Revelation 3:14-16

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God…’” Revelation 3:14.

The city of Laodicea was founded by a Seleucid king named Antiochus II about 260 B.C. and named after his wife Laodice.
The name itself means either, “the people ruling” or “judgment of the people”; very appropriate for this current age.

Laodicea was extremely rich, being located near two trade routes which brought in large money transactions and created a successful banking community.

This was augmented by production of pharmaceuticals that were in high demand throughout the Roman world, one of these being an eye salve. They also had an undisputable corner on the market for black wool; this too was world renowned for its beauty and quality.

As you may already know, the city of Laodicea was also in the same dangerous area of extreme earthquake activity as the other cities all of which are in the country of Turkey.

The city was totally destroyed by an earthquake in 60 A.D. during the reign of Nero, yet the people were so rich that they declined Imperial help and completely rebuilt the city from their own pockets. Though many years later Laodicea was destroyed by another earthquake and never rebuilt.

The church age represented by Laodicea extends from about 1900 A.D. to the rapture (removal) of the church just before the tribulation. It is characterized by compromise with the world and a lukewarm attitude on the part of the church.

It is also the last church age spoken of, and so after this the church is no longer mentioned. What happens after that will be covered later.

“These things says the Amen”, the word amen was transliterated from the Hebrew to the Greek and then to English, so it is the same word spoken in the Old Testament, and means roughly “so be it”.

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (pub. by Fleming H. Revell Co.), the word amen when used by God means, “It is and shall be so”.

And when used as a title of Christ, as above, “[it is] because through Him the purposes of God are established”; Vine’s Expository Dictionary.

The above reference in verse 14, “These things says the Amen” is the only time the Lord is given that title, so it is specifically given for the benefit of the Laodicean church age.

“[Jesus] The Faithful and True Witness” verse 14b, let us start with the obvious, if you have a courtroom witness that is known to be faithful and true, you have someone who is going to be faithful in their testimony. It will not be tainted with their personal prejudices or with a fear of consequences. The things attested to will be exactly what they know.

This is who Christ is and this is what He wants from us. Now let us take these two words separately as related to Christ’s character. On faithfulness the Lord has said:

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b.

And it is said of Him:

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23.

And again it is written:

“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

Concerning the word true or truth, the Lord says this about Himself.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:19-20.

The truth is everything we need to know about life as God has revealed it to us.

The world is filled with superstition, false religions, false messiahs, and false knowledge from people who either taint their teachings with their own prejudices or outright lie about the truth for their own aggrandizement.

Even the news is slanted in the direction of the writer’s beliefs. Do not be fooled the web of Satan is cast over the entire earth.

Those blinded by him because of their rejection of Christ will be swept away with him if they are not given the truth by godly, dedicated, gentle, men and women.

“The beginning of the creation of God”, this word beginning does not mean that Christ was created in the beginning as many cults claim. Rather it is as stated in the margin of the New American Standard Bible, that He is the beginning, the origin or source of creation.

“He [Christ] was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:2-3.

When you were born your parents were already there, so in that sense it could be said that they were there in the beginning before you were conceived. In the same manner Christ was there in the beginning and He is also the beginning of the creation.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [this relates to His preeminence] over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [are held together].” Colossians 1:15-17.

Of the seven churches this is the only one that receives no commendation from the Lord; the church has bottomed out and can scrape no lower.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16.

Recall that in Revelation 1:13a we saw, “in the midst of the seven lampstands [seven churches] One like the Son of Man”, so there should be little wonder that He knew their works, Jesus has always watched out for His church.

“Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:23-24.

“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16.

The word spew here means literally, “I will vomit you out of My mouth”. Laodicea was noted for a hot spring in its area and the water there could be drunk either cold or hot but when it became lukewarm it was nauseating.

This is how the Lord feels about the Laodicean church; the pompous, self-righteous, politically correct attitude of these churches is just wrong.

This church does not have to be a liberal church; it can be your local mega-church which is run like any other business that counts numbers and dollars as success.

And rather than training up Christians to maturity in Christ they keep them in their comfort zone and speak of greater, more beautiful building projects, for just a few dollars more.

Many other churches, large or small are run by arrogant pastors or elders who believe that God speaks only to them and that their word should be law. Ignoring godly advice they barge forward trampling on the sheep God has entrusted to them.

“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock’ – therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.’” Ezekiel 34:7-10.

“Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture – and to have drunk of the clear waters, that you must foul the residue with your feet? And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have fouled with your feet.” Ezekiel 34:18-19.

It might be a Pentecostal or Charismatic church that seeks after signs and wonders and fails to put a sense of wonder in its membership for the person of Christ.

Busy with healing conferences and prophetic utterances for a few who receive them while the rest leave in disappointment. Like lost sheep they wander from conference to conference hoping for a word from God.

Just a glint of recognition from their Savior who must value others more than they, because He never speaks to them; yet if you buy their books and DVD’s all the answers of life will come to you.

These healers and prophets are of renown, Pastor So and So and Sister Allwise and if Jesus is mentioned in passing, it is Jesus with a little j.

If just once these self-centered prophets would open the Bible and read the love letter from the Lord to His sheep without adding their own spin on it and extolling their own virtues, perhaps folks would go away healed in heart rather than thirsty for yet another empty conference.

Please understand I have Pentecostal and Charismatic friends and I believe in healings and miracles, I have seen some myself but a circus atmosphere is not where the Lord Jesus belongs.

Yet those who sit in the pews are not always innocent, because they move from church to church to find one that agrees with what they think rather than what Scripture says.

They are always seeking something new and exciting rather than seeking the peace of God in the quietness of learning of Him.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

Revelation 3:14-16 taken from posted on 10-8-16, updated on 5-17-22.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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