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Letter 7. Laodicea

Rev 3:14-22 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I 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 your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, 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. To him that overcomes 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. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.

Nickname:   The Privileged Church.

Timeframe:  Christ’s return

Millennium:  7th

Patriarch:   Christ.

Color:   White.

Covenant:  Marriage.

Reward:   Bride, rule.

Feast:   Tabernacles.

During the Millennial Age, the ‘mortal’ church will take their privileged position for granted

Second, I believe Laodicea is the Millennial church that will be seeded by those who survive Christ's second coming and the subsequent judgment of man. And as the Millennium church, it would also witness the 'Great White Throne' judgment that will take place once the Millennial reign of Jesus is closed. In other words, the name "people judged" would be incredibly appropriate for the church that witnesses both of these events.

Laodicea is formed from the Greek words laos, which means “people” and dikazo, which is a personal "opinion" resembling a decree or sentence handed down by a judge. Hence "people judged" is an appropriate rendering.

In the 3rd Century B.C., Antiochus II renamed the city after his wife Laodice. Before that it was known as Rhoas, and it’s oldest known name from around 1000 B.C. was Diospolis, which means ‘City of God’, or ‘City of Zeus’, since Zeus was considered the primary god in the Greek pantheon. As with many ancient cities, the names often changed when they were conquered, and Laodicea was no different.


As mentioned above, this city was original called Diospolis, and later Rhoas, and was only renamed Laodicea in the 3rd century B.C. by Antiochus II.  The city was located about 40 miles inland between two small rivers that fed the larger Lycus River. In its earlier days, Laodicea was not a city of much importance, and suffered greatly during times of warfare. But through the course of time it became a prominent location along a very well known trade route, eventually becoming known as ‘The Gate of Phrygia’.

Under Roman rule Laodicea began to prosper and quickly became a flourishing commercial city that was known for its trade in black wool, among other things. Great trading caravans from the east would come through Laodicea on their way to the larger cities to the west, and all of this commerce made Laodiceans wealthy. The city was heavily influenced by Greek culture, and was known for its science and literature, and well as its medical schools, clothing and textiles, and eye salve.  The city was also noted for its extensive banking system, even minting its own coins.

The prominent Roman philosopher Cicero would often hold court in Laodicea, and many buildings were dedicated to the arts, philosophy, and music. The ruins of the city clearly demonstrate it’s wealth due to the highly ornate structures and monuments that are strewn about. As with most prominent Greco-Roman cities, this one had a large amphitheatre that seated thousands, and a number of temples and public buildings. Zeus was worshipped throughout this region, as well as Apollo, and both had temples that were dedicated to their names.

In this region there was often seismic activity. The city was destroyed and then rebuilt quite often. In 17 A.D. an earthquake destroyed the city. The extremely wealthy ity informed they needed no help from Rome to rebuild the city; which was quite uncommon. Unfortunately this wealth also made them to rely on their own and not on God.

Jesus’ name

 “These are the words of the Amen..”

Amen is used as a proper name. Prayers end with this word. So I think this verse equals amen with omega

2 Corinthians 1:20 “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.”

“..the faithful and true witness..”

Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Someone who’s faithful in some things will be put in charge of many thing. But Jesus who was faithful in all things was put in charge of all things. (His global Kingdom)

Revelation 19:11 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.”

“..the ruler of God’s creation.”




It’s odd that a church in millennium age with Jesus as their leader falls away; but it’s just history repeating itself.

1) Adam and Eve rebelled in the Garden of Eden, despite the presence of God

2) Israel rebelled against God at Mount Sinai, despite the presence of God

3) Israel refused to enter the Promised Land, despite the presence of God

4) Solomon committed idolatry, despite the presence of God

5) Kings of Israel and Judah rebelled, despite the presence of God

6) The prophet Jonah refused to do God's will, despite the presence of God


“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!”

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Laodicea was located in such a way that they had to rely entirely on aqueducts for their water. The City of Hieropolos to North had hot springs that were good for bathing, so hot water was piped to Laodicea for this very purpose.  Also, the City of Collasae to the South had cold water from Lycus River, so it also was piped in to Laodicea.  The problem was, by the time the water got there in both instances, it was "neither hot nor cold". Both systems would deliver putrid water that was full of mineral deposits from the stone piping.  It made the water very difficult to drink.

A more accurate translation would be vomit (Greek: emesai) instead of spit. In other words, Jesus was telling Laodicea that their spiritual condition was so poor that they made him want to vomit. The Greek word mello translated as ‘about to’ is stating a fact, not a possibility.

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing’.”

Laodicea told Rome that they were rich and did not need assistance in rebuilding their devastated city; likewise they told God they didn’t need anything.

“But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

Jesus tells them while they were materially wealthy they were extremely poor spiritually. They were to blind to see their own bad state of nakedness because they lacked spiritual garments.

2 Corinthians 5:1-3  “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.”


“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich..”

This is the analogy that Christ used to describe the trials that we often endure in order to remove the dross from our lives. In this instance the metal is gold, which is symbolic for the royalty that the saints will experience in heaven and on earth.

“..and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness..”

If we use the symbolism established in the criticism of this church, Christ is counseling them to accept Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit so that they could be redeemed and clothed in their heavenly dwelling. And the “white clothes” made of fine linen represent the purity of the saints, the bride of Christ. When coupled with the sentence just above, we know this purity for Laodicea will only be achieved through the refining process.

“..and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

One of the products sold in Laodicea was eye salve, so Christ uses this imagery to tell this church that they were spiritually blind, and unable to see the truth, just as the Pharisees were unable to see.

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.”

Going through trials is often very taxing on us both spiritually and physically, but in some way God intends it for our benefit, and our growth. Paul described this process in this passage in Hebrews;

Hebrews 12:7-8  “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”

“So be earnest, and repent.”

The desire behind each of Christ’s criticism to the churches is that they repent of their ways so that their sins could be wiped out, and that they could be saved. Peter made this same case to Israel in Acts;

Acts 3:18-21 “But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets."


“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.”

The first step in the betrothal process was the prospective groom going to the prospective bride’s house with his father, and knocking on the door. The next part of the betrothal was up to the bride;

“If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Opening the door to the prospective groom was a big step toward  accepting his proposal of marriage, however the terms of the marriage were always negotiated while the parties dined together.

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne..”

To complete the betrothal analogy, once the groom and bride were betrothed, she would share in his entire inheritance, which in the case of Jesus will include the right to sit with him on his throne. This is the promise that Jesus has made to his saints, that they will receive all that has been allotted to him, and will share in his rule over the earth (Revelation 2:26-27). But only those who ‘overcome’ this world by covenanting with Jesus will inherit these promises.

“..just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

Jesus overcame the world through his sinless life and sacrificial death, and he now sits with God at his right hand;

Hebrews 12:2  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”