In this episode we will dive even deeper into the sacred words of Christ written by the hand of John while exiled on the island of Patmos. As we continue our journey, we will make our way from Thyatira to Laodicea making stops at Sardis and Philadelphia along the way.

References to Bible Verses:

Revelation 2:18-29; Revelation 3:1-22; Matthew 24:11; Hebrews 8:12; John 16:33 (Amplified); Isaiah 22:20-24; John 14:6; John 1:1-3

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Jason: Welcome back Seekers of Truth to the My Ministry Mission podcast. We are your host Jason and Laura. In our last episode of the Book of Revelation, we took you on a thrilling adventure through the first three churches and letters. Now in this episode, we'll dive even deeper into the sacred words of Christ, written by the hand of John, while exiled on the island of Patmos.

As we continue our journey, we will make our way from Thyatira to Laodicea, making stops at Sardis and Philadelphia along the way. I hope you are ready to explore the divine justice, unshakable promises, and lessons sent by Christ himself to these congregations and to us all. Fasten your seatbelts, because the adventure continues.

Hey, Laura. How you doing?

Laura: I'm doing good, Jason. How are you today?

Jason: I'm good.

Laura: This week was a soup sandwich, but that's okay.

Jason: You know what happens? I had a pretty busy week, as you know, my daughter did theater. The entire week was filled with full dress rehearsals and performances. So my day started at 4 30 AM and at 10 PM with very little downtime in between, but totally worth it. She did a great, fabulous performance and everything, everything was great. They had a good time. So. All right. Are you, are you ready for this?

Laura: As ready as I'll ever be, but yes, I am.

Jason: Excellent. Okay. We will start this episode in Thyatira, which is next one on the list after the first three. So while Thyatira was a center of business and trade, it was the smallest and least important of the seven cities. Sorry, Thyatira. It's not me. There aren't any known historical records that document the Christians being persecuted in Thyatira, either religiously or politically. It was famous for purple dye. Which was expensive. It's a color of royalty. It's really hard to make, but according to the Carnegie museum of natural history, Tyrion purple was a really popular. Color with the Romans as a symbol of imperial authority and status. And in fact, in acts 16 versus 14 and 15, it mentions a woman named Lydia, who was a dealer of purple cloths and Thyatira, who is a worshiper of God. So one more interesting fact about Thyatira is that it had more trade guilds than any other town of its size in Asia.

So Laura, what does Jesus have to say about this one?

Laura: Well, just as with all the other letters, he starts off by introducing himself. And for this church, Jesus introduced himself as the "Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze," from Revelation chapter 2, verse 18, the second half.

And that ties back to Revelation 1:14-15, Understand that according to Jewish standards, to be the son of something indicated you had the nature of that thing. So, in Isaiah 57:3, it talks about the "sons of the sorceress," so these guys had the nature of the sorceress. And in Mark 3:17, the "sons of thunder" had the nature of thunder.

So Jesus introducing himself as the Son of God demonstrates that he has the nature of God, which is a reference to his divine nature and his deity. The eyes, like a flame, emphasized his penetrating judgment, and his feet like fine brass, represented his purity and steadfastness.

Jason: Interesting. So Jesus observed something about this church as well. You find it in Revelation 2:19, "I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first." So, I mean, just because Thyatira was small and relatively insignificant, again, Sorry, Thyatira. They were still important to Jesus. He sees all.

And this all sounds good, right? They appear to be this model church, have several great qualities. They have, they have love, they do service, they demonstrated faith and patience. So what was, what was the problem?

Laura: Well, Jesus was very clearly happy with these behaviors, but even with all that good, there were some concerns. Revelation 2:20-21 outlines what Jesus had against the church at Thyatira. "Nevertheless, I have this against you. You tolerate that woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching, she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling."

Now, it seems that the corruption Within the church in Thyatira was one woman Jesus referred to as Jezebel. She was a self proclaimed prophetess within the church and was clearly patterned after Jezebel in the Old Testament found in 1st and 2nd Kings. Now, she was clearly a false prophet, which Jesus warns about in Matthew 24:11, when he says, "and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."

So this Jezebel, whether that was her real name or not, was clearly involved in immoral and ungodly behavior that was influencing others. Now, Jesus's greatest accusation against this woman was that she was given the time and opportunity. She was given the time and opportunity. To repent over and over, he gave her that chance, but she refused.

She rejected the work of the Holy Spirit, calling for her repentance. God does the same with us. He gives us time to repent. He gives us chance after chance. And this is a reminder that you and I should be willing to give this same courtesy to others now. There is a limit to God's patience, though.

Eventually, that time will run out. So the lesson here is to repent as soon as God requests it. Now, this is really bad for Jezebel. However, the sin of the Church of Thyatira was that they allowed this corruption to take root. They didn't nip it in the bud. From the outside looking in, sure, there are lots of Good things going on in this church, but letting this Jezebel lead others astray and influence others. The way she did was a sin in

Jesus' eyes.

Jason: Right? And Jesus has a big scary ask for such a small church, which we see in Revelation 2 verses 22 through 25. He says, "So I will cast her on a bed of suffering and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches the hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teachings and have not learned Satan's so called deep secrets, I will not impose. Any other burden on you except to hold to you what you have until I come."

Wow. So interesting thing to note here before Jesus told the Christians at Thyatira what they must do, He first told them what he must do. So in the NIV version, he casts her on a bed of suffering and other versions, like the King James version, he casts her into a sick bed, which seems more appropriate.

Now, this woman and anyone who is committing adultery with her, they're going to be dealt with harshly. And maybe it was literal sickness or disease. Maybe it's something else. I don't. Think they ever really explained that.

Laura: Not really. I mean, different translations do use different words. Some translations simply say bed. Others use sick bed or bed of sickness. Others say bed of suffering or pain. And yet we also do see bed of anguish. And there was one translation called the Expanded Bible that talks about beds of sexual sin becoming beds of suffering. But then you have Young's literal translation. And when Robert Young wrote his translation, he calls it a couch.

Jason: Well, whatever.

Laura: So there's that. Yeah, to each their own. But Jesus did have a promise of reward for the Church of Thyatira. When Jezebel's time to repent had run out, Jesus was giving all those who had committed adultery with her the opportunity to repent as well. And this letter to them is their opportunity. And time will eventually run out for them, too, as it will for all of us.

So this is the call to the church, repent of your adulterous ways. And if they do, the reward is described in Revelation 2:26-28. "To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations, that one will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery. Just as I have received authority from my father. I will also give that one the Morning Star." So understand, Jesus is not offering them a leadership position per se. He's saying that his people will reign with him, and he's offering to share his own kingdom.

He creates some interesting mental images here. I mean, imagine an iron scepter shattering clay pottery, and you can probably imagine what Jesus is going to do to those who rebel against him during his reign. This is a special reward for the Christians at Thyatira because they've been surrounded by immorality and they're given the hope of knowing that they will be on the winning team.

So, the last reference in this verse, references the Morning Star, which is a reference to Jesus himself. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus refers to himself as the Morning Star, but we'll get to that in a later episode. So, long story short, Jesus is offering himself as part of their reward.

Jason: Seems like a good reward.

And I'm not sure why the general exhortation to all Christians comes at the end, but it's the same as usual. Anyone who's willing to listen, anyone who's sinning and following the teachings of this Jezebel, they must remain faithful to Christ and turn away from these wicked ways. I mean, that's pretty much it. Say you're sorry and don't do the bad thing again.

With that, we end our tour of Thyatira

Laura: now we're cooking with gas and we're on the way to Sardis, which my study Bible refers to as a dead church. And if the theories of the churches also being indicative of church ages is correct, then the age of Sardis was in the era of the Protestant Reformation.

So Sardis was a very wealthy city, and it was split into two locations. The original city was at the top of a mountain, and when there was no more room to grow, a newer section was built in the valley. I have to wonder how hard the terrain was to traverse and if the people ever made the trip to visit friends or relatives who were on the other side. And I've just hit myself with this second greatest showman reference.

Jesus introduces himself in this letter as the one who has the sevenfold spirit of God and the seven stars. As mentioned earlier, the seven stars represent the seven pastors or other leaders of the church.

The sevenfold spirit of God, though, had me stumped for a little bit. When first referenced in Revelation 1:4, "Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come, from the sevenfold spirit before his throne and from Jesus Christ." This sevenfold spirit seems to refer to the Holy Spirit. Makes sense, but why sevenfold? I mean, the Holy Spirit certainly isn't split into seven parts.

Now, some sources believe that it simply references completeness or perfection. And one source I found referenced back to Isaiah chapter 11 verse 2, which describes the Holy Spirit with a sevenfold description. The spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of power, the spirit of knowledge, and the spirit of the fear of the Lord.

And in that case, the word fear would more accurately be translated as respect or reverence. So, therefore, the Holy Spirit is complete and perfect with these seven aspects of his personality. So, in this particular letter, it seems as though Jesus combines the condition of the church and one command to them in the same verse.

On Revelation 3, the last half of verse 1 and verse 2 says, "I know all the things you do and that you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead." Kind of makes sense with the description of the dead church, right? "Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God."

Jason: See, I'm having a Princess Bride moment here. The church is only mostly dead.

Laura: Mostly Dead

Jason: I came out of nowhere. Go on.

Laura: Actually, it works .So according to the commentaries in my Bibles, this church was well known for being dynamic, putting on a show that made it seem like they were following Jesus. They were active, probably doing all the outreaches, giving to the poor, feeding the hungry, but because they had lost sight of the one who truly mattered, and more than likely were steeped in sinful lifestyles, They were spiritually dead.

1 Corinthians 13, as we mentioned in the last episode, Paul speaks of doing good deeds and having all sorts of spiritual gifts, but that without love, it's all worthless in the end. Now don't get me wrong, giving to the poor, feeding the hungry. These are worthwhile, helpful things, but without love, specifically the love of Christ, they are dead works.

Some translations say, if we do these things but don't love others, but Jung's literal translation says, but have not love. I believe this is the love of Christ. So, if we do these things but don't have the love of Christ, and don't understand the love of Christ, it would be very hard to show his love to others.

So if we're doing these things for the poor and needy and helpless, again, not bad in and of themselves, then it's not helping the spiritual conditions of those who are in poverty. So the strength in what little remains could refer to injecting the love of Christ into these actions, outreaches, programs, etc. that the church was already doing. In other words, bring everything back to center around christ.

Jason: Right, and that brings us to the main command that Jesus had for the church in Sardis. , in Revelation 3, verse 3, "Go back to what you heard and believed at first. Hold it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don't wake up, I will come to you suddenly as unexpected as a thief." Now this ties back to what Laura said a moment ago. The believers at Sardis had forgotten how much Jesus loved them. They made their works all about them, what they were doing to be good and to do good. And they forgot that their righteousness came through Christ, through Jesus sacrifice.

And they forgot that they don't need to do extra works to maintain that righteousness. Works born out of our belief that we need to do good to be right with God, to do good to maintain righteousness or keep salvation. Those are dead works, which kind of plays into the dead church. However, works born from the belief, the knowledge and the conviction that Jesus loves us, works done simply because we know that love. And we want others to experience it too. Now that's what Jesus is talking about in his directive here.

If the theory of each church representing a church age is correct, then Sardis was the transition church from the middle ages to the Protestant reformation. Now on October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of all saints church in Wittenberg, Germany. A long story, very short Martin Luther protested the church's practice of selling indulgences. which were used to purchase remission of the temporal punishment of sin or the spiritual punishment of sin. He believed in preaching and salvation and forgiveness by faith alone, not by works.

Matthew Henry's commentaries explains that a visit from Christ under these circumstances will result in him stripping the last remaining enjoyments and the mercies that they have left.

Referring to him as a thief in the night, this carries kind of a tone of fraud, but Jesus would be justified in his actions due to that righteousness. So in short, the Church of Sardis was in danger of having the gifts of Christ becoming forfeit, or maybe repossessed is a better word.

Laura: I don't know. One way or another, it does not sound good.

Jason: Does not bode well.

Laura: No. Now, not everyone in this church and city subscribed to the belief that works equaled salvation. Jesus says that there are some who walk with him in white. When we accept Christ and receive his forgiveness, we are effectively trading our righteousness for his. Many pastors and scholars agree that Jesus's righteousness is like a white robe, that when we accept him, he puts on us.

Covered in his righteousness, we become his righteousness. Now that doesn't mean we don't sin from time to time, but when we realize it, we apologize because we know that he has already forgiven us, not so that he will forgive us. This letter seems to have the promise of reward and general exhortation reversed.

Now the other letters first tell the churches, and any others who read the letters, that anyone with ears to hear must listen to the spirit and understand what he's saying to the churches. And as Jason has already mentioned, this urges anyone willing to receive the message to listen, pay attention, and heed the words written.

Then the promise is given. In this letter, however, the promise is given first. "All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the book of life, but I will announce before my father and his angels that they are mine." Revelation 3:5.

So, at first blush, that appears terrifying. That somebody's name could be erased from the Book of Life. Now, when we accept Christ, our name is written in the Book of Life, thereby giving us our salvation. So, what then does it mean that Jesus will never erase the names of those who are victorious? I mean, does that mean that people can lose their salvation? And if so, how do we become victorious so that we don't get our names erased? And these questions can be quite daunting.

As mentioned in the last episode, Hebrews 8:12 says, "And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins. So if God says he will never remember our sins, then what could possibly cause us to not be victorious and therefore have our names erased from the book of life?

Glad you asked. The Greek word for victorious used here is nekeo, which usually translates to "be victorious" or "conquer." Now this word is used 28 times in the New Testament, and out of those 28 times, John used it 24. In John 16:33, in the Amplified Version, it says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have perfect peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous, be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy. I have overcome the world. My conquest is accomplished, my victory abiding."

So essentially, John is saying that Jesus victory is already finished. I have overcome the world. Past tense. Over. Done with. We are victorious because we are united with Christ. Our human efforts can't achieve the victory. And it is my belief that to be victorious, as stated in this verse, we must rely on and rest in the finished work of Jesus at the cross, and not on our own efforts. Because if I can do it on my own, What did Jesus die for?

Jason: Yep, and to quote one of the commentaries we consulted, "We can only win when we turn and rely on God. Only then will we get the right to eat the fruit from the tree of life in his paradise. That allowance comes when we surrender to the victor, not when we try to paint ourselves as something we're not, namely strong." so there's that.

But, let's move on to the church at Philadelphia.

Laura: In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days. Oh, oops. Wrong Philadelphia. Sorry about that.

Jason: It couldn't be helped.

Laura: No, I had to. The Philadelphia we're talking about was founded by the King of Pergamos, Attalus II, in a frontier area as a gateway to the central plateau of Asia Minor. Now Attalus's nickname was Philadelphus, or brother lover. And in my research, turns out that King Attalus had a strong devotion to his older brother, Eumenes II. But Who was he? So I had to back up to their father Atlas, the first Soder, who was king of Pergam or Pergamum, whichever you prefer, from 241 to 197 BC when Eumenes took over and ruled from 197 to 159 BC when he died.

So after that, Attalus II took up the throne and founded the city of Philadelphia. Now, in this letter, again, Jesus introduces himself to the Philadelphians. Wait, is that a word? Did I make up a new word? Anyway, in Revelation chapter 3, verse 7, "This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close. And what he closes, no one can open."

Jason: Yeah, first of all, this is the only letter where Jesus's introduction is not found in the introduction of chapter one. The references are found in the Old Testament. So let's, let's break this down a bit. The one who is holy and true, Jesus is set apart as holy. What he says is true, but what is this key of David that he, that he has? Well, Isaiah 22 verses 20 through 24 explains a bit. "And then I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah to replace you. I will dress him in your Royal robes. And give him your title and your authority, and he will be a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah. I will give him the key to the house of David, the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them. When he closes doors, no one will be able to open them. He will bring honor to his family name, for I will drive him firmly in place like a nail in the wall. They will give him great responsibility, and he will bring honor to even the lowliest member of his family."

Laura: And now we have another question. Who is Eliakim? And, well, frankly, his name kind of sounds like a character from the Chronicles of Narnia. And who was this Eliakim supposed to replace? Backing up a few verses, we find that Shebna was a palace administrator who was engaging in disgraceful behavior, which, according to verse 16, was building a beautiful tomb as a monument to himself.

So God gave Isaiah a message for Shebna, telling him that God was going to remove him from his position, and that he would give that position and all of Shebna's robes, honors, authority, etc. to Eliakim, specifically the key to the house of David. Now, basically, he's the gatekeeper, the only one with the power and authority to open and close the gate to the house.

And this section of Isaiah is one of the Messianic prophecies. Jesus is the gatekeeper to the Father. And going back to, the book of John, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Now, some commentaries state that the doors that he opens and shuts are the doors to heaven and the Father, which I do agree with, but I also believe that it can relate to opportunities here on earth, which, you know, opportunities only Jesus can orchestrate us being at the right place at the right time to coincide with his blessings or to keep us from disaster.

Jason: Right. In verse 8, Jesus starts by telling the Philadelphia, Philadelphians? Is that you said? How pleased he is of them. "I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength that you obeyed my word and did not deny me." Now, this indicates that Philadelphia knew, believed, and put into practice everything that they had learned.

Yeah, they were weak. That was probably because the city experienced a number of earthquakes. So much so that many of the people chose to live outside of the city walls. And just like Smyrna, Jesus had nothing negative to say about Philadelphia. Now, the rest of the letter is a promise of protection to the church.

Verses 9 through 12 of chapter 3 reads, "Look, I will force those who belong to Satan's synagogue, those liars who say they are Jews but are not, to come and bow at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love. Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one will take away your crown. All who are victorious will become pillars in the temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from the heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name."

So the Christians in Philadelphia had to fight for themselves in a very hostile environment. There were Jews in Philadelphia making untrue claims, mostly about their status as true people of God, that held the keys to his kingdom. John made it clear that Jesus alone holds a key.

The Jews will eventually have to acknowledge that Gentiles have been grafted into God's family, which was an encouragement for the Christians to hear. Verse 10 seems to indicate that those who are in Philadelphia will be separated from the harsh tribulations to come. Now, this is where the theories on alternate meanings of the church can come into play. Remember, Philadelphia represents the era of revival and great awakening, AD 1750 to 1925. And if these seven churches represent church ages, then this current church age will be spared the tribulation. If each church represents a church or believer type in any age, then those people will be spared. And for those that believe the church will be on earth during the Great Tribulation, this is a promise to provide protection that will enable them to persevere during this time. I mean, there really isn't any way to know. It's all speculation at this point.

Laura: Exactly that. And Christ's instruction to hold on to what they have is a reminder to cling to his love and grace. By remembering Jesus, the church will become pillars in God's temple. Though Jesus use of "my God" was interesting.

He did use "my God" when he was on the cross, and God turned away from Jesus because of our sin that he bore. It was also used in John 20 when he told Mary Magdalene that he was "ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." This indicates a submission of Jesus to God. Though one is not inferior, as both are God.

So then we have the whole Jesus writing on them, that is the pillars, his new name thing. Now, there's tons of speculation as to what this new name could be. Something about him being the King, Lord, etc. It could be a name specifically between Jesus and whoever he wrote it on. For example, To me, Jesus could be companion, and to Jason, he could be healer, or whatever unique relationship Jesus has with each of us.

No matter what it is, though, it will be a blessing and a gift of grace. And it would be so easy to get caught up in the meanings of all these things. Now, the other question is, is this new name the same one on the white stone from Pergamos? But just like with all the other letters, Jesus ends with an exhortation for anyone with ears to hear to pay attention and understand what's being said.

So the final stop on our journey is Laodicea, the wealthiest city and church of the seven. It was the leader in the cloth and dyeing industries, that is dyeing with color, not actual death.

Jason: It's good to clarify it.

Laura: Well, just had to make sure because, you know, the listeners aren't actually reading along.

The church at Laodicea, they were superior in medicinal advancement. Specifically, they had developed this eye ointment that could heal many eye problems. I wonder if it could heal my astigmatism and make me not need glasses. I don't know. They had it all, or so they thought. Now, to open his letter to the Laodiceans, Jesus introduces himself as the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler or source of God's creation, yet another echo of his description in Revelation chapter 1.

So what is the significance of this? Well, I'm glad you asked. Amen or Amen is typically used at the end of prayers as a closing word or as an emphatic I agree. Now, neither usage is wrong. Amen does mean "so be it," or "let it be done as you have said." Although if you were to translate it into today's vernacular, one might also say #truth, which Jesus did refer to himself as in John 14:6.

And one thing I did find interesting, sorry, slight rabbit hole, is that John was the only apostle to record Jesus statement of, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Anyway, so faithful and true witness is pretty straightforward. Jesus sees the Laodiceans as they really are. As he does all of us. Wealthy, yes, but also spiritually bankrupt. More on that in a moment. And of course, Jesus is the source of all, of God's creation, as he is God and was there for creation. See John chapter 1 verses 1 through 3.

Now Jesus had some strong words for the Laodiceans. Verses 15 and 16 of chapter 3 say that the church is lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. And because of this, Jesus wants to spit them out of his mouth. Now, as a bit of a sidebar, my youth pastor in high school kind of made up his own paraphrase for this verse. He said, because you're lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I'm about to blow chunks.

Jason: Oh, wow.

Laura: Yes, I can't talk about Laodicea without referencing that because it was really funny. Lukewarm water is pretty meh. It's not cold and refreshing. It's not hot and therapeutic. It's just meh. Now interestingly enough, the spiritual state of the church here mimicked the physical state of the city. Water was piped into Laodicea through aqueducts from hot springs. And by the time it reached the city, it was lukewarm. And this lukewarmness (Hey, look, I made up another new word) could be understood as being several different things. First, it could indicate a one foot in the church, one foot in the world mentality, straddling the fence, so to speak. Problem is that if you straddle the fence long enough, you'll slip and end up singing soprano.

Another thought is that this lukewarm state Indicates a mixture of the old and new covenants, which Jesus spoke out against in Matthew, Mark and Luke when he warned against putting new wine (the new covenant) into old wine skins (the old covenant). And in the last episode we did talk about that double-edged sword, and it's dividing things that aren't necessarily good and evil. But separating things that shouldn't be mixed, and the old and new covenants are a good example of that. that kind of goes back to, yes, you're saved by grace through faith, but you have to do all these works to maintain it. And Jesus was like, nope, we're separating that. The third theory that I found is that the Church of Laodicea adopted a "do what you feel is right" mentality, allowing and even embracing sin so as not to rot the boat or cause offense.

Jason: Yeah. Now, despite their great wealth and other advancement, Jesus pointed out that their material possessions, their accolades, were not sufficient for eternal life. Jesus calls the Laodiceans to depend on him for their every need, their salvation, provisions, health, protection, everything. In verses 17 and 18 of chapter 3, Jesus has some sobering words for the Laodiceans. "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. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness and salve to put in your eyes so you can see."

So Jesus here is urging them to buy their gold, the goal that has been purified by fire, from him. And that is to store up treasures for themselves in heaven, since earth will be gone one day, it's going to pass. In fact, everything Jesus tells the Laodiceans to get from him refers back to something they were renowned for, white garments so they won't be ashamed, signifying changing their righteousness of which they had none for Jesus's righteousness, ointment for their eyes, for not their physical eyes, but for their spiritual eyes so that they could see the truth.

He does remind the church that he disciplines, he corrects, he child trains, but he doesn't punish those he loves. His instructions is to take a stand for something, right?

Laura: Great. And if you stand for nothing, Burr, what'll you fall for? And sorry, not sorry for the Hamilton reference.

Jason: I was thinking more Aaron Tippen got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.

Laura: Well, where do you think Lin Manuel Miranda got it?

Jason: Fair enough. So in verse 20, Jesus reminds the church. "Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person. And they with me."

He Will knock. He's not going to force themselves into our lives. He's not going to finagle, weasel, or manipulate his way in. He's simply going to knock. And if we choose to open the door, he'll come in. He'll share a meal with us. He'll share everything good with us. And those who do let him in will be victorious because he is victorious.

Laura: Although one could argue that I already am victorious since Laura does mean victorious.

Jason: Yeah, I'm sure Jesus had a hand in that.

Laura: Probably.

Jason: All right, wrapping this up, the last verse in Revelation 3:22 reads, "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches." So a general exhortation again, but it's a little different. It's probably not by accident that Jesus ends the letter to the seven churches with this verse as a message, not just to the church at Laodicea, but to all churches everywhere. He is calling for them to pay attention to the messages given in these letters, and he's calling for us to pay attention as well.

Laura: Yowza. That was a lot of information. And it seems that the general consensus seems to be to keep our focus on Jesus and his love for us. And when we do that, everything else will fall into place a lot easier. Now, each church had its struggles, though maybe not reprimands, and its strong points. Alright, I'll be honest, except for two. But the hope that these letters bring... Is that if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will be victorious and share in the kingdom of heaven.

Jason: Yeah, the common theme here is listen to the Holy Spirit and be obedient to his commandments. Not what we think his commandments mean. Not what we feel is good for us. Not what we think is relevant. I mean, God was nice enough to write it all down for us. So, so read your Bible and ask yourself, If you're following the word of God?

And this is where we will end this episode. Thank you again for listening. Laura and I will be back in two weeks to continue our series on the book of Revelation, where we'll attempt to cover the heavenly visions and symbols in one episode so far, not looking great, but we're going to try.

So again, if you want to read ahead, start reading chapters 4 through 7 of the book of Revelation, be sure to visit the website, where you can contact me, find social media, even submit a guest interest form. If you're interested in being a guest. I also have some free Christian resources on the site to help you along on your faith journey.

Until next time, be sure to read your Bibles, remember to love each other, and may the Lord bless you and keep you. God bless everyone.

Laura: Bye.