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102: Christ’s Messages to the Seven Churches: Part 2

Sardis

Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and [which are] the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

This article has been rewritten in July 2017

These are folks who call themselves God’s people and are spiritually dead in terms of any zeal for godliness.  They are physically alive and claiming to be God’s people but they are spiritually dead; following their own ways, false traditions of men and idols of men instead of being alive and full of the fire of zeal to live by every Word of God. The Sardis warning applies to the vast majority in the Ekklesia today. 

3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

We have some things right but instead of truly GROWING in knowledge, understanding and the works of faith; we are stagnant and even letting those right things that we have; slip away. 

Today the Ekklesia is doing exactly that. As was prophesied, they are turning from any zeal to learn and keep the whole Word and Will of God in a great falling away from the Word of Life. 

Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Jesus then warns that if these folks are not watching for him, his coming will catch them by surprise.  This means that this attitude will exist at his coming.  It also means that even in the midst of the great tribulation they will be in denial, too spiritually dead to realize  what is taking place.

3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Yet, there are a few who will sincerely repent and turn to a zeal for godliness; then the sacrifice of Christ will be applied to them purifying them and making their garments pure [imputing godly righteousness], clean and white.

3:4 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.

With God all things are possible and even some of those who are spiritually dead [which is the vast majority of today’s Ekklesia] will be saved and  turned to God, receiving the gift of the oil of the Holy Spirit; so that their light which has gone out, might be reignited that they may shine brightly with godliness.

3:5 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.

3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

Philadelphia

Jesus begins his message to Philadelphia by remarking that He is the Door and the Way and the Key into the kingdom of God and eternal life.  

It is Jesus Christ who judges us and who can let us in or shut us out of the resurrect into eternal life.  No man can take away our promise of eternal life by casting us out of some corporation; nor does belonging to some corporate church be a pass to enter eternal life! 

Only fidelity to our espoused Husband and God the Father will bring eternal life! 

When men say that questioning them is questioning God and that leaving them is leaving God:  they LIE!    It is not blindly following idols of men that brings eternal life; only being a part of the spiritual Ekklesia who live by every Word of God brings acceptance by God and eternal life! 

3:7 And to the angel [one of the seven spirits] of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Those with a Philadelphian attitude of absolute faith in God and a full wholehearted zeal for learning and keeping the whole Word of God, have an open door to God the Father and into eternal life!  Jesus Christ will open the door of salvation to those who are faithful to Him and will provide an open way into eternal life; if we are diligent to internalize the very nature of God the Father as he did! 

Those who are diligent to keep the Word of God and do not deny the name [authority] of God and his Word over his people; will be changed to spirit on that day! 

I capitalize the word “Word” for a reason; Jesus Christ is the Logos, the Word; summing up the whole of Holy Scriptures with God the Father!  To break any art of the Word of God, is to break the teachings of Jesus Christ, the WORD who inspired all of scripture! 

ONLY those who keep the whole Word of God and exalt the name  [authority] of God above all others shall have an open door to eternal life! 

A Philadelphian is weak having only a little strength, he knows that; and therefore relies on the strength of the Eternal Almighty God!  He knows that in the flesh he is weak and seeks the strength from God to overcome; he runs to and takes refuge in the Mighty God!

3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Those who are full of zeal to live by every Word of God will be made eternal priests and kings [teachers and leaders] and those of the nations who hated the zealous for God will sincerely repent and shall worship God at the feet of [under the tutelage of] the Philadelphian attitude folks who are full of faithful zeal for godliness

3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

If the zealous for God patiently endure and wait; they shall be the “children of light” (1 Thess 5);  and will not be taken by surprise when the tribulation and later Jesus Christ comes; they shall understand the biblical signs and will obey the words of God’s prophets, and so will be kept from the hour of trial. 

Those who are full of zeal for godliness and study carefully Watching for the coming of their LORD will be preserved from the terrible correction of a righteous God on the earth.

Yes, there is a place of refuge, as David said; that refuge is in the arms of our Mighty Deliverer!  Follow and zealously keep the whole Word and Will of God; and when God says to do this or to do that, or he says to go here or to go there:  Follow him and DO IT!

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience [patiently lived by every Word of God], I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [a 42 month period], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

A pillar is a supporting column that stands on a firm foundation, the pillars of God stand on the firm foundation of every Word of God and are full of a zeal to learn and keep the whole Word of God! 

Ephesians 2:18   For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets [the scriptures], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple [growing into a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit]  in the Lord: 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

A pillar helps to hold up the rest of the structure; the pillars of God will stand on the foundation of the whole Word of God and will help to hold up the rest of the spiritual Temple or Ekklesia of the faithful. 

If the zealous to keep the whole Word of God and endure all trials, remain faithful; they will become permanent pillars in the eternal government of God; and they will have the name [authority] of God and of the capital of His eternal government, the New Jerusalem forever.  For they shall occupy positions of responsibility in God’s government and will act on behalf of God and God’s government, not just in the millennium, but forever!

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Philadelphian pillar is a person who is weak, and knows it; therefore he relies upon God and seeks the strength of God,  rather than trying to stand on his own strength.  

He is zealous to root out all error and internalize the truth of God.  He is faithful to follow God in all things and will not turn aside to follow any man or spirit away from his zeal to follow the whole Word of God. 

Yes, he makes mistakes and occasionally slips; and when he does instead of giving up, he admits his errors, sincerely repents and cries out to his Father for deliverance! 

There are those who say that “I am a Philadelphian because God does not criticize that church.”   That is a proud, arrogant and totally ignorant attitude:  ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God!

Christ does not criticize Philadelphia because he does not have to!  The Philadelphian pillar is well aware of his short comings, and he knows that he has no strength in himself;  therefore he runs to the Eternal and takes refuge in the Eternal, the Mighty High Tower of Strength; to seek and find deliverance. 

The true Philadelphian attitude is one of humility before God, relying totally on God; KNOWING that we are so weak and so sinful; and knowing that God is so great, strong and powerful; that they RUN TO HIM and seek HIS STRENGTH to deliver! 

The difference between the Philadelphian and the others is:  HUMILITY and true LOVE for the Eternal and all his ways.  A certain knowledge that he is a sinner and falls very short, and therefore full of a complete loving submission to the whole Word of God!  

The true Philadelphian attitude person is usually someone who has been most wicked and is therefore often despised by others; however he KNOWS how much God has forgiven him and is full of the deepest passionate love for his Deliverer.  They are so full of love for God that they would do anything to please God. 

Luke 7:37  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 7:38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

7:40  And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.  

7:41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 7:42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

7:43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

7:44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  7:45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 7:46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

7:48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

7:49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

There were pillars throughout the Temple; representing that the human spiritual pillars are also scattered throughout the Ekklesia. There is no such thing as a true Philadelphian corporate church of God today.  The true Philadelphian pillars are scattered throughout the Ekklesia and are very often serving God independently.

 

Laodicea

To Laodicea Jesus identifies himself as the faithful and true witness of what they are truly like.   They think themselves spiritually rich and have no idea what Jesus Christ really thinks of them.  Jesus here tells them their problems straight out, but they are proud and willfully blind to reality.  

Laodicea means the people will be judged and corrected,   For the definition and further details see:

Laodicea: The People Will be Judged and Punished

Emphasizing that his message to Laodicea is true and is coming out of Christ’s faithful love for them in the hope that they might repent and be saved. 

Jesus also calls himself the “beginning of the creation of God;”  clearly meaning that Christ is the Creator who began the creation of all things. See Revelation 1:8. 1:11, 21:6, 22:13 I am the Alpha [Beginning]

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;

Laodicea is spiritually lukewarm, professing godliness while keeping the commandments according to their own imaginations instead of keeping them the way that God commands. 

They pay lip service to godliness without any zeal to learn and keep the Word of God.  Their zeal is for their own ways and what they think, for their own past false traditions and their idols of men and not for what God says. They stand on their false past traditions and proudly think they know it all; refusing any spiritual growth they are stagnant or even falling backward in their spiritual condition. 

They are hot for their own traditions, and for the teachings of their idols of men about the Word of God, and cold for zealously keeping the whole Word as God, as God has commanded them.  This mixture of hot for their idols of men and corporate entities, and a cold, lack of zeal to keep the Word of God, makes them lukewarm and revolting to Christ. 

They are idolaters of men and tradition; proud, thinking that they know it all spiritually and therefore refuse correction from God or man; they reject the Word of God for their own ways and they reject any growth in truth and refuse to turn from error.  

This is a clear, obvious, indisputable and precise explanation of the overwhelming majority in the Ekklesia today!

Because these folks have rejected Christ to follow him above our idols of men they will be rejected by Christ into the correction of great tribulation, in the hope that through the correction of the flesh the spirit may be saved.

3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth [They will be rejected by Christ into severe correction] .

Proud and self willed, they think they are spiritually rich and know it all, having need of no spiritual growth, and they reject the increase in spiritual knowledge and understanding promised for the last days, Daniel 12. 

They reject any part of scripture which they do not want to follow, saying it is for others; and they are so proud and arrogant they have no idea how spiritually wretched, miserable and poor they really are. 

They are willfully blind to their own condition and to the things of God that disprove their own false ways;  They lack the garments of righteousness and are naked of any righteousness before God their many sins exposed to Him; beginning with the sins of pride and self justification and self approval.

3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich [spiritually], and increased with goods [spiritual knowledge], and have need of nothing [no one not even Christ (the Word of God) can tell them anything]; and knowest not that thou art [spiritually] wretched, and miserable, and [spiritually] poor [knowing almost nothing of God as they ought to know it], and blind [willfully blind to their wretched spiritual state], and naked [naked of any true godly righteousness, not being zealous to keep the Word of God]:

Christ counsels those with the Laodicean attitude to buy spiritual gold in the fire of tribulation; that they may become spiritually rich. 

They are bidden to sincerely repent of their prideful sins so that the nakedness of their wickedness may be covered by the application of the sacrifice of Christ; and so that they may receive God’s Holy Spirit and the white raiment of the righteousness of the zealous keeping of the whole Word of God. 

They are commanded to anoint their eyes and open them to see themselves as God sees them, and to sincerely repent from their pride and false ways and to turn away from their idols of men and false traditions to follow the spirit of God into all truth; rejecting all error and sin to embrace godly truth that they might be saved.

3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me [spiritual] gold tried in the fire [during the period of your correction in the fire of tribulation], that thou mayest be [become spiritually rich] rich; and white raiment [the righteousness of zealously keeping the whole Word of God], that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness [that our sins might be covered by the righteousness of God] do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, [acquire the Holy Spirit through sincere repentance]  that thou mayest see [open our eyes to see ourselves as God sees us, to see ourselves as we really are, so that we can repent and be saved].

Jesus reminds these folks that he rebukes them only because he truly loves them and is not willing that they should perish.  They are rejected only because they first rejected Christ, refusing to keep the whole Word of God, refusing to follow Christ and refusing to live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal. 

Jesus Christ tells those of the Laodicean attitude; which is the overwhelming attitude throughout the Ekklesia today;  to REPENT of their pride and self righteousness. and to REPENT of trusting in their idols of men and false traditions. 

Jesus Christ tells us to turn to him; and turn to a zeal for the whole Word of God, to learn it and to keep it; to turn from our false idols and false traditions and to become zealous to remove error and embrace the truth of God! 

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

Jesus is warning and calling each one of his straying sheep; He wants them to open up to him, to reject idols of men and false traditions and to follow him, to be zealous to remove sin and to embrace God’s righteous truth, to internalize  the solid meat of the Word of God in fellowship with Christ and God the Father. 

They have an open invitation from Jesus Christ who is gladly willing to accept them, if they would only open up their eyes and turn to Him! 

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 [eat; internalize the Word of God] with him, and he with me.

Only those who overcome this Laodicean attitude of pride and self-will will be resurrected to spirit.  Those who sincerely repent of the sins of Laodicea will be in the resurrection to eternal life and will have a place in the eternal government of God.

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.

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

As the seventh and last church addressed, Laodicea has all of the problems of the other churches.  

That is because pride is the chief cause of most of the various problems.  Today all the major COG groups and most of the smaller ones are full of pride and idolatry, rejecting any biblical thing they do not agree with, claiming it applies only to others. 

They think of themselves as the repository of all wisdom and truth, and refuse any zeal to keep the whole Word of God, in order to follow their corporate idols, idols of men and there own false traditions. 

They call the Sabbath and High Days, Holy; and then walk all over them, while claiming that the commandments not to cook or buy food on Sabbath somehow apply to others and not to themselves.  They insist on following the apostate Rabbinic calendar and refuse to keep the Biblical calendar of God; even though the proofs are now overwhelming. 

They have almost no understanding of the Festivals, rejecting the true meanings of the Festivals; even still claiming that the seven day Feast of Tabernacles somehow represents only one thousand years.  They reject any zeal for keeping the Word of God, and insist on a zeal for the corporate idols, idols of men and past false traditions, insisting that people should obey them, above the Word of God. 

 

The Mosaic Pharisees were a type of Laodicea

The Laodicean attitude is an exact replica of the primary attitude of the Mosaic Pharisees during the physical ministry of Christ. 

Contrary to popular belief the Mosaic Pharisees were NOT zealous for the law, rather they made the law of God of no effect by their own false traditions just as today’s modern Ekklesia does!

In Matthew 15:9 Jesus said of the Mosaic Pharisees; and this is a very precise description of the Ekklesia today: 

Matthew 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,  15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Matthew 23 describes the attitude during the physical ministry of Jesus Christ; and it also accurately describes the church of God groups right before Christ comes to rule: today!

Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

At that time the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses seat;  that changed with the death and resurrection of Christ who then became our High Priest forever. 

We are to obey men when they speak the truth of God, and are NOT to obey them when they depart from the Word of God!

23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Today’s corporate churches also bind heavy burdens on the brethren, mainly financial.

23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

With the death of the Husband of Israel; the marriage between physical Mosaic Israel and Christ ended, and so did the authority of the Mosaic Priesthood and the Pharisees!

When Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and was accepted by God the Father as a sacrifice for us; He became our High Priest and the King of the world in waiting; the Mosaic priesthood was superseded by a reestablishment of the High Priesthood of Melchizedek.

From that time on; neither Levi, nor the Jews; have any lawful spiritual authority. they have rejected the only lawful authority in existence at this time and forever more; which is the authority of our eternal High Priest Jesus Christ.

The true and only existing Priesthood of God today is that of our High Priest Jesus Christ, and the called out have the potential to become priests of Christ forever in the coming Kingdom of God. All of us are in training to become priests forever in that spiritual priesthood of Jesus Christ [Melchizedek].

We are not to rely on apostate Christ rejecting, true priesthood rejecting, Rabbins; for our religion! We are to rely on the example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole body of scriptures that were inspired by HIM!

Sadly, today many would be like those Pharisees; and many do indeed bind heavy burdens on the brethren that they would not lift a finger to bear themselves. This varies in intensity by each group as do all these other condemnations.

23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,  23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Sound familiar? Just substitute the word “Mr”. or “Pope” or “father” or “padre” etc for Rabbi!

Oh how we love titles and the chief seats today.  Oh how many elders love to be greeted with fawning subservience and called by some title!

23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi [our religious master]: for one is your [religious master] Master, even Christ; and all ye [everyone in the Ekklesia are brothers including elders etc] are brethren. 23:9 And call no man your father [as a religious title] upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

This is a condemnation of the love of position and titles!

It was always customary to call everyone brothers and sisters, including elders.  Elders were introduced as elder ******, or brother ******; until Constantine and the Popes introduced layers of authority between the people and themselves; with the Pope between all others and God; with his Roman Catholic pyramid system, that Christ says he hates. 

This Babylonian Mystery Nicolaitane system has been introduced into the Ekklesia; which had until the 1930’s called its elders “Brother “name.” 

God’s government is NOT a pyramid.

God’s governmental system is Family, with God the Father as the HEAD, and the firstborn son Jesus Christ as the second Head under God the Father, and then the Husbands over their own families.  

Offices of ecclesiastical authority exist as helps to keep us focused on God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  Their authority comes from  the Word of God and the truth that they teach, and once they depart from the Word of God they lose all moral authority! 

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The Nicolaitane idea of a pyramidal structure of layers of human authority between men and God is an abomination to God. It is the job of ALL elders to focus all people on the Father and Christ: NEVER to COME BETWEEN the people and God; but to act as facilitators in helping men to focus DIRECTLY on their Father through their ONLY High Priest and Mediator; Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

We are to prove the words of ALL men, by the Word of Almighty God!  We are NOT to interpret God’s Word by the words of men; but to prove the words of men by the Word of Almighty God!

Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

We are all to desire to humbly and passionately serve our God and not to exalt ourselves. God will exalt or abase as HE sees fit.

23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

How? By paying lip-service to the law while making it of no effect by the traditions of men; and through compromise in its practical application; By making corporate idols and idols of men instead of faithfully putting God and His Word above all men, no matter what titles they claim.

23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Demanding money of poor widows, and then making a show of flowery prayer.

23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

How? By teaching them to obey men, organizations and false traditions, instead of focusing them on repentance and a diligent passionate obedience to all of God’s words.

23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.  23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

Today’s corporate Ekklesia exalts mammon and numbers; above repentance, faith and obedience to every Word of God. 

23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

The important thing is NOT the numbers of responses, but the quality of the message!

The important thing is not the building [the organization] but serving and obeying the Eternal God on his throne, sitting in absolute authority over your deeds and very thoughts! and serving the God who shall most certainly judge us by our works; whether of faithful uncompromising obedience; or of compromising with HIS Word!

23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Demanding every last cent that can be demanded or extorted, while ignoring and not rebuking sin, nor teaching repentance from evil doing, and expounding and exhorting faith, mercy and sound judgment founded on the basics of God’s word and commandments.

We are to be merciful to the poor in their needs; we are to be merciful to the repentant instead of condemning them for being over righteous!

We are to preach a message of warning and repentance and the mercy of God [the Father] or the sincerely repentant; who gave his only begotten son that sinners might be reconciled to Him [the Father].

23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

This is a figure of speech that simply means that we strain at the little unimportant things like money and numbers; and neglect the really important things like zeal for our God.

23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

We have no business reaching out to the world with tainted messages, while we are full of sin inside ourselves and our organizations.

We need to clean up our own spiritual lives and get right with God. We need to rekindle our passionate zeal for God and his commandments; we need to get rid of those traditions not consistent with scripture; we need to start practicing what we preach, and to start setting a godly example instead of acting so shamefully.

We need to stop exalting men and organizations above God; we need to STOP equating loyalty to men, as being equal to loyalty to God. We need to repent and turn to our God with passionate enthusiastic consummate zeal; and then we need to begin to preach the Gospel of warning and repentance that Christ has commanded us to preach.

23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

We honour the prophets and ancient men of God, while persecuting those who are today filled with a similar zeal: Showing ourselves that we are no better than those who persecuted the saints of old.

23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.  23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Today the COG groups persecute the zealous for God just as the ancients persecuted the prophets and holy men, and as the Pharisees persecuted Christ and his true faithful disciples. 

23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Those who do such things are likened to vipers who hide along the path waiting to strike the unwary. When a person goes to them with questions, they reason with them that they should not be zealous like the Mighty Men of God, but should be lukewarm like themselves, then make a note to persecute such zeal by calling the zealous Pharisaical, when it is they themselves who are Pharisaical; filled with zeal for their own groups and traditions, while being lukewarm and compromising with the Word of God.

Since Cain slew Abel, it has ever been thus; that the faithless and compromised; have always persecuted the faithful and zealous. Those who exalt the Lord their God; will face resistance from outside and from inside these organizations,

Such Philadelphian pillars should REJOICE at the persecution from Laodicea, because they have been given an opportunity to set an example, that their persecutors will later remember and be convicted by.

These pillars persecuted by Laodicea should REJOICE, for they are being tempered and tested to become pillars in the Temple of The Great God for all eternity. 

They that stand unshakable on the foundation of the Word of Almighty God; without turning, no matter what the stress; will be made fit by God to stand on that sure foundation of the Word of God as pillars, helping to hold up the entire family of God for all eternity!

23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

These persecutions did come upon the saints by the religious establishment of that day, and have continued to this day.  They are now being fulfilled internally by the Laodicean COG Groups.

23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

This is about the city, Jerusalem which persecuted the godly through history and is figuratively about the faithless who persecute the faithful today. Jesus Christ would have saved them, if only they would accept his deliverance and turn to him away from sin and compromise with the Father’s law.

Both Jerusalem and today’s faithless Ekklesia, will be made desolate in the tribulation; it is then that they will sincerely repent and turn to the ONLY one that can truly save!

23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

When you see Christ come, Jerusalem, and all those who persecuted the saints; will be in a humbled and repentant attitude, and will no longer reject Christ and the teachings of  the whole Word of God; instead they shall Shout for Joy at his appearance; crying out “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”!

 

Philadelphia and Laodicea

Jesus illustrated the difference between a Philadelphian and a Laodicean the difference between a holy attitude and a profane and unacceptable attitude in this parable.

These prayers are not just words, they reveal the attitude of the person praying, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 

Luke 18:9   And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee [Laodicean], and the other a publican [Philadelphian].

18:11 The Pharisee [Laodicean] stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

18:13 And the publican [Sincerely repentant sinner; Philadelphian], standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Today the true Philadelphian pillars are scattered throughout the Ekklesia, which are overwhelmingly Laodicea.

Oh, how we Laodiceans exalt ourselves to live by our own false traditions and reject any true humble passion for our Mighty One who could deliver us!  Proud and thinking ourselves rich in spiritual things,  thinking we know  it all: We have become spiritually dead, apostate from our Master. 

 

Conclusion 

The various church attitudes may have dominated at various historical tines, but the seven churches also each existed at the same time in the first century and each one is an instructional example for us, that all of these problems and strengths will also exist at the same time in these last days. 

Today like Ephesus, we have lost the passionate zeal of our first love for truth and godliness and the whole Word of God.

Today like Smyrna, there are some who are faithful to God and God’s Word and suffer much persecution.

Today like Pergamos,  there are some who have not denied the authority of God and the scriptures and yet tolerate Nicolaitane bullying.

Today like Thyatira, there are those who are full of good works, but in their zeal to do good to their neighbor have lost sight of their obligations to God.   Do NOT mistake love of man; for love of God!

As a bride is to be faithful to her husband, our first duty is to our spiritual Husband and all good works to others are secondary.  Many unconverted people are also full of good works towards humanity and do not obey God; how are we different from them if we are also full of good works for humanity and forget our LORD?

We should be filled with good works towards men; while not forgetting to put our LORD first in our lives!  

What say you?  If a bride put her personal charitable works ahead of her love and obedience to her husband, will the husband think that she loves her own works more than she loves him?  It is a very good thing to do good works for people, but such good works should not overtake our zeal for our LORD!

Today, like Sardis, the overwhelming attitude in the  Ekklesia is largely spiritually dead, having no fire of zeal to live by every Word of our LORD. 

Today like Philadelphia, there are some faithful standing on the foundation of the whole Word of God; who are scattered like pillars throughout the various assemblies and standing alone.  In a very short time now God’s two servants will call for the faithful to gather together and leave for the place which God has prepared; the faithful pillars will respond to God’s call while the others will not, thus separating out the faithful from the others. 

Today like Laodicea, the Ekklesia is overwhelmingly proud, arrogant and unteachable by God.  They reject large parts of God’s Word and very much truth, to follow their idols of men and false traditions. They will not respond positively to God’s warnings and the only way to save them from certain eternal death is to afflict the flesh to humble them so that the spirit might be saved.  

 

 

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