Knocking on Whose door? Rev. 3:20 Biblically reclaimed

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    21
    Knocking on Whose door?
    Rev. 3:20 Biblically reclaimed

    [​IMG]

    There are so many misunderstandings on some of our most familiar verses that sometimes the task of setting things right seems overwhelming. Maybe the best way to do it is to tackle it the way I used to have to get my weeds under control - one at a time. The first weed - one I have had my eye on for some time - is this misapplication of Revelation 3:20. Here is the passage:

    14. "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

    The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

    15. "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.


    16. 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.'


    Down to verse 19:


    19. 'Those whom I love
    (phileo), I reprove and discipline; 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
    (not "into", but "in to") and will dine with him, and he with Me."

    Most of you have seen the mawkish paintings of Jesus meekly knocking at the door, patiently waiting for the sinner to open the door. In this scenario Jesus has to go away frustrated, since most of the hearts who are "knocked on" (sic) remain obstinately closed.


    What is wrong with this picture - and with the application from the text?
    Plenty.

    The verse in question (20) is directed toward Christians and not the unsaved. The Laodiceans are indeed very feeble spiritually, but the context indicates that they are saved. Notice verse 19: "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline". This should sound familiar. Hebrews 12:6 is the cross-reference:


    "
    For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives."

    (This is not a quote from any one OT verse, but a distillation of verses like Deut. 8:5; Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 23:13- 14.)


    DISCIPLINE NOT FOR EVERYONE

    Reading further down in Hebrews 12:7- 8, we see that not everyone gets disciplined - not this kind. There are those whom God leaves alone, does not discipline, because they are not sons. They are not chastened because they are not of the elect. Chastening is for the elect. This principle is seen in verses like Amos 3:2.

    So the disciplined ones of both Hebrews 12 and Revelation 3:14- 20 are a smaller group of people. They are the elect and not every single person. Christ cannot be said to be knocking on the door of the heart of every single person that we present the Gospel to, because verse 19 of Rev. 3 is linked to verse 20; Christ is speaking of the same people.


    PHILEO IS FELLOWSHIP LOVE

    Phileo is the word used in Rev. 3:19. "Agape" can be used for God's love for the elect or for our love for Him or others, but "phileo" is used of the love of fellowship, friendship and communion. Speaking of the use of this word in this very verse, Daniel Wallace (Dallas Theological Seminary professor and editor of the NET Bible) says "phileo"is...

    "--a term that is never used of God/Jesus loving unbelievers in the NT. (Indeed, it would be impossible for God to have this kind of love for an unbeliever, for it routinely speaks of enjoyment and fellowship."


    God does not enjoy fellowship with every single person on the earth. This picture in our minds of Jesus' knocking on the doors of the hearts of all obscures the true focus of God's redemptive purpose for His elect.


    I did not mean to state this case so negatively, wanting rather to describe positively what God's plan
    is, not what it isn't. Yet we often need to clear away the misconceptions before we can be more biblically correct. We are laboring under so much wrong doctrine and the groundwork must first be laid.

    And that picture of Jesus knocking abjectly at the door must go too.
     
    #1 asterisktom, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2012
  2. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rev 3:20 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.
    21 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.
    22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


    I disagree, verse 20 clearly says "any man" and is unlimited in scope. Verse 22 also is addressed to those who have the ability to listen (He that hath an ear) and is unlimited. These statements are not limited to the church, because the verse says to anyone who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

    Of course, Calvinists will say the unregenerate man does not have the ability to hear, but I would disagree with this.

    I am amazed at Calvinists, this is one of the greatest salvation verses in all of scripture and shows just how easy it is to be saved, and what a man must do to be saved. He must simply open the door of his heart or will and invite Jesus in. Yet Calvinists try to steal this verse away. It is almost as if Calvinists do not want people to be saved.
     
  3. revmwc

    revmwc
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    69
    19. 'Those whom I love (phileo), I reprove and discipline; 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 (not "into", but "in to") and will dine with him, and he with Me."

    Notice the qualifying statement, those I Love, He stands and knocksat there door for them to come to Him, He wants to have fellowship with the believers who are out of fellowship, those who are walking in sin those who are reproved and disciplined the Lord is knocking on their door by means of discipline and those who repent and open the door Christ can come back and fellowship with. When 1 John 1:9 is applied to the believers life sin is confessed and God has forgiven then the believer is able to fellowship with God.
     
  4. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    185
    I know that even C. H. Spurgeon did not mind using the verse to call for those without Christ to come to Him.

    The emphasis of the verses remain to the church and to the believers.

    The emphasis is diminished by attempts to apply it to the unbelievers. If it were preached and taught as a warning to the believers/assemblies then perhaps the Holy Spirit would use it to bring revival for the believers and assemblies would come to realize much of what passes for God's blessing and approval in the modern age is of little or no value to the Lord or the believer.
     
  5. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    44
    "You know the famous picture of, “The Light of the World”? It seems to me to be one of the finest sermons the eyes have ever looked upon. There stands the Ever-Blessed, knocking at the door of the soul, but the hinges are rusted, the door, itself, is fast bolted and wild briars and all kinds of creeping plants running up the door prove that it has been along time since it was moved. You know what it all means—how continuance in sin makes it harder to yield to the knock of Christ and how evil habits creeping up, one after another, hold the soul so fast that it cannot open to the sacred knocking. Jesus has been knocking at some of your hearts ever since you were children—and still He knocks. I hear His blessed hand upon the door at this moment! Do you not hear it? Will you not open?" —Charles Spurgeon, "Knock"
     
  6. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    Angel is referring to messengers of the church. A believer should of already come to Christ for salvation.

    It all depends on how you see hot or cold. I believe a church that is cold has stopped reaching out to the lost and the warm do a little, but the hot have a great mission orientation.

    All believers are not called to be teachers, because we who teach will be judged more strictly, but nothing wrong with our lives pointing to Jesus and that we have a place that can teach them the path to God through Jesus.

    The letters is to the messengers of that particular church.

    A believer does not need to be saved all over again, but they do need direction and God gave people like Peter to feed them.
     
  7. asterisktom

    asterisktom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    21
    I started to do a detailed rebuttal but, given that last sentence of yours, I don't think I will start along these lines with you. You can either demonize "Calvinists" or you can try to understand - or at the very least, state - their position.
     
  8. asterisktom

    asterisktom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    21
    If he did this then he went contrary to his own stated principle not to "knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture." Or, perhaps, he did not know that it referred only to believers.
    Agreed. Most definitely. This is one of several passages that, once given back its proper meaning and context, can only waken and strengthen the Church to its God given purpose.
     
  9. asterisktom

    asterisktom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    21
    OK, this shows clearly that Spurgeon did see this as an invitation verse to the unsaved. Too bad. There are many other verses that could be used, but this is not one of them (for reasons I already went through).

    Whenever a passage that is spoken to believers - and believers only - is made into a merely general-application passage that blunts and obliterates the special purpose and instruction for believers.

    It gives to unbelievers what is not theirs and takes from believers a special and necessary promise for growth in grace.
     
  10. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    185
    If you look back to the quote (a few posts above) given by Jerome of what C. H. Spurgeon said during his absolutely amazing sermon on the second coming of Christ you will see that Spurgeon acknowledged the popular picture use of the verse, but in reading the sermon one will see that Spurgeon would agree with the view that the verses are for the believer and the assembly.
     
    #10 agedman, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2012
  11. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Barnes Notes

    Matthew Henry

    Barnes and Henry agree with me, and disagree with you.
     
    #11 Winman, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2012
  12. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,499
    Likes Received:
    454
    It is true that the context shows that the main emphasis of the verse applies to the churches. However, it is also in harmony with verses like John 6:37; 7:37; 2 Cor 5:20, and Rev 22:17. It is perfectly OK to use the verse evangelistically.

    Steve
     
  13. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    185
    Actually, if you read what you posted by Henry carefully, you will see that "this originally had reference to the members of the church in Laodicea" and THEN adds that it "SEEMS to have been of design..." You would hold to the seems???? Hmmmm.

    And in the same post you made of Barns statement, "In the conclusion is a promise to the overcoming believer. Christ himself had temptations and conflicts; he overcame them all, and was more than a conqueror. Those made like to Christ in his trials, shall be made like to him in glory. All is closed with the general demand of attention."

    You seem to parse out what was pleasing to your view, and left the greater intent of the verse - that being to sinning believers who were thinking that certain material blessings indicated being "right with God." But the assembly was/are mistaken.
     
  14. asterisktom

    asterisktom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    21
    OK, I will take a closer look. Thanks.

    Edit: I see now that this was not written to me, but I missed some things in the actual quote. I, too, am guilty of too quickly reading posts in order to get to my response.
     
    #14 asterisktom, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2012
  15. asterisktom

    asterisktom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    21
    Ah, the old tried and true my-scholars-can-beat-up-your-scholars ploy. :type::type::type::type:
     
  16. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,609
    Likes Received:
    44
    How about that deface & denigrate ploy of the OP?
     
  17. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Verse 20 says, "if any man hear my voice", that is universal. Verse 21 applies to believers, or those who have overcome. Verse 22 is universal, saying, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches".


    This is all that Barnes is explaining. I am in perfect agreement with him.

    Spurgeon

    Spurgeon also believed this verse applied to all men.
     
    #17 Winman, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2012
  18. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:..

    Angel(mal'ak)
    1) messenger, representative

    a) messenger

    b) angel

    c) the theophanic angel

    God does not like idleness when the spreading of the Gospel and the great commission.

    Messengers need to go out, we can't be lukewarm, but hot.

    The message can't stay within a body of believers, but go out and that is the work of the angels of the church the messengers of it.

    Just because someone does not agree with you and who you want to believe does not mean they are wrong.
     
    #18 psalms109:31, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2012
  19. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    185
    Again, you are only seeing through a bias.

    Spurgeon, is discussing the sinful believer who is not in fellowship with the Savior.

    Christ does grant the unregenerate "ears to hear the Spirit" in salvation, but the verse is to those who have ears ALREADY to hear - they are believers. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches."

    Christ NEVER calls one who is an unbeliever to hear what the Spirit is saying to the assembly. He calls the unbeliever to salvation. He calls the assemblies and believers to listen to the Holy Spirit and not to "quench" that message of the Holy Spirit.
     
  20. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am the one seeing through a bias?

    You seem to ignore Barnes words, he said this invitation is UNIVERSAL. Do you know what that means?

    Spurgeon was applying this verse to his listeners, and told them to fling open their hearts and open the door of their hearts. He was not speaking to the church in Laodicea.

    You refuse to see that these men believed Revelation 3:20 applied to all men in all ages.

    It is you that has a bias.
     

Share This Page

Loading...