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To the Church in Laodicea

TO THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA

To the Church in Laodicea

“The words uttered where not alone for John on the Isle of Patmos, they were not for the churches alone, but through these churches was to come the inspired message for the people, to have its powerful impression in every age to the close of this earth´s history.”[1]

“The application of the various messages to the seven churches to seven consecutive periods of church history naturally suggests the utility of a series of transition dates to facilitate the coordination of the several messages with their respective historical periods.”[2]

The historical period for this church is from 1844 to the Second Advent of Christ. The main characteristic of the majority in this church period is that Christians are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm in their Christian experience.

Rev 3:14. And to the angel of the Laodicean church write, these things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.

Who is the faithful and true witness?

Rev 1:5. And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

Rev 3:14 and Rev 1:5 are problem texts because they infer that Jesus Christ was born or created.

What does “firstborn” mean in scripture?

Luk 2:7. (Christ born of Mary). And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Firstborn her means Mary`s firstborn child).

Psalm 89:26.27. I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him – – -. Also I will make him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. (Firstborn means the highest of the kings of the earth in this text). Why? How can David be the firstborn when he had seven older brothers?

1 Samuel 16:10.11.13. Thus, Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is keeping sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.

The names of the sons of Jesse.

1 Chronicles 2:13.14. Jesse begot Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nathanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozen the sixth, and David the seventh. (In this text it says that David had six brothers. Why the discrepancy between 1 Sam 16:10.13 eight sons of Jesse and in 1 Chron 2:13.14 seven sons of Jesse? It maybe that one had died of sickness or by accident).

How can David be the firstborn of God when he is the youngest of the seven sons of Jesse? Because in Psalm 89:20.27 it says that firstborn means the highest of the kings of the earth in God´s eyes.

Psalm 89:26.27. I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him – – -. Also I will make him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.

Another text using the word firstborn indicating the same meaning is found in Exodus 4:22. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord: Israel is my son, my firstborn.”

Adam was the firstborn of all mankind, but Israel was God´s chosen people above all the nations of the earth. 1 Chron 16:13. Ex 19:5.6.

Let us come to Rev 3:14 referring to Christ as the beginning of the creation of God. A similar text to this is found in Colossians 1:15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principles or powers. All things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may have the preeminence.

How can Jesus Christ be the firstborn of the dead, when Moses died and ended up in heaven, he was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration by Peter, James and John. Matt 17:1-4.

It is because the word firstborn in this text means the highest in God´s eyes and does not mean literally firstborn. Christ is the head of the church. Christ is the highest at the beginning of the creation of God and was before the creation of God. Christ himself was not created because in Micah 5:2 it says that he was from everlasting. Only God is from everlasting. Psalm 90:2.

Conclusion

Firstborn is related to the following: Literal firstborn as Mary gave birth to Jesus. In relationships to David, he was made the highest of all the kings of the earth in God´s eyes. In relation to Christ, he was not created but is the creator of all things. He is before all things. Christ is the head of the church. He is the firstborn of the dead. He is the image of God.

The word beginning in Rev 3:14 refers to that which initiates an action, a first cause, a prime mover. So Christ began creation, it was him who created all things from the beginning, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Rev 3:15-17. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. Thus, because you are lukewarm, and not cold nor hot, I am about to vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am wealthy, and I have become rich and I have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and pitiable poor and blind and naked.

The whole problem with the Laodician church is their works. The favorite text these Christians like to use is from Ephesians 2:8.9. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

As a result, works is left aside or done by a bare minimum e.g. Coming to church on a weekly basis, paying tithe and offerings and going to prayer meetings. Mission work and witnessing for Christ is down to a bare minimum or even not used. Most of this message is the result of Martin Luther´s teachings during the Reformation. He concentrated on the teaching of righteousness by faith, and left out the works e.g. He died not believing in the letter by James in the New Testament, describing faith without works is dead.

James 2:14. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

James 2:17. Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:20. But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

James 2:22. Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect.

Martin Luther did not concentrate on the teachings of works because he had just discovered righteousness by faith in Christ alone and not in the pope. But a few hundred years have gone by since the Reformation and the Lutheran teachings have made no progress in the direction of works with faith.

What kind of works do the Laodicean church need to practice?

The same works that Jesus Christ taught his disciples.

Matt 28:19.20. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you.

Mark 6:7-13. The disciples went two by two, from house to house. Verse 12. So they went out and preached that people should repent. Verse 13. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

What does the citation “poor, blind and naked” mean?

Deuteronomy 28:28.29. (Curses upon Israel if they turn away from the Lord and do not observe his commandments). The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways.

Isaiah 56:10. (God´s message to Israel´s irresponsible leaders). His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

Isaiah 59:10-12. (Blindness is compared to a blind sinner were salvation is far away). We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places. We all growl like bears; and moan like doves; we look for justice, but sadly there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.

Matt 23:16. (To the scribes and pharisees). Woe to you, blind guides – – -. (The scribes and pharisees were supposed to be the spiritual leaders while Christ was on earth. But Christ calls them blind guides who do not know where they are going spiritually).

Matt 23:24. (To the scribes and pharisees). Blind guides who follow the traditions of washing.

John 12:39.40. Therefore, they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.

Zephaniah 1:17. I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they sinned against the Lord. (The Lord´s message to Judah).

Genesis 3:7. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked – – -. (Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden).

Ezekiel 23:29.30. The nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your harlotry. I will do things to you, because you have gone as a harlot after the Gentiles, because you have become defiled by their idols.

Micah 1:8.9. God´s message to Jerusalem over their sins). Therefore, I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like jackals and a mourning like ostriches, for her wounds are incurable. For it is come to Judah.

Rev 16:15. Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. (This text is related to Rev 19:8 the clothing of the saints which is fine linen representing the righteous acts of the saints).

2 Chronicles 28:19. (King Ahaz of Israel). He made Judah naked and transgressed to the Lord.

Leviticus 18:25. For the land is defiled; therefore, I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. (Vomit means rejection).

Job 20:12.15. (Zophar´s sermon on the wicked man). Evil is sweet in his mouth. He swallows down riches and vomits them up again. God casts them out of his belly.

Conclusion

Blind is related to the following: confusion of the heart, you shall not prosper in your ways, ignorant, sleeping, sinner, grope, stumble, salvation is far away, pharisees who do not know where they are going spiritually, unbelief, do not understand with their heart, sin against the Lord.

Naked is related to: sin and separation from God, harlotry, defiled by idols, washing and mourning, shame, no garments of the righteous acts of the saints, transgressed against the Lord.

Vomit is related to: defiled, iniquity, evil, rejection from the Lord.

Rev 3:18. I counsel you to buy gold from me having been heated thoroughly by fire, so that you may become rich, and white robes, so that you may be clothed – so that the shame of your nakedness may not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve in order that you may see.

What is the symbolic meaning of gold from the Bible?

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 in of Christ. (Faith is like gold).

Lamentations 4:2. The precious sons of Zion, valuable as fine gold.

Song of Solomon 5:11. (My beloved). His head is like the finest gold – – -.

Job 31:24. I have made gold my hope, or said to fine gold, “You are my confidence.”

Rev 18:11.12.16. (The merchants of spiritual Babylon and their false faith). No one buys their merchandise anymore; merchandise of gold – – -. Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold – – -. (Babylonian false worship of faith).

Rev 9:20. But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold – – -. Idols of gold represent false worship).

1 Corinthians 3:12. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw. (Daniel 5:4. Belshazzar’s feast. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone).

Proverbs 8:10. Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.

Proverbs 8:12.19. (Wisdom speaking). My fruit is better than gold.

Proverbs 16:16. How much better to get wisdom than gold.

Conclusion

Gold is related to the following: faith, head, hope, confidence, idols of gold, false faith of the Babylonian merchants, knowledge and wisdom.

What do white robes mean in the Bible?

Rev 3:4.5. (Sardis). You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall ne clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before my Father and before His angels.

Rev 7:9. After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.

Rev 7:13.14. Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

1 John 1:7. The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Isaiah 1:18. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow – – -.

Rev 19:8. The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Isaiah 61:10. For he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Ecclesiastes 9:7.8. For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil.

Daniel 12:10. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly – -.

Psalm 51:7. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (David after his sin against God and Bathsheba).

Conclusion

White garments are related to the following: Our works, garments not defiled, white garments, worthiness, overcomers, names in the Book of Life, cover the shame of nakedness of sin. The saints in heaven had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. They appear before the throne of God and the lamb. They go through tribulation on the earth. They are purified and refined. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. The robe of righteousness are the garments of salvation.

What does the symbol of eyes mean in the Bible?

Ephesians 1:17.18. The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the eyes of understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints – – -. (Eyes of understanding).

Acts 28:27. For the hearts of the people have grown dull. Their eyes are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them. (Eyes of understanding).

Rev 19:12. (Second Coming of Christ). His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns – – -. (Eyes related to judgment).

Rev 5:6. And I looked and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (The seven Spirits represents the Holy Spirit).

Rev 4:6. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in the back. (Eyes denoting, they see everything).

1 John 2:11. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (Sin blinds the eyes so one walks in darkness).

1 John 2:16. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. (Eyes meaning lust).

2 Peter 2:14. (False teachers). Having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin enticing unstable souls. (Eyes full of adultery and sin).

Romans 11:7.8. What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day. (Eyes of understanding the plan of salvation for Israel and the elect).

Acts 9:17. And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Eyes related to the Holy Spirit).

Ephesians 1:18. Eyes of your understanding – that you may know the hope of your calling.

Conclusion

The symbolic meaning of eyes in the New Testament is related to the following: understanding, being enlightened, hard of hearing, closed, cannot see spiritual things, flame of fire and judgment, seven spirits of God and the Holy Spirit. The four living creatures before the throne who can see everything. Lust of eyes and sin. Darkness, adultery, and spirit of stupor. Understanding the plan of salvation and the hope of your calling.

Rev 3:18. Anoint your eyes with salve in order that you may see.

Acts 9:17. (Ananias to Paul). Receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:18. Eyes of understanding – that you may know the hope of your calling.

Rev 3:19. As many as I love, I rebuke, and I discipline. Be zealous therefore and repent.

What does the word chasten/discipline mean from Christ?

2 Samuel 7:14. (God´s covenant with David). I will be his Father and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men.

Deuteronomy 8:5. (God to Israel). As a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.

Psalm 6:1. O Lord do not rebuke me in your anger, nor chasten me in your hot displeasure.

Psalm 94:12. Blessed is the man whom you chasten.

Psalm 118:18. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

Proverbs 19:18. Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.

1 Corinthians 11:32. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Hebrews 12:10. For whom the Lord loves he chastens and scourges every son whom he receives.

Hebrews 12:10. For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but he (God for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.

Conclusion

Chasten is related to the rod, not with hot displeasure, severely, for hope, judgment, love and partakers of his holiness.

Rev 3:20. Behold, I stand at the door and I am knocking. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door and I will come into him and I will dine with him and he with me.

When Christ says he stands at the door knocking. What does he mean? The answer is in Rev 3:7. Christ stands at the door of faith and is knocking on the door of our hearts wanting to come in.

Rev 3:21.22. The one overcoming I will give to him to sit with me in my throne, as also overcome and sat down with my Father in his throne. The one having an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

What does Christ mean when he says, “sit with me in my throne?”

Rev 4:2. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Rev 5:6. And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain – – -.

Rev 7:15. Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. And he sits on the throne will dwell among them. (Verse 9 The great multitude).

Rev 20:4. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. (For one thousand years).

Acts 7:48.49. However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.

Matt 19:28. So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the generation, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Matt 5:34. But I say to you, do not swear at all neither by heaven, for it is God´s throne.

Conclusion

God´s throne is related to the heaven itself. It is related to the throne in heaven, the Lamb stood in the midst of the throne, the great multitude before the throne of God. It is also related to those who have followed Christ will also sit on twelve thrones in heaven.

 

Endnotes

[1] Ellen G. White, Ellen G. White Diary 1888, 779.3 (Washington D.C.: December 27, 1890)

[2] Francis D. Nichol, Edit., The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7 (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., Assoc., 1957), 752.

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