NOTE: This post is taking material, with permission, from the booklet entitled: “The Knock of Laodicea – a call to rise” the intent of this post is to show you how and why Christ is forced to deliver “The Knock” of Rev 3:20 to the slumbering, final phase of the Laodicean ERA of God’s Church from outside of the Church Body and why He finds He must work with the individual.
It has been 30 years since the death of Herbert W. Armstrong. Historical evidence has proven this man to be the modern day servant that God used to take the True Gospel around the world fulfilling the miraculous “sign” of Mat. 24:14; so that the Church would be able to discern that they have indeed entered the end-time season, and from that point on, to watch(prepare) closely for the much anticipated Second Coming of Christ!
Recall that Christ said to ALL seven Church phases of Revelation 2 and 3, “I know thy WORKS…”
Just as Christ addressed the six preceding Church phases before it, Laodicea TOO, would have its distinct WORKS before the Second Coming (Rev. 3:14).
God shows no partiality and gives all of His called out ones, within every Church age, ample time to produce the collective fruits of their labor.
It is important to remember that the Great Commission of preaching the Gospel in all nations (Mark 16:15) is the consistent overarching work throughout each of the seven distinct work phases of the Church; that doesn’t change.
But what does change, is the works’ emphasis within each of the seven differing time periods. Each of the seven
Churches are given, by God, an allotted time period to do the work, and to carry the baton of Truth entrusted to them, with the expectation of bearing fruit in the labor of the Gospel.
Today, the work phase of Laodicea is now in progress.
Before proceeding, it would be wise to briefly remind the reader that the Worldwide Church of God used to teach that the seventh and final phase of Laodicea would rise up at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. This former teaching was as follows: that DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION, the Laodicean Church would form, in which the wise virgins would be martyred in the 2½ year period; and the unwise would accept the mark of the beast and go on into the one year period of the Day of the Lord, losing their opportunity for Eternal life.
The description of the fate of these virgins still holds true, except if Laodicea has its beginning at the start of the Great Tribulation; then they would only have a very short time to have any works in the labor of the gospel. Prophecy, time and history have proven this old idea inaccurate. Laodicea WILL NOT begin at the Great Tribulation, but has already
begun, very likely, in the early part of 1986, just after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong. Since that time Laodicea has had
its works. Laodicea IS HERE AND TIME IS NOW VERY SHORT!
The truth is . . . the Philadelphian era of the Church and its work phase is OVER. Christ was the one who opened that door and He is the one who has shut it (Rev. 3:8). Individual Christians, who still adhere to the Philadelphian condition in attitude and zeal, and who are ACTIVELY HOLDING FAST, are now scattered across the Laodicean landscape.
With Matthew 24:14 being a prophetic SIGN that has past, the question is . . . what IS the work that Christ is doing during this final Church phase?
God the Father and Jesus Christ do not take a leave of absence in regard to their work . . . (John 5:17); they are still actively laboring.
If the seasonal work of Matthew 24:14 has been completed; then what work emphasis does Christ expect His Church to focus on TODAY?
Does Christ expect Laodicea to focus its work with a different emphasis than that of Philadelphia? This study will answer those questions with proof directly from the mouth of Christ Himself!
Remember: PROVING to yourself; then ACCEPTING IN FAITH that the Matthew 24:14 SIGN, along with the restoration of all things Matthew 17:10-11 has occurred, and stands as FULFILLED PROPHECY is THE MASTER KEY that will UNLOCK where the Church is today in the present end-time prophetic timeline, and makes PLAIN what WORK Emphasis Christ expects of His Church today!
But before answering these questions, we should carefully examine some of Laodicea’s fruits over the last couple of decades. If we take a step backward, viewing the big picture, carefully evaluating the fruits that have been borne of Laodicea’s “works,” what we find should be obvious to any True Christian who is actively exercising the Spirit of God. Over the past couple of decades the fruits of Laodicea’s works are evident, and are now a part of the recent history for all to see.
The fruits have been:
- Mass confusion
- Unsolvable division
- Doctrinal compromise
- Blindness of prophetic seasons
- Lukewarm attitudes
- Ministerial abuse
- Ministerial liberalism
- Confusion over the work of the Church
- Worldliness and SLUMBER!
These fruits have placed this seventh and final phase of God’s Church in GRAVE DANGER!
Today, we see hundreds of splintered COG groups. They’re all divided up, each with a certain flavor of God’s Truth mixed with the elements of the above mentioned fruits. The fact is, if one were to take all of the COG works over the past twenty years plus,
and combine them together; one would see their positive impact has been barely noticeable, and somewhat of an embarrassment if compared to the powerful impact of the sixth Church phase before it, under the leadership of Jesus Christ, with Herbert W. Armstrong under Him as the human leader, during that time period.
One of the major reasons why the Philadelphia phase had such a great impact in its works was due to the fact that its focus was clear in backing the special commission to fulfill Mat. 24:14. Its focus was clear because it was in harmony with the True Christ,
and was made clear to the Church on a continual basis via God’s apostle, THROUGH Christ. All who were involved, whether sincere or not, knew what Herbert W. Armstrong believed, taught, and stood for regarding his calling and special role within that work phase.
But what about today? What is the work of this present era? Is it possible that this present phase of the Church is blind and confused to what its present work emphasis really is?
Is it possible that the Church is becoming dangerously close to the material cares of this present evil world, and , in turn, is in danger of falling asleep spiritually? Is Laodicea blind to what WORK Christ would have it focus on during THIS time? Let us examine. . .
CHRIST’S VIEW OF LAODICEA
When one does a study on Laodicea, it is common to read the scriptures of Rev. 3:14-22. Many, who want to learn about the Church phase of Laodicea, read these scriptures only to come to the conclusion that Christ’s description of Laodicea stops there at the end of this scriptural passage in Revelation. The problem with this approach is that one who stops there usually begins to develop a personal opinion, and a faulty human interpretation about Laodicea. This is what has happened in the recent past as false leaders have taught error on the subject by forcing their own vain interpretations. Human interpretations will never give us Christ’s view on the subject. Remember: one must get ALL the scriptures on the subject matter! This is the first rule of effective Bible study.
Many fail to realize that the Bible has literally scores of other scriptures describing the Laodicean Church. In fact, Laodicea is actually described more often than any other Church phase with the exception of the first Church era, known as Ephesus. How can we know this to be true? Because Christ describes the spiritual state of the Laodicean Church numerous times in scripture, by describing His people who are alive JUST IMMEDIATELY PRIOR to His Second Coming!
Christ Himself is THE REVELATOR! He UNSEALS the understanding on the subject of the seventh and final phase of Laodicea.
We will begin with some overlooked scriptures that UNLOCK the Laodicean question, and see it through CHRIST’S VISION on the subject, working our way back to the scripture in Revelation 3:14-22. To begin, let us look at what Christ SEES regarding the spiritual condition and state of the Laodicean Church. The scriptures we will review are pertaining to a time JUST PRIOR to the Second Coming of Christ. This fact proves a definite time element that is; IN FACT, describing the seventh Church phase of Laodicea! Please notice that throughout the study of the scriptures that we will cover, we will find a consistent underlining theme about Laodicea. Here are specific points to preview that you will find in examining these scriptures:
1) A Prophesied Period of Delay
2) Christ’s Admonition in performing the Correct Work/In Due Season
3) A Church Growing Tired and Drowsy
4) A Call to Rise Up or Arise from Sleep
5) A Command to Watch!
6) Our Preparation in making the Church Ready
7) Christ’s Knock/A Voice/A Cry
Before moving forward with this study it would be wise to stop for just a moment, and slowly review those seven underlying themes mentioned above, and to prayerfully ask God to help you see His view of the big picture. After doing so, as you go through the upcoming scriptures, those themes will LEAP OUT IN CRYSTAL CLARITY giving you the eye-salve that Christ provides! By doing this you will clearly see Christ’s vision; being better able to receive His Counsel.
A good place to begin the study, of the state in which Christ finds the Laodicean Church phase, is recorded in Matthew 24:42-50. This is one of the many descriptions that Christ gave His disciples about conditions regarding the last generation of His Church. The stage setting is immediately prior to His return. Keep in mind that this is also part of the same Olivet prophecy in which Christ answered the question: “. . . What shall be the SIGN of your coming, and of the END OF THE WORLD (Matthew 24:3, 14)?”
Again, when accepting the facts, as established earlier, in understanding the master key, we can confirm that this SIGN was FULFILLED at least 25 years BEFORE the conditions described by Christ in Matthew 24:42-50. There is a prophesied time of delay between the fulfillments of Mat. 24:14 and Christ’s Second Coming. As we will see; God had a great reason for that prophesied time of delay.
CHRIST’S COUNSEL TO LAODICEA
In Matthew 24:42-50 we will capture the condition of Laodicea, and Christ’s counsel to His servants at the time, just prior to His Second Coming. It pictures the end time phase of Laodicea that ASSUMED Christ’s return to be sooner than expected. The implication is that these Christians expected Christ’s return just after the seasonal work of Philadelphia; perhaps immediately after the death of God’s end time apostle.
When we look closely, we will find that Christ is consistent on the points mentioned, and emphasizes a TRANSITION in the work: a transition from the Mat. 24:14 work of taking the Gospel to the world as a witness, to standing WATCH for the Second Coming of Christ and getting the Church ready!
In reviewing these upcoming passages (and as this study will show in other companion scriptures describing Laodicea) we will set apart the main points, conditions or themes of the Church, and what we will find are Christ’s words in commanding that His people labor in the CORRECT WORK WITHIN THE PRESENT SEASON!
Did Christ give His remnant Church (Laodicea) counsel to labor in the correct WORK that would’ve avoided the wide scale confusion which has led to the hundreds of splits of the Church of God today?
Notice; Mat. 24:42-43 “WATCH THEREFORE: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up.”
Did Christ warn His Church of a period of delay between the Matthew 24:14 prophetic SIGN and His Second Coming?
Mat. 24:44 “. . . for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” A delay in His coming is being implied since we think He is coming at a time different from the actual event.
Christ goes out of His way in scripture to show that the faithful minister will be preaching a proper message that is in it’s proper season.
Additional comments from the webmaster/admin for this site: Yet now we see that many of the larger groups of God’s people are still trying to do the work of Philadelphia. So now we have Christ Himself doing a work that will wake His people up and get them moving again. Doing the work that the church is supposed to be doing yet for the most part is not. That is why Christ is outside knocking on the door of the individuals because the Church Groups that are spread across the Laodicean Landscape are not focusing on that.
As an example if the church were doing their job with the brethren they would be pointing them to the gathering of the church to the place of safety not the return of Christ at the resurrection. When the Church is gathered to the Place of Safety, we are all going to know exactly when Christ is going to return. There will be no mystery and we will all be preparing for it. But the one event that really requires us to prepare ahead of time and the event that we do not know when it will happen is the Gathering at the 1335. Up until 1972 the Phildadelphian church ERA taught that quite a bit. But it has fallen out of fashion in today’s Laodicean Groups of God’s people. The result is Christ Himself reaching out to his brethren to help them get ready for that gathering in the hopes that they will Rise Up in time and be accounted worthy to escape.
Just like in Philadelphia, where the church was in line with what Christ was doing in that SPECIFIC ERA of the Church, We how find ourselves in the Laodicean ERA have a work to do that corresponds with what Christ is doing. We need to open the door that Christ is knocking on, we need to Rise Up and get our selves ready for the Gathering of God’s people. Because that is the what and the why of what Christ is doing. – Raymond Mills