Laodicea was a rich ancient city in Asia Minor on the river Lycus. (Turkey)
It was located in the regions of Caria and Lydia, during the Hellenistic period.
Laodicea’s history under Alexander the Great was thoroughly steeped in Greek history and culture.
Laodicea was ‘worldly’ before the Romans took it over. Adhering to Greek Philosophy, secular reasoning, and human logic.
When Rome took over Laodicea it became a flourishing commercial city due to its strategic trade route. Laodicea was known for being a banking center with a medical school and a market for high demand black wool.
Laodicea was called the “City of Zeus.”
Zeus was the God of the Cosmos, dwelling on Mount Olympus. (the home of the gods)
That is Laodicea was Satan’s domain, where he sat in a high place as the prince of the power of the air.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 2:2-6
Many of the Jews who had been transported to Laodicea by Antiochus from Babylonia, had converted to Yeshua. They were wealthy merchants.
As long as Christianity was considered a Jewish sect in Laodicea the converts were exempt from ’emperor worship’. However, when more Gentiles were converted to Christianity, their special status as a Jewish sect was removed.
Jesus tells the church at Laodicea to repent of their lukewarmness. Being materially comfortable caused the Laodicean church to become spiritually apathetic.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: Revelation 3:15–16
The word spue is the modern English word for’vomit.’
The Bible tells us that to vomit something out means that one is spuing something out that is defiled.
Laodicea is warned by the Lord to to repent.
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelations 3: 18,19
The Laodicean Church was told it faced being ‘vomited out’ because of the worldly materialistic lukewarm position they had taken. Jesus told Laodicea that they would be put through the fire for purification. Scriptures tell us that going through the fire is going through trials, tribulation, and persecution.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. Job 23:10
So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ Zechariah 13:9
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Going through the fire, reveals our ‘nakedness.’ Our poor spiritual condition. It helps us to see ourselves the way we really are. All our sins are exposed. All our self righteousness is revealed.
The Laodicea church went through a time of persecution and great shaking.
Although Jews were exempt from persecution under Domitian’s reign (81–96 C.E.) Christians were not. This affected their ability to ‘buy and sell’.
The compromising Christians of Laodicea faced the consequences of “I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16)
Laodicea continued to be an important city until the seventh century C.E. when it was struck by an earthquake and abandoned.
The Laodicean church is an example of what happens when the followers of Jesus Christ become compromised due to extreme wealth and comfortableness.
Just like the Lord exhorts the Laodicean church to preserve through the fire he is asking the wealthy, materialistic, spiritually lukewarm church of today to persevere in the trials and persecutions upcoming.
Jesus is standing at the door. He is ready to return. Are you ready for his return? Are you watching? Looking for the signs?
If you are going through tremendous trials right now it is for a divine purpose. To bring you through the flames as pure gold. Remember that Jesus is the forth man in your fire. He will walk with you through it!
Draw close to him. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.
When he has brought you through the fire you will be able to look back and see his hand of grace on your life!
You will be a vessel meet for his use!
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