Saved From the Wrath of God

Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9

There are many theories pertaining to what is known as the tribulation period (Daniel’s 70th week).  Some believe that it is not God’s wrath, and that God’s wrath is referring to the lake of fire.  Others believe that God’s wrath includes the tribulation period.  Some believe that the body of Christ will be raptured before the tribulation.  Some believe that the rapture will take place in the middle of or toward the end of the tribulation, when they believe that God’s wrath is really poured out.  This is referred to as the “pre-wrath” rapture.  Others believe that the rapture occurs at the end of the tribulation.  Still, others believe that the rapture is a made-up concept.

The key to understanding end time activities is rightly dividing the Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15).  The body of Christ is a mystery, and therefore cannot be inserted into the prophetic Scriptures which reveal God’s plan meant for Israel.  The book of Revelation is just a more detailed account of the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Jesus during His earthly ministry depicted in the gospels.  It is specifically centered on the 70th week of Daniel.

A brief explanation as to why the body of Christ is saved from the wrath of God:

Anyone who places one’s faith/trust in the finished work of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of one’s sins is placed “in Christ” positionally—1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3-5 and Colossians 2:8-12, etc.  God has already poured out His wrath on Christ at the cross, “once for all”—Isaiah 53:10; Romans 6:10 and Hebrews 10:10, etc.  God will not pour out His wrath again on His Son (“It is finished”), therefore anyone who is “in Christ” will not face God’s wrath, for one’s sins have been paid for “once for all.”  Therefore, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Therefore, “nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   Therefore, the body of Christ is not appointed to wrath!  God’s plan for the body of Christ to escape His wrath is called the rapture.  The word rapture is not in the English Bible, but the concept is.  In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Paul uses the phrase “caught up” or “snatch away.”  The Greek word is “harpazo.”  The Latin Vulgate translated this “raptura,” ergo, “rapture.”

The Rapture:  The mystery program is in view here.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-13, which was specifically written to combat the wrong teaching of the body of Christ going through the day of the Lord and thereby incurring the wrath of God.  Had Paul taught originally that the body of Christ would go through the day of the Lord, the Thessalonians would not have been disturbed; they would have expected it.

Christ comes to the air (the heavens) to receive His heavenly people, the body of Christ, who will ascend to meet Him in the air.  The age of grace started with Christ meeting Saul from the air, and it will end with Christ meeting the body of Christ in the air.

Paul gives no instructions pertaining to surviving the tribulation period.  Paul gives no instruction to watch for birth pangs or the abomination of desolation.  In fact, Paul’s letters are the only place in Scripture without any warnings about this time period.  This is because the body of Christ is a mystery, never before revealed in Scripture, and therefore is not the subject of any prophecy…including the book of Revelation, which depicts the whole tribulation.

Daniel’s 70th Week:  Prophecy about the day of the Lord.

Daniel 9:24-27; Psalm 2:1-5; Isaiah 61:1-2 and Matthew 24-25, etc.

The book of Revelation details this final seven years for the nation of Israel and the second coming of Christ to the earth that is prophesied about in Daniel and elsewhere.  A comparison of Daniel and Revelation will reveal strong similarities.

Revelation 1:7 depicts the coming of Christ during the day of the Lord to the earth, not the air, like He does for the rapture of the body of Christ—Zechariah 12:9-10; 14:1-4 and Acts 1:9-11.

John gives us the context of the whole book in Revelation 1:9-10—the day of the Lord.  Some translations have this as “the Lord’s day.”   The Greek indicates that it can be translated either way, depending on the context.  The whole context of Revelation is the second coming of Christ to the earth in judgment…“the day of the Lord.”   This is not Sunday, as some have taught in error.  John is a Jew, and Sunday would never be referred to as the Lord’s Day.  The Sabbath is on Saturday.

The day of the Lord is a period of God’s wrath—Isaiah 13:6-13; Joel 2:1-2 and 3:14-17; Zephaniah 1:14-18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9.  Paul connects this period with the revealing of the man of sin, referred to as “the prince who will come” in Daniel 9.  John refers to him as the antichrist in 1 John.  The whole seven years is God’s judgment and wrath—Revelation 5:1-7, 6:1 and 15-17 (the Greek indicates a past action referring to the preceding passage).  The whole scroll is opened by Christ and contains all the judgments for the 70th week, therefore the whole tribulation—seals, trumpets and bowls—are God’s wrath.   Part of God’s wrath is using man to administer punishment to Israel.  God calls King Nebuchadnezzar “My servant” three times in Jeremiah and used him to bring judgment on Israel.  God used the Assyrians to bring judgment upon the Jews as well.  God used man to bring judgment on His Son—Isaiah 53:10 and Acts 2:23 and 4:27-28.  During the time of “Jacob’s trouble,” God will send the antichrist—2 Thessalonians 2:11.

Jesus gave many teachings about this 70th week to the nation of Israel, especially in Matthew 24 as He ministered only to Israel under the Law—(Matthew 10:5-6, 15:24, 23:1-3; Romans 15:8 and Gal. 4:4) in His earthly ministry.  Matthew 24 lines up perfectly with Revelation 6.  Jesus operating under the prophetic program was giving warnings and instructions for the nation pertaining to the 70th week of Daniel—Matthew 24:15.  This was all under the Law—Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:20.  The body of Christ is not in view here, as the body of Christ is not under Law—Romans 6:14.  In contrast to Paul NOT giving any instructions to the body of Christ about the tribulation, Jesus instructs Israel on how to survive the tribulation in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and elsewhere, because they are the main subject of the 70th week and will be going through the whole 7 years—Jeremiah 30:1-7 and Zechariah 13:7-9.  This is one of the reasons why John 14:1-3 is not the rapture, which some have taught.  Jesus taught that Israel would go through the tribulation, not escape it. He never taught them that He would meet them in the air or that their bodies would be changed “in a moment,” etc.

Incidentally, Paul writes that we “no longer know Christ after the flesh,” that is, in His earthly existence as the meek, lowly, king of the Jews who walked the streets of Galilee ministering only to Israel—Matthew 10:5-6, 15:24, 23:1-3; Romans 15:8 and Galatians 4:4. Christ’s ministry in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is to the nation of Israel under the Law.  The body of Christ is not under Law, they are under grace—Romans 6:14, where there is no longer Jew nor Gentile—Romans 10:12 and Galatians 3:28. Christ is now revealed, through the Apostle Paul, as the risen, ascended, Lord Jesus Christ, who is Head of the body.  This is why it is foolhardy to look for body of Christ doctrine about the end times in the four gospels.

The whole book of Revelation is written to Israel and is all Jewish—Revelation 1:5 (Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 61:1-6; Zechariah 8:22-23 and 1 Peter 2:5), Revelation 2-3 (Jewish assemblies which will be discussed later in this writing), Revelation 6:12-17 (Isaiah 1:10 and 19-21), Revelation 7:4-8 (no mention of sealing the body of Christ), 12:1-9 and 13-17 (Matthew 24:15-16)—which is Satan’s wrath on Israel, 21:9-14 and 23 (Isaiah 60:19-20) and 22:12 (Isaiah 62:11), etc.

Let’s now examine the language and doctrines laid out for us in the first three chapters of Revelation.  We will especially dig into chapters two and three, of which there is so much confusion among Bible scholars as to the identity of these “churches.”

 Revelation Two and Three…the “churches”:

First, the word “churches” does not necessarily refer to the body of Christ.  The Greek word for “church” is defined as a called-out assembly.  In the book of Acts, the word is used to describe the Jews in the desert after their exodus from Egypt, as well as an angry mob.  Clearly these do not refer to the church which is His body—Colossians 1:18 and 24, etc.

Second, there is an erroneous teaching in most pre-trib rapture circles that the churches mentioned in Revelation two and three represent body of Christ church ages since the time of Christ’s ascension to heaven until the rapture.  There is absolutely nothing in Scripture to validate this idea at all.  This is all man’s tradition and is the result of trying to force the church of the mystery into the prophetic books of the Bible meant for Israel.  Peter warns us in 2 Peter 1:20 that prophecy is not open to man’s own interpretation.  The fact is that God told John that these churches are “in Asia.”  This is a specific geographical area of the world.  I believe God knows geography.  If God says they are “in Asia” at the time of 70th week of Daniel, then I think God knows what He means.  If He meant that they were actually body of Christ church ages, then He would’ve said that.  He said that these assemblies are “in Asia.”  Notice that each church written to is “in” each place where the Holy Spirit says they are—“in Ephesus,” “in Smyrna,” “in Pergamum,” etc.

Third, another erroneous idea that has cropped up in some teachings about the rapture is that the Apostle John being called up to heaven for further revelation in chapter four is actually a representation of the rapture of the church, which is His body.  Those who teach this say that since the churches mentioned in chapters two and three aren’t mentioned after John is called up, these churches must be the body of Christ and John represents it being raptured.  One of the many problems with this idea is that the WHOLE book of Revelation is addressed to these churches—Revelation 22:16.  These “churches” will be experiencing the whole tribulation.  Therefore, every bit of prophecy spoken of in this whole book written by John is for the churches in chapters two-three, including all of the seals, trumpets and bowl judgments.  If John is a representation of the body of Christ, then the body of Christ is going to go through the whole tribulation.  Again, this error originates with the idea of mixing the body of Christ in with the prophetic Scriptures meant for Israel.  John has no connection to the body of Christ, and is in fact an apostle of Israel—Galatians 2:7-8.  Only Paul writes anything to the body of Christ.  John writes solely to Israel.

We will now be looking at the doctrine that is being instructed to these churches (assemblies).  Much of these instructions are just repeated decrees by God written down in the O.T. prophetic books for the nation of Israel, or instructions and warnings that Jesus and the twelve were administrating to Israel either through Christ’s earthly ministry or through the letters that Peter, James, John and Jude wrote that are in back of the Bible.  Although we will not be doing an in depth verse by verse study of these “churches”, we will make special note of the language used by John, which emphasizes works for righteousness, and how it is very Jewish and applies to the whole nation of Israel and is not body of Christ grace age language at all.

The church in Ephesus:

This assembly in Ephesus is a group of Jews who are in existence during the future 70th week of Daniel.  This is not the body of Christ church predominately made up of Gentiles who Paul wrote to in approximately 60 A.D.  Let’s say a letter is written to a group that assembles in City Hall in New York City in 1945.  Another letter is written to a group that assembles in the same City Hall in New York City in 1985.  Are we to assume that it is the same group that met there in 1945?  Wouldn’t the content and context of each letter be used to discern which group each letter was written to?  These two groups are separated by about 2000 years and are not the same “church”, even though they are located in the same city.  The doctrines to follow will show this very clearly.

We are introduced to the One who is writing this admonishment to this assembly—“the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands”.  This is none other than the God of Israel and is most likely a reference to Leviticus 24:12.

Revelation 2:2 warns of people posing as apostles, when in fact they are deceivers.  Peter warns of the same thing in 2 Peter 2:1. Note that he is writing to the Jews which are dispersed “in Asia”—1 Peter 1:1 and 2 Peter 3:1.

Revelation 2:4-5 tells them that they have left their first love and to repent and do the first works or else Christ will come quickly (Revelation 2:16, 3:3 and 3:21 and 19:11-15).  This is a warning and certainly does not sound like the promise of comfort given by Paul pertaining to the return of Christ for His body church—1 Thessalonians 4:18.  Even the carnal Corinthians weren’t given this warning.  Our hope is that He does come back!  These first works seem to be speaking of loving God and one another, and therefore keeping God’s commandments as John wrote in 2 John 1:5-6; 1 John 3:23-24 and 1 John 5:3.  If they don’t abide in Christ by doing the works of the Law, they would be ashamed at His coming, hence the warning—1 John 2:28.  Jesus taught the same in Matthew 19:17 and 22:37-40 and John 15:1-14.  If they do this, God promises access to eat from the tree of life—Revelation 2:7 and 22:14.  This is very similar language to Jeremiah 7:5-7 and is totally antithetical to Paul’s writing to the body of Christ church in Ephesus in his day.  In fact, Paul writes in Romans 6:3-5 that the believer already abides “in Christ” because of the baptism done by the Holy Spirit.  Paul tells the Ephesians of his day that they are already alive in Christ—Ephesians 2:4-6, and that they are not given this life by keeping His commandments—Ephesians 2:8-9.  In fact, the body of Christ is actually dead to the Law—Romans 7:4 and Galatians 2:20.  The Ephesians that Paul wrote to are also sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, while the Ephesians that John wrote to needed to do works in order to have life.  This is totally in line with the prophetic program for Israel which continued into the early chapters of the book of Acts—Acts 2:38 and 3:19-20…repent first, then promises rewarded.

Similarly, instructions abound for Israel to “endure until the end”; a repeat of instructions given by Christ while He was on earth to the nation to prepare them for the tribulation—Matthew 10:22 and 24:10-13, etc.

The church in Smyrna:

Christ calls Himself the “first and the last,” identifying Himself as the God of Israel out of the O.T.—Isaiah 41:4, 44:6 and 48:12 and Revelation 1:8, 2:8 and 22:13.  A description of Christ in Revelation 1:14-15 and 2:18 again gives any Jew who reads this in the tribulation the identity of their God of old—Ezekiel 1:24 and 43:2 and Daniel 7:9, 13 and 10:6.  In reality, the book of Revelation is the revealing of Jesus of Nazareth to the nation of Israel as their God…“I am He.” Remember the warnings by Jesus in Luke 21:8 and elsewhere not to be deceived by others who would come and say that they are the Christ.  The book of Revelation will help these Jews to not be deceived.

Notice that the term “synagogue of Satan” is clearly a Jewish term.  John warns them of these people who say that they are Jews, but aren’t true Jews—Romans 9:6.  Isaiah 65:3-5 describes these very Jews, and so does Jesus in Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-38 and John 16:2.

Compare Revelation 2:10 with Luke 21:12-13 and Matthew 24:9 pertaining to the threat of persecution and with Isaiah 28:5 and 62:3 and James 1:12 (written to the 12 tribes of Israel—James 1:1) pertaining to the promise of a crown.

The church in Pergamum:

In Revelation 2:13, we see commendation for holding to Christ’s “name” and not denying the faith.  Both of these are tenets of the kingdom gospel preached by Christ in his earthly ministry to Israel—Matthew 10:22 and 32-33 and John 1:12, 2:23, 3:18 and 20:30-31.

Verse 14 introduces the reader to the doctrine of Balaam.  This is clearly a reference to the O.T. character who attempted to delve Israel into eating meat sacrificed to idols and committing fornication. Both of which are a picture of unbelief, for God called Israel a harlot many times in the O.T. for their abandonment of Him.  Jesus did the same in Matthew 12:38-39 and 16:1-4.  See also James 4:4.  Notice what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 pertaining to meat sacrificed to idols.  Paul says that there is no such thing as an idol, so go ahead and eat.  There is a stark contrast between what Paul writes pertaining to meat sacrificed to idols and the doctrines being laid out for these Jewish assemblies here in the book of Revelation.

The next warning to this assembly is to repent or else Christ will come and make war with the sword of His mouth on those in these “churches” who won’t repent.  This is reference to Christ’s coming at the end of the tribulation period (Revelation 1:16, 19:15 and 21 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8) and is also warned about in the O.T. referring to God coming to battle for Israel and gathering them for their kingdom—Isaiah 49:2 and 66:16 and Amos 9:9-10.  Paul’s message to the church, which is His body, is that they are not appointed to God’s wrath—1 Thessalonians 5:9-10.  The body of Christ is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of the promises God has for it—Ephesians 1:13-14, etc.  These promises are unconditional once one believes the gospel and not based on the behavior of the believer.

In verse 17, we see a promise for those who repent (overcome)—they will receive the “hidden manna.”  This phrase holds no significance to the body of Christ, but every religious Jew would know that this is a reference to Israel in the desert after the exodus.  The promise is that they would receive the “Bread of life”—Christ-John 6:48-51.  He is hidden from Israel right now—Psalm 110:1.  Another picture of this is in Genesis when Joseph’s identity was hidden from his brothers at their first visit to Egypt, but was revealed to them when they came back the second time—“Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

Those who repent will receive a “new name.”  Again, this is right out of the O.T. prophecy of Isaiah meant for Israel—Isaiah 62:2 and 65:8-15—the unrepentant will be slain by the sword, while the overcomers will receive a new name.  This can’t possibly be referring to the church of the mystery—the body of Christ—as by definition, nothing pertaining to the mystery can be found in prophecy…it is a mystery, never before revealed—Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:1-9 and Colossians 1:25-27, etc.  Also, the body of Christ consists of believers only.  There is no warning of judgment to be slain by the sword.  All in the body of Christ are sealed and secure.

The church in Thyatira:

Israel is faced with Jesus of Nazareth—“the Son of God”—Matthew 26:63-64, and He is directly connected to the prophecies in Daniel by the description given of Him-Daniel 10:6.

The next O.T. personality spoken of in the letters to these Jewish assemblies is Jezebel, a very familiar villain of Israel.  Again, we see the same doctrinal warnings of idolatry and fornication as we did with Pergamum, i.e. the doctrine of Balaam.  In fact, there are many passages in the O.T. which link idolatry with fornication—Psalm 106:39; Jeremiah 2:20 and 3:1-9 and Ezekiel 6:9, etc.  God called Israel a harlot throughout the O.T., no more obviously than in the book of Hosea, and now Christ is picking up right where He left off with Israel after the stoning of Stephen; calling Israel to repent of all of this—Ezekiel 18:30-31 and Matthew 3:7-8, etc.

In contrast to this, Paul never calls any of the body of Christ churches that he wrote to a harlot; even the immoral Corinthians or the law keeping Galatians weren’t termed this.  These churches were called “washed,” “righteous,”  “sanctified,” and “clothed” in Christ. Therefore, they are “sons of God,” not harlots.

In Revelation 2:23, we see almost identical language that Jeremiah used in his letter of repentance to Israel of old—Jeremiah 17:10; Psalm 44:21 and Hebrews 4:12 (John 1:1 and 14).  Who is the One who searches the minds and the hearts of men—1 Samuel 16:7?  It is the God of Israel—the “Son of God”—Jesus Christ, the Word (Revelation 2:18).  Jesus is writing to the nation through the Apostle John that He, Jesus of Nazareth—the Lamb, whom they killed, is their God of old…Jehovah.  Compare Revelation 2:23 with Ezekiel 20:34-38…“the churches will know that I am He” (mentioned 58 times in Ezekiel alone).  That is why there is so much emphasis placed on His name under the kingdom gospel, which will be preached during the tribulation—Matthew 24:14.  His name shows Israel that Jesus of Nazareth is the “I AM” of the O.T.—their God.

The final few verses in chapter two written to Thyatira all quote O.T. passages which pertain to the elevation of the nation of Israel above all other nations.—Psalm 2:8-9 and Isaiah 14:1-4, 30:14, 54:3 and 60:14—that have nothing to do with the body of Christ.  This is all Jewish and totally lines up with how God dealt with Israel and not the church of the age of grace.  Look at the final promise to this assembly—“I will give him the morning star.”  This is Christ Himself—1 Peter 1:19 and Revelation 22:16.  But, they must repent and overcome.  This, again, is antithetical to the teachings for the age of grace that Paul gave to the body of Christ.  Paul says that those in the church already have Christ, past tense—Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6 and Colossians 2:6, etc.  Paul even tells the Corinthians, who were still practicing immorality           (2 Corinthians 12:25) that they are “the temple of the Holy Spirit” who already dwells in them, therefore stop the immorality—1 Corinthians 6:19.

The church in Sardis:

This church is accused of the very thing that the Pharisees of Jesus’ day were accused of —thinking that they were alive, but they were really dead—Matthew 23:27.  This is totally opposite of what Paul writes to the body of Christ.  He says that the members of each church were dead before they were saved, but now they are alive in Christ—Romans 8:9-10; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 2:1-5 and Colossians 2:13.  The “church” in Sardis can’t possibly be a body of Christ church, because there were some in this “church” that were dead.  No one can be in the body of Christ and be dead—Eph. 2:1-5.

In Revelation 3:2, this church is told that their deeds are “not completed,” and that they better repent.  The body of Christ is told that they are complete “in Christ”—Colossians 2:9-10.

There is more instruction of repenting for salvation, which is paramount to the kingdom gospel preached by Christ in the gospel period—Matthew 3:7-8 and Luke 3:8, etc.  And, again, there is a warning of Christ coming back “as a thief,” when they don’t expect Him—Mark 13:35-39; Luke 12:39-40; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 and Revelation 16:15.  They better wake up and be watchful—Luke 21:28 and Matthew 25:1-13—the parable of the ten virgins fits perfectly with this portion of Scripture.  Remember that Jesus came to the nation of Israel—Matthew 10:5-6 and 15:24, so His teachings while on earth don’t fit with the body of Christ doctrines for the most part.  Compare with 1 Thessalonians 5:4, where Paul says not to worry about Christ coming as a thief.  These instructions do, however, match exactly what God has for Israel, both past and present.  We see this in these letters to the Jewish assemblies here in Revelation—complete harmony with the doctrines of God for Israel of the O.T., Jesus who walked the streets of Galilee and the twelve.

“He who overcomes…I will not erase his name from the book of life.”  This is taken right from Daniel 12:1.  Compare this with what Paul writes in Romans 8:1 and 35-39 and Ephesians 1:13-14, etc.  No one in the body of Christ can have their name erased from the “book of life.”  This is guaranteed!

 The church in Philadelphia:

There are so many Jewish terms used in this little letter to Philadelphia—“key of David,” “synagogue of Satan,” “they are Jews,” “the temple” and “Jerusalem”.  It is a wonder that the church for the last 2000 years has missed this somehow, even those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture.  This is the result of not “rightly dividing” the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) and recognizing the special calling given to Paul for this age of grace—Ephesians 3:1-9 and Colossians 1:25-27, etc.

“He who is holy…who has the key of David”—right out of the O.T. Scriptures written for Israel—Isaiah 22:15-23 (the story of Hezekiah, which is a picture of the antichrist and the true Christ) and 16:5 and Acts 2:30.

Revelation 3:8 commends them for not denying His name.  This is a reference to those who did not succumb to the demands of the antichrist and pledging allegiance to his name—John 5:43; Acts 5:32 and Revelation 13:11-18 and 14:9-13.  This cannot be referring to the body of Christ, for all believers saved in this age of grace will be taken to heaven in the rapture by then—2 Thessalonians 2:1-13.

In Revelation 3:9, Christ gives the promise of true Israel being worshipped by unbelieving Israel, a fulfillment of Isaiah 49:22-23 and 60:14-15.

Philadelphia is told that they have “kept My word”-—1 John 2:28 and 3:24 and John 15:1-10.  Because they have done this, Christ will “keep them from the hour of testing”—Psalm 27:5; 41:1-2 and 50:15; Isaiah 26:20-21; Zephaniah 2:3; Matthew 24:16; Luke 21:36 and Revelation 12:13-14 (Isaiah 40:31).  This period is referring to the second half of the tribulation, which is triggered by the antichrist setting himself up in the temple of God (Jewish) to be worshipped as God—2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, thereby causing the abomination that causes desolation—Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15 and Matthew 24:21.  This promise of escape for true Israel is prophesied about in the O.T.  In fact, the account of Noah being kept from the wrath of God while He exercises judgment on the earth is a perfect picture of the promise given to this assembly in Philadelphia.  This can’t be referring to the rapture of the church, because that is a mystery, never before revealed until Paul—1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

“I will make him a pillar in the temple”—This promise is given to believing Israel in the O.T.—Psalm 15:1-2, 23:6, 27:4-6 and 65:4.  These are O.T. prophecies for Israel and are not for the body of Christ—Revelation 21:2-14.  The grace-age believer is not promised to be a pillar in the temple; they are the temple of God—1 Corinthians 6:19 and Ephesians 2:19-22, and they are promised heaven—Ephesians 2:4-6 and Philippians 3:20-21.

The church in Laodicea:

This Jewish assembly is neither “cold nor hot”; therefore Christ will “spit” them out of His mouth. This is the identical concept that Jesus warned Israel about in Matthew 7:22-23 and could be associated with the warnings given to Israel in Leviticus 18:25-20:24.  Again, there are no warnings like this to any of Paul’s carnal churches, they are forever “in Christ” and cannot be “spewed” out of Him—Romans 8:35-39.

Next, Christ addresses those who were depending on their wealth, but they really had nothing.  The O.T. and gospels, along with the letter that James wrote to the twelve tribes of Israel (James 1:1) all line up with this warning—Psalm 52:1-7; Zephaniah 1:7-18 (the day of the Lord); Matthew 6:19-21 and James 5:1-3.

This assembly in Laodicea is poor, blind and naked—Matthew 15:12-14 and 23:16 and 24 and Ezekiel 16:35-39.  They are instructed to buy “gold” from God, which is a reference to His Word—Proverbs 23:23 and they will be clothed—Isaiah 61:10 and Revelation 16:5.  The body of Christ isn’t naked, in fact they are already “clothed with Christ” apart from works—Galatians 2:16 and 3:27 and Colossians 3:9-10.

The final warning/promise from Christ is that He “stands at the door” and knocks.  There is a reward of dining with Him if they overcome.  This is both a warning—Numbers 10:35; Psalm 68:1 and James 5:8-9 (in judgment) and a promise of blessing—Luke 12:35-38.  Christ is not standing for anything pertaining to the body of Christ; He is sitting at the right hand of God interceding—Romans 8:34 and Ephesians 1:20 and 2:6, etc.

This Laodicea of Revelation is not the church that Paul wanted the Colossian letter forwarded to (4:13-16).  In fact, scholars believe that the Laodicean church of Paul’s day is the church of the Ephesians, for Paul sent Laodicea a letter as well, and the Ephesian letter and the Colossians letter are very similar. If it is not the Ephesian letter, then it would seem that a book of Scripture is missing, something that no true Bible scholar adheres to.  The Colossian letter that Paul wanted the Laodicean church to read is written to age of grace believers predominately made up of Gentiles who are mature in Christ and can handle the deepest of doctrines pertaining to “the mystery”—Colossians 1:25-27 and 2:1-3.  Compare the warnings given to Laodicea in Revelation during the day of the Lord with the doctrines in Colossians 2:8-15.  Does the Colossian passage sound like Christ is about to spit them out of His mouth?

Finally, every church (assembly) in Revelation is instructed to overcome by repenting, then they will receive blessing.  The body of Christ already has received (past tense) blessings by faith; no overcoming is needed—Romans 8:35-39; Ephesians 1:3 and 2:4-6 and Colossians 1:13 and 2:8-13, etc.  The Jewish congregants of these “churches” who overcome and repent will inherit all the promises that God has for the nation of Israel from the start—Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 61:1-6 and Revelation 1:6, 20:6 and 21:2-7, etc.

In Closing:

Revelation 22:16 says that every bit of Revelation, including the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments, is written to and about the “churches” mentioned in chapters two and three.  This is the whole tribulation and discounts the theory that the church, which is Christ’s body, will be in any part of the tribulation.  God’s wrath is exercised and displayed throughout this whole book and also to the “churches” in chapters two and three—“or else I am coming to you”—Revelation 19:11-15.  The body of Christ can’t wait for Christ to come back to gather it to Himself—1 Thessalonians 4:18.  The church, which is His body, is not appointed to God’s wrath—Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9.  Glory be to God!

 

Article written by Paul D. Pedro of Oakdale, Minnesota (2016) with the help of Paul Sadler’s first volume of his commentary on Revelation, Jack Hastings and his book entitled, “Revelation for the Advanced Student,” “The Seven Churches of Revelation” article written by Matthew McGee (www.matthewmcgee.org) and the Holy Spirit who has encouraged and empowered me to stick to studying His word rightly divided.

 

A quick comparison between the “churches” in Revelation and the church which is His body as expounded on only by Paul.

The “churches” in Revelation

Warnings of Christ coming back as a thief in the night…

If works done, then alive and abide in Christ…

Called dead…

If repent/overcome, then will receive Christ…

Not complete until deeds done…

Do not eat meat sacrificed to idols…

Threats of death/judgment for immorality…

Called adulteresses…

Promise of becoming a pillar in temple if overcome…

Threats of removal from book of life/spewing out of mouth…

Thought they were rich, but were poor, naked and blind…

 

The body of Christ church

Christ coming back—the blessed hope, therefore  don’t worry about Christ coming back as a thief…

Alive in Christ apart from works…

Alive in Christ…

Already have Christ apart from works…

Already complete in Christ…

Go ahead and eat meat sacrificed to idols…

Stop immorality because of position in Christ…

Called saints, sons of God, sanctified, washed, righteous…

Already the temple of the Holy Spirit…

Sealed with the Holy Spirit…

Christ became poor, so that the body of Christ would inherit the riches of grace in Christ, therefore already clothed with Christ…

 

 

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