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THE LAODICEAN ERA


 

We are now in the Laodicean era of Godís church.  Mr. Armstrong, Godís faithful steward, always taught that we were in the Philadelphian era of Godís church. Now I think we would all agree with that statement. But Mr. Armstrong died in 1986. Fortunately, his teachings have kept up right until the turn of this century.

 

Over the years since Mr. Armstrongís death, there has been little new knowledge put into the church. That is because this church has become the Laodicean Era.

 

This is now the Laodicean Era, this is the church which will witness the time of Jacobís Trouble and the Day of the Lord. This is the church on whom the ends of the age will come. These are very serious times we live in. At any time the work as we know it could come to an end. We have very little time left to warn the world, and to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

 

This is Godís last era of the church before the time of the end comes.   Many years ago the church was fervent about study and prayer, members were zealous, on fire, because they thought the end was very close. This is many years later, why don't we feel like that now? 
We don't know exactly when Christ will return, but we know it is closer than when we first believed. Why have we just gone off to sleep? 
Why donít we get interested in our calling? Are we waiting for world events to wake us up? 
What about the fact that God will close the door on some of His people before the obvious signs of the time of the end come about?

 

This is made obvious in a number of places in scripture. The 5 virgins, were too late, God said He did not know them.  Seek the Lord while He may be found.

 

This is serious letís look at this warning from Christ:

 

Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

Mat 24:44  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

 

We do not know when Christ will return. Now letís see the remainder of Matt 24.

 

Mat 24:45  "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

Mat 24:46  Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

 

The church thought that 1972 would see the place of safety, but that has come and gone, but that does not mean that Jacobís Trouble and the Day of the Lord will not come. They are still going to come. The scriptures still stand. Now we are getting very close to that time now. There are some very serious things which we need to do before that time comes.

 

We must get close to God. We must be without spot and blemish, get serious about our calling. Try harder to please God. We must be about our Fatherís business forget what this world is offering us in the way of T.V. etc. the world is perishing...Godís word is forever.

 

We must believe God, we must be able to stand up and be counted before the terrible events depicted in the pages of scripture, roll on into our lives and catch us unaware.

 

Brethren this is not some fictitious story, this is fact, these events are going to happen. The world as we know it is going to perish, the greater majority of mankind will perish in Jacobís Trouble and the Day of the Lord. 
Wake up this is real, God wants us to be on His side, He wants us to be in His kingdom. 
DO WE WANT TO BE THERE?

 

It is not very popular to say we are the Laodicean era of the church, but like it or not that is what we are. We are not concerned with saying smooth things, we are saying Godís words, which are the truth to the last era of Godís church.

 

Letís look at the description of the Laodicean Church in the Book of Revelation.

 

Rev 3:14  "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

 

In the opening verse here we see Christ described, it is interesting to see that the fact that Christ is the beginning of the creation is addressed in the opening stanza. This brings to mind this wonderful scripture "Christ is the firstborn of creation" This is showing that this era of Godís church, would have this precious knowledge of the Father and the Son restored at this time. How exciting.

 

Rev 3:15  "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

 

What a tragedy, this era of Godís church is neither cold nor hot. They are not cold because they still love God. They still do a work, they still keep the Holy Days and the Sabbath, but they are not hot, they are not on fire for God. They have gone to sleep. This church has been fast asleep since the death of Mr. Armstrong.

 

We are too busy sleeping. When we go to church, God is rarely mentioned in our conversations before and after church. How much prayer and study and meditation do we do?  When was the last time we had a fast day?  How serious do we take our calling?  Is God first in our lives, or just shoved in somewhere for appearance sake?

 

BE CAREFUL GOD SAYS I KNOW THY WORKS.

 

Mat 25:1  "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

Mat 25:2  Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Mat 25:3  Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,

Mat 25:4  but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Mat 25:5  But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

Mat 25:6  "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'

Mat 25:7  Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.

Mat 25:8  And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'

Mat 25:9  But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'

Mat 25:10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

Mat 25:11  "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'

Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'

Mat 25:13  "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

 

Notice verse 5, they all slumbered and slept.

 

This is the end time church, waiting for the return of Christ. They all slept.

 

1Th 5:7  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

1Th 5:8  But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

 

We are told not to sleep, but be sober.

 

Rom 13:11  And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

 

Note these points, knowing the time, we must know what time we are at, this is the end time, and note: awake out of sleep.

 

At the time of the end, we must wake up.

 

To be cold, is to turn away from God completely, this is not the case for some in this era of Godís church. We are still doing a work, we keep the Sabbath and Holy Days. We love God, we are faithfully fulfilling our commission, but some are lukewarm.

 

Mat 24:12  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

 

But the church is not cold, it is lukewarm.

 

Letís look at what it means to be Hot for God.

 

Mat 22:37  Jesus said to him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'

 

To love God with our whole heart, soul and mind, would mean we would have to be hot. We would want to devote a lot of time in prayer, bible study and meditation, and good works.

 

Ecc 9:10  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

 

We must put all our efforts into this precious calling, and do it with all our might.

 

The Laodicean church is not hot for God.

 

Rev 3:16  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

 

Christ says He will vomit this era out of His mouth.

 

We are about to be rejected by Christ.

 

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

 

Rev 3:17  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked

 

Rev 3:17ÖÖI am rich

 

Mar 10:24  And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!

Mar 10:25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

 

Mat 6:19  "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

Mat 6:20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

This scripture is saying to spend our time on the treasures in heaven, not the material things on earth, how can our heart be on the things of our Father, when we have money matters on our minds all the time?  Where is our treasure?

 

Rev 3:17  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked  

 

Become wealthy, and have need of nothing....

 

Pro 13:7  There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

 

Pro 11:28  He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

 

The Laodiceans trust in their wealth and say they donít need anything, but we should know that we need God desperately and riches can disappear very quickly.

Rev 3:17ÖÖand do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked

 

They donít know that they are in this condition. We must be aware of our spiritual condition. If we are not close to God then we will be miserable, if we are close to God we will be happy.

 

Psa 16:11  You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 

Rev 3:17ÖÖpoor, blind, and naked

 

Luk 12:20  But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'

Luk 12:21  "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

 

God says we must be rich toward Him, these are the true riches in life, all material things will perish, but riches toward God are eternal. The Laodicean church is poor.

 

Mat 23:24  Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

Mat 23:25  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.

 

These people were only concerned with outside appearances, worrying about small things that mattered not, the big things, and the inner man were left undone. These people were blind spiritually, so is the Laodicean era.

 

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."

Rev 19:8  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

 

Instead of being naked we must be clothed with the righteousness of the saints. The Laodiceans are naked.

 

Rev 3:18  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

 

Rev 3:18ÖÖGold refined in the fire, that you may be rich,

 

Mal 3:2  "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderers' soap.

Mal 3:3  He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.

 

Gold tried in the fire is righteousness. White garments that you may be clothed...

 

Rev 19:8  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

 

The Laodiceans need to be clothed with righteousness, they have not got it, they are not righteous,

 

Rev 3:18ÖÖthat the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;

 

2Co 5:1  For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2Co 5:2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,

2Co 5:3  if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

2Co 5:4  For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

 

We need to have the desire to be clothed with eternal life,

 

Rev 3:18ÖÖ and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

 

Luk 10:23  Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see;

Luk 10:24  for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it."

 

Christ wants us to see the spiritual truths which He reveals, and unfortunately the Laodiceans cannot see these revealed truths.  So they are told to anoint their eyes. God reveals these truths, but we need to ask Him.

 

Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

 

Pro 13:1  A wise son heeds his father's instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

 

We must listen when God rebukes us, it is not easy but leads to our ultimate salvation.

 

Dan 10:12  Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

 

This is the attitude we need to be looking for, Daniel chastened himself, and examined himself thoroughly, and God called him much beloved.

 

God rebukes and chastens us in the hope that we will repent and be zealous.

 

Tit 2:14  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

 

We must be zealous, God demands this attitude of us.

 

Mat 3:2  and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

 

We are in the last days, now is the time to repent before it is too late for us, God wants to see this repentant attitude in us, but soon it will be too late.  God will not wait forever for us. These are the last days.

 

Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

 

Rev 3:20ÖÖ Behold I stand at the door and knock.....

 

God wants to come in to our lives.  He is telling us that He is at our door.  He is very close and can be found easily, but sadly most of us are just too busy to open our bibles and invite Him into our lives.

 

Rev 3:20ÖÖ If anyone hears my voice...

 

Mar 4:20  But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."

 

Addressing the Laodiceans, God says if any man hears my voice.  Unfortunately it seems many do not hear, but if they do then they will bring forth fruit. This is what God wants of us, we must hear Him and open the door.

 

Rev 3:20ÖÖ I will come in to him...

 

Once we hear God, we have to do something about it, we must respond, we must open the door and then God will come in to us, open our minds, believe God, open our bibles, listen to God talking to us.

 

Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

 

God wants to live within us, but He wonít force His way in to our lives.  He will only come if we want Him.  We have to show Him we want Him to live in us. We must believe Him, we must act on what we know.

 

Rev 3:20ÖÖ I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

 

God wants a friendly relationship He wants to really get to know us, and for us to really get to know Him. This can only happen by way of a lot of time spent in bible study, prayer, meditation and fasting, we need to get really close to God.

 

This is the main meal that we want to share with Christ, notice the following scripture.

 

Rev 19:9  Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."

 

We all want the wedding invitation.  Would anyone be invited if Christ didnít know them? Letís get close to God while there is still time.

 

Rev 3:21  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

 

Look at the fabulous reward that awaits the ones who overcome, they will sit on thrones, what a great reward of authority. This is certainly worth trying for.

 

Mat 19:28  So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

The disciples were also given thrones, so what a great reward this will be.

 

Rev 2:29  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

 

We must be able to listen to what Christ is telling us, this is said over and over again to the Laodicean Era of Godís Church.  We must heed this warning if we want to obtain the reward Christ is offering to us.

 

As was stated earlier, this is the Era of Godís church which will witness Jacobís Trouble and the Day of the Lord. Therefore, there is a parable about Jacobís Trouble which is applicable to the Laodicean Era of Godís church, and will apply to us if we do not heed the warnings given to the Laodicean Era by Christ.

 

Mat 20:1  "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

Mat 20:2  Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Mat 20:3  And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

Mat 20:4  and said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went.

Mat 20:5  Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.

Mat 20:6  And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day?'

Mat 20:7  They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.'

Mat 20:8  "So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.'

Mat 20:9  And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.

Mat 20:10  But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.

Mat 20:11  And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,

Mat 20:12  saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.'

Mat 20:13  But he answered one of them and said, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

Mat 20:14  Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

Mat 20:15  Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?'

Mat 20:16  So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen."

 

In this parable we see people who have been in the church for various amounts of time, some, early in the morning, could mean as long as 60 years, third hour, sixth hour, ninth hour, eleventh hour, this group of people could be new converts or even people who repent during the time of Jacobís Trouble.  As is pointed out in the following scripture, remember the reward that Christ spoke of in the parable in Matt 20 was the same for all of them...eternal life....

 

Rev 7:9  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

 

Rev 7:13  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?"

Rev 7:14  And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

 

Here we see a great multitude which has repented during Jacobís Trouble. That is why God sends the four judgments, to cause Israel to see their sins and that they must return to God.

 

The fact that they have repented means that God can now work with them, and He is pleased with their attitude and gives them eternal life. They obviously believe God and realise the error of their ways. They obviously wanted eternal life, and asked God to help them, they turned to Him with their whole heart, it took Jacobís Trouble to bring out the attitude in them but they did eventually have that attitude.

 

The people going through Jacobís Trouble will be some from the Laodicean Era, some of them are vomited out of Godís mouth. They will be forced to go through the four judgments so they can see the error of their ways.  They need to believe God. This is one of their great sins, they will not believe God.

 

This is shocking truth here in the pages of our bibles.  We can be in the church for many many years and because of our attitude toward God, not believing Him or worrying about what men think instead of what God thinks, being lukewarm and generally going to sleep regarding our calling.

 

If we are guilty of this attitude in our lives, we will actually not be firstfruits but be someone who hopefully repents during the time of Jacobís Trouble.

 

This is a bitter pill to swallow, but notice how the people in Matt 20 v 11 murmured against Christ.  They were not a bit happy when they realised they had failed to become a firstfruit. Even though they had been in the church for years and years and the last group of people had only been in the church a short while.

 

This is difficult to accept and believe, but it is true, letís look at Verse 16, many are called but few are chosen. We have an article entitled Called Chosen and Faithful, which explains this process in great detail.

 

Many people in Godís church have been called but not chosen.

 

This is because they fail to believe God, they worry about what the world thinks of them instead of what God thinks of them.  They lack courage to step out and look into their bibles and believe God, they are too busy with this world and what it has to offer.  They forget about God, He comes a long way down the list of priorities. They are lukewarm and asleep spiritually.

 

Wake up, God says the Laodicean era is lukewarm, we will be vomited out of His mouth, if we donít repent and change the course of our lives.  If we want to be a firstfruit, we have to believe God, repent and change our lives. We have to follow God where ever He leads or we will go through Jacobís Trouble.

 

That is why the pages of our bibles tell us what is going to happen, we either ignore it and find out the hard way, or we believe the bible, and what God is telling us and change our ways before it is too late.

 

These are the facts in our bibles. We are the Laodicean Era of the Church. We can be in the church for as long as 60 years, and not be a firstfruit. We can end up with the same reward as someone in the world who repents in Jacobís Trouble. If we do not change our attitude Christ will vomit us out of His mouth and we will go through the four judgments to learn what God is trying to tell us right now. It is the church that the parables of the 10 virgins and the workers in the field are talking about. Not people who have gone out from our church, not people who have turned their back on God. It is us right now sitting very comfortably in church every week nodding off to sleep. We just love to sit there and point the finger and say, these things apply to someone else.....no they donít....Wake up...these scriptures are talking about Godís end time people and these warnings regardless of how uncomfortable, no matter how hard the saying, are about us right now. NOT SOMEBODY ELSE....

 
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THE WARNINGS? 

WE ARE THE LAODICEAN ERA, WE WILL GO THROUGH JACOBíS TROUBLE UNLESS WE REPENT AND CHANGE.  WE MUST BELIEVE GOD AND THE PAGES OF OUR BIBLES.