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Chapter 3 - Laodicea
... and now we come to the Seventh and final letter to the Seventh Church, which ends chapter three of our Book of Revelation, and this is to the Church of Laodicea. And we shall deal with the following portions of that Seventh Letter:
And onto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith thee Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God. I know thy works; that thou art neither hot nor cold. I would thou weren’t cold or hot, so then, because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth because thou sayest, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and had need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am sat down with My Father in His throne. He that half an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.”
When we look up the meaning of the Seventh Church, the definition of its name, Laodicea in our metaphysical Bible dictionary, we see that the definition of that word is “judgment of the people.” And so there can be no doubt as to what the metaphysical meaning of this church is within each of us. It is our human judgment, our human way of exercising judgment.
Judgment is our ability to discern, to evaluate, and to make decisions. We know that discern means to be able to detect differences among things, to differentiate, discern, and evaluate is self explanatory, and then the most important function of judgment is to make decisions.
Now, it is not really surprising that the Christ Mind dictating this letter has very little praise to give this church in us, in its present state. In fact, all that is said is, “I know thy works.” Well, that’s not much, but at least it is something. It means that at least we are discerning, we are evaluating, we are making some decisions. Our judgment is working to a degree, “I know thy works.”
And even though this letter then goes on and tells us a lot about what is wrong in our human judgment, we can at least be grateful that the work on it has begun. That is we have begun to do something about improving and perfecting the judgment faculty, the Church of Laodicea. “I know thy works,” the Christ Mind says, “I know at least you are working.”
But, as we read on, we find immediately the pointing out of a very common fault or weakness, which is in most person’s judgment. In verses 15 and 16, “Thou art neither hot nor cold, I would thou weren’t hot or cold, so then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Strong, almost unpleasant words indeed, but valuable words also. Looking at this criticism, let’s try to determine now what is this state of our human judgment, which the Christ Mind indicates here it finds distasteful.
Well, since one of the main functions of human judgment is of discernment and then making decisions, personal decisions, the lukewarm factor criticized here must pertain to our lack of true discernment, and our human reluctance and fear about making personal decisions. Many persons seem to become hesitant and fearful when they have to make an important decision, we know how common this is. Some persons dread the possibility of making a so-called wrong decision. So what do they do? They get very lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. So they fret, they delay, they waver. Should I? Or shouldn’t I? Will I be glad if I do? Or sorry if I don’t? So, it becomes a state of neither one thing or another, not hot, not cold, not yes, not no, not this way, not that way, but lukewarmness.
This state, which the Christ Mind in the letter, simply called lukewarm, refers to a state of not exercising, not developing our judgment by discerning and making definite decisions. And so, because this does not properly exercise our judgment, as long as we remain in this state, the Christ Mind declares this state of lukewarmness or practically nothingness in our judgment to be unsatisfactory.
We should try to become free from fear in face of making important personal decisions, because next the Christ Mind warns those who will not commit themselves through exercising proper discernment and willingness to make their own decisions. The Christ Mind warns such people that because this state of mind is unsatisfactory, it can lead to a very unsatisfactory state of existence, and this can be prevented, and if it all ready has occurred, it must certainly be corrected.
But before we talk about the correction, we have some more warning and criticizing to deal with in our letter because next the Christ Mind warns those who have a tendency to boast. Boasting is an extreme form of bad judgment. May I repeat this? It is a very important thing to think about. Boasting is an extreme form of bad judgment, and the Christ Mind says to the boastfulness in our human nature, “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.”
Now, admittedly this is very strong language, almost exaggerated, yet, this overly strong language does point toward a useful fact for us to remember, which is that in human nature, it really is foolish for us to become too sure of the infallibility and complete self-sufficiency of our human judgment on its current level of development. Because no matter how good our judgment may have begun to be, human judgment still needs constant help from a higher source, and that higher source is what we call, in Unity, the Light of the Christ Mind, or Divine Guidance, or spiritual illumination.
This higher light definitely needs to enter into our human judgment, and the wonderful thing is, that the light of Divine Wisdom, spiritual guidance, is always available, and always perfectly willing to enter into our human judgements, and help make wise and right decisions through us. This is why we teach in Unity, that the first prayer should always be the prayer for illumination. Ask for greater light to enter your mind and heart. Ask for the light of Christ to enter your judgment faculty and help you discern clearly, help you evaluate thoroughly, and help you to make your decisions intelligently and courageously. And when one prays in this manner, one always receives a perfect response from the mind of God.
And this is very clearly stated for us in the following words in verse 20 of our letter, where we read: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” remember this is the Christ Mind dictating these words, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him and he with Me.” What this means, metaphysically, could not be simpler. It boils down to this, if you and I need, and want, the illumination of Divine Guidance, spiritual intelligence in our discerning and in our decision making, all we really have to do is acknowledge the willing presence of the Christ Mind to help us.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” says the Christ Mind, and if we, as individuals, open our mind and heart to its present, ask for it to enter, it will do so. “If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come into him.” This is the Christ Mind speaking, and it refers to every human being who hears these words, “If he will open the door, I will come into him.” Into his judgment faculty, the light of Divine Guidance, the Christ Mind. Now when the Christ Mind is entering into our judgment, which it will, we soon find that we are having clear and accurate discernment. We are making fair and just evaluations and these lead right into wise and good decisions. This is what good judgment is, it is clear discernment, fair evaluation, right decisions.
This is what the Bible also calls righteous judgment. And as righteous judgment, or good judgment continues to develop in us, the Christ Mind promises through these words in our letter, “To him that overcometh, will I give to sit with Me in My throne, even as I overcame and am sat down with My Father in His throne.” In Bible symbolism a state of good judgment is always called a throne, and we are told here by the Christ Mind that if we want to sit on the throne, which means to be aware of our own high state of inner good judgment, we should try to remember that any time we are discerning anything, evaluating something, or making a personal decision about something, we should try to always remember to take time to ask the light of the Christ Mind to enter into our judgment faculty, and to work through us, to illumine us, and to guide us.
And then believe that it is being done, because it is being done. But we must believe that it is being done, then proceed with a willingness to do what is right and best. Check your motive, make sure that your motive for evaluating anything, and for making any decision, that motive is to do what is right and best. Your motive is to do what is right and best. This is called putting God into your decisions, and when you have God in your decision making, you can rely on this: Expect good to happen and it surely will.