Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I can't find anything in the Bible that supports the idea of denominations and divisions of the church. The defining essence in Revelation are those who give witness to the word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ.

There is one body, one Spirit, and one God.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It might be argued that anything different or added to the gospel as revealed by the word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ reflects the traditions of men. Even the term denomination implies something derived.
Fragmentation, splintering, and dilution seems inevitable in this fallen world. But it is in this broken world that God calls out, offering mercy and grace. It is The Church that hears and answers. It happens or doesn't happen in the heart of each person. This is the alter of worship not made by the hands of man, but the spiritual worship sought by God, Who is Spirit, and defines those who walk in the kingdom. This is the temple of worship. It is present in many places, including denominations, but it relies on the presence of the Spirit alone.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Jesus is the only begotten Son, for He is God born of man. 
We are from man, but born of God. 
We enter heaven through the door of His sacrifice. His humanity enabled our godliness. His righteousness and holiness can become ours because He became one of us. 
It is only grace that makes this so. 

Revelation -Chapter Four

Introduction For Chapters 4 and 5

Beale* states that the overall allusion in chapters 4 and 5 are to Daniel 7 with allusions to Ezekiel 1-2. He states that the Ezekiel allusions fade after 5:2, but the allusions to Daniel 7 continue.

     1 After these things I looked1, and behold, an openeddoorin heaven, and the first voice I had heard which waslike a trumpet speaking with mesaid5, “Come up here, and I will show you what must comeafter these things.” 2Immediately, I wasin the Spirit, and behold, a thronewas laid outin heaven and there was one sitting on the throne.10 And the one who was sitting was similar in appearance to a jasper11 stone and carnelian12 . A rainbow13, similar in appearance to an emerald, encircled the throne.14 And encircled around the throne were twenty-four thrones15, and on the thrones were twenty-four elders16 sitting clothed17 in white18 and had golden crowns on their heads. And lightning, voices, and thunder were coming out19 from the throne, and seven lamps of fire are burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God20There was a glass sea like crystal before the throne.21
     And in the middle of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures22 covered with23 eyes24 from front to back25The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature was like a ox26, the third living creature had the face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like an flying eagle.27  And each of28 the four living creatures had six wings29 and were covered with eyes all around and from the inside30. They didn’t stop31 day or night saying:

     “Holy, Holy, Holy is 
     the Lord God Almightly,32 
     the One who was, the One who is, and the One who is coming.”33

     9 And whenever the living creatures give34 glory, honor, and thanks to the one who is sitting on the throne who lives forever, 10 the twenty- four elders fall down35 before the one who is sitting on the throne and worship36 the one who lives forever and throw37 their crowns38 before the throne39 saying:

     11 “You are worthy our Lord and God
     to receive the glory, the honor, and the power 
     because you created all things, 
     and because of your will, they exist40 
     and were created.”

It is possible to translate this “After I saw these things”. If that is true, then the next “I saw” would have to be inferred. In other words, we would have to add another “I saw/I looked” to understand the passage.
“After I saw these these things, I looked, and behold..."

ἠνεῳγμένη (opened)

Greek: “having been opened”. This is actually a perfect participle that indicates that the door was open before John looked to see it.

     He has opened the door of heaven, not only of salvation but the door of understanding.

The word for door in Greek here is singular. Just as Jesus is the one way to heaven, so it there one door.

John is referring back to the voice that sounded as loud as a trumpet in 1:10. He’s not referring to a different voice or a second voice. It is the same voice that told him what to write to the seven churches.

     Whether Jesus Himself, or the voice of His angel, the voice likened to a trumpet proclaims the word of God.

λέγων (said) 

Greek: “saying”.

ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι (what must come) 

Greek: “what is necessary to come” or “what is necessary to become”.

     When Jesus was about to be baptized, He told John the baptism was necessary in order to fulfill all righteousness. This reflects the plan of God for salvation and the new creation, for the restoration of all things.

ἐγενόμην (was) 

Greek: “became”. I became in the Spirit. In other words, the Spirit was showing him the next vision.

     Jesus said that we must be reborn to see the kingdom of God. We are told that God is Spirit and He seeks worship that is in Spirit. It follows that the command and invitation to come into heaven is performed in Spirit.

In Thayer’s Greek Definitions, one of the definitions for throne says, “ a chair of state having a footstool.

In Matthew 5:35 earth is called “the footstool of His feet”. ESV

     Psalm 110:1 ESV 
1 “The Lord says to my Lord: Sit at my right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

     Not only does this word throne allude to the sovereignty of God, but it includes the brokenness of a fallen creation.

ἔκειτο (was laid out) 

In other words, it was set up there for the one who was sitting on it. It is 
also possible that the throne was “on” heaven as opposed to “in” heaven.

     This possible choice of translation can serve to remind us that God created heaven and earth. The Creator is not part of creation. The image of a throne speaks of His Kingship and authority.

10 The throne-room image is a collective OT imagery. Ezekiel 1:4-28; Isaiah 6:1-4; and Daniel 7:9-10. Osborne*** (Pg. 222).

Note that “there was one” must be added for clarification. John doesn’t name the one on the throne, nor does he even add a pronoun. The Greek states: καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν θρόνον καθήμενος “and on the throne sitting”. Osborne*** says that John expects the reader to know who is sitting on the throne. (Pg. 226). I agree with him.

11 Jasper was green in color.

12 Carnelian was red in color.

13 ἶρις (rainbow)

This could also be translated as “halo”. The imagery suggests that there is an aura of light around the throne.

     This could signify the covenant of God, much like the rainbow of remembrance after the flood.

14 The three stones are used to show God’s splendor. Osborne*** (Pg. 228) and Beale* (Pg. 320).

     Three can serve to remind us of the divinity of the throne, for it is the number of the divine.

15 The twenty-four thrones are also in a circle around God’s throne. They are outside of the halo and the four living creatures.

     If the twenty-four thrones are outside of the halo, or rainbow, it may speak of those who have separated from earth who are not part of what is represented in the four living creatures. Perhaps they are the overcomers referred to by Jesus.

16 The twenty-four elders are heavenly beings whose primary responsibility is to worship and praise God. The will have other roles at the book unfolds. The significance of there being twenty-four of them are either 1. they represent the twenty-four priestly orders (1 Chronicles 24:4-5) or 2. they are a combination of the twelve OT patriarchs or of OT tribes of Israel and the twelve NT apostles. The second one is most likely. Beale* (Pg. 322) and Osborne*** (Pg. 229). Mounce** says that they are angels that are representing the twenty-four priestly orders. (Pgs. 136-137).

     It might be possible for several things to be true at the same time. Those in the kingdom are referred to as priests and kings. We are told that we will rule with Christ and are a holy people.

17 περιβεβλημένους (clothed) 

Greek: “having clothed themselves”.

     Part of working out our own salvation is in obeying God. Obedience in thought and deed is the fabric from which our heavenly garments are woven.

18 ἐν ἱματίοις λευκοῖς (in white)

Greek: “in white clothes”. The passage could have been translated: “wearing white clothes”. The white clothes represent purity.

19 ἐκπορεύονται (were coming out)

The verb is actually in the present tense and it carries a continual aspect. The lighting, the sounds, and the thunder keeps on coming out. It is a 
visual image of God as he was on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:16.  All of 
this imagery is to show God’s awesome power.

     Psalms 29:3

3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord is over many waters.

20 The seven-fold Spirit as seen in 1:4. See note there. An allusion to Zechariah 4:2-3, 10. Beale* (Pgs. 326-327).

     Exodus 25:37 
37 Then you shall make its lamps seven in number; and they shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it.

     Jesus walked in the midst of lampstands, which was the Church as represented by the seven churches. The tabernacle was a shadow of the heavenly throne room.

21 This imagery is best described at the “expanse” or firmament that separated the waters in Genesis 1:7. This shows the “vastness” of God that separates him from his creation. Osborne*** (Pgs. 231-232) and Beale* 327. Beale also states that it is an allusion to Ezekiel 1:22.

     Here, there seems to be one sea. It might point to a creation where the waters are not separated by an expanse. Just as we are no longer separate peoples, but one people of one Spirit, the waters come together. It is untroubled and smooth, pure like crystal.

22 The imagery of the four living creatures is from Ezekiel 1. They probably represent creation, but are all seeing and are ready to do what God requires them to do.

     Adam was created of the earth and then received life with God’s breath, the last work of God before resting. From him came the nation of Israel. There were four divisions of Israel around the tabernacle in the desert. Whenever God moved, the people would break camp and set out. When God halted, they would likewise camp around the tabernacle, again in four groups. They were charged with doing what God required. In the last days a remnant of that people will obey His command as intended.

     The faces of the creatures reflect images associated with the four standards of the Israelite divisions surrounding the tabernacle.

23 γέμοντα (covered with) 

Greek: “full of”.

24 ὀφθαλμός * ophthalmos * of-thal-mos' * From G3700; the eye (literally or figuratively); by implication vision; figuratively envy (from the jealous side glance): - eye, sight. [LEX] [TGD] ὀφθαλμός ophthalmos

Thayer Definition: 
1) the eye 
metaphorically the eyes of the mind, the faculty of knowing 

Thayer’s Greek Definitions

     The eyes may reference the fullness of the Spirit and the understanding that comes as a result.

25 ἔμπροσθεν καὶ ὄπισθεν (from front to back)

Greek: “from front and from behind”. In other words, the four creatures are “all seeing”.

26 Or a calf.

27 This imagery is taken from Ezekiel 1:5-6, 10-11. As to what the living creatures are, there is little to go on. We know from Revelation that they lead in worship of God and prepare for the judgement to come.

28 ἓν καθ ̓ ἓν αὐτῶν (each) 

Greek: “one according to one of theirs”.

29 The six wings come from Isaiah 6:2.

     The number six may harken back to the six days of creation. This coincides with the idea that the creatures represent creation and it is the number of man.

30 κυκλόθεν καὶ ἔσωθεν (all around and from the inside) 

The Greek here is clunky. Mounce** suggests that the eyes are all 
around and under the wings. (Pg. 138).

     If this is taken as a reference to the Spirit, it could explain why the eyes are also from the inside.
Also, the creatures are in the midst of the throne and around it.

31 καὶ ἀνάπαυσιν οὐκ ἔχουσιν (They didn’t stop) 

Greek: “and they didn’t have to stop”. In other words, they never got 

32 The first part of this hymn is taken from Isaiah 6:3.

33 Here is the first of two hymns in the passage. The hymns sum up what this chapter is all about: God is to be worshipped because he is holy and sovereign. Beale* (Pg. 332).

34 δώσουσιν (give) 

Greek: “will give”. John has the verb in the future tense. This is a 
recurring theme of this passage.

35 πεσοῦνται (fall down) 

Greek: “will fall down”. The verb is in the future tense.

36 προσκυνήσουσιν (worship) 

Greek: “will worship” or “will pay homage to”. It is in the future tense.

37 βαλοῦσιν (throw) 

Greek: “will throw”. It is in the future tense.

38 στέφανος * stephanos * stef'-an-os 

     Crowns were promised to overcomers in many places in the New 

     James 1:12 
12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

39 The throwing down of the elders’ crowns shows God’s authority over the elders. It is an act of submission. Mounce** (Pg. 139).

40 ἦσαν (they exist)

The verb is actually in the imperfect and matches the following phrase “and were created”. This would be translated “they were existing and were created”. TR replaces ἦσαν with the present indicative εἰσὶ (they are” or “they exist”. One can see why a scribe would change the verb to a present tense verb.


NT = New Testament 
OT = Old Testament 
ESV = English Standard Version 
NASB = New American Standard Bible
KJV = King James Version 
TR = Textus Receptus (A late Byzantine Greek text of the NT. A 
predecessor of the TR was used in the translation of the KJV) 
LXX = Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT)


The Greek New Testament with Greek-English Dictionary B. Aland (Editor), K. Aland (Editor), J. Karavidopoulos (Editor), B. M. Metzger (Editor), C. M. Martini (Editor)

(BDAG) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition Walter Bauer (Author), Frederick William Danker (Editor)

A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament Bruce M. Metzger

(Kittel) Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (VOLUMES 1-10) Gerhard Kittel (Editor), Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Translator)

*The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.).) G. K. Beale

**The Book of Revelation (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Robert H. Mounce

***Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) Grant R. Osborne

+Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics Daniel B. Wallace

++An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek C. F. D. Moule

+++Biblical Greek (Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici) Maximilian Zerwick

A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament Max Zerwick (Author), Mary Grosvenor (Author)

The Greek

Ἀποκάλυψις 4·1 Μετὰ ταῦτα εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ θύρα ἠνεῳγμένη ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, καὶ ἡ φωνὴ ἡ πρώτη ἣν ἤκουσα ὡς σάλπιγγος λαλούσης μετ ̓ ἐμοῦ λέγων· ἀνάβα ὧδε, καὶ δείξω σοι ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα. Ἀποκάλυψις 4·2 Εὐθέως ἐγενόμην ἐν πνεύματι, καὶ ἰδοὺ θρόνος ἔκειτο ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν θρόνον καθήμενος, 3 καὶ ὁ καθήμενος ὅμοιος ὁράσει λίθῳ ἰάσπιδι καὶ σαρδίῳ, καὶ ἶρις κυκλόθεν τοῦ θρόνου ὅμοιος ὁράσει σμαραγδίνῳ. 4 Καὶ κυκλόθεν τοῦ θρόνου θρόνους εἴκοσι τέσσαρες, καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς θρόνους εἴκοσι τέσσαρας πρεσβυτέρους καθημένους περιβεβλημένους ἐν ἱματίοις λευκοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν στεφάνους χρυσοῦς. 5 Καὶ ἐκ τοῦ θρόνου ἐκπορεύονται ἀστραπαὶ καὶ φωναὶ καὶ βρονταί, καὶ ἑπτὰ λαμπάδες πυρὸς καιόμεναι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου, ἅ εἰσιν τὰ ἑπτὰ πνεύματα τοῦ θεοῦ, 6 καὶ ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου ὡς θάλασσα ὑαλίνη ὁμοία κρυστάλλῳ. Καὶ ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ κύκλῳ τοῦ θρόνου τέσσαρα ζῷα γέμοντα ὀφθαλμῶν ἔμπροσθεν καὶ ὄπισθεν. 7 καὶ τὸ ζῷον τὸ πρῶτον ὅμοιον λέοντι καὶ τὸ δεύτερον ζῷον ὅμοιον μόσχῳ καὶ τὸ τρίτον ζῷον ἔχων τὸ πρόσωπον ὡς ἀνθρώπου καὶ τὸ τέταρτον ζῷον ὅμοιον ἀετῷ πετομένῳ. 8 καὶ τὰ τέσσαρα ζῷα, ἓν καθ ̓ ἓν αὐτῶν ἔχων ἀνὰ πτέρυγας ἕξ, κυκλόθεν καὶ ἔσωθεν γέμουσιν ὀφθαλμῶν, καὶ ἀνάπαυσιν οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς λέγοντες·
ἅγιος ἅγιος ἅγιος κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ, ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος.
9 Καὶ ὅταν δώσουσιν τὰ ζῷα δόξαν καὶ τιμὴν καὶ εὐχαριστίαν τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ τῷ ζῶντι εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, 10 πεσοῦνται οἱ εἴκοσι τέσσαρες πρεσβύτεροι ἐνώπιον τοῦ καθημένου ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν τῷ ζῶντι εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων καὶ βαλοῦσιν τοὺς στεφάνους αὐτῶν ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου λέγοντες· Ἀποκάλυψις 4·11 ἄξιος εἶ, ὁ κύριος καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν,
λαβεῖν τὴν δόξαν καὶ τὴν τιμὴν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν, ὅτι σὺ ἔκτισας τὰ πάντα
καὶ διὰ τὸ θέλημά σου ἦσαν καὶ ἐκτίσθησαν.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

We Are

Exodus 3:14 ESV
 14 God said to Moses, I am who I am. And he said, Say this to the people of Israel,I am has sent me to you.

It may apparently be translated equally correctly:
I am what I am
I will be who I am

He who was, is, and is to come has always been. 

The phrase "I am" is given new meaning to the believer who partipates in the life of the one Who is everlasting. We enter into His house, salvation, and love. Because of Who He is; we are. 

One God

One man thinks he knows. Another man questions. They both contemplate the same God. Neither apprehends the fullness of God, but by faith can receive the fullness of His grace. 

The Gospel

In the end, the gospel is not an agent or product of debate. It is the truth and wisdom of God for those who believe. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God Manifest

God becomes visible to others through us. It is our duty and privilege to manifest his life and love. His joy is our joy.   

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


When we refer to God as our Creator, we might well consider that His creation unfolds every day, and we are told of a new creation to come. Creation expands with each soul born, and is made new with each one that responds to and accepts the living God. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Among The Reeds

Exodus 2:1-3 ESV
2 The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.

Moses was placed in a basket made from the same plant used to make scrolls for writing. The basket was placed among red reeds along the shore. 

He would be given the law and would write it down for the people. The same humble plant would be used to provide a place for the man and a place for the word.

This also calls to mind Noah's ark in the past and the parting of the red sea to come. 

גּמא * gôme' * go'-meh * From H1572; properly an absorbent, that is, the bulrush (from its porosity); specifically the papyrus: - (bul-) rush.

Out Of The Water

Exodus 2:10 HCSB
 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, Because, she said, I drew him out of the water.

Moses is drawn out of the waters of mankind to part the waters on earth, and to lead his people to the promised land.  Jesus will rise from His baptism, part the waters of man, and lead the way to the kingdom of heaven. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

To Be King

Three wise men came bearing three gifts to the Son of God at His birth, to worship the arrival of the King of Kings. 
Satan came at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus offering three temptations instead, for it is his desire to be king. 

Full And With Power

Luke 4:1 NASB
1  Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,returned from the Jordan and was led aroundby the Spirit in the wilderness

Luke 4:14-15
 AndJesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, andnews about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He beganteaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

Jesus enters the wilderness full of the Holy Spirit, but leaves differently, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Overcoming temptation is between those two places. We now have the power to face temptation with His light and strength, but there may be questions along the way. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Servants And Stewards

1 Corinthians 4:1 ESV
1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Other translations use the word ministers, or officers.  Here it is translated servants. The Greek word is a derivative of a word meaning a rower. This may remind us they are in the boat with God. Christ is the ark of salvation that allows them to sail upon the waters, no longer slaves, but brothers to Christ , sons of God, and fellow workers in the kingdom of heaven. 

ὑπηρέτης * hupēretēs * hoop-ay-ret'-ace * From G5259 and a derivative of ἐρέσσω eressō (to row)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Emptiness Will Be His Reward

Job 15:30-31 NASB

30 He will not escape from darkness;

The flame will wither his shoots,

And by the breath of His mouth he will go away.

31 Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself;

For emptiness will be his reward.

Rejection of God, like salvation, rests on what the lips confess. Our words will judge us. He has spoken. He leaves room and time for us to speak.

Forsaking the breath of God leads only to the last breath we take. 

By Human Standards

1 Corinthians 3:3-4 ISV
 3 That's because you are still worldly. As long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, you are worldly and living by human standards, aren't you? 4 For when one person says, "I follow Paul," and another person says, "I follow to Apollos," you're following your own human nature, aren't you?

Division in the body reflects the invasion of the world and the knowledge of good and evil. 

All Are Yours

1 Corinthians 3:20-23 NASB
20 and again,The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile. 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

Wisdom rests with God. Wisdom is resting in God. 
Abiding in Christ, we abide in God. 
Because of this, all things are ours. 

Will Pierce

Luke 2:35 ESV
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.

Simeon prophesies concerning the infant Jesus. He speaks of the piercing of hearts to come. When the Lord returns, the hearts of them who crucified Him will be pierced.  
Crucifixion of Christ continues to this very day with each soul that rejects the Son of God.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Revelation -Laodicea

Revelation 3:14-22

14 And to the angel of the church in Laodiceawrite:
     The Amen2, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creationof God says this: 15 I know your deeds because you are neither cold nor hot4. I wish you were either cold or hot516 So, since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you out of my mouth.6 17 Because you say “I am rich” and “I have prospered” and “I have no need7”.8 You don’t know that you are wretched9, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I advise you to buy from me10 fine11 gold from fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes12 so that you may clothe yourself so the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed13, and eye salve to rub14 on your eyes so that you may see. 19 As many as I love15, I reprove and discipline16. Therefore, be zealous17 and repent. 20 Behold, I stand18 at the door and knock19; if anyone will hear my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him20 and will dine with him and he will dine with me.21  21 The one who conquers, I will give to him the privilege to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat with my father on this throne. 22 The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Laodicea was founded around 253 B.C. It was built on two major trade and communications routes that allowed it to prosper. Laodicea remained loyal to the Roman Empire in spite of revolts around it. It was known for a soft black wool. It had a medical school there and developed a medicine for curing eye diseases called “Phrygian powder”. It had no natural water source. Water was brought in via aqueducts. The area was also prone to earthquakes and like Philadelphia, it was leveled in 60 A.D. Since it was so wealthy, Laodicea didn’t need any help from Rome to rebuild. The main gods were Men (god of the valley) and Zeus. It had a modest Jewish population as well. Osborne*** (Pgs. 201-202).

     Laodicea - just people 
Hitchcock’s Bible Names

     It would seem they are more self-justified than justified by the Lord.

Or “the truly”. It may be an echo from Isaiah 65:16. Jesus used it in discourse in all four Gospels (truly or verily). “It emphasized the truthfulness and divine origin of the message”. Osborne*** (Pg. 204) This is also the only place in the Bible other that Isaiah 65:16, where “Amen” is used as a name. Beale* (Pg. 299).

     He is the Amen from the beginning.

     2 Corinthiams 1:20 ESV 
20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

     Colossians 1:15-18 
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers of authorities-all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

     He was in the beginning for He is the beginning. He is faithful to the end because He was faithful from the beginning, changeless and endless, the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever.

     2 Peter 2:21 ESV 
21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

     Doing something wrong willfully is different than doing something wrong out of ignorance, though one might say both are examples of ignorance.

An echo from Isaiah 65:17.

The water that was piped in came from hot springs in a place called Denizli. The water didn’t have time to cool before it reached Laodicea. It arrived lukewarm and had many minerals in it that made it undrinkable. Six miles to the north was a city called Hierapolis. Hierapolis was known for its hot springs that provided some healing qualities. Laodicea’s neighboring city, Colosse, was know for its cold pure drinking water. The water in Colosse was the only place in the region that one could get water like this. With all of this in mind, the deeds of the church in Laodicea were not “fit to drink”. That’s why it would have been better to either hot or cold. Osborne*** (Pg. 205), Mounce** (Pgs. 125-126), and Beale* (Pg. 303).

     Unlike other water in the area, the water here offered no benefit, no refreshment or healing.

If the church was hot, it would have the hot springs that had healing properties like Hieropolis had. If it were cold, it would have the refreshing natural cold water that Colosse had. Jesus is the true and faithful witness. This title, presented to the church in Loadicea, calls them to be imitators of Christ. Their witness had become lukewarm. Christ wants them to be zealous in their ministry just as Christ was zealous in his.

The lukewarm water of Laodicea was full of calcium carbonate deposits and it would make one vomit. Thus the water was undrinkable much like the church’s deeds. Osborne*** (Pg. 206).

οὐδὲν χρείαν ἔχω (I have no need) 

or “I have need of nothing”.

     Jesus draws attention to their self justification. They attribute their well being to their own efforts, and in their eyes have no needs unmet. The assessment that Jesus makes is quite different.

This is an allusion to Hosea 12:8. The context of Hosea places Israel as prospering because of idols. Beale* (Pg. 304). The church in Laodicea is the same way. They had probably compromised with the trade guilds in worshiping their pagan gods. The church thought that its wealth would replace its lukewarm spirituality. As the city thought that it didn’t need help from Rome after the earthquake, the church thought it didn’t need help from God. They may have been “rich” with money, but they were “broke” spiritually.

     In a spiritual sense, an idol is anything that replaces God, whether a crude hand-fashioned image or a sophisticated approach made up of ideas, concepts, interests, or preferences which crowd out the truth of God and His rightful place in our lives.

ὁ ταλαίπωρος (wretched) 

To be in a very unhappy or unfortunate state. Unfortunate fits here.

10 Note the irony. No one can buy from God what they need spiritually nor can one buy salvation. It is a gracious gift from God. See introduction note on Laodicea.

     Jesus likens their state to a beggar on the streets. He tells them He is the source of true riches.

11 πεπυρωμένον (fine)

or “refined”. Greek: “having been burned”. The heating of metal refines it to a pure state. The church in Laodicea was also in need to be “refined”.

12 More irony. The city was known for its black cloth. Jesus is calling the church to become clean. See introduction note on Laodicea.

13 φανερωθῇ (may be revealed) 

or “may be made known”.

     Again, there is nothing that is not known and will not be revealed in His light. It is the white robes of righteousness that covers our sin, our nakedness. These only come from Christ.

     Pride based on the illusion of false substitutes is a poor replacement for faith in the truth of God.

14 ἐγχρῖσαι (to rub) 

or “to anoint”. See introduction note on Laodicea.

15 φιλῶ (I love)

Many people think that φιλέω (phileo) only has to do with “brotherly love”, but here it is referred to Jesus’ love for people. In classical Greek, φιλέω was the ultimate love. In the NT, especially in John’s writings, both φιλέω and ἀγαπάω (agapao) are used interchangeably.

16 1 Corinthians 11:32 ESV 
32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we 
may not be condemned with the world.

     Those He loves He cares for. He gave His life to give us life. He gives us instruction to keep us in that life.

17 ζήλευε (be zealous)

“Be zealous about your witness and faith”. Paul uses the noun form of this word to show his zeal towards the Jewish religion before his conversion.

18 ἕστηκα (I stand) 

Greek: “have stood”. The verb is in the perfect tense. Jesus started 
standing in the past and is still standing...waiting.

19 κρούω (I knock)

The verb is in the present tense and carries a continual aspect. It could be translated “I keep on knocking”. The entire phrase could read: “Behold, I have stood at the door and am still standing here and I keep on knocking...”

     He has opened the door to heaven, for He alone has the key. He has made a way, the only way. Now He waits for us to open the door to our heart. We alone have the key to that door. We alone can make straight the way of the Lord.

     His table has been prepared. He has invited us all to come in off the street. It won’t be long until it’s suppertime.

20 εἰσελεύσομαι πρὸς αὐτὸν (I will come in to him)

Note, the text doesn’t say “I will come into him” as “into one’s heart”. In other words, Jesus will come “into the house” and then “to” him. Many interpret this verse to be a salvation scripture, but the members of the church of Laodicea were belivers. There is no doubt that they were in jeopardy of losing their salvation, but it had not happened yet (verse 16). In keeping with the context of the whole passage, this scripture represents a call to repentance and reconciliation. Wallace+ (Pgs. 380-382).

21 In the ancient world, to share a meal put two people back on the path to reconciliation. Osborne*** (Pg. 213). The whole phrase is an allusion to Song of Solomon 5:2. There, the husband is at the door knocking on his wife’s bedroom door to encourage her to let him in to renew their love for each other. Jewish commentators also viewed this passage as a call for Israel to repent. Jesus being the bridegroom of the church is operating in the same way. Beale* (Pg. 308).


NT = New Testament 
OT = Old Testament 
ESV = English Standard Version 
NASB = New American Standard Bible
KJV = King James Version 
TR = Textus Receptus (A late Byzantine Greek text of the NT. A 
predecessor of the TR was used in the translation of the KJV) 
LXX = Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT)


The Greek New Testament with Greek-English Dictionary B. Aland (Editor), K. Aland (Editor), J. Karavidopoulos (Editor), B. M. Metzger (Editor), C. M. Martini (Editor)

(BDAG) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition Walter Bauer (Author), Frederick William Danker (Editor)

A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament Bruce M. Metzger

(Kittel) Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (VOLUMES 1-10) Gerhard Kittel (Editor), Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Translator)

*The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.).) G. K. Beale

**The Book of Revelation (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Robert H. Mounce

***Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) Grant R. Osborne

+Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics Daniel B. Wallace

++An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek C. F. D. Moule

+++Biblical Greek (Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici) Maximilian Zerwick

A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament Max Zerwick (Author), Mary Grosvenor (Author)

The Greek

Ἀποκάλυψις 3·14 Καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ ἐκκλησίας γράψον·
Τάδε λέγει ὁ ἀμήν, ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς καὶ ἀληθινός, ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ· 15 οἶδά σου τὰ ἔργα ὅτι οὔτε ψυχρὸς εἶ οὔτε ζεστός. ὄφελον ψυχρὸς ἦς ἢ ζεστός. 16 οὕτως ὅτι χλιαρὸς εἶ καὶ οὔτε ζεστὸς οὔτε ψυχρός, μέλλω σε ἐμέσαι ἐκ τοῦ στόματός μου. 17 ὅτι λέγεις ὅτι πλούσιός εἰμι καὶ πεπλούτηκα καὶ οὐδὲν χρείαν ἔχω, καὶ οὐκ οἶδας ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ ταλαίπωρος καὶ ἐλεεινὸς καὶ πτωχὸς καὶ τυφλὸς καὶ γυμνός, 18 συμβουλεύω σοι ἀγοράσαι παρ ̓ ἐμοῦ χρυσίον πεπυρωμένον ἐκ πυρὸς ἵνα πλουτήσῃς, καὶ ἱμάτια λευκὰ ἵνα περιβάλῃ καὶ μὴ φανερωθῇ ἡ αἰσχύνη τῆς γυμνότητός σου, καὶ κολλ[ο]ύριον ἐγχρῖσαι τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς σου ἵνα βλέπῃς. 19 ἐγὼ ὅσους ἐὰν φιλῶ ἐλέγχω καὶ παιδεύω· ζήλευε οὖν καὶ μετανόησον. 20 Ἰδοὺ ἕστηκα ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν καὶ κρούω· ἐάν τις ἀκούσῃ τῆς φωνῆς μου καὶ ἀνοίξῃ τὴν θύραν, [καὶ] εἰσελεύσομαι πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ δειπνήσω μετ ̓ αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς μετ ̓ ἐμοῦ. Ἀποκάλυψις 3·21 Ὁ νικῶν δώσω αὐτῷ καθίσαι μετ ̓ ἐμοῦ ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ μου, ὡς κἀγὼ ἐνίκησα καὶ ἐκάθισα μετὰ τοῦ πατρός μου ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ αὐτοῦ. Ἀποκάλυψις 3·22 Ὁ ἔχων οὖς ἀκουσάτω τί τὸ πνεῦμα λέγει ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις.