3:14 Laodiceans. Laodicea was near Colosse (note Colossians 4:16), about forty-five miles southeast of Philadelphia and almost one hundred miles east of Ephesus, and was a wealthy city, with its wealth also shared by the Christians in the church there. Instead of having “little strength,” as at Philadelphia, its members boasted of their riches (Revelation 3:17).
3:14 beginning of the creation. The Laodicean church was not an apostate church, for its candlestick had not been removed, but it was a neutral church, agreeing with the Scriptures and Christian doctrine in general, but so enamored of its worldly eminence that it would not stand firmly on such controversial doctrines as true creationism and full Biblical inerrancy, perspicuity and authority. It was “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16). Thus the Lord introduced Himself as “the faithful and true witness,” whose Word therefore must be inviolable. He is the one who had created the universe itself, “the beginning of the creation of God,” allowing no doctrinal position that could accommodate the pagan evolutionism of their well-to-do neighbors and associates. Furthermore, He is the “Amen” as well as the Creator, the Omega as well as the Alpha, so they should have been looking toward His imminent coming, rather than trying to impress the world. Their sister church at Colosse had experienced the same kinds of pressures, and Paul some thirty years previously, in a letter to the Colossians that was also intended for the Laodiceans (Colossians 4:16), addressed these same concerns (note Colossians 1:13-20; 2:3-10; 3:1-4).