When we speak about, teach, or preach God’s word, it is important to keep our quotes in context to glean their proper meaning. For years, speakers and writers have homed in on singular verses and applied meaning to them that did not line up within their context. So, as we end our treasure hunt in Revelation 3:18, let’s see it in context.
The Lukewarm Church – 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.” ’ ”
First, the name Laodicea means “rule of the people” or “majority rule.” This is also what democracy means. Democracy is often considered the highest form of government, but it is not. The highest form of government is ‘theocracy’ or a government where Jesus Himself reigns. Laodicea was a place where people ruled, and God was excluded.
Laodicea was also a financial center. People loved worldly riches and ran after blessings. Their city produced luxurious black wool that was used to fashion clothing for the rich. The people appeared blessed, but Jesus said they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—”
The temple of Asklepios, the god of medicine, was in Laodicea. A popular eye salve was formulated there.
Jesus begins His message to Laodicea by describing Himself as the Amen. The word amen means “truth.” The Laodiceans claimed to be rich, but Jesus said they were poor—who is right? If Jesus is the Truth, then He is right, and we need to see ourselves through His eyes.
The central problem in Laodicea was their complete denial of their need or love for God. “We don’t need God, we can take care of ourselves.” They were comfortable and content without God. But instead of being rich in their self-sufficiency, the Lord reveals to them that they are actually impoverished.
Instead of garments of black wool, He tells them to clothe themselves with the white garments of righteousness. Instead of their popular eye salve, He tells them to anoint their eyes with His Word so that they can truly see their spiritual needs.
Does this sound anything like some elements in the church today? Like elements in the world? Do we not need to buy gold? Let’s look again at the treasures we found in our text.
Revelation 3:18 “Buy from Me gold refined in the fire…”
As believers, chosen in Him and set apart as holy, God has given us the Grace to receive Revelation from Holy Spirit about Life and how to live it. When we Pay Attention to Him, we experience Restoration and Jubilee.
So, if we are believers and are going to buy gold from the Lord, our first source to go to in times of decision or trial is Him. We should not run to medicine, our friends, YouTube videos, self-help books, make-up, material possessions, exercise, financial dealings, etc. The answers we need are found in Him alone. Rather than the hit-and-miss search of our own doing, He will lead us to a source for specific help. And it will be exactly what we need now.
Even during Trial and Testing (if we are Paying Attention to Holy Spirit), we can experience our Hidden Relationship in Christ. His word brings life, washing us clean and allowing Holy Spirit to Empower us to Complete the Work of God’s kingdom with Strength.
The specific help Holy Spirit leads us to may be a scripture. I cannot tell you how many times He’s led me in the Word to verses I’d never paid attention to before and got the answer I needed.
Gold is manifest in our lives through the activity and power of God’s word that pierce, prunes, sows seed, and brings a harvest. Revelation comes as we pay attention, hear, and follow, God’s word. His word draws us into a deep family relationship with God in His Son.
Yes, there are times when the word He leads us to reveal areas that need a godly adjustment in our lives. When we follow Him, we experience His love and our relationship with Him grows deeper.
We are pulled toward a harvest of humility and righteousness. Human reasoning that doesn’t lead to obedience is overcome and a new beginning is established.
When we see our lives in the light of His truth and consider the great price He paid for us to experience life ever-lasting, with power over sin and death, we are humbled. Righteousness takes over pride and self-will. We see the value of following Him and begin to walk in obedience. We experience a new beginning. It will not be without struggle but it will be full of peace, fulfillment, and companionship.
Jesus told His disciples, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus walked a life fully submitted to God. He understands more than any other what it takes to do God’s will in the face of innumerable trials. He is the expert of experts in wisdom, skill, strategy, endurance, and love.
So, if you want to live the victorious life of a King’s Kid, buy gold tried in the fire. It increases in value with every step you take, and no one can steal it from you.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” Ephesians 5:1