As the family of God we must always be childlike in expectations, faith, teachability, and understanding of God’s love. This is not the same as being childish in our attitudes. We are childlike in a way that inspires us to grow up into mature sons and daughters who are like our heavenly Father in character, nature, way, power, and authority. To do this we must find God’s grace to overcome in all things. We must overcome everything that resists a revelation of God’s love in our lives. We must embrace an overcoming grace of faith empowered by God’s love that eradicates all of our fears of death. We must respond to God with the transforming testimony of God’s Spirit that changes us inside and out. We must find God’s grace for life-giving connections of authority, so we too can be expressions of God’s life to the world. We must grow in an overcoming testimony of Christ’s resurrection life to be contributors to His fellowship of resurrection life in this world. We must grow in the grace of overcoming human logic and reasoning that resist covenant relationships and the testimony of being the people of God in the earth. We are to be a life-giving, light-shining, community of God’s love to the communities of the world around us. We must also grow in overcoming through an awareness of God’s manifest presence and purpose in our lives. We were born to be loved by God, but because we are loved we also grow to become expressions of God to the world around us and by this the world is changed.
The final letter of Revelation was to the Church of Laodicea. The letter to the Church of Laodicea correlates to the completion of the Old Covenant with the judgment of the Pharisaic system and the sending forth of the Church to subdue Christ’s enemies in the earth. It is the beginning of the return of the Glory of God to the earth through Jesus Christ. It correlates to the power of prayer and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (Isa. 11:2), thus the angel of the Church of Laodicea is the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (Zech. 4:10). This is the grace that brings about the full perfection of the Church (Heb. 6:1). It ultimately eradicates the seventh aspect of the curse of the fall. That aspect is the loss of dominion and the loss of the ability to put on the incorruptible (Gen. 3:19). Instead of a testimony of returning to dust, we become the increasing testimony of God’s glory in heaven and upon the earth. The Fear of the Lord comes from a face-to-face relationship with God in Christ. A face-to-face relationship with God will transform our lives and thereby change the world in which we live. The corruptible cannot contend with a face-to-face encounter with the incorruptible One. This seventh letter testifies to that end. We are destined to fully see Him, and to become like Him. This is that we might know one God “in all” (Eph. 4:6).
The name Laodicea means “just people”. This is a term that speaks of the Pharisaic day when Jesus was upon the earth. His own people had become absent of the glory of God and thus Jesus pronounced them desolate (Mt. 23:37, 38). That generation was self-righteous and thought themselves to be just without the power of God. We could look at this two ways: 1) they thought themselves to be “just” or; 2) without God they were “just people” (People without the power of God are just that – people). Either of these views will illustrate the point of a Pharisaic people.
The Laodicean letter correlates to the judgment of the Pharisaic system and the return of the glory of God to the earth through Jesus Christ. In this letter Jesus is seen as the “Amen”. This is a covenant term to a covenant breaking people and a term of blessing to those who have accepted the conditions of the New Covenant. To adhere to the Old Covenant in the day of the New Covenant was an act calling down all the curses of the Old Covenant upon their lives. The Old Covenant had been fulfilled in Christ, thus there was no more Old Covenant to hold on to. To adhere to the Old Covenant in the day of the New Covenant meant they would have to be as Christ was in order to endure its requirements. Law in the day of GRACE is nothing less than death according to the LAW.
Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.’
In this letter Jesus is seen as the one who is “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God”. “Amen” is a covenant term. To say “Amen” means to call down upon oneself the blessings and/or the curses of the covenant (Num. 5:12-21, 22; Deut. 27:15-26; Neh. 5:12, 13). It literally means “so be it”. For keeping covenant there is blessing, but for breaking covenant there is a curse. The “Amen” is a covenant term that invokes either action, depending upon obedience or disobedience to the covenant terms. To verify the covenant context of this letter, Jesus is called the “Faithful” and “True Witness”. These are terms revealing that Jesus is the source and enforcer of the covenant (Deut. 7:9-11). He is also called the “Beginning of creation of God” (Col. 1:15-18). This is the final establishment of Jesus as the preeminent one. The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord is the testimony of His perfections. Without accepting Him as the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord there can only be judgment according to the perfections of the Law. In truth, the curse is a consequence for not accepting what is now being given in Christ. It is the result of a human decision, not an act of God to destroy people. The blessing is the fruit of receiving all that is being given by grace in Christ. The blessing or the curse is a result of human decision, but the blessing is also a life-giving force now available to all who find Christ in them. He gives the ability to overcome and reign in life with Christ in the throne of our hearts!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson