The Laodicean (pharisaical) Church

September 16, 1873 The Laodicean (Pharisees) Church.
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Laodicean:Lukewarm or halfhearted, esp. with respect to religion or politics.
Noun: A person with such an attitude.
Synonyms: indifferent

All Laodicea—all “poor, miserable, blind, and naked.”  The Laodicean = the Pharisee!


The Laodiceans and the Pharisees have very much in common. In the eyes of Jesus Christ, the Pharisees were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

Laodicea

According to Strong's Greek concordance, Laodicea is a combination of two words, laos which it defines as "people" and dike, which is defined by Strong's as "right", "judgment", "punish", and "vengeance". Smith's Bible Dictionary defines Laodicea to mean "justice of the people". Might the term Laodicean convey that the predominant characteristic of this Church is that people rule, people judge, or, in fact that the people change the Church's direction? I personally have long felt that the term Laodicea conveys a difference in governance and direction.

Since the Philadelphians are admonished to "Hold fast what you have" (Revelation 3:11) and the Laodiceans are condemned for their work yet say, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing" (vs. 17) it would seem that most Laodiceans have rejected other restored truths as well. Furthermore, this concept of the people deciding seems to lead to Laodiceans who decide that relatively minor, inaccurate, and/or biblically unimportant matters are more important than being part of the Philadelphia work.


A SUMMARY OF THE SPIRIT AND DOCTRINES OF THE PHARISEES: 

 

 

1.       Jesus warned his disciples against the doctrines of the Pharisees –Matthew 16:5, 6 & 12

2.     Pharisees are self-righteous, self-exalted and self-confident. Their worship is represented by Cain’s bloodless offering – without Christ. They believe that they are saved, holy and without sin – Luke 18:9 – 14; Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 150 – 155; R. & H., June 6, 1878 & May 21, 1908.

3.       They teach for doctrines, the commandments and traditions of men, and multiply man made rules and regulations.

4.       The leaders set up their own “Landmarks”, which closes the door against the entrance of God’s advancing truth.

5.       The teachings of the leaders must be obeyed at all costs.

6.       This spirit leads to trying to rule and control others. The leaders are looked up to by the people, to decide what is truth or error for them. It results in putting the leaders in the place of God.

7.       They try to control and dictate, how and through whom God will work. It God should choose others, not from their ranks, they will reject and despise those whom God is using.

8.       Those who teach doctrines not in harmony with the leaders’ creed, will be criticized, opposed, slandered, and finally murdered, as Jesus and his apostles were. Cain, who was the first Pharisee did this to righteous Abel – Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 152. The Pharisees manifest the spirit of Satan, and are the accusers of Jesus’ brethren – Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 151.

9.       The Laodicean = the Pharisee!


Why Christ spews the lukewarm Laodicean(Pharisees) out of His mouth

"To those who are indifferent at this time Christ's warning is: 'Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.' Revelation 3:16. The figure of spewing out of His mouth means that He cannot offer up your prayers or your expressions of love to God. he cannot endorse your teaching of His word or your spiritual work in anywise. He cannot present your religious exercises with the request that grace be given you." 6 Testimonies, p. 408

Today we hesitate to claim we’re the remnant; but as for Laodicea (Pharisaical=marked by hypocritical censorious self-righteousness), that’s us! Us alone!...No other Christian group vies with us for the dubious privilege of being identified with it....claiming exclusive rights to Laodicea is not politically incorrect. So, unchallenged, we've become anchored in the view that Seventh-day Adventists are the sole group envisioned in the apocalyptic concept of that term.” Adventist Review, August 28, 2008, p 5.

I guess that is why, “I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, "Father, give us Thy Spirit." Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan's object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God's children.” {EW 56.1}



Someone else take those prayers, and all the while the lukewarm think their praying to God.

We must stay close to Jesus, to ensure we don’t end up in this condition.

“You think, that those who worship before the saint’s feet, (Rev 3:9), will at last be saved. Here I must differ with you; for God shewed me that this class were professed Adventists, who had fallen away, and “crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” And in the “hour of temptation,” which is yet to come, to show out every one’s true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saint’s feet.” (EGW A Word to the Little Flock, page 12)

Did you catch that.  Those Jews who say they are and are not are actually “professed Adventists” the “synagogue of Satan”.  In other words “nominal Adventists”.  

This is referring to the “hour of temptation” otherwise known as “the time of trouble” which she says “is yet to come”.  Those who say they are Jews and are not refers to “professed Adventists”.  We have our Gods name written on our forehead. The name of the God of Jesus.  The fathers name.  

This quote is referring to the time of trouble when professed Adventists acknowledge Philadelphia as the remnant true church.   The rock (truth) that smites the image on the feet. The feet mixed with iron and clay (paganism and Christianity). https://sites.google.com/site/theendtimewarning/who-are-the-remnant-of-god

Carefully read the characteristics of the 144,000 in this next verse.  

They are the characteristics of Philadelphia. Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. Get the oil for your lamp.  You know that the General Conference of Adventists admits they are Laodicea. 

“Today we hesitate to claim we’re the remnant; but as for Laodicea, that’s us! Us alone!...No other Christian group vies with us for the dubious privilege of being identified with it....claiming exclusive rights to Laodicea is not politically incorrect. So, unchallenged, we’ve become anchored in the view that Seventh-day Adventists are the sole group envisioned in the apocalyptic concept of that term.” Adventist Review, August 28, 2008, p 5.

So the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists are pretty sure of who they are.  They are Laodicea.  And they are unchallenged about this.  

But what does the Spirit of Prophecy say in regards to the Laodicean Church. 

The Presence of God not in her midst

“Those who claim to believe the truth do not possess that power that God would bestow upon them if they really believed, and were striving for conformity to His image. The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst.” (EGW Notebook Leaflets, page 99 MS 166 1898)

Wait a second.  

The presence of God is not in her midst. 

"To the end of time, the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church." Acts of the Apostles, p. 55

But the presence of God according to the above quote will never leave the true church?   If the Conference is Laodicea and the presence of God is not in Laodicea then we can conclude that the conference is not Gods “true church”.  So where then can we find the “presence of God”? 

“God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church” (The Upward Look, p. 315).

So the presence of God dwells in his true church and his presence alone can constitute a church.  Therefore since Gods presence isn’t in Laodicea, then Laodicea is not a real church.  It is a counterfeit.

Foolish virgins standing outside the door

“The state of the church represented by the foolish virgins is also spoken of as the Laodicean state.” (EGW Review and Herald, August, 1890)There are ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom but how many are saved? The fact that they are all virgins suggest that they come from the virgin or pure church. But they divide and the five foolish virgins never get in and are represented as Laodicea. They are outside knocking to get in. "An open and shut door".  Present truth. Hear what the spirit saith to the church. 


Changing the subject to avoid acknowledging the truth

"Some have thought it an evidence of intellectual keenness and superiority to perplex minds in regard to what is truth. They resort to subtlety of argument, to playing upon words; they take unjust advantage in asking questions. When their questions have been fairly answered, they will turn the subject [and] bring up another point to avoid acknowledging the truth. We should beware of indulging the spirit which controlled the Jews. They would not learn of Christ, because His explanation of the Scriptures did not agree with their ideas; therefore they became spies upon His track, 'laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out of His mouth, that they might accuse Him.' Let us not bring upon ourselves the fearful denunciation of the Saviour's words, 'Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 108,109


"In every period of this earth’s history, God has had His men of opportunity, to whom He has said, “Ye are My witnesses.” In every age there have been devout men, who gathered up the rays of light as they flashed upon their pathway, and who spoke to the people the words of God. Enoch, Noah, Moses, Daniel, and the long roll of patriarchs and prophets,—these were ministers of righteousness. They were not infallible; they were weak, erring men; but the Lord wrought through them as they gave themselves to His service.Gospel Workers 1915, p. 13.3


     The message to the church of the Laodiceans (Pharisaical) is a startling denunciation, and is applicable to the people of God at the present time.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 1}  
     "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: 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."  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 2}  
     The Lord here shows us that the message to be borne to his people by ministers whom he has called to warn the people, is not a peace-and-safety message. It is not merely theoretical, but practical in every particular. The people of God are represented in the message to the Laodiceans in a position of carnal security. They are at ease, believing themselves in an exalted condition of spiritual attainments.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 3}  
     "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."  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 4}  
     What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong? The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true situation of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony, so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake; for it is the True Witness who speaks, and his testimony must be correct.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 5}  
     It is difficult for those who feel secure in their attainments, who are believing themselves to be rich in spiritual knowledge, to receive the message which declares that they are deceived and in need of every spiritual grace. The unsanctified heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 6}  
     God leads his people on, step by step. The Christian life is a constant battle, and a march. There is no rest from the warfare. It is by constant, unceasing effort that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. We are, as a people, triumphing in the clearness and strength of the truth. We are fully sustained in our positions by an overwhelming amount of plain scriptural testimony. But we are very much wanting in Bible humility, patience, faith, love, self-denial, watchfulness, and a spirit of sacrifice. We need to cultivate Bible holiness. Sin prevails among the people of God. The plain message of rebuke to the Laodiceans is not received. Many cling to their doubts and their darling sins, while they are in so great a deception as to talk and feel that they are in need of nothing. They think the testimony of the Spirit of God in reproof is uncalled for, or that it does not mean them. Such are in the greatest need of the grace of God and spiritual discernment, that they may discover their deficiency in spiritual knowledge. They lack almost every essential qualification necessary to perfect Christian character. They have not a practical knowledge of Bible truth, which leads to lowliness of life, and a conformity of their will to the will of Christ. They are not living in obedience to all God's requirements.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 7} 
     It is not enough to merely profess to believe the truth. All the soldiers of the cross of Christ virtually obligate themselves to enter a crusade against the adversary of souls, to condemn wrong, and sustain righteousness. But the message of the True Witness reveals the fact that a terrible deception is upon our people, which makes it necessary to come to them with warnings, to break their spiritual slumber, and arouse them to decided action.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 8}  
     This message of the True Witness has not accomplished the design of God. The people slumber on in their sins. They continue to declare themselves "rich, and having need of nothing." Many inquire, Why are all these reproofs given? Why do the testimonies continually charge us with backsliding and grievous sins? We love the truth. We are prospering. We are in no need of these testimonies of warning and reproof. But let these murmurers see their hearts, and compare their lives with the practical teachings of the Bible; let them humble their souls before God; let the grace of God illuminate the darkness, and the scales will fall from their eyes, and they will sense their true spiritual poverty and wretchedness. They will feel the necessity of buying gold, which is pure faith and love; white raiment, which is a spotless character, made pure in the blood of their dear Redeemer, and eye-salve, which is the grace of God, and will give clear discernment of spiritual things, and detect sin. These attainments are more precious than the gold of Ophir.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 9}  
     I am very sure that the greatest reason why the people of God are now found in this state of spiritual blindness, is because they will not receive correction. Many have despised the reproofs and warnings given them. The True Witness condemns the lukewarm condition of the people of God, which gives Satan great power over them in this waiting, watching time. The selfish, and proud, and lovers of sin, are ever assailed with doubts. Satan has ability to suggest doubts and devise objections to the pointed testimony that God sends, and many think it a virtue and mark of intelligence in them to be unbelieving and questioning, and quibbling. Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and teachable spirit. All should decide from the weight of evidence.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 10}  
     Eternal life is of infinite value, and will cost us all that we have. It is evident that we do not place a proper estimate upon eternal things. Everything worth possessing, even in this world, must be secured by effort, and sometimes by most painful sacrifice. And this is merely for a perishable treasure. Shall we be less willing to endure conflict and toil, and to make earnest efforts and great sacrifices for the infinite treasure, which passes all estimate in value, and the duration of life which will measure with the Infinite? Can Heaven cost us too much? Faith and love are golden treasures, elements that are greatly wanting among God's people.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 11}  
     Faith in the soon coming of Christ is waning. "My Lord delayeth his coming" is said not only in the heart, but expressed in words, and most decidedly in works. Stupidity in this watching time is sealing the senses of God's people as to the signs of the times.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 12}  
     The terrible iniquity abounding calls for the greatest diligence, and for the living testimony, to keep sin out of the church. Faith has been decreasing to a fearful degree. Faith can only increase by exercise.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 13}  
     In the first rise of the third angel's message, those who engaged in the work of God had something to venture. They had sacrifices to make. They started this work in poverty, and suffered the greatest deprivations and reproach. They met determined opposition, which drove them to God in their necessity, and kept their faith alive. Our present plan of Systematic Benevolence amply sustains our ministers. And there is no want and no call for the exercise of faith as to a support. Those who start out now to preach the truth have nothing to venture. They have no risks to run, no especial sacrifices to make. The system of truth is made ready to their hand. Publications are provided for them, vindicating the truths they advance.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 14}  
     Some young men start out with no real sense of the exalted character of the work. They have not privations, and hardships, and severe conflicts to meet, which call for the exercise of faith. They do not cultivate practical self-denial, and cherish a spirit of sacrifice. Some are becoming proud and lifted up, and have no real burden of the work upon them. The True Witness speaks to these ministers, "Be zealous, therefore, and repent." These ministers are some of them so lifted up in pride that they are really a hindrance and a curse to the precious cause of God. They do not exert an influence which is saving upon others. There is need of these men being thoroughly converted to God themselves, and sanctified by the truths they present to others.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 15}  
     Very many feel impatient and jealous because they are frequently disturbed with warning and reproofs which keep their sins before them. Says the True Witness, "I know thy works." The motives, the purposes, and the unbelief, suspicions, and jealousies may be hid from men, but not from Christ. The True Witness comes as a counselor; "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 eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous, therefore, and repent. 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."  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 16}  
     Those who heed the testimony of warning, and zealously go about the work of separating their sins from them, in order to have the needed graces, will be opening the door of their hearts that the dear Saviour may come in and dwell with them. This class you will ever find in perfect harmony with the testimony of the Spirit of God.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 17}  
     Ministers who are preaching present truth should not neglect the solemn message to the Laodiceans. The testimony of the True Witness is not a smooth message. The Lord does not say to them, You are about right, you have borne chastisement and reproof that you never deserved, you have been discouraged unnecessarily by severity, you are not guilty of the wrongs and sins of which you have been reproved.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 18}  
     The True Witness declares that when you suppose you are really in a good condition of prosperity you are in need of everything. It is not enough for ministers to present theoretical subjects. They need to study the practical lessons Christ gave his disciples, and make a close application of the same to their own souls and to the people. Because Christ bears this rebuking testimony, shall we suppose that he is destitute of tender love to his people? Oh, no! He who died to redeem man from death, loves with a divine love. He rebukes those he loves. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." But many will not receive the message Heaven in mercy sends them. They cannot endure to be told of their wrongs, and of their neglect of duty, of their selfishness, their pride, and love of the world.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 19}  
     The servants of the Lord should bear a plain testimony. They should cry aloud and spare not, and show the people their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins. But there is a class who will not receive the message of reproof, and they raise their hands to shield those whom God would reprove and correct. They will ever be found sympathizing with those whom God would make to feel their true poverty.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 20}  
     The word of the Lord spoken through his servants, is received by many with questionings and fears. And many will defer their obedience to the warnings and reproofs given, waiting till every shadow of uncertainty is removed from their minds. The unbelief that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to the evidence God is pleased to give. God requires of his people faith that rests upon the weight of evidence, not perfect knowledge. The followers of Jesus Christ, those who accept of the light God sends them, must obey the voice of God speaking to them, when there are many other voices crying out against it. It requires discernment to distinguish the voice of God.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 21}  
     Those who will not act when the Lord calls upon them, waiting for more certain evidence, and more favorable opportunities, will walk in darkness, for the light will be withdrawn. The evidence given one day, if rejected, may never be repeated.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 22}  
     Tempted souls, whose hearts have ever been at war with the faithful reproving of sin, would cry, Speak unto us smooth things. What disposition will these make of the message of the True Witness to the Laodiceans? There can be no deception here. This message must be borne to a lukewarm church by God's servants. This message must arouse the people of God from their security and dangerous deception in regard to their real standing before God. This testimony, if received, will arouse to action, and lead to self-abasement, and confessions of sins. The True Witness says, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot." And again, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent." Then comes the promise, "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."  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 23}  
     These wrongs and sins, which have brought the people of God in their state of wretchedness, blindness, and poverty, must be seen, and they arouse to zealous repentance, and a putting away of these sins which have brought them into such a deplorable condition of blindness and fearful deception. The pointed testimony must live in the church. And this alone will answer to the message to the Laodiceans. Wrongs must be reproved, sins must be called sins, and iniquity must be met promptly and decidedly, and put away from us as a people.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 24}  
     Those whom God has chosen for an important work, have ever been received with distrust and suspicion. Anciently, when Elijah was sent with a message from God to the people, they did not heed the warning. They thought Elijah unnecessarily severe. He must, they thought, have lost his senses, that he would denounce them, the favored people of God, as sinners, and their crimes, so aggravating, that the judgments of God would awaken against them.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 25}  
     Satan and his host have ever been arrayed against those who bear the message of warning and reprove sins. The unconsecrated will be united with the adversary of souls, to make the work of God's faithful servants as hard as possible. Elijah, one of God's great and mighty prophets, as he fled for his life from the rage of Jezebel, an infuriated woman, a fugitive, weary and travel worn, desired to die rather than live. His bitter disappointment in regard to Israel's faithfulness crushed his spirits, and he felt that he could no longer put confidence in man. In the day of Job's affliction and darkness, he utters these words: "Let the day perish wherein I was born."  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 26}  
     When Ahab ruled Israel, the people departed from God and corrupted their ways before him under his perverted rule. "And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all of the kings that were before him."  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 27}  
     Ahab was weak in moral power. He did not have a high sense of sacred things. He was selfish and unprincipled. His union by marriage with a woman of decided character, and positive temperament, devoted to idolatry, made them both special agents of Satan to lead the people of God into idolatry and terrible apostasy. The determined spirit of Jezebel molded the character of Ahab. His selfish nature was incapable of appreciating the mercies of God to his people, his obligation to God, as the guardian and leader of Israel. The fear of God was daily growing less in Israel. The blasphemous tokens of their blind idolatry were to be seen among the Israel of God. There were none who dared to expose their lives by openly standing forth in opposition to the prevailing blasphemous idolatry. The altars of Baal, and the priests of Baal who sacrificed to the sun, moon, and stars, were conspicuous everywhere. They had consecrated temples and groves, wherein was placed the work of men's hands to worship. The benefits which God gave to this people called forth from them no gratitude to the Giver. For all the bounties of Heaven, the running brooks, and streams of living waters, the gentle dew, and showers of rain to refresh the earth, and to cause their fields to bring forth abundantly, they ascribed to the favor of their gods.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 28}  
     Elijah's faithful soul was grieved. His indignation was aroused, and he was jealous for the glory of God. He saw that Israel was plunged into fearful apostasy. He was overwhelmed with amazement and grief at the apostasy of the people when he called to mind the great things that God had wrought for them. But all this was forgotten by the majority of the people. He went before God, and with his soul wrung with anguish, plead for him to save his people if it must be by judgments. He plead with God to withhold from his ungrateful people dew and rain, the treasures of heaven, that apostate Israel might look in vain to their idols of gold, wood, and stone, the sun, moon, and stars, their gods, to water the earth and enrich it, and cause it to bring forth plentifully. God told Elijah he had heard his prayer. He would withhold from his people dew and rain, until they should turn unto him with repentance.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 29}  
     God had especially guarded his people from mingling with the idolatrous nations around them, lest their hearts should be deceived by their attractive groves and shrines, temples, and altars, all of which were arranged in the most expensive, alluring manner, to pervert the senses, so that God would be supplanted in their minds.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 30}  
     Jericho was a city devoted to the most extravagant idolatry. The inhabitants were very wealthy. All the riches that God had given them they accredited to the gifts of their gods. Gold and silver were in abundance. Like the people before the flood, they were corrupt and blasphemous. They insulted and provoked the God of Heaven by their wicked works. God's judgments awakened against Jericho. It was a stronghold. But the Captain of the Lord's host came himself from Heaven to lead the armies of Heaven in the attack upon the city. Angels of God laid hold of the massive walls and brought them to the ground. God had said that the city of Jericho should be accursed, and that all should perish except Rahab and her household. They should be saved because of the favor that Rahab showed the messengers of the Lord. The word of the Lord to the people was, "And ye in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it." "And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho; he shall lay the foundation thereof in his first-born, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it." Joshua 6:18, 26.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 31} 
     God was very particular in regard to Jericho, lest the people should be charmed with the things that the inhabitants had worshiped, and their hearts be diverted from him. He guards his people by most positive commands. Notwithstanding the solemn injunction from God by the mouth of Joshua, Achan ventured to transgress. His covetousness led him to take the treasures God had forbidden him to touch, because his curse was upon it. And because of this man's sin, the Israel of God were as weak as water before their enemies.  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 32}  
     Joshua and the elders of Israel were in great affliction. They lay before the ark of God in most abject humility, because the Lord was wroth with his people. Joshua and the elders of Israel prayed and wept before God. The Lord spoke to Joshua, "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them; for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed; neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you." 
                                                           E. G. W. 
                             (To be Continued.) 
                                                                -
  {RH, September 16, 1873 par. 33}  

September 23, 1873 The Laodicean Church.
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     In the case of the sin of Achan, God has shown how he regards sin among those who profess to be his commandment-keeping people. Those whom he has especially honored with witnessing the remarkable exhibitions of his power, as did ancient Israel, and that will venture to disregard his express directions, will be subjects of his wrath. God would teach his people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to him, and not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when his people are found in sin, they should at once take decided measures to put the sin from them, that his frown should not rest upon all his people. But if those in responsible positions pass over the sins of the people, his frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for the sins that exist in their midst. God, in his dealings with his people in the past, shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs that exist among them. One sinner may diffuse darkness which will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, then they should earnestly seek God in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve God's Spirit are searched out and put away from among them.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 1} 
     If wrongs exist among the people, and the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are guilty alike with the sinner, and will receive the displeasure of God just as surely as the sinner; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty. Those men who have excused wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable, and of lovely disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain and scriptural, duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 2}  
     The spirit of hatred which has existed with some because the wrongs among God's people have been reproved, has brought blindness and a fearful deception upon their own souls, making it impossible for them to discriminate between right and wrong. They have put out their own spiritual eyesight. They may witness wrongs, but they do not feel as did Joshua, and humble their souls in humiliation because the burden of souls is felt by them.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 3}  
     The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand, who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men, each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. "And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 4}  
     Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God, and murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them, and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! These, unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work, and holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of all the wicked, represented by the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those "that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done" in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in an agony, even sighing and crying. Read Ezekiel, chapter nine.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 5}  
     But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: "Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 6}  
     God said to Joshua (in the case of Achan's sins), "Neither will I be with you any more except ye destroy the accursed from among you." How does this instance compare with the course pursued by those who will not raise their voice against sin and wrong; but whose sympathies are ever found with those who trouble the camp of Israel with their sins? Said God to Joshua, "Thou canst not stand before thine enemies until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." He pronounced the punishment which should follow the transgression of his covenant.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 7}  
     Joshua then began a diligent search to find out the guilty one. He took Israel by their tribes, and then by their families, and next, individually. Achan was designated as the guilty one. But that the matter might be plain to all Israel, that there should be no occasion given them to murmur, and to say that the guiltless was made to suffer, Joshua used policy. He knew that Achan was the transgressor, and that he had concealed his sin, and provoked God against his people. Joshua discreetly induced Achan to make confession of his sin, that God's honor and justice should be vindicated before Israel. "And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done. Hide it not from me."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 8}  
     "And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 9}  
     God said to Joshua, that not only had Achan taken the things which he had positively charged them not to take, lest they be accursed, but had stolen, and also had dissembled. The Lord said that Jericho and all its spoils should be consumed, except the gold and silver, which was to be reserved for the treasury of the Lord. The victory obtained in taking Jericho was not through warfare, or the exposure of the people. The Captain of the Lord's host had led the armies of Heaven. The battle was the Lord's. The children of Israel did not strike a blow. It was the Lord who fought the battle. The victory and glory were the Lord's. The spoils were his. He directed it all to be consumed, except the gold and silver which he reserved for his treasury. Achan understood well the reserve made, and that the treasures of gold and silver which he coveted were the Lord's. He stole from God's treasury for his own benefit.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 10}  
     There are many who profess to keep the commandments of God who are appropriating to their own use the means which the Lord has intrusted to them, and which should come into his treasury. They rob God in tithes and in offerings. They dissemble, and withhold from God to their own hurt. They bring leanness and poverty upon themselves, and darkness upon the church, because of their covetousness, and in dissembling, in robbing God in tithes and in offerings.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 11}  
     Those who work in the fear of God to rid the church of hindrances, and to correct grievous wrongs, that the people of God may see the necessity of abhorring sin, and that they may prosper in purity, and the name of God be glorified, will ever meet with resisting influences from the unconsecrated. Zephaniah describes the true state of this class, and the terrible judgments that will come upon them.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 12}  
     "And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees; that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil." "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 13}  
     It is in time of conflict when the true colors should be flung to the breeze. It is then the standard-bearers need to be firm and let their true position be known. It is then the skill of every true soldier for the right is tested; shirks can never wear the laurels of victory. Those who are true and loyal will not conceal the fact, but will put heart and might in the work, and venture their all in the struggle, let the battle turn as it will. God is a sin-hating God. And those who will encourage the sinner, saying, It is well with thee, God will curse.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 14}  
     Confessions of sin made at the right time to relieve the people of God will be accepted of him. But there are those among us who will make confessions, as did Achan, too late to save themselves. God may prove them and give them another trial, for the sake of his people to evidence to them that they will not endure one test, one proving of God. They are not in harmony with right. They despise the straight testimony that reaches the heart, and they would rejoice to see every one silenced that gives reproof.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 15}  
     The people of Israel had been gradually losing their fear and reverence for God, until his word through Joshua had no weight with them. "In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his first-born, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 16}  
     While Israel was apostatizing, Elijah was a true prophet of God. He remained loyal and true to God. His faithful soul was greatly distressed as he saw that unbelief and infidelity were fast separating the children of Israel from God. Elijah prayed that God would save his people. He entreated that the Lord would not wholly cast away his sinning people, but by his judgments, if necessary, arouse them to repentance, and not permit them to go on to still greater lengths in sin, and thus provoke him to destroy them as a nation.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 17}  
     The message of the Lord came to Elijah to go to Ahab, with the denunciations of his judgments, because of the sins of Israel. Elijah traveled day and night until he reached the palace of Ahab. He solicited no admission, and waited not to be formally announced. All unexpectedly to Ahab, Elijah stands before the astonished king of Samaria in the coarse garments usually worn by the prophets. He made no apology for his abrupt appearance, without invitation. He raised his hands to heaven, and solemnly affirmed by the living God, who made the heavens and the earth, the judgments which would come upon Israel: "There shall be neither dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 18}  
     This startling denunciation of God's judgments because of the sins of Israel fell like a thunderbolt upon the apostate king. He seemed to be paralyzed with amazement and terror; and before he could recover from his astonishment, Elijah, without waiting to see the effect of his message, left as suddenly as he came. His work was to speak the word of woe from God, and he instantly withdrew. His word had locked up the treasures of heaven, and his word was the only key which could open them again.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 19}  
     The Lord knew that there was no safety for his servant among the children of Israel. He would not trust him with apostate Israel; but sent Elijah to find an asylum among a heathen nation. He directed him to a woman that was a widow, who was in such poverty that she could barely sustain life with the most meager fare. A heathen woman, living up to the best light she had, was in a more acceptable state with God than the widows of Israel who had been blessed with especial privileges, and great light, and who did not live according to the light which God had given them. As the Hebrews rejected light, they were left in darkness. God would not trust his servant among his people who had provoked his divine anger.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 20}  
     Now there is an opportunity for apostate Ahab and pagan Jezebel to test the power of their gods, and to prove the word of Elijah false. Jezebel's prophets are numbered by hundreds. Against them all, stands Elijah, alone. His word has locked heaven. If Baal can give dew and rain, and cause the vegetation to flourish, if he can cause the brooks and streams of water to flow on as usual, independent of the treasures of heaven, in the showers of rain, then let the king of Israel worship him, and the people say he is God.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 21}  
     Elijah was a man subject to like passions as ourselves. His mission to Ahab, and the terrible denunciation to him of the judgments of God, required courage and faith. On his way to Samaria, the perpetually flowing streams, the hills covered with verdure, the forests of stately, flourishing trees, everything his eye rested upon, flourishing in beauty and glory, would naturally suggest unbelief. How can all these things in nature so flourishing be burned with drought? How can these streams that water the land, and that have never been known to cease their flow, become dry? But Elijah did not cherish unbelief. He went forth on his mission at the peril of his life. He fully believed that God would humble his apostate people, and through the visitation of his judgments would bring them to humiliation and repentance. He ventured everything in the mission before him.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 22}  
     When Ahab recovers in a degree from his astonishment at the words of Elijah, the prophet was gone. He made diligent inquiry for him; but no one had seen him or could give any information respecting him. Ahab informed Jezebel of the word of woe that Elijah had uttered in his presence, and her hatred against the prophet was expressed to the priests of Baal. They unite with her in denouncing and cursing the prophet of Jehovah. The news of the prophet's denunciations are spread all through the land, arousing the fears of some and the wrath of many.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 23}  
     After a few months, the earth, unrefreshed by dew or rain, becomes dry, and vegetation withers. The streams of water that have never been known to cease their flow, decrease, and the brooks of water dry up. Jezebel's prophets offer their sacrifices to their gods, and call upon them night and day to refresh the earth by dews and rain. But their incantations and deceptions formerly practiced to deceive the people do not answer the purpose now. The priests have done everything to appease the anger of their gods, and with a perseverance and zeal worthy of a better cause, have they lingered around their pagan altars, while the flames of sacrifice burn on all the high places, and the fearful cries and entreaties of the priests of Baal are heard night after night through doomed Samaria. But the clouds do not appear in the heavens to cut off the burning rays of the sun. The word of Elijah stands firm, and nothing that Baal's priests can do will change the word spoken by Elijah.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 24}  
     An entire year passes, and another has commenced, and yet there is no rain. The earth is parched, as though a fire had passed over it. The flourishing fields become as the scorched desert. The air becomes dry and suffocating, the dust storm blinds the eyes, and nearly stops the breath. The groves of Baal are leafless, and the forest trees give no shade, but appear as skeletons. Hunger and thirst are telling upon man and beast with fearful mortality.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 25}  
     All this evidence of God's justice and judgment does not awaken Israel to repentance. Jezebel is filled with insane madness. She will not bend or yield to the God of Heaven. Baal's prophets, Ahab, Jezebel, and nearly the whole of Israel, charge their calamity upon Elijah. Ahab had sent to every kingdom and nation in search of Elijah, and he required an oath of the kingdoms and nations of Israel, that they knew nothing in regard to the strange prophet. Elijah locked heaven with his word, and had taken the key with him, and he could not be found.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 26}  
     Jezebel then decided, as she could not make Elijah feel her murderous power, that she would be revenged by destroying the prophets of God in Israel. No one who professed to be a prophet of God should live. This determined, infuriated woman executed her work of madness in slaying the Lord's prophets. Baal's priests and nearly all of Israel were so far deluded that they thought if the prophets of God were slain the calamity under which they were suffering would cease.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 27}  
     But the second year passes, and the pitiless heavens give no rain. Drought and famine are doing their sad work, and yet the apostate Israelites do not humble their sinful, proud hearts before God. But they murmur and complain against the prophet of God who has brought this dreadful state of things upon them. Fathers and mothers see their children perish with no power to relieve them. And yet they were in such terrible darkness that they could not see that the justice of God was awakened against them because of their sins; and that this terrible calamity was sent in mercy to them, to save them from fully denying and forsaking the God of their fathers.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 28} 
     It will cost Israel suffering and great affliction to bring them to that repentance necessary in order to recover their lost faith, and a clear sense of their responsibility to God. Their apostasy was more dreadful than drought or famine. Elijah waited and prayed in faith through the long years of drought and famine, that the hearts of Israel through their afflictions might be turned from their idolatry, to allegiance to God. Notwithstanding all their sufferings, they stood firm in their idolatry, and looked upon the prophet of God as the cause of their calamity. And if they could have had Elijah in their power they would have delivered him to Jezebel, that she might satisfy her revenge by taking his life. Because Elijah dared to utter the word of woe which God had bidden him, he has made himself the object of their hatred. They could not see God's hand in the judgments under which they were suffering because of their sins. They charged them to the man Elijah. They abhorred not the sins which had brought them under the chastening rod, but hated the faithful prophet, God's instrument, to denounce their sins and calamity. "And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go show thyself unto Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth."  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 29} 
     Elijah hesitated not to start on his perilous journey. He had been hated, and hunted from city to city by the mandate of the king, for three years, and the whole nation had given their oath that the prophet could not be found. And now Elijah, by the word of God, is to present himself before Ahab. Through the apostasy of all Israel, the governor of Ahab's house has proved faithful to God while his master is a worshiper of Baal. He had, at the risk of his own life, preserved the prophets of God, by hiding them by fifties in a cave, and feeding them. While the servant of Ahab is searching throughout the kingdom for springs and brooks of water, Elijah presents himself before him. Obadiah reverenced the prophet of God, and as Elijah sends him with a message to the king, he is greatly terrified. He sees danger and death to himself and also Elijah. He pleads earnestly that his life might not be sacrificed; but Elijah assures Obadiah with an oath that he will see Ahab that day. The prophet will not go to Ahab, but as one of God's messengers to command respect, he sends by Obadiah a message, "Behold, Elijah is here." If Ahab wants to see Elijah, he has now the opportunity to come to him. Elijah will not go to Ahab. 
                           (To be Continued.) 
                                                                -
  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 30}  

September 30, 1873 The Laodicean Church (Continued) 
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     The king heard the message with astonishment, mingled with terror, that Elijah, whom he feared and hated, was coming to meet him. He had long sought for the prophet, that he might destroy him, and he knew that Elijah would not expose his life to come to him, unless guarded, or with some terrible denunciation. He remembered the withered arm of Jeroboam, and he decides that it is not safe to lift up his hand against the messenger of God. And with fear and trembling, and with a large retinue, he hastened with imposing display of armies to meet Elijah. And as he meets the man he has so long sought for, face to face, he dared not harm him. The king, so passionate, and filled with hatred against Elijah, seems to be powerless and unmanned in his presence. As he met the prophet, he could not refrain from speaking the language of his heart, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" Elijah, indignant and jealous for the honor and glory of God, answers the charge of Ahab with boldness, "I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord."  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 1}  
     The prophet, as God's messenger, had reproved their sins, and denounced the judgments of God because of their wickedness. Elijah, standing alone in conscious innocence, firm in his integrity, surrounded by the train of armed men, shows no timidity, neither does he show the least reverence to the king. The man whom God has talked with, who has a clear sense of how God regards man in his sinful depravity, has no apology to make to Ahab, nor homage to give him. Elijah, now as God's messenger, commanded, and Ahab obeyed at once the command, as though Elijah was monarch, and he subject.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 2}  
     Elijah demands a convocation of all Israel at Carmel, and also all the prophets of Baal. The awful solemnity in the looks of the prophet gives him the appearance of one standing in the presence of the Lord God of Israel. The condition of Israel in their apostasy demanded a firm demeanor, stern speech, and commanding authority. God prepares the message to fit the time and occasion. Sometimes God puts his Spirit upon his messengers to send an alarm day and night, as did his messenger John, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." Then, again, men of action are needed, who will not be swerved from duty, but whose energy will arouse, and demand, "Who will be on the Lord's side," let him come over with us. God will have a fitting message to meet his people in their various conditions.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 3}  
     Swift messengers are sent throughout the kingdom with the message from Elijah. Representatives are sent from towns, villages, cities, and families. All seem in haste to answer the call as though some wonderful miracle was to be performed. Ahab, according to Elijah's command, gathers the prophets of Baal at Carmel. The heart of Israel's apostate leader is overawed, and he tremblingly follows the direction of the stern prophet of God.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 4}  
     The assembly was upon Mount Carmel, a place of beauty when the dew and rain fall upon it, causing it to flourish. But now the beauty of Carmel has languished under the curse of God. Upon Mount Carmel, which was the excellency of groves and of flowers, Baal's prophets had erected their altars for their pagan worship. This mountain was conspicuous, and overlooked the surrounding countries. As upon Mount Carmel God had been signally dishonored by idolatrous worship, Elijah chose this as the place most conspicuous for the display of God's power and to vindicate his honor. It was in sight of a large portion of the kingdom. Jezebel's prophets, eight hundred and fifty in number, like a regiment of soldiers prepared for battle, march out in a body with instrumental music, and imposing display. But there was trembling in their hearts as they considered that, at the word of this prophet of Jehovah, the land of Israel had been destitute of dew and rain three years. They felt that some fearful crisis was at hand. They had trusted in their gods, but could not unsay the words of Elijah, and prove him false. But their gods were indifferent to their frantic cries, prayers, and sacrifices.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 5}  
     Elijah, early in the morning, stands upon Mount Carmel, surrounded by apostate Israel and the prophets of Baal. He stands undaunted, he, a lone man, in that vast multitude. The man whom the whole kingdom has charged with its weight of woe is before them, unterrified, unattended by visible armies and imposing display. He stands, clad with his coarse garment, with awful solemnity in his countenance, as though fully aware of his sacred commission, as the servant of God, to execute his commands. Elijah fastened his eyes upon the highest ridge of mountains, where had once stood the altar of Jehovah, when the mountain was covered with flourishing trees and flowers. The blight of God was now upon it, and all the desolation of Israel was in full view of the neglected and torn-down altar of Jehovah, and in sight were the altars of Baal. Ahab stands at the head of the priests of Baal, and all wait in anxious, fearful expectation for the words of Elijah.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 6}  
     In the full light of the sun, surrounded by thousands, men of war, the prophets of Baal, and the monarch of Israel, stands the defenseless man, Elijah, apparently alone, yet not alone. The most powerful host of Heaven surround him. Angels that excel in strength have come from Heaven to shield the faithful and righteous prophet.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 7}  
     Elijah, with stern and commanding voice, cries out, "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word." Not one in that vast assembly dare utter one word for God, and show their loyalty to Jehovah.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 8}  
     What astonishing deception and fearful blindness had, like a dark cloud, covered Israel. This blindness and apostasy had not closed about them suddenly, but it had come upon them gradually, as they had not heeded the word of reproof and warning which the Lord had sent to them because of their pride and their sins. They, in this fearful crisis, in the presence of the idolatrous priests and the apostate king, remain neutral. If God abhors one sin above another, of which his people are guilty, it is of doing nothing in a case of emergency. Indifference or neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime; and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 9} 
 
                        False Teachers Exposed. 

     All Israel is silent. Again the voice of Elijah is heard addressing them, "I only am a prophet of the Lord, whilst Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made."  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 10} 
     The proposition of Elijah is reasonable. The people dare not evade it, and they find courage to answer, "The word is good." The prophets of Baal dare not dissent or evade the matter. God has directed this trial, and has prepared confusion for the authors of idolatry, and a signal triumph for his name. The priests of Baal dare not do otherwise than accept the conditions. With terror and guiltiness in their hearts, but outwardly bold and defiant, they rear their altar, lay on the wood and the victim, and then begin their incantations, their chanting and howling, characteristic of pagan worship. Their shrill cries re-echo through forests and mountains, "O Baal, hear us." The priests gather in an army about their altars, and with leaping and unnatural gestures, and writhing and screaming, and stamping, and tearing their hair, and cutting themselves, they manifest apparent sincerity.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 11}  
     But the morning is gone, and noon has come, and yet there has been no move of their gods in pity to Baal's priests, the deluded worshipers of idols. No voice answers their frantic cries. The priests are continually devising how, by deception, they can kindle the fire upon the altars, and give the glory to Baal. But the firm eye of Elijah watches every motion. Eight hundred voices become hoarse. Their garments are covered with blood, and yet their frantic excitement does not abate. Their pleadings are mingled with cursings to their sun-god that he does not send fire for their altar. Elijah stands by, watching with eagle eye lest any deception should be practiced; for he knew if they could, by any device, kindle their altar-fire, he would be torn in pieces upon the spot. He wishes to show the people the folly of their doubts, and their halting between two opinions, when they have the wonderful works of God's majestic power in their behalf, and innumerable evidences of his infinite mercies and loving-kindness toward them. "And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god: either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 12}  
     How gladly would Satan, who fell like lightning from Heaven, come to the help of those whom he had deceived, and whose minds he had controlled, and who were fully devoted to his service. Gladly would he have sent the lightning and kindled their sacrifices; but Jehovah had set Satan's bounds. He had restrained his power, and all his devices could not convey one spark to Baal's altars. Evening draws on. The prophets of Baal are wearied, faint, and confused. One suggests one thing, and one, another, until they cease their efforts. Their shrieks and curses no longer resound over Mount Carmel. With weakness and despair, they retire from the contest.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 13}  
     The people have witnessed the terrible demonstrations of the unreasonable, frantic priests. They have witnessed their leaping upon the altar, as though they would grasp the burning rays from the sun to serve their altars. They have become tired of the exhibitions of demonism, of pagan idolatry; and they feel earnest and anxious to hear what Elijah will speak.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 14}  
     Elijah's turn has now come. "And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name; and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God."  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 15}  
     Elijah, at the hour of evening sacrifice, repairs the altar of God which the apostasy of Israel has allowed the priests of Baal to tear down. He does not call upon one of the people to aid him in his laborious work. The altar of Baal are all prepared; but Elijah turns to the broken-down altar of God which is more sacred and precious to him in its unsightly ruins than all the magnificent altars of Baal.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 16}  
     Elijah respected the Lord's covenant with his people, although they had apostatized. With calmness and solemnity, he repaired the broken-down altar with twelve stones, according to the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. The disappointed priests of Baal, wearied with their vain, frenzied efforts, were sitting or lying prostrate on the ground, waiting to see what Elijah would do. They were filled with fear and hatred toward the prophet for proposing the test which had exposed their weakness and the inefficiency of their gods.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 17}  
     The people of Israel stand spell-bound, pale, anxious, and almost breathless with awe, while Elijah calls upon Jehovah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The people have witnessed the fanatical, unreasonable frenzy of the prophets of Baal. Now they are privileged to witness the calm and awe-inspiring deportment of Elijah, in contrast. He reminded the people of their degeneracy, which had awakened the wrath of God against them, and then calls upon them to humble their hearts, and turn to the God of their fathers, that his curse may be removed from them. Ahab and his idolatrous priests are looking on with amazement mingled with terror. They await the result with anxious, solemn silence.  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 18}  
     After the victim was laid upon the altar, he commanded the people to flood with water the sacrifice, and the altar, and fill the trench round about the altar. Elijah then reverentially bows before the unseen God, raises his hands toward Heaven, and offers a calm and simple prayer, unattended with violent gestures, or contortions of the body. No shrieks resound over Carmel's height. A solemn silence, which is oppressive to the priests of Baal, rests upon them all. In his prayer, Elijah makes use of no extravagant expressions. He prays to Jehovah as though he was nigh, witnessing the whole scene, and hearing his sincere, fervent, yet simple prayer. Baal's priests had screamed, and foamed, and leaped, and prayed, very long--from morning until near evening. Elijah's prayer was very short, earnest, reverential, and sincere. No sooner had his prayer been uttered, than flames of fire in a distinct manner, like a brilliant flash of lightning, descended from Heaven, kindling the wood for sacrifice, and consuming the victim, licking up the water in the trench, and consuming even the stones of the altar. The brilliancy of the blaze is painful to the eyes of the multitude, and illumes the mountain. The people of the kingdom of Israel, not gathered upon the mount, are watching with interest the gathering of the people upon the mount. As the fire descends, they witness it, and are amazed at the sight. It resembles the pillar of fire at the Red Sea, which by night separated the children of Israel from the Egyptian host. 

                                               -
  {RH, September 30, 1873 par. 19}  

October 7, 1873 The Laodicean Church.
-
(Concluded.)
-

     The people upon the mountain prostrate themselves in terror and awe before the unseen God. They cannot look upon the bright, consuming fire sent from Heaven. They fear that they will be consumed in their apostasy and sins. They cry out with one voice, which resounds over the mountain, and echoes to the plains below them with terrible distinctness, "The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God." Israel is at last aroused and undeceived. They see their sin and how greatly they have dishonored God. Their anger is aroused against the prophets of Baal. With fearful terror, Ahab and Baal's priests witnessed the wonderful exhibition of Jehovah's power. Again is heard, in startling words of command, the voice of Elijah to the people, "Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape." And the people were ready to obey the word of Elijah. They seized the false prophets who had deluded them, and brought them to the brook Kishon, and there Elijah, with his own hand, slew these idolatrous priests.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 1}  
     The judgments of God have been executed upon the false priests; the people have confessed their sins, and have acknowledged their fathers' God; and now the withering curse of God is to be withdrawn, and he will again refresh the earth with dew and rain, renewing his blessings unto his people.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 2}  
     Elijah addressed Ahab, "Get thee up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of abundance of rain." While Ahab went up to feast, Elijah went up from the fearful sacrifice to the top of Mount Carmel to pray. His work of slaying the pagan priests did not unfit him for the solemn exercise of prayer. He had performed the will of God. After he had, as God's instrument, done what he could to remove the cause of Israel's apostasy, in slaying the idolatrous priests, he could do no more. He then intercedes in behalf of sinning, apostate Israel. In the most painful position, he bowed with his face between his knees, and most earnestly supplicated God to send rain. Six times successively he sent his servant to see if there was any visible token that God had heard his prayer. He would not become impatient and faithless because the Lord did not immediately give the token that his prayer was heard. He continued in earnest prayer, sending his servant seven times, to see if God had granted any signal. His servant returned the sixth time from his outlook toward the sea, with the discouraging report that there was no sign of clouds forming in the brassy heavens. The seventh time he informed Elijah that there was a small cloud to be seen, about the size of a man's hand. This was enough to satisfy the faith of Elijah. He did not wait for the heavens to gather blackness, to make the matter sure. In that small, rising cloud, his faith hears the sound of abundance of rain. Elijah's works are in accordance with his faith. He sends a message to Ahab by his servant, "Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not."  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 3} 
 
                            Elijah's Humility. 

     Here Elijah ventured something upon his faith. He did not wait for sight. "And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel."  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 4}  
     Elijah had passed through great excitement and labor through the day; but the Spirit of the Lord came upon him because he had been obedient, and had done his will in executing the idolatrous priests. Some would be ready to say, What a hard, cruel man Elijah must have been! And any one who shall defend the honor of God at any risk, will bring censure and condemnation upon himself from a large class. The rain began to descend. It was night, and the blinding rain prevented Ahab from seeing his course. Elijah, nerved by the Spirit and power of God, girded his coarse garment about him, and ran before the chariot of Ahab, guiding his course to the entrance of the city. The prophet of God had humiliated Ahab before his people. He had slain his idolatrous priests, and now he wished to show to Israel that he acknowledges Ahab as his king. As an act of special homage, he guided his chariot, running before it to the entrance of the gate of the city.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 5}  
     Here is a lesson for young men who profess to be servants of God, bearing his message, who are exalted in their own estimation. There is nothing remarkable they can trace in their experience, as could Elijah, yet they feel above performing duties which appear to them menial. They will not come down from their ministerial dignity to do needful service, fearing they are doing the work of a servant. All such should learn from the example of Elijah. His word locked the treasures of heaven, the dew and rain, from the earth, three years. His word alone was the key to unlock heaven, and bring showers of rain. He was honored of God as he offered his simple prayer in the presence of the king and the thousands of Israel, and, in answer, fire flashes from heaven, and kindles the fire upon the altar of sacrifice. His hand executed the judgment of God in slaying eight hundred and fifty priests of Baal; and yet, after the exhausting toil of the day, he who could bring down fire from heaven, and bring the clouds and the rain, after a day of most signal triumph, was willing to perform the service of a menial, and run before the chariot of Ahab in the darkness, and wind, and rain, to serve the sovereign he had not feared to rebuke to his face because of his crimes and sins. The king passed within the gates. Elijah wrapped himself in his mantle and lay upon the bare earth.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 6}  
     After Elijah had shown such undaunted courage in contest between life and death, after he had triumphed over the king, priests, and people, we would naturally suppose that he would never give way to despondency, or be awed into timidity.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 7}  
     After his first appearance to Ahab, denouncing upon him the judgments of God because of his and Israel's apostasy, God directed his course from Jezebel's power to a place of safety in the mountains, by the brook Cherith. He honored Elijah by sending food to him morning and evening, by an angel of Heaven. Then as the brook became dry he sent him to the widow of Sarepta and wrought a miracle daily, to keep the widow's family and Elijah in food. After he had been blessed with evidences of such love and care from God, we would suppose Elijah would never distrust God. But the apostle tells us he was a man of like passions as we, and subject, as we are, to temptations.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 8}  
     Ahab related to Jezebel the wonderful events of the day, and the wonderful exhibitions of the power of God, showing that Jehovah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, was God, and that Elijah had slain the prophets of Baal. This woman was hardened in sin, and she became infuriated. Jezebel, bold, determined, and defiant in her idolatry, declared to Ahab that Elijah should not live.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 9}  
     That night a messenger aroused the weary prophet, and delivered the word of Jezebel, in the name of her pagan gods, that she would, in the presence of Israel, do to Elijah as he had done to the priests of Baal. Elijah should have met this threat and oath of Jezebel with an appeal for protection to the God of Heaven, who had commissioned him to do the work he had done. He should have told the messenger that the God in whom he trusted would be his protector against the hatred and threats of Jezebel. But the faith and courage of Elijah seemed to forsake him. He starts up from his slumbers bewildered. The rain is pouring from the heavens, and darkness is on every side. He loses sight of God. He flees for his life as though the avenger of blood was close behind him. He leaves his servant behind him, on the way, and in the morning, he is far from the habitation of man, upon a dreary desert alone.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 10}  
     "And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horab the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?"  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 11}  
     Elijah should have trusted in God who had warned him when to flee, and where to find an asylum from the hatred of Jezebel, secure from the diligent search of Ahab. The Lord had not warned him, at this time, to flee. He had not waited for the Lord to speak to him. He moved rashly. God would have shielded his servant, and would have given him another signal victory in Israel, in sending his judgments upon Jezebel, had he waited with faith and patience.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 12}  
     Weary and prostrate, Elijah sat down to rest. He was discouraged, and felt like murmuring. He said, "Now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers." He feels that life is no more desirable. He expected, after the signal display of God's power in the presence of Israel, that they would be true and faithful to God. He expected that Jezebel would no longer have influence over the mind of Ahab, and that there would be a general revolution in the kingdom of Israel. When the threatening message which has come from Jezebel is delivered to him, he forgets that God is the same all-powerful and pitiful God that he was when he prayed to him for fire from Heaven, and it came, and for rain, and it came. God had granted every request; yet Elijah is a fugitive, far from the homes of men, and wishing never to look upon man again.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 13}  
     How did God look upon his suffering servant? Did he forsake him because despondency and despair had seized him? Oh! no. Elijah was prostrated with discouragement. All day had he toiled without food. When he guided the chariot of Ahab, running before it to the gate of the city, he was strong of courage. He had high hopes of Israel, that, as a nation, they would return to their allegiance to God, and again be reinstated in his favor. But the reaction which frequently follows elevation of faith, marked and glorious success, was pressing upon Elijah. He was exalted to Pisgah's top, to be humiliated in the lowliest valley in faith and feeling. But God's eye is still upon his servant. He loves him no less while he is feeling broken-hearted and forsaken of God and man, than when, in answer to his prayer, the fire flashed from Heaven, illuminating Carmel.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 14}  
     Those who have not borne weighty responsibilities, who have not been accustomed to feel very deeply, cannot understand the feelings of Elijah, and be prepared to give him the tender sympathy he deserves. God knows, and can read, the heart's sore anguish under temptation and severe conflict. As Elijah slept under the juniper tree, a soft touch and pleasant voice aroused him. He starts at once in his terror, as if to flee, as though his enemy, in pursuit of his life, had indeed found him. But in the pitying face of love bent upon him, he sees not the face of an enemy, but a friend. An angel of God has been sent with food from Heaven to sustain the faithful servant of God. His voice says to Elijah. "Arise and eat." After Elijah had partaken of the refreshment prepared for him, he again slumbered. The second time the angel of God ministers to the wants of Elijah. He touches the exhausted, weary man, and in pitying tenderness says to him, "Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee." Elijah was strengthened, and pursued his journey to Horeb. He was in a wilderness. He lodged in a cave for protection at night from the wild beasts.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 15}  
     Here God met with Elijah through one of his angels, and inquired of him, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" I sent thee to the brook Cherith, I sent thee to the widow of Sarepta, I sent thee to Samaria with a message to Ahab, but who sent you this long journey into the wilderness? And what errand have you here? Elijah mourns out his bitterness of soul to the Lord. "And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and break in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 16}  
     Then the Lord manifests himself to Elijah, showing him that quiet trust, and firm reliance upon him, will ever find him a present help in time of need.  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 17}  
     The servant of God may have courage, knowing that he has a pitying Heavenly Father who reads the motives and understands the purposes of the soul. Those who stand in the front of the conflict, who are reined up by the Spirit of God to do a special work for him, will frequently feel the reaction, when the pressure is removed, and despondency may press them hard, and shake the most heroic faith, and weaken the most steadfast minds. God understands all our weaknesses. He can pity and love when the hearts of men may be as hard as flint. To wait patiently and trust in God when everything looks dark, is the lesson his servants must learn more fully. God will not fail them in integrity.                                             E. G. W. 
                                                                -
  {RH, October 7, 1873 par. 18}  


THE  SEVENTH  CHURCH  --  OF  THE  LAODICEANS

     “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:  I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that 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.  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.” Revelation 3:14-22.


Review and Herald,  vol 1, November, 1850, #1 “The Laodicean Church”, p 8
     Is this the true church?  God forbid!  Why, methinks the very angels in heaven would shudder to see them appear there in their present state.  Will they grow any better?  If the past is a criterion by which to judge, we answer, never, no, never.  Then you that hope for salvation, flee quickly, flee, I say, for your lives!  You have not one moment to spare.  Utter destruction awaits every soul that is found in this Laodicean state....
     Seventh state, Laodicea signifies, the judging of the people, "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness."  "I know thy word, 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."  Verses 16,17.  This state neither cold nor hot, represents their unsettled state...and thus they have been continually sinking into a lukewarm state, neither one thing nor yet another.  In this state it is impossible for them to be saved; for Jesus says that he will spue them out of his mouth, or destroy them.
     "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" verse 17....
     "I counsel of thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, [present truth, that has stood the trial of six years opposition, and now is shining brighter and brighter,] that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, [righteousness, or righteous acts of the saints,] and eye-salve that thou mayest see."  [See the present truth.]  Verse 18.  Jesus counsels no one to buy of him earthly riches, &c., no; it is the present truth that the Laodiceans must have to be saved.  "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent."  Verse 19.  Jesus still loves some that are in the Laodicean church, and calls on them to repent.  If they were deceived by false teachers, they must leave them as soon as possible, and be "zealous" and "repent;" for every one that is found in that state when Jesus leaves the Sanctuary, and ceases to plead for the honest ones among them, will be destroyed.  They must get back into the open door in the Philadelphia church that no man can shut, where they came from; for that is the only true church, or place of safety.  Read, in verse 20, the last, loving message of Jesus to you, - "Behold I stand at the door, and knock.  If any man hear my voice, and open the door, [the door of the heart,] I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  Jesus will commune with you if you will open your heart and receive the truth.  "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne."  Thus the promise is extended from verse 18th to the 22d.  Now is the time to repent and turn to the truth.  Be quick!  Hasten for your life!!
     Jesus is cleansing the Sanctuary, or is blotting out the errors of the house of Israel.  When this work is finished, he will take his place on the great white cloud.  Then, the seven Angels will pour out the seven last plagues.  This will begin the "great day of his wrath," Rev.vi,17.  This is the day of Babylon's plagues.  Her plagues will come in one prophetic "day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her."  Rev.xviii,8.
     "In all the land saith the Lord; TWO PARTS therein shall be cut off, and die; but the THIRD shall be left therein.  God says he will bring the THIRD PART through the fire, and refine them.  They shall call upon him, and he will hear them.  He will say IT IS MY PEOPLE; and they shall say the LORD IS MY GOD."  First part, SARDIS, the nominal church or Babylon.  Second part, Laodicea, the nominal Adventist.  Third part, Philadelphia, the only true church of God on earth, for they ask to be translated to the city of God.  Rev.iii,12; Heb.xii,22-24.  In the name of Jesus, I exhort you again to flee from the Laodiceans, as from Sodom and Gomorrah.  Their teachings are false and delusive; and lead to utter destruction.  Death!  DEATH!! eternal DEATH!!!  is on their track.  Remember Lot's wife.


Review and Herald, vol 8, October 16, 1856, #24, p 189-190
     Laodicea signifies, "the judging of the people," or, according to Cruden, "a just people," and fitly represents the present state of the church, in the great day of atonement, or judgment of the "house of God" while the just and holy law of God is taken as a rule of life....
     But, dear brethren, how humbling to us as a people is the sad description of this church.  And is not this dreadful description a most perfect picture of our present condition?  It is; and it will be of no use to try to evade the force of this searching testimony to the Laodicean church.  The Lord help us to receive it, and to profit by it.  What language could better describe our condition as a people, than this addressed to the Laodiceans?  "Neither hot nor cold," but "lukewarm."  It will not do, brethren, to apply this to the nominal churches, they are to all intents and purposes, "cold."  And the nominal Adventists are even lower than the churches, who justly look down upon them with horror for the infidel views, held by many of them, of no Sabbath, no family prayer, no Devil, no operation of the Holy Ghost, no pre-existence of the Son of God, and no resurrection of the unjust.
     The word "hot," represents the fervency, zeal and good works which are in accordance with the scriptures.  This is not our condition; yet the feeble efforts put forth by us as a people are such that we cannot be said to be "cold."  We are "lukewarm."  "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."  These are words of dreadful import.  A thorough change is the only hope of the remnant.  Here follows the reason why we are so offensive to the Lord:  "Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing."  We may not have boasted of our gold, silver, or of this world's goods; but have we not had, more or less, an exulting and an exalted spirit, in view of our position on plain Bible truth?  Our positions are fully sustained by an overwhelming amount of direct scriptural testimony; and certainly a theory of divine truth is indispensable; but we, as a people, have evidently rested down upon a theory of truth, and have neglected to seek Bible humility, Bible patience, Bible self-denial, and Bible watchfulness, and sacrifice, Bible holiness, and the power and gifts of the Holy Ghost, which the church may enjoy, according to the plain testimony of the Bible.  Hence it is said, "And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."  What a condition!
     And it is to be feared that many a poor Laodicean is so fast in this delusive snare, as to never fully feel the force of the counsel of the Saviour, to buy of him "gold tried in the fire," "white raiment," and "eyesalve."  These we cannot regard as representing the present truth, but rather, the graces of the Spirit, and attainments in the Christian course, which the present truth should lead us most earnestly to seek for.  "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent."  God's honest people will feel greatly rebuked and chastened by this description of their condition, and they will repent, heartily, zealously; but from the words, "as many," &c., we may fear for some, whose self-righteousness, and self-dependence, have carried them beyond the reach of the reproving Spirit, and the counsel of the true Witness.  Dear brethren, read and weep over the touching language from His lips which follows.  It is to you.
     "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."  How careless many of you have been of the reproofs and warning which the dear Saviour has given for your benefit.  He has been slighted and shut out by you till his locks are wet with the dew of night.  O, open your hearts to him.  Let your hard hearts break before him.  O, let him in.  A deep work of consecrating yourselves and all you have to him, will be necessary to prepare the way for him to come in and sup with you and you with him.  We dwell with pleasure upon this affectionate, this touching figure.  What an illustration of communion with Christ!  Who would not joyfully spread the table, and open the door for the dear Saviour to partake with them the last meal of the day, were he now a pilgrim on earth as at the first advent?  This we cannot do; but we can do those things required of us, and prepare the way of the Lord in our own hearts.  Covetousness, pride, selfishness, and love of the world must be put out of the heart before the Saviour will come in.  O, be not deceived.  Take the declarations of Christ and the apostles, which point out your duty as Christians, especially those which apply to you in the last stage of the church, while waiting for the coming of the Son of man, and let that word, like a two-edged sword, pierce your heart.  O, ye Laodiceans, our mouth is open unto you.  Be not deceived as to your real condition.  Christ will spue you out of his mouth unless you are zealous and repent.  Are you honoring the Lord with your substance, or are you covetous and worldly?  Are you laying up treasure on earth, or in heaven?  Is your love for the cause, and the salvation of your fellow-men increasing? or is it waning away?  Are you more watchful of your words, and the spirit you manifest? or are you growing careless, and losing your power to watch?  Are you dying daily, so that pride is put out of your heart? or does it find a rich soil and flourish there?  If the latter be your case in all these questions, no marvel that the dear Saviour is shut out, and now knocks for admission.
     Dear brethren, we must overcome the world, the flesh and the Devil, or we shall have no part in the kingdom of God.  Read the gracious promise to those of the Laodiceans who overcome.  "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."  Those only who suffer with Christ will reign with him.  We have much to overcome.  May God help us to set about the work with zeal.  Our guide in this work must be the plain word of God as it reads.  That exposes our sins, and declares what we must be.  If we are zealous and repent, and overcome, according to that word, we shall reign with Christ.  If not, Christ will spue us out of his mouth, cast us off for ever.
     Dear brethren, lay hold of this work at once, and in faith claim the gracious promises to the repenting Laodiceans.  Arise in the name of the Lord, and let your light shine to the glory of his blessed name.


Uriah Smith, Biblical Institute, p 250-252
     The last message is to the church of Laodicea.  This word signifies, the judging of the people; or according to Cruden, a just people.  And either of these definitions would apply to the time and people between the close of the first message, and the end of time; for in this period of the cleansing of the sanctuary the judgment of the people is going forward, and the result will finally be, "a just people;" a people freed from all their sins.
     This applies to the last generation of the church; and there is in this testimony that which should startle and arouse us.  This church, with the light respecting the soon coming of Christ shining clearly forth, and that great event even at the door, is found in a lukewarm, half-hearted, indifferent condition; and at the same time, the members deceived with the idea that they are rich and have need of nothing.  In this condition they are very offensive to God.  Not because in themselves they are worse than other people have been, or are, but because, having greater light, they should occupy a very advanced position.  "Therefore." says the True Witness, "I council thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich."  That is, love and faith working together, hand in hand to make them rich in good works, and rich toward God.  They are counseled to buy white raiment; that is, to put on a robe of righteousness, or to have their characters conform wholly to the law of God.  They are counseled also, to anoint their eyes with eyesalve that they may see.  This eyesalve is the unction from on high, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which gives us the true discernment in spiritual things.  And God's people, during this time, will be rebuked and chastened by him until they become zealous and repent.
     Christ stands at the door and knocks; and the promise is to him that will open the door that Christ will come in to him, and sup with him and he with Christ.  This denotes a union such as no church has ever before enjoyed; and an outpouring of the Spirit, and an exercising of the heavenly graces beyond anything in the previous experience of the church.  This is, without doubt, the arising of the "day star in the hearts" of believers, spoken of in 2Pet.1:19, and the time of refreshing spoken of by Peter in Acts 3:19, which the church is to experience just before the coming of Christ.  And they need this work wrought for them to enable them to stand during the fearful scenes with which the world's history shall close.
     Here it is, undoubtedly, that the parable of the wedding garment (Matt.22:11-13) applies.  The king comes in to see the guests, which is an examination of our characters in the sanctuary above.  A man is found there, not having on the wedding garment, or not prepared to stand the test of the Judgment; he is cast out into outer darkness.  And right in this critical time, when our cases in the sanctuary are pending, and we are unprepared for that searching test, the True Witness comes to us with an earnest entreaty to buy of him the white raiment, or to secure while we may the wedding garment to be prepared for the King when he shall come in to see the guests, and to bid those who are ready, to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  If we fail to heed this testimony, and so do not provide ourselves with gold, white raiment, and eyesalve, Christ here says, "I will spew thee out of my mouth."  The parable says, which is the same thing, that we shall be bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness.  Both expressions denote an utter and final rejection of the unfaithful.
     To the overcomer is here given a promise of sitting with Christ on his throne, as he has overcome and is now sitting with his Father in his throne.  This shows that Christ occupies two thrones; first, with his Father, where he in now seated, and has been ever since his ascension to Heaven; and secondly, the throne of his own kingdom, the throne of his father David, when he shall commence his reign immediately after his priestly work is done.


Uriah Smith, Daniel and Revelation, p 399-412
     Laodicea signifies the judging of the people, or, according to Cruden, a just people.  The message to this church brings to view the closing scenes of probation.  It reveals a period of judgment.  It is the last stage of the church.  It consequently applies to believers under the third message, the last message of mercy before the coming of Christ (see chapter 14:9-14), while the great day of atonement is transpiring, and the investigative Judgment is going forward upon the house of God, - a period during which the just and holy law of God is taken by the waiting church as their rule of life.
     These Things Saith the Amen. - This is, then, the final message to the churches ere the close of probation.  And though the description of their condition which he gives to the indifferent Laodiceans is fearful and startling, nevertheless it cannot be denied;  for the Witness is "faithful and true."  Moreover, he is "the beginning of the creation of God."  Some attempt by this language to uphold the error that Christ was a created being, dating his existence anterior to that of any other created being or thing, next to the self-existent and eternal God.  But the language does not necessarily imply that he was created;  for the words, "the beginning of the creation,"  may simply signify that the work of creation, strictly speaking, was begun by him.  "Without him was not anything made."  Others, however, and more properly we think, take the word to mean the "agent" or "efficient cause," which is one of the definitions of the word, understanding that Christ, is the agent through whom God has created all things, but that the Son came into existence in a different manner, as he is called "the only begotten" of the Father.  It would seem utterly inappropriate to apply this expression to any being created in the ordinary sense of that term.
     The charge he brings against the Laodiceans is that they are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold.  They lack that religious fervency, zeal, and devotion which their position in the world's closing history, with the light of prophecy beaming upon their pathway, demands that they should manifest;  and this lukewarmness is shown by a lack of good works;  for it is from a knowledge of their works that the faithful and true Witness brings this fearful charge against them.
     I Would Thou Wert Cold or Hot. - Three states are brought to view in this message, - the cold, the lukewarm, and the hot.  It is important to determine what condition they each denote, in order to guard against wrong conclusions.  Three conditions of spiritual life which pertain to the church, not to the world, are to be considered.  What the term hot means it is not difficult to conceive.  The mind at once calls up a state of intense fervency and zeal, when all the affections, raised to the highest pitch, are drawn out for God and his cause, and manifest themselves in corresponding works.  To be lukewarm is to lack this zeal, to be in a state in which heart and earnestness are wanting; in which there is no self-denial that costs anything, no cross-bearing that is felt, no determined witnessing for Christ, and no valiant aggression that keeps sinews strained and armor bright;  and, worst of all, it implies entire satisfaction with that condition.  But to be cold - what is that?  Does it denote a state of corruption, wickedness, and sin, such as characterizes the world of unbelievers?  We cannot so regard it, for the following reasons:-
     1.  It would seem harsh and repulsive to represent Christ as wishing, under any circumstances, that persons should be in such a condition;  but he says, "I would thou were cold or hot."
     2.  No state can be more offensive to Christ than that of the sinner in open rebellion, and his heart filled with every evil.  It would therefore be incorrect to represent him as preferring that state to any position which his people can occupy while they are still retained as his.
     3.  The threat of rejection in verse 16 is because they are neither cold nor hot.  As much as to say that if they were either cold or hot, they would not be rejected.  But if by cold is meant a state of open worldly wickedness, they would be rejected therefor very speedily.  Hence such cannot be its meaning.
     We are consequently forced to the conclusion that by this language our Lord has no reference whatever to those outside of his church, but that he refers to three degrees of spiritual affections, two of which are more acceptable to him than the third.  Heat and cold are preferable to lukewarmness.  But what kind of spiritual state is denoted by the term cold?  We may remark first that it is a state of feeling.  In this respect it is superior to lukewarmness, which is a state of comparative insensibility, indifference, and supreme self-satisfaction.  To be hot is also to be in a state of feeling.  And as hot denotes joyous fervency, and a lively exercise of all the affections, with a heart buoyant with the sensible presence and love of God, so by cold would seem to be denoted a spiritual condition characterized by a destitution of these traits, yet one in which the individual feels such destitution, and longs to recover his lost treasures.  This state is well expressed by the language of Job, "O that I knew where I might find him!"  Job23:3.  In this state there is not indifference, nor is there content;  but there is a sense of coldness, unfitness, and discomfort, and a groping and seeking after something better.  There is hope of a person in this condition.  What a man feels that he lacks and wants, he will earnestly strive to obtain.  The most discouraging feature of the lukewarm is that they are conscious of no lack, and feel that they have need of nothing.  Hence it is easy to see why our Lord should prefer to behold his church in a state of comfortless coldness, rather that in a state of comfortable, easy, indifferent lukewarmness.  Cold, a person will not long remain.  His efforts will soon lead him to the fervid state.  But lukewarm, there is danger of his remaining till the faithful and true Witness is obliged to reject him as a nauseous and loathsome thing.
     I Will Spue Thee out of My Mouth. - Here the figure is still further carried out, and the rejection of the lukewarm expressed by the nauseating effects of tepid water.  And this denotes a final rejection, an utter separation from his church.
     Rich, and Increased with Goods. - Such the Laodiceans think is their condition.  They are not hypocrites, because they "know not" that they are poor, miserable, blind, and naked.
     The Counsel Given Them. - Buy of me, says the true Witness, gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.  This shows at once to the deceived Laodiceans the objects they lack, and the extent of their destitution.  It shows too, where they can obtain those things in which they are so fearfully poor;  it brings before them the necessity of speedily obtaining them.  The case is so urgent that our great Advocate in the court above sends us special counsel on the point;  and the fact that he who has condescended to point out our lack, and counsel us to buy, is the one who has these things to bestow, and invites us to come to him for them, is the best possible guarantee that our application will be respected, and our requests granted.
     But by what means can we buy these things? - Just as we buy all other gospel graces.  "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money;  come ye, buy, and eat;  yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."  Isa.55:1.  We thus buy by the asking;  buy by throwing away the worthless baubles of earth, and receiving priceless treasures in their stead;  buy by simply coming and receiving;  buy, giving nothing in return.  And what do we buy on these gracious terms? - Bread that perishes not, spotless raiment that soils not, riches that corrupt not, and an inheritance that fadeth not.  Strange traffic, this! yet thus the Lord condescends to deal with his people.  He might compel us to come in the manner and with the mien of beggars;  but instead of this he gives us the treasures of his grace, and in return receives our worthlessness, that we may take the blessings he has to bestow, not as pittances dealt out to mendicants, but as the legitimate possessions of honorable purchase.
     The things to be obtained demand especial notice.  They are enumerated as follows:-
     1.  Gold Tried in the Fire. - Gold, literally considered, is the comprehensive name for all worldly wealth and riches.  Figuratively, it must denote that which constitutes spiritual riches.  What grace, then, is represented by the gold, or, rather, what graces? for doubtless no one single grace can be said to answer to the full import of that term.  The Lord said to the church of Smyrna that he knew their poverty, but they were rich;  and the testimony shows that their riches consisted of that which was finally to put them in possession of a crown of life.  Says James. "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?"  "Faith," says Paul, "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  To be "rich toward God," - rich in the spiritual sense, - is to have a clear title to the promises, - to be an heir of that inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us.  "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."  Gal.3:29.  And how do we obtain this heirship? - In the same way that Abraham obtained the promise;  that is, through faith.  Rom.4:13,14.  No wonder, then, that Paul should devote an entire chapter in Hebrews (chapter 11) to this important subject, setting forth the mighty achievements that have been accomplished, and the precious promises that have been obtained, through faith;  and that he should, in the first verse of the next chapter, as the grand conclusion to his argument, exhort Christians to lay aside every weight, and the sin (of unbelief) that so easily besets them.  Nothing will sooner dry up the springs of spirituality, and sink us into utter poverty in reference to the things of the kingdom of God, than to let faith go out and unbelief come in.  For faith must enter into every action that is pleasing in his sight;  and in coming to him, the first thing is to believe that he is;  and it is through faith, as the chief agent under the grace which is the gift of God, that we are to be saved.  Heb.11:6;  Eph.2:8.
     From this it would seem that faith is a principal element of spiritual wealth.  But if, as already remarked, no one grace can answer to the full import of the term gold, so, doubtless, other things are included with faith.  "Faith is the substance of things hoped for," says Paul.  Hence hope is an inseparable accompaniment of faith.  Heb.11:1;  Rom.8:24,25.
     And again Paul tells us that faith works by love, and speaks in another place of being "rich in good works."  Gal.5:6; 1Tim.6:18.  Hence love cannot be separated from faith.  We then have before us the three objects associated together by Paul in 1Cor.13, - faith, hope, and charity, or love;  and the greatest of these is charity.  Such is the gold tried by fire which we are counseled to buy.
     2.  White Raiment. - On this point there would not seem to be much room for controversy.  A few texts will furnish a key to the understanding of this expression.  Says the prophet, Isa.64:6, "All our righteousness are as filthy rags."  We are counseled to buy the opposite of filthy rags, which would be complete and spotless raiment.  The same figure is used in Zech.3:3,4.  And John, in the 19th chapter of the Revelation, verse 8, says plainly that "the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
     3.  The Eye-salve. - On this there is as little room for a diversity of opinion as upon the white raiment.  The anointing of the eyes is certainly not to be taken in a literal sense; and, reference being made to spiritual things, the eye-salve must denote that by which our spiritual discernment is quickened.  There is but one agent revealed to us in the word of God by which this is accomplished, and that is the Holy Spirit.  In Acts10:38 we read that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost."  And the same writer through whom came this Revelation from Jesus Christ, wrote to the church in his first epistle (chapter 2:20) as follows:  "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things."  In verse 27 he enlarges upon this point thus:  "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you:  but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."  By referring to his Gospel, it is found that the work which he here sets forth as accomplished by the anointing is exactly the same that he there attributes to the Holy Spirit.  John14:26:  "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."  (See also John16:13.)
     Thus in a formal and solemn manner are we counseled by the faithful and true Witness, under the figures of gold, white raiment, and eye-salve, to seek from him, speedily and earnestly, an increase of the heavenly graces of faith, hope, charity, that righteousness which he alone can furnish, and an unction from the Holy Spirit.  But how is it possible that a people lacking these things should think themselves rich and increased with goods?  A plausible inference may here be drawn, which is perhaps also a necessary one, as there is room for no other.  It will be observed that no fault is found with the Laodiceans on account of the doctrines they hold.  They are not accused of harboring any Jezebel in their midst, or of countenancing the doctrines of Balaam or the Nicolaitanes.  So far as we can learn from the address to them, their belief is correct, and their theory sound.  The inference therefore is that having a correct theory, therewith they are content.  They are satisfied with a correct form of doctrine without its power.  Having received light concerning the closing events of this dispensation, and having a correct theoretical knowledge of the truths that pertain to the last generation of men, they are inclined to rest in this to the neglect of the spiritual part of religion.  It is by their actions, doubtless, not by their words, that they say they are rich, and increased with goods.  Having so much light and so much truth, what can they want besides?  And if, with a commendable tenacity, they defend the theory, and in the letter, so far as their outward life is concerned, conform to the increasing light upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, is not their righteousness complete?  Rich, and increased with goods, and needing nothing!  Here is their failure.  Their whole being should cry out for the spirit, the zeal, the fervency, the life, the power, of a living Christianity, and their righteousness should consist in a swallowing up of self and all its works in the merits of their Redeemer.
     The Token of Love. - This, strange as it may seem, is chastisement.  "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten."  If we are without chastisement, we are not sons.  Heb.12.
     "A general law," says Thompson, "Of his gracious economy is here set forth.  As all need chastisement in some measure, they in some measure receive it, and thus have proof of the Saviour's attachment.  This is a hard lesson to learn, and believers are dull scholars;  yet here and throughout God's word and providence it stands, that trials are his benedictions, and that no child escapes the rod.  The incorrigibly misshapen and coarse-grained blocks are rejected, while those chosen for the glorious structure are subjected to the chisel and the hammer.  There is no cluster on the true vine but must pass through the winepress.  'For myself,' said an old divine under affliction, 'for myself, I bless God I have observed and felt so much mercy in this angry dispensation of God that I am almost transported.  I am, surely, highly pleased with thinking how infinitely sweet his mercies are, when his judgments are so gracious.'  In view, then, of the origin and design of the chastisements you receive, 'Be zealous and repent.'  Lose no time;  lose not a blow of the rod, but repent at once.  Be fervent in spirit.  Such is the first appliance of encouragement."
     Be Zealous and Repent. - Although, as we have seen, the state represented by coldness is preferable to one of lukewarmness, yet that is not a state in which our Lord ever desires to find us.  We are never exhorted to seek that state.  There is a far better one which we are counseled to attain:  and that is to be zealous, to be fervent, and to have our hearts all aglow in the service of our Master.
     Christ Knocking at the Door. - Let us listen again to the author above quoted:  "Here is the heart of hearts.  Notwithstanding their offensive attitude, their unlovely character, such is his love to their souls that he humbles himself to solicit the privilege of making them blessed.  'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.'  Why does he?  Not because he is without home elsewhere.  Among the mansions in his Father's house there is not one entrance closed to him.  He is the life of every heart, the light in every eye, the song on every tongue, in glory.  But he goes round from door to door in Laodicea.  He stands at each, and knocks, because he came to seek and to save that which is lost, because he cannot give up the purpose of communicating eternal life to as many as the Father has given him, and because he cannot become known to the inmate unless the door be opened and a welcome given him.  Have you bought a piece of ground? have you bought five yoke of oxen? is your hat in your hand, and do you pray to be excused?  He knocks and knocks.  but you cannot receive company at present;  you are worn out with labor;  you have wheeled round the sofa;  you are making yourself comfortable, and send word that you are engaged.  He knocks and knocks. . . . It is the hour for church prayer-meeting or for monthly concert;  there is opportunity to pay a Christian visit to an individual or a family;  but you move not.... Oh, nauseous lukewarmness!  Oh, fatal worldliness!  The Lord of glory comes all the way from his celestial palace - comes in poverty, in sweat, in blood - comes to the door of a professed friend, who owes all to him, and cannot get in! - comes to rescue a man whose house is on fire, and he will not admit him!  Oh, the height, the depth, of Jesus Christ's forbearance!  Even the heathen Publius received Paul, and lodged him three days courteously.  Shall nominal Christians tell the Lord of apostles that they have no room for him?"
     If Any Man Hear My Voice. - The Lord entreats, then, as well as knocks.  And the word if implies that some will not hear.  Though he stands and knocks and entreats till his locks are wet with the dews of night, yet some will close their ears to his tender entreaties.  But it is not enough simply to hear.  We must hear, and open the door.  And many who at first hear the voice, and for a time feel inclined to heed, will doubtless, alas! fail in the end to do that which is necessary to secure to themselves the communion of the heavenly Guest.  Reader, are your ears open to the entreaties which the Saviour directs to you?  Is the sound of his voice a welcome sound?  Will you heed it?  Will you open the door and let him in?  Or is the door of your heart held fast by heaps of this world's rubbish, which you are unwilling to remove?  Remember that the Lord of life never forces an entrance.  He condescends to come and knock, and seek admittance;  but he takes up his abode in those hearts only where he is then a welcome and invited guest.
     And then the promise!  "I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  How forcible and touching the figure!  Friend with friend, partaking of the cheerful and social meal!  Mind with mind, holding free and intimate converse!  And what a festal scene must that be where the King of glory is a guest!  No common degree of union, no ordinary blessing, no usual privilege, is denoted by this language.  Who, under such tender entreaty and so gracious a promise, can remain indifferent?  Nor are we required to furnish the table for this exalted Guest.  This he does himself, not with gross nutriment of earth, but with viands from his own heavenly storehouse.  Here he sets before us foretastes of the glory soon to be revealed.  Here he gives us earnests of our future inheritance, which is incorruptible, undefiled, and fadeth not away.  Verily, when we shall comply with the conditions, and receive this promise, we shall experience this rising of the day star in our hearts, and behold the dawn of a glorious morning for the church of God.
     The Final Promise. - The promise of supping with his disciples is made by the Lord before the final promise to the overcomer is given.  This shows that the blessings included in that promise are to be enjoyed in this probationary state.  And now, superadded to all these, is the promise to the overcomer:  "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."  Here the promises of the Lord culminate.  From being at first rebellious, and then fallen, degraded, and polluted, man is brought by the work of the Redeemer back into reconciliation with God, cleansed from his pollutions, redeemed from the fall, made immortal, and finally raised to a seat upon the very throne of his Saviour.  Honor and exaltation could go no farther.  Human minds cannot conceive that state, human language cannot describe it.  We can only labor on till, if overcomers at last, we shall "know what it is to be there."
     In this verse there is not only a glorious promise, but there is also an important doctrine.  We learn by this that Christ reigns consecutively upon two thrones.  One is the throne of his Father, the other is his own throne. He declares in this verse that he has overcome, and is now set down with his Father in his throne.  He is now associated with the Father in the throne of universal dominion, placed at his right hand, far above all principality, power, might, and dominion.  Eph.1:20-22, etc.  While in this position, he is a priest-king.  He is a priest, "a minister of the sanctuary;"  but at the same time he is "on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens."  Heb.8:1,2.  This position and work of our Lord was thus predicted by the prophet Zechariah:  "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts [God], saying, Behold the man whose name is the Branch [Christ];  and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord....And he [Christ] shall sit and rule upon his [God's] throne;  and he [Christ] shall be a priest upon his {God's} throne;  and the counsel of peace [in the sacrifice and priestly work of Christ in behalf of repenting man] shall be between them both."  Zech.6:12,13.  But the time is coming when he is to change his position, and, leaving the throne of his Father, take his own throne;  and this must be when the time comes for the reward of the overcomers;  for when they enter upon their reward, they are to sit with Christ on his throne, as he has overcome, and is now seated with the Father upon his throne.  This change in the position of Christ is set forth by Paul in 1Cor.15:24-28, as follows:-
     "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;  when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For he hath put all things under his feet.  But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
     The truths taught in this portion of Scripture may perhaps be most briefly expressed by a slight paraphrase, and by giving, in every instance, instead of the pronouns, the nouns to which they respectively refer.  Thus:-
"Then cometh the end (of the present dispensation), when Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom (which he now holds conjointly with the Father) to God, even the Father;  when God shall have put down all rule and all authority and power (that is opposed to the work of the Son).  For Christ must reign (on the throne of his Father) till the Father hath put all enemies under Christ's feet.  But when God saith, All things are put under Christ (and he commences his reign upon his own throne), it is manifest that God is excepted, who did put all things under Christ.  And when all things shall be subdued unto Christ, then shall Christ also himself be subject unto God that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
     That this is a correct version of this scripture may be easily verified.  The only question that can be raised is concerning the persons to whom the pronouns refer;  and any attempt to make the pronouns refer to Christ which in the foregoing paraphrase are referred to God, will be found, when traced through the quotation, to make poor sense of Paul's language.
     From this it will be seen that the kingdom which Christ delivers up to the Father is that which he holds at the present time upon his father's throne, where he tells us he is now seated.  He delivers up this kingdom at the end of this dispensation, when the time comes for him to take his own throne.  After this he reigns on the throne of his father David, and is subject only to God, who still retains his position upon the throne of universal dominion.  In this reign of Christ the saints participate.  "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne."  "And they lived," says John, dating from the first resurrection (chapter 20:4), "and reigned with Christ a thousand years."  This we understand to be a special reign, or for a special purpose, as will be noticed in that chapter;  for the actual reign of the saints is to be "forever and ever."  Dan.7:18,27.  How can any earthly object divert our gaze from this durable and heavenly prospect?
     Thus close the messages to the seven churches.  How pointed and searching their testimony!  What lessons do they contain for all Christians in all ages!  It is as true with the last church as with the first, that all their works are known to Him who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.  From his scrutinizing gaze nothing can be hidden.  And while his threatenings to the hypocrites and evil workers, as in justice they may be, are awful, how ample, how comforting, how gracious, how glorious, his promises to those who love and follow him with singleness of heart!
Gracious words of counsel, messages of love,
Sent to all his children from the Lord on High:
Precious are these warnings from the throne above,
As the world's last crisis swiftly draweth nigh.
Weak and all unworthy we, his children, are -
Pure and perfect must be ere we see his face;
Now for us the Saviour shows his tender care,
Offering for our purchase every heavenly grace.
Let each boundless promise every bosom thrill,
Bear us through sad ills this world has ever known.
Till we reach the mansions on God's holy hill,
Till we sit with Jesus on his glorious throne.


Why the Laodiceans are Not Part of Philadelphia

Many Laodicean groups, especially those who publicly consider themselves to be Philadelphian or the most faithful to HWA's teachings, fail to realize what Jesus the main reason was that He condemned the Laodiceans for.

Notice Jesus' own words to

...the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:14-16).

Jesus condemned the Laodiceans for their work. Not because it was no good (cold), but because it was not hot.

Is it because the Laodiceans continue the work of the Philadelphians? Is it because they place the same priority, the same financial emphasis on continuing the work of the Philadelphia era?

No, to both questions.

Why? Because this is what Jesus said to "church in Philadelphia write,

These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name" (Revelation 3:7-8).

The Laodiceans have a different work. Yet it is the Philadelphians that continue the SAME WORK until the end. That is what HWA's COG used to teach:

Philadelphia has little strength to do this great work that God has given it to do. God has opened the door, and yet look how insignificant, how weak, how little strength we as a Church have to do that work...Revelation 3:7-13: "And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that OPENETH, and no man SHUTTETH; and SHUTTETH and no man openeth." The great door that God has opened to this work is the facility to go into all the world and preach the gospel; the door of radio, the door of the printing press, plus many other such doors. God has set before us an open door and no MAN can shut it. God can shut it, and He will when the work is finished and the Philadelphia Church goes to a place of safety. ...The Laodicean Church is not going to be worthy to escape to a place of safety. When it is too late, they will find that the Church of Philadelphia has gone to safety.

 The Philadelphia work was to continue until the close of probation


Today's Laodiceans Seem to be the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees!

Many today believe that simply keeping the law and serving God as they see fit is fine. So did ancient peoples:

How can you say, "We are wise, And the law of the Lord is with us?" Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood. The wise men are ashamed, They are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord; So what wisdom do they have? (Jeremiah 8:8-9).

The parallels are undeniable. The Maccabeans started out intending to be faithful, but then drifted to become the Sadducees, Pharisees, and others which were apparently not part of the Old Testament Church. Many of those that originally left WCG, left for valid reasons as well, but then drifted. There are many individuals and groups which were once part of WCG which appear to fall into the camp of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Of course, in all groups that profess Christ there are likely to be Pharisaical individuals, but there are certainly many that were one part of the old WCG who seem to be.

Suppose He had tried to join with, and work with the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the hypocritical Scribes of the days of His earthly Ministry. JESUS DIDN'T DO THAT! He called young men -- fishermen, tax collectors -- took them into HIS OWN PRIVATE SCHOOL -- so to speak -- taught them the TRUE Gospel God had sent Him to proclaim, trained them for carrying on GOD'S WORK! 

The Pharisees, Sadducees, and many others in Jesus' day, simply would not back doing the work. Sadly, this same situation occurs today.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
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