Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Now we come to the church in Laodicea, the church in degradation (3:14-22). In Greek Laodicea means the opinion, the judgment, of the people or of the laymen. The church in Laodicea as a sign prefigures the degraded recovered church. Less than a century after the Lord recovered the proper church in the early part of the nineteenth century, some of the recovered churches (“assemblies”) became degraded. This degraded recovered church differs from the reformed church signified by the church in Sardis, and also differs from the proper recovered church signified by the church in Philadelphia. It will exist until the Lord comes back.
Some Christian teachers consider the church in Laodicea as the cold reformed church. Strictly speaking, this is not so. According to the context and according to history, the church in Laodicea must be a sign of the degraded recovered church. Approximately one hundred fifty years ago the recovered church began in England. According to what we have read, it was wonderful. It was a real recovery of the church life. However, it did not last very long. If you read the history of the Brethren and if you visit them today, you will see that many of the Brethren assemblies have become the church in Laodicea. As we shall see, although they are proud of their Bible knowledge, they are poor in the enjoyment of the riches of Christ and blind in spiritual things.
In 3:14 the Lord says, “These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” To each of the seven churches the Lord refers to what He is and what He does respectively according to their situation and condition. Here, to the church in Laodicea, He refers to Himself as the Amen. In Greek amen means firm, steadfast, or trustworthy. The Lord is the firm, steadfast, and trustworthy One.
Because the Lord is the firm, steadfast, and trustworthy One, He is the faithful and true Witness. This indicates that the degraded church in Laodicea is not firm, steadfast, trustworthy, or faithful and true as the Lord’s witness.
In verse 14 the Lord also refers to Himself as “the beginning of the creation of God.” This refers to the Lord as the origin or source of God’s creation, implying that the Lord is the unchanging and ever-existing source of God’s work. This indicates that the degraded recovered church is changing by leaving the Lord as the source.
In verses 15 through 17 we see the condition of the church in Laodicea. In verses 15 and 16 the Lord says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you out of My mouth.” Once the recovered church becomes degraded, it is lukewarm—neither cold nor hot. This is the actual condition of so many Brethren assemblies today. This should be a warning to us. Once we become lukewarm, we are not fitting for the Lord’s move and shall be vomited out of His mouth.
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