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  • Rand Swift


Spiritual Warfare: Seven Deep Examinations Of The Heart

Test #7 Laodicea – The Test of Abundance (Mammon)

The Book of Revelation is not a book for the faint of heart. It is a book of war, a book describing naked combat at levels imperceptible to most people, a book of Spirit to spirit warfare and a book that is written for Spiritual Warriors.

As the Book describes towards its end, the timid, the unbelieving, people who are easily freaked by casualties of war and battlefield conditions, the homicidal maniacs (those who consider the infliction of pain, suffering and death on others as a pleasure), the rapists, those who conjure by means of false spirits, all the idolaters and all liars need not apply. There is no room for you here.

As the Book opens we are confronted with Jesus Christ, the Champion who has already been on the battlefield and knows it well.

As the Book opens, knowing what the 'ekklesia' of God (those equipped to echo His very image and likeness) are called to face in the arena of Spirit to spirit warfare, Jesus out of mercy performs and examination of the troops, bringing adjustments to them that will insure their success in the conflicts the sons and daughters of God are going to face as they bring forward the purpose of God in the global exorcism of evil spirits from the earth.

The Book of Revelation, as well as the entire good news of Jesus Christ as stated under the New Order, is about this exorcism of evil and the establishment of the new order of the Kingdom of God and all the wonders of heaven filling the earth to a degree hard for us to even imagine.

So, as we come to the seventh examination, we come to Laodicea, a unique people whose test is a unique test, for the 'ekklesia' in Laodicea has come into incredible abundance, and now, we must talk about it.

Laodicea The Test of Abundance (Mammon):

I wonder who in Christendom does not know about Laodicea and the seriousness of the defect found in them as he who holds the Seven Stars in his right hand probes them? I don't know what needs to be said, other than to help you understand the gravity of the situation.

Laodicea had gone past success as with Philadelphia, and moved into powerful abundance.

Are they believers? Well, at some point they had a Jesus encounter because they are included among those who are considered the called. They have a candle and an angel. There was a point in time they were invited to the war and to be counted among those who are the people of the purpose.

So, what happened?

In a way, Laodicea represents the triumph of Solomon. Remember though what happened to Solomon as his heart became full of all the prosperity God poured out on Him. His triumph and consequent abundance became the snare that plagued him in the end.

It’s not the abundance, but the state of heart towards God.

There is a fascinating side note here because the name Laodicea in Greek means justice of the people, or the rule of the people. In my country, the United States of America we have experienced in our history some of the greatest bounty and wealth ever known on earth.

Inadvertently or by divine providence our founders understood the power unleashed when the people are the power and our governments are out of the way as a tiny administrating servant of The People’s liberty. The founding documents of our country were meant to make the tyrant of government the footstool of the people.

Right now as I'm writing this part, the government here has become a very large monster and the enemy of The People's own freedom and self determination. Without dramatic change and soon, we will collapse under the unsustainable weight of this out of control monster whose insatiable appetite has caused it to insanely lose touch with the reality of first grade economics.

If you have one, and you take away two, the game is over and you just lost.

We’re on the verge of losing if we haven’t already because deficits precede ends. If you lose enough life blood, you die.

The people know how to manage the reality of pluses and minuses while the blind and mindless governors can only see in the people resources it has not yet consumed and schemes constantly of new stealth ways to steal it from its creators.

If we can't repent, we disappear.

But while Laodicea experienced such incredible external wealth, their pursuit of it exacted a horrific toll on their inner lives where God communicates His mission to the hearts of humankind.

The pursuit of wealth became the god of these who had been called with such a noble call.

Jesus addresses their cavernous distance from the new creation and the new wealth that is being formed by saying;

This is what the Amen says (that which is what is to be), the faith filled and true and accurate convincing evidence, the commencement and origin of the creation of God. I know your works, that you are not cold (totally inert) and you are not hot (fervent, a zealot). You owe me either cold or hot.

So then, because you are lukewarm (tepid) and neither cold nor hot my choice is to vomit you out through my mouth (as though you were rancid and poison).

The reason is you say, 'I am rich and abounding in all things, and overflowing with all goods and am in no need or lack of anything at all, but you cannot even see how wretched you are, having been weighed in the balance and found actually to be lacking, and you cannot see how miserable and pitiable you actually are, or how destitute and empty you actually are, or how completely blind you are, or how naked and exposed and vulnerable you are (Revelation 3:17).

It's a strange thing, because God promises us, if we put His concerns at the forefront of our hearts and lives, all that we ever need will be provided for us and it will be done so abundantly (Matthew 6:31-34).

I'm not talking about sometime later at the wrap up of all things, but right here and right now (Matthew 19:29).

All the heavens and all the earth belong to God along with all the gold and silver and precious stones and all wealth that can possibly be measured. He is the possessor of all heaven and all earth.

By the words of God we can also clear our consciences about our participation in wealth because the nature of God as revealed in yasha is that of perpetual expansion, multiplication and increase. In fact part of our mission of bringing all things under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ includes all the wealth of all the nations. But it is the test of our hearts under the power of wealth that is critical.

The problem comes in when the pursuit of wealth or the material world becomes the key focus of one’s heart. God loves blessing and enriching those partnering with Him (Psalm 35:27) but wealth is given as a part, with the greater purpose.

Wealth divorced from eternal mission is mere consumption and if that is the goal, shortcuts and compromises will be taken to get it, and instead of receiving abundance through our interaction with God and His blessing coincident with mission, instead we connive ways to go take it away from someone else in order to have it.

I hope you see the difference. When wealth instead of God becomes our pursuit, our hearts have lost their direction on the compass.

There are indeed spoils to war, even in spiritual warfare we gain as we decimate our spiritual enemies, but they are consequential to the advance of the rule of Christ in the manifestation of his love and healing of all peoples over the geographies of the earth.

To reverse the two, putting accumulation in first position and the mission of Christ anywhere else in priority is the equivalent of idolatry (see Colossians 3:5, Ephesians 5:5).

Without a doubt, Jesus understands the pull between the two can be incredible, but what is being asked is that you once again trust the love the Father has for you;

For wherever your treasure is, that which you value highest of all, that is where your heart is also.

The illuminating splendor of your body is the eye (the colorful visual focus). Because of this, if your eye is singularly focused, all that pertains to your body will be full of and guided by its illuminating splendor.

But if your eye is upon what is poor and beggarly and what in fact impoverishes, if it is divided between two things, all that pertains to your body will be clouded in darkness, incapable of seeing.

Because of this, if the light you imagine to be in you is in fact darkness, just how incredible do you think that darkness actually is?!

No man can be the servant of two masters (powers), for it will turn out that he will hate one and love the other, and he will hold onto the one while disrespecting the other one. The point is, you cannot serve God and also serve Mammon (treasures offered through the god of this world) (Matthew 6:21-24).

There is no temptation taken any person that is not in fact common, even though it seems unique and personal to you. On top of that we are assured that the Son of God in His humanity was tempted in every conceivable way that we ourselves can be tempted in satan's desire to lure us out of our effective missions (Hebrews 4:15).

When it comes to enrichment by pursuit according to the darkness methods, or in contrast according to the outflow of God, Jesus is familiar with the experience;

Continuing, the devil took him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the order that was in place, the world and all the magnificent splendor and riches of the same,

And said to him, 'The totality of all of these things I will give into your hands and they will become your own reward if you will stop, if you will fall, bow down and become my subject, acknowledging me and reverencing me as power.'

Then Jesus said, 'You come under me satan (adversary, opponent to purpose), for it is written, ‘You will fall down in subjection, honoring only the royal power of the LORD your God, and to Him only will you offer your life in the discharge of services.

Then the devil forsook him, crying out as he left him and then angels appeared, drawing near to him, visiting and ministered to every one of his necessities (Matthew 4:8-11).

What I am bringing to you is not some defunct call to poverty for God is not poor and neither is His inheritance to us beggarly. This is a call of the heart to pursue God and the realm of the Spirit with everything within you even though riches may come and go and come and go.

That is all incidental as the status we are endowed with permanently is one of the limitless estate of our Father.

In matters of provision, God has many ways to deliver His overflowing abundance into your life, including creating it supernaturally out of nothing but a spoken word if that is what is best served by the need at the moment.

He may also guide you to ideas, inventions, businesses or any number of things by which you can then trade His divine ideas into things that can enrich you and all those around you too.

A blessing from God always has a purpose spreading out way larger than just you or me.

So Jesus has counsel for the heart trapped in the blinded, small world, bound pursuit of the treasures offered through the ways of the dark and material world.

As a child of God, a son or daughter of heaven itself, you cannot run by those methods for they will always be inadequate for you;

I counsel you to buy of me the gold that has already been tried in the fire so that you may really be rich, and the brilliant shining clothing that you may really be clothed, so the shame, the vulnerability of your exposure to the elements, your nakedness is not revealed, and put an anointing upon your eyes as an eye ointment that you really and truly may be able to see (Revelation 3:18).

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