Chapter 11: Laodiceans Asleep
Because the Bible is sealed to them, the Laodiceans don’t understand about the earthquakes, storms and fires! And they don’t prophesy and warn Israel! That means that Israel’s blood will be on the Laodiceans’ heads (see Ezekiel 3 and 33) and that they must give their blood, or their physical lives, in the Tribulation! What a horrifying penalty.
Why did this happen to the Laodiceans? Because they “removed their heart far from” God (Isaiah 29:13). God reveals His secret to His servants (Amos 3:7-8). He wants us to understand and proclaim His prophecies.
God does have a little remnant who didn’t turn away from His revelations. “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid” (Isaiah 29:14). What is this “marvellous work and a wonder”? It is God’s Work that is proclaiming the beautiful World Tomorrow—God’s Millennium and beyond. That same Work also prophesies about the end-time calamities to strike—the earthquakes, storms and devouring fires! God reveals His prophecies, and this little group is not afraid to roar for God!
If a church doesn’t understand God’s revelations and His prophecies, God is not with it! One former evangelist of the Worldwide Church of God stated: “In the past, we … have mistakenly assumed that Christ directly guides His Church ….” Of course that is another put-down of Mr. Armstrong. We all must see clearly that God did “directly” guide His Church under Mr. Armstrong. And God “directly” guides the pcg today, as long as we submit to His government.
When you look at the pcg work, its prophecies and even potential prophecies, people should be able to see that God is directly involved. Anybody who says God is not directly involved in His Work is not doing God’s Work!
God says He will “shake terribly the earth.” That statement is made and repeated within three verses (see Isaiah 2:19-21). God will continue to use the earthquake as punishment until mankind repents. It will get much worse than the earthquake activity we have had until now.
God doesn’t want to be violent. Out of love He sends His warning message now to give man a chance to repent before the coming catastrophe. But man is so hardened by sin that he rarely ever heeds God’s warning. When it’s all over, mankind will wish they had listened!
‘Sons Who Deny Their Sonship’
Isaiah delivered his message anciently, but it was primarily for the end time. As I mentioned earlier, God commanded him to write it in a book. “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever” (Isaiah 30:8). “[T]he time to come” in Hebrew reads “the latter day.” So what is the main reason the book of Isaiah was put in the Bible? Because it was a message for the end time—for today, right now! The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary writes this about “a book” in verse 8: “a parchment roll, containing the prophecy in full, for the use of distant posterity”—specifically for “the latter day.”
The book of Isaiah will have been written in vain if we fail to understand that it is for us today! Indescribable suffering can be avoided if we heed its message.
The crisis is far greater than most people think. That’s because these verses refer to God’s own people who are in danger of losing their salvation! This applies to Israel in a general way, but to God’s own Church specifically.
“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord” (verse 9). The expression “lying children” is translated this way in the Interpreter’s Bible: “sons who deny their sonship.” That is a terribly serious charge.
Many of the Laodiceans have adopted the trinity doctrine, which rejects the God Family! The trinity doctrine pictures a closed godhead of three beings. But God is a Father, Christ is His Son, and we have the potential to become members of the God Family. Today, we are begotten sons of God, soon to be born sons of God, if we remain loyal. (This is fully explained in our free booklet God Is a Family.)
Even from His youth, Christ was doing His Father’s business (Luke 2:49). All of the Laodiceans are failing to do their Father’s business. The wcg has refused to do God’s Work. So have the other groups that left the wcg. Only the Philadelphia Church of God has a clear commission of what it is to do. That is because only the pcg is doing God’s Work. We spurn our sonship when we refuse to do our Father’s business! That is sin of the greatest magnitude!
The greatest truth God ever revealed to us was about His Family! The greatest gift God could ever give us is to be His own sons—members of the God Family! We are called to be Gods! The Laodiceans have lost the true meaning of who they are and the work God has commissioned them to do! We have the most supreme calling God could ever give anyone. That means we also have a heavy responsibility. Satan’s number one goal is to destroy our God Family understanding. It’s a real battle, and the Laodiceans are losing.
The Laodiceans “will not hear the law of the Lord.” God’s government is based on the law of God. God taught that government through Mr. Armstrong. Then God did a great work through him. Mr. Armstrong was blessed with almost overwhelming fruits because he kept and taught God’s laws and government.
However, every Laodicean group today rejects that government! That is a major way in which they are denying their sonship. Nobody who refuses God’s rule will be in His Kingdom. God the Father will rule His sons—His Family!
When you see God’s own people rejecting His government, they are rebelling against their own Father. We see that happening to many thousands in this end time.
It is a very obvious sign when God’s own people refuse to do His Work. “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (Isaiah 30:10-11). Notice, this was God’s own Church. God was with it, but then the people caused God “to cease” from among them! No sin is greater than that! Unless they repent, the lake of fire awaits them. They turned away from God and His truth. This is the rebellion discussed in Revelation 3:14-19. God spews them out of His mouth into the Great Tribulation.
In this end time, only the Laodiceans could cause God to cease from among them! God has never been with this sinning world (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Only the Laodiceans could deny their glorious Father today! Only they could commit this most horrid sin of all! There is no greater crime! The most tragic sight ever seen is that of God’s people perishing spiritually (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
When God’s people rebel against Him, it is a clear sign of the very end. They say “prophesy not.” (You can read more about this problem in our free booklet The Lion Has Roared.) When God’s people become weak, they want “smooth things”—an easier message.
And please notice, these people say “prophesy not” because they once prophesied God’s message! They prophesied when Mr. Armstrong led them, but then they stopped! That is why God commanded the pcg to “prophesy again” (Revelation 10:11).
The Laodiceans want to “prophesy deceits.” God’s way is too hard for them. God’s prophetic message for today is too strong for them. They want human government and an easier message to deliver. They don’t want to warn the world of the coming Great Tribulation and the great and dreadful Day of the Lord!
This lukewarm attitude causes the most enthralling prophecy of all to grow dim in their minds—the prophecy of the beautiful world to come. God no longer reveals prophecy to them because they rebel against His law and government. Again, God only reveals His prophecy to very humble people (Matthew 11:25; 18:1-3).
God has given the pcg abundant new prophetic revelation, shown in almost all of our literature. That is the most powerful sign of where God is working today! That means Christ is the Head and is speaking to His very elect!
There is a strong reason why the Laodiceans can’t see where God is working today. They love “deceits.” They refuse to face the difficult prophecies of the Bible and warn the world. They are blind because they choose to be blind.
The Laodicean works will end suddenly and violently. “Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant” (Isaiah 30:13). There is a breach in the Laodiceans’ spiritual wall that is about to collapse suddenly. It will be like a levee breaking from a flooding river. The danger keeps building and building—until finally the levee bursts and falls in seconds!
God will “scatter [or shatter] the power of the holy people” (Daniel 12:7). That will happen when the Tribulation comes. “And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit” (Isaiah 30:14). All of these Laodicean deceits—the false doctrines—will be destroyed violently, suddenly and forever.
Thank God there is great news beyond the bad news. “For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers” (verses 19-20). There will be no more weeping. God will teach His truth to the whole world. What a wonderful future for God’s true Christians today. We are being trained to teach the whole world! We will be on center stage—not in a “corner” anymore.
We will teach the world what God taught us through Mr. Armstrong—and a great deal more. God’s colleges will be established all over the world. Multiple millions of Church congregations will be established. We will fill this Earth with God’s truth! We have the enviable job of helping to change a world full of tears into a world full of rejoicing and laughter!
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (verse 21). God’s loving guidance will be administered. The whole world’s population will be taught and directed toward God’s way and away from sin. That’s what it will take to produce the Millennium.
“Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures” (verse 23). The animals in the Millennium will be better fed than most people are today! What a glorious future man has! Why do men rebel against such glory?
People will keep God’s holy days. “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound” (verse 26). This is a figure of speech. The 15th of Tishri is the brightest day of the year. You can read by the moonlight. It occurs during the Feast of Tabernacles. This is a type of the spiritual light that God will give the world when Jesus Christ is here in person. What a fabulous change this world is about to experience!