The fifth letter. The epistle to Sardis, Revelation 3,1-6:
This is the 5th period and represents the period 1517-1798 AD. Jesus says to the church in Sardis, thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead, which implies that the Reformation died out before it was completely finished, and the Reformed Church began to adopt more and more Roman Catholic doctrines. Luther’s Reformation in 1517 marks the beginning of this period.
The importance of the city was due primarily to its military strength, then to its location on the important trade route that led from the interior of Asia Minor and out to the coast of the Aegean Sea, and not least that it lay on the wide and fertile plain along the river Gediz, Hermos in ancient time. Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the most important cities in the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul during the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province of Lydia in later Roman time.
Verse 1 Sardis describes the Reformation with impressive accuracy. As long as Luther was alive, the Reformation was alive and well, but after his death the Reformation died out, slowly but surely. It is on this basis that Jesus says: thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. This is the most turbulent period in the church’s history and begins with Luther’s 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg and ends with Napoleon’s soldiers deposing the pope and throwing him in prison.
Verse 2 Again, people are urged to wake up. A few woke up, and it was such as John Wesley, George Witherfield, Baxter, and in Norway Hans Nilsen Hauge (1771 – 1824) who on April 5, 1796, 25 years old, received his religious awakening. But mostly the people were indifferent.
Verse 3 The phrase used here I will come on thee as a thief is used to describe what Jesus’ second coming will be like. And here it is used to awaken a sleeping church. Although the Reformation more or less stopped with Luther’s death, there were Protestants who advocated the renewal of the faith. The founders of Pietism, Phillip Jacob Spener (1635 – 1705), August Hermann France (1663 – 1727) and Johan Albrecht Bengel (1687 – 1752) all wanted to renew the rigid life of faith. They were scolded by their opponents and were thus called pietists which means hypocrites. But the insult became an honorary designation. Among the others who emerged during this period I will mention John Wesley (1703 – 1791), who founded Methodism.
Verse 4 Along with verse three, verse four tells us about the importance of watching and preparing for the coming day of the Lord, because the day of the Lord will come, and it will come when we least expect it. That is why we must not defile our garments, for as it says in verse 5: He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.
Verse 5 It is only by clinging to Christ and doing His will and putting our lives in His hands we will be able to stand when temptations and trials come upon us. Then, and only then, will we have the strength to resist temptation and endure trials. This is not a battle we can win on our own. This battle is won only in the name of Jesus.
Verse 6 The Spirit says: Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all [ye of] Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD! Jeremiah 7,2 (See also the whole chapter 7 in Isaiah.)
Sardis means the joyful prince and is called The Nominal Church.
The indifference of many Christians to the word shows a dead church.
The seven Spirits of God: Revelation 4,5 states that seven lamps burn before the throne of God, and that these lamps are the seven spirits of God. In Revelation 5,6 we see a Lamb that looked like it had been slain, and this Lamb has seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God. The seven spirits of God describe the Holy Spirit.
The seven stars: This refers back to Revelation 1,16.20 where the seven stars are explained as the angels of the churches, or the church leaders.
Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead: Even though the Reformation started really well, things got worse over time, and the Reformation almost died out. The Reformation was revived in the 19th century, but when we came to 1999, the document The Joint Declaration which full name is Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was signed by almost all denominations. And on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, on October 31, 2017, nearly the entire Protestant churches apologized to the Catholic Church for what the Reformation had done to the catholic church!
I have not found your works perfect before God: Despite Luther changing many things that were wrong, the Reformation was not so successful over time.
Criticism, praise, command and promise to the congregation.
Criticism: a dead church.
Praise: some have preserved the faith.
Command: repent and strengthen the things that remains.
Promise: 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..
The fifth letter says: … I will come on thee as a thief … now Jesus warns that his return is soon, but we cannot know when it will happen.
The sixth letter. The epistle to Philadelphia, Revelation 3,7-13:
This is the 6th period that began with the pope’s imprisonment on February 10, 1798 and ended in 1844 and is thus the shortest period of time. 1790 was the year when missionary work began, and missionaries were sent to Africa and India. Philadelphia is an appropriate word for the city and the church. The word Philadelphia comes from the Greek word Filadelfos which means brotherly love. It is in this letter that Jesus repeats: Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown, something we can understand as we are approaching the last time.
Philadelphia, ancient city of Lydia, Asia Minor, founded by Attalos II Philadelphia (159–138 BC), now Alaşehir. The city is often haunted by earthquakes, and it was a prosperous city until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1391.
Philadelphia means brotherly love or charity.
Verse 7 During this period, faith reawakens, and events such as the earthquake in Lisbon on November 1, 1755, the dark day with the subsequent red moon on May 19, 1780, and the stellar rain on November 13, 1833, are linked to Jesus’ return, which was thought to be imminent. Now the missionary work began, and William Carey went to India, and David Livingstone to Africa to name two of the most famous missionaries.
Verse 8 Now the church became seriously interested in humanitarian work, both at home and abroad, and missionary societies were established. Furthermore, Bible societies were established and they translated the Bible into more and more languages and eventually made the Bible available to all.
That God is trustworthy is evident in the fact that when the Swedish state church forbade laymen and preaching, and especially the theme of Jesus’ return, the Lord in 1843 raised children to preach that the hour of his judgment is come (Revelation 14,6-7).
Verse 9 Although we will face adversity in our work to spread the gospel, we will, with the help of Jesus, triumph, and the rude, those who call themselves Jews (Christians) but who are not, will be put to shame.
Verse 10 Once again we receive an assurance from the Lord that we He will preserve us through the worst trials. We just have to stand firm.
Verse 11 Be prepared, saith the Lord, for he now standeth at the door: but no man knoweth the day, nor the hour, that he will come: therefore watch, pray, and be ready.
Verse 12 If we stand firm, we will one day conquer the new Jerusalem, and dwell in it forever with God, our Creator, the Lamb, our Saviour and Redeemer.
Verse 13 The Spirit saith, This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word.
I have set before you an open door, and no one can close it again: This period ends at the same time as prophetic time, when Jesus goes from the holy to the most holy in the heavenly sanctuary. However, we must read this in the light of what happened in the type, in the earthly temple, where the temple service took place daily in the sanctuary, and once a year, on the day of Yom Kippur, in the most holy place. In Old Testament times, the veil was still in place in the temple and served as a closed door for the people. There was no one who had access to the Most Holy, except the High Priest.
Now in New Testament times, Jesus has entered the Most Holy as our High Priest, and he opened the way there by his death on the cross, and no power in the whole universe can close that door for us. In other words, we have free access to Christ who is in the most holy place in the heavenly temple. Although there are forces that want to close this door for God’s people, it will remain open until Jesus finishes his service in the Most Holy.
Criticism, praise, command and promise to the congregation.
Criticism: No criticism.
Praise: However, they persevere in the faith, keeping the word of Christ and honoring his name.
Commandment: Preserve the faith.
Promise: he that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, and I will also write on him my new name.
The sixth letter says: … I am coming soon … and we now see that Jesus is approaching
The seventh letter. The Epistle to Laodicea, Revelation 3: 14-22
This is the 7th and final period, and this began on October 22, 1844, and will last until Jesus’ return. Of the church in Laodicea it was said: verse 17: 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. Laodicea was the richest city in Asia Minor and the Christians had taken a passive stance towards moral decay, were full of compromises and indulgence. The fact that Jesus entered the most holy place in the heavenly temple is the beginning of the last period.
The full name of the city was Laodicea ad Lyceum (Laodicea by Lycus). The city was originally known as Diospolis (City of Zeus). The city was founded between the years 261 and 253 BC. of Antiochus II Theos, king of Syria, and was named after his wife, Laodicea (Laodice).
In the book Early Writings, E. G. White says under the heading The Shaking as follows: As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud …//… I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people … // … I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified. (My emfases.)
Verse 14 The Laodicean church had a high confession but lacked Christian charity and warmth. It said of itself that it was rich and lacked nothing, but was instead wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Laodicea is the church that receives the harshest criticism because it is passive over the decay. Represents the church in the period from 1844 and until the return of Jesus, in other words, the church in the end times.
Verse 15 This is an apt description of the general attitude the church takes even today. With the exception of a few, both laymen and scholars have a distinctly lukewarm and indifferent and a particularly laid-back attitude to both the Bible and the question of faith.
Verse 16 If we are lukewarm, the Lord will have nothing to do with us. We must seek Him with all our heart and be zealous and eager in the Spirit. Therefore, serve the Lord.
Verse 17 An apt description of our financial situation. Never before have we had such an abundance in parts of the world as the one we are experiencing now, and never before have we been as selfish as we are. Yes, we share, but it is only crumbs from the tables of the rich that we reluctantly give to those who have nothing. Hence this apt characteristic: and thou knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
Verse 18 This has become one of the most important verses in the whole Bible for me. Gold tried in the fire, white raiment and eyesalve must of course be understood in a figurative sense, and that we are to buy this from Christ means that we are not able to achieve this by our own power.
– Gold symbolizes spiritual richness – a firm belief, something Laodicea laced.
– Tried in the fire means that faith is tried and purified in the fire of tribulations.
– White raiment’s are Jesus’ righteousness that he offers us. This must be seen in contrast to the shame of nakedness of the Laodicean Church.
– The eyesalve here represents spiritual grace that enables us to distinguish between truth and falsehood. The salve can also be a pictorial expression of what God offers the church for their spiritual blindness.
To accomplish all that is said in verse 18, we must turn to the Saviour, Jesus Christ. With Him we can buy what it takes to become rich in the eyes of God, so we can hide our shame of nakedness, and distinguish between right and wrong. Now surely many will say that we cannot buy salvation. That is absolutely right, so why does Jesus say we should buy this from him? And, if so, what is the price? We find the prize both in Isaiah 55,1 Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price … // … and in Revelation 21,6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Verse 19 Because God loves every human being, he wants everyone to repent and accept the salvation offered to us all through the Lamb’s atoning sacrifice. It is not my will that anyone should die, says the Lord God. Repent, and you will live.
In the book Early Writings E. G. White says under the heading The Trial of our Faith the following:
God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them … // … I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it, and God will be honoured and glorified … // … The Lord has shown me some who profess the present truth, whose lives do not correspond with their profession. They have the standard of piety altogether too low, and they come far short of Bible holiness. Some engage in vain and unbecoming conversation, and others give way to the risings of self. We must not expect to please ourselves, live and act like the world, have its pleasures, and enjoy the company of those who are of the world, and reign with Christ in glory.
Verse 20 Jesus is constantly knocking on the door of our hearts. Do not let the chance pass you by but open up and let Jesus into your life. One day God will withdraw the Holy Spirit from those who do not respond positively to the Lord’s call, and then all hope is gone. We do not know when this day will come, but it will come, and it will come soon. Very soon.
Verse 21 Once again a call to endure to the end, then we will have the crown of victory and we will be heirs to eternal life.
Verse 22 The Spirit says: Endure, and be uplifted, for God takes care of you as sons. Yes, show me the son that the father does not rebuke!
Laodicea means the judged people and is called the Indifferent Church.
The moral dissolution we see in the world is also found within the four walls of the church. In rich nations such as Norway even several of the national church’s top leaders stands up and fights almost for life and death to secularize the church and liberalize the word of God at all costs, while the ordinary churchgoer is largely indifferent to this.
Buy of Me gold tried in fire: This implies that faith must be put to the test so that we can be cleansed and thus be ready for heaven.
Buy white raiment from Me: White clothes are a picture of Jesus’ righteousness. Without Jesus’ righteousness, we will not enter the marriage. See the parable of the marriage dinner in Matthew 22,1-14.
Buy eyesalve from Me: Eyesalve is a picture of the Holy Spirit, and we must have the help of the Holy Spirit to be able to tell the difference between true and false doctrine.
Criticism, praise, command and promise to the congregation.
Praise: This is the only church that does not receive praise, it is simply indifferent.
Command: Be fervent and repent.
Promise: He who 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.
The seventh letter says: … I stand at the door and knock … and we can conclude that Jesus is standing right outside the door in a double sense. He wants to enter our hearts while His return is near, very near.
The Message to the Laodicean Church, Revelation 3,14-22.
What does this message mean to us as individuals and as a church, and how does it affect our lives? It is not exactly a flattering description of God’s church in the end times we read here, because Jesus is talking here about a church that is complacent and has high thoughts about itself. Laodicea, however, is a deceived church … … … it has deceived itself. No other church in church history has received such harsh criticism as the Laodicean church. But the message to the Laodicean congregation is also a message of hope and victory.
Ellen G. White says that the message to Laodicea applies to the whole of Christianity in general, but that it is a special warning to us who are Seventh-day Adventists – because we as a church have been given a much greater light on the truth than the other churches. She also links the shaking to the Laodicean church.
It is probably no coincidence that Jesus uses the city of Laodicea to describe the situation of the church in the end times. There are certainly many plausible explanations why Jesus chose Laodicea to describe the end-time church. But we know that God never does anything for no reason, and he probably does not choose Laodicea without having at least one good reason why this particular city represents the end-time church.
Here are two good explanations that alludes on the name Laodicea, and it is perhaps these two explanations that may be the reason why Jesus chose this particular city to describe the end times.
1) Laodicea is a compound word and comes from the words laos and dikaios which respectively mean people and judgment. Since we are in the last days of the church, it is also about an imminent judgment. Laodicea means the people that judges, or the judged people.
2) In Laodicea at that time there was an aqueduct that brought water into the city, and due to the climatic conditions the water was neither cold nor hot when it reached the city, but the cold and fresh water that came from the mountains was slowly warmed up until it reached the city, and when it arrived it was lukewarm.
Each part of the Laodicean message can be given a headline that is specific to this verse or the verses that describe the Laodicean church’s problems and opportunities:
In the verses 14; 15 + 16; 17 strong contrasts have been set up, which show us antagonisms. I verse 18; the focus is on the coming judgment. In verses 19 + 20; 21; 22 we are told what the church must do to win.
The faithful versus the unfaithful.
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;;
In contrast to the decay and spiritual dullness of the Laodiceans, Jesus is the truth itself. He knows all the facts about the church’s life situation. Jesus is Amen because he stands as a guarantor of the truthfulness of his statements and of the fulfilment of the promises that have been given. He is faithful and omnipotent. The use of Amen as the title dates back to Isaiah 65,16 where ´ā-mên is put together with bê-lō-hé to the expression God of truth. The text is as follows:
|’ă-šer||Så skal den||That he who||daß, welcher||El que|
|ham-miṯ-bā-rêḵ||som velsigner seg||blesses himself||sie segnen wird||se bendijere|
|bā-’ā-reṣ,||på jorden||in the earth||auf Erden||en la tierra|
|yiṯ-bā-rêḵ||velsigne seg||shall bless himself||der wird sich in dem wahrhaftigen Gott segnen||en el Dios de verdad se bendecirá|
|bê-lō-hê ’ā-mên,||i sannhetens Gud||by the God of truth|
The word author is derived from the Greek arkjê (ar-khay’) which can be used in both a passive and an active form. The passive form expresses who was created in the beginning, while the active form expresses who was the Creator. These two forms use two different words, respectively beginning, which is the passive form and author, which is the active form. It seems that most English translations uses words as beginning (KJV; ASV 1901; Darby Bible 1884/1890), head (Basic English 1964), chief (Young´s Litteral Translation 1862/1898), ruler (NIV 1984), which is not coherent with what the Bible teaches about Jesus, that He is the Creator, (see John 1,3). However, all this translations lay down guidelines that Jesus is the first that God created.
Laodicea’s high protector was Zeus – king of gods and ruler of all the gods, but it was also temples to Apollo – who was the Greek god of light and sun, Asclepios – who was the Greek god of medicine and healing, Hades – who was the Greek god of the underworld, Hera – who was the queen of heaven in Greek mythology and Zeus’ wife, Athena – who was the Greek goddess of strategy, war and wisdom, Dionysus – who was originally a Thracian god (from the Balkans) for wine and crops. In addition to those mentioned, there were also many other gods.
Neither the one nor the other.
Verse 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth..
It was Paul, or one of his associates, who brought the gospel to Laodicea. What characterizes the Laodicean church is that it is in a kind of intermediate state. The church had high confession, but lacked Christian warmth and devotion, and are unable to see their own condition. The neither – nor church Laodicea is in danger of being rejected by Jesus.
But what is it really behind this that the church is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm? And what does it mean that Jesus will spit the church out of his mouth?
Per Lønning, a Norwegian theologian, says in his book A year with the New Testament that these statements from the Master refer to the fact that the church believes in itself that it is correct, well-adapted and spotless, and that this correct, well-adjusted and spotless Christianity has its shortcomings when it is measured by Jesus’ standard. I think we also need to look at what Jesus says to Ephesus in Revelation 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.
I am sure there is a warning to us in the message. If we as a church do not follow the instructions God gives us through the Bible and his prophets, Jesus will take from us the great light we have received, and we will be left in the dark. That we as a church should not be spit out of the mouth of the Lord, it is absolutely necessary that we
• do the deeds Ephesus did first
• are faithful until death as Smyrna
• repents as Pergamos is told
• keep the faith because the judgment will also come upon us as Tyatira has been told
• repent and strengthen what is left that Sardis is told
• that we keep the faith as Philadelphia must do…
… so that we can be burning and alive and not cold or lukewarm.
As a church, we have a high confession, but are our deeds consistent with our confession?
There was also a health spa just outside Laodicea and not far from Hierapolis. The town that is located there today is called Pamukkale, or the cotton castle because of the whitewashed cliffs. Here, too, the water was lukewarm. The people of Laodicea often took advantage of these conveniences, and it may also be the relaxed and comfortable way of life of the Laodiceans that is behind the allusion neither cold nor hot used on the church.
The poverty of wealth.
Verse 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:
Here Christ points to the problem which the church has, and this is the general confession of the church, and the special confession of Adventists today. She calls herself rich, has abundance and says she lacks nothing. As a city this is true, because the city of Laodicea was very rich, indeed one of the richest in Asia Minor. When the city was destroyed by earthquakes in the year 60 AD. the city was rebuilt without outside help and support. After the original church was destroyed by paganism and human traditions, the church, like the city of Laodicea, has been rebuilt, and through the Advent movement, the world was given a greater light than ever before. But we too are inclined to say that we are rich through the fact that we have been given a greater light than all other churches, and then we claim that we are rich. Are we?
Spiritually, the church in Laodicea was in a miserable condition, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked. In our time, the church is faced with a difficult dilemma. The Western world is generally very rich in material values but lacks the heavenly values - despite the great light given to us. Immorality is rising, and most Christians have adopted a passive attitude toward moral decay, and in addition to this, they lack the courage and will to change the situation. We live in a time full of compromises and compliance over decay, which makes Christianity empty and without life. The greatest need of the church is a spiritual renewal. A new reformation.
A church under God’s judgment.
Verse 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.
In this verse Jesus shows us what we can do to correct the mistakes we have. We can buy gold, white raiment and eyesalve of Jesus. This means:
Gold symbolizes (a greater) faith, active by love, tried in fire means that faith is going through trials and temptations, white raiment symbolize the mantle of Christ’s righteousness, while eyesalve symbolizes the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
These are qualities we need, not because we are living in the last days, but because without them we are helplessly lost. This is the time when the final preparations for the end of history, and the final judgment take place in heaven, “see Daniel 7,9-10; Revelation 14,8).
There were three things that the people of Laodicea were particularly proud of, and they were:
1) their economic situation – the city was very rich due to
2) their textile industry (wool) which was widely known and sought, and
3) Their eyesalve which was at least as famous, known and sought as their textiles.
There are many sincere Adventists, and sincere seeking Christians in all other churches, who walk around thinking to themselves that they are not good enough. These walk around thinking of themselves that they are lost, because they think of themselves that they are missing everything. They feel unworthy. I believe that these have found the core of Laodicea’s message. And I believe that it is precisely these who have begun to hoard gold tried in fire, white raiment, and eysalve, because these people have realized their own inadequacy and understand that they are completely dependent on the grace of Jesus Christ. These kneel down every day and pray for help to get through this disability they are in, and the unworthiness they feel before the pure and righteous Saviour. These are preparing for the greatest event in history, the return of Jesus. The recipe these people use is found here in verses 18-22.
A strong warning and a call
Verse 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Our dear Saviour cares for us, and He wants us, both as individuals and as a church, to take His warnings seriously and follow His call to repent completely. That Christ is at the door, we must understand both figuratively and literally. This means that Jesus calls everyone to repentance, and it also means that it is just before our dear Saviour returns to redeem His faithful, because He want have supper with them as He promised the disciples when He instituted the Lord’s Supper (see Mark 14,25).
The word chasten is an interesting word, and many people put the wrong meaning into this word, such as physical punishment. The Greek word is elegchó (el-eng’-kho), and is translated as: to reveal – declare Short definition: I rebuke – reveal Definition: (a) I rebuke, discipline, (b) expose, prove guilty.
I believe that Jesus wants to convince/rebuke/discipline/expose and educate us so that we can be victorious, because he wants to supper with us.
Victory and reward.
Verse 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.
Only those who conquer the self and surrender to Christ will be able to overcome. There is no other form of Christianity we can practice to conquer as Jesus conquered, we need nothing less than Jesus Christ and His righteousness, which is gold refined in fire, whte raiment, and eyesalve.
A last call.
Verse 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Here we get one last exhortation to listen to the promptings of the Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is here to help us. We should study the Bible daily in prayer, not to find out if today’s events fit the prophecies, but to listen to what Christ is saying to us through the Holy Spirit. Let us take Jesus’ call seriously and show it through our lives so that we can be ready when the day comes.
The wise King Solomon once said this: To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise [man] will hear and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.. Ordspråkene 1,2-7
The Laodicean message is a very important and central message in our times. Ellen G. White connects the shaking with the testimony that Jesus gives to the Laodicean church. She writes in Early Writings on pages 247 and 248 this under the heading The Shaking. I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people … // … I heard those clothed with the armour speak forth the truth with great power … // … They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel … // … All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, everyone, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance. Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy, desired to go to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. He said, “The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism. And under the heading The Church and the World United. Jesus and all the heavenly host looked with disgust upon the scene; yet God had a message for the church that was sacred and important. If received, it would make a thorough reformation in the church, revive the living testimony that would purge out hypocrites and sinners, and bring the church again into favour with God.
My son attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Proverbs 4,20