Laodicea, located about sixty miles east of Ephesus, is the last assembly on the list. Yahowsha’ had nothing nice to say to them in sharp contrast to His Philadelphian love letter. The Laodiceans represent weeds in the parable of the tares living among the wheat at the close of the Gentile age.
As with the other cities, the name Laodicea tells us a great deal about these people and thus about our time. It means “the people legislate.” The term is indicative of representative government and thus descriptive of America and Western Europe. Moreover, the people legislating is the opposite of Pergamos where the Nicolaitane doctrine of rule by cleric and king over the laity became the order of the day—something that the Roman Catholic Church played to the hilt through the Thyatira and Sardis eras. These folks were saturated in Pauline Doctrine and in worshipping the “Lord Jesus Christ,” and thus knew nothing of Yahowah’s Name or Towrah.
While the Philadelphian ekklesia wrought great change—ushering in the modern age of enlightenment, productivity, science and technology, pendulums often swing too far. Not only were freedom of speech and democracy reborn as a direct result of the Philadelphian Reformation, so were self-reliance and arrogance. The Laodicean democracies elected men, and those men became enamored with their own words.
Heedless of what Yahowah taught in His Towrah, revealed through His Covenant, and etched in stone, and ignorant of what He revealed through His prophets, the Laodiceans have tolerated, even condoned all manner of error. It is the reason the world is in a mess today. It is the reason that which follows applies to our time. It is that the politicized “church” is mired in Satanic deception rather than grounded on Yahowah’s Word.
God has given us His prescription for healthy living: His Towrah Guidance. According to our Maker, tolerating error is inhumane. When lies are promoted as true, and liars go un-shamed, society deteriorates and countless souls are damned.
That said, there is a subtle distinction that needs to be made. If we divide people into the same three categories that Yahowah will eventually separate souls—family, unknown, and adversaries—we can assure that our criticisms are appropriate and constructive, in the sense that they need not always begin with condemnations but they should all conclude with didache / teaching and instruction.
With friends and family, those whose understanding is seriously wrong (and that would include most churchgoers), we ought to correct their perspective as a loving parent would confront their own child when that child assimilates errant ideas which are physically and spiritually dangerous. We should chastise them in the spirit of compassion, of exhortation and admonishment, sharing the Word in a way which they can comprehend.
For those who are openly adversarial to Yahowah’s Word, those who knowingly and purposely pontificate lies, we must love their victims enough to hate those who victimize them. That is the principle message that screams out of Yahowsha’s prophetic letters to the seven assemblies.
When exposing false teachers, whether they be politicians, religious clerics, media spokespeople, or professed scholars, we are to: overwhelm them in argument, refute them conclusively and convincingly, shaming them and convicting them, exposing their errors and while reprehending them for pontificating their poison, severely chiding and admonishing the perpetrators, calling them into account for what they have said and done while demanding an explanation, publicly exposing and refuting their lifeless doctrines. The purveyors of religious, political, cultural, and academic fraud must be confronted, sharply chiding them, severely warning them, and censuring them by judging them, pronouncing the requisite sentence, denouncing them and condemning them, judiciously proclaiming the merited penalty they have earned while expressing strong disapproval. We are not going to save them because Yahowah despises false teachers for what they have done. But we can save many from them if we follow Yahowah’s advice.
And while we are on the subject, Yahowsha’ did not actually say, “Judge not lest you be judged.” The word He was translated using for “judge” was krino and it actually means “separate.” So He wasn’t telling us not to confront false doctrines, but instead not to do anything that would estrange an individual soul from Him. Our job is to adjudicate and condemn ideas, His is to judge souls. This is an instruction to speak out against the things people value, the things that society reveres and that religions venerate.
Lastly, for those who are unknown to God, we must refute whatever deceptions have led them astray before we can point out the Way. In this case, we must possess sufficient compassion to be confrontational, recognizing that the person has been victimized by a poison which will kill them if not diagnosed and removed. Giving an alcoholic a new liver is a waste of time unless they are first detoxified.
The historic church at Laodicea shared a great number of characteristics with their later-day brethren. They were rich and thus self-reliant. Their geographic location was conducive to commercial enterprise, hence it prospered as a center for banking, textiles manufacturing, and medicine. Evidence of their prosperity is found in the ruins of three large ecumenical buildings dating back to this time—emulating the mega-churches of today.
The Laodiceans made a desirable fabric from the wool of black sheep. Their garments were soft, sleek, luxurious and obviously black. With their emphasis on looking and feeling good, it should be no surprise that Laodicea provided world-class health care. Medically, they were famous for mixing chemicals to cure diseases. But these “enlightened” men of Laodicea, these physicians, swore allegiance to the serpent god Asklepios—the Satanic spirit we first observed in Pergamos. Today’s international symbol for medicine with its intertwining serpents is derived from this miscast loyalty. Of particular interest, the intelligencia of Laodicea produced their own brand of ointment, in the form of a glue-like cake, for the ears and eyes known as “Phrygian powder.” It was marketed under the symbol “Rx, or “Rho chi” in Greek, the basis from which christos was derived. I’m rather confident that the application of drugs—these mind and body altering substances—was a far cry from the Hebrew meaning of Ma’aseyah: the Implement Doing the Work of Yah.
Laodicea enjoyed the benefit of hot springs heated by underground molten lava. These lukewarm springs were pleasant for bathing, but sickening to drink. Comfortable and affluent, medicated and indoctrinated, the democratic assembly at Laodicea was similarly lukewarm—spewing forth a sickening and polluted mix of fables and truth—poison. They were tolerant of false teachings, which is why they came to echo perversions that were more Satanic than Scriptural. And while the Laodiceans were not known for their immoral behavior or open apostasy, they were famous for their self reliance and spiritual complacency.
That said, the letter to the Laodiceans was strictly prophetic because the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 66 CE, three years before Yahowchanan wrote Revelation. These people are presented last as prototypes of the untrustworthy and unfaithful witnesses who would no longer know, much less use, Yahowah’s name in the last days. They are depicted selfishly pursuing money, arrogantly wearing fancy clothes, inappropriately relying upon superior healthcare, and indulging in hedonistic pleasures, while avoiding sound teaching as an example of what today’s Laodicean church should avoid. They are presented as politically correct, irrationally accommodating corruption in their midst because that, along with all of these things, would become the hallmarks of the Laodicean Assembly—the church in America and Western Europe.
The prophetic note to the Laodicean assembly opens by clearly identifying the speaker: “And to the messenger of the ekklesia of the Laodiceans (Laodikeia – from laos, meaning people and nations, and dike meaning to legislate) write, ‘These things says (lego – affirms, teaches, and exhorts) the sure, valid, and true One (amane), the trustworthy One who can be relied upon (pistos) the One who in name, resemblance, and nature corresponds in every respect to (alethinos – the One who is real and genuine; the sincere and upright One; the truth speaking and loving) the witness (martus), the One who originates (arche – begins and commences, the first in order of place, time and rank, the cornerstone and foundation, the principal power and ruler), the Foundation (ktisis – the Creator, the original formulator, the one who ordains, builds, and establishes), TS (placeholder for ‘elohym, the Supreme Divinity, or God).” (Revelation 3:14)
When it comes to credentials, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Yahowsha’ is the True One, the Trustworthy One, the One whose name and nature confirm that He is the genuine witness, the Upright One, the Creator, the Foundation, God. It is in our interest to listen to what He has to say.
But before we do, I would be remiss if I didn’t deal with amane, usually written amen. In truth, “Amen” is the name of the Egyptian sun-god “Amen Ra.” This name is incorporated into the moniker of the now famous boy-king, Tutankhamen. The Greek word for “truly, surely, and reliable” was actually pronounced am-ane. It was a transliteration of the Hebrew word ‘mn, vocalized and pronounced aw-mane, meaning “truly and verily.” When pastors and priests across America say “In God’s name we pray, Amen,” they are unwittingly addressing the sun god. It is the same thing as calling Yahowah “Lord,” as that was Ba’al’s name. Hopefully, you are not adverse to the truth, no matter how unpleasant.
Then addressing the assembly known by the designation of “the people legislate,” i.e., democracies and representative governments, God revealed: “I know to whom you belong (oikeois) and with what you occupy yourselves (ergon – your business and enterprise). You are neither cold (psuchros – sluggish, inert, and completely attached to the world) nor boiling with passion (zestos – fervent and zealous). I wish (ophelon – desire something happening which probably will not occur, that) you were inert (psuchros – cold and sluggish) or passionate (zestos). So then, because you are lukewarm and indifferent (chliaros – apathetic, unenthusiastic, neutral between good and evil, tepid), and neither fervent (psuchros) nor completely attached to the world (zestos), I am about to (mello – expect and intend to; have a mind to) vomit (emeo – throw up, spewing and spitting) you out (ek) of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16) This very graphic depiction is designed to underscore just how intolerant Yahowah is of tolerance, apathy, and self reliance.
While the Pergamosians, Thyatirans, and Sardisians depict Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism, the Laodiceans cannot be either, as Yahowsha’ has finished His dissertation on the Roman Catholic Church. They have been pronounced “dead.” That means these folks are Protestants in democratic countries. And God sees them as “vomit.” While that is better than being Satanic, it’s better than being married to the Whore of Babylon, and it’s a whole lot better than being dead, it’s not good.
The reason that the Laodiceans have been called “lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,” is that they are neither Yahuwdym nor Ba’alim. They did not assimilate Sunday worship, Christmas, Easter, and Halloween into Christendom, but they haven’t rejected these sun-god celebrations either. And more importantly, they don’t keep the Miqra’ey. The Laodiceans have rejected many of Catholicism’s Satanic substitutes—the clerical hierarchy, all things related to Mary, purgatory, indulgences, and confessionals for example—which is good, but they still don’t know or use Yahowah’s or Yahowsha’s name, and the “Bibles” they read are so errantly translated false teaching prevails, rendering the Laodiceans hostile to sound instruction. They are neither black nor white, useless nor useful, hopelessly lost nor saved.
The letter continues by chiding the Laodiceans. Yahowah sees them more clearly than they see themselves. Similar to today’s American Evangelicals, these folks are rich in things, and thus they are self reliant. While wealth isn’t sin, it can bring an attitude of arrogant self-sufficiency, and that is sin. Yahowsha’ is pleading with them to recognize Him as the source of true riches. Those who think they have everything are destitute of the one thing they cannot survive without.
These are not happy words. This is not what popular preachers preach. But from Yahowsha’s perspective, it is what the “church” has become. “Because you say, ‘I am (eimi – I exist because I am) rich, abounding in resources (ploutios – affluent, having abundant possessions), holding on to (echo) great wealth (plouteo – prosperous and monetarily affluent), and have no need of (chreia) anyone or for anything (oudeis),’ and yet do not know (oideios eido – see and perceive to whom you belong and) that you are contemptible, cast down, and wretched (talaiporos – deplorable in body and mind; from talanton, meaning that which is weighed in a scale or balance, and peira, meaning those who are afflicted and will experience trials), that you are miserable, pathetic, and pitiable (eleeinos – deserving scorn, contempt, and shame), that you are powerless and destitute (ptochos – a poor beggar without influence, status, or honor), that you are puffed up, blinded with pride (tuphlos – arrogant and conceited, yet foolish and stupid, befuddled, an insult who are unable to see clearly or understand, insolent and overbearing) and that you are unclad, without the appropriate garments (gumnos – bare and naked; improperly clothed).” (Revelation 3:17) Pride and self-reliance are things Yahowah despises.
To live with Yahowah, our souls must be adorned with the Spirit’s Garment of Light. Nothing else will do. And while this garment is the most valuable article of apparel in the universe, it’s priceless. We do not warrant salvation and we cannot contribute to our redemption.
Since a Garment of Light cannot be purchased, Yahowsha’ tells those who are overly fixated on business that they should be “in the market” for one:” “I advise (sumbouleuo – counsel and recommend) that you be in the market for (agorazo – acquire) gold (chrusion) from Me (para ego) which is refined and glows like fire (puroo pyr – purged of dross by burning) in order that (hina) you may be richly supplied (plouteo – possess great abundance) and garments (himation – apparel, clothes, and robes) of light (leukos – brilliant and dazzling white light radiating innocence and purity) in order that you may be clothed and covered in them (peribally – have them thrown all around you, being adorned in them) so that your confusion, humiliation, and shame (aischune – disgrace, ignominy, and indecency) of your nakedness is not rendered apparent (phaneroo – made visible, manifest, declared, shown, and revealed) ” (Revelation 3:18)
We have just learned more about being arrayed in a Garment of Light. These robes are thrown all around us so that our sin is no longer apparent. Sin becomes invisible, making us appear perfect in God’s eyes. He can still see the things that we do which are useful and He still can and does enjoy our company, but once we are saved, He can no longer see any of our flaws. The Set-Apart Spirit’s light cleanses us of all iniquity. And because the Spirit’s garment is made of pure, brilliant and dazzling light, this means that we become like our Maker in yet another way. And while it’s probably insignificant, it’s curios that the word for gold, chrusion (χρυσίον), from which the crown of eternal life is formed, and time chronos (χρόνος), are so similar.
Then speaking of the man-made solutions which contributed to the blindness of the Laodiceans, and to the problem of being self-reliant, Yahowsha’ uses a play on words to get their attention. “ and rub (egchrio – smear) your eyes with medicinal cake (kollourion – a drug preparation for tired and sore eyes known as the cake which glues together) in order that you might see (blepo).” (Revelation 3:18)
This is the only time I have found chrio written out in the Greek eyewitness or historical accounts, as here it is part of a compound word and it isn’t being used as a placeholder for Ma’aseyah. The eg prefix of egchrio is probably a contraction of ego, meaning “I, me, and my,” as the word is found in the context of the Laodicean Assembly being self-reliant and ego is not only the closest Greek word to eg, ego is the very next word in the Greek dictionary. But what I want to bring to your attention is the topic. It is drugs, in this case a mineral compound that was used to heal sore eyes. It is but another confirmation that to be chrio, the basis of “Christ” and “Christian” is to be drugged. Since I’m not and He wasn’t, I say we stick to the terms Yahowah actually chose and avoid man’s feeble substitutes.
It’s interesting that, in this place where chrio is actually spelled out, there is no “t” in the suffix of egchrio. So it must have been added by the devotees of Tammuz and his cross so as to make the Savior’s title look more like Satan’s. After all, they had 24 letters to choose from and they choose the only one associated with the Babylonian sun-god religion to pollute Christendom.
Besides the context of self reliance, of the enterprising Laodiceans being in the marketplace, and of these health-conscious folks being famous for their eye salve, the reason I introduced this passage as a play on words is because of the eg before chrio. After advising the Laodiceans to select His gold and acquire His Garment of Light, Yahowsha’ might be saying “and while you’re at it, try my anointing as that will enable you to see.”
Speaking to the assembly He neither loves nor hates and to those He wants to know, Yahowsha’ says: “Whoever (hosos) I have affection for (phileo – am fond of, have a personal interest in, and an attachment to) I refute and admonish (elegcho – rebuke and reprove; find fault, exposing it and correcting it) and train them as if they were children (paideuo – instructing and disciplining them as a parent treats a child, educating, chastening, and teaching them). Therefore be zealous (zeloo – exhibit warmth and passion) and think differently (metanoeo – reconsider, changing your mind for the better).” (Revelation 3:19)
This too is a play on words. Phileo is the prefix of Philadelphia, the assembly Yahowah has told us that He loves, and for whom He has opened the door. Yahowsha’ has a personal interest in these people. While He doesn’t say that He loves them, He does say that He wants to know them. So He is going to admonish and discipline them as any loving father would do with a troubled and wayward child. And this is good news because He could have chosen to ignore them and let them continue to deteriorate onto death, not learning the truth until it was too late.
There is a subtle hint in this passage which should be frightening for most church members today. Philadelphia was given the promise “I will keep you out of the tribulation.” Laodicean Christians, however, are going to endure Yahowsha’s elegcho / rebuke. In Luke 18:8 we read the grim reality of the Towrah-lessness and pervasiveness of the Laodiceans in these final days: “When the Son of Man comes, shall He find trust or reliance on the earth?” The Laodiceans do not know Yahowah, His Covenant, or His Towrah. They are immersed in man-made ointments, not the Set-Apart Spirit. They do not yet have a Garment of Light. And while they will endure the Tribulation, the time of Yahowah’s elegcho / chastisement, those Laodiceans who change their thinking will have another chance.
Every ekklesia but the last was told to look to the future, to the time when Yahowsha’ would come. These references were sprinkled throughout the letters, from Ephesus to Philadelphia. But Laodicea received no such admonition; they were not told to “watch.” The reason is that by the time the prophetic letter to the Laodiceans is completely fulfilled, Yahowsha’ will have already come and taken His people home.
It’s also important to note that Yahowsha’ gives no prophecy of another great awakening as He had done with the Philadelphia ekklesia. The only message of revival is for individuals: “Be zealous therefore and think differently.” Yahowsha’ still holds out hope for individual souls among the masses of arrogant and yet ignorant folks, affluent and yet destitute people, self-reliant and yet powerless Laodiceans. By using phileo, He is confirming that He would prefer to view the Laodiceans affectionately, and that He would like to get to know them. And by choosing paideuo, which conveys the parental notion of “training individuals as if one was raising children,” He is saying that He wants them to embrace His Covenant. He points out that He’s only rebuking and chastising them because He wants them to become part of His family.
To underscore this message, Yahowsha’ pictures Himself knocking at the door, which is Passover, asking the Laodiceans to answer His Invitation and come inside. And that means that He is not now with them, but He wants them to come to Him. The Laodiceans have excluded Yahowah from their churches—collectively and individually. That is why He is outside, desiring that they join Him there: outside of religion.
The key word in this verse is histemi. The Covenant is based upon its Hebrew counterpart, quwm, which conveys a similar meaning. “Behold (idou – indeed, look and see), I put in place, I established, paid for, maintain, acknowledge the validity of, recommend, and stand upright so as to enable others to stand at (histemi – authorize, abide by, and continue to be present at; [histemi is the root of stauros, or upright pole, errantly translated cross]) the door (thura – the portal, entrance, opening, and gate) and knock.” (Revelation 3:20) The door to paradise was made from the pole upon which Yahowsha’ hung. Yahowsha’ is shown abiding by the portal to paradise because He is the portal to paradise.
“If anyone (tis – as an individual) hears and pays attention to (akouo – receives and understands) My voice (phone – words) and opens (anoigo) the door (thura – portal), I will come into (eiserchomai – from eis, meaning into or unto and erchomai, meaning come and become known, establish and influence, ultimately raising) him, and will enjoy a feast [as in the Miqra’] with (meta) him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) God loves to party. It’s the first thing on His list. It reminds me of the story of the Prodigal’s son.
In this letter, individuals are being asked to open their door to their lives. In the prior letter, Yahowsha’ opened the door. And that’s because the Philadelphians are Yahuwdym, it’s because they are on a first name basis with Yahowah, it’s because they know and understand His Word. That’s why Yahowsha’ opened the door to His home for them. But from the perspective of Heaven, the Laodicians are on the outside looking in. So Yahowsha’ is asking them to make a choice. Before He will let them into His home, they must first invite Him into their lives, opening the door to the place they live.
Now here is the really amazing part. Yahowsha’s parting words speak volumes about who Yahowah is and what He wants our relationship to be like. “To him who prevails (nikao) I give them the gift of (didomi) sitting down (kathizo) with Me on My throne (thronos – seat of authority and power), as I also (kago) prevailed, and even as (hos – in the same way as) I Am sitting (kathizo) with (meta) My Father on His throne (thronos). He who can hear, let him listen to what the Spirit says to the ekklesia.’” (Revelation 3:21-22)
Imagine that. The Creator of the Universe, the one and only God, our Savior, wants to be buds. We are not going to sit at His feet. We are going to sit in His chair. God is going to scoot over and allow us to snuggle up right next to Him. We become His sons and daughters and inherit his power and authority in the same way Yahowsha’ possessed the power and authority of Yahowah. If that doesn’t make your goose bumps tingle
So, if you do not know Him but want to, here are some suggestions. Stop wallowing in the Babylonian religious swamp. Come to understand Yahowah’s Word and Yahowsha’s Way as God inspired them to be manifest and written. Answer His call, change your way of thinking, and invite Him in. “In” being the operative word. Yahowah’s Spirit literally indwells those who embrace His Covenant. This spiritual rebirth cleanses us and envelops us in His Garment of Light so that we appear perfect in God’s eyes. Become Yahuwdym, members of His covenant family. The rewards are to die for.
When we answer Yahowah’s invitation and invite Him into our lives, He becomes our constant companion—delivering us up and empowering us to celebrate, to enjoy grand feasts as we dwell with Him for all eternity. A joyous Spirit, Yahowah wants to party. It’s the essence of relationship. Moreover, God does something else that is truly remarkable. He doesn’t command us to praise or worship Him, groveling in servitude; He invites us to lounge right beside Him. Just imagining that takes my breath away.