Lord  Jesus warned that He would chasten the Church of Laodecia

Let us continue now to explore more about Jesus’ warnings to the lukewarm Church of  Laodecia. He had warned them that their cold and callous attitude to Him would cause Him to disown them.

In the previous posts, we explored the message and meaning of His  Rebuke and found that it is a stern warning given by the Lord to repent and change.  Lord Jesus then continued to warn the Church of  Laodecia that He would not only rebuke but would also chasten them:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent (Rev 3: 19).

2. Greek word used for chasten in the King James Version of  the New Testament

Paideuō  (G 3811) is the Greek word used in the text for chasten and it occurs fifteen times in thirteen verses in the King James Version of the New Testament.  Let us explore  the meaning of  chasten in these texts.

3.  When the Lord chastens the believer, it means that He educates us highly or trains us in His  ways

a.  To be highly educated

Here is a very interesting way in which Paideuō  or chasten was used in the New Testament.  Paideuō  was used by Stephen as he spoke about the nature of the education that Moses received in Pharaoh’s palace.  Stephen said that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and … deeds.

Given the context, I understand that Moses was highly educated in the manner suitable for the offspring of Kings and Queens. In fact, although he was a Jew, and knew that he was, he was treated as one of  Egyptian royalty.  He was not only highly educated, but highly intelligent and competent, showing proof of the education that he had received. This is reminiscent of the education and wisdom of Daniel and his three friends in Babylon.

Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:

And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.

And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.

The word paideuō   was also used to describe the nature of the education that Apostle Paul had received as a Pharisee:

I am verily a man [which am] a Jew, born in Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, [and] taught   according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day

And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women (Acts 22: 3 & 4).

b. To be highly educated in the minutest details – to be trained as an expert

We need to  understand that both Apostle Moses and Paul had  received an extraordinary education. This is broughy out when Apostle Paul said that he had been taught   according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers.  Apostle Paul deliberately used the phrase “the perfect manner” to emphasize that he had been the strictest of Pharisees.

Akribeia  (G 195) is the Greek word used for the phrase “the perfect manner”.   This word was used only once in the King James version of  the New Testament.  It is found no where else.   Therefore I went to the root word  akribēs  (G196)  in order to fully understand its meaning:

Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee (Acts 26: 5).

Strong’s in blueletterbible.com explains that the word akribēs   or “straitest” means:

exact, careful …  of the strictest sect …  the most precise and rigorous in interpreting the Mosaic law, and in observing even the more minute precepts of the law and tradition.

Apostle Paul was therefore an expert in the Jewish law and this is evidenced by the manner in which he was able to teach  the most complex doctrines regarding the Jewish Law and Salvation by Faith.  The Apostle was a strict Jew and allowed no deviations from the faith. He was so passionate about it that he aggressively persecuted the Christians before the Lord arrested him on the road to Damascus.

c. To be trained by a person or persons who is/are recognized as authority figure (s) in the discipline

Both Apostles  Moses and Paul were trained in the minutest details of  Egyptian and Jewish customs and laws by experts.  Apostle Paul said that he had been trained by Gamaliel, who was described as a:

… Pharisee and celebrated doctor of the law and …  authority in the Jewish Mishna (Strong’s in blueletterbible.com).

4.  Application

Let us return to the context of  Revelation 3 in order to grasp this Doctrine very clearly.  Lord Jesus was speaking to the Church of Laodecia which was very rich in material possessions but lukewarm and heartless towards the Lord.  The deception of wealth had caused the church to become complacent and the members spent their time investing in the kingdom of earth rather than in the kingdom of  God.

As a result, they had fallen prey to the temptation of riches and had become spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked:

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.

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:

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent (Rev 3: 15 – 19).

Lord Jesus in His letter drew a clear contrast between the wealth of the world and that of  His kingdom.  He revealed that the Laodecians had said that they were:

rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; (yet they did not know) …  that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked

We can clearly see that these believers had not sought the Kingdom of God first, as Lord Jesus exhorted us to do. They therefore needed to be highly educated by Jesus the Expert in the way of the Kingdom of  God:

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

How does Lord Jesus TEACH or chasten the believer in His ways? This is another difficult question and we will explore it in a subsequent post. 



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