LAODICEA CHURCH

Revelation 3:14-22 contains the message to the end-time Laodicean church. We need to remember 1 Corinthians 10:11.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“Ensamples” is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type“), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

In Revelation 3:14, Christ identifies this as His personal message to the Laodicean church.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Again in verse 15, Christ knows our works and the Laodicean church group is not pleasing to Christ at all. He wishes they were either hot or cold—either filled with zeal or a spiritual corpse. This church attitude is just simply there. Not alive, not dead, just breathing.

In verse 16, Christ makes it plain that a lukewarm, ho-hum Christian is not acceptable.

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

There is punishment to go with this attitude. We have to get in or get out. This spewing, or vomiting out, is straight into the tribulation. This could be a personal tribulation if the person is older and the world tribulation is still many years away.

In verse 17, Christ describes the spiritual condition of these people:

Revelation 3:17 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:

In some cases, “rich and increased with goods” could mean physical riches. But since this is a spiritual application, we need to look at the spiritual side of it. If people think they are spiritually rich and increased in goods (knowledge) they can’t be taught anything by anyone except their chosen teacher.

About 3 or 4 years ago, a friend who I have known for almost 20 years told me that all he needed was Mr. _____ and Mr. _____ and his computer. The two Mr.’s (I will not call names) are leaders of a WCG splinter group and one was a local minister at that time. My friend would not listen to anything that did not come from his local minister or the leader of his splinter group. He was spiritually “rich and increased with goods,” or so he thought, and “had need of nothing.”

“Nothing” is Strong’s #3762 meaning, “not even one (man, woman or thing), i.e. none, nobody, nothing...”

This attitude, unless repented of, will cause people to miss the end-time Elijah. Elijah is the only one who can make ready a people prepared for the Lord:

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

In the minds of these people, Satan will plant a concept of Elijah that is contrary to the one God actually sends. Since they are rich and increased in knowledge, and have need of nothing (spiritually), Elijah and the end-time scenario will pass right by them.

In the last part of Revelation 3:17, Christ shows us what He thinks of this attitude. He thinks they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. This is the fruit of spiritual lukewarmness.

Revelation 3:17 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:

This verse shows very clearly what we humans think of ourselves as Christians. It also shows what Christ thinks. What we fail to see is that our thinking and human reasoning is tainted by Satan.

Just as an aside, the second phase of the work of the end-time Elijah and his deputies is described in Luke 14:21:

Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

He is sent second to the poor, maimed, halt and blind after the rejection of his message by the first group he was sent to in Luke 14:17-20. I’ve dealt with this in other papers such as “Key to the Kingdom” and “The Marriage Supper” and “The End-Time Work.” Notice that the end-time Laodiceans are poor and blind. These are two of the undesirable traits that Christ doesn’t like in them. The end-time Elijah and his deputies bring the cry at midnight to them because they are part of the end-time 10 virgins of Matthew 25:1. They are ALL asleep (verse 5) with NO exceptions until the cry at midnight comes to them:

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish………25:5 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.

The Laodiceans are virgins, but they are lukewarm. In Revelation 3:18, Christ tells this Laodicean church (attitude) to get their gold (their character) in the fire of the tribulation. The heat of this trial will finally wake some of these people from their lukewarmness. Remember, five of the virgins are foolish:

Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

“Foolish” is Strong’s #3474, the Greek word moros: “dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (mor.) blockhead, (appar.) absurd…” Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament adds of moros: “silly, stupid, foolish, from which the English word ‘moron’ is derived…”

Revelation 3:18 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.

This fire that the Laodiceans are to be tried in is described in Daniel 12:1. Verse 2 describes the first resurrection:

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Going back to Luke 14:21, the second phase of the end-time Elijah’s work includes going to these who are blind, poor, maimed and halt. This clearly includes these virgins who have the Laodicean attitude.

The third phase of Elijah’s work is, no doubt, done by him alone. Notice the word “servant” in this parable is always singular. The Bible seems to indicate that the third phase is a one man job. In Luke 14:23, he is commanded to go into the “highways and hedges.”

Luke 14:15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

“Highways” is Strong’s #3598 meaning, “a road; by impl. a progress (the route, act or distance); fig. a mode or means...”

“Hedges” is Strong’s #5418 meaning, “a fence, or inclosing barrier (lit. or fig.):—hedge (+round about), partition.” In other words, a prison camp.

This servant in Luke 14 will be sent, by God, into the prison camps in an attempt to salvage the blind people who are rich and increased with goods. These virgins have need of nothing and will not listen to Elijah or his deputies when they try to give them the things necessary for salvation. Matthew 17:11 is one of his assignments—to restore the things necessary for salvation, the spiritual truth which has been lost while we have been sleeping.

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Matthew 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

There will probably be people (in the tribulation) from all of the other church attitudes, except for the true Philadelphians. Revelation 2:10 makes it clear that some of the Smyrna people will be in prison:

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Revelation 2:5 implies severe punishment for the Ephesus church. This could mean prison camps or some other punishment that God will choose.

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

The end-time Elijah will be very busy in these prison camps. He will be trying to salvage the virgins who are salvageable. He will, no doubt, be working out of the place of safety where the Philadelphians are protected. (This brings up an interesting thought: what will Elijah’s transportation be? Will it be angelic chariots that took the original Elijah to his place of safety?)

Some end-time Christians will die of natural causes between the time of the cry at midnight and the start of the tribulation. It could be that most of the end-time harvest (Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14) will acquire their salvation IN the tribulation. Notice Revelation 7:14:

Revelation 7:14 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.

They came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white there. That’s the same white raiment the Laodiceans must acquire:

Revelation 3:18 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. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

God must shake His head in disbelief. Why do they have to do it the hard way? Why won’t they all choose to be Philadelphian? In Revelation 3:19, God makes it plain that He won’t give up on us until there is no hope left. He will keep turning up the heat on us, trying to get repentance, until it maxes out in the great tribulation.

Also, notice Christ’s method of dealing with us:

Revelation 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.

Does He say that He will kick the door down and FORCE you to be saved? “Knock” is Strong’s #2925 meaning, “to rap:—knock .” This doesn’t mean, “bash the door down.”

Verse 21 promises the reward:

Revelation 3:21 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.

One final note in verse 22—will we hear what the Spirit says to the churches?

Revelation 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Will you, as an individual Christian, a virgin in the end time, pay attention to verse 20? This is one of the messages that the Spirit says to the churches:

Revelation 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.

We have to listen to what Christ says through the pages of the Bible and the end-time Elijah. That’s where we will hear Christ’s voice. Also notice that we have to open the door—in other words, we have to choose to be saved:

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

So, what will it be for you? Will you listen to what the Spirit says to the churches?

Published July, 1999

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org