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Notes for

Revelation Chapter Three


1. John 8:28-29 His power came through the Spirit

Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father has taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father has not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.

Hebrews 5:7-9 While on earth He needed someone to save Him

Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him that was able to save Him from death [through sin], and was heard in that He feared [or listened and was obedient]; though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered [experienced]; and being made perfect, He became the author [and example] of eternal salvation to all them that obey him...

In His introduction Jesus reminds this church that He worked with the Holy Spirit when He was on earth and so should they. The leaders (the angels of the churches) have done that, but this church/time are in need of a reminder.

Genesis 1:2 The Spirit had been on earth since the beginning

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Nehemiah 9:19-21 He was with the people of the exodus from Egypt

Yet You in Your manifold mercies forsook them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud [in which Jesus hid His glory] departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go. You gave also Your good Spirit to instruct them, and withheld not Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years did You sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.

John 14:16-17 He is with us forever

And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you.

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2. John 14:6

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.

Jesus is saying to this church, "Men may think you are great but I don’t. You spend your time arguing about matters of no special importance."

These are harsh words from He who is the Truth! But this is how God sees the time which historians call "The Reformation." From Martin Luther on through John Calvin to John Knox, from Thomas Cramer to the Wesley brothers (the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, the Anglicans, the Methodists etc.), the "Protestants", as they came to be called, consistently failed to follow on with Jesus and come back to the basis of the Ten Commandments. They literally fought and killed one another over differences on belief, as well as fighting with the Roman Catholic church.

And today the violence continues! Not so much with earthly weapons (although that is happening in Ireland) as with words and doctrine. The unity of the professed Christian church has been split into a thousand pieces. They have taken the name of the "Peacemaker" in vain.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Exodus 20:7

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

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3. Matthew 24:27 Not easy to miss!

For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Watch out, you may miss Me, Jesus told them! He is obviously not speaking of His second coming, for that cannot be missed. It is His coming to the wedding before the ancient/ of days that He means. Not only did they miss it, but this church/time rejected it completely when faced with it. Even today it is considered "the most colossal, psychological, face-saving phenomenon in religious history!"

The article below was authored by a prominent Protestant Evangelical minister in the 1950’s.

 

Are Seventh-Day Adventists Christians?

by Donald Grey Barnhouse

[All emphasis mine]

..". It will be impossible to understand the movement unless it is realised that most of the Adventists before 1844 kept Sunday, were found in dozens of denominations, and had no common doctrine or organisation. In their disappointment little segments of these disillusioned people drew together. One of the segments kept Saturday as the Sabbath. Still another of the segments believed in conditional immortality and soul-sleeping, and a third segment fell upon the doctrine of 'the investigative judgment.'

"The latter doctrine, to me, is the most colossal, psychological, face-saving phenomenon in religious history! It would further seem to me that the various segments, each with a distinctive doctrine not held by the majority of Christendom, drew together and consolidated on the basis of the acceptance of each other's peculiar heterodox teachings. The error of conditional immortality [no immortal soul] and the error of Sabbatarianism [the seventh day Saturday as the Sabbath] are both well known. That of the 'investigative judgment', however, now requires further explanation.

"On the morning after the 'Great Disappointment' [October 23, 1844], two men were going through a corn field in order to avoid the pitiless gaze of their mocking neighbours to whom they had given their final witness and had said an eternal goodbye the day before. To put it in the words of Hiram Edson (the man in the corn field who first conceived this peculiar idea), he was overwhelmed with the conviction, 'That instead of our High Priest coming out of the Most Holy of the heavenly sanctuary to come to this earth on the tenth day of the seventh month at the end of the 2,300 days He for the first time entered on that day the second apartment of that sanctuary and that He had work to perform in the Most Holy before coming to this earth.'

"It is to my mind, therefore nothing more than a human, face-saving idea!"

 

Hebrews 4:14 - 5:5 We have a High Priest and He has something to do

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man takes this honour to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made a high priest; but He that said to Him, You are My Son, today have I begotten You.

Come back to basics, Jesus told them. Strengthen the things which remain, which are ready to die.

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4. Hosea 6:3

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord, that His goings forth are prepared as the morning [and as bright]."

Only "a few" in this church/time, not many, wanted His way!

Thank God, He can keep His people in a place where they shall not defile their garments. If we submit to Christ, we shall be kept unspotted from the world.

We are to follow on. We are not to rest content with the capabilities and the knowledge of to-day. All the inhabitants of the universe are watching, as in these last days God is preparing a people to stand in the judgment. Let us ask God to clothe us with the robe of Christ's righteousness, that we may be prepared for the coming of the Son of man.

Of those who have not defiled their garments, Christ says, "They shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy."

Through infinite sacrifice made in our behalf, we may have an abundance of grace. God has a whole heaven full for us. All He asks is that by living faith we receive His promises, saying: "I do believe. I do accept the blessings which You have for those who love You."

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5. The expression, "He that overcomes," indicates that there is something for every one of us to overcome.

O, what a privilege it is to be an overcomer, and to have our names presented before the Father by the Saviour himself! And when, as overcomers, we shall be "clothed in white raiment," the Lord will acknowledge our faithfulness as verily as in the days of the early Christian church He acknowledged the "few names even in Sardis" who had "not defiled their garments;" and we shall walk with Him in white, for through His atoning sacrifice we shall be accounted worthy.

It means much to be an overcomer. The besetments of the enemy and all his evil agencies must be firmly resisted. Every moment we must be on guard. Not for one instant are we to lose sight of Christ, and of His power to save in the hour of trial. Our hand must be placed in His, that we may be upheld by the power of His might.

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6. Exodus 32:32-33 The blotting out

[Moses pleaded] Yet now, if You will forgive their sin --; and if not, blot me, I pray You, out of Your book which You have written. And the LORD said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.

"He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not" - Oh, how precious is that "not"! — "I will not [have to] blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels."

When the gates of the city of God swing back on their glittering hinges, and the nations who have kept the truth shall enter in, Christ will be there to welcome us, to call us the blessed of the Father, because we have overcome. He will welcome us before the Father, and before His angels. As we enter the kingdom of God, there to spend eternity, the trials and the difficulties and the perplexities that we have had here will sink into insignificance. Our life will measure with the life of God.

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7. Luke 13:23-30 The new open door will one day be closed too

Then said one to Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said to them, Strive to enter in at the strait [difficult] gate: for many, I say to you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and you begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say to you, I know you not where you are [from]: then shall you begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in your presence, and you have taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not where you are [from]; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

The "shut" door in Revelation 3:7 is the one leading into the first apartment of the sanctuary. It was "closed" on the Day of Atonement by a regulation which forbade any man from being in that room while the cleansing of the sanctuary was going on (not the cleansing of the individual). The first room was for the daily (or continual) forgiveness and daily cleansing that the individual sinners in Israel required and therefore the effect of the regulation was that the "cleansing of the sanctuary" could not begin until every sinner had confessed and been forgiven, or had rejected all opportunity to do so.

Leviticus 16:17 The law

And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he [the high priest] goes in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.

The "open" door Jesus mentions is the one leading into the second apartment. When the time for "daily" sinners had ceased to be needed, then the high priest went into that room on his final mission for the day, but he had been doing some of the "daily" work before that.

Because our "day" of atonement began in 1844 and is still continuing in 1999, while that of ancient/ Israel was only one 24 hour period, this means that the daily forgiveness and cleansing that sinners in Israel require today is being granted to us by the Priest of the second apartment, if we use the sanctuary to illustrate the working of Jesus.

What this means in practice, is that not only are forgiveness and daily cleansing available to Christians today, but also the opportunity to stop sinning and allow Jesus to be relieved of His burden. He is actually asking us to believe that we can stop sinning completely by using His presence and power. It was this understanding that He tried to get through to His people in October 1844! He wants us to believe that he is stronger than sin or Satan.

One day, as we saw in the parable of the ten bridesmaids, the wise ones in the church will do that and the foolish ones will be left with a second apartment shut door. In Noah's day there came a time when the door of the ark was shut and those who had neglected to enter it were lost. So when the "wise" Christians enter into the second apartment in its fullness, those who are still sinners in Israel will be forever lost.

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8. Matthew 17:20

... for verily I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

A battle is continually going on between the forces for good and the forces for evil, between the angels of God and the fallen angels. We are beset before and behind, on the right hand and on the left. The conflict that we are passing through is the last we shall have in this world. We are now in the midst of it. Two parties are striving for the supremacy. In this conflict we cannot be neutral. We must stand either on one side or on the other. If we take our position on the side of Christ, if we acknowledge Him before the world in word and work, we are bearing a living testimony as to whom we have chosen to serve and honour. In this important period of earth's history, we can not afford to leave any one in uncertainty as to whose side we are on.

The True Witness declares: "Behold, I have set before you an open door." Let us thank God with heart and soul and voice; and let us learn to approach to Him as through an open door, believing that we may come freely with our petitions, and that He will hear and answer. It is by a living faith in His power to help, that we shall receive strength to fight the battles of the Lord with the confident assurance of victory.

Our Redeemer testifies: "Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it." Through this open door into the temple of God, we see the royal law, deposited in the ark of the testament. Through this open door, light shines from that holy, just, and good law, presenting to man the true standard of righteousness, that he may make no mistake in the formation of a character that will meet the requirements of God. Sin is condemned by that law; we must put it away. Pride and selfishness can find no place in the character without crowding out him who was meek and lowly of heart.

The law of God is the standard by which character is to be tested; if we erect a standard to suit ourselves, and attempt to follow a criterion of our own devising, we shall utterly fail to secure heaven at last. We are altogether too selfish, loving our own way and cherishing our mistakes. Many have received as a birthright traits of character that do no honour to the cause of God, and through wrong education these have developed into marked defects. Many have become sharp, domineering, critical of others. They choose to put their own mould on the cause of God, thus marring the work, forgetting that the signet of Christ should be placed upon themselves and upon their labours in his cause.

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9. Philippians 2:5-11 This is the foundation of Christianity

Let this mind be in you [don't struggle for it], which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God [for that was His position as the Son of God]: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men [by being born of Mary]: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him [publicly], and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

When the synagogue of Satan bow to Jesus they will also be bowing to those who have His "mind" or character.

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10. 1 Peter 4:12-13 It should be a great time to see the salvation of the Lord

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you:but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.

2 Peter 2:9 God knows how to protect His own

The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished:

Just as surely as we have a personal Saviour, we have also a personal adversary.

In this Scripture is brought to view the hour of temptation that is to try ALL them that dwell upon the earth. We are now living in this trying hour. There is no escape for any from this conflict and it will get fiercer and fiercer, until it reaches the time called "Jacob's trouble." The religious laws of the world will catch you in their web. If in your life there are defective traits of character that you are not striving to overcome, you may be assured that the enemy will endeavour to take advantage of them; for he is watching vigilantly, seeking to spoil the faith of every one.

In order to gain the victory over every besetment of the enemy, we must lay hold on a power that is out of and beyond ourselves. We must maintain a constant, living connection with Christ, who has power to give victory to every soul that will maintain an attitude of faith and humility. If we are self-sufficient, and think that we may go on just as we please, and yet hope to come out on the right side finally, we shall find that we have made a terrible mistake. As those who hope to receive the overcomer's reward, we must press forward in the Christian warfare, though at every advance we meet with opposition.

Daniel 12:1 We have read about this before

And at that time shall Michael stand up [when all the decisions have been made], the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and [then] there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

The problem sinners in Israel face today is that no one knows when the last of the "wise" will enter in to the wedding. It could be at any moment (or it could be years), but one thing is sure, those not prepared will be left out by their own choice, because if the others can get in, so can they. Can we afford to take the chance?

Remember that when the door of Noah's ark was shut no one outside realised what had happened. It did not rain for seven days and the world carried on in its normal way for that period. When the rain came and the sinners woke up to what was happening it was too late!

Genesis 7:9-10

There went in two and two to Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

That's why Jesus pleads with us,

Matthew 24:44

Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.

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11. Revelation 7:13-15 The saints’ position is with God

And one of the elders answered, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they [where did they come from]? And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.

Exodus 28:36-38 The "crown" of overcoming

And you shall make a plate of pure gold, and engrave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And you shall put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre [turban]; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron's [the high priest’s] forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Exodus 29:6

And you shall put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.

Revelation 14:1 The word "name" equals "character" in Scripture

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads.

Nothing can be more helpless and yet more invincible than the Christian who feels his or her nothingness, and relies wholly upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. God would send every angel in heaven to the aid of the one who places his whole dependence on Christ, rather than allow him to be overcome.

If we accept Christ as our Guide, He will lead us safely along the narrow way. The road may be rough and thorny, and the ascent steep and dangerous; there may be pitfalls on the right hand and on the left. When weary and longing for rest, we may have to toil on; when faint, we may have to fight; but with Christ as our Guide, we shall not fail of reaching heaven. Christ Himself has trodden the rough path before us, smoothing it for our feet. The way is illuminated by Him who is the light of the world. As we follow in His footsteps, the path grows brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.

"To him that overcomes, 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."

We can overcome. Yes; fully, entirely. Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that we might overcome every fault, resist every temptation, and sit down at last with Him in His throne.

It is our privilege to have faith and salvation The power of God has not decreased. It would be just as freely bestowed now as formerly; but the church have lost their faith to claim, their energy to wrestle, as did Jacob, crying, "I will not let Thee go, except thou bless me." Enduring faith has been dying away. It must be revived in the hearts of God's people. They must claim the blessing. Faith, living faith, always leads upward to God and glory; unbelief, downward to darkness and death.

Many are so absorbed in their worldly cares and perplexities that they have little time to pray, and feel but little interest in prayer. They may observe the form of worship, but the spirit of true supplication is lacking. Such have departed widely from the pattern. Jesus our example was much in prayer; and oh, how earnest, how fervent were His petitions! If He, the beloved Son of God, was moved to such earnestness, such agony, in our behalf, how much more need that we, who are dependent upon Heaven for all our strength, have our whole souls stirred to wrestle with God.

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12. In these words the three-fold character of God is described as being in the minds of His saints.

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13. It may seem wonderful to us that Christ should reveal Himself to John as He is, strange that He should thus address Himself to the churches. But we should remember that the church, enfeebled and defective though it is, is the object of Christ's supreme regard. Constantly He watches over it with tender solicitude, and strengthens it by His Holy Spirit. Will we, as members of His church, allow Him to impress our minds and to work through us to His glory? Will we heed the messages He addresses to the church? Let us determine to be among the number who shall meet Him with joy at His coming, and not among those who "shall wail because of Him."

Let us make certain our redemption by obeying the messages that He gives to His church.

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14. Ephesians 3:9 Jesus is the Creator God

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ...

Colossians 1:15-17 Through Him we can "see" the Father

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [premier] of every creature: for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist [continue].

Hebrews 1:1-3 He upholds all things continually

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high...

Jesus says, "I am the Creator", therefore I can re-create you into a Christian. You need it!

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15. Matthew 5:13 Salt is good

You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour [its ability to bring out the flavour, or, to preserve], wherewith shall it [the food] be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

As they listened to the words of Christ, the people could see the white salt glistening in the pathways where it had been cast out because it had lost its savour and was therefore useless. It well represented the condition of the Pharisees and the effect of their religion upon society. It represents the life of every person from whom the power of the grace of God has departed and who has become cold and Christless. Whatever may be his profession, such a one is looked upon by men and angels as insipid and disagreeable. It is to such that Christ says: "I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of My mouth."

You make Me sick!

The Laodicean message has its application in conditions that exist in the church of God to-day. Many of God's people have strengthened themselves in their own way, followed the impulses of their own minds, and have grown indifferent to the admonitions of the Lord. Many who were once firm believers in the truth have become careless in regard to their spiritual welfare, and are yielding without opposition to Satan's well-laid plots.

How many are in this very position! In their ignorance they are in a deplorable, selfish condition. They are as salt without savour. They are separated from the Lord Jesus, in whom their hope of eternal life is centered, yet they are satisfied with the knowledge of their smartness, thinking themselves wise. But their eyes are blinded; they do not discern their wretchedness. They do not keep the law of God, but fail to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. "I know your works," Christ declares. They are an offense to God. His righteousness is not in them. They have not kept their garments from worldly defilement. They do not keep the correct standard of character uplifted before them.

Half-hearted Christians are worse than unbelievers, for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The unbeliever shows his colours. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian. Satan uses him to do a work that no one else can do.

If the majority in Laodicea realised that they were sinners, Jesus could plead in their behalf, and arouse them by His Holy Spirit. But they are worse than dead in trespasses and sins. They hear the word, but make no application of it to themselves; instead, they apply the word spoken to their neighbours! This is what upsets Jesus.

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

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16. 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 as in a position of carnal security. They are at ease, believing themselves to be in an exalted condition of spiritual attainments. "Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" not having the robe of righteousness.

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 condition 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.

It is difficult for those who feel secure in their attainments, and who believe 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." Jeremiah 17:9. Many, who in this church/time are flattering themselves that they are good Christians, have not a ray of light from Jesus. They have not a living experience for themselves in the divine life. They need a deep and thorough work of self-abasement before God before they will feel their true need of earnest, persevering effort to secure the precious graces of the Spirit.

His counsel to this church is "buy" the gold, robe, and eyesalve, just as the merchantman rushed out to buy the pearl of great price.

Matthew 13:45-46 It takes all to "buy" freedom

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

The "price" is self. We must give up everything, our selfish life, our selfish desires, our own way, if we would have the overcomer's victory. Most of all we need the "eyesalve" of the Holy Spirit's guidance to be able to see ourselves as God sees us.

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17. Zechariah 13:8-9 Test and trial is likened to processing gold

And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, says the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

1 Peter 1:6-7 You may be "rich"

Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold [many] temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ...

Isaiah 55:1-3 This "gold" is free

Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfies not? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come to Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Isaiah 13:12 "gold" = faith that "works" by love

I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

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18. Deuteronomy 6:25 "white raiment" is obedience

And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.

2 Samuel 22:21-22 "white raiment" = purity of character

The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands has He recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

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19. Colossians 3:16 "eyesalve" is knowledge gained thru the Spirit

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

2 Peter 1:19 Prophecy can be understood

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts:

Hebrews 5:7-8 The purpose of trials is to practise overcoming, not failing!

Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered...

Hebrews 12:5-15 That you may see yourself as God sees you

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord, nor faint [or give up] when you are rebuked of Him [by words only, remember!]: for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. [the deeds come from others, as in the experience of Jesus].

If you endure chastening [by being victorious], God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards [not Christians], and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence [respect]: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised [trained] thereby. [Tribulation works, or develops, patience, Romans 5:3]. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame [faltering] be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled...

It is not enough that we merely profess the faith; something more than a nominal assent is wanted. There must be a real knowledge, a genuine experience in the principles of the truth as it is in Jesus. The Holy Spirit must work within, bringing these principles into the strong light of distinct consciousness, that we may know their power and make them a living reality. The mind must yield obedience to the royal law of liberty, the law which the Spirit of God impresses upon the heart, and makes plain to the understanding. James 1:25. The expulsion of sin must be the act of the soul itself, in calling into exercise its noblest powers. The only freedom a finite will can enjoy, consists in coming into harmony with the will of God, complying with the conditions that make man a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

There are some who make great pretensions to piety while they stand on the side of the great rebel as transgressors of the law of God. But are they holy and sanctified? - Oh, no! They are not, as obedient children, walking in all the statutes of the Lord blameless. They give nothing, and yet presumptuously claim everything; while others, who are seeking to obey the divine law and lead others to obey it, give obedience, give ourselves, and claim but little in return. Because so many prate about holiness and sanctification when their works testify against them, we must not get the idea that there is no such thing. There is a genuine and a false sanctification; and we can tell the one from the other only by the rule that Christ has given, — "By their fruits you shall know them." Matthew 7:20.

The human character is depraved, deformed by sin, and terribly unlike that of the first man as he came from the hands of the Creator. Jesus proposes to take man's deformity and sin, and to give him, in return, beauty and excellence in his own character. He promises to renovate the character through the truth. Error cannot do this work of regeneration; therefore we must have spiritual eyesight to discern between truth and falsehood, that we fall not into the snare of the enemy.

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20. Acts 17:24-28 "IF" - The choice is all ours

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things; and has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply [maybe] they might feel after Him, and find [seek] Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being...

I know that in many hearts the inquiry arises, "Where shall I find Jesus?" There are many who want His presence, want His love and His light; but they know not where to look for Him for whom their hearts yearn. And yet Jesus does not hide Himself away; no one need search for Him in vain. "Behold," He says, "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."

Jesus invites us to accept His presence; we are to open the door of the heart, and let Him in. But He will not share a divided heart. If it be given to the service of mammon, if selfishness and pride fill its chambers, there will be no room for the heavenly Guest; He will not take up His abode with us until the soul-temple has been emptied and cleansed. Yet there is no need of making a failure in the Christian life. Jesus is waiting to do a great work for us, and all heaven is interested in our salvation.

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21. John 15:4-7 Our strength is in His presence

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches: he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.

If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.

Revelation 12:10-11 By the word of their testimony

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death.

Jesus rested upon the wisdom and strength of His heavenly Father. He declares,

Isaiah 50:7-10

"The Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: . . . and I know that I shall not be ashamed. . . . Behold, the Lord God will help Me."

Pointing to His own example, He says to us,

"Who is among you that fears the Lord, . . . that walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God."

John 14:30

"The prince of this world comes," said Jesus, "and has nothing in Me."

There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan's sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation.

So it may be with us.

Christ's humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.

And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us.

By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan? By the word of God. Only by the word could He resist temptation.

"It is written," He said. (Matthew 4).

2 Peter 1:4

And to us are given "exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

Every promise in God's word is ours. "By every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" are we to live. When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the word. All its strength is yours.

Psalm 119:11; 17:4

"Your word," says the psalmist, "have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against You."

"By the word of Your lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer."

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