THE CHURCH OF LAODICEA REVELATION 3:14-22

 

15-20 (John 4:13, 14). A Fountain of Living Water.–The condition of many of those who claim to be the children of God is exactly represented by the message to the Laodicean church. There is opened before those who serve God, truths of inestimable value, which, brought into the practical life, show the difference between those who serve God and those who serve Him not.  {7BC 963.9}

 

The earth itself is not more richly interlaced with veins of golden ore than is the field of revelation with veins of precious truth. The Bible is the storehouse of the unsearchable riches of God. But those who have a knowledge of the truth do not understand it as fully as they might. They do not bring the love of Christ into the heart and life.  {7BC 964.1}

 

The student of the Word finds himself bending over a fountain of living water. The church needs to drink deeply of the spirituality of the Word. Their service to God needs to be very different from the tame, lifeless, emotionless religious experience that makes many believers but little different from those who believe not, very similar in spirit to the unconverted (MS 117, 1902).  {7BC 964.2}

 

15-21. Laodicean Message to Go to the World.–The Laodicean message has been sounding. Take this message in all its phases and sound it forth to the people wherever Providence opens the way. Justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ are the themes to be presented to a perishing world (Letter 24, 1892).  {7BC 964.3}

 

15-22 (Colossians 4:12, 13). Labor Lost on the Church in Laodicea.–[Revelation 3:15-22 quoted.] This is the testimony borne concerning the church at Laodicea. This church had been faithfully instructed. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.”  {7BC 964.4}

 

Much excellent labor was bestowed upon the Laodicean church. To them was given the exhortation, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” But the church did not follow up the work begun by God’s messengers. They heard, but they failed to appropriate the truth to themselves, and to carry out the instruction given them. The result that followed is the result always sure to follow the rejection of the Lord’s warnings and entreaties (MS 128, 1903).  {7BC 964.5}

 

17 (Romans 11:20; 12:3, 16). Exhausting the Patience of God.–Christ sees that which man does not see. He sees the sins which, if not repented of, will exhaust the patience of a long-suffering God. Christ cannot take up the names of those who are satisfied in their own self-sufficiency. He cannot importune in behalf of a people who feel no need of His help, who claim to know and possess everything (RH July 23, 1889).  {7BC 964.6}

 

17-20. Shall We Open the Heart’s Door?–We must have the buyers and the sellers cleared out of the soul temple, that Jesus may take up His abode within us. Now He stands at the door of the heart as a heavenly merchantman; He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” “Open unto me; buy of me the heavenly wares; buy of me the gold tried in the fire.” Buy faith and love, the precious, beautiful attributes of our Redeemer, which will enable us to find our way into the hearts of those who do not know Him, who are cold and alienated from Him through unbelief and sin. He invites us to buy the white raiment, which is His glorious righteousness; and the eyesalve, that we may discern spiritual things. Oh, shall we not open the heart’s door to this heavenly visitor (BE Jan. 15, 1892)?  {7BC 964.7}

 

18 (Isaiah 55:1; 14:6). The Vendor of Priceless Treasures.–The great Vendor of spiritual riches is inviting your recognition. [Revelation 3:18 quoted.] . . . The Saviour comes with jewels of truth of the richest value in distinction from all counterfeits, all that is spurious. He comes to every house, to every door; He is knocking, presenting His priceless treasure, urging, “Buy of me” (Letter 66, 1894).  {7BC 964.8}

 

The Costly Wares of Heaven.–The wares of heaven are offered to our churches. Every individual needs to have a decided interest in the invitation of Christ. Brethren and sisters, are your thoughts after this order? “These sharp, decided words do not mean me; I am in a fairly good condition spiritually, though I may not have all the fervor and zeal that some have. I believe the truth. Those to whom this message belongs may take it. I think some need it.” You who think and reason thus, be assured that you are the very ones to whom this message belongs. While the costly wares of heaven are open before you, draw nigh and buy that which you have lost–the gold of love and faith, and the white raiment which is the righteousness of Christ (Letter 30a, 1892).  {7BC 964.9}

 

Virtues Wanting Among Us.–The gold that Jesus would have us buy of Him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eyesalve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned (RH April 1, 1890).  {7BC 965.1}

 

(Isaiah 64:6; Philippians 3:9.) Ample Provision for All.–The true Witness has said, “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.” What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when He has made ample provision for all to receive His blessing (HS 139).  {7BC 965.2}

 

(Ch. 7:14.) Encouraging Counsel for the Church.–The counsel of the true Witness is full of encouragement and comfort. The churches may yet obtain the gold of truth, faith, and love, and be rich in heavenly treasure. “Buy of me gold . . . that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ that may be wrought into the character. Purity of heart, purity of motive, will characterize every one who is washing his robe, and making it white in the blood of the Lamb (RH July 24, 1888).  {7BC 965.3}

 

(Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4, 5.) Woven in the Loom of Heaven.–There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness (RH July 19, 1892).  {7BC 965.4}

 

(Matthew 6:22; James 1:23-25.) Correct Views for the Conscience.– The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The “eyesalve,” the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God’s great moral looking glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ….  {7BC 965.5}

 

The Laodiceans . . . were not entirely blind, else the eyesalve would have done nothing to restore their sight, and enable them to discern the true attributes of Christ. Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eyesalve that you may see (RH Nov. 23, 1897).  {7BC 965.6}

 

18-20. A Merchantman Laden With Riches.–The great Redeemer represents Himself as a heavenly merchantman, laden with riches, calling from house to house, presenting His priceless goods [Revelation 3:18-20 quoted] (RH July 23, 1889).  {7BC 965.7}

 

(Job 22:21-25.) Knocking at the Heart’s Door.–The Lord knocks at the door of your heart, desiring to enter, that He may impart spiritual riches to your soul. He would anoint the blind eyes, that they may discover the holy character of God in His law, and understand the love of Christ, which is indeed gold tried in the fire (RH Feb. 25, 1890).  {7BC 965.8}

 

(Isaiah 13:12; Matthew 13:45, 46.) Spiritual Riches for the Soul.–Jesus is going from door to door, standing in front of every soul temple, proclaiming, “I stand at the door, and knock.” As a heavenly merchantman, He opens His treasures and cries, “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.” The gold that He offers is without alloy, more precious than that of Ophir; for it is faith and love. The white raiment He invites the soul to wear is His own robe of righteousness; and the oil for anointing is the oil of His grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy. “Open your doors,” says the great Merchantman, the possessor of spiritual riches, “and transact your business with Me. It is I, your Redeemer, who counsels you to buy of Me” (RH Aug. 7, 1894).  {7BC 965.9}

 

18-21 (Philippians 3:12-15). The Conflict Is for Us.–The true Witness presents encouragements to all who are seeking to walk in the path of humble obedience, through faith in His name. He declares, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”  {7BC 966.1}

 

These are the words of our Substitute and Surety. He who is the divine Head of the church, the mightiest of conquerors, would point His followers to His life, His toils, His self-denials, His struggles and sufferings, through contempt, through rejection ridicule, scorn, insult, mockery, falsehood, up the path of Calvary to the scene of the crucifixion, that they might be encouraged to press on toward the mark for the prize and reward of the overcomer. Victory is assured through faith and obedience.  {7BC 966.2}

 

Let us make an application of the words of Christ to our own individual cases. Are we poor, and blind, and wretched, and miserable? Then let us seek the gold and white raiment that He offers. The work of overcoming is not restricted to the age of the martyrs. The conflict is for us, in these days of subtle temptation to worldliness, to self-security, to indulgence of pride, covetousness, false doctrines, and immorality of life (RH July 24, 1888).  {7BC 966.3}

 

(Song of Solomon 6:10; Isaiah 1:16-19.) A Hope of Reform.–The church must and will shine forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” God’s servants must, by laboring together with Christ, roll away the curse that has made the church so lukewarm. [Revelation 3:15-19 quoted.] The chastening reveals a hope of reform [Revelation 3:20, 21 quoted] (Letter 130, 1902).  {7BC 966.4}

 

Laodicean Call Brings Fruitage.–I saw that this call to the Laodicean church will affect souls. A becoming zeal is called for by God on our part. We must repent, throw away our whole feelings, feel our destitution, buy gold that we may be rich, eyesalve that we may see, white raiment that we may be clothed (Letter 2, 1851).  {7BC 966.5}

 

(Matthew 25:1-12.) Hope for the Laodiceans.–[Revelation 3:15-17 quoted.] Yet the case of those who are rebuked is not a hopeless one; it is not beyond the power of the great Mediator. He says: “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.” Though the professed followers of Christ are in a deplorable condition, they are not yet in so desperate a strait as were the foolish virgins whose lamps were going out, and there was no time in which to replenish their vessels with oil. When the bridegroom came, those that were ready went in with him to the wedding; but when the foolish virgins came, the door was shut, and they were too late to obtain an entrance.  {7BC 966.6}

 

But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb (RH Aug. 28, 1894).  {7BC 966.7}

 

There is hope for our churches if they will heed the message given to the Laodiceans (MS 139, 1903).  {7BC 966.8}

 

20 (ch. 22:17; Proverbs 1:23-33). Will You Squander God’s Talents?– Says the true Witness, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the Word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker. If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices, the world’s care and business engross the attention, and conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time, and of the great eternity beyond.  {7BC 966.9}

 

The heavenly Guest is standing at your door, while you are piling up obstructions to bar His entrance. Jesus is knocking through the prosperity He gives you. He loads you with blessings to test your fidelity, that they may flow out from you to others. Will you permit your selfishness to triumph? Will you squander God’s talents, and lose your soul through idolatrous love of the blessings He has given (RH Nov. 2, 1886)?  {7BC 967.1}

 

No Discouraging Message for the Church.–We have no discouraging message for the church. Although reproofs and cautions and corrections have been made, yet the church has stood as God’s instrumentality to diffuse light. The commandment-keeping people of God have sounded forth a warning to the world, to all languages, tongues, and kindreds. The church of God is a living witness, a continual testimony, to convince men if accepted, to condemn them if resisted and rejected (MS 96, 1893).  {7BC 967.2}

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