WHAT WERE THE SINS OF THE LAODICEA CHURCH: Was Emperor Domitian the main character of the story? By Andre Austin This essay has a perquisite reading of HOT & COLD SPRINGS OF LAODICEA (The mystery term of Lukewarm will be finally solved as a multiple of puns and tinkering acts of sophisticated literary skill at the end of this article) Laodicea was the 7th churches of Revelations in Asia Minor (Turkey. The other six churches sins were specifically outlined except for Laodicea. They were asked to repent because they were wretched and pitiful without defining what their deeds were. They were neither Hot or Cold but were deeded “Lukewarm”. If Lukewarm is positive and Hot & Cold were negative then all we have left is their own statement: “Iam rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing”. Was this an expression of independence not from God but from a flawed and demented Emperor who was described as Hot-tempered? If so the book of Colossians 4:13-14 might give us a clue to the Laodiceans. “For I bear him, (Epaphras from Colossae), record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea. Luke, the beloved Physician, and Demas, greet you”. We can infer the Laodiceans didn’t have zeal. Zeal is a synonym for passion. The Stoics taught that their followers should suppress their Hot and Cold passions/zeal towards misdeeds. It appears that the term Lukewarm is being associated with a Stoic lifestyle and viewed as negative when it could be just the opposite. It was a zeal/passion to avoid sin and this may explain why no specific sin is charged to Laodicea. Then we have a Luke being brought up in conjunction with the Lukewarm Laodiceans doesn’t get no better than that. This and other issues will be deeply explored latter in this essay. But before we do that we need some background information about the city of Laodiceans. Laodicea was originally called the “City of Zeus”. Zeus original name in Egypt is Amen and in Rome he’s called Jupiter. Amen can see without being seen and is called “The concealed or hidden one”. Amen is the guide for all so when you walk by faith (Aman) not by sight you know that’s terminology from the Egyptian Amen. The Laodicea church is the only church being address where the name Amen is mentioned as being a “Witness”. When the Emperor Domitian was hiding for his life during a Civil War in Rome in the late 60’s: “Domitian concealed himself in the house of a servant of the temple. At the ingenious suggestion of a freedman, he assumed a linen vestment, and passing unnoticed among a crowd of acolytes, found a refuge with Cornelius primus, one of his father’s dependents, in a house near the Velabrum. When his father mounted the throne, he pulled down the chamber of the temple-servant, and built a small chapel, dedicated to Jupiter (Amen) the preserver, with an Altar on which his own adventures were represented in marble. Afterwards, on his own accession to the imperial power, he consecrated a vast temple to Jupiter (Amen) the guardian, with an effigy of himself in the arms of the God” ( Tacitus The Histories Book 3:74). Domitian would eventually slip and start thinking he was Amen and demanding to be addressed orally and in writing as Lord & God from which you have in the Paul letters and in Revelations. Domitian is pretending to be the Amen expressing his twisted judicial misconduct against the Laodiceans Lodicea was renamed after Queen Laodice, the wife of Antiochus II, whom she was successful in killing. The city was prone to suffer earthquakes in 17AD and the other in 60AD. The first earthquake in 17AD was helped to restoration by Caesar according historian Strabo. But when the earthquake hit in 60AD the city was rich enough from selling the wool of Black sheep, eye ointments, Running a medical school for eye treatment. They had store house of a vast sum of gold. They minted their own coins with inscriptions to Zeus (Amen), Apollo (Horus) and the God of medicine Asclepius (Imhotep). Strabo also talks about Laodicea change of water into stone and that Laodicea is near Lycus in Phrygia. The eye ointment to soothe peoples eyes was called salve from Phtygia powder that attracted people from all over to come and purchase. Laodicea was built on the river Lycus but had to have Hot water and Cold water piped in from the north city in Hierapolis-Hot and the south city of Colossae-Cold. By the time it reached the city they were both warm. The NT writer uses the once mentioned phrase of Lukewarm which altered the meaning from literal to a metaphor because he added the word Luke and classified it as a deed. I will talk about this some more later. The historian Tacitus writes concerning the city of Laodicea: “One of the famous cities of Asia, Laodicea, was that same year, (60AD), overthrown by an earthquake, and, without any relief from us, recovered itself by its own resources” ( The Annals book 14:27). So it is in this context we must see Laodicea making the statement: Iam rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing ( Rev 3:17). This should be in contrast to the Emperor Domitian being the biggest construction Emperor of his time. Domitian express his power by his many building projects. Laodicea not needing him was offensive to him. Domitian became a psychotic in his building that ‘he raised so many…that someone scribbled ‘arci’ meaning ‘arches’ on one of them-but used Greek characters, and so spelled out the Greek word for ‘Enough’ (The 12 Caesars Domitian 13). Then the NT writer engages in some literary techniques of comparison and contrasting of Laodicea for making this declaration of independence from Emperor Domitian in the 90’s when Revelations was written. 1. Blind Laodicea , nevertheless the fact that they were famous for their Optician care of the eyes. They needed salve for their eyes to see when they were told they were Lukewarm which might be a pun for Look. Luke in Greek is Loukas and it also a pun of Lycus from which Laodicea was built on that river Lycus. 2. Poor Laodicea when in reality they were rich in finance, banking, and other commercial enterprising activities. 3. Naked of clothing and derive splendid revenue from their Black sheep clothing sales. NT says Laodicea need white clothes. Roman historian states “Domitian’s own servants wore white livery” (The 12 Caesars Domitian 12). 4. Money of Laodicea were minted by their own city’s Fort Knox. However they need to buy Gold coins refined by Emperor Domitian with his image on it. On one of their coins they had the image of Asclepius (Imhotep) the father of medicine along with doctors of medicine at their school Zeuxis and Alexade. Tacitus reports that the Serapis God that heals the blind with spit “many identified with Asclepius” (The Histories book 4:82-84). Domitian father Vespasian reenacted this old ancient Egyptian miracle. 5. Statues of Isis were there which wouldn’t of offended Domitian because he once wore her robe. So in this context we must look back again at the term Lukewarm and see if it was negative or positive. If we consider the Hot, Cold and Lukewarm as Stoic philosophy we might be able to solve the puzzle. The Stoics believed in self-control of Hot & Cold passions of the heart. They believed that Love is supposed to be warm just like the breath of peoples souls. They agreed with the Egyptian priests to take a cold bath. The Nelson Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible states: Lukewarm-mildly warm; neither hot nor cold; lacking in conviction. Jesus condemned the church at Laodicea because of its lukewarm faith and declared that he was about to spew (spit) them out of his mouth (Rev.3:14-22). Lacking the courage to follow God or rebel against him, they were disgusting to him”. Stoic Cato wrote letters telling people to be mild. Whenever we get mad at a person sometimes we say “I wish he would do something”. What type of a god would wish somebody would rebel. “I wish you were either one or the other” (Rev3:16) God doesn’t wish you to be in sin so this is a Emperor talking and not a God. He wants to catch them doing something wrong so he can kill them but they are balanced and aren’t swallowed up. Both Hot and Cold are negative in order for a God/Emperor. Nelson also defines conviction: Conviction-the process of being condemned by ones own conscience as a sinner because of god’s command… the agent of conviction is the Holy Spirit. Joe Atwill book Caesar’s Messiah has already proved that Domitian nickname was “The Terrible Spirit”. According to S. Angus “Conscience-a word which the Stoics coined and popularized” (The Mystery Religions p.207). Here again they are trying to use the Stoics teachings against themselves. Wikipedia reports on Lukewarm: "I wish that you were cold or hot" (Revelation 3:15–16) "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." The traditional view has been that the Laodiceans were being criticized for their neutrality or lack of zeal (hence "lukewarm"). One problem with this is that Christ’s desire that they be either “cold or hot” implies that both extremes are positive. The traditional view saw “cold” as a negative, the idea apparently being that Jesus either wants the readers to be either zealous (“hot”) for him or completely uncommitted (“cold”), but not middle-of-the-road. An uncommitted stance was thought to pollute the pure representation of the faith and create misconceptions about the church and its ideals. However, a more recent interpretation has suggested that this metaphor has been drawn from the water supply of the city, which was lukewarm, in contrast to the hot springs at nearby Hierapolis and the cold, pure waters of Colossae. The archaeology shows Laodicea had an aqueduct that probably carried water from hot mineral springs some five miles south, which would have become tepid before entering the city . The imagery of the Laodicean aqueduct suggests not that "hot" is good and "cold" is bad, but that both hot and cold water are useful, whereas lukewarm water is emetic. Wikipedia got it half right with the first tradition view of Zeal/passion but its opposite effects. Once you know that Lukewarm is stoic terminology you can then go to the dictionary with and I paraphrase and editorialize: To be free from Hot passion for sin and indifference to Hot & Cold sins of others by returning it back to others. Having a Cold or Hot heart was viewed very negatively in ancient Egypt in throughout the Bible (see 2 Cor 11:28-29 & Matthew 24:12). There is a positive zeal and negative zeal. The Stoic Roman EmperorMarcus Aurelius wrote: “Let it make no difference to you whether you are cold or warm” (Meditations Book 6:2). The historians say that nobody could say the right thing to Domitian. He was the prince of adultery and rapes. He was rash, malicious and deceitful. Domitian was a devil and when he died the senate voted a thumbs down in turning him into a divine figure. The judicial fiats of one man who was border line insane Domitian wanted to be just like his father Vespasian and his brother Titus to throw stones at the people in their Temples. They say “Woe to you blind Guides” (Matthew 23:16). They painted their stones black so they couldn’t be seen in the night when their ballistic missiles came raining down. But in this internet age is the moisture that keeps our eyes wide open to the lies, deception and manipulation. We are in the light and we dare not take our eyes off the vipers or the eyes of Medusa who could turn our very souls into stone. It would be like Strabo believing some of the water in Laodicea turns into stone I invite you to read my new book Lukewarm: The Temperature of Justice. Notes: I strongly encourage you to also go read Joe Atwill books on Shakespeare’s Secret Messiah to get a feel for how Emperor Domitian is related to the book of Revelations and other NT letters. And what did the other Stoic historian Pliny the Elder mean when he said “Nature has provided the eye with many thin membranes and hard outside coverings as a protection against cold and heat she cleans the eyes with moisture....” (Natural History Book 11:147). This should come blazing at you at the metaphor of your neither Hot or Cold but “Lukewarm”=good deeds. How do these two Bible quotes below relate to Pliny and the 3rd chapter of Revelations? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8) “Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God”. (3 John verse 12) All of these questions will be answered to explain how Lukewarm is based on an Egyptian goddess. Lukewarm is the Temperature of justice. Plutarch, in his essay Isis & Osiris p.83: “Egypt, moreover, which has the blackest of soils, they call by the same name as the black portion of the eye, ‘Chemia (Ham), and compare it to a heart,; for it is warm and moist,… like the heart in a man’s left side”. The Stoic Zeno taught the breath of the soul is warm (Lives of Eminent Philosophers Volume 2 p.261 By Diogenes Laertius). This is the Temperature of Justice I’m talking about. I rest my case.