We have been studying the Book of Revelation but the other day while reading Colossians 2:1-23 I realized that this relates to Revelation 3:14-22.
Colossians 2:1 – Paul writes: “For
I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in
Laodicea is the seventh of the Seven Churches Jesus speaks
to in Revelation 3:14-22. Laodicea is the “lukewarm/complacent” church! They
considered themselves “rich, wealthy and have need of nothing” as Laodicea was
the centre for three major industries which were banking, textiles and
medicines in those days.
Paul tells them in Colossians 2:2-3 that he desires, “that
their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to
all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the
mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.
Life in Laodicea was very difficult for the Christians. For example, in order to get into the “Market Place” where all the trade happened they had to burn incense at the gate in honor and to worship the god of gods—who was “Caesar”! This was a requirement put in place by “man”! God commands that believers have no other gods beside Him though!
Further, in order to belong to the guild—a circle business
people were to join—you had to worship other gods (for trade and blessings with
finances), and attend the annual celebrations which would end up being festivals
of drinking, eating food sacrificed to idols, and sexual immorality that took
place in temples of the various gods! A place in complete violation of God’s
To drive home the point, Paul warns them in verses 4-5 not
to be deceived with persuasive words but
to be steadfast in their faith in Christ. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS!
In Colossians 2:8, 16-18 and 20-23 Paul gives us a
preview of what the Christians in Laodicea will have to deal with, and how they
will have to stand fast in their faith in order to not fall for the temptation
to comply with men’s traditions just so that they can do business.
Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through
philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to
the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ”.
Colossians 2:16-18: “So let no one judge you in food
or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a
shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you
of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels,
intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his
Colossians 2:20-23: “Therefore, if you died with
Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the
world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—Do not touch, do not taste, do
not handle, which all concern things which perish with the using—according to
the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance
of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body,
but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
Are we complying with some of men’s traditions in order to fit in or to belong to the world?
May we stay firm in the Lord!
Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comment
section. We would love to hear from you. Also if you like this blog, please
share it with your friends. Thank you for reading. God bless you!
REVELATION 3:18 [Jesus speaking]
“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.” (NKJV)
Last week we unpacked the meaning of
“gold” – “refined in the fire” – “buy from Me
gold” and why we should do that. This week we will look at the meaning of
“white garments” and “eye salve”.
AND HOW DO WE BUY FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST?
Now, before we get to the white garments I
would like to share some information I found in the John MacArthur Study Bible with
regard to the “gold”, “white garments” and “eye
salve” concerning the church of Laodicea. In those days Laodicea was the
centre for three major industries which were banking, textiles and medicines.
MacArthur Study Bible commentary quotes: “Jesus offers them the spiritual counterparts to their three major industries. Each item was a way to refer to genuine salvation.” (pg. 2807, comment on Revelation 3:18)
The spiritual counterpart to banking would
be “buying gold from Jesus” becoming pure and righteous through His
sacrifice. Spiritually “white garments” would replace the textiles
and “eye salve” the medicines.
What does “white garments” stand
for? I think we can all agree that “white” is the symbol for
“purity”. How can we stay pure in today’s world and society? Not easy
with all the temptations around us! There is only One who can assist us and
make us strong to stand against the temptations of this world and that is Jesus
Christ! Having been baptized in the Holy Spirit when we accepted Jesus Christ
as our Lord and Savior we can have the strength to withstand evil. If we read
God’s Word and listen, the Holy Spirit within us will guide and protect us.
Buy white garments from Jesus by abiding in
the Word, obeying what we read in the Word, and listening to the Holy Spirit
through reading the Word!
Let’s continue to the “eye
Eye salve was one of the major industries
in Laodicea. We use our eyes to see, unfortunately not everyone can SEE the
TRUTH! Jesus urges the Laodiceans and us to anoint our eyes with eye salve so
that we will be able to see the Truth and won’t be deceived!
Most of us have eyes to see, but do we
always see the Truth? Or are we blinded by the enemy?
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If
therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your
eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light
that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 4:4
“whose minds the god of this age has
blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.“
There were a lot of different
“gods” in Laodecia to be worshipped. The Christians were under great pressure
not to fall into idolatry. Their eyes saw all those different gods and rituals
going on around them, and the eyes transmitted that to the brain to entice them
to follow since it looked good and participation could prosper you! The enemy
was trying to sell it to them in whatever package possible. That’s why Jesus
told them to buy “eye salve” from Him so that they would see the
Truth, that they would be able to discern right from wrong and stand firm!
How do we buy from Jesus? Quoting Nadia Mikhael M.D. from her book “Women of the Bible made a Difference” pg 41, paragraph 4: “remember your ABCDs:
Accept the Word of God as truth, Be faithful in reading it, Commit to its ways, and Do what it says!”
How are we doing? Are our eyes wandering? Do we need to buy “eye salve” from the Lord?
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Feel free to let us know your thoughts in
the comment section. We would love to hear from you. Also if you like this
blog, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading. God bless you!
In Chapter 2 Verses 8-11 Jesus Speaks to the Second of Seven Churches
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the
First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: (NKJV*)
“the First and the Last” is our
Lord Jesus Christ who tells John to write to the church of Smyrna.
Revelation 2:9 “9I know your works,
tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those
who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” (NKJV*)
“(but you are rich)”! You may ask how can they be rich when Jesus says that they live in
poverty? They are rich in the Lord Jesus Christ! Matthew
6:19-21 – 19 “Do not
lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where
thieves break in and steal;20 but lay up
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and
where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where
your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NKJV*) When you have Christ in
your life you are rich, just look at the final destination for the believers! Matthew 10:22b – “But
he who endures to the end will be saved.” (NKJV*) And Jesus
will give them “to eat from the tree of life”! (Rev. 2:7b)
not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil
is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will
have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the
crown of life.” (NKJV*)
The Lord encourages the church of Smyrna and us to be willing to die rather than deny our faith in Him referring back to Matthew 10:22b. The “crown of life” is for human testing even to martyrdom. The Lord Jesus commends the church in Smyrna and lets them know they will be persecuted, but He holds nothing against them. We can expect to be persecuted: John 15:20a,b – “Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (NKJV*)no matter how slight or how severe. W.MacDonald comments: “But we cannot expect better treatment than our Lord Jesus received. Our word will be refused just as was the Savior’s.” And still is rejected by many to this day.
Revelation 2:11 “11He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be
hurt by the second death.'” (NKJV*)
W.MacDonald: “Again the willing hearer is encouraged to listen to the Spirit’s advice. Here an overcomer is one who proves the reality of his faith by choosing to go to heaven with a good conscience rather than stay on earth with a bad one. He will not be affected by the second death, the doom of all unbelievers.” Psalm 27:14 – “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; I say, on the LORD!” Revelation 20:6, 14 – “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. … Then Death and Hādēs were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (NKJV*)
The first resurrection has three principal
1. the resurrection of Christ 2. the resurrection of His Church; and 3. the resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints.
The second death is preceded by a
resurrection of the unsaved to face the Lord at the Great White Throne. In this
second death the unbeliever just
keeps dying; it is –according to King James Study Bible: “eternal
punishment in the lake of fire”
which will never be quenched. (check out: Isaiah 66:24; Jeremiah 7:20; Ezekiel
20:47-48; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Jude 7)
OUR FIRST LOVE ISGOD –the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—!
First God, second our family, and third our country!
WOW! We are so excited to be able to make this resource available for an in depth Bible Study of the Book of Revelation, either in a Bible Study Group or for personal study!
Now, let me get back to the LAYOUT we chose for the Study Guide and why.
own a Parallel Bible with four different versions (KJV, NKJV, NIV, NLT). Having
all these different translations side by side helps me greatly in my studies.
And sometimes Mike picks it up, too.
putting together the Study Guide and brainstorming the best layout for it, we
went back to the Parallel Bible idea several times. And in the end decided that
it would be of advantage to have the Scriptures and the relevant Commentaries,
as well as Reference Scriptures and their relevant Commentaries side by side.
With this layout the student can follow each verse or sometimes several verses
combined as well as the commentary and reference verses from the left column to
the very right column across the open book without turning any pages.
advantage is that the student doesn’t have to search the Bible back and forth
for the reference verses, and in the end have lost their thought by the time
they get there.
way TIME can be used more effectively and the layout enhances the ease of
the purpose of this study is to promote learning, discussion, and blessing.
Once finished, we had 72 pages of Study Guide and
we would need at least 8 copies for our small study group! Plus there were a
number of other friends and family who had expressed interest in a copy of the
We had arrived at the point where we had to deal with the question: “How do we produce all these copies in the most efficient and reasonable way?”
FONDUE / FUTON
Confusing the futon with the fondue was so very easy for me to do. Eating the futon, or was that the tonfon; or was it sleeping in the fondue; or was that the dufu? What does a dufu do? Is there a new dance called the Fudu? Any fuddy duddy could chew on nutty putty, but it takes a special one to find the street it’s on and eat a full pot of futon. Any way, when we finished the walk or was that a run, it really was a ton of fun eating that… that Provence fondue, and being there… with you two.
Photocopying? Printing? Binding it into a book? What would it be? Check out our next Blog Post!
The first question that many
might ask after reading the title of this blog may be:
“What motivated Mike to
write a Study Guide on the Book of Revelation?”
Over the past few years we have encountered so many people, including members of our Bible study group, wondering about the future of this world. People are always seeking for answers to their questions like: “Where is the world headed? Are we seeing the signs of the Last Days?”
Some people would answer: “We are living in interesting times! We are living in challenging times! or We are living in the End-Times!”
Mike’s answer: “All the answers to our questions can be found in the Bible! The Revelation of Jesus Christ is difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, Revelation 1:3 and 22:7 tell us we will be blessed if we do.” And he would say: “Don’t take my word for it!”
Revelation 1:3 NKJV Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 22:7 NKJV “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
With this in mind Mike set out to put together a Bible Study on the Book of Revelation for our small study group. It turned into a bigger project than expected. Mike spent months researching and compiling information from different sources like dictionaries, commentaries, and other solid brothers in Christ. It was a rewarding effort!
CALL OF SILENCE
Sometimes… life seems to call us… to a place… where we can slow down
To the peace… and the quiet… to a place… where we can hear no sound
To be with someone… whom we love… very… very much
To feel the happiness… of each other… and to share nature’s touch.
(by Mike Copple)
For more details on the Study Guide please check back for our next post: “What’s an easy to follow LAYOUT for a Study Guide?”
If you like what you read, please leave us a comment, and also feel free to share this post with your friends!