THE MESSAGE TO THE LAODICEAN AGE
Revelation 3:15-19 "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."
As we have read this together I am sure that you have noticed that the Spirit has not said one kind thing about this age. He makes two indictments and pronounces His sentence upon them.
(1) Revelation 3:15,16 "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth."
We are going to look at this carefully. It says that this Laodicean church age group is lukewarm. This lukewarmness demands a penalty from God. The penalty is that they will be spued out of His mouth. Here is where we don't want to go astray as a lot of folks do. They very unwisely say that God can spue you out of His mouth and that proves that there is no such thing as any truth to the doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints. I want to correct your thinking right now. This verse is not given to an individual. It is given to the church. He is talking to the church. Furthermore, if you will just keep the Word in mind you will recall that nowhere does it say that we are in the MOUTH of God. We are engraved on His palms. We are carried in His bosom. Way back in the unknown ages before time we were in His mind. We are in His sheepfold, and in His pastures, but never in His mouth. But what is in the mouth of the Lord? The Word is in His mouth. Matthew 4:4 "But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The Word is supposed to be in our mouths, too. Now we know that the church is His body. It is here taking His place. What will be in the mouth of the church? The WORD. I Peter 4:11 "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (Word) of God." II Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Then what is wrong with these people of the last day? THEY HAVE GOTTEN AWAY FROM THE WORD. THEY ARE NO LONGER FERVENT ABOUT IT. THEY ARE LUKEWARM ABOUT IT. I am going to prove that right now.
The Baptists have their creeds and dogmas based on the Word and you can't shake them. They say the apostolic days of miracles are over and there is no Baptism with the Holy Ghost, subsequent to believing. The Methodists say (based on the Word) there is no water baptism (sprinkling is not baptism) and that sanctification is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. The Church of Christ majors in regenerational baptism and in all too many cases they go down dry sinners and come up wet ones. Yet they claim their doctrine is Word-based. Go right down the line and come to the Pentecostals. Do they have the Word? Give them the Word test and see. They will sell out the Word for a sensation just about every time. If you can produce a manifestation like oil and blood and tongues and other signs, whether in the Word or not, or whether properly interpreted from the Word, the majority will fall for it. But what has happened to the Word? The Word has been put aside, so God says, "I am going against you all. I will spue you out of My mouth. This is the end. For seven out of seven ages, I have seen nothing but men esteeming their own word above Mine. So at the end of this age I am spuing you out of My mouth. It is all over. I am going to speak all right. Yes, I am here in the midst of the Church. The Amen of God, faithful and true will reveal Himself and it will BE BY MY PROPHET." Oh yes, that is so. Revelation 10:7 "And in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." There it is. He is sending a vindicated prophet. He is sending a prophet after almost two thousand years. He is sending someone who is so far from organization, education, and the world of religion that as John the Baptist and Elijah of old, He will hear only from God and he will have "thus saith the Lord" and speak for God. He will be God's mouthpiece and HE, AS IT IS DECLARED IN MALACHI 4:6, WILL TURN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN BACK TO THE FATHERS. He will bring back the elect of the last day and they will hear a vindicated prophet give the exact truth as it was with Paul. He will restore the truth as they had it. And those elect with him in that day will be the ones who truly manifest the Lord and be His Body and be His voice and perform His works. Hallelujah! Do you see it?
A momentary consideration of church history will prove how accurate this thought is. In the Dark Ages the Word was almost entirely lost to the people. But God sent Luther with the WORD. The Lutherans spoke for God at that time. But they organized, and again the pure Word was lost for organization tends toward dogma and creeds, and not simple Word. They could no longer speak for God. Then God sent Wesley, and he was the voice with the Word in his day. The people who took his revelation from God became the living epistles read and known of all men for their generation. When the Methodists failed, God raised up others and so it has gone on through the years until in this last day there is again another people in the land, who under their messenger will be the final voice to the final age.
Yes sir. The church is no longer the "mouthpiece" of God. It is its own mouthpiece. So God is turning on her. He will confound her through the prophet and the bride, for the voice of God will be in her. Yes it is, for it says in the last chapter of Revelation verse 17 "The Spirit and the bride say come". Once more the world will hear direct from God as at Pentecost; but of course that Word Bride will be repudiated as in the first age.
Now He has cried out to this last age, "You have the Word. You have more Bibles than ever, but you are not doing anything about the Word except dividing and hacking it into pieces, taking what you want and leaving out what you don't want. You are not interested in LIVING it, but debating it. I would sooner you were cold or hot. If you were cold and rejected it, I could stand that. If you would get white hot to know its truth and live it, I would praise you for that. But when you simply take My Word and don't honor it, I in return must refuse to honor you. I will spue you out for you nauseate Me."
Now anybody knows that it is lukewarm water that makes you sick at the stomach. If you need an emetic, lukewarm water is about the best thing to drink. A lukewarm church has made God sick and He has declared He will spue it out. Reminds us how He felt just before the flood, doesn't it?
Oh, would to God the church were cold or hot. Best of all, she should be fervent (hot). But she is not. Sentence has been passed. She is no longer God's voice to the world. She will maintain that she is, but God says not.
Oh, God still has a voice for the people of the world, even as He has given a voice to the bride. That voice is in the bride as we have said and we will talk more about that later.
(2) Revelation 3:17-18, "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."
Now look at the first phrase of this verse, "because thou sayest". See, they were speaking. They were talking as the mouthpiece of God. This proves exactly what I said verses 16-17 meant. But though they say it, that does not make it right. The Catholic Church says she speaks for God, saying she is the assured voice of the Lord. How any people can be so spiritually wicked is more than I know, but they produce according to the seed which is in them, and we know where that seed came from, don't we?
The Laodicean church is saying, "I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." That was her self-estimate. She looked at herself and that is what she saw. She said, "I am rich," which means that she is wealthy in the things of this world. She is boasting in the face of James 2:5-7, "Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy Name by the which ye are called?" Now I do NOT suggest that a rich person cannot be Spiritual, but we all know that the Word says very few are. It is the poor that predominate in the body of the true church. Now then, if the church becomes full of wealth, we know only one thing; "Ichabod" has been written over her portals! You can't deny that, for that is the Word.
Talk about wealth in the church - why there never has been such a show of wealth. The beautiful sanctuaries are multiplied in number as never before. The various groups vie with each other to see who can build the biggest and the loveliest. And they build education centers worth unestimated millions, and those buildings are used only an hour or two a week. Now that would not be such a terrible thing, but they expect this little time spent by the children in the education plant to take the place of the hours of training supposed to be given in the home.
Money has poured into the church until different denominations own stocks and bonds, factories, oil wells, and insurance companies. They have poured money into welfare and retirement funds. Now this sounds good, but it has become a snare to the ministers, for if they decide to leave their group for more light or the love of God, their pensions are lost to them. Most can't stand this and stay with their pressure groups.
Now don't forget that this is the last age. We know that this is the last age because Israel has gone back to Palestine. If we believe that He really is coming, then there must be something wrong with those who are building so vastly. It makes one think that these people plan on staying here forever, or that the coming of Jesus is hundreds of years off.
Do you know that religion today is known as big business? It is an absolute fact that they are placing business managers in the churches to take care of finances. Is this what God desires? Did not His Word teach us in the Book of Acts that seven men full of the Holy Ghost and faith served the Lord in business matters? You can surely see why God said, "YOU say you are wealthy; I never said so."
There are radio programs, television programs, and numerous church endeavors that are costing millions and millions of dollars. Wealth pours and pours into the church, the membership increases along with the money, yet the work is not being done as it was done when there was no money, but men rested solely on the ability given them by the Holy Ghost.
There are paid preachers, paid assistants, paid ministers of music and education, paid choirs, paid custodians, programs, and entertainment - all costing great sums, but for all that, the power is decreasing. Yes, the church is rich, but the power is not there. God moves by His Spirit, not by the amount of money or talent in the church.
Now I want to show you how diabolical this urge for money has become. The churches have gone all out to get a membership, especially of the wealthy. Everywhere there is the cry to make religion so attractive and appealing that the rich and cultured and all who have worldly prestige will come in and be active in the church. Can't they understand that if wealth is the criterion of spirituality, then the world already has God, has all of God, and the church has nothing?
"Thou sayest I am increased with goods." This literally means 'I have Spiritual riches.' This sounds like the millennium with streets of gold and the presence of God. But I wonder if this is so. Is the church truly rich in the Spiritual things of God? Let us examine this Twentieth- Century Laodicean boast in the light of the Word.
If the church were truly Spiritually rich, its influence would be felt upon community life. But exactly what kind of lives are these so-called spiritual and influential men of the community living? Out in suburbia, out in the better class districts, there abounds wife-swapping, prostitution, and bands of children crashing parties, exacting a terrible toll in property damage. Immorality has reached an all-time high in promiscuous sex acts, narcotic addiction, gambling, stealing, and all kinds of evil. And the church goes on claiming how fine is this generation, how full are the churches and how responsive are even the natives on the mission fields. The church has turned the people over to the doctors, especially the psychiatrists. How it can prate about being rich Spiritually is more than I know. It isn't true. They are bankrupt and don't know it.
Take a good look around you. Examine the people as they walk by. In the multitudes you see, can you pick out those that have the appearance of Christians? Watch how they dress, watch how they act, hear what they say, see where they go. Surely there ought to be some real evidence of the new birth amongst all those we see go by. But few there be. Yet today the fundamental churches are telling us they have millions saved and even Spirit-filled. Spirit-filled? Can you call women Spirit-filled who go around with frizzy bobbed hair, shorts and slacks, halters and briefs, all painted up like Jezebel? If these are adorned in modest apparel as becometh Christian women, I would hate to think what it would be like if I had to witness a display of immodesty.
Now I know that the women don't set the styles. Hollywood does that. But listen ladies, they still sell yard goods and sewing machines. You don't have to buy what's in the stores and then use that as an excuse. This is a deadly serious matter that I am going into. Have you not read in Scripture that when a man looks on a woman and lusts after her in his heart, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart? And suppose you dressed in such a way as to cause that? That makes you his partner in sin, even though you would be absolutely unaware of it, being a true virgin with no such desires. Yet God holds you accountable and you will be judged.
Now I know you ladies don't like this kind of preaching, but sister, you are dead wrong in what you are doing. The Bible forbids you to cut your hair. God gave it for a covering. He gave a command for you to wear it long. It is your glory. When you cut your hair you signified that you left the headship of your husband. Like Eve you walked out and went on your own. You got the vote. You took men's jobs. You left off being females. You ought to repent and come back to God. And if all this wasn't bad enough, a whole lot of you took the idea that you could invade the pulpits and the church offices that God reserved for men and for men only. Oh, I touched a sore spot then didn't I? Well, show me one place in the Bible that God ever ordained any woman to preach or take authority over a man, and I will apologize for what I have said. You can't find that I am wrong. I am right, for I stand with the Word and in the Word. If you were Spiritually rich you would know that is true. There is nothing true but the Word. Paul said, "I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man." You can't possibly take a place amongst the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4 and not take authority over men. Sister, you had better listen to that Word. It was not the Spirit of God manifesting in a Spirit-filled life that told you to preach because the Spirit and the Word are ONE. They say the same thing. Somebody made a mistake. Somebody was fooled. Wake up before it is too late. Satan fooled Eve, your mother; he is fooling the daughters now. May God help you.
"I have need of nothing." Now when anybody says, "I have need of nothing," he could very well be saying, "I have everything", or he could be saying, "I don't want any more as I am full now". You can express this any way you want, and it all adds up to the fact that the church is complacent. She is satisfied with what she has. She either figures she has it all or has enough. And that is exactly what we find today. What denomination is not claiming that IT has the revelation and the power and the truth? Listen to the Baptists, and they have it all. Listen to the Methodists, and they have it all. Listen to the Church of Christ and everyone is wrong but them. Hear what the Pentecostals say and they have the fulness of the fulness. Now they know I am telling the truth about them, for not one of their manuals say any different. They wrote it all out just so nice and put their names to it and finished it all up. God just doesn't have any more. And there are those who just don't want any more. They do not believe in healing and would not want it, although it is in the Word. There are those who would not take the Holy Spirit if God opened the heavens and showed them a sign.
Now they are all saying, and trying to prove that they have it all, or they have enough. Yet is that the truth? Compare this twentieth century church to the first century church. Go ahead. Do that. Where is the power? Where is the love? Where is the purified church that withstood sin and walked with faith toward Jesus? Where is the unity? You can't find it. If this church has all it needs, why were they crying out for more of God in the Book of Acts as though they didn't have it all, and yet they had far more than they have today? 7ch048.htm
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