The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet 1841 Rev. kc 9

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, in the 2000's, 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:
[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.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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