7-1. The Details of the Church in Laodicea

 

7starsTo the Church in Laodicea ==============================================================

3:14

Verse 14, in the introduction of the letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea, affirms that Jesus who gives us the prophecy is the obedient, true witness and the basis of God’s creation.

3:15

Also, as Jesus says “I would thou wert cold or hot”, he implies that the members of the church in Laodicea possess lukewarm, pretentious religious lives that are neither cold nor hot.

3:16

Therefore, he warns that, if they do not break off the ambiguous peace with Satan (Rev 6:4) and do not repent and diligently obey God, the members of the church in Laodicea who are lukewarn, neither hot nor cold, will be thrown away from the ranks of salvation.

 A pretentious, showy church life without passion causes a severance of grace. Those who decorate Jesus the way they want but, when they feel like they do not need him, put him in a far corner or outside the door to continue their secular lives are far away from the true meaning of Christians.

 The church in Laodicea, as shown, is in a pitiful situation in which the members do not wish to place God in their hearts (Ro 1:28), merely attend services rather than truly worshipping God, mistakenly believe that they have been saved and continue to boast their formal, habitual religious lives (Jer 5:30-31).

 Since they set the basis of salvation described in the Bible merely at the level of a close-knit fraternity and apply such standards in their religious lives, the believers of the church in Laodicea, even though they seem not to have any issues on the outside, have lost the individual ability to determine the essence of faith and been the only one among the seven churches that has received only criticism and rebuking due to their lukewarm attitudes at church.

3:17

Though those who have been deceived by Satan call themselves rich and say that they do not lack anything, Jesus still teaches them the reality of their state as being wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, and wants the believers of the church in Laodicea to understand this reality.

 There are many cases in which the poor who seek God persistently push God away as they become rich and go through a process of becoming more secularized and reliant on money. We must heed that such materialistic mannerism may infect other believers like an epidemic and make them forget the essence of faith, leading to a spiritual destruction.

 This is a strong warning against those indecisive, arrogant people who do not depend on Jesus but on wealth and materialistic abundance and, though they are members of a church, essentially have placed Jesus outside the closed doors of their hearts and slowly push God away (Rev 2:9/Mt 13:13-15/Rev 16:15).

Also, tithing with the heart of thanksgiving is the act of acknowledging that all our riches and earnings belong to Jesus whose blood was shed for our sins, truly giving thanks to God, and reaffirming that the love of the redemption on the cross is greater than materials (2 Co 8:8). It is also a religious confession to acknowledge Jesus as the Lord by the work of the Holy Spirit. Since its basic definition is using 9/10 of our wealth and earnings with the grace of God, it must not be wasted or used lavishly but must be used according to God’s will.

Therefore, when we look after the needy and the weak, truly thank God and give him all the glory to fulfill our calling as the kingdom and the priests of the Lord and Christ, our cups will be overflowing with blessing and spiritual wealth and happiness will certainly be in our hearts, and we will reach a life everlasting with the crown of splendor obtained by that righteousness, living in the Holy Spirit for eternity.

 Especially today as arrogance based on wealth and abundance has largely defined our generation, we all must remember with a humble heart the warning of Moses the prophet who prophesied about the calamities in the end times happening due to God’s wrath against those who are rotten (Ps 14:1), have gone away from the path commanded by God, break the holy covenant, show a bit of reverence but really push God away because they have been influenced too much by mammonism.

<Dt 31:16-18>

16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day. Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?

18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.

<Dt 31:29>

29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

<Dt 32:15-18>

15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

In Chapter 3 Verse 18, Jesus tells the rich to find the spiritual wealth of genuinely following after the word of God through the process of refinement to produce gold tried in the fire without any dross (Job 23:10/La 4:1-2/Isa 1:22-26/Eze 22:17-31).

 Jesus points out that, even if those deceived by Satan call themselves rich and say that they have acquired wealth and do not need a thing, they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked, looking from the spiritual perspective.

And they must repent, open the door of their hearts, wear the white robe of salvation through refinement removing impurities and dross like pure gold refined in fire (Job 23:10/Isa 1:22-27/Eze 22:17-22), pursue the spiritual wealth following the word of Jesus’ prophecy and not show the shameful nakedness (Rev 19:8).

 That is, Jesus tells them to wear the white raiment, which is the fine linen of salvation of right deed (Rev 19:8), to not be shameful from nakedness, and anoint their eyes with eyesalve, which opens spiritual vision, to not be content with mere pleasure and comfort but see directly the existence of the deceivers of Satan who invade churches and attempt to destroy the rest of them (Ge 9:20-27/Zec 13:7-9/1 Jn 2:18/1 Pe 5:8-9).

Here, the gold tried in the fire with no dross, clean white raiment, and eyesalve that opens spiritual vision are precious gifts for the new life that Jesus is giving to us.

All this refinement is a process to unite even a small number of people and produce those who remain in the Lord by knowing Christ, who is the mystery of God, and leads them to the abundance and wealth of understanding.

 Here, wearing the white, which is the fine linen of right deeds, is taking to heart and fulfilling with faith the words of Jesus’ promises and prophesies of Revelation (Rev 1:3/Rev 22:6) and clean clothes of salvation (Pr 31:25), as described below, the branches that bear fruit (Jn 15:5) fulfilling the prophesies.

The white, fine linen symbolizing salvation recorded in the book of life

No

Chapter & Verse

Description

1

Isa 61:10

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

2

Rev 3:4-5

4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.                                             

5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

3

Rev 3:17-18

17 Because 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:                                                        

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.

4

Rev 6:9-11

9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:                              

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?                              

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

5

Rev 7:9-14

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;                                              

10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.                         

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,                       

12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.                                     

13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?                                         

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

6

Rev 16:15

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

7

Rev 19:7-8

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself  ready.                                                                        

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

8

Rev 22:14

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

Though the seven Spirits are the work of the same one Holy Spirit that has appeared repeatedly several times in Revelation chapters 1-5, they especially symbolize the seven divine natures representing the complex activities of the Holy Spirit’s seven spiritualities, which are 1)the Spirit of the Lord, 2)the Spirit of wisdom and 3)of understanding, 4)the Spirit of counsel and 5)of power, 6)the Spirit of knowledge and 7)of the fear of the Lord(Isa 11:1-2) as the nickname in the end times of the Holy Spirit that serves as the seven eyes of Jesus, opens the spiritual view with Jesus’ perspectives.(2 Ki 2:9/Eph 4:4)

When the seven Spirits work, the spiritual view will be opened and the directions and priorities in life will become God-centered. The things to throw away will be thrown away and the things to be adjusted will be adjusted and the things to keep will be wholly kept.

Therefore, we need to ask ourselves the following questions and listen earnestly to the words of the Holy Spirit who responds to these questions,

First, whether my life is God-centered or world-centered,

Second, whether my faith seeks blessings based on materials or spiritual salvation,

Third, whether I only pursue my benefits or unconditionally pursue together the benefits of others before mine,

Fourth, whether I perform good deeds to boast and hope for potential rewards or deeds that are not arrogant but innocent and genuine,

Fifth, whether I calculate to achieve popularity and my own glory or strive for the true glory of Christ by humbling myself,

Sixth, whether I have a steretypical perspective that always divides people into factions or an open perspective that is not prejudiced but respects others,

Seventh, whether I am heading towards the essence of the loving faith or habitual egoism and falsehood even if I preach love on the outside.

Still, many believers are habitually affected by the spiritually contaminated secular world and often do bad deeds and think that they can just go to church and repent. They must realize that such a self-justified, self-centered and skewed religious attitude is wrong and needs to be gotten rid of. Rather, they must genuinely approach the essence of faith that seeks the eternal life one step at a time.

If you are a honest religious person, you have already become a son or a daughter of God and been rewarded with the greatest prize, the eternal life. Thus, you do not have to cling to the notion of having to be compensated for all of the time, materials, efforts and good deeds that you have sacrificed (Da 3:18).

 Therefore, the true believers in Christ’s kingdom are clearly distinguished from those who value materials more than God, those who think they have special religious privileges, the wrong religious leaders who are self-centered instead of being God-centered and stand at the center of worldly authority and only produce blind, spiritually dependent followers, those who only trample the courts of God in the end times (Isa 1:12-17) while not being able to receive the Holy Spirit in their own hearts. And they don’t perform missions that are asked of them as the kingdom and the priests of God, They are the false, hypocritical believers.

3:19

Verse 19 that says “as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” shows that Jesus still loves his people of the church in Laodicea and, though he rebukes and chastises them now, wants them to come back to him, repent, live diligently and righteously with the knowledge of God, and obey his will.

3:20

As he says “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” (Rev 3:20), Jesus provides us an opportunity to have a Holy Communion with him.

 However, we must remember that, if we are careless and unattentive, we may miss the chance and let it slip by.

<Mt 25:1-10>

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

The two disciples who were doubtful of Jesus’ resurrection were heading to Emmaus and even though they walked together for a while and had heartfelt conversations, they did not recognize Jesus. Like this, the resurrected Jesus at first appeared differently but was soon recognized once he took the bread and blessed it over a meal, which led to the opening of spiritual vision (Lk 24:13-35/Mk 16:12-13).

 Here, the rebuking of resurrected Jesus on those ” fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Lk 24:25) also applies to all of those in the Revelation times who let the word of prophecy into one ear and out the other right away.

 Opening the closed doors of our hearts and breaking bread with Jesus refers to the consumption and digestion of the fruit-bearing word of the new covenant symbolized by bread and wine (Lk 22:16-20), which mean blood and flesh of Jesus who is the Word made flesh (Jn 1:12-14), and the righteous Holy Communion in the end times during which we understand the true will of Jesus (Rev 10:7-11).

 That is, the believers who open their spiritual vision through the Holy Communion, escape from empty formalities and vanity as well as favor-seeking mammonism, and spread the true form of Jesus and the sincere word of the Holy Spirit can eat the fruit-bearing word of the new covenant symbolized by bread and wine, which leads to an eternal life, with Jesus (Zec 14:20-21).

 Also, like the two disciples heading to Emmaus who recognized the true form of Jesus with a burning heart, we must stop our path to the world and turn around to evangelize what we have realized and understood through the Holy Communion of breaking bread.

 Moreover, through Verse 20, Jesus tells us that the house of God is not a place to buy and sell but a house of prayer for all people so as members of an open church, we must open the doors of our hearts, not prate with malicious words the little ones such as evangelists, poor brothers, widows, orphans and strangers, and not forbid those who receive it (Mt 25:34-46).

<Lk 24:25-35>

25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

29. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the Day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

30. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, And brake, and gave to them.

31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of  their sight.

32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

33. And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

34. Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

3:21

Also, by saying “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” in Verse 21, Jesus lets us know that those who overcome the deception of Satan will become children of God (Rev 21:7), rise to the ranks of kings and priests, and be with Jesus on his throne.

 As he teaches us through Jeremiah 3:17, which says “at that time they shall call Jerusalem then throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart”, Jesus prophesies the blessings of sitting with Jesus on the throne of the children of God as the kings (Heb 7:1-4), like Melchisedec the king of Salem, righteousness and peace, and everlasting priests by gathering under the flag of the Holy City “Beulah” (Isa 62:4), which is the congregation of the new Jerusalem, the symbiotic community of those who overcome and the promised Mount Zion where God’s name dwells (Isa 18:7).

Thus, though he or she may be busy with work and taste worldly success in short lifetime, the one who leaves God and relies on his or her own riches and boasts in abundance will face a completely different situation after death. In the Bible, there is the story of a rich man who, being in torments, pleaded to a beggar named Lazarus and of the five brothers who still had a chance to realize. If he does not listen to Moses and other prophets, no one would be able to redeem the brothers and he also cannot pay the ransom for God, which means that, as told in Psalms 49:8, if you miss the chance, you will never be able to gain the redemption of your soul because it is too precious.

<Lk 16:19-31>

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Now when Jesus says “seek me, then 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” (Rev 3:20) and waits just outside the door (Isa 30:8-26), we must open the doors of our hearts which have been captured by stubborn egoism before it’s too late, stand by the side of widows, orphans, the weak and the poor, and truly and deeply think about what the Bible recommends for those with wealth and authority (2 Co 10:24).

3:22

Also, the part that says “he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”, which has been repeated 7 times in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, emphasizes the importance of hearing 7 times. Jesus reminds us that the Holy Spirit’s command to the churches is the work of salvation that must truly be heard during the “hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world” (Rev 3:10), which is filled with people who do not hear the word of God (Isa 42:23/Ro 10:13-17).

<Reference >

The Traits that the Churches Described in Revelation 2-3 Must Improve on (Many Churches and people must come back to the right path.)

  1. The church without love (Rev 2:4)
  2. The church whose actions have been spoiled (Rev 2:5)
  3. The church into which the synagogue of Satan has penetrated (Rev 2:9)
  4. The church fallen into a trial (Rev 2:10)
  5. The church with a lack of genuine faithfulness (Rev 2:10)
  6. The church in which Satan dwells and rules (Rev 2:13)
  7. The church that seeks riches and holds the doctrine of Balaam (Rev 2:14)
  8. The church without the hidden manna, which is the spiritual food according to time(Rev 2:17)
  9. The secularized church that has relationships with worldly gods and commits fornication (Rev 2:20)
  10. The church that eats things sacrificed unto idols due to covetousness (Rev 2:20)
  11. The church that does not know of who Satan is (Rev 2:24)
  12. The church that has an unworthy name but spiritually dead people (Rev 3:1)
  13. The church whose works are not perfect (Rev 3:2)
  14. The church that sleeps and does not fulfuill the calling (Rev 3:3)
  15. The church that is neither cold nor hot without any diligence (Rev 3:15)
  16. The church that is arrogant with riches (Rev 3:17)
  17. The church that is naked without wearing the white robe of salvation (Rev 3:17)
  18. The church whose words are filled with mixtures and dross (Rev 3:18)
  19. The church that is spiritually blind because its spiritual vision is closed (Rev 3:18)
  20. The church with a lack of repentance (Rev 3:19)
  21. The church that does not listen to the voice of Jesus and whose gates to heaven are closed (Rev 3:20)

    <Eze 9:3-6>

    3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;

    And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

    5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

    Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.


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