Chapter 8: The Church of Laodicea (1914-1993 A.D.)

Chapter 8
The Church of Laodicea
(1914-1993 A.D.)


The Church of the Laodiceans is the Church of the Captivity that parallels the Old Testament Church era where Israel was taken to Assyria and Judah to Babylon. It began in 1914, precisely 2,520 years after Jerusalem was taken captive by the Babylonian army in 604 B.C. This was a period of seven “times,” or 7 x 360 years. Thus, we see a virtual repeat of the Babylonian captivity during much of the twentieth century. The main difference is that it is no longer Judah and Jerusalem that were taken captive, but now it is the Christian Church of Laodicea.

If we look back over the history of the first six churches, we see that at first the focus of history rested upon the Roman Catholic Church. But then with the Sardis Church (the Remnant of Grace Church), the focus began to shift toward the Protestants who refused to bow their knee to the popes, even as the 7,000 in Elijah's day refused to bow to Baal.

The Philadelphia Church then brought the focus to America, for as the Supreme Court ruled many times in those early days, America was founded as a Christian Nation. In the twentieth century, the first two world wars devastated and disillusioned Christians to the point where most of them would attend Church only on Christmas and Easter. Huge cathedrals stood virtually empty most of the time.

With the focus shifting to America, then, it is not surprising that the Laodicean Church era would be introduced by the Federal Reserve Act in the American Congress. The Federal Reserve System is not really owned by the American government, but is a private banking organization owned primarily by foreign banking interests. Even so, it is based here in America. As the power of “the Fed” increased, it asserted its Babylonian authority over all men.

So also the Laodicean Church is described in terms of the American Church and the Western countries in general. For instance, we could hardly insist that the churches in third-world countries would consider themselves to be wealthy, as Rev. 3:17 says, but that is a condition of the Western churches. And only America would give birth to the so-called “prosperity” doctrine that tends to equate spirituality with large bank accounts.

In both Old and New Testament, this Church of Captivity brings the age to a close in apparent failure. And yet out of that failure God brings a remnant of grace to fulfill all things.

The Amen

Rev. 3:14 begins this section with a very significant identification of both Christ and the overcomers:

14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

Here Jesus calls Himself “the Amen.” This title is taken from Isaiah 65:16, which says,

16 Because he who is blessed in the earth shall be blessed by the God of truth [Heb: amen], and he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth [Heb: amen]...

The Hebrew word for truth is amet, or emet. But amen means truly. The words are related, but not precisely the same. Isaiah could have used the word amet if he had intended to refer to the God of truth. But he did not. He used the word amen. In using this word, he turned it into a title of God (that is, Christ), as shown in Rev. 3:14.

The word amen was used in Num. 5:22, Deut. 27:15-36, and many other places to denote confirmation and agreement. Those who said “Amen” indicated that they believed something to be true and that they were agreeing to submit to that word. And so in Rev. 3:14 we find Jesus Himself being “the Amen” of God, indicating total agreement with His Father. In John 5:19 we read,

19 Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, Truly, truly [i.e., Amen! Amen!] I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

Again in John 5:30 Jesus says,

30 I can do nothing on my own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 31 If I alone bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true.

This is what made Jesus the Amen of the Father. The Father provided the heavenly witness, and the Son provided the earthly witness. These two witnesses established all things according to the law of the double witness. This was how the heavens and the earth were created in the beginning, for we read in John 1:3,

3 All things came into being by [dia: “through”] Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

The Father is Spirit; the Son is Spirit made flesh—spiritual flesh. The two together, working in harmony and agreement, establish all things. Heaven and earth were the two witnesses that were needed to create the universe. This is why the prophet, after telling us about the God of Amen, says in the next verses (Isaiah 65:17-19),

17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create [new] Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people for gladness. 19 I will also rejoice in [new] Jerusalem, and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.

The fact that Isaiah was speaking of the New Jerusalem and not the old is evident when we read Rev. 21:1-5. In the New Jerusalem God will wipe away all tears, even as Isaiah described. And verse 5 ends with,

5 And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I am making all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.

What is He making “new” if not the heavens, the earth, and Jerusalem? And so, getting back to Rev. 3:14, we read about—

14... the Amen, the Beginning of the creation of God...

It is precisely by the Amen principle that all things were created at the beginning. It is by this same Amen principle that the new creation is accomplished when He makes all things new. The only difference is that this time He is bringing forth an Amen People, a body of overcomers who will, in one sense, form His Body, and in another sense be His Bride—for they will be “one flesh.”

Becoming “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24) is first and foremost a matter of unity—coming into agreement in spirit, soul, and body.

The overcomers are one in spirit with their Father.

The overcomers have become living sacrifices and are transformed by the renewing of their mind (soul).

Upon this body the Head can rest in unity.

And now God is looking for an Amen People, the Body of Christ, the Body of the Amen. He is raising up just such a body, called overcomers, in order that He might create a New Heavens, a New Earth, and a New Jerusalem through their earthly witness.

The Lukewarm Laodicean Church

Rev. 3:15-17 says to this Church,

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked...

The Laodicean Church is a prophetic paradox. It thinks itself to be rich, yet is poor. It thinks it sees, but is blind. It thinks itself clothed, yet is naked. It does not even know that it is wretched and miserable. Such language in Rev. 3:17, 18 leaves us speechless.

First it is lukewarm. This is not to say that God delights in fanaticism, which is an unbalanced view of reality that does not have its priorities in order. It has more to do with quenching God's thirst with water that is enjoyable—not just wet.

Water can be a symbol of the word (Eph. 5:26), of cleansing, and also “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues,” (Rev. 17:15). And so the Church of Laodicea is compared to water. But Amos 8:11 prophesied also of these days, saying,

11 Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.

God thirsts for a people who in turn thirst for hearing the words of the Lord. In the Laodicean Church age, the Christian believers are said to have lost their thirst for the true water of the word. Yet we may safely assume that these same believers were unaware that they were lukewarm and unaware of their disinterested attitude toward the word. After all, they are said to be unaware of their poverty, wretchedness, and blindness. Why would it be any different in regard to their disinterest in the word?

I myself marvel that so many Christian believers would show so little diligence in studying the Scriptures. Many run from prophet to prophet seeking a word from God—for there is indeed a famine of hearing the word of God. But first, they should realize that God speaks to all men, not just to prophets. We should all study the word to develop our own capacity to hear His voice. Furthermore, I have learned by much hard experience that if a person does not have the firm foundation of biblical knowledge, the word he discerns will be warped in some way. Even if he hears with great precision, he will not understand it properly and will fall into the ditch.

The Laodicean Church is probably the most ignorant of the Scripture since the printing press was first used to put the Bible into the hands of the common people. We have too many Bibles, too many translations, and too little understanding of the Word. When we have too much of something, we no longer appreciate it. We become lukewarm toward it. That is a fact of life.

The Poverty of the Laodicean Church

Rev. 3:17 makes it clear that this Church is poverty-stricken, and yet it thinks it is wealthy. So who is right? Actually, both are correct. The Laodicean Church of the past century has become extremely wealthy in terms of money and property. It has given birth to the “prosperity” doctrine that God wants everyone to be wealthy, and if a person is poor, it is either because of sin or “lack of faith.”

Accompanied with the “name-it-and-claim-it” idea, it is no wonder that the Laodicean Church in America thinks it is wealthy, even while it is poor. By the power of positive thinking, which it mistakes for faith, it believes it can increase its wealth by the power of thought. Christians are taught to refuse to recognize reality, for fear of “claiming” it and making it happen. And so the Church does not recognize its own poverty. In any other context, this would be classified as a form of mental illness.

Yet this is the state of the Church in the 20 th century. Nakedness, blindness, and poverty are so commonplace that no one even realizes it is a problem. The Church does not have the white raiment (the righteousness of saints). It is blind to the truth of God's plan. It is poor and in need of true gold (faith) tried in the fire (1 Peter 1:7).

If we were to prove any of these statements adequately, it would require a complete book in itself. In brief, though, the Church has rebelled against the divine law, yet thinks it is righteous in its open disobedience. As a single example of this, God says usury (charging interest on money) is a sin; the Church sees nothing sinful in it. Hence, the Church not only allows but actively participates in something God says is sin. There are prominent, wealthy evangelists in America who are major stockholders in banks that make money oppressing other people. They can do this with no twinge of conscience, because they do not believe that charging usury is a sin.

In fact, God has chosen this particular point of divine Law to judge us by our own works, so that we would learn that lawlessness leads to bondage. Thus, we have become enslaved by the Federal Reserve System—modern Babylon —specifically because the Church discarded the law banning interest on money. The Church sanctified usury, and this allowed the usurers to conquer us through our own sinful ways.

Poor in Faith; Rich in Positive Thinking

The Church is also poor, not having the true gold tried in the fire. Rev. 3:18 says, in part,

18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich...

In other words, the Church does not have true Biblical Faith. But because it thinks it has faith, it is apparent that it has a counterfeit faith. Since the 1960's we have seen the rise of Positive Thinking in the teachings of Norman Vincent Peale and his successors. We should all think positively, but this must not be confused with faith.

Faith comes by hearing the Word and voice of God. When we truly hear His Word and act upon it, this is faith. If God truly gives someone a promise, and if the person has heard it correctly, then that person should stand upon the word of God by faith. Faith seeks to establish what God has spoken and willed into being.

Positive thinking is based upon the will of man and what man thinks God ought to do for him. When a man wishes God to do something good for him, and then prays and demands it of God until he gets it, this is not an act of faith, but presumption. If he feels that he will get his way if he just pesters God long enough, he is acting like a child. If he thinks he can get his way if he but eradicates from his mind all negative thoughts, he is only trying to manipulate God like any common sorcerer. If he thinks that God owes him all good things just because he is a “child of the King,” he is acting like any modern prince that is spoiled and unfit to rule others responsibly.

Faith acts to establish the will of God; positive thinking acts to establish the will of man. Most prayer today is the latter. It is a counterfeit faith. Those who have it are unaware that they are spiritually poor, because nearly everyone around them is in the same condition. They are classic Laodiceans in need of repentance.

Blindness in Part

Rev. 3:17 describes the Laodicean Church as being “blind,” without knowing it, and verse 18 counsels them to buy “eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.

The situation is the same as in Elijah's day. Paul explains in Romans 11:4-8,

4 But what is the divine response to him [Elijah]? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way, then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day.

In other words, Paul explains that Israel as a whole was blinded, but that God had preserved a “remnant” that was not blind or deaf. These were the overcomers in Elijah's day. The average Israelite was not an overcomer, even though he was part of the Old Testament Church (Acts 7:38).

In the same way, there is a remnant in the age of the Laodicean Church, “him that overcomes.” Paul makes it clear that the remnant is NOT blinded. But John makes it equally clear that the Laodicean Church IS blind, even as Israel as a whole was blind.

Now the context of Paul's teaching in Romans 11 is to show that God's promises to Israel have not failed. They are, instead, being fulfilled in a remnant. Paul does not make the mistake of saying that Israelites are “chosen” on the basis of their genealogy. Rather, they are chosen and will fulfill the promises of God on the basis of their relationship with Jesus Christ.

As I showed in my book, Who is a Jew?, it requires faith in Jesus Christ to be a Jew in the eyes of God. But more than that, in my other book, Who is an Israelite?, I show that one must be an overcomer to be a true Israelite, even as Jacob himself had to overcome before he could receive that name from the angel. Jacob had faith in God for many years before he became an Israelite.

In Romans 9, 10, and 11 Paul was discussing the loss of Israel when the ten tribes were taken captive to Assyria in 745-721 B.C. Most Bible teaching today, however, treats this passage as if Paul were talking about the Jewish dispersion in 70 A.D. But Paul died in 64 A.D., so it is not possible that Paul would speak directly about the events of 70 A.D., though certainly he was aware that God had radically pruned the Judah “tree.” Nonetheless, he was addressing primarily the olive tree of Israel (11:17, 24), not the fig tree of Judah (Matt. 21:19 and 24:32, 33).

This misidentification, along with the mistaken idea that the Jews are the Israel of Bible prophecy, has done much to blind the Church of Laodicea. It has allowed Zionists to steal land from those who had lived there for centuries. It has even looked the other way as the non-Christian Zionists stole entire villages like the Christian town of Birim, driving the population out under pretext of “security,” and then never allowing them to return.

It allowed terrorists like Menachem Begin and his Irgun Gang to blow up the King David hotel in 1946 with the blessing of the blind Laodicean Church. It justified Menachem Begin's massacre of 254 Arab men, women, and children of the village of Deir Yassin on the night of April 9, 1948. This city had a peace pact with its Jewish neighbors. The Israeli paper, Davar, published a statement by Zvi Ankori, the Jewish army unit that occupied Deir Yassin after the massacre. He wrote:

“I went into 6 to 7 houses. I saw cut off genitalia and women's crushed stomachs. According to the shooting signs on the bodies, it was direct murder.”

Jewish writer, Ami Isseroff wrote in an article, Coming to Terms with Deir Yassin,

“It is long past time for Israeli Zionists, like myself, to apologize. The Israeli government has never apologized for the massacre of Deir Yassin, though the Jewish Agency apologized to King Abdullah in 1948. The perpetrators of the massacre at Deir Yassin were never punished, though there was a great hue and cry at the time.”

Menachem Begin himself wrote in his book, The Revolt: Story of the Irgun, page 316,

“The Irgun will go down in history as a factor without which the State of Israel would not have come into being.”

The blindness of Laodicea allowed terrorists like Yitzhak Shamir and his Stern Gang to assassinate British Minister, Lord Moyne, in late 1944 with the blessing of the Church. It again looked the other way when Shamir's Stern Gang assassinated U.N. Mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948. Shamir writes about these in his own book, Summing Up, with no sign of repentance.

It allowed terrorists like Ariel Sharon to blow up the houses of the town of Kibya with 67 people still in them on Oct. 10, 1953. He claims in his book, Warrior, that he was just following orders from his boss, Ben-Gurion.

These were the first real terrorists in Palestine. Their work was so successful that they inspired Arafat and others to return the favor in hopes that it would work for them as well. However, the Arab terrorists did not enjoy the support of the Laodicean Church, which only believed that Jesus condoned Jewish terrorism.

The poverty of knowing the Scriptures has caused the Laodicean Church to justify Jewish terrorism, theft, and murder as a legitimate method of “fulfilling Bible prophecy” with Jesus' blessing. It has justified the very attitude of violence that Jesus condemned. The true Kingdom of God is not established in this manner, even if men attempt to establish their counterfeits by violence and force.

The blindness of Laodicea has allowed the Zionist government to oppress and kill anyone who opposes its theft, as if God condoned such behavior. Blindness is a terrible thing. Christian Zionists should read the words of Jewish author, Israel Shamir, in his article, Exposing the Big Lie About Muslims and Christians,

“Why, in this season of blossoming almond trees, do I brood on the sensitive subject of Jewish and Muslim attitudes towards Christ? Because one has to stop the mills of hatred operated by Israel 's supporters. Because the ‘Judeo-Christian' code language is being used to justify the barbed wire around Birim's Church and the tanks around Bethlehem. Because there is a duty to remove an obstacle from the path of the blind [Lev. 19:14].

“The majority of Christian Zionists are simple misled souls, people of good intentions but little knowledge. They think they ‘support Jews,' but they promote the Christ-hating spirit among the Jews...

“To the leaders of the Christian Zionists, who surely know these facts, but lead their innocent flock on the path of the Anti-Christ, I say, ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Christ to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone tied round his neck and be drowned in the deep sea' (Mt. 18:6).

“To my Jewish brothers I say: the opinions of medieval Jews do not bind us. Every Jew can decide for himself, whether to pray for the destruction of the Gentiles or to share the blessing of the Holy Land with the villagers of Birim and Bethlehem. Within the Jewish people, there were always spiritual descendants of the prophets who wished to bring peace and blessing to all the children of Adam. As true as this almond blossom, in you the prophecy will be fulfilled. ‘All the nations of the earth will bless you' (Deut. 7).”

Israel Shamir had the right idea. Chosen people do not murder and steal from others. Chosen people are a blessing, not a curse. Chosen people are loved for their impartial justice, not their ability to judge Jews and non-Jews by different standards.

For the Laodicean Church to remain blind to the basic principles of Christian morality that Jesus taught is a marvel indeed. However, it is traceable to previous misconceptions which we have discussed more fully in other publications.

When Men Rule, There is Bondage

The word Laodicea means either “power OF the laity” (people) or “power OVER the laity” (captivity). I believe the word carries BOTH meanings, because when the people rule in a democracy, it is very easily and quickly conquered by ruthless, ambitious men who know how to make campaign promises that appeal to men's selfish, ungodly desires. The legislature then passes laws that men think good, rather than find out what God said in His Law. It is not long before the power OF the people turns into power OVER the people. Man's laws will always lead to bondage. Only God's Law can be called “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25).

Ultimately, it makes little difference if one man rules the people or if the people all rule collectively in a democracy. Either way, imperfect men rule, and ultimately, they will put the people into bondage by the laws which they legislate. The only advantage in a democracy is that it usually takes longer for the bondage to take place. Our founders largely recognized this, and that is why they created a Republic under God, rather than democracy under men. It was hoped that the legislators would be godly men who would interpret and apply God's Law, rather than pass laws contrary to King Jesus. However, because there were already many Christians who had dispensed with God's Law, they compromised and did not establish the Bible as the supreme Law of the land.

Democracy means that man rules, as opposed to a theocracy, where God rules. The Church should be a theocracy with Jesus Christ as King. The Church should be led by the Word as interpreted by the Holy Spirit. Instead, the Church has usually disposed of or disregarded the Laws of God and then expected the Holy Spirit to lead them apart from His Word.

World War I was fought “to make the world safe for democracy.” Actually, it was fought to destroy all rival dictators and kings, so that it could be conquered by the new dictators of the financial Empire of Babylon. The war was fought to transform us from a republic to a democracy, so that we could all be equally enslaved. A democracy is the usurers' heaven.

None of this would have been possible if the Church had not rebelled against the theocracy of God. However, the Church had already prepared the hearts and minds of the people for dictatorial rule. The Roman Church had set up its own dictatorship, making it difficult for Catholic nations to understand the basic principles of liberty in law. After all, the popes have claimed to be above the Law of God, having the right to overrule Jesus and the Apostles. Some Protestant denominations have gone the same direction, insisting that one must join their organizations and submit to the authority of their leaders in order to attain to the Kingdom of God.

These have turned into competing factions of Babylonian government run by men rather than by Jesus Christ. While they all claim to represent Jesus Christ, they all seem to overrule Him whenever they disagree with His Laws. For this reason, God finally sold us into captivity to the new Babylonian Empire. This not only affected the political and economic system, but it also blinded the eyes of the Laodicean Church, making them think they were rich when they were, in fact, poor.

The revelation of the Law is thus one of our major focal points. We seek to discover truths long hidden in its dusty, unused pages. The time has come for such a revelation to be taught and understood. It is time to anoint our eyes with spiritual eye salve, time to repent of our own ways and turn to His ways, time to put on the mind of God and come into agreement with Him as an Amen people.

Bible Laws on Usury

When we speak of a “Babylonian” captivity, we must understand that there was an original captivity of Jerusalem and Judah from 604 to 534 B.C. to the literal Babylonian Empire, but that this has been and is being repeated on a larger scale in subsequent history. This time, however, “ Babylon ” is no longer the old city, but a system of world-government, an economic system, and a religious system. In each area, it is man's way of doing things. It is set up by men who are in rebellion against the laws and government of God.

In a way, the Laodiceans parallel the people in the days of Zerubbabel after the Edict of Cyrus freed them to return to the land of Judah. In both cases the people found themselves much too financially prosperous to brave the rigors of rebuilding the old waste places. And so they were content to remain in Babylon, rather than build Jerusalem and the Kingdom of God and establish His righteous government upon the earth.

The book of Ezra tells how Sheshbazzar (Zerubbabel) organized a migration of just 49,697 immigrants (Ezra 2:64, 65) who returned to the land of Canaan. This was a tiny minority of Judahites. It obviously shows that they were not being mistreated in captivity. Instead, they had prospered, and many had become quite wealthy. They had also learned the art of banking there. Since the divine Law permitted usury to be charged to foreigners, they were able to charge the going rates in Babylon —usually about 20-30%.

Perhaps we should also state here that the divine Law only permits interest on money to foreigners living outside the land. This was allowed, because such foreigners were not subject to the divine Law in their native countries, and under man's laws, usury was an accepted way of doing business. Deut. 23:20 says,

20 You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countryman you shall not charge interest, so that the Lord you God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.

However, in Lev. 25:35, 36 we read a passage which, on the surface, appears to contradict it:

35 Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Do not take usurious interest from him

Any foreigners (“strangers”) passing through the land, or sojourners living and working among the Israelites were expected to be obedient to the laws of the land. There was to be no double standard within the borders of the land of Israel. Exodus 12:49 says,

49 The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.

It was very important in the eyes of God that Israel never oppress the stranger. Exodus 22:21 says,

21 And you shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Thus, it is plain that God outlaws usury wherever Kingdom government is to be found. When living in a foreign land where the Law of God is not established, it is permitted to loan money at interest, but certainly not among people who claim to live in God's Kingdom. The people of Judah living in Babylon largely adopted the banking practices of their captors and had little or no regard for the Law of God. Hence, in Nehemiah 5:1 we read,

1 Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brethren.

The problem was that they were charging interest on their loans during a time of drought (Neh. 5:10).

Some today teach that Jesus put His blessing upon usury in Luke 19:23, where He said to the man who had buried the pound his master had given him:

23 Then why did you not put the money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?

If we look at the entire parable, we see what Jesus really meant by this statement. A man who was going into a far country gave money to His servants for safekeeping and to use for business investment. The servant given ten pounds earned another ten pounds; the servant given five pounds earned another five. But the one given a single pound buried it and made nothing by investment. His excuse in Luke 19:21 was,

21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.

To paraphrase this, the man was saying that his lord, who represented Jesus in the parable, was a hard-nosed businessman who often took what was not his. The servant thought his lord was a thief when it came to business practices. But Jesus is not a thief, so He has the lord of the servant tell him,

22 He said to him, By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Then why did you not put the money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?

In other words, Jesus judged the man according to his own words. He thought Jesus was a thief, so why didn't he just use the money as a thief would have done?—by charging usury! That way, at least, the servant could have honestly acted upon his incorrect view of Jesus. Instead, the servant buried the pound. The servant was honest enough not to steal from others, but he believed that Jesus was a thief. Thus, the servant was acting in a self-righteous manner that actually blasphemed Jesus' character. This is why Jesus said the servant was wicked.

The bottom line is that this passage proves that usury is denounced as thievery in the New Testament. Jesus certainly did not condone it. But in recent years the Laodicean Church leaders have been so blind as to think that Jesus put away His own Law, making theft acceptable. Those who think that the God of the Old Testament was “austere” for outlawing usury should ask themselves if they prefer a New Testament God that approves of such theft!

The Church of the Laodiceans sees nothing wrong with charging interest on money. In fact, they have learned how to profit from the Babylonian way of life—by oppressing their brethren. They are just like their Old Testament counterparts in the fifth chapter of Nehemiah.

The Laodicean Church is the Church of the Captivity to Babylon in the 20 th century. It has not only learned to accept this captivity, but also to join itself to Babylon, putting their brethren into bondage for a profit. The race is on to see who can get the most money in tithes and offerings, so that these ministries can build crystal cathedrals, Christian vacation resorts, television empires, mansions with gold faucets, and acquire personal fortunes that they put out at usury to make more money through other people's bondage. And in the midst of all this accumulated wealth, there is a famine in the land of hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11). Thinking themselves to be rich in the eyes of the world, they are actually very poor by God's standard of measure.

The 40 Jubilees of the Church Age came to an end in 1993. At that point God began to do a new thing, working with today's overcomers. The Overcomer Age lies ahead, and we are now in the beginning years of transition from one age to the next, in which we will witness a new administration of divine government introduced into the earth. Let us seek Him and study His Word, that we may know His will for us in these days. Let us pray that we be found worthy to be granted the blessings given to those who overcome.

Why God Blinded the Laodicean Church

It was necessary that the Church be blind to its captivity, otherwise it would have revolted and set up a government ruled by other ungodly men who had no respect for the Law of God. We could have had a hundred such revolutions and never come close to the Kingdom of God. Even if we had set Christians in positions of power in a new government, the problem would not have been solved as long as they thought God's Law was an evil thing. And so, God blinded us, in order that we would settle down in Babylon and fulfill the Word given by Jeremiah in his letter to the captives in Babylon (Jer. 29).

In Jeremiah's day, God had pronounced a 70-year judgment upon the people (Jer. 29:10) because of their refusal to keep God's Law. Once that divine decree had been issued, Jeremiah's advice to the people was to submit to their Babylonian captors, as God had decreed. We read in Jer. 27:6-11,

6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, My servant; and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him. 7 And all the nations shall serve him, and his son, and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings will make him their servant. 8 And it will be, that the nation or the kingdom which will NOT serve him, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and which will NOT put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have destroyed it by his hand… 11 But the nation which will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let remain on its land, declares the Lord, and they will till it and dwell in it.

Those who refused to submit to God's judgment would find themselves under penalty for contempt of God's court (Deut. 17:12).

In Jeremiah's day the people as a whole decided to fight the Babylonians, refusing to abide by the judgment of God. Jeremiah put on a wooden yoke (Jer. 27:2) to let all nations and people know that this was the judgment of God upon them. Like an ox, they were to be good servants to king Nebuchadnezzar. However, the false prophet Hananiah grabbed the yoke and broke it (Jer. 28:10). He was a good patriot who did not want to submit to God's judgment. From his viewpoint, Jeremiah's message was treasonous and worthy of death (Jer. 26:11).

The next day Jeremiah came out wearing an iron yoke (Jer. 28:13). Because the people had rebelled against God's judgment upon them, now they were to have a worse time of bondage. A wooden yoke meant that they could serve their 70-year sentence in their own land by simply paying tribute to Babylon. An iron yoke meant that they would serve their sentence in a foreign land (Jer. 27:11), and those who refused to submit to this judgment would die from “the sword, famine, and pestilence” (Jer. 27:13). This was the law in Deut. 28:48.

48 Therefore, you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and he will put an iron yoke on your neck, until he has destroyed you.

I repeat—had they submitted to the yoke of wood, their servitude could have been accomplished in their own land, through taxation, but they chose to rebel. Hence, the full penalty of the Law was enforced. The yoke of iron meant that they would have to serve their time as captives in a foreign land (Jer. 29:11).

Once the sentence of the Law had been decreed in the Divine Court, Jeremiah wrote to the captives who were already in Babylon and told them to settle down in Babylon, build houses, get married, have children, so their population would not be diminished. In other words, to some extent, “join the system.” However, this did not mean they were to participate in the sins of Babylon by learning the art of charging their brethren usury (Neh. 5). Neither did it mean they were to worship other gods (Dan. 3). Neither did it mean they were to stop praying to the true God (Dan. 6). They were to allow the Babylonians to transport them to the foreign land. They were to submit to its laws and to pay whatever tribute was put upon them, no matter what the king did with that money. (The king alone was answerable to God in that regard.) It was only when the king would attempt to force God's people to sin that the line was drawn, where the people were to say, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

These are very important lessons that we are to learn, because we too are in a Babylonian captivity. The same lessons of the past are applicable today. God sold us into captivity in 1913-14 to the secret empire known as Mystery Babylon precisely 2,520 years after the first Babylonian Empire. God decreed His judgment upon us for the same reasons as found in the Bible.

It was a just sentence, but if the people had known what was going on, they would have risen up and rebelled against this righteous sentence. This is why God has blinded our eyes to the fact of our Babylonian captivity. He made it secret, a “mystery,” so that the rebellious Church would NOT rebel against Babylon. In this way God, in His mercy ensured that we would remain in our own land during the captivity. We would have a yoke of wood, rather than an iron yoke in a foreign land.

This captivity is essentially a 70-year captivity also, except that one must also take into consideration the “Hezekiah Factor” that we described in Chapter 15 of Secrets of Time. In other words, there is an extra ten years added to the time cycles of our day, as prophesied in the story of Hezekiah. Thus, our 70-year captivity runs from the fall of 1913 to 1983, plus ten years to the fall of 1993.

The End of the Captivity

May 30, 1993 was Pentecost Sunday. It was also the 40 th Jubilee of the Church. I believe it represented the end of the 40-year reign of King Saul, who was the primary Pentecostal type in the Old Testament. (See The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost.) This means that the authority that God gave the Church at Pentecost in Acts 2 began to come to an end. It began to be transferred from the Saul Church to the David Church—that is, the overcomers. We will explain this further in the next chapter.

Nov. 29, 1993 was also the end of 46 years since the United Nations passed the Palestinian Resolution, forming a Jewish homeland. On Nov. 29, 1993 the captivity began to come to an end. The story of God's dealings with us since 1993 would fill an entire book in itself and cannot be treated here, but God spoke to us of a seven-year period of spiritual warfare from 1993-2000 to prepare for the fall of Mystery Babylon..

However, we also knew in 1993 that Babylon would prolong the captivity and refuse to let us go, for the ancient city of Babylon did the same with Judah. We see this in Jer. 50:33, 34.

33 Thus says the Lord of hosts, The sons of Israel are oppressed, and the sons of Judah as well; and all who took them captive have held them fast; they have refused to let them go. 34 Their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of hosts is His name; He will vigorously plead their case, so that He may bring rest to the earth, but turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon.

God sought occasion against Babylon and so blinded its eyes with greed that they would not let God's people go when the lawful time of their authority had come to an end. This violation of God's lawful judgment means that God intends to destroy Babylon even as He did Egypt during the days of Moses. The times and places are different, but the principles are the same.

The Church Age defined by the Seven Churches of Revelation are now ended. We are at the dawn of a new day, where there is a divine stirring to do a new work in the earth. The Scriptures tell us that God intends to pour out His Spirit in a fuller manner than we have ever known, a day greater than Passover at Israel 's Exodus or even the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. It will be the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, in which the fullness of the Spirit is given to the overcomers that will empower them to exercise divine authority by the mind of Christ.

When we analyze what God has done over the millennia of history, a very important picture begins to emerge. God called Israel out of Egypt a long time ago on the day of Passover (Ex. 12:17, 51). He brought them into the Promised Land under Joshua at the time of Passover as well (Josh. 4:19 and 5:10). God's deliverance in that time was limited to the level of Passover, because this was the level of faith that the people had. When they got to Sinai for Pentecost, the people refused to hear the Word of the Lord (Ex. 20:18 -21). Hence, Pentecost could not be fulfilled for another 1, 500 years when the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2.

The Seven Churches in the past Church Age were limited to a pentecostal level of the Holy Spirit. The earnest of the Spirit was given at Pentecost (Eph. 1:14), because the disciples in the upper room had the faith to hear the Word which their ancestors refused to hear at Sinai.

But even the pentecostal level of God's acts has not been enough to bring righteousness to the earth. We need more. We need the fullness of the Spirit that comes through the feast of Tabernacles, the third great feast day in the Law prophesied in John 7:37-39.

The Church Age as we knew it was a Pentecostal Age. That age concluded in 1993 after 40 Jubilees of time. We are now in the transition to a new move of God.

Seeing the progression of history in this matter, we conclude that God is about to pour out His Spirit in a Tabernacles fullness upon the overcomers who are watchful, obedient, and expectant—those who are dissatisfied with their present level of anointing. The pillar of fire is about to move again, and those who have not built their house in the wilderness will be able to take down their tents and move with the presence of God to a new place in the Spirit. This is our hope and our desire. And this book has been written as a call to all aspiring overcomers to prepare their hearts, for the day comes quickly, and even now the first rays of light can be seen.

The Fear of the Lord

The Spirit of the Lord associated with the Church of Laodicea is the Fear of the Lord. Because the Laodicean Church did not have a proper fear (i.e., respect) for the Lord and His word, God put them into captivity. Prov. 1:23-33 says (in part),

23 Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make My words known to you. 24 Because I called and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; 25 and you neglected all My counsel, and did not want My reproof, 26 I will even laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes… 28 Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently, but they shall not find Me, 29 because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the Fear of the Lord. 30 They would not accept My counsel, they spurned all My reproof. 31 So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own devices… 33 But he who listens to Me shall live securely, and shall be at ease from the dread of evil.

The Laodicean Church thus went into captivity because they spurned the Lord's reproof and neglected His counsel. Thus, they had to eat from their own menu. When they call upon the Lord to know why we are in captivity, the Lord does not show them the real reasons that go back many years.

In rejecting the divine Law, they have stopped their ears from hearing the story of Jacob and Esau in the book of Genesis, by which they would have known how to deal scripturally with Zionism.

In rejecting the law against usury, they do not know that the economic system pervading the entire world is Babylonian bondage.

The denominational Church system itself is Laodicean in nature, for it exercises power over the laity, the Christian people. And so God has decreed that the Church should “be satiated with their own devices” (Prov. 1:31) and “the complacency [lukewarmness] of fools shall destroy them” (Prov. 1:32).

But the overcomers are those who listen and obey Him, for they have a proper Fear of the Lord. To them is the promise in Prov. 1:23, “I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make My words known to you.” They will be the few who will see the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, even as the few (120) disciples received the earnest of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.