The Laodicean Message
By E.H. “Jack” Sequeira

Laodicea is Addressed

Revelation 3:14:

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:  These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

The messages to the seven churches are Christ’s evaluation of the spiritual condition of the Christian church during the different periods of church history, because the common thread that goes through all the seven messages is, “I know thy works.”  And when God looks at our works, He’s evaluating us in terms of our spiritual condition.  Jesus Himself said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

Okay, the second thing that we discovered, and this is mainly from Ellen G. White’s writings, that while the Laodicean message applies to the Christians of the last generation, it has a special application to us as a people.  She clearly points out that the message of the Laodicean church applies, or is highly applicable to us.  For example, look at the following quote:

I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God’s people at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts.  [1T 186]

Now that’s quite a strong statement.

This is why we need, as a people, to look at this message.  We’re going to do it Biblically, but these are supplementary helps for our study.

In this study, I want to look at verse 14, “Laodicea is Addressed.”  This verse is divided into two parts.  The first part is dealing with the one who is addressed, and the second half is dealing with the One Who is addressing.  Let’s read the verse first and then we will look at it in greater detail:

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:  These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

If you turn your Bible to chapter one of Revelation, you will notice that, according to verse 11, the messages to the seven churches are to go to the churches themselves.  This is Christ speaking to John, who was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.  Revelation 1:8-11::

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said:  “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches:  to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

Now, of course I believe that God had a message for the local churches that are mentioned here, but since Revelation, as we saw in the last study, is a prophetic book, it has an application prophetically, and we have seen that it goes over seven periods.  These seven churches represent seven periods of the Christian church.

But when you look at verse 14 of chapter 3, which we just read, the Laodicean message is addressed not to the church, but to the Angel of the church.  And last study I asked you the question, “Who is the Angel?”

To understand the Angel, let’s go back to chapter one and let’s look at the introduction to the messages to the seven churches.  Revelation 1:12-16:

I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me.  And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

Here is John, in the Spirit, on the Lord’s day.  He hears a voice, that’s the voice of Jesus Christ, and those of you who have the red edition Bible will notice it’s in red.  Then in verse 12 he turns around to see the voice that spoke with him and, being turned, the first thing he sees is seven golden candlesticks.

In verse 13, in the midst of the seven candlesticks, he sees One “like the Son of Man.”  Now that phrase, “the Son of Man,” was the most common phrase used by Jesus Christ regarding Himself.  Remember, He asked the disciples on one occasion, “Who do men say the Son of Man is?”  And then He said to the disciples, “Who do you say the Son of Man is?”  It was a most common phrase, which is the phrase Christ used to identify Himself with us.  Please notice that the Son is in capital, therefore, it refers to Christ.

Here is John; he turns around; he sees seven candlesticks.  In the midst of those candlesticks, he sees the Son of Man, which is Christ, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and so on.  Then you have a description of Jesus Christ in symbolic terms.  Folks, these are not literal terms, because you look at verse 14:

And his eyes were like blazing fire.

Well, these are all symbols.

But the verse I want you to look at is verse 16, we looked at verse 12, now verse 16.  After describing Christ, and what He looked like in the vision, in verse 16 it says:

In his right hand he [the Son of Man, i.e., Christ] held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

And, by the way, in Hebrews 4:12 the Bible, the Word of God, is defined as a two-edged sword:

For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

But now, there are two things I want you to know in this illustration here, this is what John sees.  The first thing he sees is seven candlesticks.  And the second thing I want you to notice is verse 16, “He held in His right hand seven stars.”

The reason I want you to notice these two things is because these are the two symbols that are explained; and the explanation is found in verse 20:

The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this:  The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

This is Christ explaining these two symbols because they are important.

The candlesticks, therefore, represent the churches themselves, which is a fitting symbol.  Turn to Matthew 5.  Here again is Jesus talking and please notice what He says about the church, the believers.  He’s talking about the disciples.  This is the Sermon on the Mount.  He has just given the Beatitudes, which are the commandments of the Christian church.  If you look at these beatitudes you will notice that they very closely relate to what Christ wants the church to be like, the believers to be like.

I want you to notice two verses.  First, Matthew 5:14a:

You are the light of the world....

He’s talking to the Christians and He is saying, “You are the candlesticks, the lampstands of the world.”

I want you to notice something that is very important.  You will not notice this in an English Bible, so I’m going to explain it to you, because this is a lot more obvious in the Greek.  The “you” is in the plural form.  The word “light” is in the singular.  Therefore, the “you” represents the church members, all of us; but the “light” represents Who, if it’s singular?

Second, John 1:9:

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

Who is the light of the world?  Is it the church, or is it Christ?  Jesus said (John 9:5):

...I am the light of the world.

You can read, also, John 1:7-8 [this is talking about John the Baptist]:

He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

But I would like you to look at John 1:12:

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God....

Going back to Matthew 5:14, the church is to reflect Whose light?  Christ’s light.  The church is to represent Christ.  The world needs to see Christ in the church.  Keep this in mind, because when you come to the Laodicean message, you will realize why the church has failed to be the light of the world.

So the church is the light.  How does the church reveal Christ?  Look at Matthew 5:14-16:

You [i.e., Christians] are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Why do we light a candle?  That we may see, to get light.  But what do we do?  We put it on a candlestick.  Now who does the candlestick represent?  The church.  But God wants that light to go beyond that house, so in verse 16 I read, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  ’I know your works,’ says Jesus.  “Let them see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Now doesn’t Laodicea have good works?  Is she not doing good works?  Well, we’ll come to that in the next study.  But what I want you to notice is that the church is the candlestick.

But the Laodicean message is addressed to the “Angel.”  Who is the angel?  What does the word, “angel” mean?  “Messenger.”  Listen to how the Bible describes an angel.  Turn to Hebrews 1, and there we have a little help describing in what sense the angels are messengers.  Hebrews 1:13-14:

To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?  Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

So the angels are ministering spirits.  When we use the angels as a symbol, then they refer to those who are spiritual leaders of the church.  Let me give you a couple of statements.  If you read your Living Bible, which is a paraphrase Bible, you will notice that the Living Bible does not use the word, “angel,” but uses the word, “leader”:  “To the leader of the church of Laodicea.”

The Pulpit Commentary interprets the word “angel” as the churches’ “chief officers.”  So it includes Sabbath School teachers and the officers of the church, the elders, but primarily it refers to the ministers and those who are in charge of the spiritual condition of the church.

Please remember that when we use angels as symbols, when they are referred to ministering spirits, the question is, “Are they true ministers or are they false ministers?”

I want you quickly to look at the following quotation, and this may add some little light.  You will notice that Ellen G. White agrees with Scripture.  This is taken from Gospel Workers, pages 13 and 14:

God’s ministers are symbolized by seven stars, which He Who is the First and the Last [Christ] has under His special care and protection.  The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with these ministers of God, who are to represent the love of Christ.  The stars of heaven are under God’s control.  He fills them with light; He guides and directs their movement.  If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars.

That is why we must remember that the spiritual condition of the church is in the hands of the ministers, to a large degree.  I want to give you a text to give you an example of this.  Turn your Bible to Acts 20, and I want you to notice what Paul does.  He’s travelling back to Jerusalem from his missionary journey, and he stops at Ephesus, and he’s there for a short while.  He’s not able to preach there, so what does he do?  He calls the elders of the church, that’s found in 20:17, and from Miletus, or what is now Malta, he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church.  He is in Malta, he sends a message to the elders.

The word “elders” here is the same word that is used for ministers.  It’s also used for “bishops.”  That’s why we call ordained ministers “elders”; it’s because it comes from this word.  And when the elders came, listen to what he says.  Look at verse 28.  He says:

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

In other words, “God has given the members in your care.”

That is why I believe that one of the primary tasks of the minister is to feed the church.  We have placed upon our pastors a lot of burdens.  That is why, when I am first given a call to a church, I call the elders, the board members, just like Paul did, and I say, “Look, what kind of minister are you looking for?  Do you want an administrator?  Then find somebody else.  But if you want somebody who will feed you, that’s my concern.”

Because that’s what Paul says:  the spiritual condition of the church depends, to a large degree, on the ministers.

Now let me explain the problem.  When we accept Christ (except for rare occasions, like Mary Magdalene, she was exceptional), we accept Christ with a selfish motive.  Because our nature is selfish.

Even Ellen White says that when you preach to the world in evangelistic efforts and tell them, “There’s a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun,” what are you appealing to?  The egocentric nature.

So when people accept Christ, they do it for a selfish reason — either because they’re afraid of punishment or because they want a reward.  I’ll be frank with you, both my wife and I joined this church out of fear.  We were scared about the judgment we’d been told about in the evangelistic efforts.  We were 8,000 miles apart, but you know, our evangelistic meetings are about the same everywhere, we have the same 25 studies.  We give them different names, but the basic subject is the same.

In fact, we were holding a Revelation Seminar in Tuna, and one of the men who was coming to the meetings said, “You know, I have come to several evangelistic efforts, and you call them different names, some of them you call “Voice of Prophecy,” now you call it “Revelation Seminar,” but I discovered it’s the same stuff.”

And I said to him, “You are right.  My problem is, why haven’t you accepted it?”  He’d been to six or seven of them.

“Well,” he said, “I felt that this was a study on Revelation, but you are using Revelation as a stepping stone.”

I think that this has been the complaint of many people.  So the modern Revelation Seminars, the latest ones that are coming out, are more Revelation-oriented than they were before.

But anyway, when we accept Christ, we do it for a selfish reason.  By the way, all of the disciples, all 12 of them, accepted Christ for selfish reasons.  What were they arguing about, even three years later?  Who shall be the greatest.  Who were they thinking of?  Themselves.

So when a person joins the church through an evangelistic effort, they are what Paul will define in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 as “carnal Christians” or “babes in Christ”:

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ.  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.  Indeed, you are still not ready.  You are still worldly.  For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?  Are you not acting like mere men?

The work of the pastor is to move them from carnality to spirituality.  And you do that by feeding; there has to be spiritual growth.  If you don’t, you will lose.  A carnal Christian is a weak Christian, a baby in Christ, and unless you feed them....

Do you know that in Ethiopia, out of every 20 babies, in some regions, 19 die within the first year.  And, in a sense, it’s a blessing because of overpopulation, because they have 10, 15 kids in each family.  But why do they die?  Most of them die because of malnutrition.  And it is possible for Christians to die, spiritually, because of malnutrition.

What I want to say here, folks, is that there has to be a spiritual growth.  And God is speaking to the Laodicean Church and saying, “Look, you ministers, there is something wrong with the church.”

The message is to the whole church, because remember, verse 1:11 says so:

“Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches:  to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

But the responsibility of building up the church is with these ministers.  So I plead with you to pray for our ministers, that they would feed the flock, so that we will grow up.  There is something wrong; what is wrong we will see in the next study, but let’s go on.  Look at the following quotation:

“These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.” These words are spoken to the teachers in the church, those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities.  [RH 05-26-03]

So who is Christ addressing the message to?  To the ministers, so that he or she may realize that there is something wrong with the church.  What is wrong?  We will discover that in the next study.

Let’s go back now to Revelation 3.  We have so far addressed ourselves only to the one that is addressed.  So God is not speaking to certain individuals in the church; He’s speaking to the whole church through the ministers.  Because, you see, the spiritual condition of the church will never rise up higher than the ministers.  There might be individuals who will be spiritually superior to the ministers, but the general spiritual condition of the church is in direct proportion to the spiritual condition of the ministers.  Therefore, this is something that is very serious.  The whole church, from the top to the bottom, needs to know this message.

Now let’s look at the second half, which is also important.  Who is addressing the ministers?  Revelation 3:14 says:

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:  These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

The word “Amen” here is used as a proper noun.  The word itself, as I touched on previously, actually means, “so be it.”  Or it can mean, “the truth.”  The word, “amen” is sometimes translated as “truth”; it can mean “what is being said is the truth.”

Now the actual meaning of the word, “Amen,” here, is given by Christ Himself.  The second phrase after “amen,” the next phrase, is the definition of “amen.”  So Jesus is saying, “This is the Amen, the Truth speaking, the Faithful and True Witness.”

Now, you will discover that in every one of the seven messages, Jesus gives Himself a special title, and the title He gives Himself is in harmony with the needs of the church itself.  In other words, the title that Christ gives Himself in the Laodicean message, is based on the needs of the Laodicean church and it’s connected with the Laodicean message.  There are two things that are said about Christ in this second half of verse 14.  Number one, Christ is called the “Amen, the Faithful and True Witness.”

By the way, you may want to look at Isaiah 65:16, for there God calls Himself, “the God of Truth”:

Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the God of truth; he who takes an oath in the land will swear by the God of truth.  For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.

Why does God call Himself the “Amen” here?  Why does He call Himself “the True and Faithful Witness”?  Because there is a problem.  What is the problem?  Look at verse 17 (we will not study verse 17 now but I just want you to look at it).  If you look at verse 17, you will notice that there are two evaluations of Laodicea.  One is Christ’s and one is the church’s itself.  And these two evaluations do not agree.  Look at Revelation 3:17:

You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Who is the “you” here?  To whom is that message addressed?  The angel!  Remember, who is it addressed to?  So “you” here, refers to the angel.  “You ministers, you leaders, are saying about your church, that you are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.  You’re making glowing reports about yourself, BUT there is a problem.  What is that you do not know?  That you are really wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

Who says that we are wretched?  Who says that we are miserable?  Christ, the true witness.  What do we say about ourselves?  That we are rich and increased with goods.  What does Christ say about ourselves?  Do these two evaluations agree?  Do they harmonize, or do they disagree?  Who is right?  That’s what He wants us to know.

I want to make it very clear that we are a corporate body.  If your hand is sick, the whole body is affected.  Is that clear?  Let me give you an example.  When Daniel prayed in Daniel 9, and he said, “WE have gone wrong.” Is that true about Daniel Himself?  No.  But what did he do?  He identified himself with his people.  You see, this is my main complaint with off-shoot movements.  They look upon the shortcomings of the church, and then they look upon themselves as if they are on the right track.  We need to identify ourselves with the mistakes of the church.  I can stand up and say, “I am okay, I’m feeding you people.” No, folks, I am in it too, because I’m part of the body.

Well, what I’m saying here, folks, is that we have a problem, the same problem that Peter had.  I want you quickly to turn to a passage that will help you, and that is Matthew 26:31-35:

Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

You are familiar with the incident.  This is Jesus talking to His disciples.  And He said, “All of you will deny Me.  You will forsake me.”

How did the disciples relate to that statement?  And how did especially Peter relate to that statement?  I want you to look at the last few verses.  Verse 31 says,

“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written [He’s quoting from the Old Testament]:  ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”

Well, they denied it.  Look at verse 33:

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Is he agreeing or disagreeing with Christ?  Who was right?  Did Peter discover that the easy way or the hard way?  Don’t you think he would have saved himself a lot of embarrassment and problems if he had said, “Yes, Lord, You know all things.”

Look at verses 34-35:

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Peter said, “You’ve got it all wrong, Jesus.”  And then the disciples joined in.  You see, the disciples had the Laodicean problem.  They learnt the hard way.

Now what Jesus is saying is, “I am the True Witness.  What I’m telling you is the truth.  You may not agree with Me, but I’m telling you the truth.”

If we don’t learn to listen to Christ now, we will have to learn the hard way.  Because He says, “If you don’t repent I will rebuke you and I will spew you out of My mouth.” Boy, that’s terrible.

Anyway, let’s go on, back to Revelation 3:14:

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:  These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

The King James Version translation of this phrase has caused a lot of problems.  I need to touch on it.  In that translation, Jesus gives Himself the title, “the Beginning of the creation of God.”  There are many Christians in the history of the Christian church who have taken this verse, including our pioneers folks — Jones and Waggoner, Prescott, James White — and they have taught that Jesus had a beginning.  “He was the First of God’s creation.”  I’m quoting now from Wagonner, in His book, Christ Our Righteousness, “But it was so far in the distant past, that to us human beings, it’s like eternity.”

But Ellen G.  White corrected it.  In Desire of Ages she says:

In Him was life original,underived, unborrowed.

It was to counteract the semi-Arian position of our church.  We were Arians.  Arius was one of the church leaders in the early church who said that Christ had a beginning.  So I need to explain this.  The word “beginning” in the Greek does not mean “the beginning” in the sense of “starting.”  It means, “the source” or “the origin” or “the chief cause.”  So what Christ is saying here is, “I am the Source of all creation.”

And this is the clear teaching of the New Testament.  John 1:3 says:

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

I’ll give you several texts.  1 Corinthians 8:6 talks about Christ as a Creator:

...Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Ephesians 3:9:

...And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

Also, Colossians 1:16-17:

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

What Christ is saying here, is that “I am not only the True Witness, but I am the Source of all creation, and I can change you, if you only allow Me.  I can create in you a new heart, I can make you a new person, only if you will repent, and accept my evaluation of you.”

So He is not only saying, “I am the True Witness” but “I am also the solution to your problem.” That’s why He gives Himself two titles:  “I am the True Witness, because you need to know your true condition, which is subconscious or unconscious, you are not aware of it.” And we will see why we are not aware of it next study. But number two, “I have a solution to your problem.  I am the Source of creation.  Everything was made by Me and I can give you a new heart.”

In other words, He wants to fulfill in us the New Covenant promise.  By the way, I would like to give you a couple of verses which tell you about the New Covenant promise.  He made this promise to the Jews first.  But the Jews rejected Him.  So what did Christ do with the Jews as a nation, not as individuals, but as a nation, what did He do?  He said on the triumphal entry to Jerusalem when He wept with tears (Matthew 23:37-38):

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.  Look, your house is left to you desolate.

In other words, “I’m going to spew you out of my mouth as a nation.  And I will turn to the Gentiles, the Christian church.”

But He made them a promise.  He did not fulfill that promise to the Jews because they refused Jesus Christ.  He’s making the same promise to us today, because the same promise is repeated in Hebrews 8.  But the promise is found in Ezekiel — also in Jeremiah — but Ezekiel is what I want to look at.  Ezekiel 11:19-20:

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Also Ezekiel 36:26-27:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

And you will notice that these promises are repeated in Hebrews 8:10-13:

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.  I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

And what is our conclusion?  Christ is addressing not a few people in the church, He’s addressing the whole church, through it’s leadership.  This is not a problem of some of the members, this is a problem of the body of Christ, the last generation of Christians, and especially to us.

And His evaluation of us is negative, yet it is true, folks; it is true.  The question is, “Are we willing to accept His evaluation, no matter how painful it is?”  It’s very painful, folks, when somebody says to us that, “You are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” As the church that claims to have the truth, it’s very painful.  But we will discover in what sense we are wretched, miserable, poor, and blind.

I want to give you a text that will help you to understand our problem too.  Jeremiah 17:9:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?

And, folks, we have been deceived, just as the Jews were deceived.  The Jews rejected Christ because they did not accept His verdict about them.  We must not do the same thing.

We will look at the evaluation of Laodicea in the next study, and I want you to read very carefully verses 15 and 16.  Please remember that the words “hot,” “cold,” and “lukewarm” are symbols that must be interpreted from Scripture and not from your dictionary.

So you wrestle with these two verses, because when we look at the evaluation, we will have to make a response:  is it true, or is it false?  If it is true, then we will take the counsel; if it is not true, we will refuse the counsel.  So verse 15 and 16 are extremely important.  What is our problem; what is it that we do not know; what is it that has deceived us?  That is why our next study is extremely important, and I want you to study it carefully yourselves.  So may God bless us; as we look at this message, we will see what our problem is.

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