Names of Jesus: Amen, Faithful and True Witness
Throughout scripture, Jesus is given many names and we are taught more about Him with every name. In the book of Revelation, we read letters from Jesus to the Seven Churches, and in each letter, He identifies Himself with a different name. We are going to focus on the letter to “the Church in Laodicea”. In this letter, Jesus addresses Himself as the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation. Both the name He identifies Himself with at this moment, as well as the context of the Laodicean church is important.
14 “To[a] the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following:[b]
“This is the solemn pronouncement of[c] the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator[d] of God’s creation: 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.[e] I wish you were either cold or hot! 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going[f] to vomit[g] you out of my mouth!Revelation 3:14-16 NET
Who is the Laodicean Church?
There are a few different interpretations of these letters. One of the main interpretations is that the churches these letters are addressed to represent the different generations of believers, which puts the Laodicean church as representing the present age of believers alive right now until the return of Christ. Another major interpretation is that they were addressed to the believers of the literal churches during the time they were alive. Regardless of the interpretation, the significance of these letters is just as important, and the warnings, rebukes, and praises of each letter are just as relevant for believers today to take to heart.
The Laodicean Church was a lukewarm church. Laodicea was a wealthy community located at the top of a hill somewhere in modern-day Turkey. It also shared a prosperous trade route with Hierapolis and Colossae. Laodicea did not have a water source of its own and had aqueducts that fed water from Hierapolis, which boasted of its healing hot springs, and Colossae, which had cool water that was ideal for drinking. When the water arrived in Laodicea it was no longer hot or cold water, but lukewarm and no longer good for healing or drinking.
Roman History claims that the city of Laodicea was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD and the city declined all Roman aid to rebuild, wanting to rely on their own resources to rebuild their city themselves. Being known for their wealth, pride, and self-reliance, their claim to success was the material wealth of their economy and the ability to provide for themselves, which is why we see Jesus rebuke them the way He does. They were focused on themselves, arrogant about their wealth, and did not think they needed anything, even the Lord.
23 Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”Matthew 19:23-24 CSB
10 For the love of money is a root[a] of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.1 Timothy 6:10 CSB
|NKJV Woman’s Study Bible–cloth over board, cream (indexed)
By Thomas Nelson
The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness
Laodicea focused on fending for themselves, lived in luxury, and relished their wealth and material prosperity. In Jesus’ letter to the Laodicean church, He named Himself “the Amen” signifying that He is firm and faithful. It accentuates the next part of His name, that He is the “Faithful and True Witness”. The Laodicean church was known for being self-sufficient, focusing on their worldly riches, and believing they had no need for anything else. They were complacent, arrogant, and didn’t see their need for the Lord. Jesus is pointing out that He is a faithful and true witness, that He sees their deeds and their hearts, and that His testimony about them is true and trustworthy.
5 For there is one God and one intermediary[a] between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human,[b]6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.[c]1 Timothy 2:5-6 NET
25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost[a] those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.Hebrews 7:25 ESV
The Beginning of the Creation of God
All of creation was made through, by, and for Jesus. Everything was made by the divine means of Jesus, through the divine power of Jesus, and for Jesus’s divine purposes. He is the source of all creation, the ruler of creation, and is in the first place over all creation. Jesus is superior, and takes precedence over all of creation, and should be the priority in the lives of all people.
16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.Colossians 1:16 ESV
By declaring Himself the Beginning of the Creation of God in His letter to the Laodicean church He is reminding them that He should be first in their lives. He should be the cause and recipient of all praise and worship. Jesus is reminding them that as the source of all creation, He is the source of all that they have. It is not for themselves to boast about, but it is thanks to Him that they have all that they have. He created them for His purposes and gives them what they have to be used for His purposes. Not only this, but as the source of all creation, all credit should go to Him rather than themselves and they need to recognize their need of Him.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.James 1:17 NKJV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
Check out other studies in this series
- Names of Jesus as the Son of Man
- Names of Jesus as the Son of God
- Names of Jesus: The Way, the Truth, the Life
- Names of Jesus: The Word
- Names of Jesus: Teacher
- Names of Jesus: Bread of Life
- Names of Jesus: Light of the World
- Names of Jesus: The True Vine
- Names of Jesus: Holy Servant
- Names of Jesus: Risen Lord
- Names of Jesus: Amen, Faithful and True Witness
- Names of Jesus: Victorious One
- Names of Jesus: Faithful and True
What does it mean to have a lukewarm faith?
While there are a couple of different interpretations about the recipients of these letters to the seven churches, it is clear that Jesus is giving a warning to all believers who have grown to be lukewarm in their faith. To be lukewarm is a reference to the kind of water the Laodiceans had. It was a result of the healing hot springs and the refreshing cold drinking water traveling miles to Laodicea by aqueduct and losing its original beneficial temperatures and properties. It was neither healing nor refreshing by the time it reached the city. It was lukewarm, making it disgusting to drink and not beneficial to use.
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.James 3:16-18 NKJV
The people, like the water, were spiritually indifferent and did not make themselves open and available to God, preventing God’s blessings from flowing, and also preventing themselves from being used by God. They claimed that what they had was due to themselves rather than a gift from God, and used it for selfish worldly luxury and boasting.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.Hebrews 11:6 ESV
Those who are lukewarm are spiritually indifferent believers who rely on themselves and fail to put Christ on the throne of their lives and heart. They are self-sufficient and seek their own kingdom versus the Kingdom of God. Because of this, they fail to do the work God has prepared for them to do for His Kingdom. Because they fail to do the work God has prepared for them to do, they miss out on the blessings that flow from faithful obedience to the Lord. They rely on their own abilities and resources and chase their own gains and pleasures. They don’t rely on the help of the Lord, fail to recognize their need for Him, and don’t give God due praise, gratitude, or glory. They are complacent and indifferent.
What are the dangers of having a lukewarm faith?
In this letter, Jesus is warning those who are self-reliant and fail to live in obedience to the Lord that if they do not repent and come into an intimate relationship with Him they will continue to miss out on blessings, and will not get to rule with Him when He comes back to rule over the earth. Those who are faithful and prove they are true to the Lord and the works He has given them to do will get to rule with Christ one day.
21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.Revelation 3:21 ESV
He declared to the Laodicean church that those who conquer He will grant to sit with Him on His throne. Those who conquer sin in this life, who rest in and rely on the Lord as their strength, who persevere in faith and the works God has given us to do, those are the ones who will sit on the throne with Him as He reigns over the earth for 1,000 years.
6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:6 ESV
While all believers will get to spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord, not all believers will get to rule with Him in His time on His earthly throne. When Christ returns to earth those who have proven themselves faithful workers for His Kingdom will share in additional blessings on this earth before we spend eternity in Heaven with Him. There will still be work to do for His Kingdom, and those who have proven to be good workers will be blessed by being used for the Lord’s purposes until we enter eternity with Him. Those who are lukewarm when Christ comes will not be in an intimate relationship with Him and will be risking missing out on the blessings that flow from that closeness to the Lord.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for [a]a thousand years.Revelation 20:4 NKJV
Spiritual complacency puts you at risk of falling away from your faith and drifting completely from the Lord. When we are not zealous for the Lord, living our lives with Him as our focus, we are failing to strengthen our faith and our defense against the schemes of the devil. We are called to judge rightly according to the Word and will of God, which requires a right and close relationship with the Lord and His Word. If we do not learn and grow in right judgment in earthly matters, how can we prove ourselves trustworthy to judge matters of the Kingdom?
2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!1 Corinthians 6:2-3 ESV
We must all be careful that we don’t stray from a close, intimate, and personal relationship with Jesus and become lukewarm and complacent. Those who overcome until the end are those who, even with the temptations of the world, overcome and remain steadfast with the Lord until the end of their life. Those who conquer are those who stick to Jesus, truly follow Him and live by His example and strive to learn more from and about Him every day.
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,2 Corinthians 3:5 NKJV
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”John 4:24 ESV
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.Matthew 6:19-20 NKJV
How can I be zealous for the Lord?
As we grow with Him we grow in faith and bear the fruits of true faith. Jesus is the Amen, the true and faithful witness, and will judge us righteously. If we have strayed and are found far from Him when He returns He will judge us accordingly. It is like the parable of the talents where a master entrusted his servants with different amounts of money. When he returned, some had invested the money and returned more to the master than he left them with while one of them hid the money and did nothing with it. The servants who had invested the money were praised while the other who hid the money was rebuked and what he had was taken from him.
14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.Colossians 3:14-17 NKJV
To be zealous for the Lord is to devote your life to the Lord and His great works. If we are living devoted to the Lord, we will be living out His plan for our lives, learning daily about how to grow in faith, our relationship with Him, and in godliness. To be zealous for the Lord is to recognize that all you have is from Him and to be used for Him, and to focus on how to glorify Him in every area of your life. Essentially, it is to live fully reliant and focused on Him and serving His Kingdom.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
Christ’s message to those who believe and live as if they have no need of Him and His salvation is that He sees what they do, He knows the intentions of their heart, He knows they are not zealous for Him, and He pleads with them to repent, be zealous, and come back to an intimate relationship with Him.
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.John 4:23 NKJV
The response Jesus wants from those who are spiritually lukewarm is to repent and be zealous for Him. How can we be zealous for Him when we drifted away and become reliant on earthly things rather than Him? The two main things Jesus describes for us in this letter are sanctification and repentance. All of us need spiritual refining and healing, and all of us need to repent before that can truly take place.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
But know this, that in the last days [a]perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, [b]unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!2 Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
How can I glorify Jesus as the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, and the Beginning of the Creation of God?
Jesus wants us to cling to Him, learn from Him, and seek His healing and instruction. All of us are called to endure this earthly life to the end in faith, just as Christ endured even to His death. We are called to follow Him, resist the devil, and live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus, doing the works He has prepared for us to do. Each of us has the calling to share the gospel with the world and plant seeds in the hearts of others that God will grow to lead them to Himself.
23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV
We all have work to do for the Kingdom, and those who are faithful with the work He provides for us to do for the Kingdom are given the promise of co-ruling with Christ when He rules over the earth. As we prepare for the return of Christ, we should be diligent in prayer and steadfast in reading His Word so that we can continue to learn and continue to be prepared for the day of His return. Not only this but growing in prayer and our understanding of scripture will help us to grow in faith and build up our defenses against the schemes of the devil. As we grow in faith, prayer, and the Word we are better equipped to resist sin and come to repentance when we fall short.
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:6-7 ESV
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
|KJV Spurgeon Study Bible–genuine leather, black
By Holman Bible Publishers
|Spurgeon’s Sermons, 5 Book Set with 10 volumes
By Hendrickson Publishers
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [a]wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [b]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—Ephesians 6:11-18 NKJV
Put on the full armor of God today, cast off complacency, allow the Lord to take back His throne in your heart and life, and rely on Him in all circumstances. He is faithful and just, and He will forgive you and strengthen you for the works ahead of you. Take some time today to pray over your own relationship with the Lord, asking Him to reveal any hidden sins, any self-sufficiencies, and any other complacencies that prevent you from giving Him all due praise and honor in your life.
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Have you accepted the grace of God?
If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.
If you would like to learn more about salvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:
- Names of Jesus: Savior
- Don’t Neglect Your Salvation
- Prayer of Salvation
- What is grace and why do we need it?
- What does it mean to be justified by grace?
- Don’t Reject God’s Grace
- Don’t Reject Christ
- Godly Women – what it means to live a godly life
- Redeemed Women – what it means to be redeemed
- What is Biblical Love?
- What are Spiritual Gifts?
- How to live in Spirit and Truth
- How to test what is pleasing to God
- Names of Jesus as the Son of God
- Names of Jesus as the Son of Man
- Names of Jesus as the Truth
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