This is interesting from www.gty.org
I don't know their position on ET."
Laodicea was a very wealthy city. It had material wealth, it gave its people a false security. They were famous for that wealth and apparently the church thought it was wealthy, too.
You say, "Were they talking about money here?" No, no, I don't really think they were talking about money. I think they thought they were rich in spiritual reality. I think they thought they had spiritual riches. Let me go a step further. I think the heresy in Colossae was a form of incipient Gnosticism, a sort of a preview to what later became known as Gnosticism. And Gnosticism comes from the word gnosis which means "to know." In other words, there were people who believed that they had attained to the ascended knowledge. Christ was not enough for them. They had gone beyond Christ. Christ was just an emanation from God, an angelic being on a descending ladder of beings that go from good to bad. And He was somewhere up in the good category.
The gnostics said, "But we have ascended beyond the simplicity of Christ. Christ is only a part, a component. We have reached the ascended knowledge. We have gone beyond that. And that's why Paul in Colossians chapter 2 so explicitly says of Christ, "In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and you are complete in Him and don't you let anybody spoil you through philosophy and empty deceit and think there's something more elevated than Christ." That same heresy had found its way over here, no doubt, and these people are saying, "We are the ascended ones." If this isn't the typical, hypocritical, liberal line. "All of you mindless fundamentalists. All of you people who just believe the simplicity of the Bible are not educated. You're not erudite. You haven't attained to the ascendent knowledge." We are anti-intellectual.
No, they had spiritual pride. They were rich. They had become spiritually wealthy. They had attained the ascended knowledge. They had gone past that simple belief about Christ that these uneducated and non-trained Christians believe. They think they're spiritually rich. So they said I am rich, that's their state, and have become wealthy, that's...that's the process to that state. They did it by themselves. I'm rich and guess who got me there? Me. And I have need of nothing. That's a self-righteous works system, isn't it? I've attained it all. I've reached the elevated level.
This is the hardest person to reach. The intellectual apostate, the intellectual unsaved hypocrite who stays in the church. Liberal churches flood our country, Europe, Canada, the world...full of people who think they have ascended beyond. They have an aberrant view of Christ. They see Him not as the creator God. They have an infatuation with their own intellect and assume that they have been elevated beyond the simplicity of fundamental truth. And they have developed a self-righteous work system that makes them think they are the spiritually elite who need absolutely nothing. And when you come with the simple gospel, they laugh.
These are the ones, by the way, in the words of Jesus, Matthew 7:13 and 14, who are on the broad road."