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 REVELATION 3:19-22

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 19:

Everyone loves the Verse.

It's just that most of the time we misapply it.

It's a lovely way to explain the Lord Jesus to a child, His standing at the door of a little heart, knocking!

But the true "context" of Revelation 3:20 is something quite different.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

Jesus, really, is here pleading with a Church!

Seeking admission!

Here's most of the whole Paragraph: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:19-22

The Lord placed this Text on my heart earlier this week. I was studying the mealtime habits of Jesus. Here our Lord invites Himself into our lives ... for supper!

What a sweet thought, supper with Him!

Better yet, fellowship, one-on-One, with God The Son!

But notice how the Passage begins.

The worldly luke-warm Church at Laodicea is being addressed.

Jesus says to that much-like-today local Assembly: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Revelation 3:19, today's verse!

I think no doubt Jesus had enjoyed His devotions early that morning from the Book of Proverbs! Proverbs chapter 3 precisely! "For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." Proverbs 3:12

Read all of Proverbs 25 if you want to see the Source of several more of Jesus' powerful Sermons too!

Jesus loves the Churches, His Churches, even Laodicea. A Church in bad shape! "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Revelation 3:17

"Love" here is a translation of "phileo," surprisingly! You don't reckon that the lukewarm attitude of the Laodiceans impacted Jesus' love too, do you?

I know. "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." 2nd Timothy 2:13

But, still, "phileo" is just not "agape" love!

No where near it!

Just as the hardness of people's hearts restrained some of Jesus' miracles ... so might the loss of love on our part, lukewarmness, temper our Lord's very Love toward us! Toward us saints!

"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12

"And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." Matthew 13:58

I'll gladly take any of Jesus' Love I can get, anytime! "Agape, philos," or any other kind!

But Jesus not only "loves" the Church here, He also "rebukes" her! She is wrong in so may areas.

"Elegcho" means "to convict, to refute, to shame," but with this particular nuance, to bring someone to the place they not only acknowledge their sin, but become willing to do something about it! To forsake it!

Then "chasten," a definition of "paideuo," literally means "to train children!" To instruct them rightly, with the clear implication that some "whippings" might be necessary in the process!

Then Jesus quickly admonishes His soon-to-be supper guests, or at least His potential supper guests, to be "zealous!" 

Again our Verse: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."

The verb "be zealous," in Greek "zeloo," means "to burn with emotion," here, obviously, good emotion! Our Lord never sinned, even in temper.

These lukewarm Laodiceans have just been told to get "hot," for Jesus!

To "repent" is "to change one's mind" about something! Or Someone! It's spelled "metanoeo," a preposition meaning "after or against," and a noun meaning one's very "mind!"

Both these last two verbs are imperatives too!

Commanded to be fervent, boiling hot ... and to reverse one's very thinking too!

All this pretty strong talk, just before the supper invitation!

See what I mean?

It's not a soul-winning Text!

Rather ...

Church, clean up!

So Jesus can fellowship with you ... at Table!

Lord, feel free to drop by anytime!

You are always welcome!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

lesson 2, verse 20:

Once Jesus was accused of being a glutton! The charge was false, of course. At the same time He was accosted for being a friend of publicans and sinners too. See Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34.

Often our Lord did gather around the table, in some unusual places too, to enjoy a meal and to speak of grand heavenly themes.

His very first recorded miracle was at at wedding feast! Those things lasted for days, always being occasions of food and fellowship!

Jesus' last words to mankind, from the Book of Revelation nonetheless, include a meal also!

And, no, not yet anyway! I'm not talking about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. That's mentioned in Revelation 19:19.

I'm talking about our Lord's invitation to one of the seven churches, assemblies seen in the opening vision of Revelation, chapters two and three to be exact.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

There have been some nights recently, in Revival Services here and there, that our Lord has actually "come in" to us and supped with us! How spiritually delicious such experiences can be!

Remember now, contextually, the "door" at which Jesus is knocking is that of a local church! One that is emblematic in more than one way to many churches in our own age! At least, the scenario begins that way.

The opening word, "behold," is really a verb. "Idou" means "to look." Three times in the New Testament it's translated "to see." It implies "listening" too. And here it is a command, based on an actual historical situation near the end of the first century, around 95 AD or so.

Jesus speaks metaphorically. To "any man," presumably who is saved. "Tis" is an indefinite pronoun, here a nominative masculine one.

"Door," spelled "thura," implies the means of entrance into one's mind or heart or life or soul, whatever. Communion and fellowship and intimacy are obviously being implied.

By the way, in Ephesians 6:16, where we Christians are encouraged to take the "shield" of faith and quench all the fiery darts of the devil ... the noun for "shield" is spelled "thureos," a relative of "thura," a door! That's certainly a BIG shield! The Roman soldiers also has access to a much smaller shield, but that's not what Paul means here! A "shield" as big as a "door!" What protection God gives us!

Back to our Verse, Revelation 3:20, we cannot possible respond to Jesus' knock without "hearing" it first! "If any man hear My voice, and open the door," Jesus said.

The verb is "akouo" and means "to give audience." To exercise one's capability of hearing. The verb is subjunctive here and implies an "ideal" situation, one of Jesus' strong desires for His people!

Of course, some do not hear the Lord's Voice! But Jesus assured us, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

"Voice" in Greek is "phone," pronounced "fo-nay" in English. It is rendered merely as "sound" eight times in Scripture. But here the deeper meaning is required.

But just hearing is not enough!

It never is!

The hearing must be followed by obedience!

"If any man hear My voice, and open the door ...."

James once said, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22

The verb "open" is prefixed by "ana" in Greek, one meaning of which is "again!" This more than implies that Jesus comes by often, enjoying such fellowship with His church, his people, and individual saints of God as well. "Anoigo" means "to open up" precisely.

"Come in" is "eiserchomai," the "in" being built right into the verb! Jesus promises His Presence!

The verb "sup" is "deipneo," to eat the evening meal! To enjoy "supper" with someone. In Jesus' day, supper was the main meal of the day for most folks! Breakfast and lunch were very "light" and often very "quick" times of refreshment.

"Deipneo" is only used, as a verb, four times in the New Testament. Add another fourteen or so for the noun.

Look at the personal nature of such supping, Jesus "with" the host and the host "with" Jesus! "I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Wow!

That great "with" word is "meta," meaning "in the very midst of" something! It's about as "close" as you can get! Strong union is here being suggested. Real togetherness!

This is called "reciprocal" supping! There's a lot more than just "eating" happening here, too. Communion and oneness and love and familiarly and knowledge are being developed simultaneously!

Oh, one more thought! "Knock" is "krouo" in Greek, only used 9 times and only translated as "knock." It's a present tense verb. But "stand," spelled "histemi," really "to be set" in place, is a perfect tense verb! But plainly the two verbs are parallel, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock ...."

Why the tense variation?

Present and perfect?

This is apparently being indicated: Jesus stands there near us perennially! Always! He never leaves us! But He knocks only at select times during that period!

Always there!

But knocking only at His pleasure!

Better be listening!

Maybe that's why the Text, yet to be studied in a few days, ends: "He that hath an ear, let him hear ...!"

I don't want to miss one of those precious "suppers!"

Do you?

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 21:

One just cannot study the Bible without learning the word "context." A Latin word, "textere" means "to weave!" And the prefix "com" just means "together" or "with."

Take a Bible verse, any of them will do. Concentrating on that single verse all alone can be risky. The Holy Spirit has placed that statement in its particular "setting" for a reason. He has "woven" it into place, splicing it with the other material in its neighborhood!

A verse or paragraph or even a chapter needs to be understood in the light of its setting, both what's been said before and after. Only then can we acquire a sense of the real message the Lord is conveying.

And of course, the Holy Spirit will help us learn these things! He is the True Teacher of Scripture anyway!

One preacher famously said, "Often a text, if taken out of its context, can easily become a pretext!" A "pretext" is really not much more than a "disguise" of sorts. It's something "woven in advance," with the goal of manipulating a passage of literature! Forcing it to mean what you want it to mean, not necessarily what it really says!

Now, for an example of this whole "context" thing in action.

Here's our Verse standing alone. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

Pretty much, you can now make it "say" anything you wish, or nearly so.

Let's put one verse in front of it though. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:19-20

What a difference!

Revelation 3:20 is really written to those who are already saved! Folks whom the Lord loves enough to "rebuke and chasten!" And remember what Hebrews 12 says, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." Hebrews 12:6-8

The Lord is knocking to gain access, in order to straighten us out! This is no mere social call! Business is about to be discussed! Things might get rough!

This information puts a whole new "light" on our Text, Jesus knocking at our heart's door!

Now, let's look at what immediately follows our Text. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:20-21

There is a reward to inviting Jesus inside!

I believe, "inside information!"

"Power," too!

"Victory," one might say!

In a great word picture: Being an "overcomer" (as opposed to being defeated) and sitting with Jesus (just as you allowed Him to sit with you), ruling and reigning with Him for eternity!

This claim is just too great to make casually!

No Bible teacher would advance such a thought on his own!

It must be gleaned from Scripture!

"Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Revelation 1:5-6

See what a difference the "context" makes!

In summary:

Fellowship with Jesus!

Let Him into your heart and life and commune with Him often!

Sit and sup with Him habitually!

Regularly!

As constantly as possible!

Even to the point of His correcting and admonishing you!

And He will reciprocate some day!

He will invite you into His House!

To sit with Him on His Throne!

As a victor, to reign with Him and glorify him perpetually!

That's the immediate "context" of Revelation 3:20. It must be studied in that "setting," its Biblical "neighborhood."

Quickly, back to verse 21 a minute. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

There are seven "overcomer" statements in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, one for each church mentioned.

This one is special!

The verb "overcometh" translates "nikao," meaning "to conquer or prevail." It's our borrowed word "nike." That was the name of a guided missile the army had when I was young, "Nike." It was meant to defeat the enemy!

And how does one "overcome" here?

By inviting Jesus into your very "being" for fellowship and correction and whatever else He deems necessary!

We "win" because He has already won!

"We are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 3:37 is talking about Jesus!

By the way, "nikao" is here a present participle, constantly in the process of overcoming!

Next, the verb "grant" is just "didomai," meaning "to give or bestow." This throne business is nothing we have earned! It's totally a "Gift" from God! Yet He gives it to those who "open the door" to Him!

To sit "with" Jesus employs the very same preposition, "meta," that was used back in Verse 20. Where Jesus will sup "with" us ... and we "with" Him! It means "in the midst!" You just can't get any more "present" than that!

Back in Psalm 110, prophetically talking about Jesus' arrival back in Heaven at His Ascension, after His Death and Burial and Resurrection, God the Father says to His Beloved Son, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

Now Jesus just promised a group of "insiders," students of Revelation 3:20, that they can sit with Him!

And, gloriously, it's all because of Him!

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:21

Amen!

Sure makes you want to "sup" with the Lord, doesn't it!

Thank God for this "context!"

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 22:

Certain words Jesus used, apparently, to convey important Bible truths.

In His preaching, for example, "verily verily" often appears. Twenty-five times I just counted. Of course, all in the Gospels, in John's matter of fact! Matthew and Mark and Luke do, however, add the single "verily" 53 more times!

That word, spelled "amen" in Greek, means something like "faithful" or "true" or "surely" or even "trustworthy."

Like I say, Jesus used this word or these words to express the importance of an upcoming utterance.

What could be more important that this? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24, how to be saved! Verily, verily so!

In like manner Jesus had ways to convey the importance of listening to spiritual truth!

One main way hinged on the use of the little noun for "ears."

As in Matthew 11:15. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

That clause our Lord repeated 8 times in the synoptic Gospels. Most often He employed "He that heath ears to hear, let him hear" in explaining His great parables.

Important!

Then, still with Jesus being the Speaker, we surprisingly go to the Book of Revelation! John, on Patmos, saw our glorified, resurrected Lord! And Jesus spoke a series of seven messages to that many local churches scattered throughout Asia.

In Revelation 2:7 to the Assembly at Ephesus, in Revelation 2:11 to Smyrna, in 2:17 to Pergamos, in 2:29 to Thyatira, in 3:6 to Sardis, and again in 3:13 to Philadelphia.

Then, finally, for the seventh time, to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:22. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

It's noteworthy that Jesus appended these words to His Revelation 3:19-22 "invitation." That is: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Why here?

Merely to end the words to the church at Laodicea?

Or is there something extra special about this immediately foregoing paragraph, the lovely "door knocking" incident?

Here are its basic components ...

The Lord has come to rebuke and chasten!

He knocks at the door of our innermost being, seeking entrance!

He, if admitted, suggests, rather promises, close fellowship and communion, evidently both negative and positive!

What an offer!

He next insinuates "Throne" privileges for those who "open" freely to Him! His very Throne!

Awesome!

Then, like icing on a cake, He sweetly reminds us not to miss this great truth!

To use our ears, wisely!

Whatever you do as a Christian, don't miss these words!

"Sup" with Jesus!

Often!

"He that hath an ear, let him hear ...."

The verb "hath" is the very familiar "echo," used over 700 times in the New Testament. It's here a present participle. Continuous action is meant, one usually having his or her ears all the years of life!

The noun "ear" is spelled "ous," referring not just to the obvious physical apparatus but to the very capability of hearing and understanding, even knowing as well!

The verb "hear" is "akouo," from which our word "acoustics" is derived. It means "to hearken, to give audience," that kind of thing. Here "akouo" is an imperative, too. It's not an option!

Jesus' last command!

And just in case we are still wondering to whom our Lord is speaking, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:22

Don't ever wonder if the Holy Spirit can address a local church! Here's irrefutable proof!

An "ecclesia," a called-out assembly of like-minded Believers, that's what is indicated here.

Yes, Revelation 3:20 no doubt can be applied individually. As a Christian is indeed to be a part of some local church body. Yet we must also understand that a church, even the one at Laodicea, is a target too!

Not all is lost there!

Even there!

The next time you're working in a Passage of Scripture, and not hearing as much as you'd like, pray!

This comes to mind, "Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalm 119:18

That's the same thing as asking, "Lord, open my ears! Touch me! Let me hear what the Spirit is saying through this verse!"

To which God will say, "Amen!"

Supper with Jesus!

At His Invitation!

Who would miss it?

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, CONCLUSION:

The verse speaks of "supper!"

Using its verb form, "to sup," Jesus issues an invitation!

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

The idea of food, surprisingly, makes its way into several of Jesus' statements, especially after His Resurrection.

Let me show you what I mean.

On the very Day of our Lord's coming forth from the grave, alive and well, He met and walked with two Believers on their way to a little city called Emmaus. Luke 24 tells the story. "And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them."

Walking with the Lord!

Before the event has ended, the three sit at table. "And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight." Luke 24:30-31

Jesus ate a meal with these folks!

Call that food incident number one, post-resurrection wise.

That same day, after dark presumably, Jesus "appears" in an upper room. The Disciples have gathered there. "And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?" Luke 24:36-41

And He ate! "And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them." Amazing!

Our Lord must have been hungry that evening, two suppers!

On Resurrection Day!

Next, incident number three, "Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing." John 21:1-3

Strangely, look what our Lord asked His men: "But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat?"

And look what Jesus did next: "As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread." He cooked breakfast for the seven!

"Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise." John 21:12-13

Food, food, food!

Our living Lord, in His glorified Body!

And, come to think of it, guess what He has planned for us when He comes again! At the Lord's Supper, in the upper room: "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then, "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come." Wow! He's talking about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! "And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." Revelation 19:9

Eating event number four, with the Resurrected Jesus!

Now, let's connect these four with the Verse we've been studying for several days. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

Food again!

From the no-longer-dead Jesus!

From the never-again-dead Jesus!

From the liveth-for-evermore Jesus!

An open invitation!

Fellowship!

Intimacy!

Communion!

Abiding!

Oneness!

All expressed by the idea of ingesting sustenance!

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life." John 6:35

He is the Meal Offering! See Leviticus chapter 2.

I don't know all these verses mean, nor even imply ... but I do know this. When Jesus comes knocking on my heart's door, I'm answering!

I'm inviting Him inside!

I'm looking forward to supper, to fellowship, to sweetness!

My desire is toward Him!

How about you?

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

One more thing! Jesus might have mentioned food in several of these "after resurrection" appearances, eating each time ... just to prove that He was NOT a spirit! That He arose from the grave in a literal body, a food-consuming Person!

Also He might have been, plainly speaking, simply hungry! He fasted on occasion. That we know. He was not an over-eater, having never sinned in any way at all. That we know. And He had recently been through the Ordeal of the ages, Calvary! He just might have needed the food! Even in Heaven, eating is possible! "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month." That fruit! It's not merely for beauty!

But, perhaps even more than these two possibilities, Jesus likely is emphasizing to us the need for fellowship with Him!

When we're discouraged, as were the Emmaus travelers.

When we're fearful, as were the ten Disciples.

When we're misguided, and worse, fruitless, as were the seven men fishing.

Or when we're worshipping Jesus, as we shall be doing at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb!

Or ... just when we're living our mundane earthly lives ... as we do day after day!

Yes, folks, get ready!

It will happen ... to you!

One day you will "sense" His Presence, in a special way!

And He will say ... "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

Open up!

Enjoy!

Dear Lord, You're always welcome!

 

 

What a Text! We pray it's been a blessing to you! Keep studying God's precious Word! There's just nothing like it! Praise the Lord!

 

 

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