Revelation Bible Prophecy

Bible Prophecy really can be understood

Revelation 1:3
“Blessed is he who reads and
those who hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things
which are written in it for the
time is near.”
Revelation 1:1-3

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Revelation Chapter 3

Seven Churches: Part 2

The Church That Lives But is Dead

Revelation 3:1And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you livest, and are dead.

Unto the angel of the church - See comments on Revelation 2:1 paragraph 2.

Sardis - The name means, “song of joy” or “that which remains.” This is the period after the 1260 days but before the great advent awakening. It is a sad period as it depicts the failing condition of the Protestant churches between 1798 and 1833.

Seven spirits and the seven stars - Christ comes to this church with the Holy Spirit (see comments for seven sprits in Revelation 1:4) which they were lacking in. Also He comes with the leaders (see comments on the seven stars Revelation 1:20) for the peoples focus had left Christ, the way, truth and life (John 14:6) and gone over to the leaders and their man made creeds. Christ is drawing their minds from the leaders back to Him, the One that holds their leaders in His hand.

I know thy works - As Christ has done with each church prior to this, He tells them that nothing is hidden from His all seeing eye.

Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead - It is possible to be dead whilst still living (1 Timothy 5:6) and this was the condition of the Protestant churches which arose out of the great Reformation. They failed to continue the work which they were raised up to do, and they needed to awake out of their sleep and arise from the dead, so Christ could give them more light. (Ephesians 5:14. See also Proverbs 21:16)

They still have the name of Protestant, of the true church of Christ but they, according to the words of the Saviour, are actually dead. For they have only taken the name Protestant and do not possess the requisite character, this we call hypocritical. This gives us a good understanding why Christ comes to this church with the Holy Spirit, for they are dying spiritually and in need of spiritual life. Why is this so? It is often stated that there are five causes for the decline of a church.

1. The union of the main church body with the state.
2. The formation of rigid creeds.
3. Their adherence to certain unscriptural doctrines.
4. The influence of the Counter-Reformation.
5. The rise of Deism or the Age of Reason.

Union of Church and State This breeds a lack of faith, also the acceptance of state financial aid develops submission to the dictates of the state over the dictates of the Word, while the acceptance of military or judicial aid creates the ability to enforce ones doctrines upon others and thus develops a spirit of intolerance and persecution. This was seen in the terrible persecution of one state Protestant church against another very soon after leaving the Catholic fold. A typical example of this is the Lutheran and Reform church persecution of the Anabaptists.

Formation of Rigid Creeds A creed other than the Bible itself creates a means by which all others are tested and prevents a continuation of development in understanding. Otherwise known as spiritual sterility. As many of the reformation churches continued to study, their ideas of truth changed, but because the creed had already been made the truth was rejected and the creed retained. From our perspective it is easy to see where the churches still retained many of the ideas of Romanism, and still had other truths to rediscover, but they were bound to their man-made creeds and refused to walk in the advancing light of truth.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the just is as the shining light that shines more and more until the perfect day.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Adherence to unscriptural doctrines Some of the false doctrines still held to by many of the reformation churches included the following;

Sacramentalism or the belief that one was actually granted salvation through the communion service in contrast to the Biblical view that it is by faith.

Predestination was a common belief that originally came from paganism and was introduced into the church by Augustine. This idea was adopted by both Luther and Calvin who had been Augustinian monks. This belief states that even before one is born God has decided if he is to be saved or lost and nothing he can do about it will change that fact. It denies freedom of choice and annuls all evangelistic effort and foreign missions. Thus inviting spiritual death to the church.

Original Sin which states that at birth all infants are guilty of Adam's sin and are deserving of God's wrath and curse. This belief misrepresents God and presents a false view as to what is sin. Sin according to the Bible is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) Original sin holds that the sinful nature with which we are born is itself sin whether one chooses to sin or not. Under the idea of original sin all infants must be baptized at birth to be cleansed from this stain of sin. Once this rite is performed the salvation is assured. Thus there is no need for personal confession, repentance, regeneration by the Holy Spirit or call to live a holy life. (Deuteronomy 3:18; 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.) It goes on to state that because of original sin, no man even by the grace of God can fully obey God. It amounts to salvation in sin rather than salvation from sin as is found in the Bible. He shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

False ideas on Justification by Faith included the idea that the act of justifying the sinner is a forensic or legal act only and does not involve the new birth or regeneration of the sinner in it. Biblical justification involves the new birth experience in the justifying process unable to be separated from the legal act of declaring one righteous or just. See Romans 2:2 and Ezekiel 36:26. The false ideas also lead to once saved always saved which claims once we have been justified by God we can never be lost. This is also a false concept as even the great apostle Paul feared that after preaching to others he himself might be a castaway, that is lost. See 1 Corinthians 9:27.

Antinomianism is the idea that the grace of God has done away with the law. This also is an outgrowth of the idea of original sin which makes the idea of keeping the law an impossibility. But the scriptures in John 14:15 and 1 John 5:2-3 teach very clearly that to love God is to keep his law, something that according to the creeds of many Reformation churches we cannot do.

Counter Reformation This was the movement by the Catholic Church to destroy the Protestant Reformation which was destroying its influence around Europe. The main aspects of the development was as follows, however the Jesuits were responsible for all five.

The recognition and employment of the Jesuits.
The conveying of the council of Trent, 1545-1563.
The invention of false interpretations of prophecy in order to point people away from the papacy as the antichrist. Futurism under Francisco Ribera (1590) was being promoted. This teaches that the antichrist has not come yet, but will come for a short period of time just before Christ comes. And Preterism, under Luis de Alcazzar (1604), placed the antichrist back in the time of Nero. These were designed to take the heat off the papacy. We are still suffering today from these false doctrines.
The establishment of the index of prohibited books.
The renewal of persecution.

Age of Reason During the renaissance or the paganising of Europe and the rise of rationalism, the idea was to reinvent the writings and philosophies of the ancients from such places as Greece. These pagan writings and ideas began to permeate every aspect of society including religion. The main focus seems to be that nothing was beyond the mind of man, not even God himself. One of the main influences into the religious realm was Unitarianism or the belief in one god rather than three persons of the Godhead.

Revelation 3:2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.

Be watchful - Being comfortable and having a sense of security tends to make a person slumber in the area of watchfulness. It also allows the enemy to gain ground and infiltrate the ranks.

The church was not being as watchful as it could be. Thus during this era they were getting comfortable, becoming slack in their concern over sin and the danger of being lost or led astray.

Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die - They were to be watchful because the things that remained were ready to die. This is why they are counselled to strengthen them.

A man by the name of Lacunza, a Jesuit priest, whose book (The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty) was published in English in 1812, taught that the second coming was in 2 stages. This is not the secret rapture, but is very close to the teaching.

It wasn't until 1830 when Margaret MacDonald, a spiritualist that attended the church of Edward Irving, an Anglican minister, claimed to have a vision of the second coming of Christ. She stated that she saw the secret rapture of the saints. This teaching was picked up by Protestants, Edward Irving being one of them. The doctrine of the second coming was slowly dying.

Also the doctrine of the Papacy being the great Anti-Christ of Bible prophecy was slowly starting to die out. Today we almost do not hear this being proclaimed.

Those truths that remained were to be strengthened so as not to die. The elements of spiritual life, love, faith, missionary energy, and watchfulness were ready to die. Protestantism was ceasing to protest.

Not found thy works perfect before God - Their works were not perfect for they were failing to complete that which they were called into existence for. It was not God's plan to have hundreds of churches, but only one. It is because man keeps getting sidetracked that God has to go and call someone else. Also when we get sidetracked we fail to continue to grow in grace and thus our own spiritual life declines until it despairs completely.

Revelation 3:3Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard - This is the solution to the people in Sardis who are losing their way. They are to recall where they originally saw the light and go back to that spot and regain their original vision and mission to serve God and not the dictates of man, Protestant or Catholic.

Hold fast - Hold fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and the truths that remain.

Repent - Repent of their departure from truth, their lack of watchfulness, their hypocritical state of having a name that implies they are spiritually alive when the reality is, they are spiritually dying.

If...thou shalt not watch...I will come on thee - Because of the lack of watchfulness, the city of Sardis was taken captive. So it will be with those that chose not to repent, reform, and be watchful. Christ would visit the believers in judgment or punishment if they failed to respond to Christ's call for repentance and reformation.

As a thief - A thief comes unexpectedly, and this is exactly the way that Sardis was taken, unexpectedly. This is how the judgment or punishment that Christ was going to visit upon them would come, unexpectedly.

Thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee - This seems to be a warning that an actual time period was coming in which they would miss something if they did not arise out of their spiritual lethargy. Thus the warning that the great awakening around the second coming was about to begin, and most of the Protestant churches eventually rejected it due to the spiritual death that was taking place within their ranks.

Revelation 3:4You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

A few names which have not defiled their garments - Therefore we can say that within this period some were not defiled by false doctrine nor influenced by the insidious heresies of the Jesuits, but were maintaining a firm reliance upon a “thus saith the Lord,” and were preparing to move into the great awakening under the next church period.

Shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy - Those that have not defiled their garments are the ones that walk with Christ in white, thus showing that white is a symbol of being undefiled or pure. The white garment is described as the righteousness of saints. (Revelation 19:8) But it is God that covers them with this robe of righteousness, (Isaiah 61:10) for their righteousness is of me saith the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)

The reason why they are worthy to be clothed with Christ's righteousness is that they have not defiled their garments. But on a deeper level, they are worthy because Jesus Christ is worthy (Revelation 5:12) and they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:13-14) and are clothed with His worthy righteousness.

Revelation 3:5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

He that overcometh - What is going to be said next is only to those that persistently overcome sin.

Shall be clothed in white raiment - To those that overcome is the promise of the righteousness of Christ.

Will not blot out his name out of the book of life - To the church that was called dead and dying, the promise of having their names retained in the book of life and thus gaining eternal life when Jesus comes the second time.

But I will confess his name before my Father... - Because they have not denied Jesus before men, He will not deny them but confess their name before His Father and before His angels.

Matthew 10:32-33Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Are we denying Jesus by the way we live and the doctrines that we hold to? Is He denying us before the Father?

Revelation 3:6He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

See comments on Revelation 2:7 paragraph 2.

The Era of Brotherly Love

Revelation 3:7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Philadelphia - The word Philadelphia means Brotherly Love. This is the period of 1833 to 1844, which was the time of great religious awakening just before the commencement of the judgment in 1844.

Men like, William Miller, Josiah Litch, Joshua Himes (in America), and Robert Winter in England, Dr Joseph Wolff (who travelled throughout Africa, visiting Egypt and Abyssinia; in Asia, traversing Palestine, Syria, Persia, Bokhara, and India. He also visited the United States), and others, were standing up and preaching that the second coming of Jesus Christ was going to be in the year 1843/44. People's hearts were stirred and many began to set aside the worldly influences that had crept into the church, confessing sin, making restitution, and with a pure fervent love for one another, prepared for the coming of Christ.

Whilst this was going on, they were being opposed by most ministers and people that rejected the preparation for this event. But the believers were to be bitterly disappointed, having their very foundation shaken. They misunderstood the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 to be the cleansing of the earth by fire when Christ comes, instead of the beginning of the judgment in heaven in 1844. Christ never came.

We will look at this a little more closely in the following verses.

Saith he that is holy, he that is true - Undoubtedly Christ is holy, (Psalms 16:10, Acts 2:27, 31, Mark 1:24), and true. (John 14:6, 1:14, Revelation 3:14, 19:11) But why does Christ come to this church introducing Himself as such?

The Bible says, “Be ye holy; for I am holy”, and “...and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” 1 Peter 1:16, Hebrews 12:14. Christ was calling His people to a sanctified life, to be prepared to stand during the time of the investigative judgment that was about to commence in 1844, and in preparation for His soon return after this time. For those that will be able to stand in that day are those that have “clean hands and a pure heart” Psalms 24:4.

Christ also shows to them that He is the true one, the one that is faithful and can be trusted despite all appearances. Their faith is to be anchored upon Him and His word for He is true. It was man's misunderstanding of the scriptures that led to the wrong conclusion of the second coming, not God's.

Key of David - A key is the symbol of power and authority, for the key gives the possessor the power or authority to open and shut the door when he chooses to use it. (See also Revelation 1:18)

Christ is the son of David (Matthew 21:9; 22:41-42) and David is referred to as His father. (Luke 1:31-33) David dwelt in the city of David which is Zion, (2 Samuel 5:7) or more commonly known as Jerusalem, (Jerusalem is also known as Zion. Zechariah 9:9, John 12:12-15, Joel 3:17. Here Zion is referred to as God's holy mountain, Daniel 9:16 Jerusalem is God's holy mountain). Jerusalem was the capital of his kingdom, that is, where his throne was. Christ is the rightful heir to the throne of David, but He will be ruler of the heavenly Zion/Jerusalem, (this is the New Jerusalem Revelation 21:1-5), and His reign will be for ever and ever. (Hebrews 12:22, Luke 1:32-33)

So this message is telling them that Christ, the son of David, (Who tells the Philadelphian Church that He is coming quickly v11), is about to take His rightful place on the long-unoccupied throne of David when He comes the second time. (Matthew 25:31-34) He has the authority to it and will rule from the New Jerusalem.

Openeth, and no man shutteth, shutteth, and no man openeth - From this statement, it is quite obvious that Christ has the power to open and shut doors that no man can. We will look at this a little more closely in the next verse.

Revelation 3:8I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.

I know thy works - See comments on Revelation 2:2.

Set before thee an open man can shut it - To understand what door this is referring to, we must look at the position and ministration of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary at this time. (this is the true tabernacle that the Lord pitched and not man. Hebrews 8:2)

The earthly sanctuary is a shadow or type of the heavenly (Hebrews 8:5) and had 2 apartments with 2 different services, a daily in the first apartment and a yearly in the second apartment. Hebrews 9:1-7 (for more information on the daily and yearly service see comments on Daniel 8:14)

Up until this time, Christ has been ministering in the first apartment known as the holy place, as He was amongst the candlesticks at the beginning of the prophecy. (Revelation 1:12) In the earthly sanctuary the daily service, which involved the holy place, came to an end at the end of the year. At this time the yearly service, more commonly known as the Day Of Atonement or judgment, which involves the most holy place, conducted by the high priest alone came into effect. No person was allowed into the holy place whilst he was ministering in the most holy place. (Leviticus 16:17) It is easily seen then, that the door to the holy place was, as it were, shut at this time and with the high priest alone being able to open the door to the most holy. (The curtains that divided the apartments in the sanctuary were known as doors. Leviticus 1:3)

A similar opening and shutting, or change of ministration, must be accomplished by Christ when the time comes for the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. This time came at the close of the 2300 day/year prophecy of Daniel 8:14 which pinpoints the commencement of the antitypical day of atonement or the judgment time in 1844 (for more information on the 2300 days see comments on Daniel 9:24-27)

This change of Christ's ministration is brought to light in Daniel 7:9-10, 13. Thrones were set down in place and The Ancient of Days, that is God the Father, came and sat upon one of them. After giving a description of the Father, we are told that the judgment was set and the books were opened, so as to have each persons life record that is therein investigated. This we know takes place in the most holy place of the sanctuary. Notice how in verse 13 Christ is brought into the presence of the Father, to take His part in the judgment. But where did He come from? It must be the holy place. Previous to 1844 Christ was ministering in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. In 1844 Christ's ministration changed from the holy place to the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary. Thus the door to the first apartment is shut, for no man is allowed to enter it whilst the ministration is going on in the most holy place and Christ is no longer there. The door in the most holy place has now been opened by Christ for He is now ministering before the Father there. No man can open nor shut these doors except Christ.

Christ had set before His people, at the end of the Philadelphian period in 1844, an open door. He wished for them to hold fast their walk with Him and move with Him into the experience of the most holy place and the time of judgment from 1844.

Hast a little strength - Ancient Philadelphia was apparently not large. The movement of this time was not a large one either, with them being in the minority.

Hast kept my word - Because they were only little in number, it led them to rely upon God's word and His strength. They kept to the truth.

Hast not denied my name - In the Sardis period of the church we find that they were denying Christ's name by the way that they lived, that is by their lack of godliness. In the time of Philadelphia we see the opposite taking place. During this time period it is reported that the church was at one of its purest stages in preparation for what they saw as the second coming of Jesus. The name of Jesus and His coming was being preached world wide by the movement. Those of the movement were not afraid to profess His name and their faith.

Revelation 3:9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

Synagogue of Satan...say they are Jews...are not, but lie - During this period there were those that claimed to be Christians yet did not have the prerequisite character to match, hence they are called liars. They only possessed an external form of religion not a heart conversion. Quite possibly refers to those that would not keep up with the advancing light of truth and thus started to oppose it whilst claiming to still be a true Christian. (See comments on Revelation 2:9)

Them to come and worship before thy feet - This shows that the church would prevail against its enemies. Those that oppose the truth and also claim to possess it but don't, will eventually be compelled, by the circumstances, to acknowledge that those who have been loyal to truth are indeed God's people.

Revelation 3:10Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Because...kept the word of my patience - “Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Because they have, with patience, faithfully kept God's word (3:9) and commandments, He will keep them from the hour of temptation.

Hour of temptation...come upon the world...try them - If they were truly adhering to the truth, Christ would keep them from falling during the trying time of the great disappointment. But it has a greater application than this also.

Notice that this shall come upon the whole world, thus placing this as a future event that will encompass the whole world. In Deuteronomy 4:34 we find that the plagues of Egypt are referred to as temptations. And in the last days we find that the wrath of God, in the form of the 7 last plagues (Revelation 15:1; 16:1) is going to be poured out upon the earth. Those who keep the word of Christ's patience during the last crisis will be kept from receiving the seven last plagues. Those that are kept during this time are the 144,000 of Revelation 7:1-4. There is no reward for the quitter, it must be kept till the end.

Revelation 3:11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.

Behold I come quickly - Christ tells them that He is coming quickly, He is soon to return. This message is more prominently being urged upon His church.

Hold fast which thou hast - His counsel to them is to hold fast to that which they have. They have kept God's word, not denied His name by their conduct, and have kept the word of His patience. Christ tells them to hold fast to the experience of living a holy life, and do not allow anyone or anything to induce you to yield up the word of truth faithfully being held to.

No man take thy crown - They are to hold fast to the experience they have, so that no man can deprive them of their crown of life through getting them to yield up the truth. For the word take can mean to deprive of. Nothing should induce us to walk contrary to the ways of truth and thus the loss of the crown of life.

Revelation 3:12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: 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.

Him that overcometh - Once again the reward is to those that continue in overcoming the trials and temptations before them.

A pillar in the temple of my God...go no more out - A pillar is a permanent fixture that the other materials rest upon. The chief men in the church are known as pillars, (Galatians 2:9) with the other members also known as lively stones. (1 Peter 2:5) To those that overcome Christ is going to make them pillars in His triumphant church. They are His permanently, they will be established fully in the truth. Never will there be any more danger of his falling away; he is the Lord's forever; a permanent fixture of His true church, for 'he will go no more out.'

The name of my God - This pillar will have the name of God written upon it. Those that overcome will receive the permanent impress of the name/character of God, also showing that they belong to Him. They have been yielding their minds to intelligent and loyal obedience to all of God's commandments. There will be no covering up of sins and faults to hide the deformity of character; no robes will be half washed; but all will be pure and spotless.

City of my God...New Jerusalem - The city of my God is the heavenly Jerusalem, (Hebrews 12:22) which is the New Jerusalem. It is to this city that they belong, where the Son of David will rule forever, and have the right to reside there.

My new name - Also Christ's new name will be written upon the overcomer.

Revelation 3:13He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

See notes on Revelation 2:7 paragraph 2.

The Period of Lukewarmness

Revelation 3:14And 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;

Laodicea - The word Laodicea is made up from two words, that when placed together mean “a people judged” or “the judgment of the people.” Clearly we are looking at the period in the church's history of when it is to go through the investigative judgment which is brought to light in Daniel chapters 7, 8, and 9, which commenced in 1844.

Seeing that the seven churches represent the different periods of the Christian church, we are dealing with the final period of the church before the second coming of Christ. So this is a message to each of us that are living today.

Unlike any of the churches before this period, there is no praise given to the Laodicean church. Nothing good is said, but it is not an entirely hopeless condition.

Saith the Amen - Christ, here, takes upon Himself the title of the Amen. The word, Amen, means “so be it”, or “trustworthy”, and “verily” in the Greek. In the Hebrew it means, “so be it”, or “truly and truth.”

So here we find that Christ is introducing Himself as the Amen or the One that is truth. And this is rightly so, for Jesus Christ is the truth John 14:6. Also in 2 Corinthians 1:20 we find that, “all the promises of God in him/Christ [are] yea, and in him/Christ Amen” or truth. Thus showing that in Christ is the source of all truth.

Also to we see the following from The Seven Epistles of Christ by Taylor Bunch. “Coming at the close of a sermon or prayer, Amen indicates the end or the last. It indicates that the Laodicean message finishes Christ's appeals to His people, and that there is no more to be said. It is the last of the seven epistles to His church during the Christian dispensation, and therefore constitutes His final appeal before probation closes. No other message will follow. The divine Amen will never speak again to the church militant. Those who reject the Laodicean message will never hear another divine call to repentance and salvation.pgs 217, 218.

Faithful and true witness - This is a repeat of the title given to Christ in Revelation 1:5. Just as the Author is known as the Truth, so to is His testimony that is given trustworthy and true. There is no mistaking the facts of what is said, for it is impossibly for Christ to lie, (Hebrews 6:18) and He is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus never glosses over or whitewashes conditions to make them appear better than they really are. When He speaks, we ought to listen, for on our attitude toward His testimony depends our eternal destiny.

The strong reproof that is given to this church may seem to them as an over exaggeration, but it is not, for it comes from the one Who is truth and bears a faithful and true witness.

Beginning of the creation of God - Jesus also takes the title of the beginning/beginner/chief of the creation of God. This quite clearly shows that all things have their origin and beginning with Christ as it was through Christ that God created the worlds and all things. (Hebrews 1:1-2, 10, Ephesians 3:9) Also from Colossians 1:16-17 and John 1:1-3, 14, we see that Christ is before all things and by Him all things consist, for Christ is the creator/Author of all things including things visible and invisible.

But why does Christ come to the church in this way? There are two simple answers to this question.

In the world that we live in, creation is fast being rejected and evolution is starting to take a hold. Even amongst some of the churches today the first few chapters of Genesis are said to be unreliable and being done away with.

The terrible condition that we find Laodicea in needs to be reversed. It is only through the creative power of Christ (that created the worlds) working upon the heart, to transform ones life into a new creature, that can pull people out of this lukewarm condition. Even the condition of self-deception.

Revelation 3:15I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you wert cold or hot.

I know thy works - Once again we see that nothing is hidden from the eye of Christ. For further information see comments on Revelation 2:2.

Thou art neither cold nor hot - The problem with their spiritual condition was that they were not hot neither were they cold.

Jeremiah 20:9 “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But [his word] was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not [stay].” Those that have the word of God burning in their hearts and can not stop from spreading the truth that is imbedded deep in the soul, and have a deep love for Christ, being zealous of good works, (Titus 2:14) are those that are hot.

Cold, being the opposite of hot, must refer to those that have not the love of the truth in their hearts and do not have a relationship with Christ.

I would thou wert cold or hot - Christ would prefer to have them either cold or hot. For if a person is on fire for the Lord, his spiritual life is one that is healthy. But when a person is cold, they know what their need is, and that is to get warmed up. It is easier to reach someone that has a sense of their need than someone that is feeling quite comfortable.

Revelation 3:16So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth.

Because thou art lukewarm - The true condition is brought to attention here. They are not cold nor hot but lukewarm, with the reason for their lukewarmness found in the next verse.

Lukewarmness is a mixture of hot and cold, and thus these people are mixing the truth with worldliness which has cooled down their hot condition. It would do us good to remember that in the Philadelphian period, which is just before this time, God's people were on fire for Him zealously spreading the truth and living a pure life. After the great disappointment of 1844, worldliness crept into the church and many started to fall from their past experience into compromising with the world.

I will spue thee out of my mouth - Laodicea was well known for its lukewarm springs. But if one was to drink from these springs, it would bring a nauseating feeling upon the person and generally they would vomit back the water.

This shows the utter nauseating effect truth mixed with worldliness has upon Christ. It is one of rejection. Those that wish to stay in this lukewarm state would finally be rejected.

Revelation 3:17Because you sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Because thou sayest - What is going to be spoken next is the claim that the Laodiceans make.

Rich, and increased with goods - The attitude that they take is one of spiritual self-satisfaction. Lukewarmness is a condition of feeling comfortable and just right. Within himself he feels assured of salvation because he has the truth and thinks that he is on his way to heaven. They are satisfied with their spiritual condition, but are self-deceived.

Have need of nothing - This is a dangerous condition, for the person truly thinks that he is just fine in his relationship with Christ. Lukewarmness does not feel its need or even senses it. But “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” 1 Corinthians 10:12.

We are to be continually aware of our spiritual condition and the danger of slipping into spiritual lethargy.

Knowest not...wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked - After setting before them what they think their condition is, Christ now shows them their true condition. They think that they are fine and profess that they are, but their true spiritual condition is one of a pauper.

Revelation 3:18I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that you may see.

I counsel thee - After pointing out the true condition, Christ now comes to give them the solution to the problem. This proves that it is not a hopeless condition, for if it was there would be no use in giving the counsel.

Buy of me - The following things are to be bought from Jesus Christ Himself, for it is He that possesses these things.

We do not and cannot buy these things with money. The only way that they can be bought is found in verses 19 and 20. It is through repenting, that is a turning away from, of the lukewarm condition and opening the door of our hearts to allow Christ to dwell within and bring these things in with Him.

Gold tried in the fire - Gold, literally considered, is the comprehensive name for all worldly wealth and riches. So figuratively it must denote that which constitutes spiritual riches. The Lord said to the church of Smyrna that He knew their poverty, but they were rich, for they were poor in earthly possessions but rich in faith. (James 2:5) But also to, this gold has been tried in the fire and purified. Likewise is our faith to be tried by fiery trials (1 Peter 1:7; 4:12) to perfect it. Now faith works by love and love is the fulfilling of the law. (Galatians 5:6, Romans 13:10)

So this gold tried in the fire is none other than faith that works by love. This is not a sentimental love but a true love that will lead the person to renounce self and worldliness and follow, by faith, the law in loving obedience to Christ.

White raiment - This white raiment is for the purpose of covering our spiritual nakedness. All our righteousness' is as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:10) But Christ wants to take these from us and give us a change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:3-5) This raiment is none other than the righteousness of Christ which He offers to the repentant soul. (Isaiah 61:10, Romans 3:24-26)

Eye salve that thou mayest see - The Laodicean church is greatly lacking spiritual vision or eyesight, for they cannot even see their own spiritual condition. Therefore they are counselled to buy the eye salve of spiritual discernment. This discernment comes form the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14, John 14:26; 16:13) and it is through the spirit of the world that pushes aside the Holy Spirit and spiritual discernment.

Christ wants them to see their true condition, but also to have that spiritual discernment from the Holy Spirit to lead them into a closer relationship with Him, and so as to be able to see the wiles and deceptions of the enemy and shun them.

Revelation 3:19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

As many as I love - After the sharp rebuke and counsel, Christ still turns to His church and tells them that He is dealing with them in this way because of His love for them.

I rebuke and chasten - We are not to despise the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction. (Proverbs 3:11) For He is dealing with us as being sons, and the son that the father loves he rebukes and chastens. Those that are not chastened are not sons. (Hebrews 12:5-8) Through this reproving and discipline Christ shows His divine love. The rebuke and chasten is not to wound and destroy but to heal and restore.

Be zealous therefore and repent - Why are we to be zealous to repent? The motive is the love that Christ is manifesting toward us in dealing with us as sons. In Romans 2:4 we see that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repent. And if we truly see the way Christ is dealing with each of us, we would see His goodness and love and would be zealous to repent of our lethargic condition of contentment and worldliness.

Revelation 3:20Behold, 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.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock - The secret of Laodicea's lukewarm and wretched state is that Christ is being kept outside the door. He is knocking on the door of the individual's heart. But how does He knock?

If any man hear my voice, and open the door - Christ knocks with the still small voice saying, “this is the way walk ye in it” Isaiah 30:21. The word “if” implies that there will be those that do not hear or heed His voice.

Notice that Christ does not force His way in. It is left up to any man that hears His voice to open the door and let Christ in.

I will come in to him - If we open the doors of our hearts/minds, Christ will accept the invitation and come in. He wishes to reign on the spiritual throne of our hearts through the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is the surrendering of our will to His and allowing His mind to be ours. (Philippians 2:5) Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

Will sup with him and he with me - “How forcible and touching the figure! Friend with friend, partaking of the cheerful and social meal! Mind with mind, holding free and intimate converse! And what a festal scene must that be where the King of glory is a guest! No common degree of union, no ordinary blessing, no usual privilege, is denoted by this language. Who, under such tender entreaty and so gracious a promise, can remain indifferent? Nor are we required to furnish the table for this exalted Guest. This He does Himself, not with the gross nutriment of earth, but with viands from His own heavenly storehouse. Here He sets before us foretastes of the glory soon to be revealed. Here He gives us earnests of our future inheritance, which is incorruptible, undefiled, and fadeth not away. Verily, when we shall comply with the conditions, and receive this promise, we shall experience the rising of the day star in our hearts, and behold the dawn of a glorious morning for the church of God.Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith, pg 380.

Revelation 3:21To 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.

To him that overcometh - See comments on Revelation 2:7.

Will I grant to sit with me in my throne - The overcomer will enjoy the pleasure of sitting with Christ on His throne and rule with Him throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. (Daniel 7:27, Revelation 22:5) Notice that this is Christ's throne that we are to sit upon, not the Father's.

Even as I also overcame - The way that we are to overcome is the same way that Christ overcame.

The secret of Christ's success was His constant dependence upon and union with the Father. He said and did only that which His Father bid. (John 5:19-20, 30; 8:28-29; 14:10-11) We are just as helpless without Christ (John 14:4-5; 15:4-7, Philippians 4:13) and it is only through this union with Him that we can attain to a victorious life.

And am set down with my Father in his throne - “In this promise two thrones are mentioned – the throne of Christ; which He offers to share with the victorious Laodiceans, and the throne of the Father, representing the power and glory of divine majesty, on which none may sit except the Father and the Son. The Eastern throne was wide enough for more than one person. There was room for at least two others, one on the right and the other on the left. The mother of James and John requested that her two sons be given such positions when Christ became king. From Hebrews 8:1 we learn that Christ is now at the right hand of His Father on the throne that rules the universe. He is to occupy this position till the conquest of this rebel world is completed. “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Psalms 110:1 (See also 1 Corinthians 15:24-25.)

When the conflict is over, Jesus will occupy the throne of David, which was the throne of Adam and the throne of this world before it was usurped by Satan, who since then has been “the prince of this world.” (Ezekiel 21:27; Luke 1:31-33; Matthew 25:31; Isaiah 9:6-7.) This is the throne Christ promises to share with the victors over the Laodicean condition of Lukewarmness and self-righteousness.The Seven Epistles of Christ by Taylor G Bunch, pgs 252, 253.

Revelation 3:22He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

This is the final appeal, made by Christ to His church, through His representative the Holy Spirit. There is no other call. Will we surrender our lives to Him and open the door? If we refuse to listen to the knockings and pleadings of Christ through the Holy Spirit, someday He will refuse to hear us when we knock at the closed door of mercy and beg for entrance into heaven, for it is too late. (Matthew 25:1-12)

Which will it be for you?

Revelation Bible Prophecy Chapter 4...