July 27, 2016
In the summer of 2014, we were armchair travelers with our Pastor on the rivers of Eden (Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates), which were defined in the Glossary of Science and Health. The next summer, we traveled along with the Apostle Paul by reading his letters to the Romans (Italy), the Colossians (Turkey), and the Philippians (Greece). This summer we have been reading about John’s vision of the seven churches written while on the Greek island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea.
Today we are concluding this study of the seven churches with the last congregation, the Laodiceans. That congregation received this message: “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot.” (Rev. 3:15 NRSV) What a statement! It seems that our air-conditioning is frequently too cold or too hot, but in the Book of Revelation, the church angel tells the Laodiceans that he wishes they were either cold or hot. Think of that! Our air-conditioning has been blessed by an angel, and we didn’t even know it!
Seriously though, this statement was not written about modern air-conditioning, but according to the Bible commentators, it described the apathetic, indifferent, and self-satisfied attitude of the “lukewarm” Laodicean congregation.
Here is a testimony I’d like to share about being hot or cold. When I first started reading, I thought it was always too cold in the church auditorium, so I bought lots of matching sweaters. As First Reader, I spent much time in the word, reading the word, researching the word, and about two years into this position, I noticed that I had never caught cold, never had a sore throat, etc. I was very grateful that it was not part of my experience while reading! Meanwhile, one of my Second Readers had a baby, and it brought back memories about breastfeeding and its benefits according to human eyes, such as bonding with the mother and having the mother’s immunities passed on to the baby. Then I started thinking about the “milk of the Word,” and wasn’t spending all this time in the Scriptures also bonding with my Mother (God), and thus benefiting from Her natural defenses? Mrs. Eddy also wrote about how “sensitiveness is sometimes selfishness,” which has been a great help to me in how to respond to temperatures. (Message to The Mother Church 1900, p. 8)
As in the earlier blogs, here are some comments and paraphrases about Revelation that I found enlightening:
Rev. 3:14 – John has his own little methods of emphasis. You and I would put the “beginning” at the beginning, and the “Amen” at the end. But John reverses the order, to indicate without beginning or ending, in other words, infinite (Edyth Hoyt, Studies in the Apocalypse of John of Patmos, p. 38).
Rev. 3:20 – No door can be opened until there has been evidence of the desire to enter in, and then the one within must open the door. Thus, the reward is true oneness with the Christ,. . . (Hoyt, p. 39).
Rev. 3:15-18 – In the beginning, ‘I’ coddled you with milk, healing you and telling you parables because you were too immature to swallow the truth. Now it is time to eat the meat. Remember when ‘I’ said, “Word was made flesh”? (John 1:14). ‘I’ have tried to give you the meat before, and I repeated it in my Philadelphia message. Why are you not chewing on it? You have not even tried to digest what ‘I’ said (George Denninger, The Prophecy and Fulfillment of Man, p. 33).
Rev. 3:21 – Sitting with me on the throne is your ultimate inheritance (Denninger, p. 34).
Rev. 3:22 – These messages are delivered and written in Spirit language, and you have the ability to receive them. Are you listening with spiritual ears? (Denniger, p. 34)