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Laodike - A lukewarm spirit

In this short post we will talk about one of the churches of the Book of Revelations. The meaning of this particular church, Laodike was and is described as something that is lukewarm and a direct translation from the Greek would be "Law-People" (Dike being Law, manner, practise and Lao referring to people). In Xhosa it has (off course) a more descriptive and deeper meaning... Lets dive !

When talking about this church in Revelations, let us establish then what is a church? To be blunt it is a congregation (an assembly of people) and has nothing to do with the building church associated with the word - but with the people adhering to its thoughts and ideas about things in regards to faith. Hence we have many different thoughts and ideas about the Bible today. Too many...!

Now one take on how to read the prophecy of the churches (congregations) found in Revelations, could be interpreted as to understood something like this.

By starting with the church of Ephesus, these believers have evolved or devolved over time, being in different spiritual states across the different times. Another argument would be that these assemblies of people (congregations) still exist today. Now these seven churches, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, are these different congregational energies (a core value of felt beliefs and feelings) and spiritual attitudes/doctrines of the said group of people. How they was improving or failing, is supposed to be all chronicles in the last book of the Bible. The dates on the slide are subject to interpretation as with all dates from the ancient world should be.

  1. Ephesus - Backsliding

  2. Smyrna - Persecuted

  3. Pergamos - Licentious

  4. Thyatira - Laxative

  5. Sardis - Dead

  6. Philadelphia - Favoured

  7. Laodicea - Lukewarm

So then these are the attitudes of either churches throughout the different times, or it can be seen as the very state of most believers today. Which is not encouraging, with the people being generally well behaved, but the harsh truth is that they are neither hot nor cold towards each other, the Gospel or So NiNi.

Ama Lawu Dika, may then be seen as a state of mind, as faith should be perceived, because it is a state of being and a way of living in its own right. The point of showing this to people is, well they can see where they stand. They can check to see where they stand on issues discussed on this blog, for instance. Are you doing your best in following the 10 commandments? Have you tried to understand that the old calendar and the modern one are not one and the same? Are you doing yours to spread the Gospel? Are you telling people about SoNiNi? Are you helping out a brother or a sister in need? Are doing what you can..?

The point is that SoNiNi does not like this church, Laodike. Now you cant change this congregation, it`s widespread and too much money and faith is tied up in this way of life and belief, so that is no point. But you can change and better yourself, then, others will follow your example. You can change your attitude towards the people still under that spirit/mood/feeling - state of faith, the lukewarm one, the one neither hot nor cold, the church that just finds itself in-between two camps (Rev. 3,14-18).

Now, if we categorise into two camps, let`s call then eastern (Bantu) and western (Nations/civilisation) state of faith. A lukewarm person will find themselves in the middle, not doing too much wrong but couldn't really be bothered to much with doing good either. You will then have a little of each, an unhealthy mix, you neglect things like giving to the poor, not extending your arm when you can and should, you believe that the Biblical law was `nailed to the cross` so you do not have to follow it or keep it, you worship on Sunday or Saturday following a Roman catholic calendar, you seek to enrich yourself, a Darwinian mindset (survival of the fittest). That person is getting towards being dead cold in the eyes of SoNiNi. A hot person on the other hand, will be devout to things such as being preoccupied with matters of the law and how to honour them, learning and teaching the 10 commandments, learning about the Sabbath and the special times such as the feasts etc, a spirit of humanity (ubuntu) being a humanitarian, kwowing where the children of Abraham are today, learning about the 10 tribes of Israel, being a tribalist (to some extents exlcuding the many elements that break with the Law, see Xhosa villages), you do not condone or take part in pagan rituals and or worship images, this is a more eastern (tempted to say Southern African) state of faith and state of mind. Which is more zealous or hot before SoNiNi. Strive for that.

If you look up the Laodike, it is described in the Ancient Greek name “Laodíkē (Λαοδίκη)”, composed of two elements: “lāós (λᾱός)” (people, people assembled, assembly of people) and “díkē ‎(δίκη)” (custom, manner, order, law, right, judgment, justice). In turn the word means “justice of the people”. Now this is a good description of believers today, they are in some ways occupied with justice and matters of the Law of So NiNi, but only to one extent, as they are Not interested in His justice. It is their own justice they put their faith in, giving birth and solidifying the word self-righteous and righteousness. Which may very well be what is described and shown to John as a vision, in the Book of Revelations.

If we examine the word Laodike further in Xhosa (and examples exists in Zulu), we see that the word iLao is something that is mixed. It then can become, when combining it with dike, something that is despised (Laodika) in the sense that you want to throw up (iyadika, idikiwe). On the right you can see other words that also mean mixed or lukewarm, like iNkentshe, iQheya, iLhani and off course Lawu/Lao. Laodike is then the nickname given to a certain kind of people by SoNiNi, to emphasise how much He dislikes these self-righteous people, mixing beliefs and traditions and moving away from the Law. He wants to spit them out of his mouth because of the bad taste they are giving in His mouth.

Stop being a smoke in His nostrils (Isaiah 65,5), believing we are better than others because we may know this or that, test the waters and teach and show people these things. Today we practically know nothing about the Law compared to the ancient old days. Therefore check yourselves, throw away the Christmas tree, stop observing Isthars festivals (Easter), pour out the holy water and leave your Roman symbols and wooden crosses. We must stop being a bad taste in His mouth. We must stop worshipping images made with human hands, made from wood and stone. Come back to the Father. He is very pitiful and long-suffering, forgives sins and welcomes back lost sons and daughters. He is waiting with arms wide open, that still small voice showing you the way back home.

Uxolo lube nani


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