|Vol. V Number 5||February 4, 2001|
Turkey with the Seven Churches of Asia
The last several weeks we have been discussing the seven churches in Asia as described in Revelation. Today we will be discussing the last and final church mentioned, Laodecia. This church has gone through much ridicule for being the apostate church. But from what I can see it is really in the condition of some of the previous churches mentioned and like most of the ``church'' world today.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
As you can see this is a church that thought that they were rich in increased with goods that they were blessed by God. But in reality their riches were a snare and a hinderance to them. They misunderstood, like many today, that the increase in wealth does not necessarily mean that you are being blessed by the Lord. There are many wicked who are increaced wealth who
approximately 336 AD
At the beginning of the Christian era, Laodicea was inhabited, besides its indigenous population of Hellenized Syrians, by Greeks, Romans, and an important Jewish colony. There is extant a letter from the authorities of the city to a Roman magistrate in which the former undertake to refrain from molesting the Jews in their religious observances and customs. These Jews sent regularly to Jerusalem a tribute of twenty pounds of gold. Christianity penetrated into the city from the earliest times: St. Paul mentions the Church of Laodicea as closely united with that of Colossus. It had probably been founded by the Colossian Epaphras, who shared the care of it with Nymphas, in whose house the faithful used to assemble. Paul asks the Colossians to communicate to the Church of Laodicea the letter which he sends to them, and to read publicly that which should come to them from Laodicea, that is, no doubt, a letter which he had written, or was to write, to the Laodiceans (Col., ii, 1 sq.). An apocryphal epistle purporting to be from Paul to the Laodiceans is extant in Latin and Arabic (see APOCRYPHA, I, 614). Some of the Greek MSS. end the First Epistle to Timothy with these words: "Written at Laodicea, metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana". The Church of Laodicea is one of the seven (see Ramsay, The Seven Churches of Asia Minor, London, 1908) to the bishops of which are addressed the letters at the beginning of the Apocalypse (Apoc., iii, 14-21). The first bishops attributed to the See of Laodicea are very uncertain: St. Archippus (Col., iv, 17); St. Nymphas (Col., iv, 15; already indicated as bishop of Laodicea by the Apostolic Constitutions, vii, 46); Diotrephes (III John, 9). Next comes St. Sagaris, martyr (c. 166). Sisinnius is mentioned in the Acts of the martyr St. Artemon, a priest of his Church. Nunechius assisted at the Council of Nicaea (325). Eugenius, known by an inscription, was probably his successor. The Arian Cecropius was transferred by Constantius to the See of Nicomedia. When Phrygia was divided into two parts, Laodicea became the metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana: it figures under this title in all the "Notitiae episcopatuum". Some twenty incumbents are known besides those already enumerated; the last occupied the see in 1450.
There are extant, in Greek, sixty canons of a Council of Laodicea. That this assembly was actually held, we have the testimony of Theodoret ("In Coloss.", ii, 18, P.L., LXXXII, 619). There has been much discussion as to the date: some have even thought that the council must have preceded that of Nicaea (325), or at least that of Constantinople (381) It seems safer to consider it as subsequent to the latter. The canons are, undoubtedly, only a resume of an older text, and indeed appear to be derived from two distinct collections. They are of great importance in the history of discipline and liturgy; Protestants have often, but quite without reason, invoke one of them in opposition to the veneration of angels.
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