WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH

Changes God requires in His church today in order to produce the perfected 'bride of Christ'

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Today we look at the church of Laodicea.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

CHURCH
CHURCH
CHURCH GOVERNMENT

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
DEFINITIONS (For serious students only)

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continued THE EARLY CHURCH - RELATIONSHIPS

 

 

THE CHURCH AT LAODICEA

 

We now come to the last and worst of all the seven Asian churches, the reverse of the church of Philadelphia; for, as there was nothing reproved in that, here is nothing commended in this, and yet this was one of the seven golden candlesticks, for a corrupt church may still be a church. Here we have, as before,

I. The inscription, to whom, and from whom.
1. To whom: To the angel of the church of Laodicea. This was a once famous city near the river Lycus, had a wall of vast compass, and three marble theatres, and, like Rome, was built on seven hills. It seems, the apostle Paul was very instrumental in planting the gospel in this city, from which he wrote a letter, as he mentions in the epistle to the Colossians, the last chapter, in which he sends salutations to them, Laodicea not being above twenty miles distant from Colosse. In this city was held a council in the fourth century, but it has been long since demolished, and lies in its ruins to this day, an awful monument of the wrath of the Lamb. 1.

1. Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

 

 

 

The church at Laodicea is regarded by many as being symbolic of the church of today, as it was the 7th of seven churches mentioned, therefore applicable to the end times in which we now live. Shockingly, it was, as other commentaries state, the worst of all the churches. Sobering isn't it?

Let's read what Jesus had to say:

 

 

Revelation 3:14-17

 

 

The church today, particularly in the West, is wealthier than at any other time in history. The pernicious prosperity doctrine is preached by many in the false hope of becoming even richer. Sadly, as I have experienced, the poor throughout the world, are all too often exploited to give what little they have in a desperate bid to escape their poverty. The only ones who end up getting rich are the preachers and promoters of this false doctrine.

Wealth leads to independence, to self-reliance, as we no longer need to rely upon God for our material needs.

Jesus tells us here that really, in spite of our self-confidence, the people of Laodicea, and we by implication, are actually wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.!
 

 

 

This is truly a hard message to get across, for the magnetic attraction of materialism is so hugely powerful in our lives. We are indoctrinated on a daily basis through the media, peer pressure and in many other subtle ways.

Rich churches today are regarded as having received the blessing of God. Such was the Laodicean church. Jesus did not agree!

Kathy and I are shifting house to a rented 2 bedroom unit, from our current, relatively small by New Zealand standards, 3 bedroom house. Over the past few years we have given away all the money we had, not that it was a lot, and now only own our household possessions. These too, we have tried to minimise. Yet now that it is time to shift again, we find we still have far too much 'stuff', much of which has been stored away since our last shift, 2 1/2 years ago! Just in case we needed it!

Moving into a small unit will force us to downsize once again. But it isn't easy in the society in which we live, where people are judged by the possessions they have. Sadly, even amongst Christians.

I am not saying that our choice of a (relatively) minimalist lifestyle is the only way to go to get nearer to God. Nor, necessarily, what you should do. However we, along with many millions of others, particularly in the Third World, do understand the meaning of the Lord's (disciples) Prayer when it says,

 

 

Matthew 6:11

 

 

As we move to look at the successful churches that Jesus commended, we will see that their values and situations were very different to those which we regard as being 'successful' in the church today.

How much we need to be reminded of the Parable of the Rich Fool so that we don't meet his fate.

 

 

 

God desires for us to be dependent upon Him for our provision. 

 

NEXT WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continues...

 

.. as we look at the positive side, the first of the 2 churches Jesus commended, that at Smyrna.

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

Things! Things! Things!

In the Western world we simply have far too many of them! Of course we like them, but we come to rely upon them rather than Jesus.

As the recession bites, many people are starting to look at themselves, as Kathy and I had to at the times of our bankruptcies.

May we all see the error of our ways - and do something about it!

Extra-Biblical Historical Evidence for the LIFE, DEATH, and RESURRECTION of JESUS

GNOSTICS SOURCES

The Gospel of Truth, probably by Valentius, around 135-160 AD:

"For when they had seen him and had heard him, he granted them to taste him and to smell him and to touch the beloved Son. When he had appeared instructing them about the Father. ... For he came by means of fleshly appearance." Other passages affirm that the Son of God came in the flesh and "the Word came into the midst. ... it became a body."

"Jesus, was patient in accepting sufferings. . . since he knows that his death is life for many. . . . he was nailed to a tree; he published the edict of the Father on the cross. ... He draws himself down to death through life. ... eternal clothes him. Having stripped himself of the perishable rags, he put on imperishability, which no one can possibly take away from him."

The Aprocryphon of John, probably by Saturninus, around 120-130 AD:

"It happened one day when John, the brother of James,--who are the sons of Zebedee--went up and came to the temple, that a Pharisee named Arimanius approached him and said to him, `Where is your master whom you followed?' And he said to him, 'He has gone to the place from which he came.' The Pharisee said to him, 'This Nazarene deceived you with deception and filled your ears with lies and closed your hearts and turned you from the traditions of your fathers.'"

 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

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A DAVID'S DOODLING

177. Earthly prosperity is - just a little more. But heavenly prosperity is learning to be content with what the Lord has given.

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
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