The American Wisdom Series

Presents
Pamphlet #4082

My Note:  even the dung of your solemn feastsRef. Scripture  Malachi 2:1-9

 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts;

Scripture:   Malachi 2:1  And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
2  If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
3  Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.
4  And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
5  My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
6  The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
7  For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
8  But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
9  Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

2nd scripture  Amos 5:21  I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
22  Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
23  Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
24  But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
25  Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26  But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
27  Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.

It's pretty obvious the Lord isn't happy with what goes on in most of our churches!

Log unto and read #1829

There are only two churches Christ finds no fault with
Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study, we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body, was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches), with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand, and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them, noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions. He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was taken to the day of the Lord, i.e. the first day of the Millennium, to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.

Keep in mind that these are church "types", and although some will resemble certain denominations, it is not our intent to identify specific religions and/or organizations. Christianity is a personal relationship between Jesus Christ and each one of us. In effect, we are really testing ourselves to see if what we believe aligns with the Word of God.

Our Lord speaks:

                Rev. 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
 

Make no mistake about it. The message to the church of Ephesus is directly from Jesus Christ. The "picture" is refreshed in our minds and we now understand the symbology.

[2] I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Jesus Christ knows all of our works and our labours and our patience (of the lack thereof) .

These good folks obviously have some degree of common sense. They can spot a "phony" preacher on the street corner or on TV, and after listening awhile (trying them) they find them to be liars, con artists! We need more people to be able to do that, i.e. to try these phonies and realize they are liars, and that they are not sent from God.

[3] And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
They are steadfast in their labors. They are faithful churchgoers and tithers and never grow weary.
[4] Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
This is not good! Whenever one has Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, against them they have a big problem. This is not to be taken lightly.

What is a Christian's first love? It is Jesus Christ, the Savior, the living Word of God. How is it then that they leave Him? By becoming involved in "church" and following the teachings of the church, the traditions of men, that make void the Word of God, which is Christ. They are wasting their time. Christ said so Himself!

Mark 7:7
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Editor's note: I could name a few denominations that fit this discription!

However, Jesus provides the solution to the problem:
Rev. 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.
They better leave "Churchianity", i.e. quit playing church, and start studying and following the will of God, else HE will come quickly and remove their candlestick, by declaring it a non-Christian church, a Beth-Aven, which is Hebrew for "House of Vanity".

Some people have a real hard time understanding how there will be Christians that do all these wonderful works and yet don't make it into the kingdom of heaven! Jesus addressed this issue.

Matthew 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Well meaning people can be running around calling themselves Christians, saying "Praise the Lord this" and, "Praise the Lord that" and still not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Again, one must do the will of our Father.

What exactly is His will? His "will" is His "testament", both the Old and the New. If one doesn't do His will they are simply "kidding" themselves by calling themselves Christian! James 1:22 reads: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

So Jesus says, when talking about the same time period where John is now, i.e. the day of the Lord:

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Look at all the wonderful things this church has done. They have prophesied in the name of Christ, cast out demons, sent missionaries to various parts of the world, raised money at benefits or by playing Bingo to buy food for the homeless, etc, etc.

Though they profess Christ, too often well meaning Christians turn their will and their lives over to the care of their "church", and their church actually becomes their "means to salvation". This is especially true when their church thinks that only they are God's "elect", a term they interpret wrongly to mean "elite". Then just "belonging" to this church gets them into the kingdom. Here's what Jesus will say to them:

[23]And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Christ never knew them because they never knew Him. If one doesn't know the Written Word of God then one doesn't know the Living Word of God/Jesus, for they are one.

Christ now continues to give His message to the church of Ephesus.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
At least they also hate licentiousness and lustful, perverted practices (which would not make them politically correct). Although there is not much history on the Nicolaitanes, Smith's Bible dictionary gives us a brief outline of this sect of heretics whose doctrines originated with Balaam. They worshipped idols, did not believe in creation, and held their women in common.

It is amazing how many church goers today do not believe in creation, but believe evolution took place in one form or another.

Jesus Christ has one more thing to say to all of us, not just to the church of Ephesus:

[7] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear" are words used exclusively by Jesus Christ on seven separate occasions, to emphasize and call attention to the utterance He has just made. For only through Him can one obtain true understanding, and in this case, to understand what the Spirit is saying unto the churches, it requires "ears to hear". If you don't have them, ask Him. He has a pair waiting for you.

We will learn more about the tree of life in the final chapter (22) of Revelation.

What can we conclude about the church of Ephesus. Well, they appear to pretty "main stream" Christians, good hearted, well meaning church goers, who are definitely against sinful, lustful practices. The problem is that they are Biblically illiterate, they have left their first love, and so they don't have the seal of God, His Word, in their foreheads. Consequently, they will worship Antichrist who appears first, i.e. they will believe that he is Jesus Christ Himself. That is not an opinion, for we will document this in the remaining chapters of the Book of Revelation beyond a shadow of doubt.

The truly sad part is, that when one worships Satan, even through ignorance, guess what? They can kiss their candlestick good-bye! Did you "hear" that?

Let's pay close attention to what Jesus says to the church in Smyrna,
for there are only two churches that Christ will find no fault with,
this one and the church in Philadelphia. Hey, go with a winner!

Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study,
we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body,
was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches),
with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand,
and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them,
noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions.

He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved,
who was taken to the day of the Lord, i.e. the first day of the Millennium,
to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.

We now continue to see what Jesus Christ has to say to the churches of today.

He is real concerned with what they teach.

Are you?

If so, let's pay close attention to this next church, the church in Smyrna,
for there are only two churches that Christ will find no fault with,
this one and the church in Philadelphia.

We will find that they share a common teaching,
so whatever it is it must be very pleasing to Christ.

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
You will notice that Christ will give a few of His credentials to each church as He addresses them.

And it is fitting that He says He was crucified and is alive, i.e. rose again, to the church of Smyrna.

Why?

Because they, along with the church of Philadelphia,
know who it was that brought about the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior,
and it wasn't our brother Judah!

Let's check it out.

Rev. 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
You won't find these Smyrna folks featured on the earthly TV show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".

But they are featured in the heavenly version.
And one thing is for sure.

Though they may have tribulation and even poverty (as the rich would define it),
they wouldn't trade their pearl for all the money in the world.

They know what they've got!

Now notice what identifies the church of Smyrna.

They know who the blasphemers are that say they are of Judah,
who run around claiming to be God's chosen people,
while all along they are liars and are of the synagogue of Satan.

Let's read it again just as Christ said it: Rev. 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Whew, that's pretty powerful stuff!

You bet!

Jesus Christ identified these same impostors who lay claim to God's inheritance in John chapter 8.

The scribes and the Pharisees were trying to "sell" their lies, deception, to Jesus Christ Himself (talk about bold).

John 8:39-44 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Jesus knew full well that they weren't descendants of Abraham,
and so do the folks of the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia.

How about you?

[40] But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Let's see here.

The religious leaders of the church, the "Oh So Holy Men of God, in their fancy robes",
are PLOTTING MURDER and yet claim to be children of God. Ye, hypocrites!

[41] Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Christ told them they do the deeds of their father, which is not our Father!

Their rock is not our Rock (Deut. 32).

And even when they are exposed as frauds, they continue to lie.

[42] Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

[43] Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

It's pretty obvious they don't have a pair of those "ears to hear".
[44] Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Oh, look here!

Their father is the devil, who sired their father the first murderer.

Like father like son, "Liar, Liar, pants on fire".

Time for another pop quiz.

Who was the first murderer in the Bible?
A) Cain
B) Cain
C) or Cain
Good, you got it right!

They were Kenites, the sons of Cain.

It was the kenites who killed Christ, not Jews descendant of our brother Judah.

Take the time to look up the word "Jews" in Strong's concordance.

You will find it is the Greek word Ioudaios, which means either a person of Judah's descendants
or a person who resides in the land of Judea. People are often identified by the land in which they live.

If you live in Texas you could be called a Texan.
If you live in Judea you could be called a Jew.

Note: We will be addressing the subject of the Kenites throughout the Book of Revelation, so just be patient if this is new to you.

However, if anyone would like to be brought up to "modern times" concerning Rev. 2:9 and 3:9
then do some research on the subject of Khazars.

Here's a quote from one paragraph in the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"Khazar civilization shows a fairly complex texture and their religious life raises more than one problem... About 740 the Khazar ruler - and probably the greater part of the ruling classes - were converted to Judaism. The circumstances of the conversion remain obscure, the depth of the Jewish layer difficult to assess; the fact itself is, however, undisputed and unparalleled in the history of Eurasia. ... The story of this conversion of the Khazars had a considerable and lasting impact on the western world."

Editors Note: log unto Google and do a search on the word Khazar.   The Thirteenth Tribe

You take it from here.

Now let's return to Revelation.

Rev. 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.
Whoops!

Someone doesn't like these people of Smyrna.

Some, not all, from this church shall be imprisoned, and delivered up and put on TRIAL.

CNN, MSNBC, Internet Broadcasting, etc. will carry these trials live, from Jerusalem,
for the whole world to see. And believe me, everyone will be watching.
(Good, good, that's the plan, a worldwide forum for God's elect!
The Holy Spirit will take it from here.)

Of course, this is nothing new. Christ talked about these trials in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

Let's check it out.

Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Now we know why they will be tried in the councils of the synagogue of Satan.

For "my sake", i.e. for Christ's sake.

This is a religious matter.

Satan will be here as Antichrist claiming to be the Messiah,
and God's elect, some of those rascally Smyrnites,
will be singing "Liar, Liar, pants on fire".

[10] And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
The word "published" is better translated "proclaimed".

Look it up yourself.

So can you see how this is accomplished at the TRIALS?

Continuing in Mark 13:

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
Like we said, the Holy Spirit will take over from here,
and that "tongue" spoken on Pentecost Day in Acts chapter 2 will once again be spoken.

And everyone in the world will "hear" God's elect speak in their own native language.

There won't be any need for any interpreters.

Think carefully now.

Remember the picture we were given?

The message to the churches, and to the whole world for that matter,
comes directly from the mouth of Jesus Christ
(His Sword, the Word).

Right?

That's why God's elect are not to premeditate what they will say.
They won't have to! It will be the Sword of Christ, His Word, the Holy Spirit of God,
proceeding directly out their mouths to proclaim His Gospel to this world.

What an exciting time we live in!

This is reality!

And finally to the church of Smyrna, Jesus says:

Rev. 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Got your "ears" on yet?

You too can be part of the church of Smyrna or Philadelphia.

And did you know that when you take part in the first resurrection,
when Christ returns, that you receive eternal life THEN.

Therefore, the second death, which is the lake of fire,
doesn't pertain to you.

What a fantastic reward.

So maybe you're beginning to think that being a Christian soldier in these last days requires some guts.

Well, maybe so.

But when you have the gospel armor (Eph 6) on and in place
and Jesus Christ lets you carry His twoedged Sword (and He does if you're willing),
then,
as He says over and over again, there is nothing to fear.

Then again, if it's still too much for you, there's five other churches you can choose.

Good luck!

Now, let me see if I got the picture:

Jesus Christ, who is standing in the midst of the churches (hmmm, equal distance from all, that's fair), is going to use His messengers, the seven angels, to send a message, directly from His mouth (His Word which is the very, very sharp twoedged sword), to all seven churches, meaning ALL churches.
Hey, I got it!

Oh!

This must be very serious.

I wonder what He has to say to them?

Keep in mind that these are church "types",
and although some will resemble certain denominations,
it is not our intent to identify specific religions and/or organizations.

Christianity is a personal relationship between Jesus Christ and each one of us.

If someone left you a fortune, and recorded it in his last will and testament,
but the will laid on the coffee table and no one read it,
then you wouldn't know about the fortune and consequently you couldn't claim it.

Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study,
we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body,
was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches),
with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand,
and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them,
noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions.

He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was taken to the day of the Lord,
i.e. the first day of the Millennium,
to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.

Here is something to think about,
"If you don't know something, then you don't know that you don't know it.

Furthermore, how in the world would you know that you were supposed to know it?"

Our people have been kept so ignorant about God's Word
that they have no idea that it was written personally to them by their Father who loves them
so much and has given them blessings and an inheritance beyond their wildest dreams!

It is His will and testament.

It is even called "Testament", the Old and the New.

 Sure they may love their Father, but they have to claim His will!

If someone left you a fortune, and recorded it in his last will and testament,
but the will laid on the coffee table and no one read it,
then you wouldn't know about the fortune and consequently you couldn't claim it.

Meanwhile you struggle through life wondering why you are so "unblessed".

Worse yet, professional "will readers", with seminary degrees in "will reading",
who claim to have read and studied the will, tell you come back "faithfully" every Sunday
and they shall explain what the will says.

The problem is, they never quite get around to explaining the will,
but they never, ever, forget to pass the golden, felt lined plate.

Keep that in mind as we now move on to the church in Permagos.

Historically the Permagosians (can that be a word?) were worshippers of Apollo to whom the title of soter,
which means "savior", was given and whose emblem was a serpent.

"Some even trace the Babylonian pagan priesthood as removing to Pergamos."
(See note on Rev. 2:12 in the Companion Bible).

In any event, they had adopted a great many pagan rituals into their worship.

Ever see that in today's churches, easter eggs, bunnies, etc.?

However, remember where John has been taken to, the day of Lord, the first day of the Millennium, which is yet future.

Let's see what Christ has to say to them.

Rev. 2:12
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
This church is reminded right away of His sharp sword that has two edges,
i.e. His word that proceeds out of His mouth.

The church in Pergamos is about to get a "tongue lashing" with the sharpest tongue in the universe.

[13] I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
It looks like this church has "made their bed" right where Satan dwells.

I'm sure they believe he is the real thing, for most of the world will!

When Satan, the Antichrist, appears at the six trump
(which we will learn about in this Book of Revelation),
he will claim to be Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

You should remember from kindergarten (or Sesame Street) that the number 6 comes before the number 7.

It is at the 6th Trump that Satan is cast out of heaven onto this earth (Rev. 12:7-9),
to play the role of Antichrist.

We don't gather back to Christ until the 7th Trump, the very last one!

The apostle Paul WARNS us what will happen before we gather back to Jesus at the 7th Trump.

2 Thes. 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2 Thes. 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;

The "that day" is the day we gather back to Christ.

And the son of "perdition" is the son who will "perish" (in the lake of fire).

That's Satan.

He's as good as dead which is why he is also called "Death".

[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Antichrist (anti in Greek means "instead of"), who is Satan,
will sit in temple of God claiming that he is God.

He's a supernatural archangel and he will put on quite a show in the sight of men!

And the name he will go by is "Jesus".

Do you know what this means?

There are two Jesus', two Gods, the real and the imposter.

Most people don't know the difference. Do you?

Will you at that time?

Well, there will be one person in the church of Pergamos who will know the difference
between the two and he will be martyred.

His name, no doubt derived from his reputation, is Antipas which means "anti-father",
and yet Jesus calls him His faithful martyr.

He is faithful in telling the Biblically illiterate of the church of Pergamos
that the dude who sits in the temple claiming to be God "Ain't the Father".

Six comes before seven, don't you know?

Note: At the time of the crucifixion the people were given the choice to release one of two prisoners, Jesus, the Son of the Father, or Bar-abbas, which means "son of the father" (bar = son, abba = father). Two sons of two different fathers. Amazing, isn't it? They chose the latter.

Let's return to Revelation chapter 2.

Rev. 14:2 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Uh oh! This church has multiple problems, "a few things" wrong.

1.) They've got the "Balaam Syndrome". Balaam was a true priest of Israel all right, but if one takes the time to read the account they will find he preached to Balac, i.e. the Moabites, for MONEY. Know any churches like that? Do you know any churches that concentrate on fund raisers, pledges of money, pass the plate, building funds, etc, etc.

In fact at one point Balaam had his ass so loaded with "donations" that God intervened with an angel and had the ass speak to Balaam to bring him to his senses.

You know, it seems like every time I hear a sermon on TV by certain "will readers", I learn how blessed I'll be if I send money to them. Balaam lives on!

[15] So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
2.) They got "hanky panky" going on, too! We addressed this in the church of Ephesus.
[16] Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
REPENT! That is a strong command, and He means it!

If they don't, guess what?

They'll get a lesson in sword fighting!

Here is a word of wisdom!

If there is one person in this universe you don't want to get into a sword fight with, it's Jesus Christ.

I don't care if your name is Zorro or Luke Skywalker!

Rev. 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
This time Christ says if we have those "ears to hear" we better pay attention to what the Spirit,
i.e. Jesus Christ, is saying to these churches, ALL of them.

It is extremely important, a matter of eternal life or death.

What is this manna spoken of here?

Manna is the angel's food that our Father fed His children with in the wilderness of Sinai.

It is symbolic of the truth, i.e. the bread of life, which our Father feeds His children in today's wilderness,
during this time of the great famine spoken of in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

"What?.. I don't see a great famine!"

Maybe you also need "eyes to see".

Look into the Book of Amos and "see" what is revealed concerning the famine of the end time.

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
There's just no time to prepare a meal with real meat for God's children.

There's too much Balaam going on.

Give 'em a little morsel and then "Bail-'em", the money that is.

Now, notice in Rev 2:17 that there is "hidden" manna, i.e. hidden truth.

Some will ask, "Why is it that truth is hidden in the Bible?"

The answer is,"So that when you go looking for it, you can find it!"

Actually, all you need are "eyes to see" and "ears to hear"
and it becomes revealed, uncovered, as it is right here in the great Book of Revelation.

We will address the white stone and the new name in a subsequent study.

Meanwhile, here's some good advice, "Get out of Pergamos".

Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study, we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body, was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches), with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand, and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them, noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions. He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was taken to the day of the Lord, i.e. the first day of the Millennium, to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.
 

We now move to next church, which is in Thyatira.
Rev. 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
Jesus now makes it a point to refresh in our minds the Picture we saw in chapter 1, of His Majesty in His glorified body standing in the midst of the seven churches, which are represented by seven candlesticks (Rev 1:13-15).

The church of Thyatira should pay particular attention to His eyes that "see" what they're doing and His heavy metal feet that could do some serious "stomping" when He returns.  Brass feet will be great for "treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev 19:15). Remember, He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule with a rod of iron (and brass feet).

[19] I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
The "ands" in this verse constitute a figure of speech called a Polysyndenton, just like the "Ands" in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis (And the evening and the morning... etc.)  See appendix 6 in the Companion Bible. The "ands" are used for emphasis and so you could read verse 19 like this to understand the emphasis of the figure polysyndenton:
I know your works,
And I Know your charity,
And I Know your service,
And I Know your faith,
And I Know your patience,
And I Know your works.
It would appear that this group loves the Lord and is doing all the right things, as far as "religion" goes.But there's trouble within. Something is wrong:
[20] Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
What's wrong is that they are obviously listening to someone who is "teaching" them, who calls herself a prophetess (which means teacher), but all the while she is leading them astray! She's seducing them to commit fornication and if they don't wise up, they're screwed alright! They're going to get stomped with brass feet.

Now let's back up and analyze what's being said. First, this is not, and cannot be, the Jezebel of 1 Kings chapter 16, though she certainly was a type.  Her name, Jezebel, means chaste, and so she gives the appearance of purity and holiness and goodness and truth (read as a Polysyndenton now that you know what one is), but we just learned that she is anything but those things. The problem is her church members are too deceived, too seduced and in love with her, to know that what she teaches is an abomination to our Father! (She is not an actual woman, but a "teaching" of the church).

What does it mean to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols? Do you mean she teaches people to have sex outside of marriage and eat food sacrificed to idols? No, this is church doctrine that is being talked about. She teaches people to become idolaters by eating "spiritual food", i.e. doctrine and traditions, that are not Biblical, and so not from God. It comes from other gods, meaning the false god, Satan himself, but it looks and "tastes" so good!

An example would be the "rapture theory" taught in most Christian churches today. Margaret McDonald, a prophetess herself, originated this doctrine in the year 1830 in Glasgow Scotland. She herself wrote that at first it was evil and there was darkness about it. That should tell you right there where it came from, the dark one himself. It is not supported in anyway, shape, or form in the Bible, yet it "tastes" and "feels" very good to those who wish to "eat" of it and continue being "seduced".

But let's check out the type, the Jezebel in I Kings 16-19.  She had good old Ahab make groves that really angered our Father, more so than all the kings of Israel that were before him. That's pretty serious stuff!

Do you have any idea what a grove is?
If you're like many people you're probably thinking Ahab
planted a bunch of trees.

1 Kings 16:33
And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
Do you have any idea what a grove is?  The truth of the matter is "covered up" in the English, hidden just beneath the surface, if you will.  If you're like most of the people in the church of Thyatira you're probably thinking Ahab planted a bunch of trees, like an apple grove, or maybe cleared away the under brush to make a nice oak grove.

Well guess what? We just read in verse 17 of Rev. 2 that there is hidden manna, so henceforth we better all start looking a little deeper to uncover the truth.  Get a Strong's Concordance and look up "grove". The word is "asherah", from the root "ashar", to be straight, erect or upright!

Check out all the passages where this word is used and you will "see" without question it is not a grove like the folks of Thyatira think. For example, in 2 Kings 17:10 "they set them up under every tree" and in 2 Kings 23:6 "he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron...".

The asherah was a "thing", it was the Phallus image of  Isa. 57:8 and the "image of the male" in Ezek. 16:17. You guessed it, it was the image of the male upright organ of procreation. OK, it was a big carved penis, there I said it.

But you know what? It was a religious "thing". It was used in the spring sexual orgies honoring Ashteroth, the queen of heaven, from whom we get our word "Easter". Uh, oh! The church of Thyatira wouldn't bring symbols of fertility into the house of God, would they? Eggs, bunny rabbits?

"Oh, but those", we are told, "are just symbols of new life, after all it's spring time. And besides, it's so cute for the kids." (Doesn't Jezebel speak so sweetly?)  Sure, and grove means a clump of trees. How's it feel to be seduced by her? Do you know the origin of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies? What do they have to do with the Passover anyway?

It may offend some, but if that be the case, go ahead and try to find Easter in the New Testament. It ain't there! Surprised? (Note: Please don't send an e-mail saying you found it in Acts 12:4. The word is pascha, translated all 28 other times as Passover.)

[21] And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Our Father uses "adultery" to represent the far worse sin of "idolatry" throughout the Bible. He's giving her time, even now, to repent.
[22] Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Hey, she's going to "bed" and those that she "seduces" are going with her. And they will have great tribulation. Do you know what that means?  It means they will be "taken" by the false messiah, antichrist, who is Satan, when he comes at the 6th trump claiming he is God. He'll be in sack with them! In other words, they will worship the devil as Jesus Christ.

Worshipping Satan, even if in ignorance, is not a very good thing to do if you claim to be a Christian, is it?  It is called the great falling away, the great apostasy.

[23] And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Christ isn't going to kill children. Come on! It simply means that the children of Jezebel, her followers, i.e. the deceived members of the church of Thyatira, are going to be "Spiritually Dead"!!!
[24] But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
Stay away from Satan's fake doctrines. Learn his mysterious and conniving ways of slipping paganism into the churches of Christianity. Get out of Satan's bed!
[25] But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
If you have eyes to see and those ears to hear that Christ has been mentioning to every church, then hang in there. These are exciting times now, but more excitement is about to befall us all!
[26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
God's elect will reign with Christ during the day of the Lord, the Millennium.
[27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
To "rule" means to "shepherd".  But the rest of the church of Thyatira better watch out for those brass feet.
[28] And I will give him the morning star.
The morning star is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who reveals the hidden manna to those who will "hear" and "see". Remember though, you have to want to. Ask Him.
Rev. 22:16
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
But never forget, there is an imposter that "looks" so much like the real Christ, that the majority of Christianity can't tell the difference. So it is no wonder that in Isaiah 14, Satan is also called the bright star. There are two stars, two Christs.
[29] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
So much for the church of Thyatira. It didn't score well either.

If you don't know when the day of the Lord comes,
you'll worship the false messiah, guaranteed!

Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study, we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body, was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches), with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand, and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them, noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions. He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was taken to the day of the Lord, i.e. the first day of the Millennium, to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.

To this point in our study of the book that uncovers and unseals the truth, Jesus Christ has addressed four of the seven churches, and so far three of the four have come up short of pleasing Him. In fact we find that only two out of the seven are pleasing to Christ, Smyrna and Philadelphia.

The question is, "Do you want to please Christ, or not?" That may sound like a "dumb" question to ask someone who professes to be Christian, but let's think about it?

Suppose you "hire on" as a contractor for an architect who has given you the plans to build a great, magnificent structure. You're all excited about your new position and you really want to do a good job and please your boss. But you never quite get around to reading the plans or studying the blueprints. Instead you go about erecting poles and walls the way you think they ought to be, the way you've seen other poles and walls built, "traditionally". You justify it in your mind thinking, "This must be what he wants, everyone else does it this way."

When the boss comes along and asks "What in the world is this mess? Where's the magnificent building I ask you to construct? This doesn't even resemble it. Haven't you read my plans?", you say, "But I thought this is the structure you wanted me to build". You're then hurt and crushed when he fires you saying "get away from me" because he has no use for you.

The point is, you may have "wanted" to please your boss, but you didn't "care enough" to take the time to learn what it was that he wanted done. Such is the case with those in five of the seven churches.

I'd like to quote two paragraphs from the work of one of the greatest Bible scholars of our modern era, E. W. Bullinger, in his work titled "How to Enjoy the Bible", American Christian Press, pg. 6.

When we come to ask ourselves, and say "Where did I learn this?" "How did I get this?" "Who taught me this?" it is astonishing to find how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.

All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination.

These two profound paragraphs are the essence of what Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are all about. It is the reason we are testing the churches, shall we say it's "the purpose of the exercise". To be able to do that which we just read requires great courage and discipline. Most would rather take the easy road and follow traditions. That road does not lead to our Father, nor does it please Him.

The apostle Paul was able to sum it up in one short sentence that we all need to live by:

1 Thes. 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
And now on to the church in Sardis.
Rev. 3:1
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Remember, Jesus Christ knows all of our works, the good, the bad and the ugly. This church in Sardis is Christian in name only because they are spiritually "deader than a door knob". They probably don't even know where the plans are.

Sardis, if you care to research it's history, was a wealthy merchant town and the capital of the ancient Lydia (which Homer called Moeonia), once the "Queen of Asia". How interesting. Not too many years ago there were 6, and there are still 2 standing, of the pillars of Cybele (60 feet high). Those with eyes and ears will take note of the 6's and multiples thereof.

Cybele, also known as Rhea, was the goddess of the growth of natural things in Greek mythology. She was also called the mother of the gods. Hmmm, this sounds like something that could be mixed in with Christianity, don't you think? Hey, people will love it! We'll add some eggs and bunnies.

[2] Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
How much impact does it have upon your mind to realize that these are the very words and instructions from Jesus Christ Himself, as if He were standing talking directly to you, face to face?
[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.
You see, if you don't watch, then you'll be in the dark! And if you don't know when the day of the Lord comes, you'll worship the false messiah, guaranteed! Paul told us the exactly same thing as Jesus just told us in verse 3.
1 Thes. 5:2-9
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

[3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Hey, the Berlin wall has fallen, the Big Bear (Russia) has gone to sleep, supposedly. The USSR no longer exists. And if you think they aren't saying peace and safety, you haven't got your ears on!
[4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
These brethren are "watchers".
[5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
There are no surprises to God's elect. He will do nothing lest He first reveal to His servants through the prophets. It is all written in the set of plans.
[6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

[7] For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

[8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

[9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

We completely and totally escape the wrath of God, completely and totally. He's not angry at His children who love and obey Him. Do you get angry with your children when they love and obey you?

Now there's a "dumb" question!

Let's return to Revelation chapter 3.

Rev. 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.
There are a few folks in each of the churches that have stuck to His Word. Do you suppose our Father places them there for the benefit of others, to stir the pot so to speak?

White, of course, is symbolic of purity.

[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.
White raiment is symbolic of righteous acts. When we come into this world we have nothing (and I still have most of that), but when we leave we take our works with us. Those works will be our "clothing", raiment, in the kingdom. That could be a pretty scary thought for some!

Oh yes, God keeps books. He is well organized and maintains a complete database file on everyone of His children. It's much more extensive than Big Brother, it's Big Father. Of course His technology and software far exceeds that of the PC and Windows 98, which still has bugs in it. His Spirit is linked directly to your brain and the thoughts of your heart and He downloads everything, I mean everything.

So just make sure that your Father is pleased with you so He doesn't "blot out", i.e. hit the Delete Button, on your file in the Book of Life. Why? Because if you check out the word "blot out" in Greek, it means "gone", "erased", i.e. there is no recovery program available, no recycle bin. And so you will not even be history, there will be no record, no archive. It will be as if you never existed. And once again, no matter what the traditions of five out of the seven churches teach, that is Biblical! Test it yourself.

Finally, you should know what is written in the books concerning you. After all, you are writing the story of your own life even now. The question is, have you read His Book to see if maybe yours needs some serious editing?

Rev. 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And now for the fifth time Jesus says:
Rev. 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 I will write upon him my new name!

Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study, we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body, was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches), with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand, and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them, noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions. He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was taken to the day of the Lord, i.e. the first day of the Millennium, to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.

And so we have come to the Church in Philadelphia, to test its character and that which is taught there, and to see what Jesus Christ has to say. We are once again reminded that there are only two churches, this church in Philadekphia, along with Smyrna, that Christ finds no fault with.

However, before we begin, here is a quote with an interesting historical note regarding the two cities of Smyrna and Philadelphia, that ought to tell us something. It is from the Smith's Bible Dictionary under the title "The Seven Churches":

"Philadelphia was included in the message with Smyrna as deserving approbation and encouragement; and these two only out of the seven cities have continued to our day, and now possess a material prosperity somewhat equal to their importance." "Smith's Bible Dictionary", A. J. Holman Company, Philadelphia, pg. 277.
And now the words of Jesus Christ to the church in Philadelphia:
Rev. 3:7
And to the angel 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;
Have you been noticing carefully the opening statements Jesus makes to each of the churches. We've been pointing them out as we come to each one, because they have a "purpose" and a "message" relative to each particular church. For instance, when Christ addressed the church in Pergamos, He reminded them of His sharp sword, "He which has the sharp sword with two edges." That was it, that was all He said, because they had major problems and He was about to do some pruning.

Now notice the remarkable characteristics He presents before the church of Philadelphia; holiness, truth, and the key of David.

What is the key of David? Well first, what is a key? It is that which allows one to open up and gain entrance, in this case to the Word of God. It is also that which allows one to shut out an intruder. It is He, who came of David, out of the root of Jesse, that possesses the key and has allowed the church of Philadelphia to have it. Friends, it is the most valuable key in the universe!

But first, allow me to digress. Even though this original church of Philadelphia was in Asia Minor and was but a type, as an American I can't read "Philadelphia" without thinking about the "City of Brotherly Love", our own beloved city in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia means "brotherly love"). For it is there that Independence Hall resides and the Liberty Bell rests, the symbols of Freedom and Liberty and Justice for All. And when you are given the "key to the city", you have free, unhindered access to the entire town.

Much the same, as an analogy, applies to the Key of David. With it you have free, unhindered (by the traditions of men) access to the entire Word of God. It will unlock each and every book while at the same time locking out false doctrines.

Those who have been "Bound" by the traditions of men, lied to by the sweet talking Jezebels, can be "Set Free" with the Key of David, and can never be bound again. Why? Because it unlocks truth and the truth leads to freedom from bondage. Did not Christ tell us?

John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Jesus continues with the church of Philadelphia:
Rev. 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.
Who needs to be a big, strong, powerful person to confront Satan, when you have the key that can lock the sucker out? Unfortunately, not everyone has that key now. But Did you know that Christ is going to take the key and lock Satan in the "pit" for a thousand years when He returns? You don't want to wait until then, do you?

Verse 8 says that the church of Philadelphia has a "little strength". Yes, and even a "little strength" from our Father far exceeds everyone else's strength combined.

We see that the folks in the "church of brotherly love" have also kept His Word. Of course that doesn't mean they have kept it on the coffee table. It means they know it, and understand it, and do it. You must first have studied His word in order to keep it, else you never had it to keep! It's the contents - not the book. In the very same chapter of John where Christ addresses the bad figs, He also says:

John 8:31
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Want to be a disciple of Christ? Get the key and start unlocking His Word and abide in it! (The Greek word for "continue" in verse 8 is meno and means to "abide" or "dwell".)

Moving right along now, let's stick the key of David into the next verse and open it up. Click...

Rev. 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.
Wow! This is the same thing that the church of Smyrna taught. (Pausing and Pondering, you say to yourself. "Let's see here.There are only two churches that Jesus Christ finds no fault with and they both teach this same doctrine about those who claim to be of Judah and are not, but are a bunch of crooked, deceitful liars. Hmmm, Momma didn't raise no fool, you know."

Note: Rather than take the space here to re-document who these imposters of Judah are, go back and read again the commentary on the church of Smyrna. Not much has changed in the last few days. The creeps are still around.

Christ also says that he will make the kenites to come and worship before our feet. Of course this doesn't mean they are going to worship us, but when Christ returns EVERY KNEE will bow to Him. God's elect will be with Him, at His feet, before whom they will either worship or eventually perish in the lake of fire.

Finally in verse 9 our Lord and Savior lets His servants in the church of Philadelphia know that He loves them for what they do. If you are part of that church that will make your heart melt and bring tears to your eyes for the warmth that it brings forth.

[10] Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth
Uh, oh! I thought maybe I was doing OK until He said they have patience. Let me re-read that verse. Beca...tho...hast...wor...my..p.  Oh, it says they have kept the word of MY, i.e. His, patience. Whew! (You see, I read the verse impatiently the first time.)

What is the hour of temptation that the church of Philadelphia escapes?  The hour of temptation is that "hour" (we'll learn exactly how long that is when we get to chapter 5) when the "Tempter" is here as Antichrist, claiming to be the Messiah.

Does that mean then that the church is going to "fly up in the sky" in the Rapturemobile? No, silly listener of silly preachers, it means that those with the seal of God in their foreheads, who have abided in His Word, having unlocked all the verses with the key of David, not only won't find Satan tempting, but Christ instructs Satan that he is not allowed to touch even a single hair on their heads. It is written in this Book of Revelation. We'll get to it.

These Christian "bruisers" will be right here, with their feet firmly planted on the ground, walking around with a full suit of gospel armor on and in place, giving Sword Lessons. Care to challenge one of them?

[11] Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Hey, they also have a crown (that's royalty you know) waiting for them and just let someone try to take it. Swoooosh! (That's the sound a twoedged sword makes.) This verse just let's us know how really good a tempter the Tempter is and to stay suited up.
[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.
Pillars are those overcoming, steadfast Christians that uphold and support the work and the Word of God. Imagine being one of them in the temple of God!

Now listen real carefully to what is said next and try to grasp the almost unimaginable magnitude of it. If you don't have ears to hear yet, then dig the wax out of the ones you've got and use them for a change.

Those overcomers of the church of Philadelphia will get a new name, because there is a marriage about to take place and the bride always gets a new name (the name of her husband, read verse 12 carefully), and their new address will be #1 Philadelphia Street, The Eternal City New Jerusalem, Planet Earth, Headquarters of the Universe.

[13] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Do you still want to listen to Jezebels? If so, we'll send you some postcards after the wedding.

As a Christian, how important do you believe it is to study the Bible?

Just as a reminder, and for those who have recently joined our study, we saw a Picture in chapter 1 of Revelation, where Jesus Christ, in His glorified body, was standing in the midst of seven candlesticks (churches), with seven stars (representing angels) in His right hand, and a sharp twoedged sword (the Word of God) proceeded out of His mouth.

Christ then turned to each church and began addressing them, noting their doctrines and giving to them His instructions. He uses His servant John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was taken to the day of the Lord, i.e. the first day of the Millennium, to record His words to the churches which are present THEN, even now, not in 96 A.D.

Before we begin examining the seventh and final church, the church of Laodicea, and in as much as historically it was a type, there are some very interesting points about this church that pretty much tell the story for those with eyes to see.

The following is a direct quote from Smith's Bible Dictionary (the parenthesis are his), those were mine.

Laodice'a, an ancient city on the Lycus, in the valley of the Meander, forty miles east of Ephesus.  Its site was on seven hills, which were drained by two brooks, the Asopus and Caprus. The ruins are of a stadium, in very complete preservation, three theatres (one of which was 450 feet in diameter), bridges, aqueducts, and a gymnasium, which testify to its ancient wealth and importance.  Its original name was Diospolis (the city of Jupiter) which was changed to Rhoas, under which title it became the largest city in Phrygia (Pliny). Antiochus II gave it the name of his wife Laodice.

It became the seat of an archbishop, and in its cathedral church were gathered several councils; in one of which, a system of supplying the villages or small societies in the interior with church services by itinerating presbyters, was adopted (somewhat similar to the Methodist plan now in use), under the direction of the bishop of Laodicea.

The city was utterly destroyed A. D. 1230, since when it has lain in shapeless ruins, only visited for its marble and other materials.    Smith's Bible Dictionary, A. J. Holman Company, "The Seven Churches", pg. 277.

I thought it would be fascinating to those who are familiar with the great Book of Zechariah, especially the 4th chapter where the two olive trees, standing on either side of the candlestick, empty themselves of oil, i.e. empty into the candlestick, as in filling it up.

Whereas here, Laodicea, along with its candlestick, is being DRAINED by two brooks.

And while they are being drained, beautiful, magnificent stadiums and theatres are being built (no doubt funded by the tax payers).

Then we see a church hierarchy developed and the supplying of "church services" (ceremony and song in substitute for teaching line by line, no doubt). And so another "church system" is born. I would suppose that the birth of the Church Quarterly was instituted here also.

Then notice that Laodicea was destroyed in 1230 A.D. Shall we give each day for a year? Then that's just little short of the 1260 days in Daniel chapter 12. Looks like they didn't make it unto the end. Perhaps they had been drained too much and were a little short on oil.

We also have a quote form Davis' Bible Dictionary on the subject of Laodicea:

It manufactured cloth and garments from the black wool produced by a breed of sheep in its vicinity; and it was the seat of a medical school, whose physicians prepared the Phrygian powder for the cure of opthalmia. It numbered many Jews among its inhabitants (Antiq. xiv. 10,20). Davis Dictionary of the Bible, Baker Book House, pg. 441.
Well, it looks like there were a bunch of Black Sheep running around the area of Laodicea (black no doubt because they were kept in the dark, if you know what I mean). But no matter, those presbyters sheared those suckers anyway and made merchandise of their hides! Boy, there's nothing new under the sun, is there?

In any event, verse 18 of this chapter will have more meaning by understanding the wealth and products of Laodicea. Enjoy.

Rev. 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;
The word "Amen" is of Hebrew origin and is a transliteration (a letter for letter conversion from one language to another, in contrast to a translation of the word) from the word "Amen" (Strong's #543). It's the same in English as in Hebrew and it means "truth", "sure", and when we say "amen" we are saying "so be it, truth".

And obviously, the last phrase of this verse, "the beginning of the creation of God", doesn't mean God created Himself. If you want to unlock scriptures you can't just stick the key in and open up the door and stand there and peek in. You have to go in and look around. If you are not familiar with the original languages then at least check out other translations from credible scholars. Here's how Dr. Moffat translate this verse:

Rev. 3:14
Then to the angel of the church at Laodicea write thus: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God's creation. (Moffat Bible)
Now back to the KJV and verse 15:
Rev. 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Maybe we should take a poll. Would you believe that's how some churches go about selecting their ministers? Here's an actual question from one prominent local church that did just that:

As a Christian, how important do you believe it is to study the Bible?

Extremely         Very            Somewhat         Not too          Not Important
Important      Important        Important         Important            At All

They asked the same type questions about the qualifications of the minister and after spending thousands of dollars in surveys and consulting fees (because they are rich and increased with goods) they concluded that it was more important that the minister be able to comfort and minister unto the sick and elderly, than to know and teach the Word of God. And they got what they wanted. He's a great guy. Everybody likes him.

[16] So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
The Greek word for "spue" is emeo (Strong's #1692), and it means to "VOMIT". Does that tell you what our Father thinks about lukewarm?  Either "do it" or get off the pot!
[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 is totally self explanatory. It should be read from your window as you look out upon this nation which is in the midst of unparalleled economic prosperity, which has produced an unparalleled false sense of security.
[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.
It's your choice Laodicea! The Lord says "I counsel you to seek "spiritual gold", that has been purified in the fiery furnace whereby the slag of sin has been removed by your seeking His sacrifice... and the pure white raiment of righteous acts, instead of those black wool suits you so covet, so that when the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns, you aren't standing there stark naked before Him and the host of heaven He brings with Him, and you're scrambling to find some rocks to hide behind, wishing they'd fall upon you and end the awful shame."

And these "spiritual items" cannot be purchased by cashing in your IRA's & 401 K's, and your inflated Bonds & Mutual Funds, for all the riches of man combined cannot purchase even one soul.

It's your choice Laodicea! Anoint your eyes with a poultice (a soft, usually heated and sometimes medicated mass spread on a cloth and applied to sores or other lesions), that they might open up and now you have "eyes to see".

It's your choice Laodicea!

[19] As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
One thing is for certain. Our Father loves His children very, very much. And if they've got it coming, they're going to get it! It is for their good because He loves them. It's Corporal Punishment and repentance now, or it's Capital Punish at the judgment.

It's your choice Laodicea!

[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.
Jesus Christ is right there, at the door, right now! Knock, knock! He wishes to invite you to the wedding feast about to take place (Rev. 19). Do you have "ears to hear" Him? If you do then YOU must open the door to your heart and let Him in. YOU must open the door for the LIVING WORD to come in. And YOU must open the Book for the WRITTEN WORD to come in. They are one and the same. It won't open itself.

If you do, He promises to dine with you, and so another thing is for certain. You have "not eaten" until you have tasted the hidden manna that He has prepared for those who love Him AND answer His call, for He is the Master Chef and the meals He prepares are Exquisite!

[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.
Want some incentive? What to know "What's in it for me"? Eternal life isn't just a "religious term". The rewards and honor and glory that He will grant, and has already promised in His Testaments, is for real! And guess what? They can all be yours!

It's your choice Laodicea!

And now, for the Seventh and final time to the churches of today and tomorrow, He who is Spiritually Perfect says:

[22] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Seven times Jesus Christ has made this call and soon the Seventh Trump will sound. Are you buying fine white linen and getting dressed for the banquet, or will you be caught stark naked in front of everyone?

It's your choice Laodicea!

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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