Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:14

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Amen;   Angel of the Churches;   Church;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Laodicea;   Lukewarmness;   Scofield Reference Index - Apostasy;   Kingdom;   Tribulation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Angels;   Laodicea;   Names;   Titles and Names;   The Topic Concordance - Chastisement;   Coming;   Creation;   Faith/faithfulness;   God;   Government;   Hearing;   Indifference;   Jesus Christ;   Knowledge;   Love;   Rebuke;   Throne;   Victory/overcoming;   Witness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ, the Prophet;   Titles and Names of Christ;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Amen;   Creation;   Laodicea;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Amen;   Laodicea;   Snake;   Truth;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Adam, the Second;   Amen;   Faithfulness;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Amen;   Laodicea;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Amen;   Archippus;   Laodicea;   Philadelphia;   Revelation of John, the;   Son of God;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Amen;   Asia Minor, Cities of;   Laodicea;   Revelation, the Book of;   Witness, Martyr;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Amen;   Antioch;   Archippus;   Asia;   Atonement;   Colossae;   Gnosticism;   Laodicea;   Magi;   Witness;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Alpha and Omega (2);   Amen;   Amen (2);   Angels;   Atonement (2);   Brotherhood (2);   Ephesians Epistle to the;   Faithfulness;   Fall (2);   Laodicea;   Lying ;   Pre-Existence;   Revelation, Book of;   Teaching of Jesus;   World;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Amen;   Beginning;   Faithful,;   Laodiceans ;   Martyr;   Witness;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Amen;   Christ;   Selah;   Sepharvaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Amen;   Laodicea;   Names titles and offices of christ;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Laodice'a;   Laodice'ans,;   Lap'idoth;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Amen;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Synagogue;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Begin;   Beginning;   Christ, Offices of;   Colossae;   Colossians, Epistle to the;   Faithful;   Revelation of John:;   Truth;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Amen;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Laodicea;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 18;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

These things saith the Amen - That is, He who is true or faithful; from אמן aman, he was tree; immediately interpreted, The faithful and true witness. See Revelation 1:5.

The beginning of the creation of God - That is, the head and governor of all creatures: the king of the creation. See on Colossians 1:15; (note). By his titles, here, he prepares them for the humiliating and awful truths which he was about to declare, and the authority on which the declaration was founded.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write - See the notes on Revelation 1:20.

These things saith the Amen - Referring, as is the case in every epistle, to some attribute of the speaker adapted to impress their minds, or to give special force to what he was about to say to that particular church. Laodicea was characterized by lukewarmness, and the reference to the fact that he who was about to address them was the “Amen” - that is, was characterized by the simple earnestness and sincerity denoted by that word - was eminently suited to make an impression on the minds of such a people. The word “Amen” means “true,” “certain,” “faithful”; and, as used here, it means that he to whom it is applied is eminently true and faithful. What he affirms is true; what he promises or threatens is certain. Himself characterized by sincerity and truth (notes on 2 Corinthians 1:20), he can look with approbation only on the same thing in others: and hence he looks with displeasure on the lukewarmness which, from its very nature, always approximates insincerity. This was an attribute, therefore, every way appropriate to be referred to in addressing a lukewarm church.

The faithful and true witness - This is presenting the idea implied in the word “Amen” in a more complete form, but substantially the same thing is referred to. He is a witness for God and his truth, and he can approve of nothing which the God of truth would not approve. See the notes on Revelation 1:5.

The beginning of the creation of God - This expression is a very important one in regard to the rank and dignity of the Saviour, and, like all similar expressions respecting him, its meaning has been much controverted. Compare the notes on Colossians 1:15. The phrase used here is susceptible, properly, of only one of the following significations, namely, either:

(a)that he was the beginning of the creation in the sense that he caused the universe to begin to exist - that is, that he was the author of all things; or.

(b)that he was the first created being; or.

(c)that he holds the primacy over all, and is at the head of the universe.

It is not necessary to examine any other proposed interpretations, for the only other senses supposed to be conveyed by the words, that he is the beginning of the creation in the sense I that he rose from the dead as the first-fruits of them that sleep, or that he is the head of the spiritual creation of God, axe so foreign to the natural meaning of the words as to need no special refutation. As to the three significations suggested above, it may be observed, that the first one - that he is the author of the creation, and in that sense the beginning - though expressing a scriptural doctrine John 1:3; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16, is not in accordance with the proper meaning of the word used here - ἀρχὴ archēThe word properly refers to the “commencement” of a thing, not its “authorship,” and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist. The two ideas which run through the word as it is used in the New Testament are those just suggested. For the former - primacy in regard to time - that is properly the commencement of a thing, see the following passages where the word occurs: Matthew 19:4, Matthew 19:8; Matthew 24:8, Matthew 24:21; Mark 1:1; Mark 10:6; Mark 13:8, Mark 13:19; Luke 1:2; John 1:1-2; John 2:11; John 6:64; John 8:25, John 8:44; John 15:27; John 16:4; Acts 11:15; 1 John 1:1; 1 John 2:7, 1 John 2:13-14, 1 John 2:24; 1 John 3:8, 1 John 3:11; 2 John 1:5-6. For the latter signification, primacy of rank or authority, see the following places: Luke 12:11; Luke 20:20; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16, Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:10, Colossians 2:15; Titus 3:1. The word is not, therefore, found in the sense of authorship, as denoting that one is the beginning of anything in the sense that he caused it to have an existence. As to the second of the significations suggested, that it means that he was the first created being, it may be observed:

(a) that this is not a necessary signification of the phrase, since no one can show that this is the only proper meaning which could be given to the words, and therefore the phrase cannot be adduced to prove that he is himself a created being. If it were demonstrated from other sources that Christ was, in fact, a created being, and the first that God had made, it cannot be denied that this language would appropriately express that fact. But it cannot be made out from the mere use of the language here; and as the language is susceptible of other interpretations, it cannot be employed to prove that Christ is a created being.

(b) Such an interpretation would be at variance with all those passages which speak of him as uncreated and eternal; which ascribe divine attributes to him; which speak of him as himself the Creator of all things. Compare John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2, Hebrews 1:6, Hebrews 1:8, Hebrews 1:10-12. The third signification, therefore, remains, that he is “the beginning of the creation of God,” in the sense that he is the head or prince of the creation; that is, that he presides over it so far as the purposes of redemption are to be accomplished, and so far as is necessary for those purposes. This is:

(1)in accordance with the meaning of the word, Luke 12:11; Luke 20:20, et al. ut supra; and,

(2)in accordance with the uniform statements respecting the Redeemer, that “all power is given unto him in heaven and in earth” Matthew 28:18; that God has “given him power over all flesh” John 17:2; that all things are “put under his feet” the. John 2:8; 1 Corinthians 15:27); that he is exalted over all things, Ephesians 1:20-22. Having this rank, it was proper that he should speak with authority to the church at Laodicea.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

LAODICEA

Laodicea is a word which has come to stand for lukewarmness, indifference and compromise. Some theorists make a big point out of what they affirm to be the meaning of the word: "Its name designates it as the Church of mob rule, the democratic church, in which everything was swayed and decided by popular opinion."[55] We are reluctant to accept this, be cause the town was actually named by its founder Antiochus II (261-246 B.C.) after his wife Laodice.[56] It was situated in the same general vicinity of the other six cities addressed in this series, on the great Roman road to Syrian Antioch. It was never much of a fortress, due to the vulnerability of the water supply, "which came principally by a vulnerable aqueduct from springs six miles away to the north in the direction of Hieropolis ... Laodicea could hardly stand a determined siege."[57]

Laodicea was a banking center with a great deal of wealth. One of the great industries was that of wool and woolen garments, featuring a fine quality glossy black wool from Phrygian sheep; another industry was that of drugs developed in connection with the medical school there. One of the famous Laodicean remedies was a "Phrygian eye-salve" which was supposed to cure inflammation. Blaiklock speculated that this probably came from dried mud from one of the numerous hot springs in the area.[58] This information illuminates the charges which the Lord made against the church of this city, in his words, "Thou art miserable and poor, and blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:17). It is as though he had said, "You are spiritually bankrupt in spite of all the banks, looms and pharmacies in the city."

Particularly noticeable was the wealth of Laodicea. Following the great earthquake which demolished the place in 60 A.D., they rebuilt at once from their own resources, declining the lavish gifts offered by the emperor. Scholars who suppose that Laodicea could not have recovered so quickly as a date in the late 60's for Revelation would indicate that they have failed to take their great wealth and self-sufficiency into account.

One other significant fact of the environment is that of the hot springs, which when mixed with water from the colder springs resulted in a lukewarm, nauseous mixture totally unsuitable for drinking purposes.

Laodicea suffered the same kind of general decline that came to the whole area in subsequent centuries, finally falling to the Turks in the 14th century. Today, it is called Eski-Sheher, meaning "old town," the capital of the Turkish province of the same name. The population in 1955 was 122,755.[59]

The church at Laodicea was one of a group of three congregations known to us from the writings of Paul. He directed that two of his epistles should be sent there (Colossians 4:16). "These were the Colossian letter and another which has been lost, unless the epistle to the Ephesians is meant."[60] This church received, along with Sardis, the strongest of our Lord's denunciations, there being no compliment of any kind extended to them.

[55] J. A. Seiss, The Apocalypse Lectures on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1900), p. 72.

[56] E. J. Banks, ISBE, p. 1836.

[57] E. M. Blaiklock, op. cit., p. 124.

[58] Ibid., p. 125.

[59] Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: William Benton, Publisher, 1961), Vol. 1, p. 710.

[60] Isbon T. Beckwith, op. cit., p. 487.

These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:

The Amen ... This denotes the one in whom verity is personified."[61] There is also the sense of completeness and finality in it. Before Christ, there was no other; and after him there is no other.

The faithful and true witness ... The faithfulness of Christ is affirmed in this, a truth often overlooked. As deity, Jesus Christ had no need of faith in the sense of its use today; but "as a man" he walked in faith, implicitly trusting all that the Father had promised. In the ultimate sense, all human justification derives from the perfect faith and perfect obedience of Christ.

The beginning of the creation of God ... Plummer pointed out that the words here bear two possible interpretations:

The two meanings are: (1) that which would make Christ the first created thing of all things God created, and (2) that which would understand Christ as the Source of all the things God created.[62]

Plummer and many other able scholars declare the second meaning to be the one intended here. "The words mean, the one from whom creation took its beginning."[63] The agreement with Colossians 1:16 is probably intended, for the church in Laodicea received Colossians.

[61] Ibid., p. 488.

[62] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 115.

[63] Isbon T. Beckwith, op. cit., p. 488.

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Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,.... Of the city of Laodicea; see Gill on Revelation 1:11; there was a church here in the times of the Apostle Paul; by whom it was founded is not known; mention is made of it in Colossians 2:1, who was now the angel, or pastor of it, whether Epaphras, who is there named, or another, is not certain. According to the Apostolical ConstitutionsF20L. 7. c. 46. , Archippus was ordained bishop of it by the apostles; see Colossians 4:16. There was a church here in the second century, for Sagaris, bishop of it, suffered martyrdom in the times of Antoninus VerusF21Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 4. c. 26. & l. 5. c. 24. ; and in the "fourth" century, this church was famous for two eminent bishops, Theodorus and Gregory; and in the "fifth" century, it was the metropolitan church of Phrygia, as it was in the "seventh" century, in which age Tyberius, bishop of this place, was in the sixth synod at ConstantinopleF23Eccl. Hist. Magdeburg. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 5. c. 7. p. 418. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3. c. 7. p. 112. c. 10. p. 254. ; but now it is even without inhabitantsF24Smith. Notitia, p. 150. . This church represents the state of the church, from the end of the spiritual reign of Christ, till the time of his personal appearing and kingdom, to judge the quick and dead; for after the spiritual reign is over, professors of religion will sink into a formality, and into a lukewarm frame of spirit, and into great spiritual sloth and security, Revelation 3:15, which will make those times like the times of Noah and of Lot; and such will be the days of the coming of the son of man to judge the world. Its name signifies either "the righteousness of the people"; and so may point at that popular and external righteousness, which the majority of the professors of religion in this period of time will be boasting of, and trusting in; being self-sufficient, and self-dependent, when at the same time they will be naked, as well as poor and blind, Revelation 3:17; or it signifies "the judging of the people"; for this church state, at the end of it, will bring on the general judgment; the Judge will now be at the door indeed, standing and knocking; and they that are ready to meet the bridegroom, when he comes, will be admitted into the nuptial chamber, and sit down with him in his throne, in the thousand years' kingdom, at the close of which will be the second resurrection, when all the people, small and great, shall be judged, Revelation 3:19.

These things saith the Amen; see Isaiah 65:16; The word "Amen" is the name of a divine Person with the Jews, and it seems the second Person; for so on those words in Proverbs 8:30; "then was I by him as one brought up with him", they observeF25Zohar in Deut. fol. 121. 4. so in T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 119. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 111. 1. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 46. 1. , do not read "Amon", the word there used, but "Amen"; and, a little after, "Amen", they say, is the "notaricon", or sign of אל מלך נאמן, "God the faithful King"; they makeF26Cabal. Denud. par. 2. p. 7. "Amen" to be one of the names of the second "Sephira", or number in the Cabalistic tree, by whom the second Person in the Godhead seems to be designed: and they sayF1Lex. Cabal. p. 130. & Baal Hatturim in Deut. xxviii. 15. , that the word "Amen", by gematry (or numerically) answers to the two names "Jehovah, Adonai". Christ may be so called, because he is the God of truth, and truth itself; and it may be expressive of his faithfulness, both to God his Father, and to his people, in whom all the promises he either made, or received, are yea and amen; and also of the firmness, constancy, and immutability of Christ, in his nature, person, and offices, in his love, fulness of grace, power, blood, and righteousness; and is very appropriately assumed by him now, when he was about to give the finishing stroke to all covenant engagements, and to all promises and prophesies; see Revelation 1:18.

The faithful and true witness; who as he was in the days of his flesh; see Gill on Revelation 1:5; so he will be at the day of judgment, a swift witness against all ungodly men; and he may the rather take up this title, not only on that account, but to show that the description he gives of the state and condition of this church is just, Revelation 3:15; and to engage it to take his advice the more readily, Revelation 3:18; and to assure it of the nearness of his coming, Revelation 3:20; and to strengthen the faith of his people, and quicken their hope and expectation of the happiness with him promised, Revelation 3:21; the same character is given to the Logos, or Word of the Lord, by the Targumist in Jeremiah 42:5, let the Word of the Lord be to us לסהיך קשוט ומהימן, "for a true and faithful witness"; the very phrase here used,

The beginning of the creation of God; not the first creature that God made, but the first cause of the creation; the first Parent, producer, and efficient cause of every creature; the author of the old creation, who made all things out of nothing in the beginning of time; and of the new creation, the everlasting Father of, everyone that is made a new creature; the Father of the world to come, or of the new age and Gospel dispensation; the Maker of the new heaven and new earth; and so a very fit person to be the Judge of the whole world, to summon all nations before him, and pass the final sentence on them. The phrase is Jewish, and it is a title the Jews give to Metatron, by whom they sometimes mean the Messiah; so those words in Genesis 24:2, and Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, they paraphrase thusF2Zohar in Gen. fol. 77. 1. ,

""and Abraham said unto his servant", this is Metatron, (or the Mediator,) the servant of God, "the eldest of his house"; for he is תחלת בריותיו של מקום, "the beginning of the creation of God", who rules over all that he has; for to him the holy blessed God has given the government of all his hosts.

Christ is the αρχη, "the Prince", or Governor of all creatures,

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

11 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the h Amen, the faithful and true witness, the i beginning of the creation of God;

(11) The seventh passage is to the pastors of the Church of Laodicea. The introduction is taken out of (Revelation 1:5).

(h) Amen sounds as much in the Hebrew tongue, as truly, or truth itself.

(i) Of who all things that are made, have their beginning.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Laodiceans — The city was in the southwest of Phrygia, on the river Lycus, not far from Colosse, and lying between it and Philadelphia. It was destroyed by an earthquake, a.d. 62, and rebuilt by its wealthy citizens without the help of the state [Tacitus, Annals, 14.27]. This wealth (arising from the excellence of its wools) led to a self-satisfied, lukewarm state in spiritual things, as Revelation 3:17 describes. See on Colossians 4:16, on the Epistle which is thought to have been written to the Laodicean Church by Paul. The Church in latter times was apparently flourishing; for one of the councils at which the canon of Scripture was determined was held in Laodicea in a.d. 361. Hardly a Christian is now to be found on or near its site.

the Amen — (Isaiah 65:16, Hebrew, “Bless Himself in the God of Amen  …  swear by the God of Amen,2 Corinthians 1:20). He who not only says, but is, the Truth. The saints used Amen at the end of prayer, or in assenting to the word of God; but none, save the Son of God, ever said, “Amen, I say unto you,” for it is the language peculiar to God, who avers by Himself. The New Testament formula, “Amen. I say unto you,” is equivalent to the Old Testament formula, “as I live, saith Jehovah.” In John‘s Gospel alone He uses (in the Greek) the double “Amen,” John 1:51; John 3:3, etc.; in English Version,” Verily, verily.” The title happily harmonizes with the address. His unchanging faithfulness as “the Amen” contrasts with Laodicea‘s wavering of purpose, “neither hot nor cold” (Revelation 3:16). The angel of Laodicea has with some probability been conjectured to be Archippus, to whom, thirty years previously, Paul had already given a monition, as needing to be stirred up to diligence in his ministry. So the Apostolic Constitutions, [8.46], name him as the first bishop of Laodicea: supposed to be the son of Philemon (Philemon 1:2).

faithful and true witness — As “the Amen” expresses the unchangeable truth of His promises; so “the faithful the true witness,” the truth of His revelations as to the heavenly things which He has seen and testifies. “Faithful,” that is, trustworthy (2 Timothy 2:11, 2 Timothy 2:13). “True” is here (Greek, “{alethinos}”) not truth-speaking (Greek, “{alethes}”), but “perfectly realizing all that is comprehended in the name Witness” (1 Timothy 6:13). Three things are necessary for this: (1) to have seen with His own eyes what He attests; (2) to be competent to relate it for others; (3) to be willing truthfully to do so. In Christ all these conditions meet [Trench].

beginning of the creation of God — not he whom God created first, but as in Colossians 1:15-18 (see on Colossians 1:15-18), the Beginner of all creation, its originating instrument. All creation would not be represented adoring Him, if He were but one of themselves. His being the Creator is a strong guarantee for His faithfulness as “the Witness and Amen.”

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

In Laodicea (εν Λαοδικιαιen Laodikiāi). Forty miles south-east of Philadelphia and some forty miles east of Ephesus, the last of the seven churches addressed with special messages, on the river Lycus on the border of Phrygia, near Colossae and Hierapolis, recipient of two letters by Paul (Colossians 4:16), on the great trade-route from Ephesus to the east and seat of large manufacturing and banking operations (especially of woollen carpets and clothing, Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, p. 40ff.), centre of the worship of Asklepios and seat of a medical school and also of a provincial court where Cicero lived and wrote many of his letters, home of many Jews, called by Ramsay (op. cit., p. 413) “the City of Compromise,” the church here founded apparently by Epaphras (Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:12.), now a deserted ruin, one of six cities with this name (meaning justice of the people). No praise is bestowed on this church, but only blame for its lukewarmness.

The Amen (ο Αμηνho Amēn). Personal (masculine article) name here alone, though in Isaiah 65:16 we have “the God of Amen” understood in the lxx as “the God of truth” (τον τεον τον αλητινονton theon ton alēthinon). Here applied to Christ. See Revelation 1:5 for ο μαρτυς ο πιστοςho martus ho pistos (the faithful witness) and Revelation 3:7 for ο αλητινοςho alēthinos (the genuine), “whose testimony never falls short of the truth” (Swete).

The beginning of the creation of God (η αρχη της κτισεως του τεουhē archē tēs ktiseōs tou theou). Not the first of creatures as the Arians held and Unitarians do now, but the originating source of creation through whom God works (Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:18, a passage probably known to the Laodiceans, John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2, as is made clear by Revelation 1:18; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:13).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Of the Laodiceans ( Ααοδικέων )

Read ἐν Ααοδικείᾳ inLaodicea. Laodicea means justice of the people. As Laodice was a common name among the ladies of the royal house of the Seleucidae, the name was given to several cities in Syria and Asia Minor. The one here addressed was on the confines of Phrygia and Lydia, about forty miles east of Ephesus, and was known as Laodicea on the Lycus. It had born successively the names of Diospolis and Rhoas, and was named Laodicea when refounded by Antiochus Theos, b.c. 261-246. It was situated on a group of hills between two tributaries of the Lycus - the Asopus and the Caprus. Towards the end of the Roman Republic, and under the first emperors, it became one of the most important and flourishing cities of Asia Minor. One of its citizens, Hiero, bequeathed all his enormous property to the people, and adorned the city with costly gifts. It was the seat of large money transactions and of an extensive trade in wood. The citizens developed a taste for Greek art, and were distinguished in science and literature. Laodicea was the seat of a great medical school. During the Roman period it was the chief city of a Roman conventus or political district, in which courts were held by the proconsul of the province, and where the taxes from the subordinate towns were collected. Cicero held his court there, and many of his letters were written thence. The conventus represented by Laodicea comprised not less than twenty-five towns, and inscriptions refer to the city as “the metropolis.” The Greek word διοίκηδις , corresponding to the Latin conventus was subsequently applied to an ecclesiastical district, and appears in diocese. The tutelary deity of the city was Zeus (Jupiter). Hence its earlier name, Diospolis, or City of Zeus. Many of its inhabitants were Jews. It was subject to frequent earthquakes, which eventually resulted in its abandonment. It is now a deserted place, but its ruins indicate by their magnitude its former importance. Among these are a racecourse, and three theatres, one of which is four hundred and fifty feet in diameter. An important church council was held there in the fourth century.

The Amen

Used only here as a proper name. See Isaiah 65:16, where the correct rendering is the God of the Amen, instead of A.V. God of truth. The term applied to the Lord signifies that He Himself is the fulfilment of all that God has spoken to the churches.

Faithful ( πιστός )

The word occurs in the New Testament in two senses: trusty, faithful Matthew 24:45; Matthew 25:21, Matthew 25:23; Luke 12:42); and believing, confiding (John 20:27; Galatians 3:9; Acts 16:1). Of God, necessarily only in the former sense.

True ( ἀληθινὸς )

See on Revelation 3:7. The veracity of Christ is thus asserted in the word faithful, true being not true as distinguished from false, but true to the normal idea of a witness.

The beginning ( ἡ ἀρχή )

The beginner, or author; not as Colossians 1:15, the first and most excellent creature of God's hands. “The stress laid in the Epistle to the Colossians on the inferiority of those to whom the self-same name of ἀρχαὶ , beginnings principalities was given … to the One who was the true beginning, or, if we might venture on an unfamiliar use of a familiar word, the true Principality of God's creation, may account for the prominence which the name had gained, and therefore for its use here in a message addressed to a church exposed, like that of Colossae, to the risks of angelolatry, of the substitution of lower principalities and created mediators for Him who was the Head over all things to His Church” (Plumptre). Compare Hebrews 12:2, ἀρχηγὸν leaderi0.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And 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;

To the angel of the church at Laodicea — For these St. Paul had had a great concern, Colossians 2:1.

These things saith the Amen — That is, the True One, the God of truth.

The beginning — The Author, Prince, and Ruler.

Of the creation of God — Of all creatures; the beginning, or Author, by whom God made them all.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The Amen, &c. The expressions by which Jesus designates himself are varied in the addresses to the several churches. Most of them are based on portions of the general description given of the appearance of the Son of man, as he manifested himself to John. (Revelation 1:13-20.) The Amen is the one who confirms and establishes his word.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-3.html. 1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA

‘And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write.’

Revelation 3:14

The tone of the Apocalyptic letter is one of severe, and even ironical, censure. The Laodiceans were not as those who had never been touched by the heat of the Divine Spirit. It would have been better had such a communication never come to them, for then there would have been the chance of their regeneration. But their special guilt lay in this—that they had known and felt that wondrous kindling and yet had only partially responded to its power. ‘Thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.’ This spiritual lukewarmness should, if it continued, issue in their contemptuous rejection. They thought themselves rich. They prided themselves on their acquired wealth. They fancied that they were beyond all need. Ah, fatal delusion! ‘Thou art the wretched one, and miserable and poor and blind and naked.’ The Lord counsels them, who were so ready to traffic in this world’s goods, to buy of Him—even of Him Who alone could bestow upon them what they really lacked. He has ‘gold refined by fire’—such that the possessor of it is rich indeed. He has ‘white garments’ in which the guilty may hide their shame. He will give ointment by which the eye of the conscience—the spiritual eye—may recover its power of sight. But the blame—stern as it is—is not intended to excite despair. ‘As many as I love, I reprove and chasten.’ The Divine love was still their privilege. The voice of condemnation was a summons to amendment. The Saviour is knocking—the touching metaphor has suggested one of the most familiar of our modern hymns, and inspired one of the most famous pictures of our generation—at the doors of their hearts, petitioning for entrance. He will sup with any who will open to Him. To the victor He will grant a place on His own ample and broad seat of authority; even as it had been given to Him—the Victor of victors—to share in His Father’s everlasting seat.

I. Religious indifference is an evil with which we are all only too well acquainted.—Some of us will recollect the saying placed by Charles Kingsley in the mouth of one of his characters, that were the Catholic Church what she ought to be but for a single day the world would be converted ere nightfall. Who can deny that in the hyperbole there is a large element of truth? The victories of Christianity are retarded or thrown away because the soldiers of the Cross are so often slack and negligent.

II. Religious indifference has its root in worldly prosperity.—The Laodicean Christians were endangered by the abundance of the things which they possessed. Wealth! Our Redeemer spoke to His disciples so strongly and uncompromisingly about the moral and spiritual perils connected with it. ‘The mammon of unrighteousness’! It was, it would seem, responsible for the lukewarmness of this Asiatic community. Surely it is only too often responsible for ours. We are well-to-do; our lives are full of comfort, perhaps of luxury; we can give ourselves what pleasures we care for; the stress and strain of the world—so severe, so intolerable for many—are for us reduced to a minimum—and spiritual idleness, sloth, negligence, indifference are the result. Do let us be on our guard—our continuous and anxious guard—against the dangers which come with material welfare.

III. ‘He that overcometh’!—The rewards of spiritual victory! Participation in His everlasting triumph! ‘It is promised,’ says a modern preacher, ‘that the twelve thrones shall be one throne, and that one throne the throne of Christ. The glory that shall be revealed shall be a glory of union with Christ, the glory not of assessors with Christ, not of companions of Christ, but of persons incorporated and as it were merged in Christ; the glory of those who have been “found in Him,” so that what He is they are, what He does they do, “because He lives they live also,” and “where He is, there shall also His servant be.”’ That glory to which none other can possibly compare may be ours. Such a thought ought to move and stir us and impel us forward. The battle is unspeakably worth the winning. Do not let us lose it. Do not let us be found—not amongst the conquerors—but amongst the outcast. If only we will be loyal and true, if only we will be His ‘faithful soldiers and servants,’ we may be received through Him and for His sake into that unthinkable heavenly company, into which we trust that there have been already received some whom we knew and loved and will never forget, and into which we also may be gathered before long—who can say when?

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/revelation-3.html. 1876.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:14

Consider the word with which the Lord's prayer closes—the word "Amen." It is the signalem conscientiæ, the seal of our faith; it is the votem desiderii, the fervency of our longing; it is the stamp of our sincerity upon every prayer we use. In the Gospel of St. John, no less than twenty-five times our Lord Jesus Christ ushers in His deepest asseverations with "Amen, amen," translated in our version, "Verily, verily, I say unto you." What, then, is the meaning of this solemn and sacred word? It means truth; it means reality. Every time we use it, we should remember that God can never be the God who delights in fantasies and shams, but that He is the God of reality and of truth. And I want to bring before you the awfulness of truth—that is, of reality, of sincerity, of guileless simplicity, both as regards our conduct in the life that now is, and as regards the eternal life of man's spirit.

I. First, as regards our earthly life. We may each of us spend our lives either in the world or in God. If we live in God, "if that life which we now live in the flesh is lived by faith in the Son of God," then we are living in the world of reality; if we are living for the world, if we are setting our affections on the things of the earth, we are living in the midst of fatal delusions and fading shadows. God is the Amen, the eternal reality. He has set His canon against pride, and lust, and hate, and lies. Obey Him or disobey Him at your pleasure and at your peril; believe in Him or disbelieve in Him at your pleasure and at your peril; but He is, and His law is, the sole truth of your life. He who makes the Church of God depend on mere outward form, he who bases its high claims on some unprovable theory which may be a fiction, he who confounds religion with the shibboleths of Churches or of parties or the idle, usurpatious encroachments of priests, builds upon the baseless and shifting sands of multitudes of views and practices now thrust almost by force on groaning congregations and on alienated people. The very best that can be said is that the earth hath bubbles as the water hath, and these are of them. The Church depends solely on the presence of Christ. Where Christ is, there the Church is; and where love and holiness are, there Christ is. Wherever we find the fruits of the Spirit, which are love and holiness, there the Spirit is; and where the Spirit is, there the Church is.

II. We must be true men, or we cannot be true Christians. Reason and conscience illumined by prayer—these are the torch-bearers of eternal truth. Seek truth, and you will find it, because God is the God of truth. If you desire heaven, you must, by the aid of Christ's Spirit, win it, for heaven is a temper, and not a place: no priest can give it to you, no ritual can give it to you, no human ordinance can open for you by a millionth of an inch its golden doors; no, you must win it by faithful obedience to the eternal laws of God. Reality, sincerity, holiness; the elementary Christian graces, faith, hope, love; the primary Christian duties, soberness, temperance, chastity—these are the things and these are the tests of a true religion; apart from these all else is fringes and phylacteries.

F. W. Farrar, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xliii., p. 353.


The New Creation.

The Son of God is called by the title "the beginning of the creation of God," (1) because He was Himself the Creator of the world; (2) because He is the first cause or principle of its restoration.

I. We have here two great spiritual facts. The first is that the Word, who is by eternal generation of one substance with the Father, by the mystery of the Incarnation became of one substance with us. His union with us is a consubstantial union; His substance as man and our substance are one and the same.

II. The other great fact, issuing from the last, is that as by this substantial union and personal distinctness the Son lives by the Father, so we, distinct in person, but partaking of His substance, live by the Son. As the Son partakes of the Godhead of the Father, so we partake of the manhood of the Son; as He lives by the Father, we live by Him. The miraculous Agent in the Incarnation and in the holy sacraments is the same Third Person of the ever-blessed Three, uniting first the Divine nature to ours in the person of the Son, and now our fallen nature to Him as the beginning of the creation of God.

H. E. Manning, Sermons, vol. iv., p. 176.


References: Revelation 3:14.—J. B. Lightfoot, Church of England Pulpit, vol. v., p. 53; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xii., No. 679; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 110. Revelation 3:14-21.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. xx., No. 1185. Revelation 3:14-22.—Expositor, 1st series, vol. iii., p. 433; J. W. Lance, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 172; G. Macdonald, Ibid., vol. xxxvi., p. 72.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/revelation-3.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 3:14. The church of the Laodiceans Laodicea lay south of Philadelphia in the way to Ephesus; and if you inspect the maps, you will find the seven churches to lie in a kind of circular form; so that the natural progress was from Ephesus to Smyrna, from Smyrna toPergamos, from Pergamos to Thyatira, from Thyatira to Sardis, from Sardis to Philadelphia, from Philadelphia to Laodicea, and from Laodicea round to Ephesus again; which is the method and order that St. John has observed in addressing them, andwas probably the circuit that he took in his visitation. That there was a flourishing church in Laodicea in the primitive times of Christianity, is evident from St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, wherein frequent mention is made of the Laodiceans; as well as from this Epistle of St. John. But the doom of Laodicea seems to have been more severe and terrible than that of almost any other of the churches: for it is now utterly destroyed and forsaken of men, and is become an habitation only for wolves, foxes, and jackals, a den of dragons, snakes, and vipers: and that because the Lord hath executed the judgment that he hath pronounced upon her; that all the world might know and tremble at the fierce anger of God against impenitent, negligent, and careless sinners and apostates. For such was the accusation of the lukewarm Laodiceans, who grew proud and self-conceited, thinking themselves much better than they really were. Wherefore because they were neither hot nor cold, they were loathsome to Christ, and he therefore assured them, that he would spit them out of his mouth, Revelation 3:15-16. The ruins shew it to have been a very great city, situated upon six or seven hills, and encompassing a large space of ground. Some notion may be formed of its former greatness and glory from three theatres and a circus, which are remaining, one of which is truly admirable, as it was capable of containing above thirty thousand men; into whose area they descended by fifty steps. The city is now called Eski Hisar, or the Old Castle; and though it was once the mother church of sixteen bishopricks, yet it now lies desolate, not so much as inhabited by shepherds; and, so far from shewing any of the ornaments of God's ancient worship, it cannot now boast an anchorite's or hermit's chapel, where God's name is praised and invoked. Such is the state and condition of these seven churches, and there cannot be a stronger proof of the truth of prophesy, nor a more effectual warning to other Christians. The first bishop of Laodicea ordained by the apostles, is said to have been Archippus, in the Apostolical Constitutions. See Colossians 4:17. The Amen, is one of God's titles in Isaiah 65:16. (in the Hebrew). That prophesy seems to be applied to the Messiah, and therefore relates to our case. The words which follow, are synonymous, explaining this; for the faithful and true Witness is the same as the Amen. The confession and promises of Christ are true, and certain to every persevering believer: he was firm and unmoved in his confession, and he will never fail his faithful saints in what he has promised, and sealed with his blood. Instead of the beginning of the creation of God, Fleming renders it the efficient cause of God's creation; and the word αρκη has frequently that signification. The meaning is, that the whole creation was produced by him, and he is the Head and Governor of all that he has made.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-3.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

This epistle to the Laodiceans is the seventh and last epistle which Christ commanded St. John at this time to write; most of the churches were found faulty before, but none like this here. Formality and hypocrisy, coldness and indifferency, in religion, had so for prevailed in this church, that we find nothing commended in them, nothing good spoken of them, and none of them exempted from the general charge brought in against them for that lukewarmness and hypocrisy.

In this epistle now before us, Observe, 1. A description of Christ in his deservedly glorious titles: thus saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, that is, he that is verity and truth itself, both in his promises and his threatenings, who is holy, and cannot lie; righteous, and cannot deceive; wise, and can never be deceived; therefore Christ takes upon him this name here of the faithful and true Witness, to awaken these drowsy hypocrites, to see and consider that he knows their state and condition, and will testify and witness against them.

There is no such effectual remedy against hypocrisy, lukewarmness, and indifference in the matters of religion, as a firm belief of Christ's omnisciency and veracity. The other title given to Christ, is the beginning of the creation of God; that is, the beginner of the creation of God, the original and first cause, by which all the creatures of God had their beginning. Christ is not only principium principatun, but principium principians; not the passive beginning, or he that first created, but the active beginning, or he by whom the creation was begun, both the old and new creation.

Now Christ takes upon him this title, to encourage the Laodiceans to come unto him, (according to the invitation, given Revelation 3:18.) to recover them from their formality, seeing he is omnipotent, and can give a being and beginning to grace in the new creation as he did to nature in the old and first creation.

Observe, 2. The reproof here given to this church of Laodicea, I know thou art neither hot nor cold; thou art not for open heresy or infidelity, but likest well a profession of Christianity; you receive the gospel, and so are not quite cold, but you want zeal to suffer any thing for it, and so are not at all hot; I see nothing in thee but a lukewarm indifferency, for which I disown thee, nay, disdain thee.

Learn hence, 1. That Christ loathes lukewarm persons, who profess Christianity with reserves for worldly safety. These Laodiceans were neither enemies to Christ, nor true friends, but served God and gain, Christ and the world, by turns, as occasion served.

Learn, 2. That though God abominates lukewarmness and want of zeal, yet he will not disown those who have any spark of true zeal, though defective and culpably remiss; he will not quench smoking flax, but blow it up into a holy flame; but all that have not so much zeal as to prefer Christ before the world, shall be accounted his enemies, and disowned by him.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-3.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 3:14. ἀμήν. This Hebraistic expression(1547) is, as to its meaning, entirely synonymous with the following Greek expressions: ΄άρτυς, πιστὸς καὶ ἀληθινὸς;(1548) but the double designation of the Lord establishes with earnest emphasis the indubitable certainty of all that the Lord, who is the absolutely faithful witness (Revelation 1:5), has now to say to this church of his at Laod.; viz, the accusations (Revelation 3:15 sqq.), the advice (Revelation 3:18), the threatening and promise.(1549) Not inappropriate, therefore, is the admonition that in and through Christ all God’s promises are, and are to be, fulfilled;(1550) from which the inference has been derived, that the epistle to the church at Laod. is to be regarded the Amen of all the seven epistles,(1551) or that in the designations of the Lord, Revelation 3:14, a warrant is to be sought for the fulfilment of what is said in chs 4 sqq.(1552) The question here is not with respect to the promises or other utterances of God,(1553) which have their fulfilment in Christ, but with respect to the discourses of Christ himself which have in him(1554) their guaranty. Hence it is not correct when N. de Lyra adds to ΄αρτ., κ. τ. λ., “of paternal majesty.” As a “witness,” the Lord here manifests himself, however, as entirely determined by all his testimonies in the following epistle.

ἀληθινός. Not synonymous with πιστός (= ἀληθής: so ordinarily), but just because the Lord is a faithful, and, because of his truth, an unconditionally trustworthy witness, is he a true, actual, and genuine witness who deserves this name.(1555)

ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ. Cf. Colossians 1:15 sqq., on which Meyer has refuted the erroneous expositions which essentially recur in reference to this passage. According to the wording, ή ἀρχῆ τ. κτ. τ. θ. cannot signify ἄρχων, the prince of God’s creation;(1556) also the κτίσις τ. θ., “the creature restored, creates new things,” the church;(1557) and still less can the expression signify what in Revelation 1:5 follows of course the μαρτ. πιστ., although there it is said in clear words: πρωτότοκος τῶν νεκρῶν(1558) The wording in itself allows only two conceptions: either Christ is designated “the beginning of the creation of God,” i.e., as the first creature(1559) of God,(1560) as Ew. and Züll. understand it in harmony with the Arians;(1561) or, the Lord is regarded as the active principle of the creation.(1562) Unconditionally decisive for the latter alternative, which, however, dare not be perverted by a reference to the spiritual new creation,(1563) is the fundamental view of Christ, which is expressed in the Apoc., as well as in every other book of the N. T. How could Christ have caused even the present epistle to be written, if he himself were a creature? How could every creature in heaven and earth worship him,(1564) if he himself were one of them?(1565) The designation of the Lord, that he is α and ω, need only be recalled in its necessary force, and it will be found that in the α lies the fact that Christ is the ἀρχή of the creation,(1566) while in the ω lies the fact of Christ’s coming to make an end of the visible creation. [See Note XXXIX., p. 184.]

NOTES BY THE AMERICAN EDITOR

XXXIX. Revelation 3:14. ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως

Philippi (Kirch. Glaub., ii. 215): “He is the beginning of the creation; the beginning, and, as such, the principle, the original source, and author, and therefore not himself a creature. So God himself is also called the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6), and, in like manner, Christ (Revelation 22:13).” Gebhardt (pp. 90–98) refutes the interpretations of Baur, Hoekstra, Köstlin, Weiss, and Ritschl; and states the true interpretation to be as follows: “What exposition is demanded by the laws of language? Without further delay, I reply, that, had the seer written ‘the beginning of the creatures ( κτίσματα) of God,’ or had he written ‘the first, or the first-born, or the first-fruit ( πρῶτος, πρωτότοκος, ἀπαρχή), of the creation of God,’ then the expression might be understood to denote the first created, or that which precedes all things, the first creature in time and rank. But the seer has written ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ, which can mean nothing else than principium creationis, the principle, the ἐν , διʼ οὗ, εἰς , of the creation of God. After this affirmation of the literal sense, I may say that it finds confirmation in Revelation 1:17-18; Revelation 2:8.… To a church in which Christ not only discovers self-blindness, but which he threatens to spew out of his mouth, which he counsels to seek help from himself for its disease, to which he says that he rebukes and chastens those whom he loves,—in a word, to a church to which he reveals himself as to no other in his fullest and highest significance, and we must remember that we have to do with the last of the seven letters,—“the first creature” has not, in any of its possible meanings, a really satisfactory sense; and we find that sense only when we understand it to mean the principle of the creation of God, i.e., the personal, mediatorial, essential ground and end of the creation. Thus simply explained, according to the laws of language, the passage (Revelation 3:14), taken in connection with those quoted before, furnishes us with a very remarkable result, viz., that the seer has expressed the ‘Logos’ idea itself in its highest meaning.”

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Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

We read of this church, Colossians 4:16.

Laodicea was a city in Lydia, by the river Lycus: see Revelation 1:11.

These things saith the Amen: Amen, as we have oft noted, is a particle used in asserting, and in wishing, or praying; here it hath the use of a noun, and is assertive, he that is true, as it followeth. He may be conceived thus to preface his epistle, to ascertain to the ministers of this church the truth of what he blames in them; or of the threatenings or promises contained in it; to which purpose he also calls himself

the faithful and true witness: see the notes on Revelation 1:5.

The beginning of the creation of God: those that deny the Divinity of Christ, are deceived in their thoughts that this text will afford them any defence for their error; for arch, the word here used, doth not only signify the cause, but principality, or the chief, or prince, Ephesians 3:10 Colossians 1:16. Hence Christ is said to be arch, which we translate the beginning, because he was the Creator, the efficient cause of the creation, or hath a lordship over the whole creation; all power both in heaven and earth being committed to him, and all knees both in heaven and earth bowing down to him, Philippians 2:10. Unless we had rather interpret it of the new creation, either in the world, so he was the beginning of the gospel; or in particular souls, so he is the beginning of regeneration and sanctification. But though this be a truth, and consistent enough with the Greek phrase, Galatians 6:15, yet I see no reason why we should fly to it against the Arians, or their spurious offspring; for taking the creation, as ordinarily it signifies, the giving all creatures their first being, Christ was the efficient cause of it, and so the beginning of it, without him was nothing made; and he hath a lordship and dominion over it.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Ангелу Пастор-посыльный; его назначение – доставить это послание (см. пояснение к 1:20).

Лаодикийской Лаодикия находилась в долине реки Лисас к юго-западу от Фригии и была самым богатым и важным торговым центром в регионе. Известно, что в городе в основном развивались три отрасли: банки, производство шерсти и медицина (особенно изготовление мази для лечения глазных болезней). Водоснабжение города было недостаточным, и это явилось причиной постройки подземного водопровода. Все три отрасли, а также недостаточное водоснабжение вовлекаются в образность книги и играют свою роль. Начало церкви положило служение Епафраса. Павел в это время служил в Ефесе (ср. Кол 1:7), он никогда лично не приезжал в Лаодикию.

Аминь Обычное библейское выражение, означающее надежность и правдивость (ср. Ис. 65:16 – «Богом истины»), как сказано в 2Кор. 1:20, «все обетования Божии» выполняются во Христе, т.е. гарантируются и подтверждаются лично Иисусом Христом и Его деяниями.

свидетель верный и истинный Он заслуживает полного доверия и является совершенным свидетелем правды Господней (Ин. 14:6).

начало создания Это отметает ересь (которая, очевидно, имела место в Лаодикии и в Колоссах), что Христос был сотворен (ср. Кол. 1:15-20). Напротив, Он является «началом» (букв. «зачинателем», «создателем», «начальником») сотворения (ср. Ин. 1:3; 3:14) и Первородным, изначально сущим среди сотворенных, т.е. самым выдающимся, высшим существом из когда-либо рожденных (Кол. 1:15). Как человек, Он имел начало, но, как Бог, Он Сам являлся началом. К сожалению, ересь о личности Христа привела к созданию в Лаодикии не возрожденной духовно церкви.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The Amen; he who will cause all his words to be accomplished.

The beginning of the creation; its Author and Lord. See notes to Colossians 1:15-17.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

The Letter To The Church In Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22).

‘And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write, ‘These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.’

Jesus is the One who is the ‘yes’, the ‘Amen’ (‘so be it’) to all the promises of God (1 Corinthians 1:20), and especially the promises in Revelation 1:5-7. He is the full provider of the riches in those promises. The Laodiceans were famous for their pride in their wealth but He is telling them that their riches do not compare with what He has to offer. He offers them the true riches, the riches of God.

He is the faithful and true witness ((Revelation 1:5; Revelation 19:11; Revelation 21:5). He has suffered for God and He has suffered to death for them and His words can be relied on (Revelation 21:5). He has proved Himself and His faithfulness by His action in offering Himself for His own (compare Revelation 2:13) with all that results (Revelation 1:6). He wants them to respond in like manner.

He is ‘the beginning of the creation of God’. As its beginning He is its source, the firstborn before the whole of creation (Colossians 1:15). But equally important is the fact that He is also the beginning of the new creation (Revelation 21:1 with Revelation 1:7). In that there is a land of riches beyond anything they have ever dreamed of. Thus all things belong to Him and are in His hands.

The idea of the Amen comes from Isaiah 65:15-19 (literal Hebrew), where it is connected with the new creation. Here God distinguishes between ‘His servants’ and the rest of Israel and Judah.

‘He shall call his servants by another name, so that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of Amen, and he who swears in the earth will swear by the God of Amen, because the former troubles are forgotten and because they are hid from my eyes. For behold I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered nor come to mind, but be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create, for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying’ (Isaiah 65:15-19).

Thus ‘the Amen’ has in mind the new creation and the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2). The God of Amen is the God who says ‘so be it’ of the future, He guarantees it and can be relied on to bring it about.

The idea of ‘the Amen’ here in Revelation is to be seen as including both the faithful and true witness and the beginning of the creation of God within itself. In Revelation 1:5-6, He is revealed as the faithful witness and firstborn from the dead, ruler of the kings of the earth, the One who has delivered and exalted His people and John adds ‘Amen’, and in Revelation 1:7 He is the king coming in glory to judge the world, and John again adds ‘Amen’. So as the Amen He is the successful carrier out of His purposes. ‘The beginning of the creation of God’ has as much in mind the ‘new creation’ which results from His coming, as the old creation. The future is safe in His hands for He is the Amen.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-3.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

1. Destination and description of Christ3:14

The last of the seven cities (modern Eski-hisar, "the old fortress") lay about40 miles southeast of Philadelphia and90 miles east of Ephesus. It was a wealthy town that specialized in banking, producing black woolen cloth, and health care. It had suffered a severe earthquake that had destroyed it, but its prosperous citizens had rebuilt it.

Jesus Christ called Himself the "Amen" (lit. So be it). We should probably understand this title as a testimony to His ability to produce what He predicts (cf. Isaiah 65:16). As a "Witness," His testimony to the situation in Laodicea was trustworthy. The Laodiceans had a reputation for saying and doing whatever was necessary to preserve their own wellbeing. [Note: Tatford, pp143-44.] In contrast, Jesus spoke the truth. The "Beginning [Origin] of God"s creation" sets forth His authority to pass judgment. The Laodiceans were creative, but Jesus alone was the Creator (cf. John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).

Michael Svigel argued that arche here means ruler (of God"s creation). [Note: Michael J. Svigel, "Christ as "Arche in Revelation 3:14," Bibliotheca Sacra161:642 (April-June2004):215-31.] This rendering is possible, but most translators have believed the meaning is origin or source, which non-Trinitarians have taken as evidence that the Son is a created being.

"The whole tendency of the Johannine writings and of the Apocalypse in particular ... forbids the interpretation "the first of creatures."" [Note: Swete, p59.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-3.html. 2012.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

The letter to the church at Laodicea.--3:14-22.

1. "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God"--3:14.

The God of Amen means the God of truth, as stated in Deuteronomy 7:9 : "Know ye therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations." The repeated expression the faithful and true witness, refers to the things of the apocalypse -the absolute certainty of all the announcements made by his angels and agents in all of the visions.

The reminder that he is the beginning of the creation of God is the same in substance as that he is Alpha and Omega, meaning that he is the beginning as well as the end, the first as well as the last. It carries the same affirmation as in John 1:3, "all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." It means that in the beginning with God he was the active principle in creation, and is the Lord over all creation by primogeniture right--that is, the exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the firstborn. This right possessed by Jesus Christ is also affirmed by Paul in Hebrews 1:1-14 :1-2 : "God . . . hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds . . . being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." In priority of existence, having been the agent of all creation, he is Lord of the new creation, the whole spiritual realm.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-3.html. 1966.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 3:14. The seventh church addressed is that or Laodicea, an important and wealthy city not very far from Philadelphia. The chief interest of Laodicea, apart from that lent to it by the fact that it was one of the seven cities addressed in the Apocalypse, arises from its connection with the history of St. Paul. That apostle had not indeed founded the church there, nor at the time at least when he wrote the Epistle to the Colossians had he visited the city (Colossians 2:1), but he cherished a lively affection for its Christian inhabitants, and anxiously sought to promote their welfare (Colossians 4:16). It is probable that the New Testament Epistle, known as the Epistle to the Ephesians, was primarily intended for the Gentile Christians of Laodicea and the neighbouring towns.

Again we are first met by a description of the exalted Redeemer, which cannot be said to be taken directly from any part of the description of the Son of man contained in chap. 1. It seems rather to be composed of characteristics selected for their suitableness to the closing Epistle of the Seven. The Lord is the Amen. The appellation is no doubt taken from Isaiah 65:16, where the words of the Authorised Version, ‘the God of truth,’ fail adequately to represent the original. The Lord is rather there named ‘Amen;’ and the meaning of the name here is not that the Divine promises shall be accomplished by Him to whom it is given, but that He is Himself the fulfilment of all that God has spoken to His churches.

Again, He is the faithful and true witness. His work is to be a witness of God, and in that work He has been perfectly ‘faithful,’ absolutely ‘true.’—Once more He is the beginning of the creation of God, not merely the first and highest of all creatures,

a view entirely out of keeping with what is said of our Lord in the Apocalypse,—but the principle, the initial force, to which the ‘creation’ of God owes its origin. More doubt may be entertained as to what the ‘creation’ here referred to is, whether the material creation in all its extent or the new creation, the Christian Church, that redeemed humanity which has its true life in Christ. The former is the view generally taken, but the third term of the description thus fails to correspond with the first two which undoubtedly apply to the work of redemption, while at the same time the subjoined words ‘of God’ become meaningless or perplexing. Add to this that in chap. Revelation 1:5, immediately after Jesus had been called the ‘faithful Witness,’ He had also been described as the ‘first-begotten of the dead’ (see note there), and we shall hardly be able to resist the conclusion that, if the whole creation be alluded to, it is only as redeemed, in its final condition of rest and glory, when the new Jerusalem has descended from heaven, and the enemies of the Church have been cast into the lake of fire (comp. Romans 8:21-22; James 1:18). The three predicates thus form an appellation peculiarly appropriate, not so much to the church at Laodicea considered alone, as to the last church addressed in these Epistles. We have already seen that the first Epistle, that to Ephesus, has a general as well as a special character. A similar remark is applicable now. Christ is the ‘Amen’ of the whole counsel of God: He is the ‘Wit-ness’ who has faithfully and completely exhibited His truth; He is the source and spring of that new creation which is called into being according to His will.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-3.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Hæc dicet Amen; Greek: tade legei o Amen. Ille qui est Amen.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

of, &c. = in (Greek. en) Laodicea (an important city of Phrygia, a few miles west of Colosse. Rebuilt by Antiochus II, and named after his wife, Laodice).

the Amen. A Hebrew word transliterated. See 2 Corinthians 1:20 and p. 1511.

faithful. App-150.

Witness. See p. 1511.

beginning. App-172. Compare Proverbs 8:22-31. Colossians 1:15-19.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And 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;

Laodiceans - in the southwest of Phrygia, on the river Lycus, not far from Colosse, lying between it and Philadelphia: destroyed by an earthquake, 62 AD rebuilt by its wealthy citizens without the help of the state (Tacitus, Annals, 14:, 27). This wealth (arising from the excellence of its wools) led to a self-satisfied, lukewarm state in spiritual things, as Revelation 3:17 describes. Note on Colossians 4:16, on the letter thought to have been written to the Laodiceans by Paul. The church in later times was flourishing; for one of the councils at which the canon of Scripture was determined was held in Laodicea, in 361 AD Hardly a Christian is now to be found near its site.

The Amen - (Isaiah 65:16, Hebrew, 'Bless Himself in the God of Amen ... swear by the God of Amen;' 2 Corinthians 1:20.) He who not only says, but is, the Truth. The saints used Amen at the end of prayer, or the Word of God; none, except the Son of God, ever said, 'Amen, I say unto you:' it is language special to God, who avers by Himself. The New Testament 'Amen, I say unto you,' is equivalent to the Old Testament formula 'As I live, saith Yahweh.' In John's gospel alone He uses the double "Amen" (John 1:52; 3:3, etc.): English version, "Verily, verily." The title harmonizes with the address. His unchanging faithfulness as "the Amen" contrasts with Laodicea's wavering - "neither hot nor cold" (Revelation 3:16). The angel of Leodices has, with probability, been conjectured to be Archippus, to whom, thirty years previously, Paul had given a needed monition to diligence in his ministry (Colossians 4:17). So the 'Apostolic Constitutions,' 8:, 46, name him as first Bishop of Laodicea: supposed to be the son of Philemon (Philem 2).

Faithful and true Witness. "The Amen" expresses the truth of His promises; "the true Witness," the genuineness of His revelations of heavenly things which He has seen and testifies (John 3:11-12). "Faithful,"

i.e., trustworthy (2 Timothy 2:11; 2 Timothy 2:13). "True" is here [ aleethinos (Greek #228)] not truth-speaking [ aleethes (Greek #227)], but 'perfectly realizing all that is comprehended in "Witness" ' (1 Timothy 6:13). Three things are necessary:

(1) to have seen with His own eyes; (2) to be competent to relate it;

(3) to be willing truthfully to do so.

In Christ all these conditions meet (Trench).

Beginning of the creation of God - not He whom God created first, but as in Colossians 1:15-18 (note), the Beginner of all creation: its originating instrument. All creation would not be represented adoring Him, if He were but one of themselves (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 5:11; Revelation 5:13). His being the Creator is a guarantee for His faithfulness as 'the Witness and Amen.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) Laodicea.—Situated half way between Philadelphia and Colossae, and not far from Hierapolis. It received its name from Laodice, wife of Antiochus the second king of Syria, by whom it was rebuilt and beautified. It had borne in earlier times the names of Diospolis and afterwards Rhoas. It shared with Thyatira and Sardis in the dye trade; the woods grown in the neighbourhood were famous for their quality and the rich blackness of their colour. Prosperity in trade had so enriched the population that when their city suffered in the great earthquake (A.D. 60) they were able to carry on the work of rebuilding without applying, as many of the neighbouring towns were compelled to do, to the Imperial Treasury for aid. The language of St. Paul (Colossians 1:5-8) suggests that the churches of Colossae and the neighbourhood first received Christianity from the preaching of Epaphras, though it seems strange that so important a city, lying hard upon the great Roman road from Ephesus to the east, should have been passed over by St. Paul in his journeyings throughout Phrygia (see Acts 16:6; Acts 18:23); yet, on the other hand, Phrygia was a vague term, and the language of Colossians 2:1 is most generally understood to imply that the Apostle had never personally visited either Colossae or Laodicea. (See Note on Colossians 2:1.) But it was a Church in which St. Paul took the deepest possible interest; the believers there were constantly in his mind. He knew their special temptations to the worship of inferior mediators, and to spiritual paralysis springing from wordly prosperity and intellectual pride. He had great heart-conflict for those of Laodicea (Colossians 3:1), and in proof of his earnest solicitude he addressed a letter to them (Colossians 4:16), in all probability the epistle we call the Epistle to the Ephesians. Prom the Epistle to the Colossians we may gather that when St. Paul wrote the Christians at Laodicea assembled for worship in the house of Nymphas (Colossians 4:15) probably under the presidency of Archippus (Revelation 3:17).

Unto the angel of the church (or, congregation) of the Laodiceans.—Better, in Laodicea. By the angel we understand the presiding pastor. There is some ground for identifying him with Archippus. It is too much to dismiss this as a baseless supposition. (See Note in Trench.) It is a well-supported view which understands the passage (Colossians 4:17) to mean that Archippus was a minister or office-bearer in the Church at Laodicea.

These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness.—The “Amen,” used only here as a personal name. It is the Hebrew word for verily, and may have some reference to Isaiah 65:16; but more certainly it seems chosen to recall the frequent use of it by our Lord Himself. He who so often prefaced His solemn utterance by “Verily, verily,” now reveals Himself as the source of all certainty and truth. In Him is Yea, and in Him Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). In Him there is no conjecture, or guess-work; for He is (and the Greek equivalents of the Hebrew Amen are used following) the faithful and true witness, who speaks what He knows, and testifies what He has seen (John 3:11). “Faithful” is to be taken here as meaning trustworthy. The word sometimes means trustful (John 20:27; Acts 14:1), at other times, trustworthy (2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Thessalonians 5:24). In the Arian controversy, the application of the word to Christ was used as an argument against His divinity; it was enough to show in reply that the same word was applied to God, and expressed His faithfulness to His word and promise (1 Thessalonians 5:21). “True”—He is not only trustworthy as a witness, but He combines in Himself all those qualifications which a witness ought to possess. The same word is used here as in Revelation 3:7, where see Note. Trench suggests the three things necessary to constitute a true witness. He must have been an eyewitness of what He relates, possess competence to relate what He has seen, and be willing to do so.

The beginning (better, the origination) of the creation of God.—This title of our Lord does not occur in the Epistles to the other churches, but very closely resembles the language used by St. Paul in writing to the Colossians (Colossians 1:15-18). The “beginning,” not meaning that Christ was the first among the created, but that He was the origination, or primary source of all creation. By Him were all things made (John 1:1-3 : comp. Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:18), not with Him, but by Him creation began. In short, the word “beginning” (like the word “faithful”) must be understood in an active sense. He has originating power (Acts 3:14) as well as priority of existence. The appropriateness of its use will be seen when we remember that the Laodicean Church was exposed to the temptation of worshipping inferior principalities. (See Colossians 1:16; Colossians 2:15, where the plural of the word here rendered “beginning,” or origin, is used, and is translated “principalities.”)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And 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;
the angel
1:11; 2:1
of the Laodiceans
or, in Laodicea.
Colossians 2:1; 4:16
the Amen
Isaiah 65:16; 2 Corinthians 1:20
the faithful
7; 1:5; 19:11; 22:6; Isaiah 55:4; Jeremiah 42:5
the beginning
Colossians 1:15
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:1 - God;  Proverbs 8:7 - my mouth;  Isaiah 11:5 - and faithfulness;  Isaiah 43:10 - and my servant;  Jeremiah 28:6 - Amen;  Jeremiah 29:23 - even I;  Ezekiel 44:15 - the sons;  Matthew 6:13 - Amen;  Matthew 24:35 - my;  John 3:3 - Verily;  John 3:11 - We speak;  John 5:31 - GeneralJohn 14:6 - the truth;  John 18:37 - that I should;  Romans 1:7 - To all;  2 Corinthians 1:18 - as;  2 Corinthians 3:3 - the epistle;  Colossians 1:18 - the beginning;  Colossians 4:13 - Laodicea;  1 Thessalonians 5:12 - and are;  1 Timothy 6:13 - who before;  Hebrews 1:10 - in;  2 Peter 3:4 - from the beginning;  1 John 5:20 - him that;  Revelation 1:4 - to the;  Revelation 1:20 - The seven stars;  Revelation 2:4 - because;  Revelation 19:9 - Write;  Revelation 22:18 - testify

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-3.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE SPIRIT'S ADDRESS TO LAODICEA

(Revelation 3:14-22).

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS.

In the first four churches Christ presents Himself in some part of the character in which He is beheld by the Seer in Revelation 1:12-16, but in each of the last three He gives fresh revelations of Himself. The circumstances in these latter are wholly different from those in the earlier churches, and hence the presentation of Christ is in exact keeping with the several closing Church states herein depicted.

Whatever the general condition of the Church may be at any period, Christ never deserts it. When it ceases to be a vessel of testimony for God, a light bearer in darkness, then the sentence of excision (Revelation 3:16) is finally executed, but that day, though nearing, has not yet arrived. The Church in its outward testimony for God is owned and recognised, and can be addressed in its Church standing. God has not yet rejected the professing Church, nor should we. We deplore its evils, and reject complicity with iniquity practised under its shadow, but it is still God's witness on earth, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15) and the olive tree of testimony (Romans 11:1-36). The unconditional threat and its execution are very different things. The former has been announced; the latter is yet future. Laodicea, representing as it does the last phase of the professing Church, has not yet been publicly disowned (v. 16). Its Church standing is a fact as positive as that of any of the previous churches. Laodicea may have departed in life and practice more than any of the others, but its position before God is unquestionable, and on that ground it is addressed.

The Church in these two chapters is spoken to in its public, professing character as the House of God in which the highest privileges are enjoyed; hence it is the scene of weightiest responsibility and the first subject of divine judgment (1 Peter 4:17). The Church, when viewed as the mystical Body of Christ, being the aggregate of all true believers on earth, is necessarily exempt from judgment. Human administration enters largely into the former; whereas the latter is the fruit alone of God's Holy Spirit. The true and the false may enter the "House." The true only can enter the "Body." No real believer need fear being involved in the peremptorily expressed threat of judgment conveyed in verse 16. "Caught up" and "spued out" intimate the respective destiny of the true and the false, of believers and mere professors. This latter being so loathsome to Christ that thorough rejection by Him is the only way in which His holiness can be publicly vindicated.

In the address to Philadelphia there is no reproof. Here there is no praise.

TITLES OF THE DIVINE SPEAKER.

14. — "To the angel of the Church in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God." The marginal reading in our English Bibles, "in Laodicea," is correct, and not that in the text, "the Church of the Laodiceans." The titles are singularly appropriate to the Church of the last days; they just suit the present Laodicean condition of things. The angel as usual is addressed. The Church standing is thereby recognised. The spiritual condition of this assembly even in Paul's day, thirty years previously, caused the apostle great mental conflict (Colossians 2:1). Various causes contributed to this Church's ruin, the chief of which were pride, material wealth, and self-satisfaction. In these it gloried. How fitting therefore these titles!

(1) "These things saith the Amen." This is a Hebrew word signifying what is fixed, true, unchangeable. The force of the word may be found in Isaiah 7:9; Isaiah 65:16, where the words "believe" and "truth" are literally Amen. Its equivalent in Greek is in our well-known "verily," duplicated in the Gospel of John, and only there, occurring about twenty-five times. It implies divine certainty. Here, however, it is not employed as in other parts of the sacred volume as an adverb, but its use with the definite article "the Amen" points to another glory, another descriptive title of our blessed Lord. The Church has utterly failed in making good the promises and truth of God. In Christ both are secured. In His Person we have the guarantee that every promise and every truth will be Amened (see also 2 Corinthians 1:20).

(2) "The faithful and true Witness." The highway of the ages is strewn with wreck. Every witness for God, individual and corporate, has failed save One. The Church, so richly endowed with truth and privilege, is the worst offender of any of the witnessing company from Adam downwards. Has it been a faithful custodian of the treasures of divine grace? Is it a true witness to the character of God? Is it the living expression on earth of Jesus Christ, of what He was and is? Alas, no! The Church has shut Him out. Hear its jubilant strain, "I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing," not even of Christ, the Church's life and glory. He, thus driven out, yet lingers about the door, taking His stand outside. "Behold! " this wonder of wonders, "I stand at the door and knock," and such is His attitude to-day. The Church is the most responsible witness which has ever appeared, and it is now a huge wreck. It is being morally ruined, not by open enemies, but by professed friends. Boastful, proud, loaded with wealth, and content while Christ is outside! Such was Laodicea, such is the Church today. She has been neither a faithful nor true witness. But Christ is, and thus once again the heart is relieved as it turns from the wreck and ruin around to Him. What a rest to the spirit! Herein is a firm ground for faith amidst the ecclesiastical upheavings everywhere. Christ is God's Witness.

(3) "The Beginning of the creation of God." The creation set up under the headship of Adam has, whether ecclesiastical, social, or governmental, gone from bad to worse. "The corruption of the best thing," i.e., the Church, "is the worst of all corruptions." The world seems ready to enter on its last plunge into the vortex of iniquity. Ritualism is working towards popery, and Rationalism towards infidelity. The former system will be headed up, not in the Pope, but in the Antichrist; the latter will be fully represented in a man unnamed in the divine Word, but termed "the beast," characterised by brute force, a blasphemous, persecuting, murderous personage, inspired by Satan. These two men may be alive now for aught we know, and as Jew and Gentile were united in the crucifixion of our Lord, is it not fitting that the respective forces of Ritualism and Rationalism which are ruining the Church should, when the restraining influences are removed and things are fully developed, be headed up in a Jew and a Gentile? Laodicea is compounded of two Greek words signifying people and righteous, and really intimates the struggle now fiercely raging in every land by the peoples to obtain their rights, real or supposed. The forces of anarchy and order are confronting each other, and soon Europe, if not in a more extended area, will present the grim spectacle of the subversion of all constituted authority, with anarchy and the peoples for a brief season triumphant, turning earth into a pandemonium (Revelation 6:12-17), when out of the moral, social, and political chaos a stern hand grasps the helm — one tyranny exchanged for another — and finally creation is again set under Christ, the beginning of the creation of God (Psalms 8:1-9; Ephesians 1:10-22, etc.). "This very title, therefore, intimates the ruin of the now 6000 years old creation, of which the Church is the last witness. The extensive and magnificent system of things, celestial and terrestrial, animate and inanimate, of which Christ as Man is here termed "the Beginning," is the creation spoken of in our text. The millennial kingdom is referred to. If, therefore, in the previous titles of the divine Speaker we are turned from the Church to Christ, from its ruined testimony to Him as the Securer of Truth and Promise, and the faithful and true Witness, here our hearts adoringly rest on a scene of ineffable blessedness, on another creation of which Christ is "the Beginning."{*There are at least four headships ascribed to Christ: (1) Headship of the body (Colossians 2:19). (2) Headship of the Race (1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; i.e., those in Christ, Galatians 3:28, 2 Corinthians 5:17). (3) Headship of Creation (Colossians 1:15-17; Colossians 2:10). (4) Headship of every Man (1 Corinthians 11:3). United to Him gives the thought of the first; "in Him" is involved in the second; dignity is conveyed in the third; and lordship in the fourth. "The beginning of the creation of God" is a title involving His headship.}

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-3.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

See the comments at Revelation 1:20 for significance of Angel. The Amen is given special meaning here by the words the faithful and true witness. This is logical since the word amen means "so be it" or is an endorsement of some stated or implied fact. A true witness, would not endorse any declaration that was not correct. The beginning of the creation of God. This is equivalent to the statement in Colossians 1:15 that Christ is "the firstborn of every creature." The reader will do well to see the comments at that place also on a number of verses following it. The "beginning of the creation" coincides with John 1:1-3 where Christ is said to have been "in the beginning," then explains it with the declaration that "all things were made by Him."

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-3.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 3:14

Revelation 3:14 And 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;

And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write.

Laodicea was a great and rich City in Phrygia, by the River Licus, near to Coloss; where the gospel was preached, and this Church was planted in the faith and order of the gospel;

These things saith the Amen.

That Isaiah, unchangeable, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and to day, and the same for ever, Hebrews 13:8. Christ is also the Amen of all the promises of God, 2 Corinthians 1:20.

The faithful and true witness,

See KNOLLYS: Revelation 1:5

The beginning of the creation of God,

Proverbs 8:22-30. Christ is the first-born of every creature, Colossians 1:15, also the first-born amongst many brethren, Romans 8:29 and therefore Christ in all things hath the preeminence, Colossians 1:18.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-3.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 3:14. And to the angel of the church at Laodicea write: These things says Amen, the true and faithful witness, the beginning of the creation of God. The Hebrew Amen is everywhere used adverbially, even in Isaiah 65:16, where the God of the Verily is the God whose words and deeds have always the verily impressed on them. So it is also here. The verily is he, who in all he says, in disclosing the concealed depths of the heart, in threatening and promising, can always add with the fullest right the verily; while in regard to every thing that a shortsighted man speaks, there constantly goes along with it a mark of interrogation, and the more so indeed the more confidently he speaks. This note of distinction comes out in connection with the verily so frequently occurring in the discourses of our Lord, and occurring more frequently in the Gospel of John than the others. In this Gospel also it is often reduplicated.[Note: Lampe on John 1:52 throws out the question, qui factimi sit, ut reliqui Evangelistae conatanter Jesum introducant semel tantum Amen pronunciantem, Joannes vero seque constanter commemoret, quod earn ingeminaverit.] For, this, just as the predicate here, points to the fulness of truth that dwells in him as the True—comp. on Revelation 3:7.

Christ was already in the Introduction designated the true witness, ch. Revelation 1:5. There, for the consolation (as appears from the connection) of those who were ready to despair in the presence of a seemingly almighty world, the eye of faith is pointed to the certainty of his promises. Here, according to what follows, we have mainly to think of the certainty of his threatening and rebuking testimony: Think not that ye have to do with a short-sighted man, who may easily be deceived, who may judge falsely of your spiritual condition, and dream of imaginary dangers; in the presence of the true and faithful witness repent, so that ye may not be consumed by his coming wrath. Still, we are not to think alone of threatening and rebuke. For, the promise also in Revelation 3:20-21 has the predicates of Christ here as its foundation. The condemnatory judgment of the true and faithful witness must no one gainsay, however deep it may wound, his threatening must no one despise, his promise must all confide in.

When it is said of God and Christ that he is the beginning (comp. on ch. Revelation 1:8), it is the living beginning that is meant—that wherein the beginning has its root, the source of being; as also God and Christ are named the end, from the end being ruled by them, or having its root in them. Now, the same that is the beginning alone, is the beginning of the creation of God. For, it is in relation to the creatures that God and Christ are named the beginning. As the beginning of these creatures of God, as the one in whom we all live and move and have our being, Christ is omniscient in the knowledge of the works ("there is no creature that is not manifest before him; all is naked and open to his eyes," Hebrews 4:13), almighty in his power to punish and reward them.

In the fact also of God's being called the beginning, is the inadmissibility discovered of the Arian exposition, according to which Christ is here called the beginning of the creation, as himself the first creature. It would, besides, be quite extraordinary if He, who everywhere goes forth for the purpose of exhibiting the most perfect unity of being between the Father and the Son, should here for once fix a terrible gulph betwixt them. Here too, in particular, where it was of importance to set Christ as high as possible, in order to secure attention to the address that follows by pointing to his omniscience and his almightiness! Against the Arian exposition also decides the original passage, Colossians 1:15-18, comp. on ch. Revelation 1:5. That there Christ is spoken of as the author of creation, not as the first of created beings, has been shewn recently by Huther. And as the author of creation Christ also appears elsewhere in this book; comp. on ch. Revelation 5:13.

Perhaps in this predicate of Christ: the arche of the ktisis of God there is an allusion to the name of Archippus, who in Colossians 4:17 (comp. Philem. Philemon 1:2) appears as the most influential overseer in Laodicea: "And say to Archippus, Take heed to the office, which thon hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it."[Note: Whether Archippus was at Colosse, or at Laodicea, certainly cannot with absolute certainty be determined from the passage referred to. But the latter is favoured by the Say; which seems to presuppose that Archippus did not belong to the persons to whom the epistle was immediately addressed. From Philem. Revelation 3:2, comp. with Colossians 4:9, it could only be concluded that Archippus dwelt at Colosse, if there did not exist a close connection between the churches.] And in the Apostolical Constitutions 8:46 he is called the first bishop of the Laodiceans, and is said to have been ordained by the apostles. The admonition sent to him by Paul already sounds somewhat suspicions.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

VII. LAODICEA—Rich in goods, but poor in faith, Revelation 3:14-22.

14.Laodicea—From Philadelphia our apostle in his circuit would range to the south-east through a journey of fifty or sixty miles to the capital of Phrygia, the rich and powerful Laodicea. In so doing he would cross from the Hermus over a mountain range into the fertile valley of the river Meander, a river whose varying course has given our language a verb, “to meander.” He would find a great city, which, under the Roman sway, had continually grown in power. He would also find, to all appearance, a rich and proud Church, whose Christianity had assumed a stereotype and inactive form. The Apostolic Constitutions (viii, 46) say, that Archippus was then Bishop of Laodicea. And it seems to some a coincidence that in Colossians 4:17, St. Paul appears to imply that he was a remiss minister. Hengstenberg finds, not wisely, an allusion to his name in the word , Revelation 3:14. Laodicea was one of a triangle of neighbouring city Churches; including Colosse, to which Paul had addressed an epistle, and Hierapolis, visible from the summit of the Laodicean theatre, and where Papias was, soon after St. John’s day, a bishop. St. Paul in his epistle to Colosse salutes the brethren in Laodicea, and requires his epistle to be read in the Church of the Laodiceans, with an exchange. See note on Colossians 4:16. Laodicea was founded in the third century before Christ by Antiochus II., king of Syria, and so named after his wife. It submitted to Rome, and in the war of Mithridates, king of Pontus, stood a siege against that monarch. It had been (A.D. 62) overthrown by an earthquake, but was munificently patronized by the Roman emperors, and its theatres, aqueducts, and churches have left magnificent ruins for the eye of the modern traveller and the spade of the excavator. Perhaps Laodicea listened to the voice of the Lord, woke to action, and became a powerful Church. A bishop and martyr, Sagaris, (A.D. 170,) is mentioned by Eusebius. About the middle of the fourth century the Council of Laodicea assumed to settle the New Testament Canon, in which it is remarkable that our Apocalypse was denied a place.

The Amen—The divine affirmative One. So in Isaiah 65:16, “The God of Truth,” in the Hebrew “The God of Amen.” In 2 Corinthians 1:20, Christ is the medium through whom our obedient amen goes up to God; here he is the intervening, affirming Amen, affirming God’s truth, to us. The “verily” so often repeated by our Lord in the gospels, is in the Greek amen; and it is remarkable that in John’s Gospel it is always doubled, verily, verily, amen, amen.

Faithful and true witness—A title preparing us for a faithful and true testimony to Laodicea respecting her character and spiritual condition.

Beginning of the creation—A sublime declaration of the divine authority from which that testimony comes. A beginning of a series of things, taken passively, is the first one in that series. In that sense Christ would be the first created being in the series of creation. Taken actually, as that which originates the series, then the series does not include, but takes existence from, him. In that case Christ is the originator of the creation, uncreated. How John understands it we may well learn from the very first verse of his Gospel. In the opening words, “In the beginning was the Word,” the same Word, , is used as here, and its subject precedes creation. And in the third verse we are told that “the world was made by him,” namely, the Word, who was in the beginning.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-3.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 3:14. Jesus is the Amen because he guarantees the truth of any statement, and the execution of any promise, made by himself. He is consequently the faithful and true witness, whose counsel and rebuke (Revelation 3:18-19) however surprising and unwelcome, are therefore to be laid to heart as authoritative. A faithful witness is one who can be trusted never to misrepresent his message, by exaggeration or suppression, ( practically = as often, since a real witness is naturally a truthful and competent one) his veracity extending not only to his character but to the contents of his message. In point of sincerity and unerring insight (as opposed to “false” in both senses of the term), Jesus is the supreme moral critic; the church is the supreme object of his criticism. He is also absolutely trustworthy, and therefore his promises are to be believed (Revelation 3:20-21), or rather God’s promises are assured and realised to men through him (cf. . . in 2 Maccabees 2:11). Compare the fine Assyrian hymn of Ishtar (Jastrow, p. 343): “Fear not the mind which speaks to thee comes with speech from me, withholding nothing.’ Is there any utterance of mine that I addressed to thee, upon which thou couldst not rely?” (also, Eurip. Ion 1537). The resemblance of . . ., to a passage in Colossians is noteworthy as occurring in an open letter to the neighbouring church of Laodicea (Philonic passages in Grill, pp. 106–110). Here the phrase denotes “the active source or principle of God’s universe or Creation” ( , as in Greek philosophy and Jewish wisdom-literature, = origin), which is practically Paul’s idea and that of John 1:3 (“the Logos idea without the name Logos,” Beyschlag). This title of “incipient cause” implies a position of priority to everything created; he is the first in the sense that he is neither creator (a prerogative of God in the Apocalypse), nor created, but creative. It forms the most explicit allusion to the pre-existence of Jesus in the Apocalypse, where he is usually regarded as a divine being whose heavenly power and position are the outcome of his earthly suffering and resurrection: John ascribes to him here (not at Revelation 12:5, as Baldensperger, 85, thinks) that pre-existence which, in more or less vital forms, had been predicated of the messiah in Jewish apocalyptic (cf. En. xlviii.). This pre-existence of messiah is an extension of the principle of determinism; God foreordained the salvation itself as well as its historical hour. See the Egyptian hymn: “He is the primeval one, and existed when as yet nothing existed; whatever is, He made it after He was. He is the father of beginnings.’ God is the truth, He lives by Truth, He lives upon Truth, He is the king of Truth.” The evidence for the pre-existence of messiah in Jewish Christian literature is examined by Dr. G. A. Barton, Journ. Bibl. Lit. 1902, pp. 78–91. Cf. Introd. § 6.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

14. To the angel of the church in Laodicea. To the evangelist. See note on Revelation 1:20. The Amen. See 2 Corinthians 1:20.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:14". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.