- AD Blog
- Contact Us
The Laodicean Remedy
Publish date: Jun 29, 2009
|Share with others:||
Each of the seven churches of Revelation represents a time period in the history of God’s Church. For example, Ephesus represents the age of apostolic purity, and Thyatira represents the experience of the true Church in the Dark Ages and the latter Middle Ages.
As the list progresses into Revelation 3, Philadelphia represents that great Protestant time period that saw an evangelical explosion in the United States and Europe, a time when there was revived faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the nearness of His Advent. Then, at the end of chapter 3, comes the church of Laodicea:
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; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth (Revelation 3:14-16).
With each church representing a time in the history of God’s Church on Earth, and the Laodicean church being the final church in the Biblical list of Revelation, it is reasonable to conclude that the Laodicean church represents that final chapter in the history of God’s Church prior to the Second Coming of Christ. In Acts of the Apostles we read this:
The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world (AA, 585).
It is clear that we are living in the last days of this earth’s history. Events are rapidly happening around us to suggest that Jesus is coming soon. As such, we should take particular interest in the message given to the Laodicean church. The equation is simple: the message given by Jesus to the end-time Church is especially relevant to the people living in the end times– us! Sister White writes, “I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God’s people at the present time” (1T, 186).
The end-time Church, symbolized by the Laodicean church, is described as being so distasteful that the Lord says, “I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev- elation 3:16). This is hardly an enviable position to find yourself in at the close of probation. The last thing a Christian wants is to be cast off by God just before the moment of glorification, when He gathers His elect unto heaven.
As such, the question remains, what is the purpose of the Laodicean message? Certainly it’s not despair and damnation. The loving character of God would not leave us to ponder a message of warning without providing a remedy. The Biblical account of Nineveh is crystal clear that God’s warnings are accompanied by solutions:
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did not (Jonah 3:10).
It stands to reason, therefore, that when God sent the woeful warning to the Laodicean church, He also sent a remedial message to avoid the warning’s consequences. The purpose of the Laodicean message is to “arouse the people of God, to discover to them their backslidings, and lead to zealous repentance, that they might be favored with the presence of Jesus, and be fitted for the loud cry of the third angel” (2SG, 224).
Jesus begins His remedial message by saying, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot” (Revelation 3:15). The message to the Laodiceans is a response to their heart condition as evidenced by their works. Works are not the means to achieve heaven, but external evidence of the heart condition. The Lord says that the Laodicean works are neither hot nor cold. Their works do not fully extol their relationship with Christ, nor do they give evidence of a full abandonment. It is toward this state of affairs that Christ laments, “I would thou wert cold or hot” (Revelation 3:15).
Since the Laodicean message is a response to works that demonstrate the heart condition, it should come as no surprise that the Remnant Church is under attack, and works of faith are the targets. If modern-day disciples of Christ demonstrate their faith by outward signs of obedience, they are labeled as conservatives or fundamentalists. If the follower of Christ ministers to a brother encouraging him unto repentance and accountability to the revealed will of God, he is accused of being a legalist focusing upon works rather than a relationship.
If you think about it, if Satan can destroy the relationship between faith and works in the Remnant Church, then its influence will be impaired and the work of sanctification will be compromised. A correct balance between faith and works must exist. The demonstration of good works and the desire to wrestle with and overcome known sin is a result of a relationship with Jesus, not the currency to obtain it. The heart cry of a son or daughter of God should be, “See if there be any wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:24). Yet accountability, both personal and corporate, is not in vogue, and the battle in Laodicea wages on.
The Laodicean remedy is found in the message Jesus gives through his servant the prophet. But before Jesus gives the solution, He points out that the members of the Laodicean church haven’t got a clue what a precarious spiritual condition they are in. Jesus says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miser- able, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
Notice that the message is directed to the Laodicean church as a whole, not just some of it. The inevitable conclusion is that this proclamation is directed to all members of the Laodicean church. So often we wish to believe that we have it all together, but the wake up call from Revelation 3 is crystal clear: the Laodicean church is naked, poor and blind! If we believe ourselves to be rich, clothed and in possession of perfect sight, then we really have a problem.
Sister White writes, “The true follower of Christ will make no boastful claims to holiness. It is by the law of God that the sinner is convicted. He sees his own sinfulness in contrast with the perfect righteousness which it enjoins, and this leads him to humility and repentance. He becomes reconciled to God through the blood of Christ, and as he continues to walk with Him he will be gaining a clearer sense of the holiness of God’s character and the far-reaching nature of His requirements. He will see more clearly his own defects and will feel the need of continual repentance and faith in the blood of Christ” (FW 53).
With it clear that the Laodicean message is for everyone in the Church, not just those in stark apostasy, Jesus then directly provides the remedy for our wretched condition:
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 (Revelation 3:18).
In other words, the only source of the Laodicean remedy is Jesus. It is from Christ and Christ alone that we can acquire the remedy for our Laodicean state. Buy from Christ and live, buy somewhere else and die. You and I are part of the Laodicean church. This Laodicean message is a warning to us. The message is simple: Jesus is coming again, so make sure you are spiritually rich, make sure you are spiritually clothed, and make sure you can spiritually see.
What is it that we must buy?
According to Jesus we should buy from him “gold tried in the fire” and “white raiment,” and we are also to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve.” These, of course, are metaphors.
These three things, according to Christ, are the remedy for our lukewarm conditions so that our works might properly reflect our hearts. Then, when Jesus Christ comes again, there will be members of the Laodicean church that are white hot for Christ!
GOLD, TRIED IN FIRE
Gold is the metal God uses to represent salvation. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
The “crown of life” is salvation, and Revelation 4:4 says that the crown is made out of gold:
And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Gold tried in fire represents having a complete salvation experience, having our impurities burned away by the experiences of life just as the dross is burned away from pure gold in the furnace. Our lives are to reflect the character of God.
Now, since the message to the Laodicean church is in response to works that demonstrate the heart condition, the “gold, tried in fire” that we need to purchase from Jesus is saving faith, with works that are a demonstration of love. Sister White writes in Christ’s Object Lessons, “The gold tried in the fire is faith that works by love. Only this can bring us into harmony with God. We may be active, we may do much work; but without love, such love as dwelt in the heart of Christ, we can never be numbered with the family of heaven” (158).
If we are to be healed from our Laodicean state we need Jesus to give us salvation and a new heart of love, demonstrated by works of love. Scripture is clear that we receive such faith from Jesus “by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Saving faith that works love can only be obtained through a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord. If we don’t accept Him and spend time with Him, how could we possibly expect to lovingly reflect Him?
Jesus then bids us to buy from Him, “white raiment.” The word “raiment” simply means clothing, usually clothing of fine quality. Clothing in itself is not special. It is the fact that the clothing is white that makes it special. It is clear from study of the Scripture that the color white means purity.
Israel wore white clothing during the installment of the Ark of the Covenant in Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 5:12). Isaiah refers to forgiveness as the transformation of our sins from scarlet to white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). Daniel, in vision, saw the Ancient of Days wearing a garment white as snow (Daniel 7:9). Jesus was observed wearing white raiment on the mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2). Daniel 12:10 clearly states, “Many shall be purified, and made white...”
When Jesus asks us to buy from Him a garment to cover the shame of our nakedness, He most certainly is asking us to cover ourselves with the only robe that could possibly cover our sin—His robe of righteousness.
Sister White writes, “Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us meet to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul. ‘I counsel thee,’ He says, ‘to buy of Me…white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear’” (ST, November 22, 1905).
When we give up control of our lives, and accept the salvation and mastery of Jesus Christ, we buy His robe of righteousness. We recognize that our righteousness is as filthy rags, but His righteousness is white as snow. Just as the prodigal son received his father’s robe upon his return, so we receive the robe that covers the filthiness of our sin, the shame of our nakedness.
Again, since the Laodicean message is one that concerns the outward demonstration of the heart’s conversion, the robe of righteousness not only covers past sins, but acknowledges a commitment on our part to live our lives according to God’s revealed will, and represents the veracity of living a life of obedience.
By His perfect obedience, He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ the heart is united with His heart; the will is merged in His will; the mind becomes one with His mind; the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then, as the Lord looks upon us, He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah (ST, November 22, 1905, par. 5).
Finally, Jesus counsels us to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Revelation 3:18). Christ wants us to anoint our eyes with this salve so we can see. But what is it that we are blind to?
John 9 gives us a story in the life of Christ in which He heals a blind man using spittle and clay—a poultice or eyesalve. When the disciples and Jesus come across this man, the disciples ask Him what sin caused the man to be blind. Jesus replied that the man was not blind because of sin, but so that God’s works might be made manifest.
Jesus then says something very significant. He says, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5). As pro- fessed followers of Christ, the lesson is clear that we must do the work of God because the time is coming when opportunity will disappear.
Furthermore, we must do the work according to the revealed will of God. Jesus says “I am the light of the world.” His ways, His methods, and His revealed will are the correct way of living our lives and ministering to others. The Laodicean church is blind to the revealed will of God, and Jesus wants us to discern right from wrong.
Once again, since the Laodicean message is one that concerns the outward demonstration of the heart’s conversion, the eyesalve is a spiritual poultice designed to cure us of spiritual blindness so that we can discern between good and evil:
…the eyesalve is that spiritual discernment which will enable you to see the wiles of Satan and shun them, to detect sin and abhor it, to see truth and obey it… (5T, 233). The eyesalve is that wisdom and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise (4T, 88).
God wants us to see if our works demonstrate our profession. But sadly, in the Church today, there is a new theology that teaches that the opinion of people is more important than the light of the world.
The Laodicean church is lukewarm because so many say, “I know what the Bible says, but this is my opinion.” To combat this, Inspiration says, “God has given His church eyes which He requires them to anoint with wisdom, that they may see clearly; but many would put out the eyes of the church if they could; for they would not have their deeds come to the light, lest they should be reproved. The divine eyesalve will impart clearness to the understanding” (4T, 88).
The eyesalve is obtained by earnest seeking of the Lord. We are to come to God confessing our sins and humbling our hearts before him. If ever there was a people who needed to pray most earnestly to God, if ever there was a people who needed to strip themselves of everything that is offen- sive to him, it is this people who profess to keep the com- mandments of God and to have the faith of Jesus (General Conference Bulletin, June 6).
We are the Laodicean Church of Revelation 3. We are luke- warm, and God will cast us off if we do not become white hot for Christ. He has warned us, but He has also given us the remedy for our spiritual condition.
Buy gold from Him—a saving faith that is demonstrated by works of love.
Buy white raiment from Him—Christ’s robe of righteousness that covers our past sins and recognizes the veracity of living a life of obedience.
And apply eyesalve obtained from Him—spiritual discernment to detect sin and abhor it and to see truth and obey it.
Jesus said, “I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot.” He has laid it out. The question is, how are we going to respond? Are we going to reject the remedy, or accept it?
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."
This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction. Learn about the main types of exitotoxins and what can be done to avoid them.
Reports show that red wine may be beneficial to heart health. Is that a good enough reason to start drinking alcohol?
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
Today's meat and dairy industries are focused on profit rather than health.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year. Can you beat the nicotine?
From mammograms to prescription drugs, the modern medical industry is always presenting a new way to diagnose and solve health issues. But are these new treatments really healing anything?
There isn't one person I have ever met who knew anything about cosmetics, and that is because the chemistry of cosmetics has always been cloaked in secrecy.
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
We are surrounded by unhealthy foods, unwise practices, and even harmful medical advice. Learn how to overcome these obstacles and choose a healthy lifestyle.
These graphs and tables can help you jumpstart your health routine.