Warning: It is necessary to present this very powerful message from God to today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
When we come to the Biblical Feasts and rejoice before God, deluding ourselves into thinking that we are righteous because we keep the weekly and annual Sabbaths, while doing so without sincere repentance and a consummate dedication to live by every Word of God; therefore God hates our feasts of self delusion.
Through the studies into the Spring and Fall Festivals and the various Appointed Times we learn that God has provided us with practical instructional allegories to teach us about his Plan of Salvation for Humanity. As we celebrate these Festivals and Appointed times year by year we grow in our understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation and God’s purpose in creating mankind.
Once we begin to truly understand these things we can begin to understand why they are such times of incredible rejoicing. Once we realize that all those who rejected godliness and persecuted those who seek to live by every Word of God will have the veil of sin which blinds their eyes from spiritual things, removed; and all mankind will have a good opportunity to also enter the family of God; we can rejoice with an overflowing love for our LORD bursting forth from our innermost beings.
It is written: 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Every Word of God is Holy and Righteous and True; and all those things recorded as happening to Israel were examples for our instruction, and all of the Festival commandments that God gave to physical Israel were physical allegories for the instruction of Spiritual Israel.
1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat [the Word of God]; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
All of physical Israel was called to God to live by every Word of God and entered a Covenant with God through their calling out of physical Egypt [a type of sin] having the blood of the physical lamb applied to them as a type of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and were figuratively baptized in the Red Sea; then at Mt Sinai they committed themselves to live by every Word of God. Yet, many fell away from their commitment to live by every Word of God.
This too is an instructional allegory that many who are called out to the spiritual New Covenant before the resurrection of the first fruits will also fall away from their calling to become a people of God. Jesus himself warning us that:
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
1 Corinthians 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased : for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters [anyone who lets any man or thing (including a corporate church organization) come between then and God is an idolater], as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication [spiritually fornication is being disloyal to our espoused Husband Jesus Christ by departing from living by every Word of God], as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ [by blaming God for our troubles and rebelling against Him, instead of seeking his deliverance], as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10:10 Neither murmur ye [do not complain against God but run to Him for deliverance from Satan and sin, which are the source of our trials], as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Everything that happened to physical Israel in the exodus account was recorded for an example for us; and every command of God including the Festivals and Appointed Times was an instruction for Spiritual Israel.
10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
God commanded us to keep his weekly and annual Sabbaths, New Moons and Appointed Times; why then does a loving God HATE what we do when we keep these God commanded occasions?
For it is written: Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
In the past many have said that this refers to the unscriptural festivals of this society; we know this cannot be true because the scriptures say that all scripture is for the Ekklesia, especially today’s latter day Ekklesia. who do not keep the festivals of this society but keep the Festivals commanded by God.
The answer to this problem will be found in studying the context and seeing the reason that God hated the Festivals which he had commanded them [and us] to keep. We can then examine ourselves to see if God has similar issues with us in how we keep God’s Festivals.
The context in which God condemns our keeping of God’s Feasts and Sabbaths is in Isaiah 1:1-14.
Isaiah [YHVH is salvation] was a prophet who lived in the 8th-century B.C. Kingdom of Judah.
Isaiah rebukes sin and prophesies correction for a sinful Judah and for all the nations of the world that oppose God; this is in type, a pre-tribulation warning for the latter day Spiritual Ekklesia, as ALL scripture is written for OUR instructions,
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all [godly] good works [which is the keeping of all the teachings and commandments of Christ].
Today we are to take all the writings of the biblical prophets and apply them to ourselves personally and to our groups.
Isaiah prophesied of our correction and the reasons for that correction, also prophesying about the coming of Messiah and the restoration of the nation of Israel and repentance in God’s glorious future kingdom.
Isaiah give Judah and today’s Ekklesia, the reasons for their and OUR coming correction.
Isaiah tells US why God hates our Feasts which were commanded by God; and why both the nations and the wayward lukewarm COG, are going to fall into the correction of great tribulation for one last time.
I warn our readers that the major prophets very powerfully condemn the sins of Judah, Israel and the latter day called out Spiritual Ekklesia as well as the wickedness of all humanity.
Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
YHWH [in this case the one who gave up his God-Hood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ] speaks to Isaiah saying that he has cared for Judah like a godly father cares for his children and the children are rebellious.
This applies to physical Judah of that day and the spiritual Judah of the New Covenant of today; it certainly applies to those spiritually called out to God the Father through Christ, who have become spiritually lukewarm and rebellious against the Word of God; just like today’s Spiritual Ekklesia which stands on their own ways and false traditions, contrary to the Word of God.
1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
This is the complaint that God has against us: We rebel and refuse to live by every Word of God, we have forgotten our God in that we have replaced God with idols of men and corporate entities to obey them above the Word of God.
We exalt the false teachings and traditions of men above the Word of men, making our idols of men sovereign and God’s Word subject to the whims of such men for we say that they sit in authority over Almighty God to bind and loose whatever they want and we must then obey the men and not the Word of God.
Why do we think this way? b Because they have lied to us and told us that they are the servants of God and must be obeyed just as if God was speaking to us, then then turn us away from God to follow their own pernicious ways.
The dumb ox knows its owner, but today’s spiritual Ekklesia has become separated from God the father and Jesus Christ by their spiritual adulteries in exalting men, organizations and false traditions above their espoused husband and God the Father.
1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Today’s corporate organizations of the Spiritual Ekklesia have forsaken the Word of God for their own ways and false traditions; and made idols out of men, false traditions and organizations; so that they are fallen away from the Eternal who is the ONLY one can save us.
1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
We are spiritually sick having separated ourselves from our father and our Deliverer, to stand on our own false ways; and for this cause we are spiritually weak and far away from our God.
1:5 Why should ye be stricken [why should God continue to warn us patiently to repent] any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Today’s corporate Ekklesia are corrupted with all manner of error and sin; and we will not accept and teach the truth because of our false traditions.
1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
Our spiritual wealth of understanding has been dissipated by our sins; we even allow strange [false] doctrine in our midst which makes our groups spiritually desolate.
1:7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
The few true faithful zealous brethren are left standing alone and persecuted among us like a besieged city
1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left [the faithful are left standing alone] as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
Christ would have utterly destroyed the lukewarm and rebellious church of God, but because the zealous loved God and their brethren, they pray often that their brethren be not totally destroyed just like Moses prayed for the people.
1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Our called out religious leaders and elders are like Sodom and Gomorrah in their rebellion against our Maker: Return to the Law, Word and Commandments of our Mighty God!
1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
Yes, like ancient Judah, today’s Spiritual Ekklesia is full of the pride of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49) and God is sick of our offerings and Festival observance because our keeping them is an exercise in self-deception as we convince ourselves that because we keep God’s Sabbaths and Festivals that we are a godly people.
God is sick of our false repentance and our lukewarmness to live by every Word of God; he is sick of us exalting our idols of men, organizations and traditions above his Word, teachings and commandments.
Almighty God is sick of our self-righteousness in exalting our false traditions above the Word of God. and God has become revolted and repulsed by our making offerings and partaking of the Passover of Christ, only to rush to continue in our sins.
1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
Those who appear before God on His Sabbath, or Holy Days, or even in some cases on the New Moons; and DO NOT keep the commandments and teachings of every Word of God but stand on their own ways, idolizing and exalting men, false traditions and organizations, while tolerating sin and false doctrine; make God disgusted with our Feasts and Sabbaths.
It is a sin and a disgusting abomination to appear before God without sincere repentance from idolizing false traditions and tolerating false teachings and sin!
God cannot endure the assembling of unrepentant sinners at his Feasts any longer! We have turned God’s Holy Assemblies into meetings of following men and false traditions instead of assemblies to learn about and to live by every Word of God.
We routinely pollute God’s Holy Sabbaths and very often we do not even observe God’s Festivals on the dates God has commanded us, but instead think that we are keeping God’s Festivals on dates contrary to what God has commanded.
1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 1:13 Bring no more vain [meaningless offerings] oblations; incense [your prayers] is an abomination unto me; [your continual sins make] the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with [this is a bad translation H3201 means that God rejects the assembling of unrepentant idolaters of men, who come before him falsely claiming to be godly: “Away with them, God can not endure them any longer”]; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
Jesus Christ hates God’s Sabbaths and Feasts as observed by us, because we keep them without repentance and without any zeal to live by every Word of God!
We falsely claim to keep God’s assemblies as we make a pretense of observing them, doing so in our own ways and on our own dates; instead of in the ways and on the dates that God has commanded.
Today we do not even keep the annual Sabbaths on the days that God has commanded, and we call God’s Sabbaths HOLY and then openly declare ourselves justified in polluting them!
1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
God will not hear our prayers because they are from insincere people who will not obey him.
1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands [in prayer], I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood [sin].
God hates the weekly and annual Sabbaths that HE has commanded us to observe, because we use them as a cloak for our sins!
How is that? We come before God in His Sabbaths and Festivals and then we go home feeling good about ourselves; and feeling justified, thinking ourselves righteous, without repenting of our many sins.
Indeed most of us sin by actually daring to pollute God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths with work, and suborning others to work on the Sabbath by buying from them. We reject God’s commanded Biblical Calendar system to follow men in place of God’s Word and we also refuse to keep God’s commanded annual Festivals on the days God has commanded, and instead delay them for our own convenience.
For further study on the Sovereignty of God and The biblical Sabbath and Calendar see this series.
We are full of pride and self righteousness and we reject any part of scripture which we do not want to accept.
When these things happened in physical Judah they were corrected with a great correction; and an even stronger correction is coming to them and on today’s Laodicean Ekklesia.
Will Almighty God do any less to His spiritual Judah who are supposed to have His Holy Spirit and are supposed to know better; when we commit the same sins?
Let us sincerely repent of our transgressions and turn to live by every Word of God with Christ-like wholehearted zeal.
Let us exalt the Father and the Son and every Word of God above all else, let us root out and destroy every false way as individuals and as groups; before we are rejected by God into great correction like ancient Judah!
The Reason Why God Hates our Feasts and Sabbaths: God hates our Sabbaths and our Feasts which he has commanded us to keep, because in making a pretense of keeping them, we have deceived ourselves into thinking that we are truly righteous while we continue in our many sins!
To Laodicea Jesus identifies himself as the faithful and true witness of what they are truly like. They think themselves spiritually rich and have no idea what Jesus Christ really thinks of them. Jesus here tells them their problems straight out, but they are proud and willfully blind to reality.
Laodicea means the people will be judged and corrected.
Lao: the people:
Dike: judged [condemned by the law and punished]
Definition: diké: right (as self-evident), justice (the principle, a decision or its execution)
Original Word: d???, ??, ?
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (dee’-kay)
Short Definition: justice, judicial hearing, punishment
Definition: (a) (originally: custom, usage) right, justice, (b) process of law, judicial hearing, (c) execution of sentence, punishment, penalty, (d) justice, vengeance. Cognate: 1349 díke – properly, right, especially a judicial verdict which declares someone approved or disapproved; a judgment (just finding) that regards someone (something) as “guilty” or “innocent.” See 1343 (dikaiosyne).
[1349 (díke) is used in classical Greek for a legal decision – a recompense (based on justice). In the LXX, dike is used nine times to translate rî, the Hebrew term for “law-suit.”]
STRONGS NT 1349:
1. custom, usage, (cf. Schmidt, chapter 18, 4 cf. 3).
2. right, justice.
3. a suit at law.
4. a judicial hearing, judicial decision, especially a sentence of condemnation; so in Acts 25:15 (L T Tr WH ?atad????).
5. execution of the sentence, punishment, (Wis. 18:11; 2 Macc. 8:11): d???? ?p??e??, Jude 1:7; d???? (Sophocles El. 298; Aj. 113; Euripides, Or. 7), to suffer punishment, 2 Thessalonians 1:9.
6. the goddess Justice, avenging justice: Acts 28:4, as in Greek writings often from Hesiod theog. 902 on; (of the avenging justice of God, personified, Wis. 1:8, etc.; cf. Grimm at the passage and commentary on 4 Macc., p. 318, (he cites 4 Macc. 4:13, 21; 8:13, 21; 9:9; 11:3; 12:12; 18:22; Philo adv. Flacc. § 18; Eusebius, h. e. 2, 6, 8)).
suffer, weep, ache, lament, sorrow, bewail
Probably from deiknuo; right (as self-evident), i.e. Justice (the principle, a decision, or its execution) — judgment, punish, vengeance.
see GREEK deiknuo
Emphasizing that his message to Laodicea is true and is coming out of Christ’s faithful love for them in the hope that they might repent and be saved.
Jesus also calls himself the “beginning of the creation of God;” clearly meaning that Christ is the Creator who began the creation of all things. See Revelation 1:8. 1:11, 21:6, 22:13 I am the Alpha [Beginning]
Revelation 3:14 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;
Laodicea is spiritually lukewarm, professing godliness while keeping the commandments according to their own imaginations instead of keeping them the way that God commands.
They pay lip service to godliness without any zeal to learn and keep the Word of God. Their zeal is for their own ways and what they think, for their own past false traditions and their idols of men and not for what God says. They stand on their false past traditions and proudly think they know it all; refusing any spiritual growth they are stagnant or even falling backward in their spiritual condition.
They are hot for their own traditions, and for the teachings of their idols of men about the Word of God, and cold for zealously keeping the whole Word as God, as God has commanded them. This mixture of hot for their idols of men and corporate entities, and a cold, lack of zeal to keep the Word of God, makes them lukewarm and revolting to Christ.
They are idolaters of men and tradition; proud, thinking that they know it all spiritually and therefore refuse correction from God or man; they reject the Word of God for their own ways and they reject any growth in truth and refuse to turn from error.
This is a clear, obvious, indisputable and precise explanation of the overwhelming majority of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia!
Because these folks have rejected Christ to follow idols of men, they will be rejected by Christ into the correction of great tribulation, in the hope that through the correction of the flesh the spirit may be saved.
3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth [They will be rejected by Christ into severe correction].
Proud and self-willed, they think they are spiritually rich and know it all, having need of no spiritual growth, and they reject the increase in spiritual knowledge and understanding promised for the last days, Daniel 12.
They reject any part of scripture which they do not want to follow, saying it is for others; and they are so proud and arrogant they have no idea how spiritually wretched, miserable and poor they really are.
They are willfully blind to their own condition and to the things of God that disprove their own false ways; They lack the garments of righteousness and are naked of any righteousness before God, their many sins exposed to Him; beginning with the sins of pride, self-justification and self-approval.
3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich [spiritually], and increased with goods [spiritual knowledge], and have need of nothing [no one not even Christ (the Word of God) can tell us anything]; and knowest not that thou art [spiritually] wretched, and miserable, and [spiritually] poor [knowing almost nothing of God as we ought to know it], and blind [willfully blind to our wretched spiritual state], and naked [naked of any true godly righteousness, not being zealous to keep the Word of God]:
Christ counsels those with the Laodicean attitude to buy spiritual gold in the fire of tribulation; so that they may become spiritually rich.
They are bidden to sincerely repent of their prideful sins so that the nakedness of their wickedness may be covered by the application of the sacrifice of Christ; and so that they may receive God’s Holy Spirit and the white raiment of the righteousness of the zealous keeping of the whole Word of God.
They are commanded to anoint their eyes and open them to see themselves as God sees them, and to sincerely repent from their pride and false ways and to turn away from their idols of men and false traditions to follow the spirit of God into all truth; rejecting all error and sin to embrace godly truth that they might be saved.
3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me [spiritual] gold tried in the fire [during the period of your correction in the fire of tribulation], that thou mayest be [become spiritually rich] rich; and white raiment [the righteousness of zealously keeping the whole Word of God], that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness [that our sins might be covered by the righteousness of God] do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, [acquire the Holy Spirit through sincere repentance] that thou mayest see [open our eyes to see ourselves as God sees us, to see ourselves as we really are, so that we can repent and be saved].
Jesus reminds these folks that he rebukes them only because he truly loves them and is not willing that they should perish. They are rejected only because they first rejected Christ, refusing to keep the whole Word of God, refusing to follow Christ and refusing to live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal.
Jesus Christ tells those of the Laodicean attitude; which is the overwhelming attitude throughout today’s Spiritual Ekklesia; to sincerely REPENT of their pride and self-righteousness. and to REPENT of trusting in their idols of men and false traditions.
Jesus Christ tells us to turn to a zeal for the whole Word of God, to learn it and to keep it; to turn from our false idols and false traditions and to become zealous to remove every error and embrace the truth of God!
3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Jesus is warning and calling each one of his straying sheep; He wants us to reject our idols of men and false traditions and to follow him, to be zealous to remove sin and to embrace God’s righteous truth, to internalize the solid meat of the Word of God in fellowship with Christ and God the Father.
They have an open invitation from Jesus Christ who is gladly willing to accept them, if they would only open up their eyes and turn to Him!
3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup [eat; internalize the Word of God] with him, and he with me.
Only those who overcome this Laodicean attitude of pride and self-will will be resurrected to spirit. Those who sincerely repent of the sins of Laodicea will be in the resurrection to eternal life and will have a place in the eternal government of God.
3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
As the seventh and last church [properly: congregation or assembly] addressed, Laodicea has all of the problems of the other churches [properly: congregations or assemblies].
That is because pride is the chief cause of most of the various problems. Today all the major COG groups and most of the smaller ones are full of pride and idolatry, rejecting any biblical thing they do not agree with, claiming it applies only to others.
They think of themselves as the repository of all wisdom and truth, and refuse any zeal to keep the whole Word of God in order to follow their corporate idols, idols of men and there own false traditions.
They call the Sabbath and High Days, Holy; and then walk all over them, while claiming that the commandments not to cook or buy food on God’s Sabbaths somehow apply to others and not to themselves. They insist on following the apostate Rabbinic Calendar and refuse to keep the Biblical Calendar commanded by God; even though the proofs are overwhelming.
They have almost no understanding of the Festivals, rejecting the true meanings of the Festivals; still falsely claiming that the seven day Feast of Tabernacles somehow represents only one thousand years, which is scripturally impossible (2 Peter 3:8).
They reject any zeal for keeping the Word of God, and insist on a zeal for the corporate idols, idols of men and past false traditions, insisting that people should obey them, above the Word of God.
The Mosaic Pharisees were a type of Laodicea
The Laodicean attitude is an exact replica of the primary attitude of the Mosaic Pharisees during the physical ministry of Christ.
Contrary to popular belief the Mosaic Pharisees were NOT zealous for the law, rather they made the law of God of no effect by their own false traditions just as today’s Spiritual Ekklesia does!
In Matthew 15:9 Jesus said of the Mosaic Pharisees; and this is a very precise description of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia:
Matthew 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Matthew 23 describes the attitude of the majority of God’s people during the physical ministry of Jesus Christ; and it also accurately describes today’s spiritual Ekklesia right before Christ comes to rule the nations!
Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
At that time the scribes and Mosaic Pharisees sat in Moses seat; that changed with the death and resurrection of Christ who then became an eternal spirit High Priest replacing the priesthood of Aaron.
23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
With the death of the Husband of Israel; the marriage between physical Mosaic Israel and Christ ended, and so did the authority of the Mosaic Priesthood and the Pharisees!
When Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and was accepted by God the Father as a sacrifice for us; He became our High Priest and the King of the world in waiting; the Mosaic priesthood was superseded by a reestablishment of the High Priesthood of Melchizedek.
From that time on; neither Levi, nor the Jews; have any lawful spiritual authority. they have rejected the only lawful authority in existence at this time and forever more; which is the authority of our eternal High Priest Jesus Christ.
The true and only existing Priesthood of God today is that of our High Priest Jesus Christ, and the called out have the potential to become priests of Christ forever in the coming Kingdom of God. All of us are in training to become priests forever in that spiritual priesthood of Jesus Christ [Melchizedek].
We are not to rely on apostate Christ rejecting, true priesthood rejecting, Rabbins; for our religion! We are to rely on the example and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole body of scriptures that were inspired by HIM!
Sadly, today many would be like those Pharisees; and many do indeed bind heavy burdens on the brethren that they would not lift a finger to bear themselves. This varies in intensity by each group as do all these other condemnations.
23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Sound familiar? Just substitute the ecclesiastical titles “Mr.” or “Pope” or “father” or “padre” or “apostle” or “prophet” etc for Rabbi!
Oh, how we love titles and the chief seats today. Oh how many elders love to be greeted with fawning subservience and called by some title!
23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi [our religious master]: for one is your [religious master] Master, even Christ; and all ye [everyone in the Ekklesia are brothers including elders etc] are brethren. 23:9 And call no man your father [as a religious title] upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
This is a condemnation of the love of position and titles!
It was always customary to call everyone brothers and sisters, including elders. Elders were introduced as elder ******, or brother ******; until Constantine and the Popes introduced layers of authority between the people and themselves; with the Pope between all others and God; which placing men between the brethren and God Jesus Christ says he hates (Rev 2:6. 2:15).
This Babylonian Mystery Nicolaitane system has been introduced into today’s Spiritual Ekklesia; which had until the 1930’s called its elders “Brother ……..”
God’s government never allows any man to come between the brethren and God.
God’s governmental system is Family, with God the Father as the HEAD, and the firstborn son Jesus Christ as the second Head under God the Father, and then the Husbands over their own families.
Offices of ecclesiastical authority exist as helps to keep us focused on God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Their authority comes from the Word of God and the truth that they teach, and once they depart from the Word of God they lose all moral authority! See our series on “Ecclesiastical Authority.”
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
The Nicolaitane idea of a pyramidal structure of layers of human authority between men and God is an abomination to God. It is the job of ALL elders to focus all people on the Father and Christ: NEVER to COME BETWEEN the people and God; but to act as facilitators in helping men to focus DIRECTLY on their Father through their ONLY High Priest and Mediator; Jesus Christ!
We are to prove the words of ALL men, by the Word of Almighty God! We are NOT to interpret God’s Word by the words of men; but to prove the words of men by the Word of Almighty God!
Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
We are all to desire to humbly and passionately serve our God and not to exalt ourselves. God will exalt or abase as HE sees fit.
23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
How? By paying lip-service to the law while making it of no effect by the traditions of men; and through compromise in its practical application; By making corporate idols and idols of men instead of faithfully putting God and His Word above all men, no matter what titles they claim.
23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Demanding money of poor widows, and then making a show of flowery prayer.
23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
How? By teaching them to obey men, organizations and false traditions, instead of focusing them on repentance and a diligent passionate obedience to all of God’s words.
23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
Today’s corporate Ekklesia exalts mammon and numbers; above repentance, faith and obedience to every Word of God.
23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
The important thing is NOT the numbers of responses, but the quality of the message!!!
The important thing is not the building [the organization] but serving and obeying the Eternal God on his throne, sitting in absolute authority over your deeds and very thoughts! and serving the God who shall most certainly judge us by our works; whether of faithful uncompromising obedience; or of compromising with HIS Word!
23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Demanding every last cent that can be demanded or extorted, while ignoring and not rebuking sin, nor teaching repentance from evil doing, and not expounding and exhorting faith, mercy and sound judgment, founded on the basics of God’s Word; we have departed from God!
We are to be merciful to the poor in their needs; we are to be merciful to the repentant instead of condemning them for being over righteous!
We are to preach a message of warning and repentance and the mercy of God [the Father] or the sincerely repentant; who gave his only begotten son that sinners might be reconciled to Him [the Father].
23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
This is a figure of speech that simply means that we strain at the little unimportant things like money and numbers; and neglect the really important things like zeal for God.
23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
We have no business reaching out to the world with tainted messages, while we are full of sin inside ourselves and our organizations.
We need to clean up our own spiritual lives and get right with God. We need to rekindle our passionate zeal for God and his commandments; we need to get rid of those traditions not consistent with scripture; we need to start practicing what we preach, and to start setting a godly example instead of acting so shamefully.
We need to stop exalting men and organizations above God; we need to STOP equating loyalty to men, as being equal to loyalty to God. We need to repent and turn to our God with passionate enthusiastic consummate zeal; and then we need to begin to preach the Gospel of warning and repentance that Christ has commanded us to preach.
23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
We honor the prophets and ancient men of God, while persecuting those who are today filled with a similar zeal: Showing ourselves that we are no better than those who persecuted the saints of old.
23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Today the Assemblies persecute the zealous for God just as the ancients persecuted the prophets and holy men, and as the Pharisees persecuted Christ and his true faithful disciples.
23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Those who do such things are likened to vipers who hide along the path waiting to strike the unwary. When a person goes to them with questions, they reason with them that they should not be zealous like the Mighty Men of God, but should be lukewarm like themselves, then make a note to persecute such zeal by calling the zealous Pharisaical, when it is they themselves who are Pharisaical; filled with zeal for their own groups and traditions, while being lukewarm and compromising with the Word of God.
Since Cain slew Abel, it has ever been thus; that the faithless and compromised; have always persecuted the faithful and zealous. Those who exalt the Lord their God; will face resistance from outside and from inside these organizations,
Such Philadelphian pillars should REJOICE at the persecution from Laodicea, because they have been given an opportunity to set an example that their persecutors will later remember and be convicted by.
These pillars persecuted by Laodicea should REJOICE, for they are being tempered and tested to become pillars in the Temple of The Great God for all eternity.
They that stand unshakable on the foundation of the Word of Almighty God; without turning, no matter what the stress; will be made fit by God to stand on that sure foundation of the Word of God as pillars, helping to hold up the entire family of God for all eternity!
23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
These persecutions did come upon the saints by the religious establishment of that day, and have continued to this day. They are now being fulfilled internally by today’s Laodicean COG Groups.
23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
This is about the city, Jerusalem, which persecuted the godly through history and is figuratively about the faithless who persecute the faithful today. Jesus Christ would have saved them, if only they would accept his deliverance and turn to him away from sin and compromise with the Father’s law.
Both Jerusalem and today’s faithless Ekklesia, will be made desolate in the tribulation; it is then that they will sincerely repent and turn to the ONLY one that can truly save!
23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
When you see Christ come, Jerusalem, and all those who persecuted the saints; will be in a humbled and repentant attitude, and will no longer reject Christ and the teachings of the whole Word of God; instead they shall Shout for Joy at his appearance; crying out “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”!
Philadelphia and Laodicea
Jesus illustrated the difference between a Philadelphian and a Laodicean the difference between a holy attitude and a profane and unacceptable attitude in this parable.
These prayers are not just words, they reveal the attitude of the person praying, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee [Laodicean], and the other a publican [Philadelphian].
18:11 The Pharisee [Laodicean] stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
18:13 And the publican [Sincerely repentant sinner; Philadelphian], standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Today the true Philadelphian pillars are scattered throughout the Ekklesia, which are overwhelmingly Laodicea.
Oh, how we Laodiceans exalt ourselves to live by our own false traditions and reject any true humble passion of the only Mighty One who could deliver us! Proud and thinking ourselves rich in spiritual things, thinking we know it all: We have become spiritually dead, apostate from our Master.
The various church attitudes may have dominated at various historical tines, but the seven churches of Revelation also all existed at the same time in the first century and each one is an instructional example for us, and all of these problems and strengths will also exist at the same time in these last days.
Today like Ephesus, we have lost the passionate zeal of our first love for truth and godliness and the whole Word of God.
Today like Smyrna, there are some who are faithful to God and God’s Word and suffer much persecution.
Today like Pergamos, there are some who have not denied the authority of God and the scriptures and yet they tolerate Nicolaitane bullying.
Today like Thyatira, there are those who are full of good works, but in their zeal to do good to their neighbor have lost sight of their obligations to God. Do NOT mistake love of man; for love of God!
As a bride is to be faithful to her husband, our first duty is to God the Father and to our spiritual Husband, and all good works to others are secondary. Many unconverted people are also full of good works towards humanity and do not obey God; how are we different from them if we are also full of good works for humanity and forget our LORD?
We should be filled with good works towards men; while not forgetting to put our LORD first in our lives!
What say you? If a bride put her personal charitable works ahead of her love and obedience to her husband, will the husband think that she loves her own works more than she loves him? It is a very good thing to do good works for people, but such good works should not overtake our zeal for our LORD!
Like Sardis, the overwhelming majority in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia are spiritually dead; because our passionate zeal to live by every Word of God has DIED!
Today like Philadelphia, there are some faithful standing on the foundation of the whole Word of God; who are scattered like pillars throughout the various assemblies and standing alone. In a very short time now God’s two servants will call for the faithful to gather together and leave for the place which God has prepared; the faithful pillars will respond to God’s call while the others will not, thus separating out the faithful from the others.
Today like ancient Judah and Laodicea, the Ekklesia is overwhelmingly proud, arrogant and unteachable by God. They reject large parts of God’s Word and very much truth, to follow their idols of men and false traditions.
They will not respond positively to God’s warnings and the only way to save them from certain eternal death is to afflict the flesh to humble them; so that the spirit might be saved.