Laodicea and the Final Era of Earth’s History (Churches 6)

Seventh-day Adventists have often seen the message to Laodicea as applying particularly to the church at the end of time. This connection was based largely on two things. 1) The belief that the seven churches represent stages of the Christian church from the time of John to the Second Coming of Jesus. 2) Laodicea is the seventh and last of the churches, thus must represent what the church would be like in the time just before the Second Coming of Jesus. But since there is no overwhelming evidence that the primary purpose of the seven churches is as a prophecy of Christian history, it would be helpful to discover some exegetical indications that the church of Laodicea is truly the last church of the Christian era.

I was excited, therefore, to discover the striking parallel between Revelation 3:18 and Revelation 16:15. These are the only two texts in the Bible that contain four major and unusual words in combination. Both verses have the Greek words for “seeing” (Greek: blepô), “clothing” (Greek: himation), “shame” (Greek: aischunê, aschêmosunê) and “nakedness” (Greek: gumnotês, gumnos). This parallel is quite striking in the original language. There is an intention link between the core of the Laodicean message and the primary message in the midst of the Battle of Armageddon.

In the midst of the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14-16) there is a call to end-time watchfulness that echos the language of several New Testament texts that emphasize the importance of readiness for the Second Coming of Jesus (Matt 24:42; Luke 12;37-40; 1 Thess 5:2). But Revelation 16:15 also echos the language of Laodicea (cf. 3:18). In the midst of the final battle of earth’s history, there is a call to get ready for the Second Coming of Jesus in the language of the message to Laodicea. This is striking evidence that Laodicea represents the final church of earth’s history.

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