Letter to Laodicea

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (NIV1984)

4 thoughts on “Letter to Laodicea”

  1. Again we must contrast the doctrines laid out in this Book, from what we find in St Paul lest we wallow in contradiction and confusion. This scripture clearly teaches… ‘Overcoming’, and ‘Zeal’ …*In Deeds*… That’s works… to prevent yourself being ‘Spewed out’, and this is in conflict with what St Paul preaches.
    Thus Either the scriptures are full of inconsistencies and confusion, or we are to ignore St Paul’s doctrine and Add works as necessary for Salvation… Or we are to do exactly what Paul’s preaches… *Rightly Divide the word of truth*… (2Tim2vs15 KJV)… and by so doing apprehend that Different doctrines apply to different dispensations… and by this method all contradictions are removed. Thus in the current Age/ dispensation of grace we are to heed St Paul and trust in his Gospel and teaching, knowing that The Book of Revelation is talking about Future dispensations esp The Great Tribulation Period with the rise of the Antichrist, and The Revelation of Jesus Christ as King of Kings at his second coming, and his Future Millennial Kingdom on Earth. It also steps right over to the end of the world after the 1000 year Kingdom, The Judgment of the Damned, and the Creation of a New Heaven and Earth… All these Events and dispensations having their own purposes in the out folding plan of God, which are completely different to what God is doing today in our dispensation of Grace.
    All Christians whom don’t understand the dispensational nature of the scriptures wallow in confusion and end up corrupting our Gospel of grace by preaching works/ deeds/ overcoming/ endurance/ as necessary for Salvation.
    They pervert the Gospel! This is a very real problem that Paul warns against.
    The Galatians in Pauls day were perverting the gospel by confusing obligation to the works of the Law with Grace. That is the very subject of the Book of Galatians.
    Paul says in Galatians “ I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Though we, or an Angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached… let them be accursed” (Gal 1vs6-8)
    Thus Paul specifically deals with this Error of corrupting Grace with obedience to the Law, and better still if we Go to the book of Revelation Chapter 14 we actually find an Angel preaching ‘another Gospel!’ In (Rev14vs6-7KJV) we find an Angel preaching ‘The everlasting Gospel’ Saying…
    “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of the waters…”

    Notice the Cross of Christ has no place in this ‘Everlasting gospel’. It is completely different from Paul’s Gospel.

    Thus here we have an Angel of heaven doing exactly what St Paul warns us beware… and if it happens…we must not to pay any heed to such an angel… but to remain faithful to the Gospel he preached.

    It is important to realize that this Angel in (Rev14) is not an accursed Angel, but that he is delivering his different Gospel in a time … After the dispensation of Grace has finished and St Paul’s Gospel and injunction against angels preaching ‘another gospel’ no longer applies… Ie during the tribulation God no longer saves people by Grace through faith alone, but also requires works, and endurance…’unto the end’.

    From this and many other factors it is easy to see that The Book of Revelation contains teachings which are not doctrines for us, and that we must remain faithful to St Pauls message and teaching which is specifically given to us by him.
    St Paul is ‘our Apostle’.
    “Study to shew thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Tim2vs15)
    In our Dispensation we are to do good works, not to keep/earn our salvation, but as a testimony to the world of our faith in Christ… for the sake of saving others… not ourselves.
    We are Guaranteed our Salvation via grace. God will never spew us out of his mouth.

  2. Our dispensation of Grace is an intermediary age that squeezes in between the Rejection of Peters Kingdom gospel and the Great tribulation period, which then picks up from where Peter left off… and Gods Kingdom is again ‘at hand’, and the Jews are again the focus of his attention.

    Yet this time their messiah will not appear meekly riding an ass into Jerusalem, but will appear in Power and Glory and will smite the Antichrist and set up his Kingdom upon the Earth in Israel. This is actually how the Jews expected their messiah to turn up the first time and to overthrow Rome… which is the main reason the did not believe Christ was the real Messiah. He was too meek and too submissive to Roman rule. When the Priestly Guards turned up to arrest Christ, Peter slashed off the ear of one of them… with the sword that Christ had told him to buy… because he thought it was ‘Revolution Time!’ He did not understand that Christ was to go to the cross, but was supposed to lead a Great Jewish revolt… overthrow Rome, and establish his own Kingdom.

    This is what they expected the messiah to do. And Peter was in utter confusion when Christ submitted to being arrested, to the extent that he questioned whether Christ really was the messiah and even thrice denied knowing him at all.
    The cross was not what they thought was supposed to happen. They did not know about Christ’s work of atonement as we do today though they had spent years with Christ as their teacher. He did not teach them about it because that was a secret that was not for them to know. They were taught about his Kingdom, not the cross, and not about our current dispensation of grace.
    When the Rapture occurs… then the Kingdom again becomes the focus and our dispensation of Grace is finished. This is the systematic unfolding of God’s plan.

  3. Great dispensationalist exegesis, Tim!

    … lest we wallow in contradiction and confusion.

    I’m glad that you do not shy away from acknowledging that the Bible is full of apparent contradictions. We must resolve, accept, quarantine, ring fence or otherwise accommodate them … somehow. Dispensationalism is one way to skin this particular cat.

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