The Church of Laodicea:
And the Beloved
Is at the Door.
A study/meditation from Revelation 3:14-22
by Gavin Finley MD - www.EndTimePilgrim.org
3:14 "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the One who is the Amen – the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation:
3:15 "I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold.
I wish you were one or the other!
3:16 But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth!
3:17 You say, 'I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!'
And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
3:18 I advise you to buy gold from me – gold that has been purified by fire.
Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness.
And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.
3:19 I am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love.
Be diligent and turn from your indifference.
3:20 "Look! Here I stand at the door and knock.
If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in,
and we will share a meal as friends.
3:21 I will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne,
just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
3:22 Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit
and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches."
- Rev. 3:14-22 New Living Translation
THE MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH AT LAODICEA.The saga of the Church of Laodicea is only half told it would seem. We have heard the bad news. And in a time to come this church will be spewed out. But is there anything else for us to discover from this message from Jesus? But is it possible that there might also be some exceedingly good news from Laodicea?
THE CHURCH IS SPEWED OUT. BUT IS THIS ALL BAD?
The Laodicean church is the last mentioned church of the seven churches. (Rev.3:14-22) While it has probably existed in all ages many believe that this church will come to special prominence and onto the stage of holy history rather late in the age. Perhaps the spewing out of the Laodicean church comes to pass in the Apocalypse.
One thing we can say about the Laodicean church experience. It will not be boring. The Laodicean church apparently enters into some dramatic adventures of discovery. Laodicea is the last of the 7 churches given a message by Jesus. The message to Laodicea is given in Rev.ch.3. There are many cross linking scriptures indicating that the the spewing out of this church is a parallel prophecy to others. Daniel prophesies the end time scattering of the people of God. This ultimate climactic scattering is spoken of repeatedly by the prophets.(Dan.12:7-9, Eccl.3:5, 1Kings 22:17, Isa.5, and Ezek.34) Even Moses spoke of this in the Song of Moses.
What happens to this Church of Laodicea after being spewed out? We might suppose that there will be very little lukewarmness after this. God's covenant people will be either turn hot for Him or they will be coldly deserting Him in apostasy. These will be days of high drama. Because when the shepherds are struck and the sheep scattered the Lord takes it upon Himself to pastor His flock. As the Good Shepherd He will personally regather all His people. He will search for them out among the nations. And He will find them, even on a dark and cloudy day.(Ezek.34)
As we look at this somewhat daunting subject is there something wonderful (Heb. "surprise!!) hidden here? In spite of the rejection something else appears to be happening. Because we notice that the Laodicean church, actually ends up in a place of high favor with God. The spewed out church of Laodicea ends up being offered a blessing more profound than any of the other six churches. The Church of Laodicea is given a royal invitation to sit with Christ, to sup with Him at table, and make covenant with Him. And what else? Did we hear right? Did Jesus not say that He would invite the congregation of Laodicea to sit with Him and rule with Him on His throne? Truly this is a remarkable and glorious destiny. Yet this blessing is offered to a church that will be spewed out? What is going on here?
Well it seems that Jesus had not been invited inside the Laodicean church. When we see Him He is outside knocking at the door. He had apparently been out there for quite some time. Perhaps they had assumed that He was in there with them as they engaged in all their lukewarm religious diversions. But He was not. Apparently the church had not made it their priority to invite Him in.
The testimony of Holy Scripture in this instance is clear and unmistakable. God's desire is for a deep communion relationship with His people. But even those who know God can drift away from Him. All too often the relationship over time becomes lukewarm. What has happened?
We get our clues from the poetic imagery of the Shulamite. She is seen resting upon her bed of ease. The woman has made herself comfortable. She is at rest inside her man made structure. The Beloved is not with her. He is "out there" somewhere.
The imagery of the Song of Songs and that of the Church of Laodicea is quite similar. In both cases the Beloved is outside the door. In the Song of Songs we also see that it is springtime. The almond tree is blossoming and the sound of the turtledoves is heard in the land. The absent Shepherd lover is wooing His bride-to-be. He is calling out to His beloved to "come away". But she is reluctant to do so.
It is hard to be intimate with someone when they are separated by a door. The woman of destiny is comfortable. Will she get up from her bed of ease and answer the door? Doing so may affect her own personal comfort for a time. Will she open up the door to her Beloved? In the Laodicean viewpoint we see that it is Jesus/Yeshua who is standing outside the door. He is gently knocking. Will God's people respond? Will they invite Him in?
In the Song of Songs the woman of destiny has two dreams. One of her two dreams is a nightmare. She goes to the door and finds her beloved has gone. She goes out looking for Him in the city. She is afflicted by the watchmen of the city. They take away her veil. She is then revealed for who she really is. This story and the poetic imagery is absolutely packed with prophetic meaning.
If we should turn out to be part of the Church of Laodicea then we can make this personal application. Before the experience of spewing/scattering we were comfortable and self absorbed in our chambers. But then Jesus came to us. He was outside the structures we had surrounded ourselves with and knocking at the door of our hearts. Are we really too comfortable to get up and open the door for Him? This was the experience of the Shulamite in the Song of Solomon. But then she enters into her trials.
Through it all we come to this wonderful moment of discovery. Even in the midst of our testings we are being summoned to a table communion, of bread and wine. Our Redeemer is asking us to open the door to Him and to invite Him in. He presents us with the opportunity to sit down with Him. His desire is for us to sup with Him in intimate fellowship.
How wonderful is this? Here we are, barricading ourselves in our chambers against a cold dark world of tribulation and trouble. But now Someone is knocking at our door, bidding us to open the door and invite Him in. And wonder of wonders we are being presented with the opportunity to commune with the most important Person in the cosmos!
Just what is our Savior presenting to us? It is nothing less than an offer of betrothal, an eternal covenant guaranteed by His blood. What are we to do?
If our trust is in this world and we wish to nurture our own comforts we are not likely to respond to the knock at the door. In such a scenario we remain on our beds of ease. We imagine that by our worldly dealings we can preserve ourselves against a world of growing tribulation. The trials that we are now beginning to encounter confuse us because they have no meaning for us. We have been told that these are only Jewish troubles and that the Tribulation does not concern us. But the tumult of voices outside grows louder.
We are unsettled by all this. And as an increasingly hostile world begins to threaten us these troubling thoughts come into our mind. Our established Church has been our refuge. But it is compromised by its contracts and collusions with the princes of this world. Can we continue to trust in the present day Church structures to protect us?
Again we hear the knocking at the door. Is he a friend or a foe? Is He the Beloved we know, or a Beloved Enemy we only thought we knew? We do not have to invite Him in. And He will not break in. But He brings with Him a wonderful promise. If we respond to Him and to His proposal our situation will changes forever. The trials and tribulations of this world will not go away. They must continue until Messiah comes to take over this world that is spinning out of control. But our trials will no longer be grievous to us. Because they will take on a new meaning and purpose.
So there on the table before us is the bridal cup. And next to it the offer of betrothal. As we take the cup and drink it and as we sign the article of betrothal to the Bridegroom everything changes. At that moment of commitment the trivial "purpose driven life" we constructed for our self goes out the window. Because we have just entered into a serendipity to make this life-changing discovery. Our ultimate joy and our happiness is to be found in Him!
This is the divine romance. And in this holy intimacy we enter into a glory and a happiness far greater than anything we have ever known before.
So is this prophecy in which the Church of Laodicea is spewed out just a bad rap and nothing else? Is this end-time drama involving the lukewarm Church of Laodicea all "negative" as we have been told? Or might it actually end up being very "positive"? Of course our answer would depend on us. And it would depend upon our attitude to Godly chastening.
Let us look at the Laodicean prophecy as a broad overview. In one scene we see that the Church is being spewed out. But in the next there is the knocking at the door and a call to enter into sweet communion. It certainly seems that this prophetic message given by Jesus is a warning. But also nestled within this prophecy we find a wonderful promise. So is there not some exceedingly good news in this message to the lukewarm church at Laodicea?
DISINFORMATION CONCERNING LAODICEA ANDUnfortunately this devotional element to the story of Laodicea has been missed by many Bible students. And now the church of Laodicea has become a political football for end time crusaders. The Dominionists and the Kingdom Now televangelists along with some of the latter day 'prophets' have put their own spin on this scripture passage concerning the Church of Laodicea. Their take on this is that the Laodicean church is the end time church. But they are people who lack their sort of zeal for politico/religious activism. Their reading on this whole issue is that we must be "militant" and "rise up and take action" like them lest we be "Laodicean and lukewarm".
THE CALL TO "RISE UP" AND "TAKE DOMINION".
This seems to be the message going out to the churches today. But is this correct?
Is this passage in Revelation just a call and an excuse for Christians to go crusading?
Of late we are seeing a lot of strident rhetoric coming from a fearful established western church. They watch the compromise that is going on in Israel and the onrush of events in the Middle East. Deep down they know that the end time drama is drawing nearer every year. There are indeed genuine stirrings of true revival this is true. And perhaps we are even seeing a true spirit of Elijah and a call to repentance to make straight the paths of the Lord. But within this church militancy move is a rejection of the true message.
THE LETTER TO LAODICEA, OUR MESSAGE FROM JESUS,So what is Jesus saying to us in the letter to Laodicea? He is asking His covenant people to sit down at table with Him. He is asking us and enter into sweet fellowship with Him. He has this whole end-time situation under control. All He asks is that we turn from our self centered ways and our survivalism, put down our swords and guns and take up our cross and follow Him. God is calling His covenant people to enter into blood covenant relationship with Him.
AND THE CALL TO BLOOD COVENANT RELATIONSHIP.
There are some bridal preparations involved as we come into betrothal with Him and drink the cup that He offers us. He is calling upon us to liquidate our wealth in this world and buy gold, refined in the fire. He is calling on us to put off our filthy garments soiled by the ways of this world and put on clean white linen garments of His righteousness. He asks us to purchase eye salve so that we can see clearly what is going on around us. We are called to present our testimony in truth and in grace. In Luke 21 Jesus tells us that we shall be bringing our witness concerning Him before kings and rulers.
Of course we in the present day Church are inclined to be a bit shifty, as Jacob is before he is refined in his trials to become Israel. We wrestle with God over this. We know that the world will be hostile to God's Word at the end of this age. So we refuse to do it! We concoct an eschatology of abandonment that has us desert the ship 7 years early. This end time witness is essential and it is exceedingly important. But we do not believe Jesus when He said"Lo, I am with you always,
Even to the end of the age.
Yes, this is sad to report.
But the Western Church is a runaway bride.
She refuses to take responsibility for the witness in the end-time.
Like wanton Gomer she is not listening. She has gone her own way.
The woman of wisdom is crying out in the street. (Prov.1) But few are listening. This is why there is a spirit of confusion, fear and dismay among Christians today. Instead of repenting and drawing nearer to Christ in blood covenant commitment we are running away from our covenant responsibilities in Christ our Savior. We are allowing ourselves to be led off into doctrinal error concerning the end time. And some of us are allowing ourselves to be be drawn into dominion theology. Many will deny this. But if we look around the religious landscape today we can definitely see widespread Biblical and devotional indifference. And with the warrior praise, our fascination with Gandalf and the medieval Arthurian romances, the loud political saber rattling and the political rallies going on inside the church many Christians are concerned. The reason should be quite obvious. We can discern in these spirits the very same crusader spirit we saw in our earlier church history. And we know where that led.
Once again the worldly church in wandering off away from her true Bridegroom. The Laodicean Church is still the same damsel in distress she was in medieval times. She still allows herself to be rattled and manipulated. And she still behaves as lost Gomer. The modern Church in many areas has lost track of her true Husband. Is it any wonder that the Christian Church in the west gets little respect? Is it surprising that she is losing her children to sex, drugs and rock and roll? And is it any wonder that the church we see featured at the end of the age will end up being spewed out?
Gomer has forgotten her first love. She has gone off to seek out new and exciting lovers. She is being wooed by politico-religious knights in shining armor. The more militant elements of a resurgent Puritan ethic are also being heard. They are raising their voices on the airwaves of popular Christianity. Nationalist and Dominionist religious spirits are abroad today. Many are declaring that the church can take over the world and bring in the Kingdom Now'. They are stirring up religious flesh. A "last crusade" is being preached from the pulpits just as it was preached by Pope Urban in France 900 years ago. But is that the proper Christian response to our lukewarmness and to Jesus's message to the church at Laodicea?
THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE CHURCH OF LAODICEAThe bad news about Laodicea is that it is lukewarm. However, the good news, (and it is right there in the same passage), is that this situation will not last. Jesus is not going to let that state of deadly lukewarmness and mediocrity go unjudged. Why? Because he loves us! He wants us to come and sup with Him!
Not to Caesar Constantine, or Emperor Charlemagne, or Crusader Godfrey de Boullion, or Richard the Lionhearted, or the dictators Napoleon or Hitler or even Gandalf. Nor does he want us to sit down and make a seven year covenant with an end time global peacemaker. (Dan.9:27)
Dear saints. Worldly princes cannot save us! They get thornier and thornier as history moves on. And we as Christians come away more and more bloodied with the blood of others and with our own blood. We shed more and more innocent blood with every war. Just how far are we prepared to go in all this raging of nations? Are we going to go "all the way" with these worldly principalities and powers? Are we going to go all the way to the Valley of Megiddo and encamp against Jerusalem as we did in the Crusades 900 years ago? Or will there be a point in which our conscience will say,"We have had enough of this bloody sword.Through all of this we need not fear. We have entered into an everlasting covenant with YHVH/God Almighty. We have been called to present our witness in grace. The returning Christ, our Messiah, will deal with our enemies. We need to pray for our enemies, not kill them. Because we are not the ones who are in eternal peril. They will be the ones who are in trouble!
Let us return to the Pilgrim Way, the Way of the cross."
Eternity is laid out before us all. It will either be an eternity in God's Presence or an eternity in torment without Him in outer darkness. Because Messiah is coming back to this earth again. He will return in holy vengeance pouring His wrath upon His enemies. But for His people He will come as a Deliverer.
Dear saints, Jesus is our Redeemer and our Deliverer. As His witnesses, and as His beloved saints, we are destined to walk into and play a crucial role of witness in the final acts of the play of the ages. The Ancient of Days will be presiding over all this, just as the prophet Daniel saw. (Dan.7) John saw the same celestial court scene and YHVH-God presiding over the events of the Apocalypse. Indeed the Book of Revelation from chapter 4 onwards is a court case set in the heavens.
This is an important truth about the 70th Week of Daniel, the last seven years of this age. The Ancient of Days is sovereign. He sets the scenes, the actors on the stage, and the choreography. He has called us as His witnesses. He told us that He will give us our lines to speak as we go up on stage.
So the "final witness" of the end-time requires us to be in attendance. And like any real estate transaction, the matter of the mansions of heaven are covenant contractual matters that call for the new owners to be in attendance. God does not want us running off. The Ancient of Days has personally set the limits to the outrages of wicked men in the latter days. He is in control as events play out on earth and holy history unfolds. Because this age must come to its appointed climax. And the 5th seal witness of the saints must be seen before men and angels. This must be concluded before the 6th seal sign of the Son of Man is seen in the heavens. The Day of the Lord will see His wrath poured out on the wicked. And then comes the second coming of Christ.
So what is going on in this Laodicean church story?
What if the saints are indeed spewed out or scattered?
What then? Is all lost?
THE SCATTERING OF THE HOLY PEOPLE (Dan.12)Scattered people generally feel alienated and alone. But one thing we can say for sure. If they are God's covenant people then all is not lost. They will cry out to Him. And they will search their hearts. They will get down to basics. They will finally begin to pay attention to blood covenant issues.
AND TROUBLES AND TRIBULATIONS LEAD ON TO A SERENDIPITY.
Will God answer?
Will He regather and restore His covenant people?
The experience of being spewed out is a severe one. Joseph had this experience, even at the hands of his brothers. So will the end time saints. Joseph was carried off into exile. He ended up in Egypt. But was there not a happy ending to that story?
Of course Joseph was angry with his brothers. But think about this. Even in their seven years of famine and tribulation, did he not bring his brothers back to God. Did this whole adventure not cause them to attend to covenant matters? And didn't Joseph feed his brothers? And how about the world? Didn't Joseph feed the world the bread of life?
So was Joseph's being spewed out and his subsequent exile all bad? Did it not end up being a blessing to His family? And did Joseph's rejection not lead to the salvation of many throughout the world?
There is much to be encouraged about in this letter to the believers at Laodicea. When tribulations come many will be set off raging. Some will reject God in anger. and go off into the great falling away or apostasy our apostle Paul spoke about. (2Thes.2:3) But here is the good news in all of this. There is always a believing remnant who emerge from these trials. When these saints cry out to God and seek His face He listens. God knows all about His scattered sheep and the trouble they have got themselves into. And the Good Shepherd knows where his lost sheep are at the end of the age, and where to find them. He will surely regather His scattered sheep, even on a dark and cloudy day. (Ezek.34:12)
So when YHVH-God's own people are vomited out of their country and go off into exile He will be with them by His Word and by His Spirit. He will carry them to safety on 'wings of eagles' just as He did in the former times. He will nurture and care for them out there for the final 1260 days or 3.5 years of this age. (Rev.12:6 & 12:14) He will prepare a table before them right in the midst of their enemies. (Ps.23) They will not be forgotten. Because the prophets Isaiah and Micah both saw Him return right at the end of the age. Messiah will turn up at a mysterious spiritually identified place called Bozrah and overseen by the modern day Edomites in our midst. He will trample the wicked there. And then as "the Breaker" He will deliver His covenant people at "the sheepfolds of Bozrah". This is just some of the 'rest of the story' of the Laodicean church. It is a part we have not been told.
Laodicea is not just a story about a church in Asia Minor that existed 1900 years ago. Nor is it exclusively an end time story. Lukewarmness towards God has happened throughout Church history. Abundant blessings can, and often do, lead to lukewarmness and indifference to God. The subsequent loss of national sovereignty and ensuing exile into captivity is a pattern that has been seen repeatedly in past holy history. The cycle was seen back in Old Testament times. Both the northern and the southern kingdoms of Israel forgot their God and became compromised. They ended up being led away weeping as captives into exile.
So God is a God who will not be mocked. In His mercy He will not allow corruption among His people to go unjudged. He knows that this would lead them into total spiritual ruin. And so in His mercy He intervenes. He allows enemies to rise up against His people in judgment. He allows this to happen because He is not a sugar daddy. He loves His people and has a glorious destiny in store for them. He has called them to a high calling and to far better things than they can imagine.
As we can see, we are in the loop here. God is not the only one who is choosing our pathways. We set the course of our life to some extent. We do that as we make our choices in life. If we happen to choose the thorny ways then there are consequences to this. So is God to blame for our misadventures. Should we get outwardly angry, (and rage), or inwardly angry, (and depressed), just because of the bad covenants we have entered into? Have we not brought those tribulations upon ourselves?
Look at Gomer and her lovers. They hurt her. But why was she out there away from her family and communing with the heathen. And who was it that entered into blood covenant sexual relationships with the brutes in the first place? Look at our literature and the popular culture we see in books and in movies today? Why do the people of Christendom have such a perverse love for fornication, horror, and violence. Why is there all this admiration for seductress women and for brutish men? Why do we continue to fondly recount a thousand variations on the story of Beauty and the Beast? Is this the quintessential story of God's people through the centuries? And if it is then what happens next? Is this where our romance begins and ends?
If this trash is the end of the story then what can we say but this.
God help us!!
Fortunately the answer is no. There is a much better ending than the submergence of our Western Civilization of Judeo-Christendom in a sea of sex and violence. In the Book of Hosea we see the prophetic story unfold in a far more wonderful way. Hosea takes as a wife a loose woman named Gomer who was a harlot. This prostitute became Hosea's wife. This relationship was to be an object lesson and a prophecy for the covenant people of God in their histories. When Hosea acted out this drama it had application for the House of Israel. The northern kingdom of Israel had seceded from the Kingdom of Israel and from Judah and subsequently entered into deep idolatry. 200 years later the Northern Kingdom lost their sovereignty and were taken off as captives by the Assyrians. These were the lost ten tribes of Israel.
Was that the end of the story? Not at all! The prophetic story of Gomer and Hosea will come into sharp focus once again in times to come. It will have special application for us again in the end time drama.
Here is the prophetic story. Gomer had left Hosea and had gone off with her worldly lovers. And in like manner the people of God had departed from YHVH, the God of Israel. Gomer had left her true husband. She took the wayward path and become a runaway bride. Gomer ran off with her lovers. Eventually she fell upon hard times. She was meant to be as the garden of God. But in leaving her true husband Gomer, and lost Israel, had finally come to the point where they were enclosed in thorns. Gomer's husband Hosea found her in a slave market. He redeemed her for twenty pieces of silver. This prophecy then goes on to bring us the "rest of the story" of lost Israel.
Was Gomer's husband Hosea to blame because she came into tribulation? Was it his fault that she had been beaten, bloodied and abused? He had been a faithful husband to her. But she had left him. Was Hosea responsible for Gomer's time of tribulation? Was he responsible for the afflictions she had suffered at the hands of her godless brutish lovers? Gomer was the one who had entered into these compromising dalliances. (See Hosea chap. 2) Gomer was the one who made her alliance with strangers. And we know that the Gomer-Church will do it again at the end of this age. (Dan.9:27) Because Jesus Himself told us that this would happen. (See John 5:43)
Here is a point for us to ponder. Has not the Western Church done the same as Gomer? Throughout these past 1700 years since her initial tryst with the Roman Emperor Constantine has she not chosen worldly princes and protectors rather than trust God, her true Husband? Has not the established church, ever since the Council of Nicea, compromised herself before the worldly princes of the west? Is this why Christendom embraced gnosticism and went into the Dark Ages for a thousand years? Has not the worldly Western church behaved as a damsel in distress, swooning before certain knights in shining armor crafted of Roman iron? Apparently the Christian Church has been impressed with the large iron Roman sword upon which her prince has inscribed, "Defender of the Faith"? And how about our present situation? Haven't we seen the Church sell herself to her princes, her politicians, her merchant planners, and the whole sorry company of Mammon?
The Church, as Gomer, will end up in Tribulation. This much we know. Moses prophesied concerning this in his final address to Israel in the Song of Moses. But all is not lost. As the story unfolds a wonderful serendipity emerges. It is right there in the midst of her confinement and her travail and her tribulation that the woman of Israel begins to remember her Betrothed. At the same time her amnesia begins to lift and she remembers who she is.
What was going on here? In her self idolatry and her self will she had "dis-membered" the covenant. This became a political reality in Israel when after the death of Solomon around 920 B.C. the Kingdom of Israel was split in two at the Breach of Jeroboam. A deep and violent family feud goes on for nearly three millennia. An now we come into the latter days of this age, and even in a dark day of scattering and in the midst of her tribulation the real truth of the matter will come home to her. Something wonderful will happen. It will be a "Eureka, I understand now!" It will be a surprise, an epiphany. Gomer, lost Israel, even the Laodicean Church will re-member the Eternal Covenant!
An epic day will come at some point. The Western Church, as a remnant, will understand what our Apostle Paul told us in Ephesians 2:11-13. The Church of Laodicea will suddenly realize that through the atoning blood of Israel's promised Sacrifice Lamb she has now come into the citizenship and the Commonwealth of Israel.
But there is more. The Church of Laodicea will see herself among those wild olive branches, (but olive branches nevertheless), that have been grafted back into the olive tree of Israel. The time of crushing will bring all this to pass. And as the olives go up to the olive press the Church will come to her Gethsemane - olive press. The crushing of the flesh-life is not a grievous thing to those who have committed themselves to God. Because they know that they will be preserved through it all and re-emerge into a glory they have never seen or experienced before. And as the true and genuine double anointing comes forth the Godly honor of priests and kings will come over the covenant people of God in a that glorious end-time outpouring of the Holy Spirit that Joel saw and a magnificent End-Time Revival that beggars description.
At that moment the woman, God's covenant people, will walk away from those political lovers. She will leave her princes and the protection of the sword to embrace the cross. Her thorny princes will have revealed themselves as the toads that they really are. The worldly champions she had trusted in will have all been shown to be untrue to her. They will have all have deserted her. Now, out in the wilderness, even in the "Valley of Achor", we see the woman of destiny again as the Shulamite. In the valley of tribulation she "remembers" the covenant with the God of Israel. And like the prodigal son returning to the father, she remembers the happy days gone by and yearns to return to her family. She remembers the covenant she once had with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And finally, in a divine turnaround, se finds the true love she had always been looking for. She rediscovers her "Ishi", her Beloved, her Eternal Love.
And so we see in this prophecy of the Church of Laodicea the unfolding of the magnificent story of the end time. The Commonwealth/Congregation of Israel have entered into the straits of "Jacob's trouble". But all is not lost. Jacob, "the trickster", now wrestling with God in tribulation has his self will broken. He repents and as his character changes in the transformation so his name changes as well. He emerges as Israel, "Prince with God". The woman of destiny we see in Revelation 12 is changed as well. She emerges clothed in the dazzling Light of the Father, a crown of 12 stars is upon her head, and the moon of reflected Light in religion is under her feet where it belongs. The scales fall off her eyes, and her partial blindness is gone. And so all Israel is saved and restored. (Rom.11)
So the story of Gomer, even as the Church of Laodicea, has a happy ending. The Church responds in a positive and redemptive way to the judgment given to her at Laodicea where she is spewed out. This is an epic and magnificent turnaround. Yes, she is going to come through all this!
And she will emerge in the glory on the other side!
Here in the words of "Gomer's song" by songwriter Brian Doerksen.
In it we see Gomer's epic and magnificent final confession."I am here to buy gold, refined in the fire;The Laodicean story is a story of true restoration. We are not talking of a mere political or just some sort of ecclesiastical restoration here. Rather it is a spiritual work going down deep into the hearts of the entire covenant people of God. In Revelation 7 we see all twelve tribes of Israel represented in the remnant Church/Israel/Congregation of God. They are led forth by the overcomers of the latter days, the Tribulation Saints. They are quite clearly a single Elect and Chosen people. They are regathered and restored by a loving Savior. They have been rescued by "the Breaker", their Messiah, who has been their Deliverer.
Naked and poor, wretched and blind I come.
Clothe me in white.
So I won't be ashamed.
Lord light the fire again."
Deep calls unto deep. (Psalm 42:7) And YHVH-God has always been one to do a deep work in His people. He does His mysterious and wonderful work in the garden of their hearts. The fig tree will bud, bringing its sweetness and good fruit. And the Prince of Peace will come in to tend His garden and into His world to rule. His first preference was always to minister at the altar of the hearts of His people and to preside in the gentle bonds of love on the throne room in the hearts of His people. This is happening even now in the New Covenant. The prophet Jeremiah spoke about this. (Jer.31:31) This deep personal work of the Gospel is the only true basis for true and meaningful peace on earth and lasting goodwill among men. And as far as this world is concerned only the Prince of Peace, can bring righteous stable rule upon earth and secure the long awaited 'Peace of Jerusalem'. This is what we pray for more and more these days.
So in the context of the heavy rejection experience of the Church of Laodicea what do we find? Wonder of wonders, our beloved Enemy is at the door! He has come to see us! The One who has just allowed history and our enemies to scatter us is now our divine Visitor! We may be holed up in a demoralized state. We may be on another continent and hemisphere far away from our home. But there He is! He is bidding us to open the door and let Him in. He wants to come in and sup with us!
Beloved saints, we serve a God who loves His covenant people. And He takes the initiative in wooing His congregation back to Him. His desire, His passion, is towards us. He wants us to invite Him in so we can eat and drink with Him in sweet communion. This is completely understandable. He simply must at some stage "call us out", from this present world system, even in the midst of a Great Tribulation. And it is completely understandable that in such times we shall attend to His covenant business.
The Church is called to be the Bride of Christ. She is definitely in the loop here. As a bride-to-be she is vitally involved in these end time covenant matters. She is not to be left outside and in the dark like a purchased concubine. The Church is not an indifferent "significant other", purchased, and ready for an imminent transport to heaven. She is the beloved Bride of the Lamb, fully involved with her Bridegroom. The saints are vitally involved in the blood covenant issues of the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! We are His witnesses! We co-sign the New Covenant with Him! Our signature appears right underneath His! Yes, for us, this is the true "bottom line". It is far deeper than all the so-called "bottom lines" of worldly and ecclesiastical contracts.
THE MEANING AND THE RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE NEW COVENANTPeople who co-sign covenants or contracts with others know what this means. They understand that they may be called upon to stand with the one they signed with. This is how it is with the New Covenant we have made with Messiah. At some future time we may be called upon to make good on the commitment we have made. This is a serious matter. We need to count the cost here. Because it may cost us our lives. This is the nature of our salvation covenant. It is not just a "grant". Nor is it just a purchase deal for a property in heaven and nothing else as we have been led to believe.
AND THE CALL TO HONOR THE TERMS OF THE COVENANT IN WITNESS.
Our apostle Paul has exhorted us to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling". (Phil.2:12)
This is not a Gospel of works. Because this work is not our own. And in the following verse Paul adds,
"For it is God who works within us,
both to will and to do His good pleasure.
So our great salvation in Jesus Christ/Yeshua Hamashiach is not just a purchased "ticket to heaven". Do we understand this? Blood covenant is a two party agreement. If we are in Christ then we have entered into a betrothal or an engagement. We are committed to entering into a marriage. We are well aware that marriage is a two party commitment. And it is "unto death do us part".
Is this offensive to us? And if it is, then why are over a hundred million Chinese Christians willing to die for their faith while we are offended by that thought? What sort of Christians are we out here in "Christendom"? Does "grace" mean zero responsibility for us as Christian believers? That is what our present lukewarm Laodicean style church is teaching. But this lukewarm sop we have been sold is unworthy of our Savior. It is just a "bill of goods". It is not a covenant. And so when the testings come we shall have to make some changes in our lives. We shall discover that the agreement we made with Jesus Christ/Yeshua Hamashiach needs to be upgraded. Our present lukewarm Laodicean religion is inadequate. Our cheap deal with Jesus with the seven year escape clause is just not going to "cut it".
These covenant matters as they involve the Western Church are invisible to the world. Oftentimes they are not deemed "positive". Or they do not suit our 'purpose'. And of course blood covenant teachings are not revenue positive. So they are rarely spoken about in the worldly church. Only those who read their Bibles and know the indwelling Christ have insight into these covenant matters. Only the saints, those called out, the chosen, and the faithful, will understand why these things must be. The prophet Daniel said that "the wise would understand". (Dan. 12:8-10) Suffice to say that our 5th seal witness at the end of this age is essential. And it will be remembered. Our testimony is destined to be inscribed forever on the pages of holy history.
It inevitable that the relative peace we now enjoy under the Pax Americana must eventually come to an end. All the nations of Christendom have had their turn as the superpower. And they are spent. If America falters there is no great western power left in Christendom towards whom we might pass the baton. And the dragon is stirring in the east.
The Americans have tried hard to see that as many people as possible have a "nice day". And out here in the western nations it has been "nice" these past 60+ years. It has been comfortable too, for the most part. But in our materialism and in our lukewarm relationships we could hardly say it has been glorious. Holy history will of necessity have to move on from here at some point in time. When that happens it is quite possible that the church, the Greater Congregation of Israel, will go into refining in the crucible of the end time. The saints will pass on beyond Laodicean lukewarmness and enter through the strait gate into the glories that lie beyond. This is the paradise road. It must be this way. All true saints know this in their heart of hearts.
The Body of Christ will eventually be drawn from both houses of Israel and all 12 tribes, including the royal Jewish house of Judah. (Zech.12:7-13:1) John saw the saints come out of the Great Tribulation as a single Elect, a glorious company from every nation race and tribe. All the saints will come into intimate union with their Kinsman Redeemer in the end-time drama. John saw the covenant people of God in their final passage into the glory. She is the woman being threatened by the Dragon John saw in Revelation chapter 12. She is the woman of destiny.
And she will wear the starry crown
King Solomon caught a glimpse of this high drama as well. In the Song of Songs he told the story of the Shulamite as she was re-united with her Beloved at last. This element of this epic play will be acted out at the end of the age. Corporately there will be a climactic defining moment for the people of God as this age comes to its appointed climax. The saints will make their final choice. And they will enter into a trial and a serendipity that will be more wonderful than they could have imagined.
Here is the conclusion of the matter as that love play of the ages, the Song of Songs, comes to its grand finale. Yes, there is a happy ending to the story.
She does find her long lost Love at last.A RELATIVE
"Who is this coming up out of the wilderness
leaning upon her beloved?"
THE SHULAMITE TO HER BELOVED
"Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm,
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy, as cruel as the grave,
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised."
- Song of Solomon 8:5-7
Today in our churches or home fellowships we take the Cup of communion. The symbolism is the identical to the Hebrew wedding betrothal. We remember our Lord Jesus. And we marvel at His atoning sacrifice for us. We thank Him for His gift, His wonderful salvation. But is their more in the communion cup than we have been told? Have we drank "all of it" as Jesus asked us to do?
'Commune with Me' - by Keith Goodson.
"And He took the cup and gave thanksOur Lord Jesus is knocking at the door of our heart.
and gave it to them saying,
Drink ye all of it.
For this is my blood of the new testament
which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
- Mat.26:27-28 KJV
His covenant is more awesome than anyone could have described.
And now He places "the cup" of His covenant before us.
How shall we respond?
Some more devotional articles on apocalyptic Biblical themes for the enquiring Christian.