The essence of each article we have written so far regarding the church of Laodicea could summarized in the following way:

Jesus, the Amen, the faithful and True Witness in the Great Controversy, the beginning of the creation of God, the express image of God (Hebrews 1: 3) and therefore the ultimate authority on the character of God, is about to open up to His seventh church its true condition. He does this, not to defame it, not to shame it, but in a effort to bring it to repentance (a change of mind, as in metanoia) before it is too late:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.


Laodicea is “the justice of the people” church. Since at the beginning of the Great Controversy the focus of Satan’s attack on God was focused on His law, and in particular the “justice” aspect of the law, it is not surprising then that this issue which had surfaced at the beginning of the controversy has resurfaced again at its end, becoming once more the focus of attention.

This church is neither cold (it is not a messenger of good news) nor hot (nor having the law of God written in its heart). What is emerging with these studies, however, is that Laodicea has kept its messenger role, but it just so happens that its message has shifted to the side of God’s opponent. Laodicea has mixed cold (messenger) with hot (having the law in the heart) and this mixture has caused it to be lukewarm because it has become a messenger of bad news, instilling iniquity, not righteousness, in the hearts of the recipients of its message.

Therefore, iniquity (the principle that began in Lucifer’s at the very beginning of sin, Ezekiel 28: 15) abounds on the earth (Matthew 14: 12), as Jesus predicted in His prophecy of the last days.  And as a result, the earth will soon open its mouth to vomit its inhabitants. 

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

ISAIAH 5: 20-21

What we have just read above is exactly what Laodicea has done. This church says that it is “rich and increased in goods,” but its wealth is not from God but from its own wisdom. Its own wisdom in turn, is by default the wisdom acquired from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for when Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate,” (Genesis 3: 6). 

Therefore, “wretched” Laodicea doesn’t know that it has joined itself to Satan’s marketing team which is made up of wizzards, sorcerers, sorcerresses and witches. Their unified message comes from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the serpent’s system of keeping order. This so-called order is imposed throught the balances Good and Evil, whereby human beings judge others and are judged by others according to their merits and demerits. As a result, the subjects of this kingdom give and receive arbitrary rewards and arbitrary punishments deemed appropriate and necessary according to what they perceive that others deserve. 

So what about the word “miserable” then? What does it have to do with this system of keeping order?

At first glance, this word does not promise much in the way of insight. “Miserable” in Greek is eleeinos G1656, which simply means “pitiable, miserable” (STRONG’S CONCORDANCE). A search of this Greek word shows only one more occurrence in the New Testament:

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.


But miserable does occur once in the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament):
I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all!
JOB 16: 2
The excitement of discovery came when we looked at the Hebrew meaning of the word miserable in the verse above.
If we go back to the Garden and read God’s assesment of what would happen to Adam after he entered Satan’s kingdom of the Knowledge of Good and Evil we will find a connection to the word miserable. Notice God’s words to Adam:

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.


Unlike most interpretations of this verse, we would like to suggest that God was not cursing the ground as a punishment for Adam’s disobedience. Rather, God was informing Adam that the curse was a natural consequence of his eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The act of eating of the forbidden tree placed Adam in a new kingdom, a kingdom under a new ruler, “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world,” (Revelation 12: 9). Adam had entered Satan’s kingdom of curses. He chose Satan’s kingdom when he ate of the Tree, and this choice placed him in a new system of government, order, and justice. In this system, he would toil. 

We can easily understand the plain meaning of toil in the Garden, where God had provided everything for Adam and Eve. Our first parents didn’t have to work for shelter, food, water, or clothing. But to only look at this aspect of the word toil would leave us empty handed. There is a much larger spiritual application to this word, and the Bible addresses it often. 

And here is our connection. The words toil and miserable have a common thread and address that larger spiritual meaning and understand of our reality.

In Genesis 3: 17, toil is:


From H6087; worrisomeness, that is, labor or pain: – sorrow, toil.

In Job 16: 2, miserable also means toil. But not only that, it means iniquity as well:


From H5998; toil, that is, wearing effort; hence worry, whether of body or mind: grievance, grievousness, iniquity, labour, mischief, miserable, misery, pain, painful, perverseness, sorrow, toil, travail, trouble, wearisome, wickedness.

Halleluiah, Praise the Lord, we have hit the jackpot, can you see it? Laodicea is toiling, it is working hard, it is travailing in sorrow because it is inside the curse! Laodicea is relying on its own works, it is not basking in the grace of God! Why? Because Laodicea does not know God. It is still deceived about God’s character. Laodicea is worshipping Baal. 

Notice how Paul addresses the this issue and clearly divides the worshippers of Baal from the worshippers of God. He quotes an interesting conversation between Elijah, the Tishbite and God. Elijah said to God:

Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

ROMANS 11: 3-6

Paul makes it very clear that the true worshippers of God are no longer bowing the knee to Baal. They are a “remnant according to the election of grace.” In other words, their faith is relying completely on God’s grace, on God’s unmeritted favor towards them. They are no longer operating in the serpent’s new system of government, order, and justice, the system of works, where its subjects judge one another on a scale of merit and demerit and act accordingly.  

This system of works is Satan’s initial iniquity. Paul talks about this system in all his books. Notice what else he says in the Book of Romans:

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.


Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

ROMANS 4: 4-8
 In the Book of Galatians Paul addresses Satan’s system of works head on. He says: 

…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.


And in Galatians 3: 10 he outright connects works with the curse, as God had mentioned in the Garden of Eden:

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”


Notice that Paul does not say that “as many as are of the works of the law” are under “a” curse. They are under “the” curse. 

Friends, Laodicea’s miserableness stems from all of this. Laodicea is under the works of the law and is therefore under “the” curse. That is the true meaning of the word “miserable” in Revelation 3: 17. LEARN MORE about works versus grace and how to escape the curse.

Jesus, the true Witness, still has more to say about the condition of this end-time church. We will discuss how Laodicea is poor, blind and naked in the next chapters.