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The Laodicean condition

The book of Revelation records a message from Jesus Christ to the congregation of Laodicea. This message needs to be clearly understood in order to (i) better identify the Laodicean problem, (ii) be in the best position to help those in it, and (iii) equip ourselves so as not to get ensnared in the Laodicean trap. Notice the relevant passage in Revelation 3, beginning in verse 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”.

This is Christ speaking! The majestic way in which He is introduced in these verses reinforces the fact that all of God’s people must take serious note of what He is about to say. He tells the Laodiceans:

 

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (vs. 15-16).

Evidently the Laodiceans are bland to God – they are a sickly group of people who need spiritual healing because they are “neither cold nor hot”, or lukewarm. We will understand what Christ means by this as we further study His message to the Laodiceans, but because of this spiritual state we are told that He spews them out of His mouth into the Great Tribulation. Continuing in verse 17 Christ explains the Laodicean condition in detail:

 

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable…”

Of course, we must look at these verses from a spiritual perspective. Christ is here saying that the Laodiceans act as though they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing – spiritually speaking! This is clearly evident in the way they resist and reject deeper understanding being communicated by Almighty God.

God communicates to His people in order to further teach and nurture them, yet the Laodiceans passionately resist and reject that communication from Him because they mistakenly and proudly believe they have enough understanding on certain subjects and “have need of nothing”. Rejecting the Father in this way demonstrates vanity, pride and rebellion and will not go unpunished (vs. 16). This condition makes the Laodiceans spiritually “wretched and miserable”!

Let us be sure to understand: As we have seen, the Laodiceans are a people who reject deeper understanding because they are comfortable in the position they are in.  They are comfortable with the “truths” they believe they have, comfortable in the organizations with which they are affiliated and the social networks provided, and in some cases are comfortable with their burgeoning rank and position within their group. The Laodiceans are comfortable with the spiritual status quo in their life and fear proving Truth presented to them because of the possible repercussions they would need to face. Laodiceans are too proud of being shown to be wrong in any area that will put them in the position of having to leave their comfort zone! In most cases, Laodiceans are not prepared to admit error so their defense is to passionately deny and reject any Truth presented to them that will interfere with their current thinking and lifestyle. As a result, Laodiceans are held captive! A Laodicean mind is a mind which is imprisoned to false, preconceived ideas. It seems as though the Laodiceans are happy to allow their minds to be shackled in error as long as they don’t have to face the task of proving (1 Thess. 5:21) and changing erroneous ways (Matt. 3:2, Lk. 13:3 etc), which will take them out of their comfort zone. Their self-imposed closed, imprisoned mind-set is why Christ refers to them as being “wretched and miserable”; it is hugely the reason why they are spewed into the Great Tribulation. Notice further:

 

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: 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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” (vs. 17-20).

Apart from having a closed, imprisoned mind-set, Christ states that the Laodiceans are also spiritually poor, blind, naked and hungry! Christ is here offering to feed the Laodiceans – or to sup with them -- if they allow Him in and accept His communication. The fact that Christ knocks on the Laodicean door and wants to come in and sup with them clearly indicates that Christ is on the outside of Laodicea. Evidently, the Laodiceans reject Christ as their authority, and are not interested in learning more from Him. Christ is not their Head! Without them even realizing it, rejecting Christ’s communication leaves Laodiceans spiritually hungry of the deeper things of God.

 

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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (vs. 21-22).

To briefly re-cap, Christ tells the Laodiceans that their spiritual condition is:

  • Sick

  • Imprisoned

  • Naked

  • Hungry

  • Poor

Sadly, most Laodiceans do not realize their mindset as outlined in Revelation 3:14-22. A number of them are oblivious to the fact that they are spiritually blind, naked and imprisoned. Because of this spiritual condition, the Laodiceans need help! They need to be spiritually fed, clothed, and visited to be helped out of their sickly spiritual condition. God’s faithful people should go above and beyond when it comes to helping the Laodiceans. Notice what is stated in Mat. 25:32-41:

“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”

God is about to make a separation. He will separate His sheep from the goats! God’s people should take note of the criteria which will be used:

 

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”.

God is here stating that His faithful people will feed those who need feeding! They will clothe those who are naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned. The indication is that they will go out of their way to help these people; this is why Christ refers to them as being “righteous” (vs. 37). As discussed above, the Laodiceans are the ones who are spiritually imprisoned, sick, naked and hungry (Rev. 3:14-22). So, it is clear that God is here telling His faithful people to go out of their way to help the Laodiceans in their poor spiritual condition! Even though Laodiceans often reject help, God’s faithful people must understand the Laodicean spiritual condition and in love be ready to offer help to their brethren. Outgoing concern and love means demonstrating that love unconditionally and without reservation – it means demonstrating love in deed and not in words. Notice what God tells those who do not do their part to feed and clothe the spiritually hungry and naked:

 

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal”.

These verses in Matthew continue to confirm that God expects His faithful to feed the spiritually hungry, He expects His faithful to do their part to help clothe the spiritually naked, to visit the spiritually sick and imprisoned. These are some of the things God’s faithful people are expected to do – they must make themselves readily available to tend to and demonstrate help to their Laodicean brethren! Some splinter groups zealously try to do this even though they offer very little, if any, new deeper understanding on pertinent subjects to help “feed” their brethren. Sadly, other split-off groups completely misunderstand and misrepresent these scriptures, putting themselves in a compromising and dangerous spiritual place. One group in particular believes that shunning and cutting off baptized members (including family members not part of their organization) is the way in which they think God wants them to demonstrate love, spiritually feed, clothe and visit their brethren. This perverted and unbiblical ruling not only makes a mockery of God’s call to feed, clothe and visit the naked, imprisoned Laodiceans (Rev. 3:14-22), but also blatantly demonstrates a rejection of these people in need! Their actions do not demonstrate outgoing love and concern for fellow brethren in crisis, and is proof of their imprisoned minds!

Another of the larger split-off groups is currently facing increased turmoil, division and confusion within its ranks. This group, which from the outset changed the implementation and administration of God’s government as explained in the Word of God, is now plagued with resignations and suspensions. Do members of this group believe that Jesus Christ is leading in an environment of turmoil, crisis, division and tension (Matt. 12:25)? God’s people must judge by fruits (Matt. 7:16-20), and not allow their minds to be held captive by personalities, an active social life, and more.

Perhaps one of the most obvious indications of Laodicean rebellion is the rejection of further and deeper communication being delivered by God at this time. As discussed above, this spiritual state is what makes the Laodiceans “wretched and miserable”. Rejecting deeper understanding of God’s Word strongly contributes to the imprisoned Laodicean mind-set, and as a result makes them spiritually poor, blind and naked. Even though God warns against this spiritual condition, most fall into the trap of rejecting it! Too many of God’s people are currently trapped and imprisoned in a 1986 mind-set, which is controlling, restraining and preventing them from growing in knowledge of the Word of God (Col. 1:9-10; 2 Pet. 1:8, 3:18). This closed, imprisoned mind-set is alienating God’s people from Him and denying themselves deeper understanding of God’s magnificent Truth. God’s people must constantly and carefully prove all things (1 Thess. 5:21; Acts 17:10-12) and test their leaders (Rev. 2:2) to ensure that they do not become victims of spiritual circumstance.     

The Faithful Church of God in Laodicea (FCGL) is here to offer help to their brethren scattered in the hundreds of split-off groups, and also to those who have been hurt and wounded by the harsh rule imposed upon them by reckless and irresponsible shepherds (Ezek. 34). As God continues to light up our path with much deeper understanding on many Biblical subjects pertinent to the times we live in (Ps. 119:105), the FCGL offers the literature advertized on the Church website, which provides spiritual help and guidance to those who want it. Booklets and articles are sent free of charge and without obligation to those who request them. Ministers in the FCGL around the world are available for those who would like to contact us with questions, are in need of guidance in understanding doctrines and teachings or would like to find out more regarding the attending of Services. As we endeavor to do our part in feeding the spiritually hungry, clothing the spiritually naked, visiting the spiritually sick and imprisoned (Rev. 3:14-22; Matt. 25:32-41), the FCGL continues to implement various initiatives, including worldwide advertizing, in an effort to reach as many as possible with the wonderful and urgent message entrusted to us to deliver at this time. With help from the efforts of the growing number of brethren and co-workers, the FCGL endeavors to fulfill its responsibility and obligation to help feed the flock (Jn. 21:16-17), and bring God’s people back to the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:25; Rom. 12:4; 1 Cor. 12:12, Eph. 4:13-16 etc). 

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