Laodicea represents the corporate Christian state at the end. After all the longsuffering and patience of God shown to Christendom, and the failure of the outer body of the professing church in its responsibility, Laodicea is spewed out and the candlestick is removed. Jesus is the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, for there isn’t a corporate witness for God on the earth in the church world (Rev. 3:14). The faithful remnant that is Philadelphia goes up through the open door that is set before them, while Laodicea becomes a dead carcass progressing toward the hour of trial which will come upon the whole world (Rev. 3:8, 10). But before these things take place Christ is seen standing outside Laodicea. He knocks to see if there remains any inside who have ears to hear (Rev. 3:20).

Revelation 3:14-22

(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. (17) Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— (18) I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (20) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (21) To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

(22) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The Character of Christ

As a gentle reminder the character of Christ presented to the final three churches is not ecclesiastical. The general body is corrupt or spiritually dead and ready to be spewed out. God is no longer recognizing proper church character in these final states, although He continues to warn and rebuke the general body. They are still addressed as the professing church body, or why would God bother with the threats? Though the outer body still subsists in a form, it is utterly rejected by God and declared to be so.

Jesus Christ standing before Laodicea is The Faithful and True Witness which the outward corporate body of Christendom had not been responsible in. The professing church failed as a light and testimony to the world. Laodicea is vomited out. The candlestick of light and testimony is removed. For the corporate body there is no hope for a different outcome. Christ takes back any title of witness for God. He is about to judge the professing church. The spewing out is not judgment being accomplished, as in the tares being burned in the field (Matt. 13:40-42). Rather this is rejection of its church standing. The judgment of the professing church is certain and assumed as set.

The Son of Man was the Faithful Witness of God when He walked upon the earth. He spoke those things He had heard above, He testified of what He knew and had seen (John 3:10-13). At the cost of great suffering, rejection, and isolation He bore witness to what God was, and perfectly revealed the Father in truth and grace.

John 1:17-18

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

He was the perfect witness of God come into the world in which He was sent. He was the light of the world – “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5, 8:12, 3:19, 1:9, 12:46) And yet the light of God was met with hatred, opposition, and darkness (John 15:22-25). This was His testimony:

1 John 1:5

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

Jesus was the manifestation of what He declared all the time He was in the world – the True and Faithful Witness of God, the light of God come into the world. So when men asked Him, “Who are You?” He could reply:

John 8:28-29

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

But men could not comprehend the light and they preferred the darkness. The church was to be the light in the world, a city shining forth on a hill. But professing Christianity failed and Jesus replaces the church now as to any further thought in this testimony. The intention presented here to Christendom in this last message is that Christ alone, apart from the professing body, is the Faithful and True Witness for God.

Christ is the Great Amen – the only One in whom all God’s blessings and promises reside (II Cor. 1:20). The church should have reflected this to the world. “If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.” (Is. 7:9) If the professing church will not confirm Christ, she will not be confirmed. Christ will seal up all the promises and prophecies. He is the stamp of Amen to the plan and purposes of God. The professing church had responsibilities and failed. The sovereign grace and power in Jesus Christ will never fail. The time draws near for Christ to take up His power and reign.

Jesus Christ is the Beginning of the creation of God – the firstborn over all creation. He is not this as God, but as the raised and glorified Man. God will set up creation according to His own purpose. Jesus Christ, the second Adam, will have the preeminence in it. He will be Head over all things when all things are new, which is soon to be manifested.

Colossians 1:15-17

(15) “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (16) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”


Colossians 1:19-20

(19) “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, (20) and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

Through the blood of the cross He has reconciled all things back unto God, and accordingly all things created become His to inherit. He will not take one bit of His inheritance until His body is raised to be with Him. Except for His personal glory, He cannot take any other glory until the true church is with Him. We are the joint-heirs with Christ. All the heirs of God must be present (Rom. 8:17, Gal. 4:7) before He does, in fact, take up His power and reign in the counsels of God. His title here to Laodicea takes up the witness of God in the new creation, instead of the general church body, which is rejected.

Laodicea is lukewarm and will be spewed out of Christ’s mouth. This is the general body of Christendom being addressed. What is spoken is not applied to individuals. The professing church had failed and the candlestick is removed. Christendom contains masses of people that have no true faith. Many simply bear the name of Christ without actually having the life of Christ (Gal. 2:20, II Cor. 4:10-11). Corruption began early on in the church. The mystery of lawlessness was present and growing (II Thess. 2:7). They had left their first love. The world soon entered within the assembly and the Scriptures speak, “I looked in the place of righteousness, and behold, iniquity was there.” (Eccl. 3:16) This is Christendom’s end. It had come to a spiritual state that was opposite to that which God had purposed. The corruption of what was intended for good and light is the worst of corruptions.

The professing church says they are rich, wealthy, and have need of nothing. (Rev. 3:17) It always has these great Arminian thoughts about itself and has become quite self-sufficient. If they have need of nothing, they don’t even need the Lord or the presence of the Spirit. I have always been amazed that Laodicea thinks of itself diametrically opposite of what the Lord thinks of her. There is nothing more opposed to God than what this last state of Christendom is said to be.

1.      No doubt Christendom is rich with earthly wealth. “I am rich and have become wealthy…” There is also no doubt that the professing church in the end has a great profession that it is blessed and filled with the riches of God. There is great pretention concerning possessing spiritual riches. But Christ says they are wretched, miserable, and poor. Jesus says to them in order to be rich they need to buy gold from Him. This gold represents God’s divine righteousness in and through Jesus Christ (II Cor. 5:21). This is the only wealth of value, for it is the foundation and standing of the saints.

2.      “…and have need of nothing.” In this state the professing church has made herself the source of blessing and grace. They have no dependence on the Lord. It is in essence a turning from the Lord and being full of self. Jesus finds them to be naked. They are instructed to buy from Him the white garments of the righteousness of the saints (Rev 3:4-5). “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev. 19:8) These are the works of the saints which are the fruits of believing and receiving divine righteousness (Eph. 2:10).

3.      The professing church is found to be spiritually blind and without any useful spiritual discernment. They were blind to the things of God, yet they were saying ‘we see.’ They were to anoint their eyes with eye salve that they may see. This is true spiritual wisdom and discernment in Christ and His word.

This is exactly what the church world lacks today. We cannot see the evil and corruption. We refuse to see it and will not admit it. We build with wood, hay, and stubble, but swear it is gold, silver, and precious stones. We divide up the body of Christ and create our own little kingdoms, and protect them at all cost. We step back and survey the Christian landscape and say, “This is all there is, it must be the sovereign will of God.” It doesn’t take much investigation of Scripture to show that it most certainly isn’t. But we are spiritually blind to God’s truth. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires…” We live in this time (II Tim. 4:3). It is the spiritual blindness of Laodicea. It is the spiritual blindness of the corporate body of Christendom today.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” (Rev. 3:20) In the Lord’s patient mercy He still acknowledges the possibility of any of the remnant existing within. As long as it is still possible for mercy to be shown in the Father’s timing, He is still there. But His call goes out to individuals, for He says, “…if anyone hears My voice and opens the door…” The corporate state is beyond hope and is given up.

An important observation to be made with Laodicea is that there is no return of the Lord held out before them. The final exhortation of His return was with Philadelphia (Rev. 3:11). The final state of professing Christianity is morally hopeless and subject to judgment. Christ is truly standing apart and outside this final body. If there are any saints within, then the true testimony and words they may hear will come from outside that which they are involved in.

The promise to the overcomers is a simple one. It is the believer’s part to reign with the Son of Man over the future millennial earth (Rev. 3:21). With Laodicea, the overcomers do not receive any intimate or personal promises from Christ. The hope given is that which the entire church will share in, in common.  “…I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” [119]

Laodicea is the professing church as a form of godliness, but no power or life or Spirit (II Tim. 3:1-5). They were lukewarm, and not hot or cold. They were not zealous for the Lord, but still maintaining an attachment to His name. They were this in-between state that had a certain need to be seen a certain way. They had an appearance and profession, but no true faith, passion, or zeal. This condition is nauseous to the Lord.

This is the time of the professing church saying, “I am rich…and have need of nothing.” In truth everything is in need and they are completely blind to their actual condition. How dangerous is this spiritual blindness? Corruption and apostasy marked the history of Christendom. [120] As a dispensation on earth, the professing church would be cut off. It will be set aside as Israel was. Laodicea is the final state of the corporate body on earth. This is the present state of the corporate church. The Lord extinguishes its candlestick. It will be judged as the world.

                                                               Chapter 12: Endnotes


[119] This verse serves to clear up a lot of mistaken doctrine (Rev. 3:21). Jesus presently sits on His Father’s throne. It is not His own throne that He sits on at this time. The character in which He sits is as the glorified Son of Man, who is the Head of His own body, the church. Also for the church He sits in the role of High Priest. These are His two roles and functions for those of faith in this current time of the kingdom of heaven in mystery, when the King is not present but away in heaven. Faith is the evidence of things not seen and therefore mystery.   In relationship to the unbelieving world He was hated and rejected, and is the Lamb slain in the midst of the throne. He was the Male-child who is destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron, but now caught up to God and His throne (Rev. 12:5). As to the world, He is hidden there in God, and not manifested (Col. 3:1-4).

It is interesting how the two current roles of Jesus Christ for the church – Head of the body and High Priest – are completely hidden from the book of Revelation. It is because the church is the mystery of God hidden from prophecy, and the book is a book of prophecy. These two characters are noticeably missing in all the descriptions of Christ in the first chapter. Also missing from the book is the relationship of Father and the Comforter to the church.

It remains that Christ is currently sitting with His Father on His Father’s throne (Rev. 3:21). It is not yet the Son of Man sitting on the throne of His glory or the Messianic throne of His father David (Matt. 25:31, 19:28). These thrones will be millennial and on the earth and in the earthly city of Jerusalem. This couldn’t be any clearer from prophecy or this particular verse.

[120] Apostasy always assumes a previous position of profession (Heb. 6:4-9). The main body of apostasy is the professing church. It is the object of God’s judgment and wrath. It is what should have been the light of God in the world when Christ ascended up on high. It should have been the epistle of Christ, known and read by all men (II Cor. 3:2-3). According to clear and proper Biblical principles, the professing church will incur the judgment and wrath of God. Judgment starts at the house of God (I Pet. 4:17). We see this principle borne out in God’s dealings with Israel in their history. Now we see it in God’s dealings with Christendom. The general body is corrupt and spiritually dead. It is now Laodicea. It is a nauseous and highly pretentious form of Christianity. It is full of itself instead of being full of Christ. Only a small remnant is identified by the Lord, separated and preserved in the grace of God. That is why chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation precede chapter 4, where we see the preparations in heaven for the impending judgment of the earth and world. The professing church will be judged with the world and in the same manner as the world. With Thyatira it is said to the corporate body,“Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation…I will kill her children with death…and I will give to each one of you according to your works.” This is judgment as the world and with the world. With Sardis it is said, “…I will come upon you as a thief…” Again this is being judged as and with the world.

The final form of the general body of Christendom is spewed out of the Lord’s mouth. It is a dead carcass that moves on into the tribulation period, still pretending to be approved by God. The spewing out of Laodicea sets the judgment of the professing church as certain in its future accomplishment. It isn’t hard to see this final physical judgment in Scripture. Professing Christianity, minus Philadelphia, is the Babylonian harlot that is destroyed and burned by the ten Christian kingdoms, which in turn allows the fourth beast to come forth in character again, rising out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 17:16-17). The sobering realization is not the judgment of the Roman beast, its armies, the Antichrist, the last Caesar, and the binding of Satan. Instead it is that the judgment and wrath of God is precipitated by the professing church.

The apostasy in the end times with the Antichrist is the rejection of the foundations of the Christian faith. The character and spirit of all antichrists that have come from the church world is the rejection of the Father and the Son, and the denial that Jesus is the Christ (I John 2:18-23). It isn’t hard to realize that the Antichrist in the end will arise from among the Jews. With the throwing off of the pseudo-Christianity of the whore, the character of the Antichrist, and the blasphemy of the Roman beast, it is not hard to see the world in the end as completely anti-Christian. This is the full apostasy of the world where it does not acknowledge God. What precedes it and leads to it is the rejection of all Christian doctrine. How soon did the spirit of Antichrist come in? John says they went out from among us (I John 2:19). The world will embrace the complete ripening of apostasy that is first found in the professing church.

Peter tells us the longsuffering of the Lord is for salvation. In His patience with the evil and corruption of the professing church, He is still gathering in individually. This doesn’t mean that the judgment isn’t set for Christendom. May the Lord graciously open our eyes to see the real character and nature of evil. Although His judgment is delayed at the present time, it is not changed. The only cure for the present condition is judgment.