Major weakness was that they had to
pipe in their water.
Six mile long aqueduct brought water
from the south.
The water came from hot springs and was
cooled on the way.
Or the water came from a cooler source
and was turned lukewarm on the way.
The Laodicean baths were popular
church probably began while Paul was in Ephesus for 3
It may have been started by Epaphras (Col.
Paul wrote them a letter that has been lost (Col.
Laodicea is mentioned five times in the letter of
Colossians (2:1; 4:13; 4:15;, 4:16-twice)
The church in
Laodicea was meeting in Nympha's house in 52-54 AD
3:14 "the Amen"
means the acknowledgment of what is valid and binding in the
OT and Judaism
use "Amen" as a personal name is to say that this person is in
complete conformity with reality.
is a word for the human response to the divine
"Amen" is the perfect human response to God's truth
"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are
'Yes' in Christ. And so through him the 'Amen' is
spoken by us to the glory of God." 2
65:16 where it says "the God of Amen"
3:14 "the faithful and true witness"
contrast with "unfaithful and misled witness of
3:14 "ruler ("arche")
of God's creation" sounds like Colossians 1:15. The
Laodiceans had access to
and had heard Paul's words when they exchanged letters
back around 62 AD
"After this letter has been read to you,
see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and
that you in turn
read the letter from Laodicea." Colossians
3:15 "I know your deeds" (also
said in 2:2; 2:19; 3:1; 3:8)
3:15 "you are neither cold nor
city of Laodicea had tremendous wealth but yet they had
terrible water and a poor supply system
miles north in the city of Hierapolis were famous hot springs.
The water flowed towards Laodicea and spilled over a mile
long cliff that dropped the hot water 300 feet down onto the
Laodicea. By the time the water reached Laodicea
it was luke warm and filled with minerals from the calcium
carbonate that covered the cliff with a white encrustation.
water would have come into Laodicea from Colosse, 10 miles
Hot water would have come into Laodicea from
Hierapolis, 7 miiles north.
This water that arrived in
Laodicea would have been:
1) Unlike the hot springs water of
Hierapolis, Laodicea's water was lukewarm and useless for the
2) Unlike the cold water from Colosse, the
water that arrived in Laodicea was lukewarm, slimy, salty and useless to
western concept of being "hot" and on fire for God or "cold"
spiritually was not a concept
that the Laodicean's
would have understood.
Jesus reference to "hot", "lukewarm"
and "cold" are not references to three levels of spirituality
such as "excited
about God", "indifferent towards God" and "rejection of
they refer to the church's purpose being represented in an
analogy with water.
The correct concept is that the
Laodicean's were useless just like the lukewarm water.
were complacent and self-satisfied.
They were not concern
with the real issues of faith: maturity and service.
were out of touch with reality of the "Amen"
used for healing and refreshing, but to do this the water must
be hot or cold.
Laodicean church was worthless because though it was a church
it was not spiritually healing the broken nor was it
spiritually refreshing the weary.
issue Jesus has with this church is not their lack of
enthusiasm or commitment, but their lack of usefulness and
An ineffective church is distasteful to
3:16 "I am about to spit you out of my
There is still time for he is "about to" do this.
They can still repent and
"emesai" and means "vomit, to reject with
18:24, 25, 28
"Do not defile
yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the
nations that I am going
to drive out before you became defiled. Even the
land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited
out its inhabitants. . . .and if you defile the land, it will
vomit you out as it
vomited out the nations that were before
"Keep all my decrees
and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing
you to live may
not vomit you out."
is where the reason for Jesus identifying himself as the
"Amen" or the personification of reality. Jesus is
the one who is in touch with reality while Laodicea is living
in a spiritual
fantasy world. Their definition of what is really
happening is not even close to Jesus' description.
Laodiceans had established themselves in three areas:
Financial wealth and banking
2) An extensive
3) A Medical school and Drug company
that had developed a popular eye salve.
3:17 "You say, 'I am rich; I have
acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' This
was the evaluation of the church of themselves
"But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful,
poor, blind, and
was the evaluation of the One who was the personification of
reality, the one who knew the truth, saw the truth and spoke
the truth because he is the truth.
Note that one
article governs all five (wretched, pitiful, poor, blind,
This is because all five speak of one and the same
The real problem with Laodicea was not
simply the uselessness.
was the symptom.
Their real problem was their ignorance of
their real condition.
were not in touch with the "Amen."
Wretched can be used to describe the physical
life of a community when everything has been destroyed or
plundered by war. As in LXX Psalm 137:8
This group is
in serious trouble.
word indicates one who is set forth as an object of extreme
Of all the previous failures in the first six
churches this group is being looked at with the most
Laodicea is the biggest failure of all seven and they
think they are at the top.
extremely poor, poor as a beggar"
A spiritual reference to
the lack of faith
Not a reference to believing faith but
enduring faith in the face of trials.
They are weak and
incapable of trusting and working for God.
"I know . . .your poverty - yet you are rich!"
a naturally blind eye is completely insensitive to natural
light these people are completely insensitive to the Holy
Spirit's leading and plan.
was a symbol of judgment and humiliation"
The result is
going to be complete lack of rewards and distinguished
clothing at the reward seat of Jesus Christ.
rewards are being handed out this group is going to go
continues the irony when he tells them to buy from him the
very things they were world famous for developing
The One who is Real (the Amen) is not
impressed with Laodicea.
3:18 "I counsel you to buy from
me" is emphatic which means it is uttered with emphasis
gold was worthless.
As was their sleek, black wool and
their "Phrygian powder" eye salve.
1) Gold is
faith that has been refined and developed
Jer. 9:7, "See, I will
refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my
Zec. 13:9, "This third
I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver
and test them
2) Clothing is
an opportunity to do the works that will result in rewards in
3) Eye salve is
to enable your spiritual eyes to be spiritually
This warning is Jesus saying, "Open your eyes
and pick up your cross."
3:18 "gold refined in the fire, so you can
refers to spiritual wealth (faith) that has been through the
refiner's fire and the worthless part of faith has been
destroyed and only the genuine side of faith
3:18 "white clothes to wear, so you can cover
your shameful nakedness"
clothes represent righteousness.
4:4 "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones,
and seated on them were
twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white
and had crowns of
gold on their heads."
"Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told
to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow
servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been
7:9 "They were wearing white robes and
were holding palm branches in their hands."
one of the elders asked me, 'These in white robes - who are
they, and where did they
come from ?' . . . 'These are they who have come out of
the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb.'"
19:14 "The armies of
heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed
in fine linen,
white and clean."
19:8 "Fine linen, bright and
clean, was given her to wear. Fine linen stands for the
righteous acts of
Here it represents the righteous deeds.
Righteousness can be positional or temporal.
symbolizes judgment and humiliation (Is. 20:1-4; 2 Sam.10:4;
Fine clothes indicates honor and promotion
(Joseph in Egypt; Mordecai with Xerxes)
In God's eyes
the people of the Laodicean church were Spiritually
3:18 "salve to put on your eyes so you can
were blind to their situation. Their false evaluation
had blinded them to their true spiritual reality.
salve" is "kollurioin" which comes from the word "kollura"
which means a long roll of coarse bread.
was called "Phrygian powder" and apparently was applied
to the eyes as a doughy paste.
3:19 "Those whom I love I rebuke and
paraphrase of this could be, "Now my practice is that all
those I love, I also correct and
and Discipline those he loves-
This sounds like Proverbs
and discipline are actions that come from love.
will depend on the believers response:
leads to service and reward
2) Rejection leads to
being spit out and removed
In the LXX the word for love
in the above verses is "agapan" .
in Laodicea Jesus switches to the word "philein"
switch shows Jesus personal affection to the church.
judgment is in the attitude of the love of a friend.
different than the judgment that is going to follow in Rev.
is "phileo" and means "to have affection for"
speaks of friendship and is not a lesser love than "agape" but
is more personal.
"Earnest" is "zealous,
“Here I am! I
stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my
voice and opens the door, I will come in and at with him , and
he with me.”
present tense indicates a continuous
if anyone hears
the voice of
akoush, "hears", is aorist active
Tense means occurring action, the action is presently
occurring but is not associated with time. There
is no English equivalent.
Voice the subject produces the action of the
Mood is the mood of potential.
The subjunctive is used
in a third-class conditional clause which assumes the
condition to be
refers to the main meal of the day which in the East was the
main occasion for
having intimate fellowship with close
was not just to quench hunger
was not to go out and meet people
was a time to fellowship with people you knew and loved and
wanted to spend time with and share your
"sit with me on my throne."
with Christ is found in 2 Tim. 2:12
1:6; 1:9; 2:26-27; 5:10; 20:4-6; 22:5
judge the twelve tribes in Luke 22:30 and Matt.