Revelation Chapter 3 : 18
Revelation 3:18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”
In the next few sections, we will cover the “remedies” prescribed for the spiritual “ailments” of the church of Laodicea. The Lord counsels the church to “buy” these spiritual remedies. Many have mistaken this passage as describing a work’s based salvation. This is not the case. A works based salvation goes against other Scripture that clearly states that salvation is a “free gift of God, not of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The passage in Isaiah below clarifies that spiritual riches are “bought” by accepting the invitation to come into a covenant relationship with the Lord:
Isaiah 55:1-3 – “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you – the sure mercies of David.”
In the next few verses we will see that some of the members of Laodicea are clearly not saved; as a result, they lack spiritual riches. However, later we will see that there were some saved folks in the congregation. This is important to note, because it is possible for people to get saved, but lack spiritual riches, if they live carnal, instead of Spirit-led lives, not maturing in their faith:
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 – And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal….
With regard to personal salvation in these letters to the churches, it is important to reiterate that the Lord is dealing with these church congregations corporately, which means that He is speaking to both true believers and nominal Christians at the same time. As shown throughout the letters, there is counsel from the Lord for both types of congregants.
“Gold tried in the fire”, means pure gold. Jesus is speaking of being rich in the sight of God. We need to be rich in good works laying up our treasures in heaven.
Matthew 6:20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”
The only riches worth having are the ones that we can collect on in heaven.
White raiment garments are only available if we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. Christians who are dressed in white robes standing around the throne of God are wearing garments Jesus has purchased with His own precious blood. We do not have enough money to buy them. They are a free gift to all believers in Jesus. In the sight of God, we are all naked until we are clothed in this white robe.
It is a very serious mistake to trust in uncertain riches. The rich young ruler who came to Jesus to find what he must do to be saved, went away sorrowful when he found he must give away his gold, which was wealth (Matthew 19:16-24).
The young man traded all of eternity with God for momentary wealth here on earth. We are all naked before God, because He can see right through us into our heart. Wash your eyes out where you can see clearly.
Recall from Revelation 1:13, that gold can represent holiness and purity, as it retains all of its qualities when refined in fire. The process of refining is also known as “testing” (Job 23:10). Recall from Revelation 2:9, the Lord considered the church of Smyrna spiritually rich because of the tribulations they endured. To “buy” gold refined in fire, may mean that believers in the church of Laodicea would have to go through testing, like Smyrna (Revelation 2:10), to produce spiritual riches:
1 Peter 1:6-7 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Note that “testing” in the Bible relates to the faith of believers (Hebrews 11:17, James 1:3, 1 Peter 1:7, Revelation 2:10). In other words, this “remedy” is for spiritually immature believers, not unbelievers.
Revelation 3:18 – …and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…
Shame of nakedness is the result of sin:
Genesis 2:25 – And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 3:7-11 – Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
God killed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness, which symbolized the atonement, or covering for their sin:
Genesis 3:21 – Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
In Revelation 3:5, we saw that atonement is possible only by the blood of Christ. Trying to cover our nakedness on our own, as Adam and Eve tried to do, will leave us still ashamed in God’s presence. Only by accepting and believing that Jesus paid the price to cover our sin, will we escape the shame of our nakedness before the Lord:
Romans 10:11 – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Laodicea was known for their trade of rich black wool, which they used to make garments. In stark contrast, the Lord admonishes the church to “buy” white garments. Recall from Revelation 1:14, that white represents cleansing from sin:
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Psalms 51:5-7 – Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
The Lord only promises that the overcomers, the true believers (1 John 5:4-5), will wear white garments (Revelation 3:5). Therefore, members of Laodicea that still needed to “buy” their white garments were not true believers.
On an interesting side note, someday the Lord will “clothe” believers with a heavenly body that will somehow permanently cover our nakedness:
2 Corinthians 5:1-3 – For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
Laodicea was also known for an eye ointment, used to treat astigmatism, made with a local rock ground to a powder. The Lord continues his play on words, to show the spiritual blindness that was prevalent in the church of Laodicea. Clearly, unbelievers are spiritually blind:
Ephesians 4:17-19 – This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
However, even believers can struggle with spiritual blindness:
2 Peter 1:9 – For he who lacks these things [that pertain to life and godliness] is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
The anointing of the eyes to see brings to mind the story about a man blind from birth that Jesus healed:
John 9:6-7 – When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
The Pharisees remained spiritually blind to the fact that Jesus was the Messiah. On the other hand, the blind man, whose eyes Jesus anointed, not only gained his physical sight, but he also received salvation and spiritual vision:
John 9:35-41 – Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”
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Revelation 3- 18 – Daily Bible Study
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.