Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:19

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Backsliders;   Chastisement;   Church;   Commandments;   Jesus, the Christ;   Laodicea;   Repentance;   Wicked (People);   Zeal, Religious;   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Afflictions;   Blessings-Afflictions;   Chastisement;   Commendation-Reproof;   Earnestness-Indifference;   Fervour;   Reproof;   Trials;   Words of Christ;   Zeal;   The Topic Concordance - Chastisement;   Coming;   Government;   Hearing;   Jesus Christ;   Love;   Rebuke;   Repentance;   Throne;   Victory/overcoming;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Afflictions;   Love of Christ, the;   Repentance;   Reproof;   Zeal;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Laodicea;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Chastisement;   Laodicea;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Zeal;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Archippus;   Laodicea;   Proverbs, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ascension;   Chasten, Chastisement;   Laodicea;   Letter Form and Function;   Repentance;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Archippus;   Asia;   Evil;   Laodicea;   Magi;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Chastisement;   Discipline (2);   Laodicea;   Reproof;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Chastening;   Covet, to;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   Temptation;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Laodice'a;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Chastening;   Colossians, Epistle to the;   Rebuke;   Revelation of John:;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for June 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

As many as I love - So it was the love he still had to them that induced him thus to reprehend and thus to counsel them.

Be zealous - Be in earnest, to get your souls saved, They had no zeal; this was their bane. He now stirs them up to diligence in the use of the means of grace and repentance for their past sins and remissness.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten - Of course, only on the supposition that they deserve it. The meaning is, that it is a proof of love on his part, if his professed friends go astray, to recall them by admonitions and by trials. So a father calls back his children who are disobedient; and there is no higher proof of his love than when, with great pain to himself, he administers such chastisement as shall save his child. See the sentiment here expressed fully explained in the notes on Hebrews 12:6. The language is taken from Proverbs 3:12.

Be zealous therefore, and repent - Be earnest, strenuous, ardent in your purpose to exercise true repentance, and to turn from the error of your ways. Lose no time; spare no labor, that you may obtain such a state of mind that it shall not be necessary to bring upon you the severe discipline which always comes on those who continue lukewarm in religion. The truth taught here is, that when the professed followers of Christ have become lukewarm in his service, they should lose no time in returning to him, anti seeking his favor again. As sure as he has any true love for them, if this is not done he will bring upon them some heavy calamity, alike to rebuke them for their errors, and to recover them to himself.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

As many as I love, I reprove and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

For full discussion of the doctrine of chastening, see in my Commentary on Hebrews, pp. 317-319.

There is nothing like this in the whole New Testament; it could be in tended for all the churches, but Laodicea's being the last one caused it to be incorporated here with the letter to that church. A literal translation is: "See, I have taken my stand upon your threshold, and I am continually knocking."[69] Many have commented upon this matchless verse which is honored in the music and art of the world. Morgan paraphrased the meaning thus:

He waits for man. He is not waiting for a committee to pass a resolution. If any man hear my voice, I will come to him ... I will be his guest, "I will sup with him." He shall be my guest, "and he with me." I will sit at the table which his love provides, and satisfy my heart. He shall sit at the table which my love provides, and satisfy his heart.[70]

"This promise has a eucharistic flavor about it. The mention of a supper with Christ pictures the last supper in the upper room, and the subsequent occasions when it was re-enacted as the continuing symbol of Christ's continuing presence."[71] "This is one of the greatest gospel texts in the New Testament and should be quoted frequently in both public evangelism and in personal work."[72]

Certainly, one of the applications of this verse is that of referring it to the Lord's Supper. This sacred institution, observed without interruption throughout the Christian era, enables every Christian to "eat with the Lord" in every observance of it. We agree with Caird who considered this reference imperative.

[69] Merrill C. Tenney, Interpreting Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1957), p. 67.

[70] G. Campbell Morgan, The Letters of Our Lord (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, n.d.), p. 104.

[71] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 58.

[72] Ralph Earle, op. cit., p. 527.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "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

As many as I love I rebuke and chasten,.... The persons the objects of Christ's love here intended are not angels, but the sons of men; and these not all of them, yet many of them, even all who are his own by his Father's gift and his own purchase; and who are called his church, and sometimes represented as such who love him and obey his commands: the instances of his love to them are many; as his suretyship engagements for them, his assumption of their nature, dying in their room and stead, paying their debts, procuring their peace and pardon, bringing in a righteousness for them, purchasing their persons, his intercession for them, preparations in heaven, supplies of grace, and frequent visits in a kind and familiar manner; and as for the nature of his love, it is free and sovereign, everlasting and immutable, and it is matchless and inconceivable, it is strong and affectionate, and as his Father loved him; and such are rebuked by Christ, not in a way of wrath, but in a tender manner, in order to bring them under a conviction of their sin and of their duty, and of their folly in trusting in, or loving any creature more than himself, and of all their wrong ways; and they are chastened by him, not in a vindictive, but in a fatherly way, which is instructive and teaching to them, and for their good. This seems to refer to some afflictions which Christ was about to bring upon this church, by some means or another, to awaken her out of her sloth and security, and which would be in love to her, and the end be to rouse her zeal and bring her to repentance. Some think this respects the Gog and Magog army, which will encompass the camp of the saints, and the beloved city; but that will not be till after the thousand years' reign, and besides will be no affliction to them; rather it designs the unchurching them, signified by spewing them out of his mouth, Revelation 3:16,

be zealous, therefore, and repent; zeal was what was wanting in this church; which is nothing else than hot, fervent, and ardent love, love in a flame; whereas she was neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, Christ would have her be "zealous" for God; for his cause and interest, for his Gospel, ordinances, and the discipline of his house, and against everything that is evil; against all false worship, all errors in doctrine, all sin and iniquity; and to be zealous of good works, and in the worship of God, both private and public: and "repent"; in an evangelical way, of her lukewarnmess, remissness, and supineness; of her pride, arrogance, and vain boastings of herself; and of her self-sufficience, self-dependence, and self-confidence.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be k zealous therefore, and repent.

(k) Zeal is set against those who are neither hot nor cold.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Job 5:17; Proverbs 3:11, Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:5, Hebrews 12:6.) So in the case of Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:11-13).

As many — All. “He scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. And shalt thou be an exception? If excepted from suffering the scourge, thou art excepted from the number of the sons” [Augustine]. This is an encouragement to Laodicea not to despair, but to regard the rebuke as a token for good, if she profit by it.

I loveGreek, “{(philo},” the love of gratuitous affection, independent of any grounds for esteem in the object loved. But in the case of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:9), “I have loved thee” (Greek, “{(egapesa}”) with the love of esteem, founded on the judgment. Compare the note in my English Gnomon of Bengel, John 21:15-17.

I rebuke — The “I” in the Greek stands first in the sentence emphatically. I in My dealings, so altogether unlike man‘s, in the case of all whom I love, rebuke. The Greek, “{(elencho},” is the same verb as in John 16:8, “(the Holy Ghost) will convince (rebuke unto conviction) the world of sin.&rdquo);

chasten — “chastise.” The Greek, “{paideu},” which in classical Greek means to instruct, in the New Testament means to instruct by chastisement (Hebrews 12:5, Hebrews 12:6). David was rebuked unto conviction, when he cried, “I have sinned against the Lord”; the chastening followed when his )child was taken from him (2 Samuel 12:13, 2 Samuel 12:14). In the divine chastening, the sinner at one and the same time winces under the rod and learns righteousness.

be zealous — habitually. Present) tense in the Greek, of a lifelong course of zeal. The opposite of “lukewarm.” The Greek by alliteration marks this: Laodicea had not been “hot” (Greek, “{zestos}”), she is therefore urged to “be zealous” (Greek, “{zeleue}”): both are derived from the same verb, Greek, “{zeo},” “to boil.”

repentGreek aorist: of an act to be once for all done, and done at once.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "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

Free rendering of Proverbs 3:12 (in Hebrews 12:6), but with ους εανhous ean (indefinite relative plural) for ονhon (definite relative singular), with πιλωphilō instead of αγαπαιagapāi and with the first person παιδευωpaideuō for παιδευειpaideuei (the Lord chastens, from παιςpais child, training a child) and with ελεγχωelegchō (reprove) added.

Be zealous (ζηλευεzēleue). Present active imperative of ζηλευωzēleuō in good sense (from ζηλοσ ζεωzēlosζηλοωzeō to boil), in opposition to their lukewarmness, here only in N.T. (elsewhere μετανοησονzēloō), “keep on being zealous.”

Repent (μετανοεωmetanoēson). Ingressive first aorist active imperative of metanoeō f0).

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "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

As many as I love

In the Greek order I stands first as emphatic.

Rebuke ( ἐλέγχω )

See on John 3:20. Rev., reprove.

Chasten ( παιδεύω )

See on Luke 23:16.

Be zealous ( ζήλευε )

The verb is akin to ζεστός hotin Revelation 3:16, on which see note.

Repent

See on Matthew 3:2; see on Matthew 20:29.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "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

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

Whomsoever I love — Even thee, thou poor Laodicean! O how much has his unwearied love to do! I rebuke - For what is past.

And chasten — That they may amend for the time to come.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

This and similar passages, often occurring in the Scriptures, justly afford great comfort to the afflicted and the sorrowful. The view which they present is abundantly confirmed by daily experience, since the almost magic effect of trial and suffering in softening the heart, and opening it to the access of spiritual enjoyments, is very obvious to all who have experienced them.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-3.html. 1878.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

19.] Importing that these rich proofs of Christ’s love are only to be sought by such as the Laodiceans in the way of rebuke and chastisement: and reciprocally, as tending not to despair, but to encouragement, that rebuke and chastisement are no signs of rejection from Christ, but of His abiding and pleading love, even to the lukewarm and careless. I (emphatically prefixed: I, for my part: it is one of My ways, which are unlike men’s ways)—as many as ( ἐάν = ἄν, the common particle after the relative: see reff.) I love (not as Grot., “non absolute sed comparate, i. e. quos non plane ob diuturna peccata abjicere et objurare constitui:” but in its fullest and most blessed sense. Nor is the assertion addressed, as Vitr., only “ad meliorem ecclesiæ partem,” but to all, as a gracious call to repentance; as is evident from the words next following), I rebuke and chasten ( ἐλέγχειν, the convincing of sin, producing conviction, is a portion of παιδεύειν, the Lord’s chastening: the latter may extend very much wider than the former, even to judgments and personal infliction, which, however they may subserve the purpose of ἐλέγχειν, are not, properly speaking, part of it. “Redargutio sane ad verba, castigatio vero pertinet ad flagella,” Ansbert); be zealous then ( ζήλευε, pres., of a habit of Christian life), and repent (begin that life of zeal by an act, decisive and effective (aor.), of change of purpose. There is not in the words any ὑστερονπρότερον, as De Wette, but the logical connexion is made plain by the tenses. Düsterd. (following Grot., Beng., Hengstb., Ebrard) is clearly wrong in saying that “the Lord requires of the church a burning zeal, kindled by the love shewn by Him (but where is this in the context?), and as the practical putting forth of this zeal, true change of purpose.” This goes directly against both the grammatical propriety and the facts of the case, in which change of purpose must precede zeal, which is the effectual working in a man’s life of that change of purpose).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-3.html. 1863-1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

LOVE’S CHASTENING

‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be Zealous, therefore, and repent.’

Revelation 3:19

Let us think of sickness and suffering in what is undoubtedly one of its most important aspects, as chastisement for sin. However it comes upon us, and whether it comes as the direct result of sin or not, it is always well for poor, erring human beings to remember this aspect of it, and to try to make a real use of it in this capacity.

I. Pain is a great gift of God to a world in dire need.—We know something of the necessary part it plays in saving us from physical danger. It very soon teaches the child not to put its fingers into the fire. Reflect for a moment that if it were not for this a mother might return after a few minutes’ absence from the room to find her infant contentedly watching its hands and arms being rapidly burnt away. But pain so surely teaches the child to regard danger as hateful that it is necessary to cultivate carefully the quality of courage in order that prudence may be balanced and not become cowardice. And in much the same way pain helps us to hate sin. This may not seem the highest way of looking at the matter, but it is a true one, and we must remember that in our imperfection we need appealing to by other motives as well as the highest. Pain does help us to look upon the sin which brings it as an enemy, and that is certainly a step in the right direction, even if it is only an early and elementary step.

II. And, just as care is required in our view of the pain which threatens us, so too there is danger of missing the benefit of that which has actually come upon us.—We may take it in such a way that it drives us from God rather than draws us to Him. You remember the words in the Book of the Revelation (Revelation 16:11): ‘And they blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they repented not.’ The more truly penitent we are, the less anxious shall we be to escape our punishment. We shall welcome the opportunity of bearing it in such a manner as to prove our repentance both to ourselves and to God. Most of us have known what it is to long for some such opportunity when we have done some grievous wrong either to God or to man. And it greatly helps us in this right view if we remember that, as a human parent often punishes much against natural inclination, so our Heavenly Father does not chasten us for His pleasure or from lack of love, but for ‘our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.’ The remembrance of the wrong we do to God, in obliging Him to punish us when His desire is to shower only blessings and happiness upon us, should certainly assist us to see our punishment in such a light as will bind us more closely to Him.

III. Remember, then, just as it was not the death of Christ, but His obedience, which pleased God (as St. Bernard said, Ep. cxc., Contra Abælardum), so He only chastens us in order to correct in us what He sees to be wrong, and to improve in us those things in which He sees us to be weak. Just think well over these words: ‘He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities’ (Micah 7:19). It is by subduing and not overlooking our iniquities that He shows His compassion.

—Rev. R. L. Bellamy.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/revelation-3.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 19. As many as I love] q.d. Think not that I hate you, because I thus chide you. He that escapes reprehension may suspect his adoption. God had one Son without corruption, but none without correction. We must look through the anger of his correction to the sweetness of his loving countenance; as by a rainbow we see the beautiful image of the sun’s light in the midst of a dark and waterish cloud. See more in my Treatise upon this verse, the second edition.

And repent] So they did in likehhood; for Eusebius commends this Church as greatly flourishing in his time. Oh, the divine rhetoric and omnipotent efficacy of repentance, saith a divine. This is the rainbow, which if God seeth shining in our hearts, he will never drown our souls.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-3.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here Christ lets the Laodiceans understand, that although he had been sharp with them, in reproving them for their formality and lukewarmness, yet it was upon a merciful design towards them, it proceeded from a principle of love in him; for as many as I love, says Christ, I rebuke and chasten.

Christ does not, therefore, love his children because he corrects them: but he therefore corrects them because he loves them. Name the favourite whom God loved too well to strike; nay, commonly there goes the severest exercises, where there has been the greatest love. Let not then God's chastenings of us abate our love to him; necessity compels God to correct; nothing is done by rods but what could not be effected without them: Be zealous therefore, and repent.

As if Christ had said, O Laodecea! lay aside thy lukewarm indifferency, and be fervent in my service, repent, and amend your ways, if you would escape your chastening and rebukes, for I had much rather give you the kisses of my lips than the blows of my hand; if then you love not correction, prevent it by zeal and reformation.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-3.html. 1700-1703.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2503

EPISTLE TO LAODICEA

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

IN the epistles to the seven Churches of Asia, there is an exceedingly rich variety of instruction, that is quite as applicable to us at this day as ever it was to the Church to whom it was first delivered. It is probable that some in Laodicea would regard the menace which was sent them in this epistle as a prelude to their utter destruction. They could not conceive that the Lord Jesus, who had threatened to “spue them out of his mouth” with the utmost indignation and abhorrence, could entertain, in reference to them, any other sentiment than that of irreversible displeasure: and thus they were tempted to sit down in utter despair. But our blessed Lord assured them, that these very menaces were expressions of his love and pledges of his favourable acceptance, if only they would comply with the directions which he here gave them. But the words I have read contain, not only a particular instruction to them but a truth of universal and unalterable importance to the Church in all ages. We here see,

I. How the Lord Jesus Christ acts towards the objects of his love—

God not unfrequently gives to his enemies all that their hearts can desire. Are they anxious for wealth, and honour, and power, or for an increase of their families? and do they further desire a freedom from trouble, both in life and death? All this is bestowed upon them with so bountiful a hand, that they bless themselves as the happiest and most favoured of mankind [Note: Psalms 73:3-5; Psalms 73:7; Psalms 73:12.]. Yea, to such a degree does this often obtain, that the most eminent saints are stumbled at it [Note: Job 21:7-13. Jeremiah 12:1-2.]. But towards those whom he loves, he, for the most part, acts very differently: them “he rebukes and chastens.”

1. By the declarations of his word—

[“The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword [Note: Hebrews 4:12.]:” “yea, it is as a fire, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces [Note: Jeremiah 23:29.]:” and when it comes with power to the soul, not the proudest sinner in the universe can withstand it. When but four words were written upon the wall of the room where Belshazzar was feasting, “the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another [Note: Daniel 5:5-6.]!” And how it wrought upon the murderers of our Lord on the day of Pentecost, you well know: for three thousand of them cried out with one voice, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Doubtless, the terror inspired by this is often exceedingly appalling: but yet it is sent in love, “to convince men of their sin,” and to bring them to repentance: and the deeper the wound that is inflicted by it, the greater evidence there is that God has sent it in love to the soul — — —]

2. By the dispensations of his providence—

[It often happens, that men withstand the word of God, till they are visited with some afflictive providence: and not unfrequently repeated strokes of the rod are necessary, before they will hear and receive instruction from it [Note: Micah 6:9.]. And these dispensations are thought by many to be tokens of God’s wrath. But, indeed, they are rather indications of his love: they are paternal chastisements, sent for our profit, that we may be humbled by them, and quickened, and “made partakers of his holiness.” It was for this end that many of the Corinthian Church were [Note: Hebrews 12:5-11.] visited with pains and sickness: “they were chastened of the Lord, that they might not be condemned with the world [Note: 1 Corinthians 11:30-32.].” And how beneficially these afflictions operate, may be seen in Ephraim of old: “Surely I have heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: Thou hast chastised me; and I was chastised as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. Turn thou me, and I shall be turned: for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth [Note: Jeremiah 31:18-19.].” God then adds, “Is not Ephraim my dear son [Note: Jeremiah 31:20.]?” Had God felt no regard for Ephraim, he would have said, “Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more [Note: Isaiah 1:5.]:” but, feeling towards him the affections of a Father, he says rather, “I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished [Note: Jeremiah 30:11. with Psalms 89:30-33.].”]

This truth established, we may see,

II. How they in return should demean themselves towards him—

Two things in particular were blamed in the Laodicean Church, namely, lukewarmness and self-sufficiency: and against these especially he directs them to strive, by the daily exercise of zeal and penitence. The same direction is proper for all whom he has chosen in Christ Jesus to be the objects of his love:

1. Be zealous—

[It is not sufficient to perform a mere round of duties, and to abstain from gross sins. Religion is every thing, or it is nothing: it requires all the powers of the soul: and, if any of our faculties be alienated from God, or exercised only in a lukewarm way, the service, whatever it may be, will not be accepted. “In every good thing we should be zealously affected [Note: Galatians 4:18.];” and “be fervent in spirit, when we serve the Lord [Note: Romans 12:11.].” It was thus that Phinehas [Note: Numbers 25:13.], and Elijah [Note: 1 Kings 19:10.], and Paul [Note: Acts 20:24.], and all the saints, served God in the days of old. As for our blessed Lord “the zeal of God’s house even consumed him [Note: John 2:17.].” And we also ought to be “a peculiar people, zealous of good works [Note: Titus 2:14.].” Nor must it be in one thing only that we are to display our zeal. It is possible enough that in one particular line we may exert ourselves with the greatest ardour; and yet be far from having our hearts right with God. We must “have respect to all God’s commandments,” and serve him “without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” In public and in private we must be alike earnest in all our duties: and under “the constraining influence of the love of Christ, we must live altogether unto Him who died for us, and rose again [Note: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.].”]

2. Repent—

[This is necessary for every child of man. There is no one so pure, but that he may increase in purity; nor so holy, but that he may grow in holiness; nor so heavenly, but that he may be more entirely devoted to his God. Of lukewarmness especially, and of the entire habit of mind connected with it, it becomes us to repent. Indeed, whatever be the sin that more easily besets us, that we should search out with peculiar care, and for that should we in an especial manner humble ourselves before God. Every day of our lives we should “be sowing in tears, if we would reap in joy.” It is not the person who occasionally feels some remorse, but “he who goes on his way weeping, bearing a precious seed-basket, and scattering this seed from it every step he takes; he it is that shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him [Note: Psalms 126:5-6. See the margin.].”]

This subject clearly teaches us,

1. What to do under the prevailing influence of corruption—

Pray to God that he would chastise you with scourges or scorpions, rather than suffer you to continue under the power of sin: and if God see fit to put you into the furnace, be more anxious to obtain the sanctifying benefits of the affliction, than to have it removed — — —]

2. What to do under the Divine rebukes—

[Receive them as the chastisements of a father, “neither despising them, nor fainting under them [Note: Proverbs 3:11-12.]:” and take occasion from them to “humble yourselves under His mighty hand.” Whatever be your sufferings, remember that they are far “less than your iniquities deserve.” By these God designs to “purge away your iniquities [Note: Isaiah 27:9.]:” and, if they are attended with this effect, you will have reason to adore him for them, more than for any exemption from trouble that could possibly be vouchsafed unto you: for so, at least, speaks an inspired Apostle: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for, when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him [Note: James 1:12.].”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/revelation-3.html. 1832.

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

Revelation 3:19. ἐγώ emphatically prefixed. The Lord, who alone is the true witness (Revelation 3:14), and, at the same time, the one from whom the true gold can be obtained (Revelation 3:18), appears as witness against those whom he loves, since through his ἐλέγχειν and παιδεύειν he wishes to make them zealous unto repentance ( ζηλ. κ. μεταν), and thus participant of his eternal blessings.

ὅσους ἐὰν φιλῶ. Concerning the ἐὰς after the relative in N. T. diction, cf. my note on 1 John 3:20. Grot. says incorrectly: “ φιλῶ, not absolutely, but relatively; i.e., those whom I have not altogether determined, because of their long-continued sins, to cast away and harden.” Upon a similar misunderstanding rests the remark of Vitringa, that the kind address is directed only to the better part of the church. On the contrary, the entire church is still an object of the seeking love of the Lord.

ἐλέγχω καὶ παιδεύω. The distinction between the two expressions does not lie in the ἐλέγχειν occurring by means of words, and the παιδεύειν by chastisements;(1614) but the παιδεύειν designating discipline, i.e., education in general,(1615) may occur as well by ἐλέγχειν, as by perceptible chastisements, as ΄αστιγοῦν.(1616) The ἐλέγχειν(1617) occurs when the wrong is so placed before the eyes of any one that he must acknowledge it. From Revelation 3:15 on, the Lord has exercised his ἐλέγχειν by completely disclosing the faults of the church; yet he expressly says that this, as well as his entire παιδεύειν, proceeds from love. It is nowhere said that in this he has already employed, or will employ, what are the proper means of chastisement (blows). On the other hand, to the παιδεύειν belongs the advice of Revelation 3:18. Yet this advice contains the express assurance, that, with the Lord, gold, etc., shall not be lacking. Hence not only the relentless ἐλέγχειν, but also the tendering of grace, is a παιδεύειν, which testifies to the Lord’s love. But if the Lord thus manifests himself to the “lukewarm” church, it follows that this ( οὐν) has to do what the command expressly says: ζήλενε οὔν καὶ ΄ετανόησον. The words contain not a hysteron proteron,(1618) but require of the church which is convicted of lukewarmness, an ardent zeal, enkindled by the love manifested by the Lord, and, as the proof of this zeal, a true change of mind.(1619)

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 3:19. φιλῶ) In the case of the Philadelphian Church, He (Revelation 3:9) ἠγάπησε (esteemed it): in the case of the Laodicean, He φιλεῖ (loves it). The former, with His judgment: the latter, with gratuitous affection [favour]. Comp. John 21:15, note. In each passage(56) ἀγαπᾷν implies something more than φιλεῖν. In the passage quoted from John, the spiritual tie of relationship is of more value than the judgment of Peter. Here, in the Apocalypse, it is a more blessed thing to flourish [be esteemed] in the judgment of the Lord, than to be chastised through mere gratuitous affection.— ζήλωσον) Both ζεστὸς, Revelation 3:15-16, and ζῆλος, are derived from ζέω.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I rebuke and chasten; elegcw kai paideuw the words may be translated, I convince and instruct, or deal with them as children; but it also signifies to chasten, and is so translated, 1 Corinthians 11:32 Hebrews 12:7; we translate it learn, 1 Timothy 1:20. By these words Christ lets this angel know, that although he had in this epistle dealt smartly with him, yet he had done it from a principle of love, as a father to a child, Hebrews 12:7.

Be zealous therefore, and repent; he adviseth him therefore to quit himself of his luke warmness, and to recover a warmth and zeal for God, repenting of his former coldness and negligence in his duty.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". 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

Кого Я люблюнаказываю Оба стиха (18, 20) показывают, что Христос обращался здесь к неверующим. Конечно, Бог любит необращенных (ср. Ин. 3:16). И слово «наказывать» (букв. «порицать») часто указывает на то, что Бог обличает и наказывает не возрожденных духовно для их спасения (Мф. 18:17; 1Кор. 14:24; 2Тим. 2:25).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

I rebuke and chasten; to deliver them from sin, and prepare them for heaven.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘As many as I love, I reprove and punish for their own good. Be zealous therefore and repent (have a change of heart and mind).’

(See Proverbs 3:11-12 for the idea of chastening, cited in Hebrews 12:3-9). The word for love is philo meaning great affection. Jesus wishes the Laodiceans to know that His heart reaches out to them, that His love is not dependent on their deserts. As God as Redeemer says in Isaiah 43:3 ‘you are precious in my sight and I have loved you’, while in Deuteronomy 7:8 Israel are reminded that they were not loved and chosen because of anything in themselves, but because God had set His love upon them. Indeed He drew them ‘with the cords of a man, with bands of love’ (Hosea 11:4).

His reproof and chastening are proof of that love. In the Old Testament God told His people, ‘And you will consider in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you, and you will keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and fear Him’ (Deuteronomy 8:5-6). Thus when the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were discouraged at the tribulation they faced, the writer told them ‘For whom the Lord loves, He chastens’ (Hebrews 11:6 quoted from Proverbs 3:11-12), and, ‘If you endure chastening God deals with you as sons, for what son is there whom his father does not chasten?’ (Hebrews 12:7). This suggests that Jesus is expecting tribulation for the church at Laodicea and is thus preparing them for the trials that lie ahead, and explaining its purpose so that they may benefit from it. It is because He loves them that they will be chastened.

‘Be zealous therefore and repent’. This ‘change of heart and mind’ is only demanded of four churches, one of them because of the heresy in their midst (Pergamum), one because they have lost their first love (Ephesus), and the other two (Sardis and Laodicea) because of the failure of the whole church as a result of their lax state. Refusal to hear means the lampstand being removed from it place (Ephesus), an attack with the sword of His mouth against the offenders (Pergamum), and the arrival of Jesus as a thief to catch them unprepared by His coming (Sardis). To the church of Laodicea He gives similar warning of His coming.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-3.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 3:19. As many as I love I convict and chasten. The ‘I’ before ‘convict’ is very emphatic,—‘I, who though I was rich became poor, who bought true riches by suffering and death,’ For the force of ‘convict’ comp. note on John 16:8.

Be zealous therefore, and repent. ‘Be zealous’ comes first, because it relates to a general change of spirit. Were specifically Christian zeal in view, repentance ought to take precedence. The tenses in the original deserve notice, the first expressing the general habit, the second the decisive act.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-3.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

love. App-135. This is preceded by Greek. ean (App-118. a). Compare Isaiah 43:4; &c.

rebuke = convict. Greek. elencho. See John 16:8.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "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

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

(Proverbs 3:11-12.) So Manasses (2 Chronicles 33:11-13).

As many. All. 'And shalt thou be an exception? If excepted from the scourge, thou art excepted from the number of the sons' (Augustine). An encouragement to Laodicea not to despair, but to regard the rebuke as a token for good, if she profit by it.

I love, [ filoo (Greek #5368)] - gratuitous affection, independent of grounds for esteem in the object loved. But Philadelphia (Revelation 3:9), "I have loved thee" [ eegapeesa (Greek #25)] with love of esteem, founded on the judgment. Note my 'English Gnomon' of Bengel, John 21:15-17,

I rebuke. "I" stands first emphatically. I in my dealings, so unlike man's, rebuke all whom I love. [ Elengchoo (Greek #1651) is the same verb as in John 16:8, '(the Holy Spirit) will convince (rebuke to conviction) the world of sin.']

Chasten - `chastise' [ paideuoo (Greek #3811): in classical Greek, to instruct; in the New Testament, to instruct by chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-6)]. David was rebuked unto conviction when he cried, "I have sinned against the Lord:" the chastening followed, when his child was taken (2 Samuel 12:13-14). In divine chastening, the sinner at once winces under the rod and learns righteousness.

Be zealous - habitually. [Present, zeeleue (Greek #2206): a lifelong course of zeal, opposite of "lukewarm."] I The alliteration marks this: Laodicea had not been "hot," [ zestos (Greek #2200)], she is therefore urged to "be zealous" [ zeeleue (Greek #2206)]: both are from the same [ zeoo (Greek #2204), to boil].

Repent, [ metanoeeson (Greek #3340), aorist] - of an act to be done once for all, and at once.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "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

(19) I rebuke and chasten.—The first word is that used in the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), and signifies to bring conviction; it is not empty censure. The second word signifies to educate by means of correction. The pronoun is emphatic, “I,” and calls attention to the fidelity of Christ’s love in comparison with the weak partiality seen in human love. (Comp. Hebrews 12:6.)

Be zealous.—Or, be in a constant zealous state; and now, once for all, repent.

(2°) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.—It is difficult not to see an allusion in this image to Song of Solomon 5:2-6. Perhaps, also, the memory of the first night spent by St. John with his Master and Friend (John 1:39) may have been strong in his mind. Indeed, the life of Christ on earth teems with illustrations which may well have suggested the image (Luke 10:38; Luke 19:5-6; Luke 22:11-13; Luke 24:29-30).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
many
Deuteronomy 8:5; 2 Samuel 7:14; Job 5:17; Psalms 6:1; 39:11; 94:10; Proverbs 3:11,12; 15:10; Proverbs 15:32; 22:15; Isaiah 26:16; Jeremiah 2:30; 7:28; 10:24; 30:11; 31:18; Zephaniah 3:2; 1 Corinthians 11:32; 2 Corinthians 6:9; Hebrews 12:5-11; James 1:12
be
Numbers 25:11-13; Psalms 69:9; John 2:17; Romans 12:11; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Galatians 4:18; Titus 2:14
repent
2:5,21,22
Reciprocal: Genesis 14:12 - who;  Genesis 20:16 - thus;  Genesis 29:25 - wherefore;  2 Samuel 12:14 - the child;  2 Samuel 24:12 - that 1may;  1 Kings 13:21 - thou hast disobeyed;  1 Chronicles 4:10 - that it may;  1 Chronicles 21:10 - that 1may;  2 Chronicles 16:12 - diseased;  2 Chronicles 20:1 - came against;  2 Chronicles 20:37 - the Lord;  Job 22:4 - reprove;  Job 33:19 - chastened;  Job 35:15 - visited;  Psalm 23:3 - restoreth;  Psalm 50:21 - will;  Psalm 73:5 - They are;  Psalm 85:8 - but;  Psalm 94:12 - teachest;  Psalm 119:75 - thou in;  Psalm 141:5 - the righteous;  Proverbs 1:23 - my reproof;  Proverbs 17:10 - GeneralProverbs 19:25 - reprove;  Proverbs 27:6 - the wounds;  Ecclesiastes 7:5 - better;  Song of Solomon 5:6 - but my;  Isaiah 1:25 - And I;  Isaiah 37:3 - GeneralIsaiah 48:10 - I have refined;  Jeremiah 24:5 - them that are carried away captive;  Jeremiah 46:28 - will I;  Ezekiel 3:21 - if thou;  Hosea 5:2 - a rebuker;  Hosea 7:12 - as their;  Hosea 7:15 - bound;  Jonah 4:8 - that God;  Micah 6:9 - hear;  Haggai 1:9 - Because;  Matthew 16:9 - ye not;  Matthew 25:7 - GeneralMatthew 26:74 - saying;  Mark 4:13 - Know;  Mark 8:33 - he rebuked;  Mark 16:14 - and upbraided;  Luke 1:20 - because;  Luke 9:55 - and rebuked;  John 11:3 - he;  John 15:2 - and;  John 16:27 - the Father;  John 21:17 - the third;  Romans 8:28 - we know;  1 Corinthians 11:30 - many;  1 Corinthians 16:24 - love;  2 Corinthians 7:8 - though 1made;  1 Timothy 1:20 - that;  2 Timothy 4:2 - reprove;  Hebrews 12:6 - whom;  Revelation 2:16 - Repent;  Revelation 3:3 - repent

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-3.html.

Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation

The Love and the Discipline.

Revelation 3:19.

How quickly a believer may become lukewarm!How quickly his love and holiness and zeal fade away! His cheek becomes pale, with the symptoms of deadly decline; or flushed with the passions produced by drinking the world"s cup, and partaking of the world"s fellowships.

Spirituality loses ground. Worldliness, either in a gross or a refined form, steals in. Reality in religion disappears. Enjoyment of prayer and the Bible ceases. Pleasure, politics, and exciting literature supply the place which the things of God once held. First love is gone. Joy and peace become strangers.

Religious formalism, routine, and ritualism are adopted, by which a man is enabled to quiet his conscience with a few external performances--while devoting the rest of his time to vanity or business.

The soul withers; the eye that looked upward now looks downward; and the once "religious man," who "did run well," takes the downward path into lukewarmness or death. Yet Jesus leaves him not. He hates divorce. He pursues His fugitive. He pleads with the backslider—"Return, and I will heal."

I. The love.The "I" here is emphatic, and by its prominence Christ presents Himself specially as—the lover, the rebuker, the chastener. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor our ways His ways. He loves where others would hate. He shows His love by chastening where others would show theirs by indulging. "He who spares the rod, hates the child!" "Whom the Lord loves He chastens!" Herein is love—love to Laodicea, even in her lukewarmness. It is not "Repent, that I may love you." It is, "I love you, therefore repent." The lukewarm backslider, whether of Ephesus, or Sardis, or Laodicea—as long as he remains self-satisfied and happy in his worldliness, cares only for the love of the creature. He loves the world, and he would gladly have the world love him. This world would be his heaven—his gods and goddesses would all be here!

But when trial comes, and sorrow lays hold, and the deep consciousness of evil burdens, and the prospect of coming wrath rouses him, then he looks round and asks for love. "Is there anyone to love me, anyone that can love one so unlovable?" The answer is, None on earth! But One in heaven! Jesus loves still. All Laodicea"s unloveableness has not quenched His love!The worst of the seven Churches is that which receives His fullest words of love—"that love which passes knowledge.

II. The discipline of love.Mark the way in which this love deals with Laodicea. It deals in tenderness, and yet in solemn severity. Instead of letting Laodicea escape, it takes hold of her, as a wise father of his disobedient child, and makes her sensible how much it hates the sin. Love cannot bear lukewarmness. It expects love for love—and will leave no method untried in order to win back the straying heart, however far it has gone, either in indifference or hatred.

(1) I REBUKE.He reproves by word and deed. His words are full of tenderness, yet also conveying solemn and searching rebuke. Such rebuke may be "His strange work," for "fury is not in Him." Yet He does administer the rebuke when it is needed—not harshly, yet sometimes severely—for He speaks as one who has authority, and who will not be mocked.

(2) I CHASTEN.What the chastening was we know not—it would be something specially suited to the self-sufficiency and worldliness of the Laodiceans. Perhaps they were stripped of their riches; perhaps visited by sickness and death; perhaps laid desolate by grievous sorrow; some heavy blow, or some long-continued trial stroke upon stroke, crushing and emptying them. The chastisement, we are sure, would correspond with the cherished sins, searching the conscience and breaking the heart in pieces. For the Lord leaves not His own, even in their backsliding; nor indeed any who name His name. The unbelieving world may be allowed to go on unchecked in its wickedness and vanity, but those who call themselves Christ"s may expect discipline.By naming His name, they have brought themselves under His special rule, and He will deal with them as He dealt with Laodicea. They profess to be His, to have been bought by Him, to follow Him; they must therefore know His rod, and be treated differently from those who reject His sway and service. Discipline, because of permitted sin, because of indulged worldliness, because of defection from truth or holiness—discipline, it may be, of great severity—they must be prepared for. In faithfulness as well as love He will chasten. Whatever it may cost, they must be made to feel the evil of their ways.

III. The exhortation of love."Be zealous, therefore, and repent." The word zealouscontrasts with lukewarmness, and implies true warmth and fervor. While He says, "I wish you were either cold or hot;" He shows by this word "zealous" that He desires to see zeal quickened in this Church, and lukewarmness done away. Be zealous! Be fervent in spirit! Be done with coldness and half-heartedness! Rouse yourself into the fervor of your early days, before this lukewarmness falls upon you!

Repentalso! Repent of your present miserable estate; of your apostasy, and declension, and worldliness! Repent in dust and ashes! Retrace your steps! Awake from your lethargy! Your estimate of yourself is high—come down from your loftiness. You say—I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing. Come down from the self-sufficiency, and learn that you are not what you think yourself to be. God"s estimate of you and your estimate of yourself are widely different. Know yourself—as He knows you. Take His estimate of your poverty and blindness, and cast yourself down before Him. You are not the Laodicea of other days. You must go back to your early zeal, and faith, and love. Be not high-minded, but fear. Abhor yourself—and turn from your lukewarmness!

All this is the language of love; it is the treatment of love. It is love that is rebuking, and chastening, and exhorting. Hear the voice of love—the unchanging love of Him who yearns over you in your declension, and longs to see you restored. This was the beginning of your love, as well as of your confidence. "We have known and believed the love which God has to us." Go back to this, and what you first got there—you will get there again. Know that God is love!

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Bonar, Horatius. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bch/revelation-3.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE LORD'S LAST APPEAL.

Revelation 3:19. — "I rebuke and discipline as many as I love; be zealous therefore and repent." The Lord does not, as some suppose, speak in the first member of our text of saints in Laodicea. He states a truth common to both Testaments (Proverbs 3:11-12, and Hebrews 12:5-6). The passage does not assert its application to any special class of saints. The Lord had just been speaking in tones of unusual severity. The circumstances called for it. The stern rebukes administered to the angel were to be followed by an act of irremediable judgment — "spued out." But for Christians, then and now, they were to know that the Lord's rebukes, and His still severer chastening, were the fruit of love, not of an arbitrary dealing as perchance by an earthly parent. "Be zealous therefore and repent." The Lord would rouse them out of the torpor and insensibility in which they were sunk. He would rekindle their interest. Has this exhortation to be "zealous and repent" reached the conscience of the Laodicean Church? It is the first step towards recovery. Has it been taken? By the mass, no. Thank God, individuals have given heed, and do hear the call to repent. But the general mass is drifting on, and Laodicea is now being fully developed as the characteristic Church state of to-day. The judgment of the professing Christian body, as announced in verse 16, is inevitable and at hand.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "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

Love in this place is from the word that signifies the warmest sentiments of affection. It. makes a strong and unusual situation to say that such treatment of loved ones is the very proof of that love. Yet. that is a principle that is true whether a human or divine Parent is being considered. (See Hebrews 12:6; Hebrews 12:9.) Be zealous therefore. Since these stern rebukes are evidence of the Lord"s love for them, it should induce them to repent with zeal which means to be active about it. The fundamental meaning of repentance is a change from one condition to another for the better. These people were relying on their temporal wealth for gratification and were poor in faith. They now should take on a sincere interest in the spiritual things of Christ and begin serving him by righteous living.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". 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 3:19

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

Christ rebukes and chasteneth them whom he loveth, Proverbs 3:11-12 and Hebrews 12:5-8; Hebrews 12:13 that Isaiah, He doth reprove them by His Word, and correct them with His rod; but it is in love to their souls.

Be zealous therefore and repent.

First, Repent, that Isaiah, sorrow after a godly manner for your sins, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 of formality, hypocrisy, Luke -warmness, &c. Secondly, Be zealous, that Isaiah, be fervent in Spirit, Romans 12:11 having a fervent zeal for the glory of God, the honor of Christ and the credit of the gospel, and the example of others.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-3.html.

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

Revelation 3:19. Whomsoever I love, them I rebuke and chasten: be zealous, therefore, and repent. In these words, says Bengel, "the penetrating force of the preceding address is represented, yet not quite immediately, only after it had wrought its necessary effect." The contrast between the former and the present times is shown by the remark of De Wette, "The blame and the threatening are not meant in so bad a sense, as is evident from the loving affectionate exhortation;" whereas the older expositors point with one consent to the greatness of the longsuffering and goodness of God and Christ that here displays itself toward sinners. They speak of these being manifested now under the New Testament, just as formerly they had waited in the days of Noah (1 Peter 3:20), if by any means a better feeling might be awakened in the minds of sinners; while still they unfold the truth that it is just love, which holds out in prospect a terrible condemnation for those who will not be brought to repentance through the reformatory discipline. It may certainly be gathered from the "whom I love," that Laodicea had still not reached the last step.[Note: Vitringa: "That church wan therefore still in some respect loved by the Lord. He desired to preserve it as loved, not to destroy it as reprobate," etc.] But this indeed is presupposed by the fact, that its candlestick had not yet been removed from its place. Allusion is made to Proverbs 3:11-12, "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, and be not impatient of his correction; for whom the Lord loves he corrects, and as a father the son, in whom he delights." This passage is also quoted in Hebrews 12:5-6. We can the less regard the coincidence with it here as accidental, as in what immediately follows there is also a reference to the writings of Solomon. The words: Be zealous and repent, are not placed in a sort of reverse order. For repentance is not a mere insight into one's poverty and nakedness, but a change of mind, a transition from lukewarmness through coldness to the fervent zeal of love. The call to repent, added to the exhortation to be zealous, implies that Laodicea could attain to true zeal only by undergoing an entire change of mind.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.As many as I love—Imperfect as Laodicea’s character was, she was still Christian. She was not on a level with the paganism around her. She was still a witness for Christ, maintaining his name, holding fast his gospel, and retaining a candlestick for a richer supply of oil and a purer blaze. Even the form of religion is better than nothing, since it may stand as a future vehicle of the coming spirit and power.

We here, too, may see that there is a state of faulty sonship, of imperfect justification, in which, though the name be not blotted out of the “book of life,” yet it beams but dimly on the divine page, and is in great danger of disappearing. The divine Father still recognises his son, but treats him with rebuke, displeasure, and discipline. Not every sin after justification forfeits the sonship. Nay, there are higher and lower grades of Christian life. This Mr. Wesley well and fully shows in his sermon on “Sin in Believers.” The true test is, Does justifying faith remain, even in spite of short-comings?

And it follows from all this, that if there is a lower grade of Christian life, like that of Sardis and Laodicea, so there is a higher, like that of Smyrna and Philadelphia. In the case of Smyrna the approval is complete; not a blame is imputed, not a shadow is cast between the approving face of the Lord and that beloved Church. There is, then, a state of complete acceptance with Christ, of perfect justification, in which the Lord finds no fault, and bestows the blessed testimony of his unqualified approval. The acceptance is as perfect as it was at the moment when first our sins were swept away, and we were justified from all sin. And now sanctification, holiness, or what is sometimes called entire sanctification, is the power, through the Spirit, of retaining with more or less permanence that state of complete acceptance, without a cloud between the soul and Christ. This implies, not an absolute sinlessness on our part, as tried by absolute law, but a perfect approval on Christ’s part, according to the standard of gospel grace. The law still stands immutable; but if there come a condemnation for our shortcomings from the absolute law, there comes, also, a constant flow of love and pardon from the grace of Christ, which neutralizes that condemnation. Yet the law still stands to condemn our positive sins, and to separate us utterly from the love of Christ and consign us to hell, upon our apostasy from the faith.

Bengel notes the different Greek terms for love addressed to the Philadelphians, ( ,) and to the Laodiceans, ( ,) on which see our note, John 21:15-17. The former is the love of estimation and approval, the latter of mere graciousness, the former being the more honouring to its object. Yet as addressed by Peter to his Lord, the latter was the tenderer and deeper term.

I rebuke and chasten—He does not cast off for every shortcoming, nor blot out his justification for every sin, so long as faith and sonship remain. Nay, the author of the Book of Hebrews, quoting this same passage from Proverbs, adds, that the being unrebuked by God is proof that we are not his legitimate children. Hebrews 12:5-6.

Rebuke—Rather, convince; make the fault so clear that the offender cannot but see it.

Chasten— Apply the severe corrective, perhaps the rod, where the rebuke fails.

Zealous—The zeal of conviction by the rebuke; leading to the repent, in view or in consequence of the chasten.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-3.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 3:19. The prophet now relents a little; the church has still a chance of righting herself. Such a reproof as he has given in Christ’s name, and the discipline it involves ( , wider than .) are really evidence of affection, not of antipathy or rejection. This is the method of God at least ( , emphatic; “whatever others do”), with whom censure does not mean hostility. , the substitution of this synonym (contrast Hebrews 12:6) for the LXX is remarkable in view of the latter term’s usage in the Apocalypse; the other variation ( . [907], . [908] [909], LXX) is probably ornate rather than a duplicate. The love of Christ for his people is mentioned in the Apocalypse only here (with a reminiscence if not a quotation of O.T.), in Revelation 1:5, and in Revelation 3:9 (incidentally). In the latter passage, the divine love sustains and safeguards those who are loyal; here it inflicts painful wounds upon the unworthy, to regain their loyalty. (pres.) = a habit, (aor.) = a definite change once for all. The connexion ( ) seems to be: let the foregoing rebuke open your eyes at once to the need of repentance, and also to the fact that it is really love on my part which prompts me thus to expose and to chastise you; such a sense of my loving concern, as well as of your own plight, should kindle an eager heat of indignation (2 Corinthians 8:11, ) gathering into a flame of repentance that will burn up indifference and inconsistency (cf. Weinel, 188 f.). The urgent need of immediate repentance rests not only on the special character of the temptation to which the local Christians were succumbing (“It is a great grace to find out that we are lukewarm, but we are lost if we do not act with vigour. It is like going to sleep in the snow, almost a pleasant, tingling feeling at the first, and then—lost forever,” Faber), but on the fact that this warning was their last chance.

[907] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[908] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[909] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

19. I reprove and punish all whom I love. As a father spanks his children to teach them (Hebrews 12:5-11).

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:19". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.