14“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God; 15I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. 17Because 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: 18I 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. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, 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. 21To 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. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:14-22
The City of Laodicea
An Exposition of The Seven Church Ages
Chapter 9, The Laodicean Church Age
The name, Laodicea, which means, “people’s rights” was very common and was given to several cities in honor of royal ladies so named. This city was one of the most politically important and financially flourishing cities in Asia Minor. Enormous amounts of property were bequeathed to the city by prominent citizens. It was the seat of a great medical school. Its people were distinguished in the arts and sciences. It was often called the “metropolis” as it was the county seat for twenty-five other cities. The pagan god worshipped there was Zeus. In fact this city was once called Diopolis (City of Zeus) in honor of their god. In the fourth century an important church council was held there. Frequent earthquakes finally caused its complete abandonment.
How fitting were the characteristics of this last age to represent the age in which we now live. For example, they worshipped one god, Zeus, who was the chief and father of the gods. This forecast the twentieth century “one God, father-of-us-all” religious premise that sets forth the brotherhood of man, and is even now bringing together the Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, etcetera, with the intent that a mutual form of worship will increase our love, understanding, and care of each other. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
When the ancients called Laodicea the metropolis it was looking forward to the one-world government that we are now setting up. As we think of that city being the location of a great church council we see foreshadowed the ecumenical move taking place today, wherein very soon we will see all the “so-called” Christians come together. Indeed, the church and state, religion and politics are coming together. The tares are being bound. The wheat will soon be ready for the garner.
It was a city of earthquakes, such earthquakes as finally destroyed it. This age will end in God shaking the whole world that has gone off to make love with the old harlot. Not only will world systems crumble, but the very earth will be shaken and then renovated for the millennial reign of Christ.
The city was rich, endowed by the wealthy. It was full of culture. Science abounded. How like today. The churches are rich. The worship is beautiful and formal, but cold and dead. Culture and education have taken the place of the Spirit-given Word, and faith has been superseded by science, so that man is a victim of materialism.
In every attribute ancient Laodicea is found reborn in the twentieth-century Laodicean Age. In the mercy of God, may those who have an ear to hear come out of her that they be not partakers of her sins and the consequent judgment. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
THE LAODICEAN AGE
The Laodicean Age began around the turn of the Twentieth Century, perhaps 1906. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
I doubt very much if any age truly knew the messenger that God had sent unto it, except in the first age where Paul was the messenger. And even in that age many did not recognize him for what he was.
Now the age in which we are living is going to be a very short one. Events are going to transpire very rapidly. So the messenger to this Laodicean Age has to be here now, though perhaps we don’t know him as yet. But there will surely have to be a time that he becomes known. Now I can prove that because we have Scripture that describes his ministry.
First of all, that messenger is going to be a prophet. He will have the office of a prophet. He will have the prophetic ministry. It will be based solidly on the Word because when he prophesies or has a vision, it will always be “Word oriented” and it will ALWAYS come to pass. He will be vindicated as a prophet because of his accuracy. The proof that he is a prophet is found in Revelation 10:7, “But 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.” Now this person, who in this verse is called an “angel” in the King James version is NOT a heavenly being. The sixth trumpeting angel, who is a heavenly being, is in Revelation 9:13, and the seventh of like order is in Revelation 11:15. This one here in Revelation 10:7 is the seventh-age messenger and it is a man, and he is to bring a message from God, and his message and ministry is going to finish the mystery of God as declared to His servants, the prophets. God is going to treat this last messenger as a prophet BECAUSE HE IS A PROPHET. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
It was in the end-time period that the seven thunders of Jesus came forth. Revelation 10:3-4, “And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” What was in those thunders no one knows. But we need to know. And it will take a prophet to get the revelation because God has no other way of bringing out His Scriptural revelations except by a prophet. The Word always came by a prophet and always will. That this is the law of God is evident by even a casual search of Scripture. The unchanging God with unchanging ways invariably sent His prophet in every age where the people had strayed from Divine order. With both the theologians and the people having departed from the Word, God always sent His servant to these people (but apart from the theologians) in order to correct false teaching and lead the people back to God.
So we see a seventh-age messenger coming, and he is a prophet.
Not only do we see this messenger coming here in Revelation 10:7, but we find that the Word speaks of Elijah coming before Jesus returns. In Matthew 17:10, “And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?” And Jesus said, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” Before the coming of our Lord, Elijah must come back for a work of restoration in the church. This is what Malachi 4:5-6 says, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” There is absolutely no doubt that Elijah must return before the coming of Jesus. He has a specific work to accomplish. That work is the part of Malachi 4:6 that says “he will turn the hearts of the children to their fathers.” The reason that we know this is his specific work to do at that time is because he has already accomplished the part that says “he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” when the Elijah ministry was here in John the Baptist. Luke 1:17, “And he shall go before Him in the Spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the Just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” In the ministry of John the “hearts of the fathers were turned to the children.” We know that because Jesus said so. But it does not say that the hearts of the children were turned to the fathers. That is yet to take place. The hearts of the last-day children will be turned back to the Pentecostal fathers. John got the fathers ready for Jesus to welcome the children into the fold. Now this prophet upon whom the Spirit of Elijah falls will prepare the children to welcome back Jesus. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
Now this messenger of Malachi 4 and Revelation 10:7 is going to do two things. One: According to Malachi 4 he will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers. Two: He will reveal the mysteries of the seven thunders in Revelation 10 which are the revelations contained in the seven seals. It will be these Divinely revealed “mystery-truths” that literally turn the hearts of the children to the Pentecostal fathers. Exactly so. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
Now this last-day prophet-messenger will have such power before the Lord that there will be those who mistake him for the Lord Jesus. (There will be a spirit in the world at the end time that will seduce some and make them believe this. Matthew 24:24-26, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.”) But don’t you believe it. He is not Jesus Christ. He is not the Son of God. HE IS ONE OF THE BRETHREN, A PROPHET, A MESSENGER, A SERVANT OF GOD. He needs no greater honor bestowed upon him than that which John received when he was the voice that cried, “I am not He, BUT HE IS COMING AFTER ME.” The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
There are those who say that God’s people are going to come together through a collective revelation. I challenge that statement. It is a bald, invalid assumption in the face of Revelation 10:7. Now I do not deny that people will prophesy in this last age and their ministries can and will be correct. I do not deny that there will be prophets even as in the days of Paul when there was “one, Agabus, a prophet who prophesied of a famine.” I agree that is so. BUT I DENY UPON THE INFALLIBLE EVIDENCE OF THE WORD THAT THERE IS MORE THAN ONE MAJOR PROPHET-MESSENGER WHO WILL REVEAL THE MYSTERIES AS CONTAINED IN THE WORD, AND WHO HAS THE MINISTRY TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN TO THE FATHERS. “Thus saith the Lord” by His unfailing Word stands, and shall stand and be vindicated. There is one prophet-messenger to this age. On the basis of human behavior alone, anyone knows that where there are many people there is even divided opinion on lesser points of a major doctrine which they all hold together. Who then will have the power of infallibility which is to be restored in this last age, for this last age is going to go back to manifesting the Pure Word Bride? That means we will have the Word once again as it was perfectly given, and perfectly understood in the days of Paul. I will tell you who will have it. It will be a prophet as thoroughly vindicated, or even more thoroughly vindicated than was any prophet in all the ages from Enoch to this day, because this man will of necessity have the capstone prophetic ministry, and God will shew him forth. He won’t need to speak for himself, God will speak for him by the voice of the sign. Amen. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
Revelation 3:14, “These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God.”
My, isn’t that the most wonderful description of the attributes of our lovely Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? These words just make me want to shout. They bring such a spirit of reality into my heart. Just reading them without even waiting for a thorough revelation of the Spirit upon them thrills me.
Jesus is giving us this description of Himself in relation to the last age. The days of grace are winding up. He has looked from the first century right through to the twentieth, and told us all things concerning these ages. Before He reveals the characteristics of the last age to us, He gives us one final look at His own gracious and supreme Deity. This is the capstone revelation of Himself.
Thus saith the “AMEN.” Jesus is the Amen of God. Jesus is the “So Let It Be” of God. Amen stands for finality. It stands for approval. It stands for prevailing promise. It stands for unchanging promise. It stands for the seal of God. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“These things saith the AMEN.” I like that. It means that whatever He said is final. It means that whatever He said to the first age and to the second and to all ages about His own true church and about the false vine is exactly right and it won’t change. It means that what He started out with in Genesis, He will finish in Revelation. He has to for He is the Amen, SO LET IT BE. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“These things saith the Faithful and True Witness.” Now I want to show you what I find in the thought of “faithful.” You know we often talk about a great unchanging God, Whose Word does not change. And when we speak of Him after that manner we often get a view of Him that makes Him seem very impersonal. It is as though God made the whole universe and all the laws that pertain to it and then stood back and became a great impersonal God. It is as though God made a way of salvation for lost mankind, that way being the cross, and then when the death of Christ has atoned for our sins, and His resurrection gave us an open door to Him, God just folded His arms and stood back. It is as if we majored in believing in a great Creator, Who having created, lost personal interest in His creation. Now I say that is how too many people are apt to think. But that is wrong thinking, for God is GOVERNING IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN RIGHT NOW. HE IS BOTH CREATOR AND SUSTAINER. Colossians 1:16-17, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” He is a Sovereign God. By His own counsel He purposed the plan of the salvation of His own elect which He foreknew. The Son died upon the cross to establish the means of Salvation and the Holy Spirit carefully executes the will of the Father. He is working all things at this moment according to the purpose of His own will. He is right in the midst of it all. He is in the midst of His church. This great Creator, Saviour-God is faithfully working amongst His own right now as the great Shepherd of the sheep. His very existence is for His own. He loves them and cares for them. His eye is ever upon them. When the Word says that “your lives are hid with Christ in God” it means exactly what it says. Oh, I am so glad that my God abides faithful. He is true to Himself, He won’t lie. He is true to the Word, He will back it up. He is true to us, He will lose none of us, but raise us up in the last day. I am glad that I am resting in His faithfulness. Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He Which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ.”
“He is the True Witness.” Now this word, true, is the same word we saw back there in Revelation 3:7. You recall that it does not mean “true” as in contrast with “false.” It has a richer, deeper meaning by far. It expresses perfect realization in contrast to partial realization. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“He is the Faithful and True Witness.” Now we think of that word, “witness.” Well, that word is the one we get the word ‘martyr’ from. The Bible speaks of Stephen and Antipas and others as martyrs. They were martyrs; they were also witnesses. Jesus was a faithful martyr. The Holy Ghost is the witness to that. The Spirit bears record of that. The world hated Jesus. It killed Him. But God loved Him and He went to the Father. The proof that He went to the Father is that the Holy Ghost came. If Jesus had not been received of the Father, the Spirit would not have come. Read it in John 16:7-11, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me: of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“The Beginning Of The Creation Of God.” That is Who the Lord Jesus says He is. But those words don’t mean exactly as they sound to us. Just taking them the way they sound has made some people (in fact multitudes of people) get the idea that Jesus was the first creation of God, making Him lower than Godhead. Then this first creation created all the rest of the universe and whatsoever it contains. But that is not right. You know that doesn’t line up with the rest of the Bible. The words are, “He is the BEGINNER or AUTHOR of the creation of God.” Now we know for a surety that Jesus is God, very God. He is the Creator. John 1:3, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” He is the One of Whom it is said, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Also it says in Exodus 20:11, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” See, there is no doubt that He is the Creator. He was the Creator of a FINISHED PHYSICAL CREATION. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
But now He is standing in the midst of the Church. As He stands there revealing Who He is in this last age, He calls Himself the “Author of the creation of God.” This is ANOTHER CREATION. This has to do with the church. This is a special designation of Himself. He is the CREATOR of that church. The heavenly Bridegroom created his own bride. As the Spirit of God, He came down and created in the virgin Mary the cells from which His body was born. I want to repeat that. He created the very cells in the womb of Mary for that body. It was not enough for the Holy Spirit to simply give life to a human ovum supplied by Mary. That would have been sinful mankind producing a body. That would not have produced the “Last Adam.” Of Him it was said, “Lo, a body hast Thou (Father) prepared for Me.” God (not Mary) provided that body. Mary was the human incubator and she carried that Holy Child and brought Him to birth. It was a God-man. He was the Son of God. He was of the NEW creation. Man and God met and joined; He was the first of this new race. He is the head of this new race. Colossians 1:18, “And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.” There you can see that though man was of the OLD ORDER or creation, now in UNION WITH CHRIST, he has become the NEW CREATION of God. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, CREATED IN UNION WITH CHRIST JESUS unto good works.” Ephesians 4:24, “And that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” This New Creation is not the old creation made over, or it could not be called a new creation. This is exactly what it says it is, “NEW CREATION.” It is another creation, distinct from the old one. No longer is He dealing by ways of the flesh. That was how He dealt with Israel. He chose Abraham, and of Abraham’s issue through the godly Isaac line. But now out of every kindred, tribe and nation He has purposed a new creation. He is the first of that creation. He was God created in the form of man. Now by His Spirit He is creating many Sons unto Himself. God the creator, creating Himself a part of His creation. This is the true revelation of God. This was His purpose. This purpose took form through election. That is why He could look right down to the last age when all would be over and see Himself still in the midst of the church, as author of this New Creation of God. His Sovereign power brought it to pass. By His own decree He elected the members of this New Creation. He predestinated them to the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His will. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
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.” The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
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. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
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.” The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
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. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
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?” The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
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. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
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. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“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?
Now what God saw was entirely different from what they said they saw. They said that they were rich in goods and Spiritually wealthy. They had arrived. They had need of nothing. But God saw it otherwise. He said, “You don’t know this, but you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Now when a people are that way, especially naked and DON’T KNOW IT, there has to be something awfully wrong. Surely something must be happening. Is it not that God has blinded their eyes as He did to the Jews? Is the Gospel going back to the Jews? Is history repeating itself? I say it is.
God says this church of the Laodicean Age is “wretched.” That word comes from two Greek words which mean “endure” and “trial.” And it has nothing to do with the trials that come to a true Christian for God describes a Christian in trial as “blessed” and his attitude one of joy whereas this description is phrased as “wretched and miserable.” How strange. In this age of plenty, in this age of progress, in this age of abundance, how can there be trials? Well now, it is strange; but in this age of plenty and opportunity, when everyone has so much and there is so much more to be had, what with all the inventions to do our work and so many things to give us pleasure, SUDDENLY, we find mental illness taking such a toll as to alarm the nation. When everybody ought to be happy, with really nothing to be unhappy about, millions are taking sedatives at night, pep pills in the morning, rushing to doctors, entering institutions, and trying to drown out unknown fears by alcohol. Yes, this age boasts of its tremendous stores of worldly goods, but the people are less happy than ever. This age boasts of its spiritual attainments, but the people are less sure of themselves than ever. This age boasts of better moral values and it is more corrupt than any age since the flood. It talks about its knowledge and science, but it is fighting a losing battle in all fields, for the human mind and soul and spirit cannot comprehend or keep abreast with all the changes that have come upon the earth. In one generation we have gone all the way from the horse and buggy age to the space age, and we are proud and boastful about it; but inside is a dark void cavern that is crying out in torment, and WITHOUT A KNOWN REASON men’s hearts are failing for fear and the world is so darkened that this age could well be called the age of neurotics. It boasts, but it cannot back it up. It cries peace, and there is no peace. It cries that it has a great amplitude of all things, but it keeps burning with desire like an unsatisfied fire! “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”
“They are miserable.” That means that they are objects to be pitied. Pitied? They scorn pity. They are full of pride. They vaunt what they have. But what they have will not stand the test of time. They have built upon quicksand rather than the rock of the revelation of God’s Word. Soon cometh the earthquake. Soon there will come the storms of the wrath of God in judgment. Then comes sudden destruction, and in spite of all their carnal preparation they will still be unprepared for what comes upon the earth. They are those who in spite of all their worldly efforts are actually opposing themselves and don’t know it. Objects of pity are they indeed. Pity the poor people who are in this last day ecumenical move, for they call it the move of God, when it is of Satan. Pity those who do not know the curse of organization. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“They are poor.” Now of course that means Spiritually poor. The sign of this age as it closes, is bigger and better churches, with more and more people, with more and more manifestation of what is supposed to be demonstrations of the Holy Ghost. But the filled altars, the gifts of the Spirit in operation, the remarkable attendance is not the answer from God, for those who come to the altars very seldom stay to go on with God, and after the great campaigns are finished, where are all those who came down the aisles? They heard a man, they listened to an appeal, they came into the net, but they were not fish, and turtle-like they crawled back to their own waters. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“You are blind and naked.” Now this is really desperate. How can anyone be blind and naked and not know it? Yet it says that they are blind and naked and can’t perceive it. The answer is, they are spiritually blind, and spiritually naked. Do you remember when Elisha and Gehazi were surrounded by the army of the Syrians? You recall that Elisha smote them blind by the power of God. Yet their eyes were wide open and they could see where they were going. The blindness was peculiar in that they could see certain things, but other certain things such as Elisha and the servant and the camp of Israel they could not see. What this army could see did not avail for them. What they did not see brought on their captivity. Now what does this mean to us? It means exactly what it meant back there in the earthly ministry of Jesus. He tried to teach them truth, but they would not listen. John 9:40-41, “And some of the Pharisees which were with Him heard these words, and said unto Him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” The attitude of this age is exactly what it was then. People have it all. They know it all. They cannot be taught. If a point of truth from the Word comes up and a man tries to explain his view to one with an opposing view, the listener is not at all listening that he might learn, but is listening only to refute what is being said. Now I want to ask a fair question. Can Scripture fight Scripture? Does the Bible contradict the Bible? Can there be two doctrines of truth in the Word that say the opposite or oppose the other? NO. IT CANNOT BE SO. Yet how many of God’s people have their eyes open to that truth? Not even one percent, as far as I know, have learned that ALL Scripture is given by God and ALL is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, etcetera. If all Scripture is thusly given, then every verse will dovetail if given a chance. But how many believe in predestination unto election and reprobation unto destruction? Those who don’t, will they listen? No, they will not. Yet both are in the Word, and nothing will change it. But to learn about it and reconcile the truth of those doctrines with other truths that seem to oppose, they will not take the time. But they stop their ears, and gnash with their teeth, and they lose out. At the end of this age a prophet will come, but they will be blind to all that he is doing and saying. They are so sure they are right, and in their blindness they will lose it all.
Now God says they are naked as well as blind. I cannot imagine anything as tragic as a man who is blind and naked and does not know it. There is only one answer — he is out of his mind. He is already deep in oblivion. His faculties are gone, spiritual amnesia has set in. What else can it mean? Can it mean that the Holy Spirit has taken His leave of this last day church? Can it mean that men have put God out of their minds to such an extent that it is happening even as stated in Romans 1:28. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” It surely appears that something like that has happened. Here is a people who say that they are of God and know God and have His Holy Spirit, and yet they are naked and blind and don’t know it. They are ALREADY DECEIVED. THEY HAVE THE WRONG SPIRIT. THE ELECT CANNOT BE DECEIVED, BUT IT IS EVIDENT THAT THESE OTHERS ARE. These are they who have become blind because they refused the Word of God. These are they who have stripped themselves naked by leaving God’s care and protection and sought to build their own way of salvation, their own tower of Babel by organization. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
Revelation 3:18-19, “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.”
The counsel of God is terse. It is to the point. He directs this last day church to one hope. That hope is HIMSELF. He says, “Come to Me and buy.” It is evident from this phrase “buy of Me” that the Laodicean church is not at all dealing with Jesus for the Spiritual products of the Kingdom of God. Their transactions cannot be Spiritual. They may think that they are Spiritual, but how can they be? The works in their midst are definitely not as Paul would say, “God in you willing and doing of His own good pleasure,” Philippians 2:13. Thus what about all these churches, schools, hospitals, missionary ventures, etcetera? God is not in them as long as they are denominational seed and spirit, and not the Seed and Spirit of God.
“Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich.” Now these people had plenty of gold, but it was the wrong kind. It was that gold that bought men’s lives and destroyed them. It was the gold that warped and twisted human character, for its love was the root of all evil. Revelation 18:1-14, “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God Who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: the merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusteth after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.” This is exactly the organized churches of the last day, for it says in verse 4, “Come out of her, MY PEOPLE.” The rapture has not yet taken place. The bride is not yet gone when these terrible conditions in this rich, false church exist.
But, there is a gold of God. I Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth.” The gold of God is a Christlike character produced in the fiery furnace of affliction. That is the right kind of gold. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“You had better come before it is too late,” saith the Lord, “and buy of Me gold tried in the fire, and then you will be truly rich.” Are we getting it? Listen to me, “Naked (physically) we came into the world, but naked (spiritually) we will NOT leave it.” Oh no, we are going to take something with us. What that something is, is ALL we can take with us, nothing less and nothing more. So we had better be real careful now to see that we take something that will make us right before God. So, then, what will we take with us? We will take our CHARACTER, brother, that is what we will take with us. Now what kind of character will you take with you? Will it be like HIS Whose character was moulded by suffering in the fiery furnace of affliction, or will it be the softness of this characterless Laodicean people? It is up to each one of us, for in that day every man will bear his own burden. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
“And anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mightest see.” He does not say that you have to buy this eyesalve. Oh no. There is no price tag on the Holy Spirit. “Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Galatians 3:2. Without the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, you can never have your eyes opened to a true Spiritual revelation of the Word. A man without the Spirit is blind to God and His truth. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
And now He says to His own, “As many as I love, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN.” To rebuke is to reprove. To reprove is to “expose with a view to correction.” Chasten does not mean to punish. It means to “discipline because the subject’s amendment is in mind.” This is exactly what we find in Hebrews 12:5-11, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
Oh, little flock, do not fear. This age is fast closing. As it does those tares will be bound together, and as a three-fold cord is not easily broken, they will have a tremendous three-fold strength of political, physical, and spiritual (Satanical) power, and they will seek to destroy the bride of Christ. She will suffer, but she will endure. Fear not those things that are coming upon the earth, for He “Who loved His own, loveth them unto the end.” John 13:1.
“Be zealous and repent.” Now this false church has zeal; make no mistake about that. Her zeal has literally been that of the Jews, John 2:17, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten Me up.” But it is a wrong zeal. It is for the house of their own building. It is for their own creeds, dogmas, organizations, their own righteousness. They have put the Word out for their own ideas. They deposed the Holy Ghost and made men into leaders. They have put aside Eternal Life as a Person, and make it good works, or even church conformity rather than good works.
But God is calling for another zeal. It is the zeal to cry “I AM WRONG.” Now who is going to say that he is wrong? What is it that all these denominations are based upon? — the claim to originality, and that of God, — the claim that they are right. Now they ALL cannot be right. In fact NOT ONE of them is right. They are whited sepulchres, full of dead men’s bones. They have no life. They have no vindication. God has never made Himself known in any organization. They say they are right because they are the ones that are saying it, but saying it does not make it so. They need the vindicated “Thus saith the Lord” of God, and they don’t have it. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
CHRIST OUTSIDE THE CHURCH
Revelation 3:20-22, “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. 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Now there is a great deal of confusion over this verse because so many personal workers use it in personal evangelism as though Jesus were at the heart’s door of every sinner knocking for admission. It would then be said that if the sinner opened the door, the Lord would come in. But this verse is not talking to individual sinners. This whole message has a summation as does every message in every age. In verse 22 it says, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the CHURCHES.” So this is the message to the church of the last age. This is the condition of the Laodicean church as its end nears. It is not a personal message to one person; it is the Spirit telling us where Jesus is. CHRIST HAS LEFT THE CHURCH. Is this not the logical result or end if the Word is put aside for creed, the Holy Spirit deposed for popes, bishops, presidents, counsellors, etcetera, and the Saviour set aside for a works program, or church joining, or some type of conformity to a church system? What more can be done against Him? This is the apostasy! This is the falling away! The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
Oh elect of God, beware. Study closely. Be careful. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Rely upon God and be strong in His might. Your adversary, the devil, is even now going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Watch unto prayer and be steadfast. This is the end time. Both the true and false vine are coming into maturity, but before the wheat matures, those ripened tares must be bound for the burning. See, they are all joining the World Council Of Churches. That is the binding. Soon the garnering of the wheat will come. But right now the two spirits are at work in two vines. Come out from among the tares. Start to overcome that you may be considered praiseworthy for your Lord, and fit to reign and rule with Him.
THE OVERCOMER’S THRONE
Revelation 3:21, “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.”
Now what are we to overcome? That is the normal question to ask here. But that is not the actual thought of this verse for it is not so much WHAT we are to overcome but HOW we are to overcome. Now this is logical, for does it matter much WHAT we are to overcome as long as we know HOW we can overcome?
A quick look at those Scriptures which involve the Lord Jesus overcoming will bring out the truth of this proposition. In Matthew 4, wherein Jesus is tempted of the devil, He overcame the personal temptations of Satan by the Word, and by the Word only. In each of the three major trials that corresponded exactly to the temptation of the Garden of Eden, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, Jesus overcame by the Word. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
THE CONSUMMATION OF THE GENTILE AGES
This age is the last of the seven church ages. What began in the first or Ephesian Age must and will come to full fruition and harvest in the last or Laodicean Age. The two vines will yield their final fruit. The two spirits will terminate their manifestation in each of their final destinations. The sowing, the watering, the growing is all over. Summer is ended. The sickle is now thrust into the harvest. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
The wheat and the tares, which from the first age until now have grown side by side, are harvested. What Nicaea set out to accomplish has finally come to pass. With all the might of organization the false church turns from any vestige of truth and with political might reinforces herself with state backing and sets out to eradicate forever the true believer. But just when she is about to accomplish her cowardly plot the wheat is gathered into the garner. No longer will the wheat and tares grow side by side. No longer will the tares receive of the blessing of God because of the presence of the wheat, for the wheat will be gone and the wrath of God will be poured out in the sixth seal which will end in the utter destruction of the wicked.
Now I said a moment ago that the false vine came into full fruition in this age. Her fruit would mature and ripen. That is correct. This evil-spirited church, full of iniquity, will be revealed as the mustard seed that grew into a tree wherein lodged the fouls of the air. At her head will be the antichrist, the mystery of iniquity. All this is true. And if this is true, then it must also be true that the Bride Church will mature, and her ripeness shall be an identification with her Lord by means of the Word, and her Head Who will come to her is the Mystery of Godliness, Which indeed is Christ. And as the false church with all cunning and diabolical power made up of political force, physical force and demons of darkness come against this true vine, the true vine with the fullness of the Spirit and the Word will do the very acts of power that Jesus did. Then as she nears her Headstone, becoming like Him through the Word, Jesus will come that the bride and Groom may be forever united as one. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6
Harvest time. Yes, harvest time. The two vines that grew together and intertwined their branches are now to be separated. The fruits of those vines which were at such variance will be gathered into separate garners. The two spirits will go to their separate destinations. Now it is time to heed the final call that comes only to the Wheat Bride, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye (wheat) receive not her (tares) plagues (the great tribulation of the sixth seal and Matthew 24).”
THE LAST WARNING OF THE SPIRIT
Revelation 3:22, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
This is the LAST warning. There will not be another. The throne room has been set up. The twelve foundations have been laid. The streets of gold have been paved. The gates of gigantic pearls are raised and hinged. Like a pyramid she stands so fair and glorious. The heavenly beings who have prepared her watch breathlessly, for she glistens and shines with a glory that is unearthly. Every facet of her beauty tells a story of amazing grace and Jesus’ love. She is a city prepared for a prepared people. She awaits only for her inhabitants, and soon they will throng her streets with joy. Yes, it is the last call. The Spirit will not speak in another age. The ages are over. The Laodicean Church Age Church Age Book Chapter 6