, and sing, but know little of what God's Word has to say. They know the words to many songs, but know little about Bible doctrine. It is very common, in some countries, to find pastors that may pray for more than one hour a day, but spend only a few minutes reading God's Word. They pray to a God they know very little about. Around the world, the church is in great blindness and is not aware of it. This is part of what Jesus prophesied would happen; it has come to pass. As birth pangs of a woman, it will continue to get worse until, finally, the trumpet sounds and Jesus calls those few faithful, fruit-bearing Christians home. The Laodicean Christians of this generation will be rejected (spit out) and left behind: most will continually refuse to believe this until it is too late.
The truth of much of God's Word (Jesus) has been abandoned and rejected by this church age. As Jesus is seen standing outside of His church knocking on the door, so the Laodiceans will be left out of heaven, except they repent. Can you clearly see these things? Very few can. Consider EPAPHRAS...A SERVANT OF CHRIST...HE HATH A GREAT ZEAL FOR YOU, AND THEM THAT ARE IN LAODICEA-Col 4:12,13.
As we carefully study the seven churches, we note that Satan has tried bringing great persecutions in the past; these did not destroy the church.
Satan has tried using less persecutions and more false doctrine mixed with the truth; this worked more effectively.
Satan is using prosperity, selfishness, false doctrine, and lukewarm preaching mixed with the truth; this has almost destroyed the church. This is the Laodicean church.
It needs to be repeated that there is not one good thing mentioned about the Laodicean church from the words of Jesus.
Information on the Laodicean church (Rev 3:14-22):
3:14. AND UNTO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH OF THE LAODICEANS WRITE; THESE THINGS SAITH (or are the words of) THE AMEN, THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS, THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD. Ref Col 1:16; Mk 13:19; Eph 3:9. LD.
3:14. AND UNTO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH OF THE LAODICEANS WRITE. Once again, John is told to write.
THESE THINGS SAITH (or are the words of). Next the subject turns to Jesus. The verse addresses Him as,
DESCRIPTIONS OF JESUS
1. THE AMEN. (This is #18 in a list of descriptions of Jesus found in the Revelation.)
2. THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS (#19).
3. THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD (#20).
As with the other six churches, the descriptions of Jesus tell something about this particular church age. These descriptions often convey a message to the church of things that may be lacking or have been forgotten. The "AMEN" means, "so be it, it is true." This is reminding the church that Jesus is sovereign, He is true, He is everything. Jesus is the final Word, the true Judge, and the ultimate Authority. He is God Almighty. This "truth" has been largely rejected in the Laodicean church age.
Jesus is the "FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS." LET GOD BE TRUE, BUT EVERY MAN A LIAR-Ro 3:4. The church is being reminded that Jesus is faithful. Jesus is the true Witness. His Word is true. The church of the Laodiceans have forgotten this. Jesus presents Himself in this manner, as what He is about to say will conflict with the opinions that they have of themselves. Jesus is showing that what He will say is true, and what they say and think is wrong. This "truth" has also been largely rejected by the Laodicean church age.
The church is being reminded that Jesus is the "BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD"-Rev 3:14. Some forget the words, FOR BY HIM WERE ALL THINGS CREATED-Col 1:16; GOD, WHO CREATED ALL THINGS BY JESUS CHRIST-Eph 3:9. Satan's deceptive theory of evolution is now widely accepted as truth, and the truth that God created all things has been laid aside, rejected by much of the Laodicean church age.
3:15. I KNOW THY WORKS (or deeds), THAT THOU ART NEITHER COLD NOR HOT: I WOULD THOU WERT COLD OR HOT (I wish you were either one or the other!-NIV). LD.
3:15. This verse begins with a series of words that are repeated in each of the churches-I KNOW THY WORKS (or deeds). This is addressed to the church, in general, as well as the individual. God knows the works of His people, things done both in the open and in secret. If this would be counted as a good point, then one good point would be listed for this church; however, the description of the works of this church are all unacceptable. Jesus is showing, clearly, no good or acceptable works come forth from this church.
1. THAT THOU ART NEITHER COLD NOR HOT. Then Jesus makes a comment,
I WOULD THOU WERT COLD OR HOT (I wish you were either one or the other!-NIV). If a person is cold, he can sometimes be reached for Jesus. On the other hand, Jesus would prefer that His servants were "hot."
3:16. SO THEN BECAUSE THOU ART LUKEWARM, AND NEITHER COLD NOR HOT, I WILL SPEW (or spit) THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH. Ref Mt 25:5; Jere 3:10. LD.
2. SO THEN BECAUSE THOU ART LUKEWARM, AND NEITHER COLD NOR HOT. Consider the nature of something lukewarm. A cup of cold water can be very satisfying-ref Mt 10:42. A cup of hot tea or some other beverage can also be very satisfying and taste delicious. But a cup of lukewarm water or lukewarm tea can be very unappealing; it may taste so bad, a person may want to spit it out. This describes the Laodicean church age.
It was the cold, spiritual atmosphere of the church in England that motivated John Wesley to begin his own meetings. It was the coldness of the Methodist Church that caused William Booth to become "on fire" for the Lord. God wants His people to be "hot" in knowledge and in zeal for Him. However, if this is not the case, then He would prefer them to be cold. When one is cold, it is clear-cut; this distinction can eventually lead some to want to be hot. However, the lukewarm often do not recognize their condition or seek to change as the cold do. They are deceived, but confident they will not perish and are usually comfortable in the world.
Many of today's churches, in America, are a type of social club. They have committees, lots of programs, recreation areas, entertainment, paid singers, and comedians. There are many things to lure a person in and to please the carnal nature and flesh. Soulwinning is like a business. There are many types of crusades and "revivals"; however, few generate true conviction for sin, where people are driven to their knees, confessing their sins, denying themselves, and crying out in brokenness over their wickedness. Revivals, in this lukewarm generation, seldom spark desire within one to be so hungry for Jesus that he turns off the TV and sets aside other activities to spend hours a day studying God's Word and humbly seeking Him in prayer. And if one does come to Jesus, he may be quickly "cooled off," as he is surrounded by his friends, relatives, local churches, radio and television preachers, who may bring forth a lukewarm message of compromise, deceit, and truth intermixed. The, perhaps, "one out of a thousand preachers" that he might hear, who brings forth sound doctrine, is often quickly discredited by everyone around him. Thus, lukewarm becomes the accepted way of truth, and sound doctrine is viewed as the way of deceit in the seventh and last church age. Whether it is the large cathedral, or the small church with a grass roof, or the hidden house church-lukewarm is the church of this generation. Many have pride in the fact that they have a new building, or more people, or more children. Others have pride that they have gotten many to say a sinner's prayer, even though, afterwards, not one may have shown any evidence of denying himself, taking up his CROSS DAILY, and following Jesus-ref Lk 9:23.
Today's church seems to think that more finances and things to attract the carnal nature will convert the world. True conversion comes through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Laodicean church is centered on "self" rather than on Jesus. It lures with promises of miracles, healings, prosperity, good times, fellowship, and friends.
The Laodicean church seldom tells people that if they decide to follow Jesus, the biblical way, they can expect problems, persecutions, the loss of their friends, ridicule, false accusations, their name dragged through the mud, and their families to forsake them. They are not told that they may get very sick, enduring much pain and anguish. They are not informed how Satan will tempt them, or that they could lose everything they possess. They are unaware that many of the traditions that they are following-of their church, country, tribe, etc.-are an abomination to God. They are seldom told, by any preacher, how blind and wretched this Laodicean church age is.
Of the few, true Christians that do exist, no matter what they go through, Jesus will be with them.
Jesus described the Laodicean church as lukewarm. The lukewarm are confident they are correct and righteous. Their confidence is so deeply rooted that it is nearly impossible to reach them with the truth. Lukewarmness comes from mixing both hot and cold. They are not cold toward the things of God, but neither are they hot. They are content, apathetic, indifferent. They are not truly concerned with what is right and wrong or what is good and evil. Within the Laodicean church is the prevailing attitude of "live and let live; don't rock the boat; don't cause waves; it will all turn out O.K." They are taking a neutral position. They are trying to serve God, but are also trying to please men. They are serving two masters and justify their position. They are serving God, and they are serving "self." They are serving God, and they are serving the world. This is totally unacceptable with God. Remember, the name "Laodicea" means "the rights of the people." Their knowledge and understanding of God, His Word, and of these things is, at best, only lukewarm. Their obedience, love, fruits of the Spirit, and works are, at best, only lukewarm. Their daily conversation may be centered on both the things of the world and the things of God. They are like a wave. They are carnal and have not denied themselves. They are not fully following Jesus, though they are usually sure they are. Jesus is in their life, but He is not the center of their life. Their life revolves around things of the world and worldly circumstances; Jesus is only a part. They have need of milk (basic doctrines) and not meat (perfection). They are not ready for the doctrine of perfection and holiness. Their thoughts are divided between Jesus and the things of the world. Laodiceans want to maintain a level of control over their lives; they will trust Jesus only to a point. They do not have the understanding that Jesus is in control when very difficult situations come against them; their knowledge is lukewarm.
At best, their understanding of who is saved, by the grace of God, and who is not saved is only lukewarm. It may be said, they do not fully comprehend the strait gate and narrow way.
Their teaching may consist of some sound doctrine mixed with confusion, false doctrine, deceit, doctrines of men and denominations, new fads, or other distortions of Scripture that come along.
They may have a great church complex, a magnificent choir, large attendance, much money coming in, a vast radio and television ministry, an extensive mailing list reaching multitudes with a monthly magazine, and many letters and telephone calls coming in. They may be claiming to have won many souls, but if the message being proclaimed is only lukewarm, then that is all they are.
The following should be considered. Sound doctrine is disappearing; most people will not tolerate it. One might ask, "What would happen if sound doctrine was being taught?" The answer is found in the Scriptures. In the days of the apostles, sound doctrine was being taught in Laodicea; however, it was rejected. The Laodicean church was only lukewarm; this is unacceptable to God.
For those who may wonder if lukewarm is really so bad, Jesus gives the following warning.
1. I WILL SPEW (or spit)
THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH. The entire Laodicean church will be spit out and perish. There will be such a small number from this church that will repent, not even the word "few" is used as it was in the "dead" church of Sardis. The lukewarm will not be taken when the Rapture comes.
3:17. BECAUSE THOU SAYEST (or because you say), I AM RICH, AND INCREASED WITH GOODS (or I have acquired wealth-NIV), AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING; AND KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART (or you do not realize) (or you don't know that you are the one who is-JNT121) WRETCHED, AND MISER-ABLE (or pitiful), AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED. Ref Pv 24:12; 2 Thes 2:3; Jere 23:1,2,16-38; 1 Tim 6:3-5; Mk 7:6-9,13; Ezek 34:1-12. LD.
3. BECAUSE THOU SAYEST (or because you say),
I AM RICH. Laodicea was prosperous, and the church had taken the same attitude. This church considered itself rich and increased with goods. Indeed, throughout much of the world today, there are large, beautiful church buildings. Even in poorer countries that do not have these nice facilities, many believe the success of their ministry depends upon getting financial help from abroad, rather than trusting in Jesus and waiting upon Him. Jesus is showing the focus of this church and what they are saying is wrong.
4. The church also is saying, I AM.INCREASED WITH GOODS (or I have acquired wealth). So much emphasis is placed upon prosperity.
5. AND HAVE NEED OF NOTHING. They are centered on "self." They are satisfied. They are content.
Laodicea is a proud church that sees itself as a good and spiritually sound institution with no needs. In many countries, the Laodicean churches seemingly prosper in their organization, in material assets, in university degrees, in attendance, in offerings, in paid staff, and in volunteer workers. Never in church history has there been so many Bible schools and universities. Never has the church owned so much property; spent so much money; had so many books, programs, guest speakers, radio and television ministries; broadcasted on short-wave radio around the entire world; had so much material wealth, yet been so spiritually bankrupt. In Rev 3:20, the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, stands outside knocking at the door.
This is today's church, the most deceived of all seven. It is filled with all sorts of half truths and distorted doctrines. It sees itself totally different than what it really is. It is so blind and deceived, it does not even understand that these passages, in Rev 3:14-22, are written directly to them. These passages are for all of us, right now.
6. AND KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART (or you do not realize) (or you don't know that you are the one who is-JNT121). Jesus is showing this church believes what they are saying, yet there are things they do not know. Jesus is showing that they are not in the light as they think they are, but are in darkness, unable to see their true condition. This church is portrayed as having a terminal illness, yet are unaware of it. They do not understand they are going to die and perish. They are completely deceived. Jesus continues by revealing what the true condition of this church is. It is,
Jesus is showing that this is the worst church, yet they are the most confident. The condition of this church is a reflection of the Bible schools, and what is being preached from the pulpits, and what is being taught by the missionaries, and what is in the people's hearts.
They are "wretched," but they do not know it. Being wretched comes from no faith, lukewarm faith, or faith like a wave. It comes from a lack of truth and understanding. It comes from being taught a form of the milk of God's Word, which is so diluted by other things mixed in with it, that people are no longer standing upon the Rock of truth. People are standing upon truth and deceit mixed together. This is a church that hears lukewarm preaching and comes away empty and unfulfilled, yet is in such darkness that it is content; it does not even know it is wretched. This word appears only one other time in the New Testament. It is in Ro 7:24, where Paul describes himself, by saying, "O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM." Unlike Paul, the Laodicean church cannot recognize its condition.
They are "miserable" (or pitiful), but do not know it. This is the result of being wretched-they are tossed about with all kinds of doctrines that come in like the wind from all directions. The truth has been set aside to please people's flesh. The popularity or charisma of the preacher often replaces the appeal of Jesus, which is the Word of God.
They are "poor," but do not know it. They are poor in wisdom, in knowledge, in faith, and in understanding the Word of God. They are not zealous for the truth.
They are "blind," but they do not know it. They are blind regarding God's Word, in salvation, in repentance, in discerning fruit, in who is saved, in understanding what Satan is doing, and in recognizing the falling away that is happening and has already happened. Many preach revival is coming, which is just the opposite of falling. Their guard against the schemes of the devil is down, when it should be up. They think they can stamp Satan under their feet, when, in reality, Satan is stamping them under his feet, and they do not know it. They are trying to see the great moves of God and are not understanding the moves of the adversary. They call deceit, truth and truth, deceit. In these things they are blind, which means they do not see or understand these things. Yet they are positive their condition is rich and increased with goods-they think they need nothing. Many preachers also think they are rich in knowledge, as they proudly display their college degrees on the wall of their office and have shelves filled with hundreds of books "about" the Bible. Their large church, or the many churches that are under their control, or their vast ministry seems to testify that they are spiritually in the light. Yet God's Word said that this church is blind. They teach the gifts of the Spirit, but do not teach or demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. God's Word teaches water baptism by full immersion (ref Ro 6:4; Col 2:12), and Jesus' disciples spent much time baptizing people; yet some of today's churches teach against water baptism. Others argue that sprinkling baptism is the right way, and some baptize in the name of Jesus only. However, Jesus taught, clearly, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE (or obey) ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU-Mt 28:19,20. Many do not even teach that we are to obey God's Word and keep His commandments. They teach about the love of God, but do not teach that the evidence of a person's love for God is demonstrated by, IF YE LOVE "ME," KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS-Jn 14:15.
They are "naked" and do not know it. Nakedness reveals a person's condition. They are exposed. They have no clothing on. Their condition is shameful. They think they are covered by grace but are not. Spiritual nakedness denotes no covering. It illustrates that they are not covered with God's Word, with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. They are not covered with the blood of Jesus by true faith that is evidenced by what they do. As it is written, FAITH WITHOUT WORKS (or actions) IS DEAD-Ja 2:20. Their covering is deceit. They know not that they are naked and walking in lukewarmness. They know not that they shall perish.
This church may think highly of itself, but its wretched condition is naked before God.
3:18. I COUNSEL THEE (or My advice to you is-JNT122) TO BUY OF ME GOLD TRIED (or refined) IN THE FIRE, THAT THOU MAYEST BE RICH; AND WHITE RAIMENT (or white clothes to wear), THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED (or may be dressed), AND THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR (or so you can cover your shameful nakedness-NIV); AND ANOINT (or rub) THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE (or so you can see). Ref Rev 2:9; Mt 25:9-buy; Gen 3:10,11; 2 Cor 5:3; Rev 16:15; 21:7; Mt 24:4. LD.
3:18. I COUNSEL THEE (or My advice to you is-JNT122)
1. TO BUY OF ME GOLD TRIED (or refined)
IN THE FIRE. The Laodicean church has gold, but it is the wrong kind. The purchase of the gold must come from Jesus. This is not regular gold but refined gold (Jesus, the Word of God). This is the righteousness that comes from faith.
2. AND ANOINT (or rub) THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE. Because this church is spiritually blind, they are being admonished to use eyesalve, so their blindness might be cured. They do not have correct spiritual discernment. Their understanding of their condition is opposite of the truth. This would indicate that Satan's deceptions in this church are great, which explains why Jesus said, TAKE HEED THAT NO MAN DECEIVE YOU-Mt 24:4. This church did not love truth.
3:19. AS MANY AS I LOVE (or those whom I love), I REBUKE (or reprove) AND CHASTEN (or discipline): BE ZEALOUS (or be earnest) (or exert yourselves-JNT123) THEREFORE, AND REPENT (or turn from your sins). Ref Rev 1:5; 3:9-love. LD.
3. BE ZEALOUS (or be earnest) (or exert yourselves-JNT123) THEREFORE,
4. AND REPENT (or turn from your sins).
The message is clear to this church. First, believe all of God's Word. Believe what He is saying to this church. Then follow what Jesus said to do. Obey the Gospel. Put on eyesalve that you may see and understand. Be zealous and repent.
REASONS TO FOLLOW GOD'S
1. THAT THOU MAYEST BE RICH. The richness here is not earthly wealth, but is the richness that comes from faith. Through faith we overcome and inherit all things. The second church, Smyrna, had much poverty in the world, but they were RICH-Rev 2:9. The Laodicean church has worldly riches but lukewarm faith. It is written, WHEN THE SON OF MAN COMETH, SHALL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH?-Lk 18:8.
2. AND WHITE RAIMENT (or white clothes to wear). The white raiment is the righteousness of the saints, which is received through faith in Jesus Christ. The Laodicean church is not clothed with white raiment. Any clothing other than this white raiment, only results in nakedness.
3. THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED (or may be dressed).
4. AND THAT THE SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS DO NOT APPEAR (or so you can cover your shameful nakedness-NIV). This church is naked; it has no clothing on. It is clothed with deceit, which is no clothing at all. The nakedness of this church is clear only to a few in this generation. It is shameful.
5. THAT THOU MAYEST SEE (or so you can see). Only through anointing the eyes with eyesalve, can one hope to see and understand one's condition. The Bible says to examine ourselves. This is done by denying ourselves and humbly and honestly looking at ourselves in light of "all" of God's Word.
6. AS MANY AS I LOVE (or those whom I love),
I REBUKE AND CHASTEN (or discipline). Because of Jesus' love, He will rebuke and chasten that we might not perish. Thus, we are admonished to "be zealous therefore and repent."
If a lukewarm Christian will not obey God's warning, he is without hope. He shall not be taken in the Rapture. He shall perish. Only a few will heed God's warning, for the prophecy must be fulfilled.
3:20. BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK (or here, I'm standing at the door, knocking-JNT124): IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP (or eat) WITH HIM, AND HE (will) WITH ME. LD.
3:20. The invitation that Jesus offers may apply to any person; however, here, it is an invitation given to the Laodicean church and to the individual that believes on Jesus Christ but is only lukewarm.
1. BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR. A church is an assembly of believers. Individuals make up the church. Jesus is illustrating a very sad picture of the Laodicean church. He is standing outside of "His" church, not inside. It is the people's church. Laodicea means "human rights" or "the rights of the people." They do not want to let Jesus (the Word) rule over them. They want to rule themselves. This church is described, outwardly, as being prosperous and having many goods, yet Jesus is on the outside, not on the inside.
It is incredible that this church is completely ignorant of its true condition. Thousands of churches are on radio and television. They send out missionaries around the world. They preach Jesus, but He is on the outside. They do not understand this. Multitudes write books about the Bible and their own life's experiences with God, but Jesus is still on the outside, knocking on the door, saying, "Let Me in." They do not understand. As they will not let Jesus in, neither will He let them in at the judgment.
Churches sing and sing about Jesus and worship Him. They are involved in all sorts of Christian service. A person may ask, "How, then, can Jesus be on the outside of the church?" The answer can be summed up in this way-self and worldliness.
Following Rev 3:22, there should be a message from God's Word to consider on this subject.
2. AND KNOCK (or here, I'm standing at the door, knocking-JNT124). Jesus is knocking on the door of "His" church. The people inside are, undoubtedly, singing about Jesus; they may even be worshiping and praying to Him. Nevertheless, Jesus may not be in their hearts. God's Word has not found a place in them to dwell and grow.
Yet Jesus continues to knock. He knocks on the door of people's hearts, as if to say, "Let Me in."
1. IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE. Jesus is talking to the individual.
2. AND OPEN THE DOOR. To the individual that will hear the voice of Jesus and open the door of his heart, Jesus promises,
1. I WILL COME IN TO HIM,
WITH ME. The door cannot be opened by Jesus, but must be opened by the one that hears His voice. He that hears and understands God's Word must respond by opening his heart to Jesus. To this person that responds, these promises are given.
3:21. TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH (or him who wins the victory-JNT125) WILL I GRANT (or give the right) TO SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, EVEN (or just) AS I ALSO OVERCAME, AND AM SET DOWN WITH MY FATHER IN HIS THRONE. Ref Lk 13:25; Rev 21:7. P, Rew, M.
3:21. TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH (or him who wins the victory-JNT125). We overcome by walking in faith. To him that overcomes the lukewarmness, the "not knowing" his true condition, the riches and needing nothing, and obeys the advice of Jesus. (Note the commentary on overcoming, under Rev 2:7.) The verse continues, to him that overcomes,
1. WILL I GRANT (or give the right)
TO SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, EVEN (or just)
AS I ALSO OVERCAME, AND AM SET DOWN WITH MY FATHER IN HIS THRONE. Jesus is currently sitting at the right hand of God the Father. However, during the Millennium, Jesus will sit upon His own throne. We are to overcome, even as Jesus overcame; to those that do, the promise is given them to sit with Jesus in His throne.
3:22. HE THAT HATH AN EAR (or those who have ears), LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH (or is saying) UNTO THE CHURCHES. Ref Rev 22:16. LD.
3:22. HE THAT HATH AN EAR (or those who have ears), LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH (or is saying) UNTO THE CHURCHES. (Note the commentary, under Rev 2:7.)
Note the words of Rev 22:16:
I JESUS HAVE SENT MINE ANGEL TO TESTIFY
There are many lukewarm, blind churches that will not teach these things in this Laodicean church age.
DENY SELF: A MESSAGE
FROM GOD'S WORD
The Laodicean church age will continue to get worse and worse, until Jesus returns to catch up "His" people. All unrepentant Laodiceans are rejected. As in the days of Noah and the days of Lot, the very few that have overcome-anointed their eyes with eyesalve and can see-will be taken.
Note the differences between the popular preaching and familiar sayings of the Laodicean church age and the uncompromised Word of God, which is rarely used in this unrepentant generation. The following are based on lies, traditions, and half truths. They mislead and deceive people. This is, also, spiritual warfare.
Some Laodicean preaching is: "You shall have; you shall receive; you shall prosper; you shall have a good time; you shall be healed; you shall have a miracle; being sick shows you have no faith or if you are sick and do not get healed, it shows you have no faith; you can get power (instead of "if the Lord will."); you do not have to obey God's commandments, because that is legalism; exalt oneself; be someone special; you are a King's kid; revival is coming before the Tribulation; no man knows the day and hour of the Rapture; you are not to fear God, but only reverence Him; you can trample Satan under your feet; Satan can no longer deceive you; many go to heaven; you are saved by a prayer, and no sin can take you to hell." These are only a few of many teachings that are misleading and deceiving people.
Some Laodicean sayings include: "God has a miracle for you; believe God for a miracle; expect a miracle; you have the keys to release prosperity in your life; sow seed and believe for a harvest; I'm expecting a turn around in my finances; give-expecting; you are about to get a miracle and it is in your pocketbook; Jesus put you on this earth to be a success; God told me to tell you; bind Satan (all kinds of ways); Satan has no power over you; Satan cannot deceive you; you can stamp Satan under your feet; stupid devil; take your shoe off and stamp on the devil; exercise your faith; take this handkerchief, penny (or some other object) and do this or that and receive a miracle." These are misleading and deceiving people.
Some misleading things going on in the church include: uncontrollable outbursts of laughing, animal-type sound, jumping off the stage into people's arms, and many other unbiblical things.
Minister's emotions are speaking louder than God's Word. They have become victims of their own emotions, making God's Word of none effect. These expressions are very popular. They attract people, but also lead them astray.
Following is some of God's Word, which is rarely used or understood in this unrepentant generation.
Some counsel from God's Word:
A book of hundreds of pages could not adequately convey nor dispel the blindness that is upon the Laodicean church; so then, how can these few scriptures? It is the Holy Spirit that must give the understanding.
Acts 5:32-AND WE ARE HIS WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS; AND SO IS ALSO THE HOLY GHOST, WHOM GOD HATH GIVEN TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM. Christians are to obey God; they are to obey God's Word.
Acts 13:26-MEN AND BRETHREN, CHILDREN OF THE STOCK OF ABRAHAM, AND WHOSOEVER AMONG YOU FEARETH GOD, TO YOU IS THE WORD OF THIS SALVATION SENT. Christians are to fear God.
Acts 20:19-SERVING THE LORD WITH ALL HUMILITY OF MIND, AND WITH MANY TEARS, AND TEMPTATIONS. Christians are to serve God in humility; they shall shed many tears and be tempted.
Acts 20:23-SAVE THAT THE HOLY GHOST WITNESSETH IN EVERY CITY, SAYING THAT BONDS AND AFFLICTIONS ABIDE ME. A Christian may also suffer these things.
Acts 20:24-BUT NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME, NEITHER COUNT I MY LIFE DEAR UNTO MYSELF, SO THAT I MIGHT FINISH MY COURSE WITH JOY, AND THE MINISTRY, WHICH I HAVE RECEIVED OF THE LORD JESUS, TO TESTIFY THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD. If a person's faith is centered in Jesus, none of these things should move him. Christians should not consider their own life of any importance, but should regard themselves as sheep for the slaughter.
1 Cor 7:23-YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE; BE NOT YE THE SERVANTS OF MEN.
2 Cor 5:15-AND THAT HE DIED FOR ALL, THAT THEY WHICH LIVE SHOULD NOT HENCEFORTH LIVE UNTO THEMSELVES, BUT UNTO HIM WHICH DIED FOR THEM, AND ROSE AGAIN. As Christians, we are to live unto God, not ourselves.
2 Cor 10:5-CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. Christians are to cast down wrong thinking and bring their thoughts in line with God's Word.
Heb 5:9-AND BEING MADE PERFECT, HE BECAME THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM. Christians are to obey God; they are to obey God's Word.
Isa 66:5-HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD, YE THAT TREMBLE AT HIS WORD. Christians are to tremble at God's Word.
Ja 1:22-BUT BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY, DECEIVING YOUR OWN SELVES. Christians are to do the Word of God.
Ja 4:6-GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, BUT GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE. A Christian is to be humble.
Jn 3:29-HE THAT HATH THE BRIDE IS THE BRIDEGROOM: BUT THE FRIEND OF THE BRIDEGROOM, WHICH STANDETH AND HEARETH HIM, REJOICETH GREATLY BECAUSE OF THE BRIDEGROOM'S VOICE: THIS MY JOY THEREFORE IS FULFILLED. Christians should rejoice at hearing and reading God's Word. They should crave God's pure Word as a baby craves pure milk.
Jn 3:30-HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE. When a person comes to Jesus, he should begin to decrease (die to self), thus allowing the Lord to increase in his heart and life. Doing God's will should increase. Doing one's own will should decrease.
Jn 3:31-HE THAT COMETH FROM ABOVE IS ABOVE ALL: HE THAT IS OF THE EARTH IS EARTHLY, AND SPEAKETH OF THE EARTH: HE THAT COMETH FROM HEAVEN IS ABOVE ALL. The carnal Christian and unbeliever have their conversation centered on the world and the things pertaining to this life.
Jn 14:15-IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. The evidence of our love for God is keeping His commandments.
Jn 15:19-IF YE WERE OF THE WORLD, THE WORLD WOULD LOVE HIS OWN: BUT BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU OUT OF THE WORLD, THEREFORE THE WORLD HATETH YOU. If a Christian's light shines bright, then the world will hate that Christian. The world often does not feel threatened by the lukewarm, compromising, "following the world-type" Christian.
Jn 15:20-REMEMBER THE WORD THAT I SAID UNTO YOU, THE SERVANT IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS LORD. IF THEY HAVE PERSECUTED ME, THEY WILL ALSO PERSECUTE YOU; IF THEY HAVE KEPT MY SAYING, THEY WILL KEEP YOURS ALSO. The Christian that follows Jesus will be persecuted.
1 Jn 2:6-HE THAT SAITH HE ABIDETH IN HIM OUGHT HIMSELF ALSO SO TO WALK, EVEN AS HE WALKED. A Christian, who says he abides in Jesus, ought to walk as Jesus walked.
1 Jn 4:17-HEREIN IS OUR LOVE MADE PERFECT, THAT WE MAY HAVE BOLDNESS IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT: BECAUSE AS HE IS, SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD. As Jesus is, so the true Christian is to be.
Lk 16:13-NO SERVANT CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE, AND DESPISE THE OTHER. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON. A Christian cannot serve God and the world; he cannot serve God and money.
Lk 9:24-FOR WHOSOEVER WILL SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: BUT WHOSOEVER WILL LOSE HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE, THE SAME SHALL SAVE IT. A Christian that loses his life, for the sake of Jesus, will save it. However, when their life is at stake, many will shrink back and deny Jesus. During the Tribulation, many will come to faith in Jesus, but, when they are hungry, they will give in to the Antichrist and take the mark. Others will come to faith in Jesus, but, when their head is about to be chopped off, they will shrink back and worship the image of the beast.
Lk 12:33,34-SELL THAT YE HAVE, AND GIVE ALMS; PROVIDE YOURSELVES BAGS WHICH WAX NOT OLD, A TREASURE IN THE HEAVENS THAT FAILETH NOT, WHERE NO THIEF APPROACHETH, NEITHER MOTH CORRUPTETH. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO. Selling what you have and following Jesus is hardly ever heard anymore, in the Laodicean church, except to say that it does not mean what it says.
Lk 13:3-I TELL YOU, NAY: BUT, EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH. Preaching on biblical repentance is becoming less and less. A lukewarm repentance has replaced true repentance. To preach on believing in Jesus and saying a prayer is much more acceptable, in the Laodicean age, as long as repentance, obedience, sacrifice, and persecutions are omitted.
Lk 14:26-IF ANY MAN COME TO ME, AND HATE NOT HIS FATHER, AND MOTHER, AND WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND BRETHREN, AND SISTERS, YEA, AND HIS OWN LIFE ALSO, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. A Christian is to love Jesus above all else. Nothing more needs to be said.
Lk 14:27-AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. Bearing one's cross and following after Jesus, is seldom taught or understood. Few people, in this generation, are willing to walk as Jesus walked. It is written, 1 Jn 2:6-HE THAT SAITH HE ABIDETH IN HIM OUGHT HIMSELF ALSO SO TO WALK, EVEN AS HE WALKED.
Lk 14:33-SO LIKEWISE, WHOSOEVER HE BE OF YOU THAT FORSAKETH NOT ALL THAT HE HATH, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. This verse means just what it says. Few people will totally sell out to Jesus.
Mt 4:4-BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, IT IS WRITTEN, MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD. The Christian is to live by God's Word, the Bible.
Mt 6:19-LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL:
Mt 6:20-BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NEITHER MOTH NOR RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH NOR STEAL. These verses require the Christian to deny himself. Most Christians want the better things of this life and heaven, also.
Mt 7:14-BECAUSE STRAIT IS THE GATE, AND NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT. Few find God's way; fewer, still, will yield to God's way. Many have found the way of lukewarmness; they shall be spit out.
Mt 7:21-NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. Doing God's will is an absolute. Many come to Jesus, but when they find it is a life of sacrifice and involves obeying God's Word, they choose to go "their own way"; they convince themselves they are right and that they shall, indeed, inherit eternal life.
Mt 8:20-AND JESUS SAITH UNTO HIM, THE FOXES HAVE HOLES, AND THE BIRDS OF THE AIR HAVE NESTS; BUT THE SON OF MAN HATH NOT WHERE TO LAY HIS HEAD. Jesus had no home of His own. As Christians, we are to consider everything as loss, that we may gain Christ. There can be times that we have no place to lay our head. Many great men of faith have gone to prison for the sake of Jesus or had to live in caves. These are men of whom the world was not worthy.
Mt 8:21-AND ANOTHER OF HIS DISCIPLES SAID UNTO HIM, LORD, SUFFER ME FIRST TO GO AND BURY MY FATHER. When Jesus calls, a Christian should be ready and allow nothing to distract him from God's will.
Mt 8:22-BUT JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, FOLLOW ME; AND LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD.
Mt 19:21-JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, IF THOU WILT BE PERFECT, GO AND SELL THAT THOU HAST, AND GIVE TO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN: AND COME AND FOLLOW ME. Christians seldom want to hear these words.
Num 15:39-AND IT SHALL BE UNTO YOU FOR A FRINGE, THAT YE MAY LOOK UPON IT, AND REMEMBER ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD, AND DO THEM; AND THAT YE SEEK NOT AFTER YOUR OWN HEART AND YOUR OWN EYES, AFTER WHICH YE USE TO GO A WHORING. A Christian is to do God's commandments and not follow after his own will, or heart, or eyes as he did before he was saved.
1 Pe 5:8-BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT; BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR. This warning is sent to the church. Do not underestimate the devil. Satan seeks to devour Christians.
2 Pe 3:17-YE THEREFORE, BELOVED, SEEING YE KNOW THESE THINGS BEFORE, BEWARE LEST YE ALSO, BEING LED AWAY WITH THE ERROR OF THE WICKED, FALL FROM YOUR OWN STEDFASTNESS. This is a warning to Christians. Beware, lest you fall from your steadfastness (or secure position) in Jesus.
Ps 89:7-GOD IS GREATLY TO BE FEARED IN THE ASSEMBLY OF THE SAINTS, AND TO BE HAD IN REVERENCE OF ALL THEM THAT ARE ABOUT HIM.
Mt 10:28-AND FEAR NOT THEM WHICH KILL THE BODY, BUT ARE NOT ABLE TO KILL THE SOUL: BUT RATHER FEAR HIM WHICH IS ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY IN HELL. We are to fear God. In the Laodicean church age, reverencing God has replaced fearing God. Yes, we are to reverence God, and we are also to greatly fear Him.
Pv 2:1-5-MY SON, IF THOU WILT RECEIVE MY WORDS, AND HIDE MY COMMANDMENTS WITH THEE; SO THAT THOU INCLINE THINE EAR UNTO WISDOM, AND APPLY THINE HEART TO UNDERSTANDING; YEA, IF THOU CRIEST AFTER KNOWLEDGE, AND LIFTEST UP THY VOICE FOR UNDERSTANDING; IF THOU SEEKEST HER AS SILVER, AND SEARCHEST FOR HER AS FOR HID TREASURES; THEN SHALT THOU UNDERSTAND THE FEAR OF THE LORD, AND FIND THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. Search the Scriptures. Cry out for understanding. Don't give up.
Pv 9:10-THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM: AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY IS UNDERSTANDING. Do you want wisdom? The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
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. Every one of the seven churches use one of these words, "overcome, overcomes, or overcometh."
Rev 12:9-AND THE GREAT DRAGON WAS CAST OUT, THAT OLD SERPENT, CALLED THE DEVIL, AND SATAN, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD: HE WAS CAST OUT INTO THE EARTH, AND HIS ANGELS WERE CAST OUT WITH HIM. Satan deceives the whole world.
Ro 8:29-FOR WHOM HE DID FOREKNOW, HE ALSO DID PREDESTINATE TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN. A Christian is to be conformed to the image of Jesus; he is to be conformed to the image of God's Word.
Ro 11:21-FOR IF GOD SPARED NOT THE NATURAL BRANCHES, TAKE HEED LEST HE ALSO SPARE NOT THEE. This is a warning.
Ro 12:1-I BESEECH YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, THAT YE PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE. A Christian is to surrender his entire being-spirit, soul, and body-unto God.
Ro 12:2-AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD. A Christian is not to be conformed to this world or its ways. He is to be transformed.
Ro 15:1-NOT TO PLEASE OURSELVES. A Christian lives to do God's will, not his own.
1 Tim 5:17-LABOR IN THE WORD AND DOCTRINE. Many people do not read God's Word at all. Of those that do, most only read a few verses or a couple of chapters a day. This is not being serious about Jesus. This is, at best, only lukewarm. A true Christian ought to greatly desire to labor in God's Word and doctrine.
2 Tim 2:15-STUDY TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD. A Christian is to study.
2 Tim 2:20-BUT IN A GREAT HOUSE THERE ARE NOT ONLY VESSELS OF GOLD AND OF SILVER, BUT ALSO OF WOOD AND OF EARTH; AND SOME TO HONOR, AND SOME TO DISHONOUR.
2 Tim 2:21-IF A MAN THEREFORE PURGE HIMSELF FROM THESE, HE SHALL BE A VESSEL UNTO HONOR, SANCTIFIED, AND MEET FOR THE MASTER'S USE, AND PREPARED UNTO EVERY GOOD WORK. A Christian is to rid himself of all distractions that he may be ready for every good work.
In this lukewarm generation of distorted teaching, with truth and falsehoods mixed together, consider these great men and women of faith.
Heb 11:35-38-WOMEN RECEIVED THEIR DEAD RAISED TO LIFE AGAIN: AND OTHERS WERE TORTURED, NOT ACCEPTING DELIVERANCE; THAT THEY MIGHT OBTAIN A BETTER RESURRECTION:
AND OTHERS HAD TRIAL OF CRUEL MOCKINGS AND SCOURGINGS, YEA, MOREOVER OF BONDS AND IMPRISONMENT:
THEY WERE STONED, THEY WERE SAWN ASUNDER, WERE TEMPTED, WERE SLAIN WITH THE SWORD: THEY WANDERED ABOUT IN SHEEPSKINS AND GOATSKINS; BEING DESTITUTE, AFFLICTED, TORMENTED;
(OF WHOM THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY:) THEY WANDERED IN DESERTS, AND IN MOUNTAINS, AND IN DENS AND CAVES OF THE EARTH.
Heb 11:39 NIV-THESE WERE ALL COMMENDED FOR THEIR FAITH.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
OVERVIEW OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES
1. Twenty-three descriptions of Jesus
2. Four items of what God has done or will do
3. Thirty-two good things
4. Fourteen items of general information
5. Twenty-three bad things
6. Six items that shall happen
7. Twenty-one items of advice on what to do
8. Six reasons to follow God's advice
9. Eleven warnings
10. Two "ifs"
11. Three promises
12. Two items of what Jesus is doing
13. Twenty-two rewards
OVERVIEW OF THE SEVEN
CHURCHES: FROM BEST TO WORST
It is interesting to note, the first church age was the third best.
Things got even better in the second church under great persecutions.
Then the spiritual decline of the church began as deception set in. The third church was worse.
The fourth continued to get worse.
The fifth church was dead.
Then something happened-the sixth church was better than any of the previous churches.
Finally, the last church was the worst of all. The best church age of all (# 6) was followed by the worst (# 7).
OVERVIEW OF THE SEVEN
A LIST OF SOME OF THE
1. I WILL CAST...THEM...INTO GREAT TRIBULATION, EXCEPT THEY REPENT-Rev 2:22, the fourth church. The Great Tribulation.
2. HOLD FAST TILL I COME-Rev 2:25, the fourth church. The return of Jesus.
3. TO HIM WILL I GIVE POWER OVER THE NATIONS-Rev 2:26, the fourth church. The Millennium.
4. HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON-Rev 2:27, the fourth church. The Millennium.
5. AS THE VESSELS OF A POTTER SHALL THEY BE BROKEN TO SHIVERS-Rev 2:27, the fourth church. Armageddon.
6. IF.THOU SHALT NOT WATCH, I WILL COME ON THEE AS A THIEF-Rev 3:3, the fifth church. The Rapture.
7. IF.THOU SHALT NOT WATCH...THOU SHALT NOT KNOW WHAT HOUR I WILL COME UPON THEE-Rev 3:3, the fifth church. The Rapture.
8. I...WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION-Rev 3:10, the sixth church. The Tribulation.
9. THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION...SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD-Rev 3:10, the sixth church. The Tribulation.
10. THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION...TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH-Rev 3:10, the sixth church. The Tribulation.
11. I COME QUICKLY-Rev 3:11, the sixth church. The return of Jesus.
12. I WILL WRITE UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD-Rev 3:12, the sixth church.
13. I WILL WRITE UPON HIM THE NAME...OF THE CITY OF MY GOD-Rev 3:12, the sixth church. New Jerusalem.
14. NEW JERUSALEM...COMETH DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN-Rev 3:12, the sixth church. New Jerusalem.
15. NEW JERUSALEM...COMETH DOWN...FROM MY GOD-Rev 3:12, the sixth church. New Jerusalem.
16. WILL I GRANT TO SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE-Rev 3:21, the seventh church. The Millennium.
THE COMING OF
JESUS MENTIONED IN THE
The doctrines of the fourth, fifth, and sixth churches are present with us today in this last Laodicean church age. As a result, we see, in various forms, references made to the coming of Jesus in each of these.
|REVELATION #1||BEGIN HERE-SUMMARY||REVELATION #7||2:1-3:6||REVELATION #13||15:1-17:7|
|REVELATION #2||TEACH IN CHURCHES||REVELATION #8||3:7-3:22||REVELATION #14||17:5-19:5|
|REVELATION #3||INTRODUCTION||REVELATION #9||4:1-6:8||REVELATION #15||COMMENTARY|
|REVELATION #4||WORSHIP||REVELATION #10||6:9-8:13||REVELATION #16||19:6-21:8|
|REVELATION #5||TABLE OF CONTENTS||REVELATION #11||9:1-12:16||REVELATION # 17||21:9-22:21|
|REVELATION #6||ABBREVIATIONS & REV 1:1-1:20||REVELATION #12||12:17-14:20||______|
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