Revelation Study Guide: Week 8, Chapter 3:14-22
By Coty Pinckney
Read Revelation 3:14-22 at least three times, slowly, without looking at notes, before answering any of the questions. Laodicea was only about 10 miles from Colosse. Paul wrote this church a letter, which is not extant; see Colossians 4:16.
(1) Look again at the chart you made of the seven letters to the churches. What is distinctive about this letter to Laodicea?
(2) What does Jesus emphasize by the description of himself given in verse 14? Consider Isaiah 65:16. Look again at chapter 1 verse 5. Note that "Amen" is a Hebrew word, transliterated into Greek in the New Testament. In the Isaiah verse, the phrase translated "the God of truth" is literally "the God of Amen." When Jesus says in our English translations, "Truly, truly" or "Verily, verily" in the book of John, he is saying, "Amen, amen." See John 1:51, 3:3, 3:5, 3:11, and 21 other instances in that gospel.
(3) The last phrase in verse 14 is variously translated "the ruler of Godís creation" or "the beginning of Godís creation." The word in question is arche; the original meaning is "beginning" (and it is clearly used this way to describe Jesus in Colossians 1:18), but it came also to mean "the first," or "the most important" (as in archangel), and thus "ruler." Think about both translations in the context of the rest of this letter. What insights do you gain from each of the two? Consider also John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:15-18 (and recall that the letter to the Colossians was known in Laodicea.)
(4) Consider verses 15 and 16. When do you want a hot drink? When do you want a cold drink (see Matthew 10:42 where the same word is used)? When do you want a lukewarm drink? Paraphrase the meaning of Jesusí statement here.
(5) Consider all of verses 15 to 20 together. What is the central problem of this church?
(6) Look at verse 17. How does this church compare to Smyrna? How do the provisions of God in verse 18 correspond to the needs of this church listed in verse 17? Look also at Deut 8:10-20 and Isaiah 55:1.
(7) Why is Jesus writing this letter to Laodicea? Look at Prov 3:11-12 and Hebrews 12:7-11. Note also that the word translated "be zealous" or "be earnest" in verse 20 has the same root as the word translated "hot" in verses 15 and 16.
(8) Verse 20 is frequently memorized and used in evangelism. To whom is Jesus speaking this verse? How does it fit in with the rest of the letter? See John 14:23.
(9) Compare verse 21 with verse 17. How is this promise to overcomers related to the issues in Laodicea? See Matthew 19:28, Heb 1:3.
(10) Consider the message of this letter to the church in your city today.
Now read Wilcock pages 56-58 and Rayís sermon on this letter. Reconsider your answers in light of these other resources.
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